The Black Chick

The black chick infestation has been brought under control through the diligent use of relatively simple folk remedies. The administration has apologized for doubting the aswang phenomenon. We now encourage everyone to follow simple apotropaic procedures to avoid becoming a host.
— Instructor of Recruits
My jewelry is silver. My boots have cold iron toes. My adobo is full of garlic, salt, and vinegar. My riding crop is made from a stingray's tail. No black chicks are gonna crawl into any of my orifices!
— Sgt. Kill Flayer
Content warning: Gruesome body horror.

The black chick is a tiny parasitic creature native to the Feywild and Shadowfell. It crawls into the mouth, nose, ears, or any other orifice that it can fit into and takes up residence in the guts of its host.

The infestation can turn the host into one of four different types of aswang. Some who desire unnatural power can also willingly consume a black chick to willingly become the fifth type of aswang, a warlock.

Types of Aswang

False Undead Aswang

The black chick has the power to transform its host into an undead creature at night while they still live an ordinary life during the day. Some hosts are unaware of their transformation, living a tortured existence, wondering why they never feel rested.

Others have become aware of their altered nature, either reveling in their second life or seeking out a cure for their infestation.

Vampire Aswang

The most human-looking aswang become vampires at night. Instead of the typical vampire fangs, their tongue turns into a long proboscis, like a mosquito. Their normal tongue returns at dawn.

Ghoul Aswang

These aswang turn into carrion eaters, basically becoming indistinguishable from the common undead found throughout the world. During the day they are normal mortals. They can sometimes be detected by their rank, pungent smell.

Viscera Sucker Aswang (Manananggal)

The most radical aswang transformations occur among the manananggal. These undead monstrosities undergo a gruesome transformation at night, growing sharp nails, bat wings, and a long proboscis tongue.

Their body splits at the waist, and their upper torso flies off into the night dragging intestines behind it in a search for victims. The lower half of their body is stashed hidden away, waiting for the upper half to reconnect at the end of the night.

Lycanthrope Aswang

Aswang can also cause lycanthrope in their victims. This affliction follows most of the normal rules of lycanthrope. However, the victim also has the vulnerabilities of all aswang listed below and they cannot transfer the curse with a bite. The black chick can cause all of the typical types of werecreatures.

Warlock Aswang

Some patrons force their warlocks to ingest a black chick as part of their pact. These warlocks can usually focus the curse into arcane powers, avoiding the negative parts of the infestation. However, if the warlock offends its patron, the patron can turn on as many of the negative effects as it wants.

Expelling the Black Chick

The black chick parasite can be expelled with any number of daily items. Unaware hosts avoid these everyday items without realizing it. Aware hosts have to intentionally avoid them to keep their power.

Hosts that ingest salt, garlic, vinegar, or ginger can force the black chick to crawl out of their mouths. The parasites also abhor silver, cold iron, and the holy symbols of good deities. Once expelled, it can be captured and destroyed with holy water or the appropriate divine rites.

Frequent participants in Adobo Night are unlikely to harbor a black chick. Those who don't participate are often suspected to be an aswang.

Transferring a Black Chick

Hosts of a black chick nearing death are overcome with an urge to transfer their parasite. They find a sleeping person, often a family member and put their face close to the new victim. The parasitic bird emerges and moves on to the new host, leaving the old host to die. Black chicks can live forever as long as they can find new hosts.

Chronic, Acquired

Cover image: by Toni Cuenca


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