Dila'Mori

Written by Heart

Though the fruit is sweet,
beware the hunters of the deep,
not fast, nor strong,
but patient and calm.
— A Fae Rhyme taught to Children regarding the Dila'Mori and the Gleam-Fruit Tree.
 

Anatomy

The Dila'Mori are incredibly similar to normal shrimp, however, their mandibles and pincers are increased in size and sharpness. Similarly, their other limbs end in deadly, blade-like points clearly designed to shred through tissue into workable chunks. They tend to hold a semi-transparent coloration with pink and purple undertones, making them incredibly well camouflaged with the sparkling waters of Faedra that they call home.  

Abilities

The species has few abnormal abilities, however, what they do have is a form of swarm mentality. They have evolved feeding on the fruits, and vegetables within the mystical lands and therefore have a very low-level empathic field of magic that allows them a limited form of communication. Beyond this, they are incredibly dangerous foes for creatures their size with powerful pincers and mandibles, but to larger creatures, they are of no threat, especially since they make their home in shallow water making swarming prey effectively almost impossible.  

Habitat

The species calls the Faedra and it's surrounding islands their home, however, the species will only ever be found in the water from which a Gleam-Fruit Tree is growing. They take up residence in the sand, stone, and bones that the tree grows from turning it into a hive from which their females will spawn their eggs and the shrimp will act as a sort of underwater hive of ants, chewing through the materials to form underwater tunnels and spaces for them to hold separate "rooms" deep under the water in the trees root systems.  

Behavior

The shrimp when interacting with one another act as one cohesive organism in many ways. Communicating through a low-level empathic magical field, as well as programmed biology to mimic the movements of their fellows, the species acts as an underwater swarm. This behavior is due to the creatures having specifically co-evolved with the Gleam-Fruit tree, not only making the underwater root system and stones their home but also purposely providing nutrients to the tree. When individuals come forward and walk through the shallow, crystal clear water along the stones underfoot and eat the fruit from the tree, they tend to immediately peel the disgusting skin if they are not aware of it's uses.   From this, the shrimp gain their first form of nutrition in the form of the bitter peels full of anti-narcotics, antidotes, vitamins, and nutrients. However, they do not act immediately. Instead, the species waits, and when the individuals finish their snack the fruit's effects immediately begin. Causing them to become drowsy, and then, eventually, causing them to completely collapse. Unconscious and suffering from a paralyzing toxin, the shrimp burst into action. Due to the shallow water, they would normally have no chance in an attack, but with their targets unconscious they are able to swarm the unfortunate victim.   They will then drown the creature as it slumbers, dragging it into the deeper areas of the stones before ripping them to bits and dragging the chunks into their hive to be used as food. The blood, leftovers, and bones along with the peels from the fruit are then turned into food for the shrimp, and fertilizer for the tree, allowing it to flourish and continue the cycle. Of course, the natives have long since learned of this method, but even when they come and pick the fruit, they know of the uses and tend to dump their own leftovers into the water as an offering to both the tree and the shrimp in thanks for the treats.

General Information

  Origin
Evolved from Anomalocaridids   Type(s)
Ambush Predator, Omnivorous, Monsterous Species   Lifespan
10 Years   Average Height
1" (2.5 cm)   Average Length
4" (10 cm)   Average Weight
0.3 oz (9 g)   Genetic Decendants
  • None

Comments

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thefirstguardian
Nichole Roach
20 Aug, 2018 17:37

This is pretty good! I like the symbiotic relationship between the tree and the dilamori. One thing i'm a bit confused on, though. If the fruit of the Gleam-tree is so much of a sedative, why to individuals (are these individuals sentient or other fauna?) eat them, and why not eat the peel if it has so many good qualities?

21 Aug, 2018 03:07

It's both other fauna and sentient individuals. But keep in mind, only Faera natives know of the good qualities of the peel, to anyone/thing else, the peel is just an incredibly bitter, foul-smelling skin protecting an incredibly tasty beautiful fruit inside. Think of it like a cantaloupe. If you had no idea what a cantaloupe was, and just took a bite out of it, you'd immediately spit out the skin, peel it and just enjoy the fruit. This is the same concept, but in doing so you are unknowingly poisoning yourself.   As such, natives don't fall for the trick, but less-intelligent fauna, travelers, etc, on the other hand, do so constantly unless they meet the native Faera and they care enough to inform them about the tree and to beware its fruit.   Hope that clears it up!

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
thefirstguardian
Nichole Roach
21 Aug, 2018 11:44

That does make more sense! Thank you.

22 Aug, 2018 11:23

Damn, that sounds scary. And the swarm carrying an individual somewhere and only then cutting them in piecies... I'd personally expect the oppositve order of actions, so they surprised me. Being carried somewhere by a swarm of shrimps, eh. Good job! So, the victims of Dila'Mori are usually some strangers that are not native to that land and don't know about the properties of a Gleam-Fruit Tree? Or are the mentioned natives Fey themselves?

23 Aug, 2018 00:29

Keep in mind for them carrying away their prey, that the water is quite shallow (which is they they can't just hunt in swarms like normal predators either). Therefore in order to effectively rip them apart, they must drag them into deeper waters so that they can sorround them effectively, as well, due to their size theres a risk the prey could out-last the toxin. They're miniscule, and the toxin doesn't last forever, more effective to ensure the prey is dead than risk needless death in the swarm.   Generally the victims of the Dila'Mori are travelers, strangers, or less-intelligent creatures that haven't yet learned of the trees risks (such as some primates). It's rare for Faera (universal term referencing Fae and their descendent races), to not know of the nursery rhymes associated with the species, so Faera victims are practically unheard of.   Glad you liked the article! Thank you for your time!

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
22 Aug, 2018 20:09

I love these shrimps and their symbiotic relationship with the Gleam-tree. It sets a very wondrous, lively but dangerous basis for the ecosystem in this area of your world. Altogether, all these details set up the nature of your world, or at least the areas where Gleam-trees are.
Also, I love that quote, it's a sweet and simple nursery rhymes.

23 Aug, 2018 00:31

Thank you! My poetry is quite rusty, so i decided on a simple rhyme, and then decided it fit much more since the Faera are taught from a young age about the fruit.   Thank you for the comment! Yes, the Gleam-Tree's are only found in the area's near the Fountain of Life, the sap is too diluted to cause their growth elsewhere. Still, that's the area of my world I'm focusing on developing the most so it works well. Glad you liked it!

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!