by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
Creature Type: Insect (Parasite)
Diet: Herbivore while an adult, carnivore as larvae
Disposition: None (unintelligent)
Special Talents: Blend with an environment
Special Attacks: Paralyzing toxin
Locality: Irys, southern Shalzaar and southern Tal`Rah
Longevity: Length of the Lasa and Nisa seasons
Class Types: All Brain eels are considered assassins.
The brain eel isn’t an eel at all, but rather a small parasitic insect, roughly three centimeters long and roughly a centimeter in diameter. They are often a mottled brown or an olive green, but this can change depending on the environment. There have been brain eels found that were bright green, sitting on an orashoo fruit, to match it.
Brain eels are perhaps one of the most lethal insects in all of Imarel, for its ability to drop onto the shoulder of an unwary victim, paralyze them with its toxic bite, then proceed to pull its way into the ear or the mouth of the victim, using its fore-claws. Once it has burrowed its way inside the skull, the brain eel will work its way to the brain stem where the several tendrils at its tail are used to lay several dozen eggs. The brain eel will exit the skull at this point and attempt find a new location in which it may go dormant until roused again.
The eggs hatch into one to two weeks, where the brain of the victim serves as a sort of incubator for the young, as well as nourishment. These larvae voraciously devour the brain tissue which can have any number of effects on the unwitting host, though most commonly this is insanity, brain damage and delusions until either the larvae are destroyed somehow or death occurs. Larvae mature quickly in any event and will leave the host’s brain in three to four weeks from hatching, dead host or not. Most people with brain eel larvae eating their brain tissue will not survive more than a week, though there have been cases that some have survived as long as two, before succumbing to this horrible way to die. The final days are filled with suffering and pain that fails most description as the victim’s mind is being devoured from within.
Typically, a brain eel prefers a very warm and humid climate with lots of vegetation, such as the low-hanging branches of a tree. During this stage in their life cycle, they gorge themselves on tree leaf material, sap or fruit pulp then go dormant. It is during this dormant cycle that they begin to internally fertilize eggs, as they are asexual creatures. It is here they wait, blended in with the branch or leaf they settle upon, until somebody or something suitable passes under them. Their large, photo-receptive eyes can detect changes in light by large moving objects, like people ore animals. This change rouses them from being dormant whereupon they prepare to drop onto their victim. The brain eel seems at least capable of distinguishing daylight from night time, therefore does not start randomly dropping off branches when the sun sets.
Once the adult has seeded young into a host’s brain, the cycle continues again for the length of Imarel’s warm seasons, whereupon most brain eels die. In perpetually warm climates such as Irys where the change of the season does little to affect the climate, they are active year round, for a year before dying. This makes them far more prevalent on Irys than anywhere else on Imarel, but they do show up in very warm and humid places in southern Tal`Rah, such as Sundown and New D`Mir.