The Tragedies of Erythnul
A creation of Doran's.
The supernatural creature known only as the Parasite, is, as the name would imply, a parasitic lifeform, magical in nature, which feeds off a living host’s energy until it is powerful enough to make a body of its own. The parasite starts off weak, but gains power as it grows, eventually being able to temporarily take control of its host body and create lifelike illusory projections that become more real as its power increases. While there are possibly many of this creature in existence, this article covers one specific entity.
The initial host is meant as little more than an advanced incubator—much in the way certain species of spider will lay its eggs in another insect’s body. The parasite feeds off the life energy of its host, and uses its host’s thoughts and experiences to shape its permanent body. When the parasite gets strong enough, it is able to create an illusory body that will eventually become its permanent home. While independent, this body has thoughts and memories all its own and it will do its best to remain close to the host for the remainder of the incubation.
As the parasite grows in power, its projection becomes more real. If the projection is killed, the parasite can make a new one, but this becomes more difficult the more real the projection becomes. If all goes as expected, the parasite will eventually become powerful enough to kill the host body and transfer itself to the new body, which becomes one with it. If the projected body is killed before maturation and a new one cannot be created, the parasite may attempt to take over its host permanently, although this is less ideal.
The actual time and process of creation of the parasite is unknown, but it was first given a host when Kitty was stabbed by Doran with an infected dagger in the abbey of Foll.
The parasite reached its first stages of maturation within Kitty. At first it could only influence its host through visions, typically during sleep. But while the party was in Spellscale Asylum, it managed to create its first potential body in the form of Kale. Whether this was due to having finally grown enough within Kitty or if the latent magics within Spellscale gave it a boost is uncertain. Nylo Cloudspice seemed to have some level of awareness of the parasite. Although he could not identify it specifically, nor explain what he sensed, he had an innate distrust of the Kale projection.
Soon after, the party spoke to a mage who was able to identify the nature of the parasite, to some degree, and this is where it was christened. At this point, the parasite itself still showed little indication of sentience. Kitty attempted to threaten it into communicating, by poisoning himself and declaring he would only take the antidote if the parasite responded. He got no response, although whether the parasite chose not to respond or was not able could not be determined. Both Kitty and the parasite may have perished together then and there, had Kestral, feeling guilty for cooperating with his foolish and dangerous plan, not tried to revive him. He was unable to save Kitty but was able to provide the parasite with a new host body.
Under Kestral, the parasite saw the loss of at least two projected hosts and possibly more. The first, Kale, died as his own man, standing defiant against a powerful enemy. The second, a clone of Kitty, killed himself upon realizing his true nature. The party encountered a couple of other beings that could have potentially been creations of the parasite, but nothing was ever confirmed and there were no attempts after the clone of Kitty, for any other potential projections to get close to the party, so its possible that it was too late for the parasite to create further projections.
The time spent with Kestral was not particularly fruitful for the parasite. Although it continued to grow stronger, it seemed to be held back somewhat significantly for some time by Nylo, who would devote his nights to suppressing the creature, at great personal cost. After Nylo was lost to the party, the parasite was able to resume its growth relatively unchecked, eventually causing serious enough disruption to its host, that the party decided it needed to be addressed once and for all.
Kestral, Thorman, and Hubert made their way to Raz, a powerful spellcaster with the ability to travel in time. Raz had indicated that he might have the power to extract the parasite, although it would be extremely dangerous. The four of them spent hours in a ceremony in which Raz carefully and deliberately drew the creature out of its host. Although it was close to disastrous more than once, he was successful in the end, and upon extraction, immediately teleported with it to a pocket dimension of his own creation. And there they might have remained, deadlocked for all eternity, if not for a strange twist of fate.
A botched teleport spell brought several members of the party to Raz’s pocket dimension. The mage was harrowed, but still held the parasite fast. However, in order to hold it, he needed to maintain complete concentration on it, which meant that Thorman and his allies were stranded there as well. This wouldn’t work, so Raz determined that he would have to break his hold, send them away, and collapse the pocket dimension, ending things once and for all. Unfortunately, he could not act quick enough and the parasite managed to escape within Thorman.
The parasite remained with Thorman through the end, becoming trapped with him in the vortex that powers the destructive magic known as the Storm. In all that time, it waited and grew until finally, 200 years later, they were freed and it took control. Thorman resisted, but the parasite was strong now and it was able to control his body long enough to cut his arms and murder his longtime animal companion, also named Kitty.
From that point on, it was only a matter of time. The parasite managed to take control more often and for longer periods of time, turning him into a force of pure rage and violence. Eventually Thorman could take no more and turned to one of the most powerful magic wielders on the planet, the dragon Finean, to wipe both his and the parasite’s memories, and send them away as one.
The Abandoned and Thorman again
As a united force, Thorman and the parasite, now calling themselves The Abandoned, were a force to be reckoned with, powerful enough to, if only for a moment, hold back the Storm itself. But somehow, despite being faced with oblivion itself, they not only survived, they were sent back to the time they had abandoned, memories restored. Now it sits, again dormant, waiting and plotting. Thinking only of revenge.