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Kaeldrich


Appearance


A natural Kaeldrich is a large insect (roughly 20 inches body length when fully grown), with a brown carapace and with 6 legs and long antenna that they use to feel around them. However most Kaeldrich will not be seen in this form, to survive they will make use of the bodies of recently deceased people effectively replacing the internal organs and taking over brain functions. In general Kaeldrich can afford to be fairly choosy and thus will go "perfect" bodies, namely ones that still have both arms, legs and a head attached, most other injuries the body may have they can live with. This means Kaeldrich can only choose from a limited number of races, Humans, Felthriir, Yulosi, Werungar and Dragonians are the only compatible people they can "borrow" bodies from. Once the Kaeldrich has control of their new body they go through a metamorphosis of their own, replacing the blood in the body with a complex network of tendrils from their own body, this makes their "host" look very pale or even grey-skinned. Movement also tends to become more insect-like, slower and more precise. Their need to take on hosts seems to be more of an optional survival choice than a necessity and they can in fact take on animal hosts, but find these less practical than the bipedal races.



History


The Kaeldrich themselves do not record their own history, in fact they do not seem to record much of anything. What is known of these people comes from investigations funded by The Council of Elements, they have discovered that the Kaeldrich in their natural form hail from a deep jungle somewhere to the far south beyond the walls of the Great Cataclysm, a large enough number of them has been trapped within the storm to allow for their people to breed. The Council at first did not know what to make of the Kaeldrich as they are harmless to anything larger than themselves, however their use was first seen during a mass riot which involved several unfortunate deaths, during the tidying of the fallen, young Kaeldrich were seen implanting themselves inside some of the bodies. The initial reaction was to try and stop them, but a more observant Wisp noticed that the newly inhabited bodies started to move and appeared to be confused. The newly risen Kaeldrich were able to tap into the memories and skills of the people they had borrowed bodies from, but were not used to being in such bodies. The Council decided to allow the Kaeldrich to continue in this habit. It was not a popular decision, but it allowed the skills and knowledge of people who had fallen to continue in their role, albeit with some adjustment. The Council also discovered that the insect Kaeldrich can only take on hosts for a short period of their life, as larvae they are very weak and vulnerable and the appropriate instincts have not kicked in, once they have passed this stage they have roughly 1 year in which they could enter a host and take control, after that 1st year they start to grow too large and their carapace loses the ability to allow the metamorphosis which gives them control of a hosts functions.



Society


In general Kaeldrich do not seem to form any kind of familial or cultural groups, much of their natural "knowledge" is instinctive. A Kaeldrich as an insect is little more than an insect, with all the behaviour expected of such. However a Kaeldrich that has taken on a host is quite different, as they have been able to tap into their host's knowledge and memories they are capable of understanding the world around them and conversing with other people, however this does not come easily to them, having the knowledge and applying it are two different things. To avoid this the Kaeldrich are often encouraged to take on specific hosts rather than be allowed to do so naturally and randomly, this ensures that the newly risen hosts can be educated by specially chosen "elder" Kaeldrich who will take them through how to interact in their new world. Beyond this the Kaeldrich do not really associate with each other, they either try and re-establish relations with the people their host knew before, or try to use the knowledge of their hosts in better ways but beyond the confines of their host's previous life.