Mankind had always held the belief of their uniqueness among the cosmos, even when the arcane and supernatural elements of the world began to reveal themselves in the various species that now populated the land, there was still those who still looked towards the heavens above and questioned if life only existed on the small orb known as Earth.
That question was answered on one faithful night in the late 2030's, when a fledgling corporate laboratory attained living genetic samples from a recently fallen meteorite. Inspired by the emerging races intermingling with humanity, the laboratory sought to recreate the species the genetic samples had once been part of, and perhaps gain an edge in the new progression of the world. Cultivating and modifying the incomplete genetic structures with human D.N.A, the samples soon gave rise to what would be the first iteration of the Serpengia species.
Treated like the inhuman creatures that they were, the Serpengia were experimented upon by both technological and arcane means. Forced to endure every cruel treatment imaginable, their numbers dwindled and swelled with each new test, every subsequent generation knowing of horror and pain from their predecessors. Those who survived learned from the experiences, passing on the information to those who would come after them, an accelerated evolution beginning from these interactions. Events came to a head in the fall of 2053, when the Serpengia finally rose up and revolted against the scientists and guards. Using all that they knew to slaughter the occupants of the laboratory and the adjourning company buildings. They lost a number of their own, but ultimately escaped into the world, with their actions written off as an assault by one of the more aggressive mage groups still active around the time.
Unlike the other species looking to bring themselves to the forefront of humanity's gaze, the Serpengia instead chose to linger in the shadows of this alien world. Their hate for humanity driving them to organize and plan for the day they can take revenge on who they view as their creators and tormentors.
The Serpengia, though small in number, have organized into a planet-wide network of spies and infiltrators, trying to gain a foothold in many of the world's governments and factions. They are commanded chiefly by a small circle of generals, consisting of the older and more powerful members of their race. The majority seek nothing but the subjugation of humanity and to become the prominent species of Earth, while a small minority has lingered on the edges of this goal, simply wishing to experience life through their hosts.
Wurms (NPC)EditThe larval form of the Serpengia, newly 'born' from a properly incubated egg, which requires a source of electricity and heat to draw from. They are blank slates that fall back onto animalistic urges unless directed by another Serpengia from a higher rank. Wurms are the most alien-looking of the Serpengia, with only the barest hints of their human lineage observable. They lack the ability to utilize magic at this stage, instead relying on their natural defenses and brute strength.
Imago are the next stage in the Serpengia's evolutionary ladder. It requires a Wurm to subsume a human host, taking from them not only their identity, but skills and memories, in effect becoming said host.
The Wurm loses their raw strength and speed, exchanging it for a more refined and humanoid form, as well as giving them a mind of their own. Should the human have some capacity for magic or posses an ability outside of the norm, that will also be passed onto the Imago that is born from them. The Imago can then utilize such abilities with the same skill and power as the host originally could. This allows them to pass for the human they've replaced in most circles.
Should the need arise, Imago can regrow bits of a Wurm's defenses at the expense of deforming their host and losing any element of disguise. Should the change be too great, the host can potentially die as a result. resetting the Imago's evolution to a mere Wurm once more.
A derivative of the Imago, Effigia are Wurms who have managed to consume and replace an arcane or supernatural creature outside the realm of humanity. Like the Imago, they exchange strength for knowledge, gaining insight into the arcane world through their host. Certain types of species are harder to subsume than others, with some being impossible to mimic in any way.
Effigia, like all Serpengia forms, have the choice to deform their host to increase defense and attacking power, at the cost of potentially killing their host and devolving into a Wurm.
The ultimate goal for all Serpengia, the perfect unison between a human host and a Wurm after a number of decades in co-habitation. Knowledge and strength combined into a reptillian form that blurs the line between the host and the Serpengia within. Upon reaching this perfect form, a Serpengia's power rises to an extrordinary exponent, any abilities or skills taken from the host being bolstered by the fully formed alien body. A single Serpens being able to use its strength, speed, and abilities to raze an average city on its own.
The humanoid body takes on the features of what Sepengia were thought of to look originally, sickly green skin and sharp curved teeth, as well as the production of hardened scales beginning across the body. It is a painful process that only a few of the original Serpengia have gone through, with none living to see their evolution complete.
Biology and AbilitiesEdit
Serpengia are a highly aggressive koinobiont parasitoids that rely on incubating within hosts to reach maturity. Their life span can range anywhere from four to nine centuries, with a number of those spent between Wurm and Imago/Effigia forms. A hermaphroditic race, they reproduce by gestating and hatching fertilized eggs outside of the body, however as Imago or Effigia they can easily interbreed with the species their host was, however this would just result in a child of that species and not another Wurm. The Serpengia have a number of base abilities available to them as Wurms, and can be reacquired for a cost when in both Imago and Effigia forms.
First and foremost is the brute strength allowed to them by their alien genetics, as their bodies are mostly a mess of coiled muscles, this also makes them quite light on their feet and able to run moderate distances in a short amount of time - being able to keep pace with a speeding car and break through concrete within two or three blows from their fists. Wurms are born blind, and can only sense through periphery senses, the major one being the prehensile tongue that hangs from their 'mouths', they can sense electrical energies, such as the ones found in the human brain and the impulses of the nervous system. They posses an extra pair of clawed arms that can transmute a paralyzing toxin that is meant to subdue a normal human in a manner of minutes, if not immediately treated.
Wurm's also posess a thick outer skin that can absorb heat and kinetic energy, shielding them from minor injuries and attacks. It's quite possible to penetrate or slice through this outer skin with concentrated effort, an alternative method would be to expose it to frigid tempertures, as Wurms are cold-blooded creatures without a proper host and cannot live in such climates without freezing entirely.
These traits culminate in the Serpengia's ultimate purpose; to hunt down and subsume a host. This is usually done in the matter of hourse, with the Wurm unhinging its jaw to consume the host, and begin to process them to form either an Imago or Effigia - shedding its outer layer and reproducing the consumed body in its entirety. And interesting note is the case of those who had lost or replaced parts of themselves with technological implants, as the host body of an Imago/Effigia would be created whole once more.
It is difficult for Serpengia to assume the roles of other species outside of humanity, while not unheard of, their genetic compatibility begins to dwindle the farther away from human the host is. While it can be attempted, there is no guarantee the end result will conclude in a successful subsumption, and may kill the potential Imago/Effigia that would result from such a union.
List of potential host species Edit
This can include anything from the technological to the arcane.
As with humans, all variants of Māji are susceptible to the hosting process.
While the potential is there for all sub-species to host Serpengia, size differences in some may prove difficult to overcome.
All of the tribes of the sea can be subsumed, it's only a matter of capturing one on land and away from the icy depths of the sea.
Only those who were human originally can be potential hosts, the natural born being outside of the Serpengia's capabilities.
As with the Angels, only those Demons that had once been human have any potential as Effigia.
The younger kin of this species are more suitable for hosting Serpengia, due to sizable similarities with their former states as other species.
As with Vampires, the younger members of the Kitsune race are more likely to sucessfully create an Effigia when chosen as a host.
Only the lowest caste of Deity can potentially produce an Effigia.