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Selphid in Human Body Anatomical Studyy
(commissioned by Pirateaba)

Selphids are one of the Races of Innworld. They are basically parasites, as they can't live on their own, but need to take over a body, which they can control freely. They are more commonly known as "The body snatchers of Baleros".[1]

Physiology[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

A Selphid's true form consists of a dark green and yellow semi-fluid wriggling mass of tendrils, with orange blood.[2] Under a microscope, their cells are geometric, have jagged edges, cell walls, and an elongated nucleus.[3][4]

Selphids by JohnDoe

Physical Qualities[edit | edit source]

Selphid bodies are boneless and malleable, able to change shape at will. This quality is essential for controlling a body, as it enables them to attach to all the nerves of a body. They have an instinctual warning of whether they've stretched their bodies to far, like the feeling of overstretching a tendon. They require more water than Drowned People to avoid drying out.[4] They can also live in water without difficulty, and are able to retrieve oxygen from it.

Outside of a body, their sensations are magnified to the point that light and sounds are overstimulating. Selphids lack eyes in their actual bodies and rely on chemical reading, which is extended across their entire body, giving them a local snapshot of their surroundings, and is mostly useful for navigating inside of a body.[4]

Selphids can inhabit the stomach of a body, their tendrils stretching throughout the nervous system and wrapped around some of the organs. Galas-muscles are so tough that Selphids need to learn to move past it.[5]

Selphids can regenerate from injuries to their true bodies, given time.[6]

Selphids have a version of vomiting which is a feeling of unwanted components inside of them which they can selectively eject.[4]

Selphids have a perpetual hunger or craving. However, they are unaware or unable to identify it, as it is something they have always lived with. Furthermore, this form of hunger isn't satiated by normal foods or substances.[4]

Deceased Bodies[edit | edit source]

It takes time for Selphids to assume control of a deceased body, as they have to remove the blood and several organs. Brains are also unnecessary though they need the nerves of the head for senses like vision and hearing. [4] They take on the attributes of their host. They rarely breathe when they don't speak, and also blink less than normal people. When the body becomes too damaged, they have to change, as healing potions do not work on dead flesh. An unconscious Selphid more or less resembles a dead body.[2]

In dead Human bodies, the skin and the insides of the body becomes completely white, as they are bloodless.[1] Other organisms occupied by a Selphid are similarly and recognizably pale, such as Drakes, Lizardfolk, Gnolls, Raskghar etc. They don't compose as quickly as regular corpses, but over time, Selphid bodies develop a distinctly "dead" odour.

Selphids secrete a liquid that can close together torn muscles and broken bones in order to slow down decomposition. While tiring, it can extend the use of corpses and allows them to make spot-repairs. The liquid can also be applied on living bodies. Galas-muscle cannot easily be reconnected.[5]

Living Bodies[edit | edit source]

If a Selphid possess the body of a living person it would make the both of them very powerful, as the Selphid has the ability to stop bleeding, move a body when critically injured and heal each injury with such precision. Additionally, having both the Selphid and host working together would give them a body, with two minds, each with their own set of classes and Skills. Selphids can also hear the levelling announcment of their host.[7]

However, the line between parasitism and symbiosis is solely determined by the Selphid.[8] The longer a Selphid spends in someone's body, the more connected they are, understanding their host's feelings. The term for this is Unification.[9]

Unlike a dead body, a Selphid cannot navigate a living body as easily, as internal movement requires going through membranes or breaking veins. They also have to pacify the host's immune system, until it acclimates to the Selphid's presence. However, a living body is easier to maintain, as the Selphid goes not have to keep it moisturized, perform small repairs, keep out pests, or operate organs like the lungs.[4] They can also secrete hormones like dopamine and endorphins from the brain, and manually exercise their host's muscles without having to actually exercise.

Lifespan[edit | edit source]

Selphids can live for centuries, with some being as old as Dwarves or half-Elves.[10] However, the Wasting has shortened the lifespans of Selphids.[9] In the last two ages, Selphids not part of a Mind have not exceeded two-hundred years of age save by a few years.[5]

Diet[edit | edit source]

They are able to eat anything that other races can. Being smaller, they don't need as much energy unless trying to fuel a fresh body. They can also eat carrion insects and corpses as well. Some Selphids dispose excess fat and organs

Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Selphids are able to reproduce asexually, though they also do it sexually with one or more partners. In sexual reproduction, both partners give up parts of their bodies to form a third mass, which will split into a dozen or so smaller Selphids. The parent Selphids are physically weakened from the act, and may give up a larger amount of their body to accelerate the development of the spawnlings. If done incorrectly, a parent Selphid can lose muscle memory.[4]

Special Abilities[edit | edit source]

Rampaging[edit | edit source]

Selphids can force the host bodies to performing great feats of strength that are normally not possible. This is done by performing a phenomenon known as Hysterical Strength, which exceed the body limits for a brief period, to push a body’s muscles and nerves past their physical threshold. While the other species can do it in times of dire need, Selphids have no such limitations of the mind and can do it whenever they please, though it quickly wears down on host bodies.[8]

Disease Resistance[edit | edit source]

Selphids do not grow ill from most disease, and are unaffected by some bacteria.[11]

Minds[edit | edit source]

Selphids can combine into a psychic collective called a Mind. Minds are hive minds and have access to the memories and experiences of the Selphids they're made up of. They are telepathic and telekinetic.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

Rampaging Limits[edit | edit source]

Rampaging tears apart the body’s muscles and burns the nerves. While doing so to a living body would be painful for the host and leave them in pain from torn muscles, a healing potion can be used to heal the Host. Since healing potions don't work with a dead body, an over-rampaging will degrade and break the body down far, far more quickly.[8]

Poison[edit | edit source]

Given their smaller bodies, Selphids are especially susceptible to poison.

Elements[edit | edit source]

Electric shocks can stun Selphids, and it goes through their dead bodies, negating their resilience. Fire and ice are also effective against them.[3]

Gas[edit | edit source]

Similar to poison, Selphids are especially susceptible to gas because of their smaller bodies.[3]

Wasting[edit | edit source]

The Selphids are currently being afflicted by a disease known as the "Wasting". Symptoms include chronic pain, memory and identity loss, and slow disintegration of the body.[7] On a cellular level, the Wasting breaks down their cell walls.[4]

It is not transmissible, not restricted by age, was not inflicted on Selphids by another species, and is not linked to inhabiting dead bodies instead of living ones. For unknown reasons, the Wasting rarely manifests for Selphids living in the Dyed Lands and Rhir.[5]

Behavior and Culture[edit | edit source]

Selphids are a tight community tend to stick together and support each other out of necessity after the end of their Empire.[12] They do not fight each other in war, and help each other when they can. A notable part of their culture as a result is "Presenting", which is to avoid upsetting other species, such as making sure they do not smell bad, do anything to alarm them, or discussing untoward topics. It is important to Selphids, as one of them can reflect on the entire local community and put them at risk.[4]

Strong bodies are as valuable as artefacts to Selphids, and they will pay to obtain them. Leaving a body to rot is done to those Selphids deem useless, not to their friends or enemies. It is the biggest sign of contempt from Selphids.[13]

Most Selphids are genderfluid, identifying their gender as the same as their current host body's, though some will identify with one gender regardless of their host's sex.

Selphids have trypohilia, as holes remind them of the insides of bodies, the long thin tunnels in rotting flesh. They also find the uncanny valley appealing.[5]

Selphid children or "spawnlings" will jointly control a body together or with an older Selphid chaperoning in a larger body until they are able to control one independently.

Laws[edit | edit source]

The greatest law of Selphids is the Minacien Wall. It is an agreement not to perform any action or deed that would incur the wrath of other species.[5]

It dictates that no body they snatch is allowed to be alive. Breaking that law is punishable by death or exile, and the only escape is to give up one's individuality to join a Mind.[9] The other races remember the oppression under Selphid rule and the Selphids remember being despised and hunted after their regime was overthrown. For that reason, Selphids police themselves and punishes anyone trying to inhabit a living body.

Still, some Selphids are willing to make exceptions to that rule, mostly for reasons of self-preservation:

  • Okasha was allowed to remain inside Geneva Scala's body with Geneva's permission, as Geneva would otherwise be quadriplegic. Okasha was later replaced by Idis, with permission from higher-ranking Selphids who are hoping that Geneva might save their race from the Wasting disease
  • Jelaqua temporarily hid in Moore's body after the corpse she jockeyed was too badly mutilated to support her. She left Moore quickly for a new body, and pledged all witnesses to silence about the affair. Her ride had been in consent.

Other violations of the Minacien Wall include modifying memories and thoughts with telepathy, reviving dead bodies to use as living vessels, cloning people to be servants, copying and creating artificial consciousnesses, and creating superminds like in the days of the Empire.[3] Transplanting Galas-muscles into dead bodies also nearly violates it as well.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

Selphids are descended from Seamwalkers.[3]

Selphid Minds built the Gathering Citadels using their telekinetic might. The upper levels of thr Citadel bear the faces of famous host bodies for Selphids, as well as a statue of what is presumed to be their ancestor: a humanoid body with two notable oddities: four fingers per hand, like a Gazer, and an inhuman "head", consisting of a bulbous growth with a huge hole where a mouth should be, and a fungal series of holes and twining, upward-reaching fungoid growths as seeming "hair". [5]

Around 10,000 years ago the Selphids of the Magus Kingdom of Azervrish, the last nation of the Selphid, enslaved any race they could find under the rule of a powerful [Archmage], with many Selphids possessing classes like [Controller] or [Overlord]. They were destroyed by an alliance between various nations and their host slaves.[14]

Minds used to battle each other, but it is now discouraged as Selphids have become weaker as a species.[5]

Relations[edit | edit source]

Many members of other races don't regard Selphids as people.[2] As mercenaries, Selphids are often hired at the lowest rung by most of the major Companies.[15]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • They have advanced knowledge about arteries, veins and blood flow, thanks to them experiencing it up close and personally.
  • Okasha had wondered if their ancestors, when they still possessed living people, perhaps not controlled them but worked with them.[8]
  • The Bodies of Fellden is the largest Selphid-only company in Baleros.[11]
  • The bodies of warriors over Level 30 are worth their weight in gold among the Selphids, as the bodies of higher-level people become strong as steel, even after death. [13]
  • The Selphid's Dilemma is an allegory that describes when a [General] or [Strategist] knows what they want to do, but are unable to make it happen. It refers to a Selphid's own problem with a rotting body preventing movement, with deteriorating muscles and limbs becoming less mobile and usable over time.[16]
  • They refer to other species as Manykind.[4]
  • Selphid's Dust is an addictive and harmful drug that mimics the feeling of a Selphid's Rampage.[17]
  • Mindslayer arrows were weapons used specifically to kill Selphids. Once loosed, they targeted anyone aware of its presence, including the archer that fired it.[18]

References[edit | edit source]