Night Spore Victim by Eskiworks

Night Spore Victim

Eskiworks

27 October 2014 at 14:41:01 MDT

I originally intended this to be a commission sample for small watercolor and ink portraits, but I made the grave mistake of using crappy watercolor paper. The paper wouldn't absorb the pigment, it just floated on the surface. As a result I never got the saturated colors I wanted, and had to edit this in photoshop more than is necessary.

So instead this will serve as an introduction to one of the horrors of TeaFeathers (because it's not all adventure, friendship, and tea) - The Night Spores. Night spores are an infectious parasitic fungus very much like the Cordyceps of our world. Infections typically begin in the lungs, and it gradually spreads through the body, slowly taking control over the victim's nervous system with the ultimate goal of reaching the brain. From there, it will compel an infected Alecani to fly high, and release it's spores into the air.

Alecani are extremely susceptible to night spores, it's a horrific death if allowed to reach it's final stage. If caught early, an infection can be easily cleared, but once it reaches a certain point, there is nothing that can be done. Pictured here is a victim who is nearing the final stages. The fungus hasn't yet opened up to release spores, but this individual is effectively dead. The fungus controls the body entirely, the person that this was is long gone.

Infected Alecani are extremely dangerous for two reasons; the first, is that their behavior becomes increasingly erratic and aggressive as the infection spreads. The second is the danger of an early spore release. If a victim is already in the stage of showing growths outside the body, and they are kept in confinement, the fungus will sense this. It desires to drive it's victim high in the air to spread it's spores, but knows it can't if it is kept in one place. So it will vie for an early spore release instead, in a last ditch attempt to continue the cycle.

There are special teams of Pylura and Alecani, whose job it is to purge areas of Night Spores, and to track and eliminate victims. It usually involves lots of burning, with the Pylura in charge of the fire and the Alecani in charge of the chasing and tracking. They have to wear special masks to avoid infection, but it's not a guarantee. The spores can get into the body through other means, and they seem "smart" in the way they choose and infect victims. More on that later!

I realize that so many people are coming up with similar concepts, based off the cordyceps fungus. I've been sitting on this idea for years thinking people would consider it stupid. When it started popping up all over the place I really regretted not putting it out there back when I was first inspired by learning of the cordyceps fungus. Now my attitude is to not hold back, and to just make whatever the frick I want, regardless of what I think people's opinions will be. Just make the stuff, and have fun!

I post all head world stuff on a special tumblr just for TeaFeathers, including asks! http://tea-feathers.tumblr.com/

Submission Information

Views:
755
Comments:
26
Favorites:
63
Rating:
General
Category:
Visual / Traditional

Comments

  • Link

    I will never, ever get tired of reenvisionings of Cordyceps, it is creepy as hell and I love this!

    • Link

      Hooray, glad to hear that!

  • Link

    I fail to see why having more Cordyceps-y stuff out there is bad. Because it's AWESOME and so super creepy and I LOVE it and THIS IS SO SUPER CREEPY AHAHA omg I secretly love seeing the, like, darker parts of people's little brain worlds. Especially when they involve brain-controlling mushrooms. Oh my god. CLAPS YES DO MORE!!

    • Link

      ME TOO it's such a gloriously real and creepy concept, it never gets old for me either.

  • Link

    Oh my gosh this is terrifying. I love it so much, but SCARY!!

  • Link

    Fun stuff. I always wanted to have Drosera doing something similar during the proselytizing process xD Once I get my debt settled, and finally start saving, I'll be looking for openings! xD (I've had the idea typed out and ready to go for a loooong time now :B )

    • Link

      Do it, I'm excited to see your concepts!

      I hope to have a better sample by the end of the day today, and open tomorrow for these. crosses fingers

  • Link

    the idea of Cordyceps-like parasites that infect sapient beings is a concept that will never grow old to me. a fungus that seems to choose victims is even creepier... I love it!

    • Link

      Same here, I love it! Hopefully I'll be able to go into more detail on the stages and how it chooses it's victims later on. :3

      • Link

        I look forward to possibly reading more about it! OwO

  • Link

    Really cool and creepy! Perfect for Halloween~

  • Link

    omg yes this is so damn cool, would you mind if I had a shot at some fanart? ;o;

    • Link

      Yes, please feel free! <3 <3 <3 The stems are usually green like this, and they glow in the dark. O__O

  • Link

    This is sooo creepy! What are the early warning signs so it can be caught before it gets this far??

    • Link

      The first sign is a mild cough and fever, which is the body trying to fight the infection. But since it's not a very severe set of symptoms it could be misconstrued as a common cold. The fungus will suppress the body's immune system after that, which may make it appear that the victim is just fine. After that their behavior grows more erratic and aggressive. They loose sleep, have periods where they don't want to eat and periods where they want to eat EVERYTHING and can't seem to sate themselves (this is the fungus controlling what the victim eats and when, to fuel it's own growth). Around this time, small stems might start to appear through the skin. As the growths increase, the victim becomes more and more mad. Think late stage rabies in terms of behavior (don't look this up unless you want to be seriously disturbed, it's NOT PRETTY). At some point the victim's body is overwhelmed by the fungus, and they will die. The fungus continues to "drive" the body until it can get high enough to release it's spores.

      So it's important for Alecani to get checked out by their local healer if they develop a cough and a fever! It's usually minor, since in Nym's time the Night Spores are a bit more rare.

      • Link

        Well, even if the cough and fever might just be nothing, I think I'd get it checked! It might just be the rare-but-horrifying Night Spores!

  • Link

    Holy crap, that's some nasty stuff! Has a very John Carpenter's The Thing vibe to it.

    Or a fungal version of The Andromeda Strain.

    Keep it coming, Eski! I love learning about the dangers the Alecani have to deal with. :)

    • Link

      Hell yes, I love The Thing! Awesome, glad you like it!

  • Link

    Sweet Vin Diesel Jesus this is horrifying.

    I love it. This kind of stuff is always so neat despite being creepy as hell. And I mean there are so many dynamics that take place once things get ugly. Like how it affects the victim's family, significant others, anyone they're close to as well as themselves.

    I love worldbuilding stuff. Bravo!

    • Link

      Haha, I'm so glad you like it/find it creepy!

  • Link

    WHYYYYYYYYYY

    flies away screaming in terror

    (Okay this is pretty awesomely done, and I'd love to get a traditional commission from you someday, but aaauuuugghhhh!)

    • Link

      "Come back green dragon, you are the perfect incubator for us!"

      (also thank you!)

      • Link

        AAAAAHHHHHHHH (ohgawd that sounds so perfectly disturbing and creepy xD)

        When fleeing from a little flying dog is the most terrifying thing that can happen, you KNOW something's very, horribly wrong xP

  • Link

    oh god thats such a cool idea.... I love this image it gives me a great idea for a roleplay. But I don't wanna steal your idea lol Great image I love water color