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== Creations of Chlaenas Shapers ==
This free-floating floral organism is a symbiotic creature created by Shapers, and can commonly be found at the Ryzelm’oire Bazaar. Unlike most plants, amphicilimes generate energy with chemicals rather than by using photosynthesis, so they are capable of surviving even in the light-less ocean depths. An amphicilime has five broad petals, several tiny tendril-like structures in the center of the plant, and a large clear bladder that forms the bottom of the flower. Upon pressing it to one’s face, it will wrap its petals securely around your head, clinging to your face firmly. The tendrils tend to partially worm their way into your nasal cavity, which can be somewhat unpleasant but not painful. Since the bladder of the amphicilime is transparent you can see through it, and it also stores up oxygen that the plant generates while it absorbs the carbon dioxide as you exhale. This allows an amphicilime to be used as an underwater breathing apparatus, letting a human or similarly-sized being stay underwater for days at a time. Amphicilimes typically survive for a month, if properly cared for. They can be difficult to remove, but can be coaxed into releasing their hold and removed, and then put back on at a later date, as the owner desires. They require near constant exposure to water to live, though, so if you take one off in an air-filled environment, you will need a tub of water to store it in or it will quickly begin to wilt.
Note that while an amphicilime will allow you to breathe underwater, it does not provide any sort of protection from depth pressure; the wearer will need some other method of surviving the intense pressures of the ocean depths. Amphicilimes tend to be very popular items at the Bazaar, and highly sought after by humans, elves, and other explorers; since they are too small for chlaenas or large predators to use, they are fairly plentiful. But because everyone knows they are prized by smaller, air-breathing races, they tend to be valued fairly highly.
A symbiotic armament created by Shapers who focus their art towards the skills of weapon-making, a shock claw resembles a carapace-like armored gauntlet that covers the wearer’s arm up to the elbow. Shock claws are typically custom-made; they are almost never found at the Bazaar, so if you want one the only way to get it is to commission a Shaper to make one for you. This is typically very expensive, however, a side benefit is that shock claws can be made for creatures of any size. Once a shock claw is donned, it takes approximately a day for the creature to burrow into the wearer’s nervous system and musculature; once this process is complete, it can not be simply removed; the creature becomes permanently fused with its host. A Shaper armorer can remove it, but it is a lengthy process, which they typically charge highly for... and results in the shock claw's death. Thus, it is not something they do lightly.
The shell-like outer casing of the creature makes excellent armor, capable of withstanding a good deal of force and turning away bladed weapons. In addition, the "fingertips" of the creature end in keen points, which do not hinder the host’s manual dexterity, but can be used to claw at an opponent in dire situations. The main ability of a shock claw and the reason it gets its name is that the creature has three organs along its back that are made up of electrolyte cells. When threatened, the host can trigger the symbiote to unleash a powerful electrical discharge that travels down the creature towards its claws, and is capable of causing temporary muscle spasms in even a large predator (for a human-sized claw). In certain circumstances, when used to strike a vulnerable spot or unleash the electrical pulse directly into nerves, a giant predator can even be stunned for a short period of time, allowing the host an opportunity to escape. However, the shock claw requires an hour of rest to be able to recharge before it is capable of unleashing another pulse, making this a very situational weapon. Typically, shock claws are sometimes found among the elite guards for the larger and more powerful Houses of Ryzelm’oire, and the occasional visitor who has managed to do fairly well for themselves in the city. In general, however, they are very rare.
====Flame Coral Circlet====
A somewhat rare defensive symbiote, the flame coral circlet typically resembles a piece of jewelry like a neck torc or bracelet, crafted from a deep orange coral-like substance. Slipping the circlet on results in a moment of discomfort, as the wearer will feel several pinprick like sensations shooting up his arm or down his neck; inexperienced owners often tear the circlet off and damage it in their surprise. However, this sensation is normal and quickly passes. A flame coral circlet needs only blood to survive, and will drink the little it needs directly from its host, through tiny thorn-like structures that pierce just beneath the skin. A healthy and content circlet is easy to spot; tiny red filaments will extend from its surface, constantly rippling in the water in a manner similar to a flickering flame. When it or its host is threatened, a Flame Coral Circlet will constantly release clouds of those filaments, which contain stinging cells similar to those found in jellyfish tendrils.
Most giant aquatic predators find these stinging cells difficult to tolerate, as contact with them creates a burning sensation, as though you were on fire; getting them in your eyes, mouth, and/or gills is agonizing, and can temporarily incapacitate even the largest cecaelia or mermaid. The host, of course, is immune to this effect as long as he or she is wearing the circlet and for a short while after taking one off, as the creature releases enzymes into the bloodstream while it feeds, that provide a temporary immunity from the toxins in the filaments. Flame coral circlets sometimes release their filaments at inconvenient times and places; a sudden rush of adrenaline may startle the creature and make it think it is in danger. For this reason, they are banned in many enclosed areas within Ryzelm’oire. Being stuck in an enclosed room and forced to breathe in a toxic and irritating cloud is not something the average chlaena enjoys. Expect to be asked to check the circlet at the door should you go into certain heavily populated areas such as one of the Spires or the Bazaar. Obviously, flame coral circlets only work underwater; above water they quickly dry out and there is no medium to carry the stinging filaments.
One should also be aware that there are certain predatory species that not only are immune to the filaments of a flame coral circlet, but actually enjoy the taste. In particular, sea slug girls are said to be fond of the “spicy flavor” it imparts to the host!
Tendril grafts are exactly what they sound like: smooth tentacles with a great deal of flexibility, strength, and dexterity that are implanted into a person’s body. These can come in various sizes and be implanted in various places in the body, however each one is typically treated as an individual assignment, and it requires the personal attention of a Shaper. It isn’t simply a matter of running down to the Bazaar, trading for a tentacle, and slapping it onto your body; a Shaper actually has to operate on you and create muscular, nervous, and circulatory connections between your body and the new limb. Once it is done (the process can take between 12 to 24 hours per tendril), the tentacle or tentacles become part of the subject’s body; rather than being symbiotic organisms, they are merely new extensions of the person’s body. They possess a full sense of touch, are fairly durable, and can be used to hold and manipulate objects. The larger tentacles can actually be used to hold and wield weapons, just as you would with an arm (these are typically implanted on the back or shoulders, but sometimes on the forearm as well).
It does take a while to learn how to use the tentacles at first; one must figure out how to flex muscles that they didn’t have before. This sometimes leads to things being broken and people being accidentally hit by flailing limbs until the person learns how to properly control them. Tendril grafts are fairly common among guards who have been in service to a chlaena House for a long time. The more experienced warriors are capable of wielding several weapons at once; if you are stopped from entering a House by someone carrying a bundle of spears on their back, and they have six ‘arms’, you probably want to walk away.
A round, spherical creature about the size of a ball, a Compass is not used to find your direction in the perilous waters of the Topazial sea. Instead, one uses it to find danger, and hopefully avoid it. A Compass must be handled delicately, as it has a gelatinous consistency; if you grip it too tightly, your fingers will sink into the creature’s body and kill it. It is not known what a Compass requires to survive; only the Shaper’s Guild seems to be able to keep them healthy. For this reason, they are extremely rare, and a Compass that manages to find its way onto the Bazaar typically only lives for a week and a half outside of the care of the Shaper, two weeks at most.
The reason anyone would bother with such a fussy creature is because a Compass has a rather unique ability; it can somehow detect creatures that are using the predator sense. The nucleus of the creature will shift within its body, pointing in the direction of the nearest predator and beginning to glow with bioluminescence... the brighter the glow, the closer the creature is getting. In theory, one can use a Compass to avoid predators while making your way through the ocean... however in practice it does not always work out that way. The main flaws of the Compass are that it can only detect and track a single creature at a time, which will always be the nearest predator using the predator sense, regardless of location. In addition, it will always glow in proportion to the proximity of a predator; this can make it rather difficult to hide from one who is nearby, if you’re holding a bright light that is pointing in their direction. Most people use a kelp sack or some kind of cloth to cover the Compass when not in use.
Another weakness is that a Compass can not detect predators who lack this sense altogether, or who are not actively using it (should they be able to control it to that degree). A cecaelia could very well sneak up right behind you, while the Compass is pointing to a far off sea naga at the very edge of its range of detection. While a Compass can be useful, one should not mistake the warning it provides for a measure of absolute security, as this could be fatal.
Reef spears come in a variety of sizes, ranging from human-sized all the way up to those meant for use by merfolk and chlaenas. Reef spears, like their name suggests, are spear weapons formed from the various types of coral that comprise the Reef of Ryzelm. However, this coral is still alive, and is capable of not only repairing minor damage to the weapon but keeping it always sharpened to a keen point. When the edge of the weapon begins to dull, the coral starts to flake away, revealing a new razor-sharp edge which it begins to rebuild upon to increase the strength of the blade. As long as most of the haft of the weapon remains, a reef spear will fully regenerate over the course of a week, even if the tip of the spear has been completely shattered. Due to their durability and relative popularity, reef spears can be found at the Bazaar at virtually any time for a decent value, along with smaller variants of the weapon, shaped like knives, swords, and punch-daggers.
====Ancient Bone Blade====
Named more for the age of the technique rather than the age of the weapon itself, the ancient bone blade is yet another living weapon that becomes part of the host’s body. The process for having one implanted is fairly gruesome and not for the faint of heart, as it involves the removal of the bones in their forearm! (if there are any.) The removed forearm bones are set aside in a special vat, typically becoming part of the “price” of the weapon (and often used in other "art"), and a semi-rigid cartilaginous sheath is implanted into the forearm, anchored to the elbow and wrist joints. This serves to provide a rigid structure within the arm to serve in place of the bones that were removed; while there is typically some loss of flexibility in the arm, a person can do most things they could before.
Inside of the sheath is a network of nerves, tendons, blood vessels, and muscles.. some of which connect to a short sword that fits perfectly within the sheath. This sword is one solid piece, made of dense bone that is still alive and maintained by the constant flow of blood and nutrients into it. By muscular contraction, the sword can be ejected through a narrow slit in the palm of the hand, allowing the host to wield it as a weapon. It remains connected directly to the host by tendons, encased nerve bundles, and small veins, leading from the grip of the weapon through the hole in the palm, and linked into the sheath.
Thanks to the nerve endings, it is possible to wield the weapon with a great deal of precision, as the host actually receives tactile feedback through the sword. However, even though the bone is very dense and durable, chipping or breaking it can be extremely painful; it is part of your body, after all. Should the blade be snapped, in the worst case it will mend itself within two to three weeks; however, it must be kept sheathed inside the arm the entire time to allow it to repair. Withdrawing it and attempting to use it during this period will lead to a permanent defect in the blade; from that point on, it will snap much easier, and repair much more slowly. It is possible that a Shaper might be able to repair it, but upon seeing you how you ruined a work of art through neglect, they are unlikely to offer to assist you... at least, not cheaply.
The bone has a tensile strength slightly greater than that of steel, thanks to the bio-manipulations of the Shapers, and the edge is sharp enough to allow it to pierce even very thick hide. Better yet, the bone seems to have some magical properties, so it is capable of harming creatures that are vulnerable only to magical weapons. However, it can only cut a material target, so it is useless against spirits and other insubstantial beings. While ancient bone blades are popular among the higher ranking house guards, they tend to be used more by humans and other non-chlaenan races. Chlaenas do not have joints to anchor the sheath to, and even if they did, it would cause too great a loss in flexibility for it to be worth having. Typically, it is something far more useful among the hired help; an excellent holdout weapon for those peaceful meetings that somehow go disastrously wrong.
- Credits to TheQuantumMechanic for the shapers' artifacts.