Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Creature Feature 12: Iconovores

Hailing from the planes of Entropy, iconovores are a pestilent swarm of information-devouring memes. They are spread via communication - an intelligent being invested with iconovores will spread them to the next intelligence they communicate with. Thus, a book or other written message can sit for years, swarming with iconovores waiting for some hapless soul to glance within.

Once the memes are able to jump to a new host, be it a living mind or other form of communication, they annihilate the information contained in the old. A carrier's mind is often left in ruins, while the pages of a book might become blank. Often an unfortunate wizard has opened their spell book, only to watch it empty as iconovores invade their mind.

Iconovores have no physical presences on our plane. However, in the Ethereal they are visible within their host, as a mass of glowing tube worms constantly squirming through the synapses or glyphs they feed on. On the Ethereal they are quite defenseless, but will still damage the host if simply ripped loose. Only an instance death can promise the host's safety.

On the physical plane, destroying the host entirely will leave the iconovores floating free in the Ethereal. There they can try to infest ethereal creatures like Phase Spiders that can cross back to the physical and, with luck, communicate with something there.

3 comments:

  1. So how would they be defeated? Through ignorance?

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  2. This is kind of a "trap" critter. A good DM will give players a chance of figuring out what's going on and how to avoid it. If infected, you're safe until you spread it - so don't communicate. that means no talking, writing, hand signs, or anything else that accurately moves a bit of info from your mind to the mind of another (or stores it). Of course that's a temporary solution. The best way of saving a victim is to burn the things out on the ethereal (just hacking or pulling on them will cause them to damage the host, but something like a fireball will boot them right out).

    Oh, and Obliviax (http://www.enworld.org/cc/converted/hazard/obliviax.htm) might work. It steals information from your mind, so it'd probably take the iconovores with it. Of course, you've lost your memories, but at least it isn't permanent brain damage.

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