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Danger Level: Extreme
Commonly Infects: No Preference.
Attack Method: Ambushing. The scylla lies in wait for its prey, before bursting out of the ground and ripping it apart.
Summary: A monstrous, multi-headed beast that patiently waits for its moment to strike, before going on a rampage that can destroy planets. The monster's armor is legendarily durable, so taking one down is a feat on its own. Every scylla lives underground, so one must watch their step as they wander through the forest at night.
Original Creator: Lord of Swoosh
In the first stage, the infected individual the scylla twists the infected individual into a quadrupedal stature, and although it may grow in size it will still retain some characteristics of the original host, such as a scylla made of an aftik would have feathers. It grows multiple "necks" from the individual's torso, starting with the place where its head originally was, stretching the tissue of the head and neck until they resemble a mass of fleshy tendrils. During this stage, the scylla is easily recognizable and few manage to advance beyond this stage. As the scylla grows larger, its body size increases to support the ever-growing number of heads it has, growing in size as well as functionality and complexity.
When a scylla gains five heads, it starts creating smaller "secondary" heads, called Heralds, along with the "primary" ones. These Heralds are made entirely out of one material, usually a reflective metal, and take the form of metal serpents. They serve a very important purpose other than as a distraction. The Heralds are the scylla's main source of infection, and for most who encounter the scylla, it's the last thing they see before being consumed. If there's no metal for the scylla to assimilate, it makes the secondary heads out of the flashiest or fanciest material it has assimilated, as it uses the Heralds to attract attention to themselves.
The scylla secretes a liquid substance that hardens soon after it is created. This substance resembles a dark reflective metal once fully hardened and covers most of the scylla's body. The chunks of its armor are exceedingly durable and would take a high caliber cannon or an armor-piercing round to even scratch it. However, the pieces are spaced unevenly and in irregularly-shaped patches, so there will always be a few spots where a well-placed flame could get through. The armor plating is electrically conductive, so a hot enough bolt of plasma should be sufficient to ignite the flammable coating underneath.
The scylla burrows underground in the area where it lives, commonly a swamp or forest. Only its secondary heads are left exposed. The scylla then lies in wait for a sapient entity to wander unsuspectingly past. When the victim is within range, the scylla does one of two things, either bursting its primary heads from the ground and assimilating the victim, or simply biting the victim with its secondary heads, before having them retreat underground.
Anyone bitten by the scylla's secondary heads is infected with a dormant strain of the scylla. The infected individual will experience a sudden urge to head towards the nearest inhabited area and stockpile a massive amount of food through any means necessary. Once as much food as possible has been bought, the infected individual will go somewhere relatively secluded, such as a cave or a hotel room. Once safely hidden, the transformation begins. The individual's flesh is rapidly transformed into the scylla's hardened skin and several tendrils that latch onto and begin assimilating everything in the surrounding area, like furniture, the walls, floors, or any animals in the nearby vicinity. Once enough material has been absorbed, the first head forms, an amalgamation of materials that were assimilated during this process. The full transformation can take anywhere from a few days to up to five years, depending on how much food and material is available.
Once the scylla is fully formed, it goes on a rampage, bursting from its hiding place and charging to the nearest inhabited area. If there isn't any, it skips this step, and burrows into the ground to lie in wait again. If it is in an inhabited area or is near enough to get to one, it goes into a frenzy and rampages through the area, simultaneously integrating and destroying everything in its path. If it gets killed during this process, it erupts into a mass of blood and gore, which are both highly infectious.
If it successfully destroys the area, it moves on, destroying, consuming, and assimilating anything and everything around it, growing ever larger. Once a scylla reaches a certain size, around 50 heads or around 300 feet tall, the heralds drop off of the main body and latch onto the nearest living organism, converting it into a vector in which it can use to spread. The scylla will commonly leave a few trees alive for this purpose. These vectors will convert anything they come across into a stone-like substance, prioritizing the ground first before moving onto other things like remains left behind by the scylla as it moves. This substance is, in fact, organic and highly infectious, although not to organic life, and will convert the surrounding land if a vector isn't around to do it.
A scylla's rampage will only stop if it encounters resistance sufficient enough to severely injure it or the material it can consume on its own runs out. If the former occurs, it will burrow into the ground, remaining completely hidden unless it has heralds remaining, in which the Heralds will remain above the ground, lying in wait for their next victim. If the latter occurs, however, it will still burrow into the ground, but at this point, there will be no life left on the planet aside from the scylla and its vectors, and it will lie dormant for an indefinite amount of time until new life comes to the planet. If any living organisms happen to land upon the planet, the scylla will erupt from the ground and consume all but one of them, infecting that last one and sending it on its way to another planet, even repairing and refueling the ship they came on should it be needed.
Charybdis: This strain forms when a scylla is created in a coastal location. The created scylla retreats into the sea, creating powerful whirlpools, which can disrupt the life expectancy in the area around it greatly. These scyllas grow into a larger much faster due to living in the water, but have less armor, making them more susceptible to fire-based weaponry once they leave it.
Moon's Blood: The "liquid metal" secreted by a scylla and used to make its armor is not infectious at all, and in fact, can be used in many ways if preserved properly. It can be poured into a mold to make durable armor for anyone to wear, but also works as medicine if ingested, and greatly accelerates mutation when applied to the skin. Because of this, it is extremely valuable on the normal and black market, although acquiring it is difficult, as it must be collected in liquid form and hardens minutes after coming in contact with air. The chance of infection and/or death is so high that almost no one is willing to risk it to make a cheap buck.
• Sometimes a large scylla will integrate an entire skyscraper as just one head, which from a distance looks like one of the buildings in the city is rebelling and attacking the population.
• Scyllas are extremely aggressive to other clockworks, and are commonly known to attack any other clockworks in the immediate area when on their rampage. It is not recommended to use a scylla to clear out a city's harpy population.
• A planet has been discovered that has but two residents: a dryad goliath and the largest scylla ever recorded, locked in an eternal battle for the right to control the planet.
No art currently, maybe you can help.