Art by, Spacedorf / Dorf
Common Jobs: None
Likes: Sleeping, Dreaming, Experiencing new bodies
Dislikes: Psychics, Other carcili, Physical closeness
Attack Method: When awake, siezing the target in its jaws and shredding it, or coiling around it and crushing it to death.
The carcili honor no gods.
Carcili are gargantuan armored eel-like aquatic creatures, native to the deep seas of Bellidae. They are predatory beings which, when fully grown, are up to five meters wide and between one and two hundred meters long. Their strong psychic power results in their mind often drifting loose from their body when they dream, frequently ending up in the bodies of other species, trapping the body's owner in the carcili's dream.
Carcili have a bulky, heavy head covered in armored plates and a cluster of eyes on each side. They have a pair of mandibles on either side of a many-toothed mouth with a third sharpened one below, and the teeth extend out of the mouth and up the underside of the head. Their body is snake-like for most of its length, with patches of chitinous plating primarily along the dorsal, and tufts of wispy filaments extending here and there. Towards the end of the carcili, there is a large rudderlike tailfin, providing movement and guidance for the whole organism.
Beneath their skin is a thick layer of a gel-like substance, highly-prized on black markets for its ability to induce deep and vivid hallucinations. As a result, some Dreamers who incautiously sleep too near to the surface are known to have been murdered and butchered for this substance.
While carcili sleep, fragments of their mind drift loose from their body and 'stretch out'. If these fragments encounter another's mind, the cariclli takes control over the mind's body, a process referred to as "being dreamed". Carcili are unable to direct their dreaming at long ranges to anyone they have not already dreamed. At short range however, they are usually able to determine between potential dreams and direct the drift.
The dreamed body's mind is pulled into a mindscape shared with the dreaming carcili, and the dreamer will usually attempt to calm the mind which has been "stolen". As the occupied's body becomes a mouthpiece for the carcili during this time, the dreamers may try to "solve" problems the occupied has or appears to have, albeit from the perspective of a dreaming deep-ocean predator. When the carcili wakes, their mind retreats back to its own body, leaving the dreamed in control of themselves; however if the dreamed is killed while the cariclli is controlling it, the mind is trapped within the dreamscapes of the carcili for good.
Carcili are intensely paranoid. Their vulnerability while sleeping, which they do for days or weeks at a time, means that as apex predators they do not trust other members of their species in the slightest, establishing huge territorial ranges to minimize the chances of meeting another. In interactions with other species, their attitude varies greatly. While vanishingly few carcili would ever desire to physically meet, friendships are occasionally established through the shared dream experienced by the carcili and the dreamed, and with effort the carcili can direct their dreams towards the same individuals, rather than the usual random connection.
There is very little known about pre-contact carcili history, as they do not have any form of writing system, and what knowledge remains is fragments of tales of individuals passed down through long-range songs over generations.
A long time ago, one immensely powerful carcili is said to have been able to control the dreams of his fellows, and turned them all against each other in a vast slaughter, but this is generally considered to be a fabrication or horror story by modern carcili.
Ariesa: Originally the ariesa and the carcili first interacted when a slumbering carcili took over the body of a sun ariesa. This event would become well known to the sun ariesa as the "Completion of the path to enlightenment". This event spurred an increase in disciples of the sun ariesa's monastic teachings up until first genuine contact with the carcili, whereupon it was discovered that the enlightenment that the ariesa so yearned for was merely the dreamwalking of a large psychic species. Though this was a disappointment, the ariesa quickly recovered and determined that the act of being dreamed was a valuable experience and relations between the ariesa and the carcili have never been better. Though, the moon ariesa do occasionally challenge the carcili to a fight, as they are one of the largest challenges a moon ariesa may overcome.
BVo9: BVo9 are too damn loud; keep the music down, I'm trying to sleep here. Even BVo9 who end up in a carcili's dream end up giving a rowdy and unpleasant dream with lots of bad music, making it hard for a carcili to focus on calming a BVo9 down. BVo9 see carcili as too watery, you can't race a water creature so what's the point of them? Rare individuals of each have been reported to trade protection from other predatory carcili for drug gel (to be ingested on special war raids). Also, there are rumors that a group of BVo9 that visited Bellidae became established somewhere in the planet's depths. Individuals equipped for the trip were fashioned with pleasant whalesong and radar ping modifications. How this trip could have been a success is a mystery, as information about it is sparse.
Giant eel-like creatures are a common symbol in BVo9 culture, though no one can explain why.
Gemimi: The carcili aren't fond of the gemimi, with their play-acting and duality of the mind. The carefreeness often comes off to these colossal beings as foolishness or stupidity, leading to much derision by the solitary snakefish. The time between dreams. The gemimi in turn have a special hatred for being dreamed by the carcili as it imposes a one-ness of mind during the dream, which is so greatly against their normal duality that it can cause great stress and mental issues for the gemimi.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the head of a gemimi is a strange place for other species, and many carcili dislike dealing with the mental apparitions of the gemimi almost as much as the gemimi hate being bodyjacked to begin with as a result. The carcili also dislike the close relationship between the gemimi and libraille, and often oppose them out of spite.
Leo: The carcili think the leo are too prideful for their own good, being smaller, weaker, but still convinced of their own semi-divinity. Some might even take unusual fun in acting strange when dreaming a leo, just to dent the pride of the candylion. On the other hand, a lot of carcili like the narcissistic bosses, and are willing to go along with their orders. Over time, this may develop into genuine respect - if the leo is actually as good as they brag. They appreciate the friendliness towards them, as many people hear bad things about the carcili and go into the situation with them assuming the worst, in what turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Virgora: The plantlike virgora and the predatory carcili would not be most people's first choice when asked "Who goes well together". However, the two species share a surprisingly close relationship. The virgora are fascinated by the body-control of the carcili. They feel that it's simply in their nature and can't be helped - and point out that it's one of the only real means of communication the carcili have with the surface world. The carcili, meanwhile like the virgora's tendency to unravel the pointless and recursive arguments they often embroil themselves in with both each other and other species, especially when no alternatives are willing to step up. When a virgora is dreamed by a carcili, the snakefish rarely bothers to disguise the fact that they're piloting them from other virgora, as they have a very cavalier attitude to the action, in opposition to many of the other species.
Libraille: The carcili and the libraille's views on each other can be summarised as "annoying". Being dreamed by a carcili was the formative experience of multiple Leaf libraille across the species' history, so the libraille were disappointed to eventually discover these "helpful" psychic aliens had no interest in helping others in a more organised fashion. The Stayd libraille, meanwhile, mistrust anything from space and the invasive bodyjacking of dreaming space eels is no exception. This vague animosity can persist even after a Stayd merges and ventures out beyond their home planet. In turn, the Psychic Sight of Stayd and Merged libraille makes Dreaming them a sensory overload for carcili, making libraille missions to Bellidae for boosting civic engagement doubly annoying.
Despite all this, the libraille vouch for the carcili's right to representation in the interplanetary government, though they may not be entirely happy with the carcili's representative. "Boss", a carcili quite happy to capitalise on interspecies interaction, is the sole representative of the carcili on the Zodica council, by consensus (or lack of protest). The libraille have to constantly skirt around the uncomfortable truth he mostly uses the position to further his own goals.
Skokakrio: The skokakrio and the carcili can be considered to be in some ways similar, yet in others greatly different. The two species, while very different, take solace in that each and every one is convinced that the vast majority of their own species are utter wastes of the universe's time. This provides a level of common ground between individuals, and long-distance friends often make jokes that would in most company be considered incredibly insensitive about each other and their own species.
However, more close relations are infrequent between these two, as the carcili are similarly distrustful, and too proud of their strength to be a doormat to the aggressive skokakrio personality, so these spiky "friendships" are often kept at opposite ends of a phone line.
Sagittari: The sagittarii and the carcili are in a state of perpetual broken-down negotations. The sagittarii find the carcili trait of snatching bodies when they sleep disgusting, and try to persuade them to stop the vulgar and unnoble practice. This gets nobody anywhere because the carcili can't persuade the sagittarii that this is a non-voluntary effect, and think the living corpses should stop coming to their planets if they don't like it.
Political matters are not helped by the groups of rogue sagittarii who hunt and try to bring down the gargantuan forms of stray carcili in the ultimate hunt. The carcili call the entirety of the sagittarii hypocrites because of these hunters, the existence of which is repeatedly denied by the sagitarii's representatives. Around this point, negotiations tend to devolve into long-distance insults and threats over the phone until a more reasonable third part steps in and the whole cycle repeats.
Kapricanus: The kapricanus and carcili are the best friends. The carcili normally convince the kapricanus to vote on situations that they agree with, as the lack of solid goverment and numbers in the carcili system means that carcili have less voting powers than all other species in the zodiac system. By teaming up with the kapricanus they can make sure they get some pushing power with their votes. The carcili in return give the kapricanus some much needed space on their home planet.
Duckarium: The relationship between duckarium and carcili is, to put it lightly, strained. The duckarium, despite being more resistant to the wandering dreams of the carcili than most of the system's residents, strongly dislike the violation of other beings minds, despite the involuntary nature of the dreaming. The self-interest and callousness of carcili even to their immediate neighbors or allies shocks them. In return, carcili generally think that the duckarium are not only weak and overly-soft, but they detest the loving and maternal nature of their neighbours, believing that their tendency to mollycoddle others is insulting to the strength of the other. What's more, the duckarium tend towards giving without taking, leading the paranoid deep-sea denizens to be deeply suspicious of this apparently unwarranted generosity.
Aqualisces: The Carcili play an important role in Aqualisces culture and religion. In The Stream, the pathway between the Aqualisces's homeworlds, Aqualisces are more in tune with their mental states. During large scale migration, young Aqualisces would become an object of a Carcili's dreams more often than usual due to their lack of experience with blocking mind-borne predators. Aqualisces used to think of the Carcili as guardian angels for their children because they observed that more children survived if a Carcili was able to dream about them. While this observation has never been proven inherently true, this view of the Carcili caused them to be written into a Piscetarian religious scripture, technically making them a holy animal.
In the modern age, Carcili are considered allies and friends more than they are considered a religious fixture though Aqualisces would use the fact that Carcili are one of their holy animals to avoid the fact that the Carcili lifespan violates their most common rule of age. Most Aqualisces do not mind being taken over by a Carcili because they understand the need to get away from themselves. Thus, Carcili are able to do whatever they wish while occupying an Aqualisces's body if it doesn't violate any of the Aqualisces's values. While balance between the Carcili's wants and the Aqualisces's wants can be hard, the Aqualisces and the Carcili usually know each other inside and out and both are willing to make their relationship work. On a universal scale, Carcili are currently listed on the Aqualisces's endangered list and thus Aqualisces are taking measures to ensure that less Carcili are hunted down by poachers.
• A handful of carcili prefer to "keep" the people they meet while dreaming, and in order to do so deliberately kill the dreamed while controlling them to trap them inside their own mind. These carcili are known as "Collectors", and are feared and hated.
• If a carcili's fragments of mind attempt to dream a being with psychic abilities of its own, the carcili is liable to suffer an extremely unpleasant psychic backlash. This has been described by sufferers as "All the hangovers you ever had combined with having the insides of your head flayed with sandpaper."
• Additionally, extremely powerful unshielded psychics like tegyps often cause explosive brain death when in close proximity to the physical form of a carcili, a macabre and spectacular event considering the size of the brain involved.