Symbiote, Negative
Symbiote, Negative

Symbiote, Negative

Negative Symbiote

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Negative Energy Plane, any mortal host
DIET:Life, Positive Energy
HIT DICE:2 + 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1d8 (special)
SIZE:M (3-4′ diameter)
MORALE:Elite (13-14)
AD&D 2e statistics

The Planes are always full of strange, wondrous, and potentially dangerous creatures. The negative energy symbiote falls into all of those categories. They’re made all outa black, crackling energy that blends right into the stuff of the Plane they come from. Most bloods never see ’em that way, though. See, ya’ almost always find ’em inside someone else already, turnin’ a live blood into something like the undead.

COMBAT: Negative energy symbiotes don’t fight too much. They don’t really have a lot of predators on their home plane, and you almost never see one anywhere else. When you do, well, you still won’t see it ’cause it’s inside something else. But sometimes they get pushed into a corner and have to fight. When that happens they push out some of the energy they’re made of and start swinging. That’s bad, as you bloods may have already figured. They’re made out of negative energy, after all. Their touch burns cold, and takes an awful long time to heal. Ten times as long, as a matter of fact, and healing spells only work about a tenth as well as they’re supposed to. Even worse, if one of these things kills you, you’re permanently in the dead-book; raise dead and resurrect won’t help, because your body will cease to exist (a wish might do the trick, but I wouldn’t gamble on that myself).

Negative energy symbiotes don’t even start most of the fights they get in. They’re caused by misunderstandings. See, the symbiote wants a home, one that’s full of life and positive energy, and creatures from other Planes fit the bill quite nicely. When they sense one in the area (don’t ask me how they sense anything, ’cause I don’t know–they just do), they’ll close in and try to slip into the creature’s body. That looks an awful lot like an attack, since the symbiote tries to engulf the poor sod it’s chosen as a host (armour doesn’t help against this, either; just magical defences and dexterity). If it succeeds, then the symbiote just seeps into the creature and disappears from sight. If that happens to you, only your death or powerful magic will ever force the symbiote out.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Negative symbiotes appear to have no society whatsoever. In fact, they don’t even seem to notice that other symbiotes exist. They just sort of drift through their home Plane, feeding on unconsumed scraps of life energy and waiting for a host to show itself.

ECOLOGY: Nobody’s really too sure what kind of ecology these symbiotes have. Some speculate that they are the scavengers of the Negative Energy Plane, forever cleaning up what little scraps of life energy there are that the Plane itself doesn’t destroy. Others think that they are a defence mechanism for the Plane, like the little bugs that some barmies believe live inside people, which keep the Plane from being corrupted by Positive Energy and destroyed. Still others believe that they are a manifestation of the same forces that produce elementals. What do I think? I think they’re bloody weird, that’s what I think.

One thing that is known is that negative symbiotes cannot live outside the Negative Energy Plane, unless they are inside something else, and they can’t live long like that unless the something they are inside is alive. See, even though they feed on life energy, the amount of life energy they find outside the Negative Energy Plane is too much for them if they have no protection. They feed too much and die (losing 1 hp per round until they die or find a host), kinda like if you force-feed a human until he bursts (something that the fiends can tell you more about). When the negative symbiote dies like that it just dissipates. The only after-effect is that plants which grow in the vicinity are less healthy, and animals and people born nearby are weaker.

Oh, before I forget to tell you. Be careful if you get one of these things inside you. They’ll reproduce inside you, too. Use them too much, and you’ll be the proud pappy of a litter of baby negative symbiotes. ‘Course, you’ll be dead, but at least you’ll have someone to carry on the family name…

THE DARK: “Right,” you’re asking, “what do these sodding things give me? If I have one of things inside of me, and you keep calling it a bleeding symbiote, what do I get out of the deal?”

Greedy berk, ain’t ya?

Well, here it is. First, you’re now immune to just about every disease imaginable. The only exceptions are certain magical disease/curses, like lycanthropy or mummy rot. Why? Well, some Guvners (mostly the barmy ones that keep rattlin’ on about little bugs that you can’t see) speculate that it’s because the symbiote feeds on the life energy of the little bugs that cause disease as well as your own life energy. I couldn’t say. I just know that you won’t get sick ever again. Also, you don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe to stay alive. See, the negative symbiote makes you kinda undead (not really undead, but in a similar state), and you don’t really need anything. Unless you wanna try an’ heal naturally. Then you better eat something.

Of course, healing naturally ain’t gonna be easy. It takes you about twice as long as normal to heal (1 hp per two days normally, 1 hp per day of enforced bed rest), and even divine healing ain’t gonna help as much as it used to (healing spells have only half effect). The symbiote’s feedin’ on your life energy, so you don’t have as much yourself.

Injury won’t slow you down a lot, though. You can keep moving, even after injuries that would have killed you before (can keep talking, fighting, walking, etc, even at negative hit points). It carries a price, though. The longer you push yourself in that condition, the more likely it is that the symbiote will completely consume you and produce its young (each turn lose 1 hp, dropping to 1 hp/round if engaged in strenuous activity — if hp are reduced to a negative amount equal to the character’s starting positive total the character is completely and irrevocably dead — raise dead and resurrect will not work, only a wish spell can restore the character now, leaving behind one new symbiote for every two levels the dead character possessed). Even if you survive that, you’ll look pretty bad — after all, you got mauled to death and came back (-1 reaction adjustment per time the character goes into negative hp and returns, only insinuations where appearance counts for more than personality). Oh, yeah. Since the symbiote is inside you, it gives you the same kind of partial immunity to magic that it has (gain the symbiote’s magic resistance).

Source: Rich Gant

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