“When I first came to this galaxy, I was told that I would not survive. There were dangers, monsters, and almost eldritch magic haunting every corner of the galaxy. Yet, nothing anyone could say would’ve prepared me for those...things. They spread like a, I suppose a cancer. They do not stop and they spawn, and spawn, and spawn. They could dominate the universe if they wanted to, yet they don’t...if they are waiting, what is it they are waiting for?”
The Zí-Jittorám (as they are known in the Borealis Galaxy) are a parasitic lifeform originating from the Tuuros Galaxy. Several deviations of their species exist across the First Gigaquadrant, most notably the Zí-Jittorám that evolved in Borealis several hundreds of millions of years ago. The Zí-Jittorám are among the Gigaquadrant's most dangerous lifeforms, and in ancient history, several planets have been destroyed and quarantined to prevent the rapid expansion of the Zí-Jittorám swarms. In modern times, they are most commonly associated as organic weapons used by both the Borealis Consortium Network and the Dominion of the Xhodocto, utilising their voracity and berserk strength to lay waste to enemy forces.
It is not known when the Zí-Jittorám expanded from their origin; the whereabouts of their origins are unknown, although it is agreed that they originated from the deep interior of the Schism of the Tuuros Galaxy. Xenoarchaeological remnants coincident with Zí-Jittorám attacks suggest that the Zí-Jittorám species is hundreds of millions if not billions of years old, likely having expanded out of control following the end of the Zhulultu reign in Tuuros. As a parasitic lifeform, the Zí-Jittorám obtained a complex genetic code inhabiting species after species, developing to become a species that could devour the entire Gigquadrant when fully evolved. Methods of their expansion was mostly accidental; several ancient cultures were infected with the parasitic larvae of Zí-Jittorám that were transmitted from planet to planet.
As the Zí-Jittorám increased in number, it became apparent that despite their lack of language, they bore a complex sense of organisation and a hivemind mentality in large numbers. As a result, a Zí-Jittorám Hivemother was spawned out of a converging mass of Zí-Jittorám that became one being; consuming the entire ecosystem of a planet, the Hivemother spawned innumerable generations of Zí-Jittorám that swarmed across the stars, evolving into more specialised lifeforms that established more and more hive bodies across the galaxy. The ancient cultures of Tuuros soon realised that the Zí-Jittorám was a rapidly expanding threat - the necessity to contain them and destroy them forwent several codes of military law; entire planets and regions of space were destroyed to eliminate Zí-Jittorám, yet as they never centred upon the Hivemother itself, the Zí-Jittorám outlasted these cultures despite being weakened severely.
It was a probability that one of these ancient cultures dedicated to destroying the Zí-Jittorám originated from the Borealis Galaxy; a spacecraft containing a viable number of Zí-Jittorám could have spawned and eventually infected an entire planet to its eventual destruction, which is considered to be the origins behind the Borealis Zí-Jittorám in Afiloxenos. As these ships cut off contact from Tuuros, these Zí-Jittorám evolved independently of their Tuurosian progenitors, creating a lifeform suited to spreading across Borealis instead. Since then, the Zí-Jittorám menaced the Borealis Galaxy - being used as cannon fodder by several warring nations, most specifically the Borealis Consortium Network. Technologies were developed to tame and even reconstitute some Zí-Jittorám into sentient lifeforms, although the technology was nascent and was prone to varying degrees of success. The most successful of these experiments, designated Skhánaróton -01, was a notable figure of authority.
A complex species, the Zí-Jittorám in their most basic phase is a parasitic larva. As most Zí-Jittorám are borne of Hivefathers across the Gigaquadrant, these Zí-Jittorám grow within Hivefathers and emerge fully grown and genetic clones of each other. As a result, Zí-Jittorám are asexual creatures and only Hivefathers are capable of reproduction. The most common subspecies of Zí-Jittorám, the so-called Soldier is an amalgamation of genetic self-modification through their larval stages hosting themselves in innumerable ancient and now extinct sentient species across the Gigaquadrant. The hivemind of the Zí-Jittorám favoured physical characteristics that improved their chances of survival and expansion; the result of millions of years of assimilating species into their forms spawned one of the Gigaquadrant's most formidable species. Should a Zí-Jittorám be supplied with sufficient nutrients throughout its life, it has the potential to be biologically immortal.
Zí-Jittorám Soldiers are naturally defined as possessing several natural defence systems that identify them as exceedingly dangerous by Gigaquadrantic standards; Tuurosian Zí-Jittorám stand over eight metres tall and have a mass of over five tons, whilst Borealis Zí-Jittorám stand under five metres tall and weigh short of three tons. Despite their immense size, Zí-Jittorám in a bipedal sprint can move in speeds of 40 km/h and a quadrupedal sprint of nearly 60 km/h. Borealis Zí-Jittorám are more agile due to their smaller frame, but in turn do not possess as much physical strength nor resilience. Tuurosian Zí-Jittorám are widely regarded as the most dangerous lifeform in Tuuros - stronger than both Vranntan and Mahanayans in physical terms.
Among the natural defence systems that the Zí-Jittorám have developed over time is a lengthy eight metre long tongue; at full pace, a Zí-Jittorám can lash its tongue at nearly 100 km/h, with a force strong enough to break bones in a Vranntan. Zí-Jittorám tongues are prone to damage, and so they possess the ability to regrow their tongues should they suffer trauma. Zí-Jittorám possess a tough and dense chitin-like hide that secretes a poisonous sap that causes severe inflammation of the skin upon contact; several others species have been known to coat Zí-Jittorám sap in blades to cause intense pain. A highly concentrated variation of the same sap is produced within a sac of the Zí-Jittorám's head that is injected through ducts in their mandibles; this sap is concentrated enough to chemically break down flesh from the interior, causing a rapid but excruciating death. Zí-Jittorám mandibles are surprisingly weak in comparison to the rest of their body, and are purposed primarily for eating rather than biting. Their teeth however are very sharp, yet their brittleness means they are also prone to breaking. Zí-Jittorám can regrow their mandibles and teeth at a quick rate.
Zí-Jittorám blood is corrosive; whilst not as destructive as the sap they inject into their victims, Zí-Jittorám blood can cause rusting to metals as well as burns akin to second-degree burns that are similarly painful to the contact of the secreted sap on their skin. It is known that severing the limbs of a Zí-Jittorám causes a rapid bleed out and death in a matter of seconds, which is often the most common way of dispatching them. Due to the relative frailty of their heads, Zí-Jittorám brains are not situated within their hearts, but within their torso situated around their digestive system and tongue. As a result, decapitation of a Zí-Jittorám often proves ineffective. Zí-Jittorám also possess a rear stinger that injects a paralytic toxin; the effect varies upon lifeform between paralysis and death. It is known that severing the stinger from a Zí-Jittorám renders them berserk and they often die from overexertion.
The Zí-Jittorám possess a refined sense of vision - three eyes that are situated on their chest that possess a wider colour spectrum than that of humans. Alongside this, the tendrils that appear all over their body are sensory organs that can pick up and distinguish multiple sources of movement; some believe that these sensory organs are also sensory in an olfactory fashion.
Zí-Jittorám grow in size over time as their bodies accumulate more mass from nutrition; undergoing transitional phases that deviate into more specialised lifeforms; some Zí-Jittorám become virile carriers of spawn and produce several new Zí-Jittorám that coincides with their death. The select few that do not spawn and retain their virility grow to become Hivefathers - to become a Hivefather takes in excess of one million years, thus most Hivefathers in the Gigaquadrant are several millions of years old. Hivefathers spread across planetary ecosystems, draining nutrients from all sources until the planet becomes barren. This includes the geothermal heat of the planet itself. In this time, Hivefathers consistently reproduce larvae until they cannot expand any further, and eventually die. Hivefathers are thought to produce in excess of a trillion Zí-Jittorám in their lifespan. Hivefathers are thought to be capable of photosynthesis which further aids in their sustaining their growing forms.
As Hivefathers expand across a planet, their own bodies begin to diversify, creating a new ecosystem that spreads across the terrain. The ecosystem produces further larvae in the oceans of the planet, which over the course of millions of more years develops a planet entirely descended from the Hivefather itself.
Psychology and Behaviour Edit
A complex Zí-Jittorám ecology is self-sustaining yet nevertheless violent; when there is not a foreign body to devour, Zí-Jittorám engage in cannibalism as a means of self-preservation, they have no societal structure other than their utilitarian hivemind structure. Their sense of progression and choice however seems to be far more sophisticated than at face value - Zí-Jittorám are able to elect viable lifeforms to take hold of and evolve through, creating more physically formidable and dangerous generations of Zí-Jittorám that present a wider expansion. When presented with the opportunity to expand, the Zí-Jittorám forego cannibalistic tendencies in order to assimilate prey. Upon observation, it is noted that due to their hivemind mentality, Zí-Jittorám function in a more organised fashion in much greater numbers, to the point where complex hierarchies and methods of expansion form. A lone Zí-Jittorám appears to be devoid of complex function, whilst two have varying forms of communication but are ultimately violent in nature. Thus, Zí-Jittorám only appear to function in a hivemind sense at a minimum of three at a time.
Invariably aggressive, the carnivorous nature of a Zí-Jittorám does not discern foreign species as friends or foes - all is nutrition to their swarm. As such, Zí-Jittorám rarely exhibit behaviour that is unconcerned with their voracity - their primary function in the swarm is to assimilate and devour in order to grow and reproduce. Zí-Jittorám only exhibit sophisticated hunting methods in larger numbers, and are frighteningly quick to adapt to situations that threaten their lives. This extends to solving more complex problems that make them appear far more sentient than they are at a first glance, which is often a grave underestimation of their advancement.
“Brethren hive, crawling everlasting, can be devoured, can be controlled. Can devour in turn, and can control; feral and violent and dangerous.”
- - Tuurosian Ley'har
“Loathsome beasts unlike anything I've ever seen. I'd see my galaxy ridden of their filth.”
- - Xerkea
“Difficult to control, but you can't find better field troops anywhere else! I have much use for such great voracity in my armies.”
“A cursory glance would tell an observer that they are plants that act as animals, destroying and devouring wherever the monstrous trees tread. But when observed, there is something far more sinister about them. Almost as if they were engineered by circumstances long forgotten to win the race for survival at all cost.”
“I've dealt with my fair share of parasitic abominations—it's how I got the name "Plague-Smiter"—and I was brought up fighting creatures of an origin and nature I'd rather not share. To wrestle (though preferably not physically) with one of these beasts would be a welcome challenge.”
“I have long studied the civilizations which have harnessed the destructive potential of these beasts. The Beastmaster will be pleased to learn how Tuuros bristles with their kind, like spores in the rich flesh.”
- The Zí-Jittorám were originally created by Xho for OluapPlayer's Wranploer Legion. With the creation of the Tuuros Galaxy, Xho decided to further expand on their lore to be incorporated into the new setting.