Parasitic Coral

The parasitic coral latches onto the bloodstream of its host, most commonly fish and shellfish. While it has been known to also infect careless swimmers, when caught early enough simply allowing the coral to dry out is sufficient to kill it and stop its growth. Those who spend much time in the water need to remain vigilant, as once the coral had established itself in the bloodstream, typically a week after infection, only surgical procedures can be guaranteed to remove the coral.

Basic Information

Growth Rate & Stages

Clouds of coral gametes will float to the surface of the water to mingle with help from the waves and currents. Upon fertilization the eggs enter a larval stage, where they will sink to the bottom of the shallows and eventually affix themselves to their host, taking cues from sudden movements to permanently attach themselves to another living organism, most commonly fish and crustaceans but also sea mammals and occasionally even individuals swimming within the waters.   From here the larva will eventually morph into a polyp, its form for the remainder of its life. Polyps grow a mix of root-like tentacles which dig into its host. The thinner, tougher tentacles carry barbs meant to worm their way into the flesh and shells of its host while the thicker, softer tentacles will attach themselves to the creature's bloodstream, absorbing nutrients.   Upon the death of their host, when the bloodstream stops, these tentacles will slowly devour the remains of the coral's former host from the inside out before releasing their own cloud of gametes for fertilization and reproduction.

Ecology and Habitats

Species of parasitic coral can be found prominently in both the Lophelian Ocean and the Coral Marsh, preying on the creatures who spend much of their time within the shallows. The coral requires its host remain in the water at all times, and will dry out if spending too long on dry land.

Additional Information

Domestication

While a parasitic coral infestation is typically bad news for the host, the coral's bright coloration often warns off an assortment of predators who have learned consuming prey infected with the coral leads to severe digestive discomfort and worse as the coral adjusts to its new home. A few rare species of sea life are known to therefore seek out the large clouds of colorful gametes spawned during breeding in the hope of becoming infected, using the coral to actually extend their own lifespans.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

The softer tentacles of the parasitic coral secrete a highly effective blood thinning agent which the Herbs are Healing Movement has adapted as one of the prime examples for why Alchemy should be an important part of healing. This enzyme is carefully harvested from infected fish and use in a variety of surgical procedures.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Lifespan
limited to the remaining lifespan of their host
Geographic Distribution


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Comments

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5 Dec, 2021 18:37

Aaaaaa oceans in Fillimet just became a nope. XD Colorful but deadly!


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5 Dec, 2021 19:58

Honestly I think oceans everywhere are a nope, if you really think about it... (Maybe don't think about it.)   At least with these guys it's only in certain places.

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Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
5 Dec, 2021 19:15

It's really cool that you include how some actually use this coral in a symbiotic way to assist their own survival. That's a nice touch I didnt expect. Well done.

5 Dec, 2021 19:58

Thanks so much!

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
7 Dec, 2021 23:13

Nope nope nope nope.   I like the symbiosis though! :D

7 Dec, 2021 23:38

Be careful what you ask me to write about. ;)

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
8 Dec, 2021 19:35

Ooooh such a nasty little coral! I really like that's it's not a typical coral that "only" sting people, but that it actively infects them. And its mechanism of actions is very interesting :D   Just one question I have: the "careless swimmers", what make them careless and more susceptible to infection? My mind apparently automatically completed that section and decided it was because they had an open injury when they entered the sea, and so the coral entered through there, and I was convinced you'd written that but I checked and you haven't actually written anything about it . Is it really because of that, or are they careless because they didn't check themselves when going out of the water and didn't notice the small coral attached to their body?

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8 Dec, 2021 20:00

More for swimming during the coral's breeding times. I imagined them as having a cloud of the coral gametes/larva and just... swimming through it. But I should find a way to say thst, thank you. Pinning your comment as a reminder for now.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
12 Dec, 2021 04:59

Expanded the bit about how the fish find the coral to encourage their own infection. Hopefully that helps clear up the careless swimmers bit. Thanks so much for your suggestion!

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
12 Dec, 2021 04:26

Omg, this is absolutely terrifying and I love it xD Really lovely writing here Solar :D The sort of domestication or symbiotic relationship some organisms have built with the coral sounds like exactly the kinda thing that'd happen in some places of the world, too. Just excellent :D


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12 Dec, 2021 04:54

Thank you so much! ❤️

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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