The most intelligent of the demishades, the Scholarleech is nonetheless driven to seek the aid of higher brainpower than its own, stunning potential hosts with a shock from its single arm before engulfing the subject's cranium and drilling its long, coiling tendrils into the brain and spinal column, employing process remarkably similar to the dreaded brain flukes to integrate with the host mind and body. Even upon detachment from a host, the creature leaves behind enough of its bodily material to maintain long-distance mental contact, accessing any information it desires or simply using the victim's mind for supplementary cognitive processing.
In addition to the common photosynthetic diet of most shades, the Scholarleech may absorb fluids from a living host.
On its own, the Scholarleech is a cowardly but conniving creature, its ingenious plans always prioritizing its own safety and treating most other beings as expendable. It is easily overwhelmed by the emotions of a host body, however, displaying a range of intense feelings and personalities depending on the nature of its captive. It particularly dreads the use of more violent, fearless hosts, as it may dive headlong into danger it soon regrets.
Capable of committing a tremendous amount of information to its flawlessly organized memory, the Scholarleech effectively functions as a mobile, sapient supercomputer, and performs various administrative functions to the shades and demishades of Mortasheen city.
QUASIBIOLOGICAL: the monster's mix of organic and inorganic components renders it highly resistant to extreme environments and many microbial or chemical weapons.
BIOCOMPUTER: the Scholarleech is capable of incredible mental calculation and information retrieval.
STUN TALON: the creature's single, sinuous arm ends in a paralyzing electrical probe.
CEREBROPARASITISM: the Scholarleech is a mental parasite, taking over the minds and bodies of other creatures through physical contact.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik