This sanguivorous arthropoid can detect a blood-filled meal from afar with the chemosensitive Haller's organs in its forelimbs, quietly stalking its victim or setting up a clever ambush. Drilling its chitinous fingers and saw-like mouth parts into the host flesh, a glue-like salivary secretion makes the bond impossible to break without significant tissue damage to the surrounding area. Additional compounds deliver a concentrated neurotoxin, seizing the helpless victim with paralysis as the Ixodious gorges itself on blood.
Fertilized female Ixodious are particularly dangerous, craving exceptionally large volumes of blood and swelling up to eight times their normal capacity as their embryos devleop. Slowed by their weight, they often construct a subterranean den and rely on their mates to bring them paralyzed hosts.
The Ixodious is a patient, intelligent and highly observant creature, often waiting until prey is distracted, asleep or otherwise off guard to attack from behind. It particularly favors ambush tactics, flattening itself out to hide in the undergrowth of humid jungle, the dust of sun-baked wasteland or between the damp mattresses of a brothel.
An Ixodious may feed on a single host for hours or even days, depending on the limitations of their blood supply. It prefers not to exsanguinate another creature completely, but will dissolve its binding agents and flee before the effects of its neurotoxin fade, a process generally taking only minutes.
In addition to its incapacitating venom, the salivary glands of the Ixodious are isolated from its immune system and can carry foreign materials for prolonged periods at no risk to the creature itself. An offensively-oriented Ixodious may be pre-equipped with almost any manner of pathogenic weaponry or even arm itself with new biohazardous agents in the field, transferring infections from one adversary to the next. Other Ixodious may operate as field medics, loaded with regenerative nanotech, antitoxins, beneficial microsymbionts or chemical stims.
Ixodious are frequently employed as nurses, or even pursue full doctorates themselves.
SALIVARY GLUE: the monster can secrete a powerful bonding agents from its mouth parts.
NEUROTOXIN: this arthropoid's bite causes almost immediate paralysis until detachment.
INFECTIOUS: the Ixodious can be armed with biological agents to inject into enemy targets or transfer agents already present in the field.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik