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Against his thoughts on how things would have went, the creature wasn't attempting to maul him to death. It just kept trapping Garko's arm with its maws, causing extreme pain on him as its fangs penetrated his skin. Garko couldn't move, as his body didn't let him. He felt something else, something strange: he felt like some liquid was being injected on his body. And suddenly, Garko noticed something else. The long tail of the creature had dissapeared, and its legs were being slowly consumed as well.

- Fragment from A Hard Deal, by Dinoman972

Stygilaxa (plural for Stygilax), also known as Styxia, are a Demonic Energy-based therapsid species of unknown origin. They are one of the few known supernatural creatures refered to as Lenopharia.

History[]

It is unknown how, when and where did Stygilaxa come to exist. But since they became a thing, they started appearing in various planets, causing havoc on them.

The most recent known incursion was that of Xuz Fareh, where a Stygilax known as The Beast lived freely for an unknown amount of time until the arrival of the Solariean, which sealed it away in The Vessel, commanded by prince Nebula. The year 956 AI/1 AF, however, Garko Cunfe found the structure and accidentally released the Stygilax, causing it to descend him. The whole planet is submerged in doom until Nynn Vandar and Zano Hylera kill Garko. The Beast survives, but a Solariean exploration spaceships crashes on top of it, destroying its body.

Biology[]

Description[]

Stygilaxa are medium-sized creatures, measuring between two and three meters in lenght, around 1.3 meters in height, and between 50 and 100 kilograms in weight.

Stygilaxa overall resemble large feral dogs/therapsids. They have a lithe body with two small structures on them, slightly resembling vestigial wings. Their jaws are long and posess two long curved fangs, as well as what appears to be partial armor covering the upper jaw. They have a file of spikes on the top of their head, two ear-like protusions, and no visible eyes. Their feet resemble those of carnivoran mammals, having sharp hook-shaped clawa, and their tail is medium-lengthed. They are almost completely red, as they are made of Demonic Energy.

All Stygilaxa are asexual, and as such there is no sexual dimorphism between them. For the same reason, no juvenile Stygilaxa exist, and as such there is no difference between infants and adults.

Traits and abilities[]

Thanks to their Demonic Energy composition, Stygilaxa have impressive muscular strenght, even superior to that of Pycari, and despite not having means of protection in their morphology, they have no vital organs and as such cannot be killed by standard means. The only two known ways to kill a Stygilax are the use of explosives or a massive impact on it (eg: a vehicle crashing on it), which completely destroy its body. Their speed and agility are also remarkable. It's currently unknown how intelligent they truly are: they look wild and brainless at first, but their abilities and methods to hunt down its victims have set the possibility for them to be actually sapient beings.

The main ability of the Stygilax is to pass on its Demonic Energy to other beings. By biting them, the creature injects the Energy as a liquid form inside the victim's body, draining part of it's own body as well proportionally to how much Essence is given, making this action capable of leading the Stygilax to be absorbed entirely. This causes the victim to suffer the normal effects that Demonic Essence causes: blood heating to the point it becomes plasma, flesh burning and falling apart from the bones, dehydration, and usually death. In some ocasions, however, the subject can survive the attack, at the price of losing his/her/its previous self and "reencarnating" in a descended version of him/her/itself with Essence powers proportional to how much Essence was given. Usually, a bulb-like structure appears in the subject's body, normally located in the chest; this structure is often refered to as a Dark Heart, and it's effectively a corrupted heart designed to pump the Essence through the descended being's body. Destroying the Heart will cause the subject to lose it's powers, dying and returning the Essence within it to the Stygilax. Alternatively, a Stygilax can simply kill its victims using its long fangs, it's powerful jaw and it's sharp claws, although this instance is hypothetical and is likely to never happen, as Stygilaxa don't require to eat or perform any life process regular living beings need to survive.

Another well known trait of Stygilaxa is their so-called "reality warping": the mere presence of one of these creatures or a being descended by them causes several hallucinations to living beings in a rather long radius. These hallucinations can range from simple, such as hearing voices calling the name of an individual, to almost uncomprehensibly severe ones, such as making the subject believe he/she/it has performed an action when he never did, or forcing him/her/it to believe a voluntary action was enforced by a supernatural force. It is unknown how do Stygilaxa cause these effects on other beings, but the reason why they do this is possibly how the confusion on their prey helps them infect or destroy it.

Since they have no visible eyes or olfatory organs and their ear-like protusions aren't actual ears, it is unknown how exactly do Stygilaxa detect their surroundings. Due to their condition as supernatural entities, it is commonly assumed that they simply "sense" other things around them, but there is no scientific basis or any other proof for this common belief.

Behavior[]

Stygilax have never been seen feeding, mating, or performing any other life process. The only sighted aspect of their behavior is attacking other living beings without being provoked, trapping them with their maws and injecting themselves in their veins, adopting a liquid form. If the subject dies, either by the attempt of corruption or death of its descended form, the Stygilax will exit the body and immediately look for another victim. While the subject is descended and active, the Stygilax will do nothing but let the Dark Heart pump its liquified form through the veins, until the subject dies. Like many other Lenopharia, they seem to lack individuality, acting rather like zombies with the only purpose to descend anything they come across, although many of them seem to additionally present a cruel and even sadistic behavior.

Ecology[]

Stygilaxa are destructive beings, dangerous to every ecosystem they are found in. They hunt all animals restlessly until descending one, commonly leading to the extinction of one or more species. When a creature is descended, things become worse, as the new powers and personality of the victim combine to willingly destroy any lifeform it encounters, from wild animals and sapients to plants, fungi and microorganisms. The most powerful of these descended beings can cause major and possibly permanent damages to the ecosystem, usually destroying it entirely.

Taxonomy[]

Stygilaxa have been taxonomically classified in the Gorgonopsidae family of therapsids. Their closest relatives seem to be either the Slinthik or the Alarka.

Since they are completely composed by Essence, Stygilaxa cannot be classified by Dinoman972's personal biologic system.

Their binominal name is Daemonocyon styx. The genus name means demon dog in greek, and the epithet is the name of the river Styx, as well as a reflection of the creature's name.

Notable individuals[]

  • Xuz Fareh's Stygilax: Better known as The Beast. A Stygilax that appeared in the planet at an unknown time, and was sealed away in The Vessel by Solariean explorers. It was recently released by Garko Cunfe, which it later descended.

Story appearances[]

  • Forgotten Sacrifice: A Solariean research crew, in a trip to the planet Xuz Fareh, encounter the Stygilax known as The Beast, which kills the majority of them. Eventually, The Vessel is built, and the creature is sealed away inside.
  • A Hard Deal: The Llurebleg Garko finds The Vessel and releases The Beast, causing it to descend him. Eventually, Garko is defeated by Zano and Nynn, and The Beast is destroyed by a Solariean spaceship crashing on it.

Quotes on them[]

Against his thoughts on how things would have went, the creature wasn't attempting to maul him to death. It just kept trapping Garko's arm with its maws, causing extreme pain on him as its fangs penetrated his skin. Garko couldn't move, as his body didn't let him. He felt something else, something strange: he felt like some liquid was being injected on his body. And suddenly, Garko noticed something else. The long tail of the creature had dissapeared, and its legs were being slowly consumed as well.

- Fragment from A Hard Deal, by Dinoman972

Gah! What the f***?

- Garko Cunfe

Hate and anger, taken shape. One more drop in the demon sea that will swallow this world. One more valuable, required drop. Perfect.

- Koth’tallaz

It was too late. With a shrill, bloodcurdling scream he felt himself pushed onto his back. And, with horror still he watched - and he felt - as a creature came striding in from the mist. The once faint whispers, now grew to screams and he reached upwards pitifully to hold his head. [...] The researcher kicked and thrashed about, and by chance, managed to land a blow right on the mysterious creature's jaw. It was not enough and tears came gushing to his eyes, ready to compensate for the pain he felt now in his upper thigh region. The Beast, the horrific creature whom lured him from his restless slumber had bit him.

- Fragment from Forgotten Sacrifice, by DensityStar

Gallery[]

Downloadable PNGs[]

Other Pictures[]

Trivia[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Stygilaxa were actually named after Styx, the name of a river in Greek mythology said to separate the Earth and the Underworld. At the same time, this river was named after a Greek goddess.
  • The Stygilax creation uses the hopper glitch.

Other Trivia[]

  • Stygilaxa bear an unintended resemblance to real-life gorgonopsids (an extinct family of therapsids including animals such as Inostrancevia and Lycaenops), hence their classification.
    • Also unintendendly, they resemble Odogaron, a creature from the RPG game Monster Hunter World.
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