Panikeszik - the Tremulous Scarabs

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DEMON OF THE FIRST CIRCLE, PROGENY OF THE LIVING TOWER

A scarab the size of a man's eye, a panikeszik shakes and vibrates constantly so its iridescent shell flickers through all the colours of the rainbow save blue. It shakes and vibrates because it lives in mortal terror; that is its life, for fear is its bread and water. Octavian bred its kind from the rendered down remnants of those few demons who had survived the silent wind, and paid Alevua with three fine manses for her aid in unravelling the secrets of the passion morays to aid him in his design. He bred these things to strip fear from the demon hordes he conscripts, and in that, they succeed wonderfully. A demon-harpist or an aalu with one of these resting in their gut throws themselves at one of the behemoth-champions of the Heavenly Inferno without a second thought, and will continue a frontal assault even if the arrow-wind whistles through.

One of the tremulous scarabs seeks safety above all things, and it is through the designs of the Quarter Prince that a panikeszik sees the flesh of a demon - or mortal or beast or even teind-slave ghost, for they are not picky - as the safest place they can hide. The creature burrows into the gut, sealing the entry wound behind it with its dung (which is a waxy substance comprised of digested terror which leaves the host adverse to acknowledging the injury), and from there in it makes its home.

It vomits up its stomach, clamping onto a major vein - or whatever passes for such among its host species. From there, it draws all the fear out of the blood of its bearer, leaving them incapable of feeling more than a brief flicker of the emotion before the creature draws it into its body, and feels it instead. They live lives filled with unending, ceaseless terror, even as their hosts lack a meaningful sense of the emotion. In this, it is doing exactly what Octavian designed it to do.

The panikeszik are limited in number and do not survive well in the wild in Malfeas, which pleases Octavian. It is not due to some paucity of food; no, they grow fat on the terrors of serfs. It is simply that fear is what keeps the least in Malfeas alive. A demon infested with a panikeszik will - if the tremulous scarab does not die from gluttony first - even leave its host fearless in the face of the silent wind, and Adorjan's gales will flense scarab and host alike. However, although Octavian is the most prominent user of them, several other lords keep breeding pens of them for use for motivating demonic hordes for frontal assaults.

Summoning: (Obscurity 4/5)
Invented within the last three hundred years, word of these demons has not spread far outside Malfeas and only so far within it. If the hordes of Octavian sometimes throw themselves at a foe with no sense of fear… well, clearly they just fear him more than they do the firing line of vitriolwands. Their self-limiting nature and the low survival rate of 'escapees' further keeps them unknown. A panikeszik can escape into Creation when a man is so overcome with fear that his heart bursts; the demon makes this literal as it bursts out of the chest covered in gore, spreading iridescent wings wide.

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