Rovarbor - The Hollow Beetles

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DEMON OF THE FIRST CIRCLE, PROGENY OF THE LIVING TOWER

This kindred of demon was born of Octavian's desire for a rival to the peronelle which would could be trusted not to whisper his secrets to Lucien - and from thereon up to Orabilis, for the Quarter Prince is no fool and fears the eyes of that Demon Prince falling upon him. From thereon in he designed a living armour made for war, rather than the subtle protection of the peronelle. The rovarbor are man-sized and resemble some strange cross between insects and cuttlefish, black-brown chitinous shell edged with pale purple membranes.

It is only upon a closer inspection that one realises that they are entirely hollow, and their shells are as hard as steel and yet as flexible as leather. One who is unwary or who offers themselves up to them with the right phrases in Old Realm finds the hollow beetle enveloping them, armouring their body in its shell and protecting those bits it cannot cover with its tough membrane which is as good as the finest chainmail. Its spit dries to form transparent eye sockets, and its spiracles transfer air to the proboscis inserted into the wearer's throat. Sadly, there is no mouth in this alien armour, though the beast's mildly stimulating saliva can be drunk.

The rovarbor long to be filled up. It is their goal in life, and if they cannot surround a demon or another living being they will fill themselves with junk and scrap, rubble and clay, or whatever they can get their membranous pseudo-hands on. Something in their brains - perhaps put there to encourage them to surround soldier-demons carrying weapons - likes shiny things, and so they collect them, storing them within their armoured self.

In the Demon City, they tend to accumulate inner collections of shiny brass and gold and silver, but those who escape into Creation develop holdings of random assortments of weapons and various coins. These can be taken off their corpses; alternatively, one trained in the right medical arts and familiar with the occult can deduce their pressure points, and press the spots on them which leaves them entirely paralysed and spread open for upwards of fifteen minutes.

This strange weakness was bred into them so that soldiers could be removed from them; they do not give up their holdings willingly save if they decide they would prefer something else within them. This can be a problem for the wearer, for humans and most demons cannot reach the pressure points themselves. Due to this protectiveness, though, they are also used in Malfeas to move goods around in a way protected from light showers of acid rain and other environmental hazards.

Summoning: (Obscurity 1/3)
All Octavian's attempts to keep this breed of demon secret were as nought from the first time he sent out waves of conscripts armoured in rovarbors. Quickly, too, they became pandemic to Octavian's layer, and spread further out into the demon city, though there are still layers free from their presence. They are well known to sorcerers - at least by repute - but their true infamy in Creation comes from the fact that multiple cults have used them in armed insurrections. A second, closely related breed exists bred by Mara (which is an Obscurity 4 fact), whose saliva is addictive and who whisper words praising the Yozis to those who wear them, just at the edge of hearing. A rovarbor can escape into creation when a man goes to attack a superior force, unarmoured, in the knowledge that he will soon die from something other than violence.

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