Tuzsaska - The Verbose Firehoppers

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The life of a verbose firehopper is often short, but it is filled with beauty and wonder. These beasts were spawned from the brimstone-filled clays of Megamy to die in the service of the Quarter Prince, and they perform that task most admirably.

For most of its life, a tuzsasaka is a nymph the size of an adult bull, with a bovine cast to its insectoid features and long swept-back golden horns. Its carapace is the acid green of Ligier, and it smells strongly of a mix of sulphur and mint. Their powerful legs allow them to leap far; sometimes they see specialist use as cavalry, springing between buildings and over chasms in ruined areas of the Demon City.

The tuzsasaka nymph is a highly intelligent being obsessed with the spoken word, and a stable of them produce a clamorous chattering as they discuss nuances and phrasing in a raspy voice produced by the rubbing of their legs. They are also rather volatile, prone to flaring tempers, so their handlers must often intervene to keep them apart should an argument turn violent. Despite that, they have a child-like innocence, and live their lives in awe of the things they see around them. Summoned ones will often completely fail to resist binding, as the newness of Creation overwhelms their mind.

However, there is another side to the verbose firehoppers, built into them by their master. If a tuzsaska has its horns snapped off, and a paste composed of a mix of iodine, vitriol infused with basalt, and twice-distilled Hegran terror rubbed in, over the course of the next three hours they undergo a sudden metamorphosis. Their hardened carapace falls off, and their muscles bulk and swell even as their abdomen bloats freed from the constraints.

At the end of the process, they are corpulent, livid purple streaks over pulsing white flesh. If instructed in the correct manner, they will leap as instructed, further than they have leapt before. Both the precise nature of the blend and the Old Realm commands which target their final leap are kept secret. Without their armoured shell, however, they do not survive the landing, and detonate in a burning purple fireball which releases toxic corrosive fumes which flood the area.

Octavian engineered this as a cheap way of driving foes out of dug-in fortifications, and when his handler-artillerists take to the field en masse, tuzsaska rain down until the holdout is flooded with amethyst-lit fumes. In his cunning the Quarter Prince spawned these beasts so neomah-made copies cannot undergo the metamorphosis unless they are fed certain alchemical compounds which he keeps secret in his citadels. There are other lords who would pay well if some cunning spy could steal those secrets from the Living Tower, but as yet the espionage attempts have been unsuccessful.

Summoning: (Obscurity 2/5)
Tuzsaska see limited use in Creation, for all in all agatae are much more pleasant to have around and serve the same purpose in aiding in mobility. Some Terrestrial scavenger lords are said to use them when exploring underground places, where their ability to cling to surfaces and spring over ruined walls is useful. They are also strong beings, capable of carrying loads similar to that of an ox. Only a few know the secret compounds and words Octavian uses to produce the metamorphosis and target it. They are one and all Celestial Circle sorcerers who extracted the secret from the bound Quarter Prince - who bears a grudge against anyone who has done so. Mnemon is among the number so informed, as is Raksi, and any Sidereal who requires it for a mission can find out from the green-lit demonology archives of the Bureau of Destiny. The rest of Creation remains ignorant.

Created by the amazing EarthScorpion here! Dude. You rock!

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