The Corruption is a magical, microscopic, self-replicating parasite that wishes to bond with man, nature, and machine. Anyone who becomes "Corrupted" is linked to the Corrupted Hive Mind. They're more often than not subject to grotesque transformations in which their bodies are elongated and their body ejects their organs in the form of a black, slimy substance.
“Corruption” is also the virus itself. It takes on a humanoid form (or blends in by other means), erupting into a more eldritch form during some occasions. Not only does it create Parasites, but it also produces Nests. It is the center of the Hive Mind and can grant others (Parasite Kings and Queens) the ability to create Parasites and Nests as well. It also has the tendency to possess another host, even though it already has a host. Its original identity is Xenon Naginata.
The Virus Spreads
The Corruption virus is spread by a variety of means, some more intrusive than others. One can be infected by the following means:
- Ingestion of egg, parasite, or venom
- Absorption (via Guardian, Parasite King/Queen, Nest, etc.)
- Sexual Intercourse
- Birth; Anyone born in Oniyex or who was born following a corrupted having intercourse with an uninfected party is infected during conception and completely corrupted at birth.
Being infected with the virus can be signalized by a wide variety of symptoms. Some symptoms don’t present themselves until the later phases.
- Slowed pulse; resting bpm is far lower than normal.
- Coughing up/ vomiting black blood
- Low body temperature
- Rapidly healing wounds/ Regeneration
- Irregular breathing patterns
- Dilated pupils
- Uncontrollable trembling
- Unexplainable increase in strength, agility, and speed
- Sharpened teeth
- Protruding spinal column
- Dizziness/ Vertigo
- Unresponsiveness to external temperatures
There are six general phases of turning into a wholly Corrupted being. Some of the phases and the symptoms that accompany them are more apparent than others. The stronger Corruption itself is, the less apparent the phases are. At a certain point, the virus can shift into a “Stealth Strain,” meaning the first two to three phases don’t present until phase 4, where the body begins undergoing the actual mutation. Sometimes all phases can be skipped, but this is only if Black Venom is introduced.
Phase 1 (Mild Symptoms): The infected develops a slight cough, nothing out of the usual. As time progresses, however, the infected begins to feel dizzy and experience intermittent chills. The infected person’s resting bpm is lower than normal.
Phase 2 (Moderate Symptoms): The infected experiences a heavier cough and has trouble with their eyesight (double vision). Their heart rate is higher than normal due to their body switching to fight-or-flight mode, having detected that something is wrong.
Phase 3 (Attempted Rejection): The body of the infected is attempting to reject the virus. The infected begins coughing and/or vomiting a thick, black liquid that will try to infect the nearest living organism it can find. This usually lasts 10-15 minutes, though varied periods of this phase have been reported.
Phase 4 (Internal Metamorphosis): The inside of the infected person’s body undergoes metamorphosis. A lot of its organs aren’t needed, and so the venom present in the body uses these internal organs to multiply and grow until it replaces said organs. The brain and heart are preserved. The infected is unconscious during this process, often thought to be dead if not for the present albeit slow pulse.
Phase 5 (Hysteria): The infected enters a phase of hysteria as a result of unfathomable hallucinations. Some reports of this phase are more severe than others, the more extremes leading to either the infected harming themselves or others. If anyone is bitten or scratched by an infected, they’ll become infected themselves.
Phase 6 (Rite of Passage): The infected is abducted (willing or not) and taken to Oniyex or a nearby Nest. Here, they’re kept in an egg while their body finishes transforming. During this time, the person or creature’s mind begins merging with the Hive Mind, though the psychological effects vary. One thing is for certain, they desire to spread the virus as it has become a blessing, a gift, etc. in their eyes.
Often referred to as simply “venom,” this is the essence of Corruption itself. This fluid contains highly infectious DNA that rewrites the structure of things from a small bug to an entire person’s body. This fluid is what makes the Corrupted’s blood appear black, though it is purple by default. It’s interesting to note that this fluid is what gives a corrupted being’s blood its sentience, though a puddle of black blood needs a steady supply of venom to remain sentient and active.
The more venom is present at the time of infection, the quicker the infection progresses. The more venom builds up in a corrupted being’s body, the higher (sometimes, more aggressive) their urge to spread the virus becomes. This is a method the Corrupted’s body uses to regulate its venom levels to prevent venom sickness.
The pure essence of Corruption itself. While regular purple venom corrupts someone, Black Venom corrupts someone and turns them into a monster of Corruption’s design. Being infected with Black Venom is what separates a normal Corrupted being from a Parasite King or Queen, for example. It’s rumored that Black Venom contains the conscience of Corruption itself, perhaps explaining why people or creatures become “Echoes” of the virus.
Venom Sickness is the result of a Corrupted’s venom level threshold being broken. While in this state, the corrupted being experiences dizziness, nausea, and occasional vomiting. This will usually persist until the Corrupted lowers their venom level below the threshold by any means, the most preferred being through infecting someone else. The sensation brought about from the desire to infect another person is referred to as "Hunger." People and creatures who have been corrupted for a long period of time and those infected with Black Venom can slowly build a tolerance to the sickness.
Parasites are living creatures that spread the Corruption virus through different means. They appear to be based off a variety of different animals, i.e., the arachnia variation appears to be based off a scorpion. It’s interesting to note that there are technically Parasites inside all of the Corrupted. Below is a list of the different types of corrupted Parasites:
- Egg- Even Parasite eggs are infectious and can spread the virus as the creature bonds with its host after it hatches.
- Larva- The first stage of a Parasite’s life. These small mounds of slithering organic material have often been compared to slugs and maggots. They evolve depending on their environment into certain other species, i.e., a larva that hatches underwater may evolve into a pygo.
- Leviathan- The most commonly seen variation. Leviathans are said to also be the spines of the Corrupted.
- Python- A purely Black-Venom based creature. They are slick, black, sticky, and mostly featureless.
- Aranae- A spider-like creature. Aranae utilize their sharp legs and mandibles to burrow into a victim’s skin. They’re most commonly seen attached to the back of someone’s neck.
- Pygo- A fish-like Parasite. As the appearance suggests, these are strictly aquatic beasts. They swim at alarming speeds when on the prowl for someone or something to infect. A gel-like substance functions as a “see-through body.”
- Arachnia- A scorpion-like Parasite. Arachnia thrive in desert regions, using their stretchable tail to sting other living creatures.
- Anguilla- Another aquatic Parasite, anguilla appear to be giant eels. They too have “see-through” bodies and can measure from 20-26 feet long.
- Phantom- A relatively new variation, phantoms appear to be humanoid parasites with limited self-awareness and motor functions. The more self-aware the Phantom is, the more dangerous it becomes; there have been reports of fully functioning Phantoms that stand up straight and even blend into crowds of people.
- Baleon- The rarest Parasite of all. These behemoths are based off whales. Unlike their other aquatic cousins, baleon do not have transparent bodies. They can measure up to 75 feet (22.9m) long.
The Corrupted Nests
Nests are breeding/nurturing grounds for the Corrupted. Nests are also used to infect and assimilate any victims who are brought inside. While the structures can differ depending on the location and condition in which the nest has been created, all structures have eggs, clusters, hives, and a core.
Eggs: These large structures serve as resting places for the Corrupted. Clusters of parasite eggs are also incubated in these. Nest eggs can be used as a method of corrupting anyone they absorb. They are composed mostly of a fleshy, organic substance. The front of these structures are lined with hard, teeth-like spikes that make the eggs appear to have mouths. Inside the nest egg is its “tongue”, a tentacle that snatches its victim and inserts itself inside of them, usually in the back of the head. The insides are lined with more organic material, some of which can be used to form tentacle restraints if necessary.
Hives: These structures are a collection of egg clusters.
Core: The central “control” structure of the Nest. Here, a Heart functions as the Nest’s “mind” and it is guarded heavily by a Banshee. The Core is also host to a branch of the Hive Mind.
Heart: The Heart is the mind of the Nest that controls everything from the Nest’s flesh to its pulse. The pulse is a phenomena in which the nest pulsates outward from the Core. Every so often, Venom, signals, and even Corrupted or Parasites travel through the Nest via the pulse.
Banshee: A usually aggressive creature that defends the Core and the Nest’s Heart.