Despite knowing that I won’t have time to finish, I simply can’t resist. After all, I’m Middle Earth’s sole aknowledged parasitologist. So what, you say?
Well, most parasites are invisibly suffered. They are omnipresent only to their victims. Two I’d like to suggest for this challenge:
- the gandalf worm
This worm is actually a hydra. it’s victims - trolls. It is also very rare, which is fortunate because it forms nueral clumps at the top of the victim’s spine which in effect form a brain. THis brain’s intelligence easily surpasses that of the troll’s and so has an easy time of convincing it what to do. It can become so intelligent that it can master strategy and sometimes even magic.
You can imagine the surprise of experienced human or elvish warriors when attacking a presumably imbecilic troll!
Should you think the gandalf worm a symbiotic creature instead of a parasite, I can assure you that the troll does not benefit by hosting this creature. The hydra grows arms to the troll’s genitals, converting them into its own nursery while rendering the troll sterile.
the wight crab
actually, it’s speculation to call this a crab. It has eight crabbish legs, but it could as easily be taken for a sponge. This parasite is singular in its infamy - though hardly a single inhabitant of middle earth knows it by name. It began its spread in the battlefields of Middle Earth after the fall of Sauron. It seeks out and enters the bodies of ill and wounded - be it human, animal, elf or orc - and immediately replaces the nervous and circular sytems with silvery tendrils and a fungus-like secretion. Once the host’s body is stabilized, it forms a neural center in some protected region - usually in the chest - which effectively takes over control of what is now a non-corpse. The unfortunate host is now nothing more but a passive back-seat passenger in his own body. The wight crab communicates with others of its kind using spores and odors. While it is difficult to speak of an intelligent culture, the wight crabs are more than capable of raising and coordinating an army of the apparently dead.
Ignorant of its existance, most inhabitants do believe in the legend of undead and necromantic sorcery. The latter of which leads back to individuals - usually chemists - who have learned to communicate with the wights and use them to their own purposes.
Will remain 2D at any rate - what do y’all think?