In two heartbeats the ambassador drew her sword and tried to impale the Count upon it. His bodyguard, not so inattentive as he seemed, almost deflected the blow. Wounded but not slain, the Count ordered melee. Many were cut down, but the Aeltrusians had paid mercenaries at the border who charged to reinforce them. A terrible and bloody brawl ensued. Having at first hidden beneath a pew I then elected to pretend I was a casualty of the fighting myself. I saw the Count flee, sorely cut. I saw the Aeltrusians pursue and heard their shouts.
For a long time I remained, unwilling to rise until I was sure that no hostile blade was waiting beyond the arch to cut me down. So it was that I saw the dead ambassador’s high collar roll back. From her neck arose a thing such as I have never seen; some demon child of scorpion and snake. It unfolded its many dark limbs across the bloody flagstones and then made away into the shadows of the arch.
I was there also at the sacking of Aeltrusia and I could not but feel sadness, for I alone knew it was not truly they who began the war.
Minortes are parasitic creatures that were created by means of powerful secrets during the mythic epoch. Their original purpose was as a curse upon the nascent land of Narthul. They are parasites which take over the bodies of larger creatures and make use of the structures and byproducts of their societies to sustain themselves.
Minortes are potentially extremely long lived and are often as least as intelligent as humans and inclined to pursue complex plans and carefully safeguard their interests.
Fully grown minortes vary in size from a hand span in length to the size of a cat. A minorte can take control of any vertebrate if it is able to gain access to the back of the neck. Removing the host’s own control takes only seconds, establishing basic physical control can take several minutes and full control of speech and fine motor functions such as writing can take a week or more. A minorte never has access to its host’s mind or memories.
Minorte eggs are pea-sized white spheres with a rough outer surface, which are easily mistaken for stones. When minortes first hatch they are soft and oily black, but later take on a dark red colour and develop hard chitinous exoskeletons.
Although minortes can survive without a host by consuming rotting animal and vegetable matter and sleeping for long periods, they do not thrive in this state and will not live as long and cannot reproduce.
If a minorte is ever moved from its host, there is a possibility the host may recover control. This is more likely and more rapid the shorter the time during which the minorte controlled the host. Where long periods of control are involved, healing secrets may be needed for the host to have any chance of full recovery.