A Drill in its borg stage.
A Drill spreads its "wings".
A fully fused Drill symbiont shows its namesake.
The largest clan and the first to arrive on earth. When an average human thinks of a symbiont, they usually think of a drill clan borg. Drill policy is one of moderation. They are known as mediators among the other clans. They tend to take a longer time to build up their host's bodies to be strong enough for fusion.
Appearance: Borg Drills take the form of helmets that look vaguely like frogs. Within their bodies there is a hairlike substance that the Drills form into their namesake: over a dozen long drill tentacles, capable of piercing concrete yet sensitive enough to use as impromptu chopsticks. These drills emerge from and form retractable "wings". These wings do not actually provide any flying ability but are capable of shielding the host from harm. They have long, ropy tongues, capable of wrapping around and crushing smaller aliens. When threatened, Drill pupils become X marks and they emit a humming growl.
A fully fused Drill no longer resembles a frog but actually replaces and mimics their host's hair. The host's eyes themselves now turn into X marks when threatened.
Of all the clans, Drills are most capable of independent movement as adults, walking around on their drilltacles.
Reproduction: Drill females lay eggs which are then fertilized by the males in special spawning pools. This happens during the warmest, wettest parts of the year.
Effects on Host: Drills bring a moderating effect to the psyche of the host, with a slight sense of euphoria. Other emotions besides the joy of hunting and spawning tend to diminish. Like the Yellow Knives, the Drills act as an artificial comfort to their hosts in times of stress.
A fully fused Yellow Knife readies an attack.
Yellow Knives are master manipulators. They look down on the Drills for their talk of trust and cooperation and the Grari for their hero-complex propaganda. They lure recruits by offering them comfort. Ever lose someone you care about? Yellow Knife can make you feel like you're with them again. Using this, they manipulate their hosts.
Appearance: Their natural form looks like this. In borg form, these sprout from the host's hair. When fully fused, Yellow Knives, like Drills, replace their host's hair. Yellow Knives have the ability to emit sonic blasts that can cause splitting headaches or knock the victim unconscious. In fused form, this means the host's hair spontaneously turns into spirals when they are preparing to attack. The more spirals in the hair, the more powerful the blast.
They can also launch these spirals at others. When they make contact, they can project images and emotions to the recipient. Powerful/advanced Yellow Knives can do this without making contact.
Reproduction: Yellow Knives reproduce parthogenetically. They release larva into an organic medium they can grow in. Milk is a popular type of medium. By the time the young Yellow Knife has eaten its fill of the milk and its siblings, they are ready to find a host.
Effects on Host: The Yellow Knife host becomes both more sensitive to the emotions of others and more manipulative of them. They become adept at using the Yellow Knife ability to project emotions to get exactly what they want. This causes them to develop the attitude of spoiled children.
Night predators. The SkinLick are a rather disturbing clan, secretive, enigmatic. They prefer to do things indirectly and play dirty in any conflict, assassinating their enemies if need be. Challenges for leadership among the SkinLick are week long vendettas. The challengers, after declaring their intention, will try to kill or show that they could have killed their opponents in an undetectable way. "To walk with loud feet" is a SkinLick insult.
Appearance: The SkinLick resemble the tentacles of vampire squids. Like the Drills, they live in their host's hair. However they stick directly to their Host's scalp, a net of suckers that weaves into, rather than replaces their hair. These tentacles are tipped with tiny needles. Within themselves, SkinLicks can manufacture a variety of poisons, paralytics, corrosives, etc. A shed tentacle (they regrow) can be put in the host's hand and used as a kind of organic dart gun. With the end squeezed, a reflex activates and the barbs are shot out almost silently. SkinLick have a flap next to their tentacles that can be let down into a sticky, organic mask that can cover the host's eyes, nose and ears which greatly enhances their senses, especially at night. That same mask over the tongue can give the host the ability to taste pheremones and other organic chemicals in the air by sticking their tongue out.
SkinLick can also secrete a film around the host's hands and feet which makes hand and footfalls almost completely silent.
Reproduction: SkinLick reproduction is too disgusting to relate here.
Effects on Host: SkinLick hosts often report feeling cold and disconnected from others. They become more calculating and callous. They tend to start preffering a dark environment.
The Grari must have evolved on alien plains, piercing their prey with their great spikes. They are proud, loud, and tend to see themselves as invincible. Theirs is a pack hunter's mentality. Due to their appearance and social structure, the Grari gleefully exploit the imagery of being a noble knight/samurai, fighting to protect the earth. This brings them quite a lot of new recruits. They claim to wish to bring the 'dishonorable' SkinLicks and Sunflowers to 'justice'. This amuses the former and enrages the latter.
In reality, their heroic attitude is a complete farce. They are just as willing to exploit and kill as any of the other clans.
Appearance: The Grari body is made of some very light yet sturdy material, able to instantly take on an edge like sharpened steel. Their heads are helms that cover the wearer's hair (excepting a few holes, where the hair pokes out in clumps), festooned with a pair of compound eyes behind a grill of chitinous mesh. A leathery pouch of raw genetic material hangs down the host's back.
The Grari's most famous talent is their ability to form blades from that material. By a process unknown, when a Grari concentrates, they can cause this material to slither onto their host's arms, where it forms organic spikes, shields, swords, spears... any kind of melee weapon. The lightness of this material allows the formation of weapons of ludicrous size. Almost every Grari host has their own preferred weapon, since designing a new weapon takes too long in the midst of battle. The material slithers back into the pouch when the fight is over with.
Reproduction: Grari are able to reproduce both sexually and parthogenetically. They have no set schedule for this, but are more likely to do so among a group of other Grari.
Effect on Host: Grari hosts, if not already proud tend to become so, verging on arrogance. They tend to develop hero complexes, which is exacerbated by the clan's propaganda. They lash out at those who are 'ungrateful' for their 'protection' and god help you if one decides you're a bad guy. Often they become more reckless.
Proud aerial hunters, the Glorium are the only symbionts capable of sustained flight. They're often called on to take flying aliens or soften up infestation nests with stun bombs. This clan's outlook towards the other clans tends to be condescending. They know they are superior. They pride themselves on only taking the best recruits (they especially look down on the Sunflowers for this reason). Their society has a strict pecking order. Challenges are usually resolved with intimidation
Appearance: Glorium resemble chitinous hang gliders. Ropelike tentacles support the body of the host while they are in flight, and lift is achieved by thermal soaring coupled with protrusions that resemble tentacleless jellyfish that provide a kind of natural air pumping action. The headmost edge is dominated by large, domed eyes and a mouth like a pinneapple ring. Inside that mouth is a hollow tube used to pierce prey.
When not flying, the Glorium's wing folds up and the supporting tentacles wrap around the host's body. Thus it rides on its host's back like a backpack.
Reproduction: On some unknown signal every couple months, Glorium launch at a common location during a full moon. Glorium that wish to mate will pair off, performing intricate acrobatics in the air. At the right moment, their propulsion extrusions release spores, and each are fertilized by the other. Hard edged eggs follow in a week.
Effect on Host: Glorium are aerial predators. Their hosts tend to become haughty, with a love of the open air. The host often experiences a fascination with the tops of things, leaning dangerously out of the edge of rooftops and standing on tiptoe to look at the tops of other's heads. They often feel uncomfortable if they cannot be "tallest" in a situation, standing on chairs and such to look down. They may have vivid fantasies of stabbing the backs of others, a residual effect of the way Glorium hunt with their mouth tubes.
This is the clan that has proved itself most adaptable to human society. On their homeworld they tended to gravitate towards electrical storms. On Earth, this gives them an affinity with Earthling machinery. They gladly incorporate the use of Earthling weapons and computers into their arsenal, a decision which confounds the other clans. This does not by any means make them "good guys", however. They simply recognize that humans tend to build things that make controlling them easier.
Appearance: In appearance they resemble crystalline armor that wraps around the head and neck of the host. Little organic wires stretch between these crystals. Many Froce incorporate Earthling technology into their crystalline structure. Cell phones are popular additions, as are calculators and small weapons. In their fully fused forms, Froce crystals burrow into their hosts' skins.
Reproduction: Froce reproduction involves the symbiont cutting out runnels in the ground in a pattern. It then pours some of its own essence into the runnels. By a process unknown to humans, the shape of the runnels determines the size and personality of the symbiont.
Effects on Host: Hosts tend to develop a packrat mentality, hording things they find pleasing. Machines and architecture also become interesting to them. A Froce host will often caress an object they find fascinating. In the advanced stages, they tend to see other humans as objects and begin to be jealous of the Yellow Knives for their ability to "reprogram" them.
Sunflowers are a special case. While technically included under the classification of Borgs, they'd never be intentionally given to students by sane teachers.
A Sunflower inductee defends herself. One eye-creature is visible in the center.
Sunflowers are a rampaging horde. Their innocuous name belies a terrible swarm of invading aliens out of nightmares. Sunflowers do not care for consent and cooperation between symbiont and host. They simply take what they want, descending en masse on unsuspecting schools and taking them over within days. They will attempt to fuse with anyone that strikes their fancy. Most aren't strong enough for this, and their body rejects the symbiont, becoming temporarily extremely ill in the process.
Those are the lucky ones.
Those who are able to fuse with a Sunflower are brainwashed into loving nothing else but the Sunflower Clan, via the use of hallucinogenic mind rape. The host now believes their former friends are aliens and will attack them. Although a Sunflower can function in human society, they are not anything like the same person they were before their symbiosis.
Formerly the Sunflowers ran rampant over large portions of Japan, before being stopped by a makeshift Drill-Yellow Knife-Grari alliance. They are barely held in check today. Feared but not persecuted, the Sunflowers are barely accepted by other symbiont clans.
Appearance: The Sunflower body is like a turtle. Under that shell are great flaps, like a feathery halo or the petals of a flower (from which they get their name). These flaps can be extended to pin their victims in place.
The front and sides of a sunflower have what appear to be large eyes. These eyes are attached to creatures that resemble legless flying insects. Trailing razor sharp organic wire behind them, they are capable of wrapping around the limbs of an opponent and then slicing them clean off.
The fused form of a sunflower is merely fused permanently to the head of the host. They have no need of trying to blend into human society.
Reproduction: Sunflowers of both sexes carry bowling ball sized fragile, hollow egg cases. The females lay a single egg inside and the males fertilize it. When it is near time for the egg cases to hatch, a scout is dispatched with the eggs. They are laid some place high and secure, like tree branches, connected by organic webbing. The Sunflowers hatch full sized, intelligent and hungry...
Effects on Host: Alone among the clans, the Sunflowers practice extreme brainwashing of their hosts. Through the use of a hallucinogenic mind rape, the host is brainwashed into killing hallucinations of their friends. Once this process is finished, the host's only loyalty is to the Sunflower swarm. Very few individuals have ever resisted this process.
Association for the Protection of Human Culture/Order of Saint Patrick
The arrival of all these aliens has not been without resistance. Religious groups have especially not been pleased, nor have Conservative think-tanks. The association was formed two years after the first alien arrival, starting out as a loose coalition of religious groups and conservative lobbies, the Association lobbies for greater and greater restrictions on the presence of symbionts. There are Association offices in every major city and small recruiting centers in many rural prefectures. They are well funded by private donors and their loud protest vans are a common sight in Tokyo.
Inevitably there were elements within this organization that began to adopt a more militant stance. The Order of Saint Patrick was, naturally, founded in Ireland, although their eventual membership was international. For the past five years they have waged a campaign of terror against the symbiont clans, planting bombs, gunning down symbionts during their vulnerable stages. In their underground labs they research powered body armor.
The Association denies any knowledge of the Order's activities but the link between them is obvious.
The Association/Order and the Grari Clan are bitter rivals, since they compete for the same crusader/hero image.
Association's Leader: council of founders
Order's Head: Father Alexander Anderson [appable NPC]