“Blood Maidens” is the name given to a species of parasites found in Terra Deorsum on December 3, 1919 CE by an Ulmnian expedition. They slightly resemble beetles, save for possessing a large mouth on their stomachs and having ball-jointed legs
When hungry, they attack and brutally maim nearby organisms, preferring bipeds, and drink their blood to survive. They then proceed to brutalize the corpse, tearing it apart and sewing it back together using a natural silk they produce to create a ‘shell’ for them to live in. The parasite weaves the bloody remains of the dead around it, taking pieces from multiple corpses, (up to a recorded maximum of twelve different corpses) and create what resembles a human woman wearing a long dress. Physical deformities and flayed, sewn together skin are the defining characteristics of Blood Maidens. Their ‘dress’ is made of skin, sinew and tendons, and though they are roughly human in shape from afar, closer observation reveals terrifying deformities. They often have extra bones fused with existing bones, protruding from their skin. They can have gaps in their flesh where the thread has failed, exposing bones and damaged organs. Their hands are rarely normal, often having all of the skin flayed off and most of the tendons removed, save for a few to hold the bones together. They then proceed to fuse more bones onto their fingers, using ribs, teeth, larger broken bones, or in one rare case an entire lower jawbone. They use their hands as weapons, swinging and stabbing with them in order to kill their prey. Some specimens have been recorded with strange adaptations, such as a huge mouth in the center of their chests, additional arms and in one very unusual case, a second skull fused with a hand and used as a blunt instrument. Blood Maidens are extremely dangerous. Despite often having severe damage to their heads, they possess an acute sense of smell and even a weak echolocation. They seem to drift, using tendons in their destroyed legs and their ‘dress’ to move with great pace. They can be extremely silent when they want to, but Sirens usually sing out loudly.
Sirens have a mostly intact head, and frequently vocalize, by either singing or simply repeating phrases extracted from the memories of the dead. One particular subject was recorded repeating their military identification number, increasing in pace when aggravated until it reached the point of simply screaming.When provoked Sirens begin screaming and attack wildly.
The stalkers, on the other hand, are far more mutilated then the sirens, often being more decayed or simply having been unable to find enough parts to really complete itself. Stalkers are usually headless, and compensate by having other attachments, such as excessive arms, arbitrary mouths, etc.
At a certain point in the Blood Maidens life, the parasite within produces and fertilizes an egg sac, and the Blood Maiden increases its hunting pattern, acquiring more flesh and adding to itself, growing in size until it reaches a critical mass approximately twice its original size. At this point, the parasite within will release its eggs and simultaneously shed all of the excess biomass, forming a large cocoon that the eggs are placed in. The Blood Maiden then departs, leaving the egg sac to hatch. Upon hatching, the parasite hatchlings use the remaining biomass to either stitch together an early body, or simply feed themselves if food cannot be immediately found.
They possess an acute knowledge of the anatomy of the prey who formed their ‘body’, depending on how many of them make up their corpses, and will aim for vital arteries and organs for maximum damage. Some of them seem to possess more intelligence than others, usually depending on how old they are and how intact any remaining brain matter is. In one frightening encounter, a Stalker crept into a farm in the dead of night and silently killed three sleeping individuals before it was found and terminated. In another strange case, a Blood Maiden was trapped by several Ulmnian soldiers in a cave in, and carried on a long conversation with a soldier. The conversation was not recorded, but the soldier stated that ‘it talked as though it knew it was dead.’ The conversation eventually began looping back to previously stated points, and the Blood Maiden was terminated. When Blood Maidens gather in large groups they begin to form swarm-colonies, den-type structures from which they carry out their attacks, these occur only when in large numbers in a limited space though have been increasing in frequency due to the increased defensive abilities of these structures. When such a structure is formed occasionally an entire Battalion will need to be dispatched to deal with it. Sometimes, Blood Maidens remain dangerous even after death, as they often carry diseases, sometimes other parasites, and several cases smaller predators have been found living inside of the Blood Maiden, which attack when the Maiden is slain. Though quite intelligent as predators the Blood Maidens cannot be considered either a race or a civilization due to their inability to learn from their mistakes. Beginning in the year 2078 the “Parasite Act”, a policy of shoot-on-sight for several parasitic creatures, has existed among the peoples of the ‘Triad’ to mixed success rates. The resilience and lack of a predictable weak point mean that each of the Blood Maidens requires preparation and difficult fights to defeat. During the tumultuous era known as “The Rebellions” a cult popped up which worshipped the Blood Maidens as angels but it was quickly quashed along with the Eckelon nation. Due to their predatory abilities but lack of organization they are rated a Class C enemy.