02/19/2006

Thuntonian Lore #3 – Kliks (part 2)

5. Fluid

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Firstly, let’s clarify the line that separates fluid and organic kliks.

 
Blood is both organic and a fluid, but a klik made up of blood counts as a ‘fluid type’ and not an ‘organic type’. This is based on the thickness of the liquid. Physically, blood reacts a lot like water, which gives that klik the advantages and disadvantages of a ‘fluid type’. A klik made of a thicker material like honey, could fall into the fluid or organic category, depending on the consistency of that particular honey. A klik made up of an organic substance with a more ‘gelatinous’ consistency, would be counted as an ‘organic type’.

 
Fluid kliks have the widest range of extremes when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. They require more food energy than other types, since they need to not only hover, but keep their liquid bodies together at all times. A healthy, well fed fluid klik won’t drip or evaporate under normal circumstances. Their positive is usually the same material that they’re made of.

 
Being made of liquid means that fluid kliks are immune to all non-magical slashing and stabbing damage. Swords and arrows simply pass harmlessly through them. However, blunt attacks like clubs and maces will do double damage to them as chunks of them can ‘splash’ away. If these kliks become too damaged or starved, they can lose the strength to hold themselves together. This will cause them to ‘drip’ themselves away until they either feed on their positive or die.

 
Within this type of klik are the two subgroups, hot and cold. This is not based on the type of liquid that the fluid klik is made of. One klik made of water can lean toward heat, while another water klik can lean toward cold. Each of these two subgroups follow their own rules.

 
A. Heat

 
A fluid klik in this subgroup doesn’t take damage from non-magical heat. It can be heated up to boiling and even (liquid type permitting) evaporated into a gas and still function, unharmed. It can operate with the properties of a gas until condensation naturally returns the klik back to its liquid state. However, a heat tending fluid klik is vulnerable to cold damage and is automatically killed if frozen solid.

 
B. Cold

 
A fluid klik in this subgroup doesn’t take damage from non-magical cold. If it gets cold enough to freeze (reacting normally within the logistics of the liquid they’re made of), it will feel no ill effects or loss of movement or abilities. In frozen form, the fluid klik gains any advantages or abilities that being solid ice might provide. When the fluid klik naturally melts, it comfortably returns to its liquid form. The cold tending fluid klik is vulnerable to heat damage however and is automatically killed if boiled away or evaporated via heat.

 
There is no record of a fluid klik capable of leaning toward both heat and cold.

 
Kloks

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Kliks have their own form of “marriage” that is difficult for most humanoids to fully understand. On rare occasions, a small group of kliks (usually two to five), will decide to merge themselves into one being called a klok. This irreversible process combines each klik’s sense of individuality into one, equally shared consciousness.

 
Almost every aspect of each klik being merged is added to the newly created klok. Memories, physical traits, personality traits, etc. are all present in the new creature. Kloks can ingest any positive that belonged to the kliks who merged. However those klik’s negatives no longer pose a danger to a klok.

 
Aside from the added freedom of being able to choose from a collection of positives, rather than only being compatible with one, the klok possesses the combined intellect of all the kliks merged into it. Kloks are also notably more powerful than kliks. They’re able to use tools, wield weapons, cast spells and once old enough, develop powerful, magical abilities. It’s these ancient kloks that are able to create gateways into different dimensions and realms, allowing the species to spread to different worlds.

 
Despite all of this added power, the concept of giving up personal identity is horrifying and difficult to understand for most humanoids. A common question humanoids ask is “Which klik has control?”. The answer is equal parts “None of them” and “All of them”. Here is an imperfect analogy…

 
When a human drinks enough alcohol, they become drunk and their personality changes. Their intelligence, dexterity and confidence are all changed. Now imagine that the alcohol ingested was its own creature and the human and alcohol were “merged”. The alcohol’s personality and the human’s personality combined to form a new creature with a completely new personality. Yet, while the human feels their personality change and some of the decisions they make are made by the alcohol, they always feel control over themselves. It never feels as though another being has taken control away from the human, simply that the human has become something different than what it was.
There are of course, a lot of differences between this analogy and the formation of a klok, but it gives a partial insight into what it feels like from the klik’s point of view.

 
The main reason for kliks deciding to merge like this, is due to a powerful, family-like bond formed amongst the group.

 
Tics

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Tics are the most mysterious aspect of the species. They’re often mistaken as “baby kliks”, but this isn’t the case. Tics are sub-creatures that are comparable to plants or house pets. What they lack in consciousness, they more than make up for in power.

 
Tics are created seemingly from nothing, by very old kloks. Once a klok creates a gateway to another world, tics are sent to the new realm decades or even centuries before any klik or klok may enter. The reason for this is because tics posses so much power, that they gradually and discreetly alter the world’s laws of physics. These changes in universal logic are what make it possible for kliks to populate the new world and maintain the seemingly impossible abilities like hovering, shape changing, symbiotic procreation, etc.
Tics don’t have positives or negatives. They exist on the massive amount of energy given to them at the moment of their creation. This energy takes a few hundred thousand years to drain, but once it’s depleted, the tic quietly dies.

 
Procreation

 
Possibly the most notable aspect of the species is the way they procreate. Like most living creatures, kliks require a soul to exist. However, unlike most creatures, kliks can’t create new souls for their young. What they do to get past this handicap is an extraordinary feat of symbiosis.

 
A klik wishing to create new life first finds a living creature with a soul of its own. This can be a humanoid, animal, monster… anything with a soul. Then the klik attaches a small orb of its own material onto the creature. Over time, that orb is considered by the creature’s soul, to be a natural part of the body. If we think of the soul as a form of energy that radiates within every part of the creature, then we can understand why that soul eventually fills the orb as it would an arm or a leg. Once this is accomplished, the orb harmlessly separates from the creature, taking with it the small bit of ‘soul’ that filled it up. The new klik now has its own soul that although started as a “copy” of a section of the creature’s soul, grows to become something unique as the klik gains its own experiences and memories. This process doesn’t harm the creature or take anything away from it. In fact, once completed, the creature is left slightly healthier and with a slightly longer lifespan.

 
The creature chosen, can affect the klik being created in a number of ways. While a humanoid usually creates kliks with hands, a horse can give way to a klik with hoves. A fish can create a klik with fins, a bird, one with wings and so on.

 
Past generations can also affect the outcome of the new klik’s physical and magical make up. If a klik three generations ago, was created from some inter-dimensional beast with twenty tentacles, the new klik that was just formed from a human, might find itself with twenty hands.

 
The creature chosen and past generations can all contribute to the material and type of the new klik. This allows a metallic klik to end up creating an energy klik, etc.

 
(I’ll discuss warped kliks in Kliks Part III)