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Friday, January 14, 2011
Grip of the Octopus
Astral cehalopods or astral octopuses are extradimensional sentients, and either conquerors or gourmands, or some mixture of both. They are parasites feeding off the subtle emanations that radiate into the astral space from intense human emotion. They appear as large and admittedly somewhat fake looking octopuses when viewed under astral-sight, but are otherwise invisible.
Astral octopuses of different groups, or perhaps just different tastes, prefer different emotional spectra, which they dine on exclusively. Some have a taste for anger or fear, while others favor love or passion. Others of more exotic dietary preferences, like paranoia or religious ecstasy, have been encountered.
These creatures bind invisibly to a human being's astral body. By delicate, astral manipulations of their hosts’ consciousnesses, they are able to influence them to to actions or behaviors more likely to lead to the emotional flavors they favor. They do not control behaviors--at least at first--merely make their preferred course of action seem more reasonable. Over time, however, this influence grows and their favorite emotional diet becomes their hosts’ usual emotional state. This too often leads to an early death, mental hospitalization, or incarceration. Though some hosts are able to resist for decades, magical intervention is the only way to free them from the creatures once and for all.
Mercifully, astral octopus infestation is rare. It is most commonly seen in adventurers who have had contact with the raw astral plane, those suffering certain curses, or mediums or spiritualists who have engaged in astral projection. However, those who have attended seances or engaged in the use of certain recreational alchemicals have been known to be afflicted.