Tyger (stormteller) wrote in mythmakers,
Tyger
stormteller
mythmakers

Mythical Creature: Sparklies

Sparklies, as they are most often called, are a difficult beast to classify. Though insect-like in appearance and behavior, their unique makeup puts them in a category unlike almost anything else. Sparklies are one of four known distinct groups of inherently fire-based animal. Compared to the outright danger of Elementals, Salamanders, or Fire-Eyes, however, sparklies are a less conspicuous threat. Born from millions of shell-like eggs the size and consistency of ashes which travel on the wind and can wind up literally anywhere, they begin life at less than a millimeter in length, and as such are almost impossible to detect while young. The glowing sparklies then crawl across whatever surface their eggs were imbedded in, consuming any flammable materials they touch instantly and growing in size as they do so. Where two meet, they combine into one larger body, so that a million tiny sparkly larvae can grow into a single gigantic flaming insect within the space of half an hour or less. There is no known size limit to the things, and there are records of them reaching more than a hundred feet in length. At such a size they can destroy an entire city in short order, and should be regarded as a high-priority threat, so it's crucial to keep an eye out for the insects while they are still at a manageable size.

Sparklies will continue to grow as they consume flammable substances until they run out of them, at which point they begin to move sluggishly as they search for more food. They can survive, depending on their size, for up to an hour without sustenance. If they do not find any, they will gradually shrink as their body consumes itself, and finally die, expelling thousands of ashen seeds into the air upon death. Even a partially starved sparkly, re-introduced to food, will have a low chance of survival. The seeds often wind up in fields and across the ground, and are known to make their way into the pores of wood or grain plants. Such environments are perfect for sparklies to thrive.

When sparklies are found, they should be smothered immediately to keep them from growing. They most often hatch from within logs during burning, lulled into awakening by the flame, so be sure that a fire is completely extinguished when you are done with it and keep an eye on any sparks to see that they die out. Water is ineffective against sparklies of any size; it proves more of an inconvenience to them than a weapon. However, soaking the area where they feed will inhibit their feeding, and rain may make it impossible for them to find consumable materials, and may even prevent volitile eggs from being able to hatch.

Some people use sparklies as a light source, though in most civilized countries a permit is required to keep them. Placing a handful of the bugs in a jar or other enclosure with a tiny air hole and a wad of paper is the most common method. The lack of airflow restricts the sparklies' consumption, allowing them to survive on the paper for a long period of time. Few find the prospect of living flames worth the trouble of keeping them, however.

This creature is a class C threat.
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