Tlohtli Barnacle

From MassiveCraft Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tlohtli Barnacle
Official Name Tlohtli Barnacle
Common Nicknames Swamp Horrifier, Tendriled Barnacle
Classification Fish
Habitat Swamps of Guldar
Domesticated No
Current Status Uncommon

The Tlohtli Barnacle is a unique organism native to the swamps of Guldar. A mixture between a barnacle and a cephalopod, they are highly effective feeders, but have another trait that makes them truly unique. They are capable of projecting nightmare visions on anyone encroaching on their territory. This psychic power is fairly strong, though not without its limits. They were at first feared, though eventually eagerly devoured, by the Eronidas, with the later-arriving Maquixtl extracting the animal’s Genos to grant themselves a form possessing haunting aquatic traits. The Tlohtli Barnacle is well known because of these different factors, and will likely continue to thrive for many years to come.


The Tlohtli Barnacle is a strange form of life that was well-known among the Eronidas. They feared it as a corruptor of minds and associated it with the Moloq, given the two groups sharing tendrils and having an antagonistic streak against the Eronidas. Tales also speak of immense Tlohtli Barnacles, capable of projecting terrible images into the minds of their foes from many miles away, who were ultimately slain thanks to the efforts of great heroes. However, in truth, and as millennia wore on, the creatures became a delicacy for the Eronidas dining table. Harvesting this species became the task of many hardened, retired warriors, who were able to resist the terrible imagery projected into their minds. Overall, the Eronidas were not sorry to leave the creatures behind during the Eronidas Exodus, though some certainly missed their unique taste. The arriving Maquixtl, however, took quite some time to understand the creature’s effect on the minds of those it deemed enemies. Initially, these Elves believed it to be a geographical feature and sought to resolve the issue from a magical angle, assuming Demons were responsible. Scholars eventually determined the cause of these haunting visions and were quick to sample the Genos available to them from the Tlohtli Barnacle. While unable to replicate the strange powers the creature had available, they were able to manifest rather haunting aquatic features in a Genos form associated with the creature. To this day, it remains somewhat of a mystery, though certainly one of the most peculiar creatures of Guldar known to outsiders.

Physical Appearance

Tlohtli Barnacles have been extensively dissected first by the Eronidas, for culinary purposes, and later by the Maquixtl, for scholarly reasons. The creatures generally grow between two to four feet long if one measures their tendrils. They lack a true head, instead having a dense cluster of organs located at the base of their body. This base is a structure of between six and eight strong plates that secure the creature in place to the swamp bottom or against another hardy surface. Inside this shell is a small, hard beak that exists as a mouth, with the creature's array of eight narrow limbs positioned around it, capable of unfurling out of the shell to float up into the water. These tendrils possess both suckers in intervals up their length, with feathery areas between them which are, in reality, little arrays of smaller tendrils for filter feeding. Tlohtli Barnacles come in a wide range of colors, from off-reds to pale yellows, but they are most commonly some form of purple. This tone is the same for their shells, while their beaks are always black.


Tlohtli Barnacles lack gender but do possess a range of other characteristics to help mark out diversity in the species: their range of colors and size. While most Tlohtli Barnacles only grow to around two feet in length, the largest members of their species, often positioned deepest in the Guldar swamps, reach the maximum sizes aforementioned, with large, grasping tendrils, and a more prominent beak. Their power in projection is also the most intense, though not as exaggerated as myths might have some believe.

Life Span and Development

Tlohtli Barnacles are born in tiny eggs initially kept internal to a birthing pouch to the individual who has spawned them. As the larvae begin to hatch, the adult will expel its offspring from the pouch, the egg remains and all, out into the swamp waters to survive. This stage of their development sees them at their most vulnerable, as not only do they have to fear their several dozen siblings, but larger creatures lurking in the waters, including more adult Barnacles. The species has a very high mortality rate at this stage, as a result. Should this tiny larvae survive, it will grow in size, before eventually burrowing itself into the floor of the swamp and entering its juvenile stage. It then molts and develops its basic shells. At this stage, it appears most like a common barnacle, and will gradually grow in size as it filterfeeds. In around six months from first emergence into the water, it will have reached its adult stage, and will likely survive for the coming years. Tlohtli Barnacle lifespans are surprisingly long for this type of animal, lasting up to fifteen years in many cases, and up to thirty for the largest members of the species.

Mental Overview

Tlohtli Barnacles are strange organisms, shifting between different states of being throughout their life but also daily. At the best level, they are a predatory species, but they cannot move, with their tendrils reacting to movement, vibrations in the water, and touch rather than a conscious directive to aim at a target. These tendrils drift in the water above or around their forms, mimicking vegetation in some respects, and always passively feeding on the water around them. When small fish or other creatures native to the swamp swim by, or knock into them, the tendrils react immediately, wrapping themselves around the victim, and drawing the prey down into the eager beak which efficiently devours them. The tendrils gradually unfurl back into the water once their prey is consumed. They do this at all times of the day or night and never sleep. However, their most notable trait is undoubtedly their ability to somehow interface with the minds of Aloria’s sentient peoples, or even near sentients. Exactly how they do this is not clear, but it is believed to be an ability derived from the Horror Cell, the term for an organ located within their body that has an iridescent hue to it. While details remain scarce, rumors state that Maquxtl scholars have determined the creature to work in concert with its neighboring Barnacles, briefly creating a sort of hive mind that projects its power out toward the target or targets as a warning instead of harming. It is unclear if the visions that the victims are then subjected to are somehow a pre-existing image woven into the very Genos of these creatures, or if the individual’s reaction is their brain aware of what is happening, and connecting to these creatures on some subconscious level.

The uncertainty lies in the complexity of the nightmarish hallucinations triggered by the Tlohtli Barnacle, and just how diverse they tend to be. Some people describe them as waking dreams, where they remain present in the world around them, only to see flickering, tendriled horrors slowly emerging from the surrounding terrain, or creeping at the edges of their vision. Others have full blackouts, images playing on their minds even as their eyes are closed, of tendrils and clacking beaks. Others still, those least prepared and perhaps even mentally weak, outright collapse, falling into a nightmare of horrid sounds, and swishing, often with the individual drowning and being consumed by a vast horror, all within their dream. While everyone does recover and the visions do stop after a few minutes if someone remains in the area near a Tlohtli Barnacle colony, most people retreat, immediately lessening the vision if not removing it entirely from their minds. It is reasoned that Tlohtli Barnacles cannot sustain this power for too long, and they also do not seem to cast the same sort of mental shadow over local fauna, which shows no signs of being affected when a Tlohtli Barnacle is “Horror-fying” as the Maquixtl often call it.

Territory and Groupings

Tlohtli Barnacles exist in colonies of up to sixty individuals, all clustered close together to the point of sometimes physically touching. While sometimes causing competition for food, the colonies are believed to exist to facilitate the Tlohtli Barnacle’s “Horror-fying” power. This ability always triggers when Aloria’s sentient or near-sentient creatures approach a colony. The effective range of this power is believed to be twelve feet away from the colony, but this can slightly vary due to the terrain and the colony's formation. These colonies are always located across the various swamps of Guldar, as the creatures do not seem to fare well in regions like clear lakes or rivers.


  • Unlike the Eronidas, the Maquixtl avoid eating the Tlohtli Barnacle. They claim that certain aspects of the creature are toxic to ingest, which would be an irony given the shield of toxins that keep Guldar from the rest of Aloria.
  • Tlohtli Barnacles are most commonly preyed on by a particular species of aquatic arthropod, which can often avoid the tendrils before breaking in past their shells through concerted chewing to eat their flesh and organs.
  • It is unclear if magical spells for the protection of the mind prevent Tlohtli Barnacle visions.

Writers HydraLana
Processors FireFan96, MantaRey
Last Editor HydraLana on 02/17/2024.

» Read more