|Official Name||Yǒudú Jīnyú|
|Common Nicknames||Poison Koi, Bright Fish, Poisonous Goldfish|
The Poison Koi, specifically known as “Yǒudú Jīnyú”—which roughly translates into “poisonous goldish” in Common—among the inhabitants of the Yang-Tzu Islands, is a treacherous, seemingly harmless fish that lives in familial schools, and are often kept in special types of ponds. This type of fish is unfortunately one of the most deadly creatures to keep around or even remain in vicinity of due to its constant secretion of toxins. When not found in the wild, they are often captured and sold for high bargains to the wealthiest houses, often those of royalty.
Unsurprisingly, the Poison Koi was discovered in the Yang-Tzu Islands, in a particular murky series of streams in the year 265 AC. Its discoverers were a group of Ch’ien-Ji men originally looking for fish to capture and bring home for supper. Upon spotting the oddity that was the Poison Koi, the men stepped into the stream as they were amazed by the unique coloring of the fish, only to have a steady, yet gradual, burning sensation spread up and down their legs. While one managed to step out of the stream before too much damage was done, his two comrades soon began to feel the effects, and later died from the toxins. The species was quickly labeled off-limits. Today, the Poison Koi is most commonly found around the Yang-Tzu Islands, mostly within the gardens of the wealthiest families.
The Poison Koi is unlike any other average fish, given its putrid yellow-colored scales along with the bright purple and blue splotches that increase on its body over time. When fully developed, the Poison Koi will reach an average length of twenty-one inches, though older fish that either frequent or are contained in larger pools are entirely capable of reaching a maximum of thirty-six inches. Their bodies are covered in pointy and sharp scales, where toxins constantly ooze out from the miniscule gaps between them. These toxins originate from numerous glands and sacs pocketed just under the skin, and form a protective toxic shroud around itself, with thin needle-like tips extending from each fin.
The deadly species, in reality, have very few differences when it comes to comparing either gender. In fact, the only noticeable qualities males and females have against each other are their overall length from mouth to tail. Males generally outsize the females by four inches or more. Another indication of gender is the number of needle tops located on each end of a fin, where females have five points per fin in comparison to the three that their male counterparts hold. Generally, female Poison Koi have these extra needle-like tips in order to ward off other aggressive koi, especially during breeding season when lake bed territories are fought over and food becomes scarce
Life Span and Development
Poison Koi living in the wild, such as in naturally-formed springs, ponds, or other bodies of freshwater around the Yang-Tzu, can live an extremely elongated life of fifty years. However, when Poison Koi fish are settled in custom ponds or pools—such as those found in royal gardens—their life expectancy dwindles to around twenty-five to thirty years. Females deliver live babies that, upon birth, release vast shrouds of toxins from their bodies as means of warding off predators. Roughly three to ten babies are birthed in a matter of a few hours, though if the fish is stressed this can prolong the process to twelve hours. In their early stages of life, their bodies are mostly an absurdly bright yellow (practically neon) which acts as a warning beacon to any potential predators either in the water or above. As time progresses, the vivid blue and purple dots gradually spread outward and spill into cloud-like formations on the Koi’s body. Before a Poison Koi reaches the end of its life, their yellow bodies begin to shift to a sickly yellow-green.
The Yang-Tzu species of fish is unremarkably dim. In fact, their intellect is no better than the common bottomfeeder. The Poison Koi will spend most of its days contently swimming about with its schoolmates and traversing through streams or royally-owned pools. So long as its territory or personal spaces are not intruded upon, the species will remain docile—almost as if they are completely detached from the world above their pond’s surface. Despite this tranquil behavior, the Koi can be ferocious in their design; they are able to eject heavy doses of their body’s toxins through needle-tipped fins when faced with imminent danger.
Territory and Groupings
The dangerous Koi fish will always stick to the school its birthed from, usually among the parent fish and any others grouped together. Due to consistent travel, encountering predators—the Ch’ien-Ji being one of the most common—and episodes of aggression during spawning season, the exact numbers in schools will always vary. Each individual Koi works according to their own schedule (though this usually never stems too far from the other Koi’s current actions). There are no positions of authority in the school whatsoever, and each seem relatively unbothered so long as no outsider Koi tries to intermingle with the other schoolmates.
- Bodies of water that hold a school of Poison Koi will have an unnatural murky green tint with a slightly turbid consistency, a result of the toxins that are constantly excreted from the koi’s body. Keeping a limb, body part, or any form of physical contact in toxin-diluted water will cause inevitable skin rashes and may even destroy nerves in the flesh.
- Fishermen on the Yang-Tzu Isles have learned that stabbing, cutting, or puncturing a Poison Koi will not establish safety from the deadly toxins. In fact, by cutting the Koi’s body, more poison will be excreted, given this sort of move actually cuts open the toxin glands and pockets beneath the skin. In order to handle these fish, they must be captured with nets, handled with thick gloves, or swiftly knocked on the head with a tool that provides space between handler and creature.
- Alexander Kade, the former Emperor, had a personal school of Poison Koi within his palace. To try and prevent any accidental mishaps, a sign had to be placed before the pool warning any visitors to refrain from touching the fish, else they would die.
- A few drops of Vocadine will actually help lessen the amount of toxins within a contained space. When applied directly to a Poison Koi, their body’s protective slime is temporarily enhanced, making any physical touch to the fish much more fatal.