So-called "Slimers" are strange morphing entities coming in a multitude of colours. They clearly are generated through magical or alchemical means, or in most cases a combination of both, though whenever they come into existence it happens quite unintentionally. Slimers appear as viscid moving carpets with a minimal form of intelligence, focusing on expanding by absorbing substances - yet they can develop into something distinctly beast-like with facial or claw-like feeatures if they actually "digest" living things. Slimers may consist of a variety of substances and the more sticky these substances are, the more they are capable of climbing walls or even ceilings. While capable of splitting and living on as two different creatures for a while, it is known that an accidentally created Slimer only lasts for hours or days until it dissipates without being able to actually reproduce itself in any way. Extremely sticky and disgusting variations of these creatures, like grey and nor'sidian ones, are also referred to as "Oozers".

Appearance. Slimer creatures are often described as coloured blobs that constantly move and change shape, where colour and size depend on what and how much of it was involved in creating the Slimer, or what a Slimer assimiliated into itself after that. Their size can range between a few fores up to several peds, with thickness varying from a bunch of nailbreaths up to usually a palmspan or two. It needs to be pointed out clearly however that Slimers are no natural occurrences and usually need to be "helped" into existence, which happens - as far as can be determined at this point - only accidentally. They are the results of unwanted magical or alchemical side effects, and the substances involved therefore play a major role on how Slimers look like and behave. This unpredictablility determining a Slimer creation also means that no Slimer matches any other, and that crossings between the types are often more likely than the uncorrupted versions themselves. Note that Slimers can not only split but also merge into each other, resulting in an entirely new creature with combined abilities. Yet the basic forms can at least be roughly categorized, even though only as approximations.

The various types of Slimers. Click on pictures to enlarge. All pictures drawn by Bard Judith.

The most common forms of Slimers we'd like to summarize as follows:

While these types provide an idea of what Slimers one can encounter, it shouldn't surprise anyone that a Slimer one meets in reality is probably different. Aside from mixtures of types that determine a creature's intelligence, some Slimers - for whatever magical or alchemical reason - are capable of merging with actual smaller creatures like rats, spiders or lizards, thus creating a whole new undefinable being whose behaviour can be even more unpredictable than the Slimer itself. While the merging can make the creature more aggressive, it is common belief that this also affects the timespan it can exist. Furthermore it is fortunate that larger beasts or even humans cannot be assimilated by these vile creatures, even though some stories do exist in this regard, which are most likely just made up. Return to the top

Special Abilities. Due to the multitude of Slimer types that exist, it is difficult to reduce the Slimers' potential to just a few basic abilities that they all share. However, what they definitely have in common is their capability to move through the narrowest spaces, even to enter a room by squeezing through the slit under the door. Slimers can also split in halves, which can act independently, and they can merge together again - the circumstances dictate what is appropriate for the creature. Another important ability is the fact that they are usually extremely sticky and thus can climb objects or walls, which might be especially unpleasant if someone enters a Slimer infested room and is greeted by a Slimer dropping from the ceiling... Their ability to climb is only restricted by their mass, which can vary considerably, depending on how much they have devoured, or better "assimilated" on their journey so far. Finally Slimers can not only merge with food or substances, they can also trap living creatures inside themselves and make them a part of their own entity. So it happens that e.g. critters can live on inside a Slimer, a strange, fearsome combination - a creature whose intelligence seems to profit from both components it consists of. It is advised not to research such creatures from a close distance, as they are even more dangerous than the regular species, which in itself is already quite intimidating.

Other abilities, as has been mentioned already, are specific to certain types of Slimers: Some can spit aceed or sparks or move practically without any noises due to the substances they consist of to name just a few things. For further details please refer to the types list in the Appearance section.
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Territory. Slimers exist whereever they are created, be it in an alchemist's laboratory or, say, on a battlefield where magic was involved, and they live and spread there until their mysteriously created life cycle comes to an end. While mostly created as unwanted side effects of experiments that turned awry, it is not impossible that Slimers can be come to life in other places as well, like in spots where magic is abundant for the one reason or the other, be it in deep forests or far down below the earth's surface. Just like wizardleaf grows in places where wizards have died, natural magical pockets that come into contact with certain substances could bring Slimers into existence.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The "life" of a Slimer is a short, but intense one. Depending on the substances to which it owes its existence, it has only hours, sometimes days to live. An incident in the Ximaxian Academy only a decade or so ago, which resulted in an unintended production of Slimers, showed that Slimers mostly don't survive a dozen hours. Just one single subject that was locked in a dungeon and managed to examine an alchemy lab in more detail than anyone could have approved, met its end after nearly a full day.

One can almost feel pity for it, as right from its creation the time it has left on Caelereth is already running out rapidly - a Slimer is doomed to return into oblivion as soon as the magical energy that made its existence possible cannot sustain the creature anymore. Friss Snilingfrill, a scholar of the Lorehold in Lorehaven, who specialities in magically created beasts, puts it this way: "A Slimer is not a monster as some might believe, it is more like a toddler without eyes, arms or legs, and most importantly without any parents, who could guide it on its way. It therefore tries desperately to find out what it is supposed to do in this world, so whatever it does, it is more stumbling than doing anything intentionally. It is thrown into existence and once it is there, it helplessly wanders around, as this seems to be the only thing it can do: wander around, discover what is around it." Snilingfrill even suggests that a Slimer might not be even aware that it needs to sustain itself, or that it is hostile to other beings with the intention to devour them. Slimers just end up in existence and whatever seems to harm that existence is seen as a threat if it attacks, he says. On the other hand everything that doesn't attack the Slimer is investigated by the creature, and if possible assimilated into its wobbling mass - out of "curiosity" as Snilingfrill explains.

Snilingfrill's theories on Slimers might be controversial, but there's very little the researchers actually know about this phenomenon. For one they cannot be simply produced, but are usually results of devastating accidents. Plus, once they infest a place, the primary objective is mostly to get rid of them as soon as possible before they do even more harm. And third, their life cycle is very short, so while they can do a lot of havoc in the time they live and explore their environment, they aren't particularly posing for researchers to do their work.
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The Black Slimer

View picture in full size Picture description. A Nor'sidian Slimer, one of the most dangerous kinds of Oozers, has managed to escape from a laboratory. Image by Seeker and Bard Judith.

Diet. Slimers could be said to show a voraciousness and hunger, yet they don't actually eat, but they rather try to get aware of their surroundings in their own way. Their intention could be described as "trying to manifest itself while getting rid of whatever hinders them to do so", as the Ximaxian fire mage Chandevan put it. Thus they "assimilate" what they encounter on their way by simply moving over it and make it part of their own self. This is at least possible with smaller items that are not entirely solid, so that being assimiliated by a Slimer can also be the terrible fate for rodents, snakes or archnids... The assimiliation of the latter can lead to a weird formation of a creature half slime, half animal, where the existence of these two beings blends into each other, so that the new creature seems to act with a will on its own. Slimers however cannot assimilate whole bodies of larger animals or humans effectively. Certain types may me able to dissolve objects and make them part of the creature, but whatever a Slimer utilizes to increase its size, it cannot expand its life cycle which is generally very short. Within hours or days maximum the magical/alchemical energy that once helped to create the Slimer cannot sustain its further existence and the Slimer disintegrates again into nothingness. Return to the top

Usages. One cannot really speak of usages Slimers represent for anyone, because they cannot be made on purpose. Basically they are a nuisance, sometimes a comic one, sometimes a very dangerous one if too many Slimers are being produced for no obvious reasons. At times the creation of Slimers might lead to a decisive advantage in a battle, as was the case during the Fall of Ximax in 773 b.S., where it is said that a spell from one of the defending mages fizzled disastrously and the excessive magical energy reacted with some magical equipment. A defense tower had to be evacuated and thus abandoned as Slimers made any further defense impossible from this point.

Oh, but one could of course argue that an actual usage of unintentional Slimer creation among Ximaxian students is that students will soon learn that they'd better make sure to do their spells right... It just doesn't help becoming assimilated at least partly by a Blood Slimer if one aspires to make a career as a mage in the Academy...
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Mating. Reproduction is an impossible feat for Slimers, due to the fact that they need to be brought into existence themselves from an outside source. As such they only exist as long as a certain auratic energy holds the entity together, endowing them with a form of minimal consciousness or at least awareness of itself. While Slimers can split and the parts can act independently from each other, it is supposed that this only decreases their chances of longer survival.

It should be mentioned at this point that there are mages who believe that once it can be determined how to produce Slimers intentionally, it might also be possible to sustain their existence for a longer period of time so that they can be utilized in certain situations. This could be achieved by recreating the circumstances of their initial creation, re-adding the necessary components, be they of magical nature or as far as the substances/reagents are concerned to sustain the Slimer.
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 Date of last edit 9th Singing Bird 1669 a.S.

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