This is a crepuscular species of swarming fly that are found in the more temperate desert regions. On rare occasions, this heat-loving creature can also be found in other areas of high temperatures, such as near volcanic regions or in particularly sweltering jungles or swamps.
This species is parasitic, and lives entirely off the blood of other creatures. Their diet is broad and their needlelike proboscis is able to penetrate nearly any hide -- scaled or otherwise. However, they prefer softer-bodied creatures whenever possible.
In appearance, this creature is small -- about 7mm in length, with a shiny black body. They typically appear in large swarms of 200-8,000, depending on the available food supplies in the area. Swarms of these creatures have been known to drain a creature nearly entirely, and it is not uncommon to find the withered carcasses of several dead creatures in an area with an exceptionally high slagfly populations. This is, however, very rare.
Slagflies lay their eggs in small bodies of fresh water created by underground springs, wells, or offshoots of quiet water that are fed by nearby rivers. Their larvae resemble miniature leeches, and attach themselves to local wildlife. Their waste will gradually foul any water supply, and, over a long period of time, they will wipe out the natural life in the pond.
Effects Of A Slagfly Bite
The bite of a slagfly is painless, and leaves no visible mark on its host. When feeding on its host, the slagfly will inject saliva into the bloodstream that acts as an anticoagulant for its host. It is this saliva that makes this creature truly menacing.
The saliva contains a highly addictive substance -- one that amplifies with each new bite inflicted on its host (a single bite will have little or no effect). Withdrawal effects of these bites include lightheadedness, inability to sleep, powerful cravings for new slagfly bites, fevers, and a highly increased heart rate. Severe withdrawal symptoms of an addiction vary by species and individual but can often result in death. If ignored, the effects of this addiction can persist for years in some creatures, and have been known to drive the afflicted host mad.
The withdrawal symptoms of these bites can be temporarily stayed by more slagfly bites (which the slagflies are glad to provide), but the effects of this relief are short -- lasting only a few hours in a highly-addicted creature. However, for creatures that are maddened by the withdrawal effects, this desire to return to be rebitten is extremely powerful. Once the withdrawal effects return, they will be more powerful than ever.
Ultimately, creatures that fall into the cycle of willingly exposing themselves to slagfly bites will have one of two paths before them: madness as the cravings overwhelm them and exposure to new bites increases, or death as the slagflies drain enough blood out of the host creature to kill it.