The joKara are a race of parasitic beings that take over host bodies. Several species can serve as hosts, including Elarans, the Elder Races, and several different types of creatures. They are extremely egomaniacal due to their genetic memory and lust for power. joKara means "God" in the joKara language.
The joKara themselves are small serpent-like Parasites, approximately 4 hands long, that require a host body if they are to leave their natural environment. Once they burrowed into body (which can be accomplished by piercing the skin in the neck, or entering through the mouth), the parasite begins to wrap itself around the host's spine. The joKara then weaves itself around the nervous system, where thin filaments are extended that go up into the brain itself.
If the joKara had taken control of the host body and become one with it, it possessed the capacity of exerting a remarkable level of control over it. This allowed them the capacity to kill the host at will if there was need, or if they were threatened by others. The current level of medical knowledge and technology have been proven ineffective in removing the parasite from the host. Even advanced species can be susceptible to this as the parasite can release a deadly poison that can kill the host upon removal. However, the there are rumors that the Elder Races have advanced techniques, allowing them to remove a parasite from its host. This has never been verified, and the techniques may only work on the Elder Races.
Infant joKara that had not reached maturity were not capable of fully taking over a host and only retained control of them for short periods of time which were experienced as black outs by the host. This resulted in a struggle being fought over the host body between the parasite and the host itself.
A Queen joKara was responsible for producing new young larval joKara. When encountering a new species, the Queen first required a sample the code of life, known as DNA, from the species intended to be a host. This was to ensure that there was no rejection during the process between host and larva.
One of the unique factors of the joKara race included their genetic memory which provided each newborn parasite the collective knowledge of all the joKara that came before it. Another element included within their bodies was benaarite which served as a key to preventing access to their magical abilities, and even allowed them to sense the benaarite present elsewhere.
When within a host, a joKara parasite has complete control of the host. Typically entering in through an open mouth, the joKara will penetrate the soft tissue at the back of the throat and attach itself to the spinal cord. This allows access to the brain.
Being taken as a host by a joKara is often considered a terrible fate for the host, as nothing of the host's personality survives. The joKara parasite absorbs the host's memories and assimilates them to their own. Certain strong willed hosts are capable of fighting the control of younger parasites that have infested them although only to a marginal extent, such as surpressing a hand movement for a few seconds.
The biology of the joKara is complex to describe, mostly because of the interaction between the host and parasite. The parasites are born from an asexual parent called the joKara Queen. There were actually several known queens, each one capable of giving birth to thousands of parasites. The Queen is capable of self-fertilization, but usually will try to acquire the DNA of the species the parasites are intending to take as hosts.
After they are born, it takes some time until the parasites can do anything useful with their knowledge. The Caves of Pryholt were a series of interconnecting underground caves on Elara where the joKara species originated. Deep within these caves were kilometers of interconnecting pools of a milk-like substance which was the natural environment of the joKara.
The parasites will die unless they are in the milk pools or are joined after a certain amount of time. When living in the pools, they can communicate with one another via electrical pulses sent through the liquid. The Queens must find these milky pools in order to give birth to new larval parasites.
When a joKara parasite dies, it releases a toxin into the host's bloodstream, killing the host. It is possible to for the parasite to not release the toxin, but this takes a conscious effort.
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