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There was once 12 kingdoms in the ancient days until the kingdom of Eo was devoured by the very forests it called home. The people of Eo have been turned into beasts wandering the woods and preying upon all who enter the forest.

That's how the legend goes anyways. The people of Eo where actually infected by a parasitic organism much like a tick except this tick sustains itself by entering its host and slowly taking over its nervous system and brain which it then uses to sustain its host and thus sustain itself.

What I'm wondering is how the tick would actually take over its host's brain. Something like a direct "plug" into the cerebral cortex, connecting to the top of the spine, etc.

Note: the tick itself is reminiscent of a crab in physical build minus the big claw but is about the size of a Deer Tick, which limits how it gets to the brain to ear ducts, wiggling past the eye balls, or sneaking in through the sinuses.

The Brain Tick causes those effected by it to have a stagger in their walk and slurring of words as their body tries to resist the tick taking over. The tick would also force their host to eat about anything they can physically digest. Eo are regular humans.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes the Eo are human. The tick is a bit larger than a deer tick $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Feb 18 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ OK, one last thing. What is the specific condition of the humans after the tick has "taken over?" Are the ticks intelligent, or just insects? Are the humans actually "controlled" or are they simply driven mad or reduced to beasts by the presence of the tick? Are you concerned with how the tick survives, or is the human condition due to the tick such that the human is unlikely to survive the winter anyway? Remember, be specific. There's a huge amount of interpretation here that we need to reduce. $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 18 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH I was thinking truly controlled (tick would be intelligent) just movement would be a bit off as well as speech. The tick would need the host to stay alive once attached so they'd try and keep them alive in the winter. $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Feb 18 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ "Truly controlled," as in the ticks are intelligent and have a plan? I'm playing devil's advocate and hope you'll forgive me. If the humans are still capable of thought (just controlled thought), then why would they be "beasts wandering the woods and preying upon all who enter the forest?" What is the tick's plan (what is the nature of control over the human)? $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 18 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, I'm loving this idea. Think of the story potential just with the entrance of the tick to the body and the wild and crazy things people would do to remove the tick and the painful process of it digging through the barriers to get to the brain. People might wash their sinuses with ammonia or be forced to lay on their side for days with hot oil poured in their ears because the pain + fear of what the tick will do exceeds common sense. There's a lot of potential with this world element. Does the tick also infect animals? It'd be like the Black Death days. $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 18 at 1:43
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After your tick's chelicerae cut the host's skin near the back of the neck, it uses one of its specialized hypostomes to attach to a blood supply. After establishing the connection to food and oxygen, it starts to burrow under the skin for protection. Once there it uses the other specialized hypostome to attach to the spinal column. The spinal hypostome grows farther into the brain taking control.

Yes, natural ticks only have one hypostome, but yours can have two.

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Through a bacteria, virus, prion or other diseases

If you've seen the news stories of Zombie Deer, then you know about prion diseases. Mad Cow Disease is another example.

There is also a fungus which takes control of an ant's nervous system.

The tick is a carrier and has a symbiotic relationship with the disease. Much like the ant zombie fungus, it's the disease, not the actual body of the tick doing the thinking. Once the disease is introduced to the host, both the large host and the tick are controlled by the disease.

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    $\begingroup$ I’m not sure the disease would be doing the thinking either: the beauty of this scheme is that the human brain will be doing the thinking but the disease will mess with the thought processes to make them more amenable to the tick (and thus the disease). $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Feb 18 at 6:56

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