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When monsters die, Drops aren't the only thing that form. In fact, it's a bit more complicated than that. After a monster dies, its magic tries to return to its natural state as part of a living soul (read: the mix of spirit and body). In other words, it tries to replicate the soul. Thus Drops represent the body, but what represents the spirit? A Remnant.

Something of the monster's essence remains after death, a shadow of what's passed on. This is a Remnant, and when adventurers obtain one (by slaying a monster) it will eventually become a Companion. However, the only reason the Remnant doesn't fuse to an adventurer is because their life force is incompatible with that of a monster's. Obviously, a monster would not have that problem.

I've already determined what happens if a monster gains Remnants from its own kind; Plopup are a prime example of that. However, what happens if a monster gains Remnants from another species? Would the monster, having gained its victim's Enchantment, gain traits of the victim, specifically traits related to its Enchantment? (Ex: in the case of Engorgement, would the monster gain the same bloated proportions as an Engulfer, and equivalent mass to match? Basically becoming a bulked-up subspecies?)

And in the case of those lucky monsters who manage to kill an adventurer, what would happen for them? Would they gain Class benefits modified to fit, or gain some of the adventurer's abilities, or even become a talking animal with some human sensibilities and oddly dexterous talons? In summary, What Should Happen To A Monster When It Gains Remnants From Other Creatures?

My Thoughts:

  1. Normal Results of Essence Integration-One of the rules of my world is that when life force from two related beings (like two dragons) combines, the result is a new being. This being could be just a spirit (incorporeal organism, but if said life force was contained inside living matter (which would be like a charged battery in this analogy), a new corporeal organism would result.

Plop, upon reaching maximum size, use this to reproduce; males shed growths from their body, while females take in the growths and infuse them with a portion of their own essence, turning them into new Plop.

However, when life force from the same or a related species (in the form of a Remnant) meets an already living being, it merges with that being's essence, enhancing their natural traits. This is how Plopup form. This question concerns instead what happens when a monster gains a Remnant from an unrelated species.

  1. What I Know-Monster Remnants latch onto an adventurer because A) they naturally want to return to being part of a living soul, B) they are naturally connected to the person who slayed the monster, as this question explains, and C) both have Chaos Energy inside them, organized to a certain degree, which allows the Remnant to connect despite being from an entirely different class of being. (For more on Chaos Energy and its effect on living things, please see this link.)

However, monsters don't have orderly magic like human Class-holders do. What they have is best described as 'organized chaos,' the order of the wilderness to be more exact. Plants may seem to grow haphazardly out in the woods, but there is a pattern regardless, as common sense dictates, and everything in nature follows that same (seemingly disorderly) pattern. Thus, while monsters can and do gain levels, they can't create Companions, as they don't have orderly chaos energy to handle Remnants for them.

Unfortunately, just like adventurers, monsters will naturally attack and prey on other monsters, because the magic inside them is attracted to other magic. Which means that as Remnants combine inside monsters, beings will be created, but unlike for adventurers, these beings won't take physical form and may or may not be expelled. This means one of three things may occur:

  1. Monsters will have short life expectancies due to the influence of Remnants; which will tamper with and therefore muddle the magic and/or DNA of the creature, like an infection. This will make monsters become increasingly deformed (and their magic increasingly wonky) as time goes on, potentially creating species like the Chimera (which result naturally-albeit rarely-when a creature is exposed to too much chaos energy, therefore making such creatures potentially arise from a predator that was a bit too successful)...

  2. Monsters will develop to expel Remnants; perhaps a Remnant could be combined with the life force of a sex cell for parthogenesis, resulting in mutant offspring. Or else a monster's body could have a magical equivalent of an immune system, which will work to contain and expel Remnants.

  3. Monsters will adapt or die. Seriously, in a world full of magic, one would think resistances or immunities will form. Organ grafts require immune system suppression because the body rejects foreign cells; therefore, it is possible that monsters would naturally reject Remnants, or else come down with some sort of magical infection (or else mutate? Become some sort of chimera?). The only other option is that monsters somehow harness absorbed Remnants, much like eukaryotic cells ingested mitochondria and use them as an energy source or how a blue glaucus uses Man o' War nematocysts. In this case, perhaps monsters could overpower and subject Remnants (being a whole instead of a part of something should make this relatively easy) and then integrate them into their body, with the Remnants fusing with the native cells like in this pig or developing into symbiotic wraiths inside them.

My question, restated, is Which of these possibilities is the most likely evolutionary strategy to develop? If they are (as I suspect) equally likely, then which one will be most prevalent?

Thank you for your time and input, I truly appreciate it.

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    $\begingroup$ Every answer you've given is valid. It seems you have the answer already. Which is the "right one?" It's up to you. There is no "right" answer when it comes to worldbuilding. When I come to a crossroads and cannot decide which path to choose, I reference back to my original concept and decide which fits best. Ex:If Im building a moody dark fantasy, then I pick the moody/depressing answer. If you dont have a "concept" of what the world should be like, then you should do that immediately. It will help guide your worldbuilding and make everything feel like it just "gels together" naturally $\endgroup$ Jul 23 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Hippeus_Lancer: good point, thank you! I guess that means I'll take inspiration from nature and use them all, since monsters could adapt to use any of these strategies. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 24 at 0:47

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