What was once a small, worm-like hatchling has grown into a considerably large and more intimidating adult. Now these odd companions have a set of wings and are able to fly. They do so silently, seeking out prey and often traveling long distances to find fresh blood. Their sharp black spines protect them from most predators, and, more importantly, prevent their hosts from removing them. Only wild cestodas will attack a human or large animal. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling whether one of these creatures is a companion, and most who are approached by cestodas kill them out of fear. When attacked, cestodas are usually able to swiftly fly away. But if an attacker is particularly obstinate, cestodas have other ways to protect themselves. They can produce earsplitting screeches from each of their many mouths, driving all animals away. And, of course, they can bite. Their teeth are incredibly sharp, and can bite through even the hardest materials. These bites often get badly infected, and require special attention. From time to time, one might see a swarm of these creatures flying over the forest. These are untamed cestodas hunting in swarms. They overwhelm unwitting creatures with their numbers and drain them dry. Luckily, certain herbs mixed together can ward them off. Cestodas are only threats during the night, as they are nocturnal and sensitive to sunlight. During the day, they hide in caves and other dark areas, sleeping restlessly and waiting for the sun to descend.
Cestodas are fearsome creatures, virtually untamable and aggressive to all but their own kind. Despite their numerous faults, some magi choose to keep cestodas around because of their remarkable abilities. Cestoda larvae, if applied internally, will cure their hosts of all disease. Regardless of how rare or advanced the disease is, the person will make a full recovery very quickly. Though no one is sure how these companions came to possess such a power, there are theories as to why. These are parasitic companions, who must infest a healthy creature in order to survive. The healthier their host is, the better they are able to supply the cestodas with blood. However, once cured, it is of utmost importance to then remove the cestoda - once mature, they will exit their host without heed to any pain or suffering they cause during their egress. Removal can be effected easily by drinking a medicinal potion, but has the regrettable effect of killing the cestoda in the process. Because of this, these companions are only used in situations of dire emergency. Left to their own, cestodas live by consuming the blood of dead creatures, or small animals such as mice and moles. Understandably, there are few who choose them as companions, but those magi who do are often great healers.
Sprite art: Cassowary/Lazuli | Description: Damien