Jugo : A Detritus Game Race

Here is the write-up for one of the races of the Detritus game that I am finishing off.  If you are interested in other posts on the subject, have a look here.

Jugo

The Jugo are a curious race that came through a portal that had been previously dormant for quite some time. A stream of these creatures poured forth from the portal solidly for literally what the King of Mayfield called a “biblical” period – whatever that means. To the rest of us it seemed that it was for 40 days. The Jugo are very unusual because it takes a lot of them to make up only one of them.

You see, these creatures are made up of what the Forgotten call insects. I have not seen the like of them in my time but they are small and black and crawly. Some of them are cute, some have wings and some have fangs. Some have 100 legs, some have 26, some have 8, some have 6 and all manner of combinations in between. The amusing thing is that if you can catch one as they dart through the detritus piles it is a creature of pure instinct, but every now and again you will find them swarming together and when they gather like this they gain in intelligence – but not each of them, they seem to combine and have a singular intelligence.

Jugo portal Jeff Brown
An example of the portals that bring the races and the detritus to the land of Detritus (Art by Jeff Brown)

They shape themselves too, when they swarm. Generally into a humanoid figure, often as tall as a Forgotten or even a Erudite at full power. I would say there are like a million of the little “insects” in the formation, probably more. They can speak and interact with you and also have names for themselves. I have not had much to do with them as they are relatively private and they are also said to be reasonably disagreeable and condescending in relation to the rest of the races that are on Detritus.

That said, the Jugo are becoming more and more common these days as the Consumers are making their presence known. So far the Jugo have proven to be resistant to the worst of the Consumer powers but they are now being actively hunted and destroyed by them. The Jugo are therefore now well known for helping the Lost and the Forgotten in their fight against this invasive species.

Little is known of the relationship that the Jugo had with the Erudite prior to their disappearance though some of the priests say that there was a good respect built between the two and the Jugo saw the Erudite as equals and kindly beings. The beings that I have had dealings with are quite tight lipped on the subject.

They have abilities like all of us of course. The first and foremost of them is their ability to break their bodies up into multiple parts. As I initially mentioned these creatures are made up of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individual bugs, insects, spiders and other things that crawl and squirm. These creatures all combine to one intelligence and to be at their full power all bugs of the same intelligence must come together. The Forgotten call this a hive mind, but it seems more than just a mind. It is a body too. They can shape their body in any way they wish, as long as the two furthest bugs are no more than three metres from one another they will have full intelligence. They generally choose a form similar to the being that they are dealing with, humanoid for the Lost and Forgotten, or a huge face for the Erudite.

But these creatures can split their body into multiple parts. Each split seems to reduce the durability and intelligence capabilities of the creature down though. If they allow 20% of their body to go “scouting” then it only has 20% of the awareness, intelligence and durability of the body. It is why the Jugo as one bug are so stupid and unaware of their surroundings and act only on the purest of instinct.

Jugo
Artist (Ann Bugg) rendition of a cloaked Jugo

The Jugo have no magical capabilities. They cannot manipulate things like us Lost and they seem very unaware of what the detritus in piles was initially used for like the Forgotten. They also seem unable to touch the faith of the world like the Forgotten seem to be able to do in a minor form compared to the Erudite. The Jugo even seem immune to the Consumers ability to control the body of the creature like they can with the Forgotten and us Lost. It seems that when they are overwhelmed like we are, instead of falling under the Consumer sway they simply collapse into their individual bugs and scurry away.

The Consumers are now simply trying to eradicate the Jugo. To do this though they need to capture the entire Jugo. If even three or four hundred bugs manage to escape the Jugo will return. The more that get away the sooner they return so it is a big task for the Consumers. Rumour has it that there are Jugo that have been completely eradicated by the Consumers though so the Jugo do live in fear of this fate.

They are exceptionally good spies due to their ability to break down their bodies and great as ambush attackers due to their flexibility. Jugo are seriously intelligent and have built some great machines though much of this is hidden deep in the mountains of detritus itself as they keep these machines, and their purpose, largely to themselves.

It is unknown how Jugo reproduce, and they have not told anyone the secret of it either. It is known that the bugs of the same type do breed amongst themselves to cover natural attrition (as the bugs live only short lives) and maintain the guiding intelligence or being. If it is something similar to this is completely unknown, and if the Jugo have anything to do with it, it will always remain that way.

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