Description: Zonta have many forms, as they are a primitive shapeshifting species created by Deitic beings. They come in three types – the main masses, Zontanians and Afflicted, non-Deitic beings that have been infected by the Zonta and incorporated within the masses. The masses themselves are dark, shapeless lumps of organic, gooey matter that latch on to their environment via tendrils and tentacles, occasionally with eyes, jaws, teeth or smaller tendrils on the ends. Their texture is sticky and can easily stain the skin if touched for too long.
Rarely, a large mass will reshape itself into a more life-like shape, to communicate with a being they deem important enough.
Afflicted generally look like members of normal races, but with parts of their bodies heavily mutated – the longer it’s been, the more mutated they are. Beings cured of infection after becoming Afflicted will only gradually return to normal if cured within a week. After (on average) 23 days, it’s no longer possible to cure an Afflicted.
Zontanians are much more varied. Since they split off from the masses, they can turn themselves into a variety of shapes. When unobserved, their bodies will groan and churn, but when observed by a normal race, they will flee out of sight, only to return in a form somewhat similar to a normal race, but always badly flawed in some way, generally with an extra pair of limbs or one arm elongated and tipped with what are more like scythes than claws.
There is a point where Zontanians and Afflicted can no longer be told apart. This is always after the 23 days before curing, but how long exactly is yet to be discovered.
Abilities: Zonta are capable of communicating telepathically or via electromagnetic contact along their bodies. Their most obvious ability is to change their shape (form-changing) and adapt to their environment. They are capable of squeezing through tiny spaces and joining up to form larger beings. All Zonta, both masses, Zontanians and older Afflicted, secrete powerful sedatives via their tendrils and claws, which they use to subdue their victims.
Life Cycle: Zonta don’t appear to age in any way, but they can die of old age. This appears to be no more than 20 years as for individual Zontanians, with masses living for no more than 100 years. All evidence points to the fact that they were created not long after the Deitic War ended. They reproduce regularly, generally by splitting off from masses. Zontanians and Afflicted just jostle for pleasure.
Colouration: While masses are large, black lumps, Zontanians and Afflicted have black, gooey skin with brightly coloured pieces on them – armour, eyes, entire body parts can be brightly coloured. Glowing eyes and armour are also incredibly common, since their habitats are generally lacking in light.
Temperament: Zonta are vicious beings, easily angered and often desperate for food. They are not to be approached at all times. They can speak and they do understand Panglish, so it is possible to speak to them but it is unlikely they will hold back unless they need you for something.
Habitat: The majority of Zonta are contained within Voidspaces, areas of space created by Deitic beings to keep them under control. Voidspaces are dark, rocky, enclosed spaces devoid of almost any light, with just enough air to sustain whatever is kept inside them. It is believed that many asteroids over 500m long were hollowed out by Deitics to create Voidspaces.
Diet: Zonta prefer to absorb organic matter (generally dying or rotting matter) and sunlight, but due to being kept within the Voidspaces and their limited time in main reality, have to absorb living beings as part of their diet.
Culture: There is a semblance of culture among Zonta. They appear to worship whatever Deitic has control over them and regularly send sacrifices to their Deitic ruler. They have a simple caste system, with the masses at the top, older Zontanians in the middle and young Zontanians and newly afflicted at the bottom.