Jonathan's Numenera Game
The nagaia are an ancient race of creatures, and have been thought extinct for several centuries. However, they have recently been appearing in cities in both the Steadfast and the Beyond, signaling a resurgence in their population. Little is known about these creatures, given their secretive nature, but their life cycle is one of the few things about them still accessible in ancient texts.
The nagaia undergo three stages of maturation. The first is known as the sleeper, a two-to-three-foot purple snake-like creature, kept immobile in a birthing pod filled with a nutrient-rich fluid. Because of the sleeper’s vulnerability, it is always paired with a long, hard-shelled creature known as a defender. When the pod is disturbed, the defender is released and attempts to latch on to the spine of any nearby creature. Once the defender has attached itself, it prevents the creature from attacking the sleeper, and provides it with an immense boost in physical strength in order to hold off other would-be attackers. Once the sleeper that was paired with the defender awakens, the defender drains the remaining nutrients from its host, causing it to wither and die. The awakening of a sleeper can take anywhere from several months to a year.
The second stage is known as the awakened sleeper. At this point, the creature is approximately 10 feet long, and has at least a dozen tentacles extending from its neck to manipulate objects and help it capture its prey. The creature is capable of intelligent thought and critical thinking, which only increases as it grows older, but is still bound by animal instincts of survival and hunting. The awakened sleeper will scour the land for food, increasing in size and speed as it matures. After several decades of hunting, it will attempt to find a suitable home where it will remain undisturbed in order to complete its transformation into its third and final stage.
Very few awakened sleepers manage to reach the matron stage, but those that due are gifted with unparalleled strength and intelligence. Matrons can grow up to 300 feet long, and between their massive maws and dozens of tentacles, each tipped with a different tool or device, there is little that can stand in one’s way. The matron is the only stage capable of producing offspring, but its primary concern is not of the well-being of its children. Rather, the matron prefers to spend its time learning as much about the world around it as possible. The matrons live for centuries, producing hundreds of thousands of offspring during this time, but their callousness towards their own children prevent many of them from surviving past the sleeper phase.