Much like a child that only comes home to see their parents when they need their laundry done, I am back because I would like to request some help developing an idea. Recently a friend of mine introduced me to the Japanese mythological magic of Jodoku, an art involving forcing insects to consume one another and using the survivor's venom as a form of cursing others. The myth really intrigued me, as it reminded me of similar myths from China, Europe, the Phillipines, and Scandanavia. I decided to try and refine the few ideas I had into a magic system and present them to another forum for feedback, and the results were... well, nonexistent. However, this forum and its community has proven to be a great community for feedback and development, so hopefully this system interests some of you enough to help me develop it further! In general I'd like to know if the overall concept interests you, what information you would want to know more about, and how you feel the concept could be developed to make it interesting and usable in a story. The basic outline is in the spoiler below- thank you for reading! Spoiler I'm gonna go ahead and use terms from the original inspiring mythologies for this, mainly because I can't think of names. Kodoku- the magic system/process Familiar- the product of a kodoku Wug- the components of a kodoku Aim: the aim of kodoku is to produce familiars; creatures with magical essence fermenting within them as the result of consuming other creatures, which can be used by sorcerers to affect the world around them. Process: the sorcerer first collects wug- animals that are typically venomous, disease-ridden, and overall unpleasant. Typically these are insects, arachnids, myriapods, and worms, though more elaborate creatures have been chosen in the past. These animals are forced into a confined space, and left until one is left, the rest having been consumed. The remaining wug contains all the essences of the consumed wug, absorbing their power, as well as resulting in increased intelligence and the formation of a personality. This personality is different from the creature's initial personality. This wug is known as a familiar. Application: the familiar and the sorcerer then enter a relationship/partnership, which is primarily controlled by the sorcerer but places more power with the familiar. The sorcerer can order the familiar to use its consumed essence to affect specific things, as long as the effect has a consequence (e.g. You could curse someone with a disease at the expense of their health, or give yourself wealth at the expense of those around you being driven to poverty). In return, the sorcerer must keep the familiar alive, and feed it wug to maintain its essence and intelligence. If the sorcerer neglects the familiar, the familiar will be driven to kill and consume the sorcerer, before dying itself soon afterwards. Familiars may ask for more from their masters if they are powerful enough to form their own motivations and desires. Essentially the relationship is work in return for food. The familiar is stronger than a typical creature of its species, and is more intelligent, able to follow orders and communicate with its owner telepathically. This communication is a one way system, meaning the sorcerer must verbally speak to the familiar, whilst the familiar can use body language or psychic communication. Once a wug becomes a familiar, any creature with traces of venom/toxins can be considered a wug, and can therefore provide more essence. Typically kodoku are used to cause disease, misfortune, manipulate others, and to provide luck to the owner.