Jan 18, 2017

IO: Wrath's mining is aided by the use of Mouts - Damned that have developed to gigantic proportions, used as beasts of burden. Mouts are multi-tonne creatures stooped on all fours restrained by chain, hook, and bindings. Their skin is primarily ash grey in colour, though crimson-skinned individuals exist. Crimson Mouts are reserved for use by greater Demons. Mouts are kept gagged by their Demon handlers.

Jan 19, 2017

IO: Crimson Mouts have the skin of their under-bodies peeled away to give the impression of a flesh cloak. The raw, exposed meat of the underbelly stings constantly and is a beacon to the Level's blood-sucking Bauble Imps. Parades and carriages of the notables in Ais are lead by crimson Mouts and their handlers.

Mouts can "give birth" to other Mouts. Mouts do not possess genitalia, but all fully grown individuals sport a puckered, short penile-like organ that protrudes from the pelvis that acts as a birthing canal. Mouts can become heavy with a "newborn" Mout Damned, bestowed by Hell. The probability and process of a Mout becoming gravid with another Damned is unknown and carriers are bestowed at random. The miniature Damned will develop within the fully formed Mout over time and be eventually expelled via the canal encased within an analogue to an amniotic sac. Developed Mouts show no parental instincts towards newborn Mouts, ignoring them entirely if not regarding them as an irritation. If a newborn Mout is killed by another Mout, whether its "parent" or otherwise, it is simply returned to Hell and reincarnated to be born again later to another Mout. Regardless of to which Damned a Mout is born, the two individuals will not be in any way related, whether genetically in terms of incarnation in Hell, or somehow connected previously in life.

A Wrathful Damned from the Kennel can be converted into a Mout by immersion in Wrath's crust for a full Infernal month. Immersion must be within one mile of an open pit mine or the base of Rrg'mndrr. The location must be chosen with the questing roots of the Tree of Violence in mind, as an immersed Damned can be targeted and impaled by the Tree, ending the conversion process. Those immersed closer to the Tree's base have a higher probability of being converted into a crimson Mout. Converted Damned emerge as newborn Mouts. Using extracted crust to immerse Damned for conversion provides no results, as the Damned must be surrounded by the living meat of Hell in order to undergo the conversion.

Due to their proximity to the Tree, Mouts have a greater opportunity to escape should they regain their senses of self in terms of physical distance. To offset this advantage, these large-bodied Damned are heavily restrained to discourage attempts at escape. Crimson Mouts kept within the Tree have the greatest advantage.

Mouts used in mining under Wrath's crust are pronounced targets for the blood-thirsty roots of Rrg'mndrr, which can cause considerable issue for transport convoys. To prevent an entire train of Mouts from being stuck and devoured, all trains and Mout carts possess quick-release locks and are pulled by more Damned than what is minimally required to aid in salvaging ores in the event of a Mout coming under attack.

In general, Mouts are ornery in disposition and will shove, strike, and bite at each other with intent to harm. To mitigate injury, they are gagged and heavily bound. An unbound Mout can deal considerable damage to other Damned, Demons, and equipment. Each gag is equipped with a plug that can be easily removed and replaced for feeding. Mouts are force-fed via mechanical teat, to which they are hooked to three times per day. Mouts are fed mulched leftovers of whatever nearby Demons have not already devoured, which can include other Damned and Demons. Mout waste is used to fertilise Ais' crops and is fed as fuel to Damned braziers.

As both the mechanical teat and fumes of Wrath's mines can suffocate a Mout, these Damned are given a symbiont to aid in breathing. The symbiont, a native to the Abyss Life of the Sea of Tar able to filter breathable molecules from the fumes of the Sea, is inserted through both nostrils of the Mout and into the trachea, where it expands into the lungs. The symbiont extracts breathable air in exchange for nutrients and sugars present in the Mout's blood. Insertion of the symbiont must be done while the Mout is still a newborn, otherwise it will be unable to expand properly to encompass the trachea. Those inserted while the Damned is young will grow and expand with the host. Once the symbiont has been inserted, the Mout will lose the need or ability to breathe. The loss of the ability to breathe will cause panic in the Damned, but will pass once gas exchange is restarted via the symbiont. As the Mout ages and the symbiont with it, it will expand its embedded reach to permit "breathing" throughout the body. Mouts with symbionts, having lost the ability to use the trachea, cannot vocalise in any form. To communicate, they will use body language if able, or the tapping of fingers as a form of Morse. Mouts, if so inclined, can coordinate in this fashion, though it is generally limited to petty strikes towards handlers. This is most commonly seen in crimson Mouts.

Mouts that have been traumatically injured and can no longer perform their duty of hauling and pulling materials and carriages are simply thrown into the nearest mulcher to be fed to the remaining Damned. Crimson Mouts that have performed an especially lengthy service to a greater Demon will instead be cooked, garnished, and presented to that Demon once the Mout's service is ended.

Due to the prevalence of toxicity in the air of Ais, the Demons of Wrath either possess incredibly tolerant respiratory systems or similarly utilise symbionts to permit unaffected breathing. Greater Demons that reside within the Tree and possess no natural resistances to the fumes do not introduce symbionts to their systems but instead utilise breathing apparati composed of masks and organic filters. A Demon without resistances can survive the fumes, but their health will become compromised. Those with already compromised health have a higher chance of succumbing to the aerial toxins.