Locusts are one of the races considered to be Beastmen, and are almost universally viewed as a scourge across the sands of Owasiwa. Everyone knows the story of their history, as it is one that has spread wide among the nomadic tribes as cautionary tale. This ravenous, warhungry race was born from the death of their Behemoth, a death they inflicted upon it.
Before Locusts rose to the rank of Beastmen, they were simply wild, insectoid monsters like many others. They were a seasonal predator, showing up to the same areas over a many years cycle, and eat all plant and animal life they could find, before mating and hibernating. Different hives had different cycles and territories, but all answered to their Behemoth, Pikra.
However, as the various peoples of Owasiwa came into existence, and thus occasionally became the prey of the Locusts, it seemed the creatures were growing wiser. They began to use the weapons people used on them, storing them within their hives so the next generations could use them. Generation after generation of raiding the lands caused them to grow stronger and stronger.
But the nomadic tribes and the other Behemoths were not willing to let these beasts grow out of hand. Balance was tipping away from Pikra’s control. The tribes began fighting back managing to destroy all but the final hive where Pikra lived. This was the largest, and most well defended hive of the lot, and the Envoys that came to speak with Pikra, to force them to recognize the natural balance of the world.
Pikra knew their words to be true, and attempted to relay this to the Locusts. However, none of these beasts were Envoys, none of these creatures could be communicated with by anyone else. Upon hearing Pikra telling them to seemingly go against their own very nature, the Locusts took up arms once more, and fought en masse against their own Behemoth. Each Locust in the hive took bite after bite out of their queen until the Behemoth was dead and destroyed.
Normally, when a Behemoth is killed, another is born from the creatures they come from. However, it seemed that the Locusts, via their consumption of their Behemoth, had transcended to the communal sentience, no longer required a Behemoth.
Horrified, the nomadic tribes have long since vowed an eternal war against the Locusts. They’ve managed to keep the Locusts contained to a single, massive colony south of Oasis. However, they’ve never managed to successfully lay siege to the hive which they’ve come to name Oy Pikra, which loosely translates as “Pikra’s Folly”. The hive contains millions of Locusts, and while most are simple drones and no smarter than any typical creature, it has many that are of higher sentience.
Locusts continue to be a relentless threat, on the nomadic tribes, on the outlying territories, on Oasis, particularly on their farms. The Locusts no longer follow predictable patterns of when or where they will raid. Their tactics have shown an increased understanding of military movements. Wherever they raid, they kill or kidnap as many beings as they can, as well as any organic matter and weapons. They have thrown thousands of their kind to capture or kill a hundred. They do not leave behind bodies, not of their own kind nor of enemies, for that would be wasting food.
Locusts come in a wide variety, depending on which Brood they are from. They always come with two arms, two legs, a tail, four wings, all heavily insectoid, typically in a desert oriented color scheme. They range in height from about 4 feet to 5.5 feet at a maximum. There is no difference in appearance of male and females.
The vast majority of Locusts do not have the intelligence necessary to be considered as having a psychological profile. These are typically referred to as Drones. They do all of the grunt work necessary, without protest, as deemed by the Royalty within their Brood. However, it seems all of the members of the Royalty have achieved sentience and intelligence. It is commonly believed that these Royals are descendants of the Locusts that ate the most portions of Pikra.
Within each Brood, there is a structured hierarchy, one that is greatly violent and turbulent. Among the Royals, whichever female is considered the strongest and smartest, typically by slaying and eating any rivals, is the Queen. The Queen rules the Brood. The Brood’s primary responsibilities are the protection and feeding of the Queen. The Queen requires incredibly vast amounts of food in order to begin reproducing. She selects from among the male Royals a number of Princes to be her mates. Princes compete for the Queen’s time so as to produce more heirs and grow their own forces within the Brood. This leads to an incredibly cut throat, backstabbing political society within Oy Pikra, to which only the victor has any real power.
Once a Queen has mated through sexual reproduction, her body grows and distorts to roughly a hundred times its normal size, a massive beast, as she fills with eggs. Once the eggs are ready, she will lay them within her chambers.
The eggs hatch after 1 season from being laid, creating small grubs. These grubs are cared for by the lesser female Royals. After a year, they go through a cocoon based metamorphosis to become the proper Locust shape. From there, they take another year to achieve full maturity. Drone Locusts live to around 4-5 years. Royals typically make it to about 10 years. Due to the strain from laying so many eggs, Queens rarely last more than 2 years of egg laying.
Flight – Able to fly long distances without stopping.
Organic Consumption – Can eat any organic material safely.
Only the Royals speak, Drones receive their orders via pheromones.
L’kustia – A language largely made of insectoid clicking is the language the Royals use amongst themselves.