“Swarms have always been around, probably. I don’t know. I met a Butterfly Swarm at the trade academy, they were wild. My garden never looked more beautiful, and our children are addicted to that sweet nectar. And so am I.” ~Bob the Human
Swarms are one of the many sentient races that have spawned over time from nature. Whether this is a product of evolution, magic, or proximity to a Behemoth is unknown, but what is known is that they are eternal. This insectoid race is incredibly diverse and flexible to the ever-changing, dangerous world of Owasiwa. When they first appeared, thousands upon thousands of years ago, they were treated as monsters to be fought back. However, they earned their places in society along the rest of the races and they are as normal as the air people breath.
Swarms are beings made up of a collective of typically a single species of insect. Their shape is often humanoid to reflect those that they live among, though they are can shift this shape freely. Floating within the core of their body is a small hive or container, which houses their queens and eggs and acts as their nerve center. This Hive can be moved around their body just as freely as anything else. Within the Hive is typically one queen per year of age for the Swarm, up to about twenty or so. After that, the Swarm will often build a secondary hive somewhere hidden, often underground and much larger than that they carry. This secondary Hive allows them to regenerate their form should their primary Hive be destroyed.
Swarms can be made up of any insects of smaller size, and are most common among insects that form hives, colony, or swarm clouds. This includes but is not limited to ants, termites, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, etc. The swarm is tightly formed together typically, but each individual insect can separate if needed. They have the typical strength of a human, however, due to their much more flexible and adjustable nature, they can perform feats that appear much greater than that of the human. If they are harmed, the injured and dead individual insects will fall away, and will need to be replaced at the natural reproductive rate for their insect type. The larger a Swarm is usually indicates that it is much older and hasn’t been injured recently.
Swarms are a collective consciousness, a hive mind that has transcended to form a unique individual. Despite knowing and being an individual, the Swarm will almost always use the pronoun ‘we’ when referring to itself. In the rare time that it becomes more individualized and gendered, they almost always refer to themselves as female, which is often associated with the fact that the queen(s) rule the hive. Swarms are incredibly individual and unique, and have never seemingly formed a society or culture of their own, which some think is due to the fact that they are a living society and culture of their own. Swarms almost never practice any form of child rearing when they reproduce. However, there does seem to be some desire for them to be part of a larger society, so it is rare to find them as hermits and loners.
Swarms may reproduce in one of three fashions; self-reproduction, typical reproduction, and humanizing.
Self-Reproduction is when a Swarm that has already built a second hive decides to split this hive up. It will keep one portion for itself, and the other portion it will sever the hive-mind connection. This can be risky as sometimes when this happens, the severed portion never achieves its own sentience and devolves into the normal insect type. But when it works, the infantile Swarm will be born. Shortly after achieving its own sentience, the new Swarm will leave its parent and go out in the world on its own.
Typical Reproduction is when two swarms, regardless of insect type, attempt to reproduce. This is often done with them forming a single mating swarm in the safety of one of their protected, secondary hives. If their mating is successful, a smaller hive will begin to form. This new hive is much more fragile than a Self-Reproduced swarm as it takes longer to develop the initial queen and build up its insects. The insects that form this infant hive are a hybrid of the two parent insects. Once it has reached a stable population, it will typically go out on its own, but it isn’t unheard of for the Swarms to form a family mimicking those they live around.
Humanized Reproduction is when a swarm and a human can reproduce. This is the only known type of interspecies breeding involving Swarms. In the rare event this occurs, it involves the human entering the secondary hive and staying there for many days. The Swarm will often ensure the human is feed and watered and otherwise taken care of during this mating swarm. If the human is female, they will leave the hive impregnated, which will last as long as a typical human pregnancy. The child that is born will be a hybridized version of a human and Swarm’s insect type. If the human is male, when they leave the hive, a smaller hive will begin to form. This smaller hive will grow for nine months, until it will split open, revealing the hybridized human-insect child.
Swarms enter maturity typically around 1 year though aren’t able to reproduce until around 20 years. A Swarm can live forever so long as they do not get damaged, killed, and have access to the resources they need.
Swarm-Human hybrids will follow the typically maturation and life expectancy of a human.
Amorphous body structure
Flight (for Swarms made up of flying insects)
Death protection with a secondary swarm
Swarms are born fluent only in the language of their insect type. They often learn the languages of the people wherever they live.
Swarms can also communicate with one another, and with Swarm-Human hybrids, via a hive-mind like telepathy. The distance on this is no different than speaking or shouting for others.
Swarms usually give themselves their own name, often derived from the culture they live in when they reach maturity.
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