Saturday, September 19, 2009

Acarus; Races of Sarterra

Krolyk soothsayers saw the signs from long ago that a rift was destined for their hive. The cause was unknown, but whatever they may have anticipated, they would have never seen the arrival of the Acarus.

The colony of Querritch Fifth was struck by a meteror, presumably debris left from the [RING BELT], but it mattered not. The meteor tore through the hive colony and buried itself deep in the bedrock of Sarterra far below ground. About the size of a small boulder, the falling meteor did surprisingly little damage, and repairs by the worker drones were finished in under a month's time.

Deep below the hive, the strange meteor remained lodged in the stone. It was not from [RING BELT] at all, but from the deep night of stars beyond. Strange energy emanated from the meteor, affecting its immediate surroundings.

The first sign that something was amiss in the hive was an entire nesting clutch that came up stillborn. Subsequent nesting clutches began to turn up with many of their numbers missing, next workers and drones began to go missing or were found dead in the lower tunnels.

The corrupted Acarus had arrived. The body of the Acarus resembles, loosely, that of the Krolyks, save for the dark sheen to the carapace and a pronounced number of spines and spikes. The heads on the, however, are completely different, and the main distinguishing feature between the two. Acarus heads resemble a human's face, but are devoid of eyes, mouth, and nose, only leaving a slight impression in the hardened plate. Spikes extend out from the 'face' as if they formed a beard, and more spikes form a crown on the top of the head. Two outstretched antennae reach up from both sides of the 'face' and a mass of short feeder tendrils form what would be the lower jaw.

An evolved warrior-strain of Acarus have been sighted known as the Mantids.

Shortly into the civil war that broke out between the Krolyks and the corrupt Acarus, the Mantids made their presence felt. Also known as the "egg devourers", the Mantids are a wicked strain, brutally efficient as elite warriors. The Mantids form the shock troops of the Acarus,

When an Acarus becomes a Mantid, a physical metamorphosis takes place; their lower body changes into a slithering mass, and their upper limbs grow elongated, scything blades. Thickened chitin plates cover their head and torso, and their muzzles are packed with glassy, razor-sharp teeth.

In battle, the Mantids emit an unnerving, high-pitched shriek, and their scything blades continually clack together in rhythmic discord. They are apt at burrowing and tunneling beneath and around their objectives, relying on surprise and ambush.

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