Lore Vespene gas depleted!

Tera Lynx

The Biologist
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Looking for threads and writers to help flesh out both the race and faction that is The Swarm Weird.
I've written with them off and on, made a lot of content and progress with shaping them as a whole, but for the most part up to now (with occasional input from others along the way) I've pretty much built them by myself.

I'm looking for discussion, opinions, threads, posts, people willing to write swarm characters, and ultimate brainstorming to help bring the Swarm into a light where their cool to encounter, fun to play, and not just a total rip-off of the Flood (Halo), the Zerg (Star Craft), the symbiotes (Marvel), and the Tyranid (Warhammer).
This is a call for aid, because I've learned that I can't do it all by myself.

Here's the lore that I've built so far. Any criticism would be a huge help and greatly appreciated!
Race:
The Cast

Drones:
Builder Drone
Runner Drone
Devourer Drone
Flyer Drone
Burrower Drone
Larva Drone

Warlords:
Ka'Gi
Brakka

Queens:
Havilah
Minkk

Swarms:
The Sovereign Swarm
Swarm of Harvest

Other:
Swarm Egg
Propolis Bile
Swarm Hive

(BTW, if anyone's super knowledgeable about D&D 5e I'm also trying to convert them over to that as well!)
 
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Nycto

The Friendly Shadow
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Tera Lynx

I remember this! I'm pretty sure I was in a thread with these guys before as a different character, and I quite liked them. They're really cool, and it definitely doesn't feel like they're just ripoffs of things like the Flood or the Zerg. You're definitely onto something here, and I love it! I especially love the part where they can adapt their genetics, super interesting! Perhaps you could get an artist to manipulate the images of the drones to make them different for different environments and biomes.

As for what I would recommend, well, you could make some more diversity in the Swarm. You've only got a limited amount of different types of drones and such. Maybe you could make some soldier classes that are slightly more intelligent than the drones, or even support or tank classes. Maybe you could make a support type, mosquito-like drone that instead of sucking out blood, it injects genetic material and blood into the Swarm to essential heal them and give them buffs or something. You could also make some members of the Swarm have genetic mutations that make them different from the Swarm in some way.

As for criticism, like I said before, you could use some more diversity. You could have more Swarm creatures that are best suited to different environments. You could have genetic mutations in some Swarm members. Perhaps some Swarm members, along with ingesting genetic information, they could gain some knowledge from the thing they killed, like being able to wield weapons.

All in all, I like it, and I'm excited to see where you bring this. I wouldn't be against making a character for the Swarm to help flesh it out.

Or, of course, any species like this needs an enemy they absolutely hate and despise. Where is the Swarm's Doom Slayer? Every species that is bent on destroying all life needs a Doom Slayer! They need at least one thing to fear, after all. I definitely wouldn't be against that. ;)
 
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Tera Lynx

The Biologist
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I remember this! I'm pretty sure I was in a thread with these guys before as a different character, and I quite liked them. They're really cool, and it definitely doesn't feel like they're just ripoffs of things like the Flood or the Zerg. You're definitely onto something here, and I love it! I especially love the part where they can adapt their genetics, super interesting! Perhaps you could get an artist to manipulate the images of the drones to make them different for different environments and biomes.
Yeah, you were an assassin type sniping the Swarm of Harvest from the rooftops of a doomed village! That was fun, don't think it finished though.

As for what I would recommend, well, you could make some more diversity in the Swarm. You've only got a limited amount of different types of drones and such. Maybe you could make some soldier classes that are slightly more intelligent than the drones, or even support or tank classes. Maybe you could make a support type, mosquito-like drone that instead of sucking out blood, it injects genetic material and blood into the Swarm to essential heal them and give them buffs or something. You could also make some members of the Swarm have genetic mutations that make them different from the Swarm in some way.
Yes, more diversity is definitely on the way! I do have a Flyer Drone that's similar to what you described, I had originally imagined that was how a swarm could evolve on such a grand scale, with drones carrying the new mutations and injecting them individually into the other creatures of the swarm. But as I was researching how the Zerg were able to achieve this sort of mass and instantaneous evolution I learned that it was purely psionic, through the hivemind that was able to manipulate the DNA sequences in all of the Zerg creatures and change it after learning a new mutation.

As far as soldier classes, you mean something separate from the warrior drones? You mentioned intelligence and I had attempted to achieve this by creating an Elite strain of cast that seemed to fit that description. I made this attempt as a way of providing potential swarm writers an intelligent creature that wasn't so high up on the hierarchy, an intelligent warrior class.

As for criticism, like I said before, you could use some more diversity. You could have more Swarm creatures that are best suited to different environments. You could have genetic mutations in some Swarm members. Perhaps some Swarm members, along with ingesting genetic information, they could gain some knowledge from the thing they killed, like being able to wield weapons.
Another note with diversity; It partially relies on the diversity of creatures the swarm assimilates into the cast, partially on how the hivemind evolves them for the situation, and partially on what sort of adaptations are available in their genetic library (Which also relies on the variety of creatures they consume/assimilate).
Already wolves are the most obvious assimilated race, giving the base for the Swarm Runner and the Swarm Hunter adaptation.
The Swarm Flyers and Worker Drones largely coming from a base of large insects easily discovered beneath the Forbidden City.
Less known is a strain of assimilated goblins run by a writer who made a character called Scabbers (Haven't heard from them in a while).
And of course assimilated humans provide a diverse array of mutation possibilities and outcomes.

I'm toying with the idea of being able to assimilate knowledge, though it might be more useful to have something like the Brainbug from Starship Troopers to that end. As for using crafted weapons, The swarm would have little use for them when they could evolve claws just as sharp, armor just as hard, spine shooters just as accurate. Though with their cunning they can figure out how to use doors and work basic machinery and castle gate systems when the situation requires more subtlety.

All in all, I like it, and I'm excited to see where you bring this. I wouldn't be against making a character for the Swarm to help flesh it out.

Or, of course, any species like this needs an enemy they absolutely hate and despise. Where is the Swarm's Doom Slayer? Every species that is bent on destroying all life needs a Doom Slayer! They need at least one thing to fear, after all. I definitely wouldn't be against that. ;)
More swarm characters will be most welcome! Although I'm taking a different approach to the swarm now. As of right now they do not exist yet, I'm building up Tera's human aspect before she becomes infested by the Weird to give her more depth. However, by the end of the "War with Nature" thread I plan on having Tera infested by the virus she's fighting.

As for enemies of the swarm; The swarm can only assimilate biological traits from other creatures. Creatures with non-biological magical abilities, while powerful, cannot have those abilities taken or assimilated by the swarm as it is.. This may be overcome in the future but it serves as boundary for now.
Undead can be used for biomass, but they have no essence and cannot be assimilated, any undead abilities cannot be assimilated into the swarm and the Sovereign Swarm has a special prejudice for the unnatural undead and relish any chance to make them inert.
Demons and other spiritual or magical beings also stymie the swarm's bid for genetic perfection.

But a hunter... One who takes the threat seriously and actively hunts down the swarm weird... That's an interesting concept... And what would drive such a man to take on such a monumentous task?
Perhaps he had a certain doctor friend... one that was taken by the swarm and infested, made into their first queen which altered her, perverted her mind and made her into a monster...

Nycto
 
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Tera Lynx

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Renamed the race to: The Cast

The Awakening of the Swarm:
I've reimagined the introduction of the swarm into the world of Arethil.
There are pockets around Arethil where the cast was sealed away having been defeated in ancient times by ancient magics.
During their imprisonment sealed away under the earth most of the swarm has aestivated, starved, and died. Their presence of course influenced the plant life around them and so their race lives on in a plantlike form bearing the spores of their rebirth. Over time the enchantments on the magical seals have worn away and lost their power, the cast grew beyond the boundaries of their respective prisons and have begun to influence the world around them once again.
Polluting water sources, infecting food and animals, even being carried on the air in some cases.

The cast now exists as a plague and that is how the people of Arethil know it. It infests the bodies of living creatures as a parasite and slowly takes over, turning them into mindless monsters.
This, however, is not the Cast or the swarm in its full intended form. The Cast relies on intelligence to guide the evolution of the swarm, and the plague destroys the mind of any host it takes over... Thus the plot thickens and I need to figure out a way for someone to be infested without turning into a mindless monster. I.E. Tera being infected and becoming a queen and hivemind for her swarm.

Nycto
 

Len Dy't B-taa

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This is all very impressive. I'm trying something of a similar scale with Len's story.

I'm really excited to see your work with this, you're extremely talented.
 
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Tera Lynx

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Len Dy't B-taa
Cool! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts and ideas! What sort of thing are you trying to accomplish?


________________________________

Cast Racial Traits:
Active Adaptation:
They evolved to assimilate traits of what they eat, in seconds. By consuming the flesh of a creature or consuming genetic material into their system their body will take only one of the most beneficial genetic codes from the material and assimilate that trait into themselves. They can then transmit the genetic code telepathically with the hivemind so that the entire swarm could assimilate the trait to evolve.
(Example: A cast consumes the meat of a dragon. The genetic essence is assimilated into the cast creature and they might either gain the ability to breath fire, resist fire, gain more strength or harder armor, but never more than a single trait can be gained from a single creature. They telepathically send the sequence of this genetic trait to the hivemind, where the code can then be replicated and added to the rest of the swarm should it prove useful.) (If the situation doesn't call for a certain trait it can be stored away for future use in a genetic library to make room for a different trait.)

Passive Adaptation: Cast have 2 cell types, the type A creates random mutations, and the type B hunt and kill those mutations. Cast possess remarkable regenerative capabilities. Their alpha amino acids possess unique R groups that allow dead cell matter to be combined with normal proteins to create new cells. Under normal circumstances, cast may regenerate indefinitely; a radically changing cell structure is a by-product of the process, as well as high quantity of energy in the process. Given time, even a gravely wounded cast will return to full health. Thus, a swarm colony remains viable if even one creature or structure survives. Few cast survive for more than a few minutes in a given battle, but those that do evolve during the battle itself, becoming more powerful every hour. The cast constantly study their enemies and adapt accordingly. Swarm structures have the ability to adapt while under fire, hardening their outer shell with bony plates when under fire in order to ensure its survival. (This is a reactionary form of evolution, separate from active evolution which is guided by intelligence.)

Hivemind: Generally, communication between members of the Swarm is done through psionics, although higher command strains are able to process and understand vocal commands.
Every swarm brood is bound to a single hivemind. They become a single mind with many bodies, many eyes, and many claws. All connected and all following a single will, that of the queen.
An individual Swarm creature benefits from instantaneous communication with the hivemind and the queen by extension. But controlling an entire swarm through a single telepathic node (The Queen) can get cumbersome, so there are other command nodes given limited freewill and thought to take control over certain parts of the swarm to make control of the swarm easier on the queen.

Psionics: Every creature in the swarm is connected, they have one mind. Through this connection it is possible for it to also be a vulnerability.
Cast have the ability to sense psychic power and, being sensitive to it, often respond to it (to the point of rendering themselves temporarily out of the control of a leader) and seek it out.
 
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Nycto

The Friendly Shadow
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Renamed the race to: The Cast

The Awakening of the Swarm:
I've reimagined the introduction of the swarm into the world of Arethil.
There are pockets around Arethil where the cast was sealed away having been defeated in ancient times by ancient magics.
During their imprisonment sealed away under the earth most of the swarm has aestivated, starved, and died. Their presence of course influenced the plant life around them and so their race lives on in a plantlike form bearing the spores of their rebirth. Over time the enchantments on the magical seals have worn away and lost their power, the cast grew beyond the boundaries of their respective prisons and have begun to influence the world around them once again.
Polluting water sources, infecting food and animals, even being carried on the air in some cases.

The cast now exists as a plague and that is how the people of Arethil know it. It infests the bodies of living creatures as a parasite and slowly takes over, turning them into mindless monsters.
This, however, is not the Cast or the swarm in its full intended form. The Cast relies on intelligence to guide the evolution of the swarm, and the plague destroys the mind of any host it takes over... Thus the plot thickens and I need to figure out a way for someone to be infested without turning into a mindless monster. I.E. Tera being infected and becoming a queen and hivemind for her swarm.

Nycto

Nice! I have to admit, seeing a plot where someone that gets infected manages to not become a mindless monster would be awesome! I would definitely be interested in seeing something like that!
 
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