Thrakka are the sentient “wandering caste” of a race of hive-minded insectoids called Formids. Thrakka were created by the Formid Hive leader, called the Queen, to spend extended periods of time away from the Hive as highly versatile field agents.
Thrakka are bipedal insectoids. A mask with bulbous compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles is required. Alternatively, goggles, antennae, and drawn on mandibles may be used.
Skin showing should be minimized, or painted the color of their carapace.
The primary motivation of all Formids is to better improve the Hive. Thrakka are no different in this manner. However unlike their simple-minded brethren, Thrakka were designed to be the embodiment of change and evolution. They are gifted with the ability to evolve and adapt to situations, through rapid onset evolution and regeneration. Thrakka are also granted hyper intelligence. This allows them to be capable of complex decision making away from the synapse of the Queen.
Thrakka are tasked with traveling far and wide to fulfill their “Kul” (primary directive or goal) to the Hive. Thrakka have an immense amount of flexibility in their Kul compared to the rigidity of the other castes. Their Kul may be to act as diplomat or scout with a neighboring civilizations. It may be to ‘collect’ magical artifacts/supplies or set up trade routes. Whatever their Kul may be, it is the driving force for a Thrakka. If a Thrakka fulfills their Kul, then it returns to synapse with the Queen to get a new Kul. Thrakka interact well with anyone who helps them fulfill their Kul, and conversely are hostile to anyone that hindrances it.
It is unclear to the races of Orn exactly when, how, and why the Formids came into being. Thrakka themselves have not revealed much to scholars, as they are always looking forward. Their primary concern is the future of their Hive, so they tend to not know much about the past. Perhaps, the only one with the answers of the mysterious past of the Formid race are the Queens. However, Queens are well protected from outsiders and dwell deep in the Hive, and any attempts to enter a Formid Hive are met with with instant force. This means that the secrets of the Formid race remain hidden from the world.
What is known about the Formids has come through outside contact. Originally thought of as savage bestial insectoids who brutally hunt anything near their Hive, the Formids were avoided at all costs. Some Dwarven clans even waged open war on Formid Hives that developed close to their underground cities. It wasn’t until the first Thrakka appeared that the Formid sentience was better understood and respected.
This first known Thrakka was hatched out of necessity. One of the oldest Hives was beset by a great Dwarven war host and was in danger of being exterminated. The siege had been long and draining on the Hive and resources were running thin. The cunning Queen of the ancient Hive decided that instead of hatching another brood of failing warriors, she would take a more diplomatic approach. She could not go to meet the commander of the Dwarves herself, so she would hatch a broodling that could act in her place. This broodling would be unlike any other Formid, it would be intelligent and self-sufficient, yet still under her control.
So it was much to the surprise of the Dwarven commander, when a single Formid, larger than any other seen before, emerged from the Hive alone and spoke. From this first Thrakka, peace was established, and the Hive was saved. The importance and value of the Thrakka was thus established. Over the years, the Queen created other Thrakka to act as diplomats and trade partners, and even as messengers to other Hives. Thrakka have single handedly changed the outlook on Formids. In more recent days, Thrakka have been dispatched throughout Orn, where they continue to serve their Hives.
Each Formid Hive is its own independent colony. There are many Hives scattered throughout Orn. When the Hive reaches its carrying capacity for a region, the current Queen hatches a Thrakka to scout for new potential Hive sites. When the Thrakka returns, the Queen hatches a new Queen and a brood to accompany her to settle the new Hive. All Formid Hives are genetically similar though distinct differences can occur based on the region settled.
Desert Formids- Desert Formids are typically slender and tall with light and sandy colored carapaces. Their increased height and slender build grant them extra agility and make them more successful hunters, since their resources are limited.
Tropical Formids- Tropical Formids are typically bigger than most other Formids and have vibrantly colored carapaces. The increased resources of their tropical climate allow these Formids to naturally be bigger.
Arctic Formids- Arctic Formids are short and stout with thick and snowy colored carapaces. Their short and stout build house an additional heating mechanism that they have evolved to survive in the frozen climate.
Temperate Formids- Temperate Formids are the most common Formid and are also the most varied. Their size is typically medium and color of their carapaced can vary from earthy hues to shades of blue and green.
Formid culture is split into rigorous castes determined before hatching. Through careful psionic manipulation and specially designed incubation chambers, the Queen can directly determine the caste of every egg she lays. Over generations, each caste has evolved to become perfectly suited for their required role in society.
Thul, the Worker caste- Thul are the workhorses of Formid society. They are charged with building and maintaining the hive as well as any heavy lifting. Under psionic direction of the Queen, teams of Thul are able to excavate, build and fortify new sections of the Hive very quickly. They are stout and robust creatures and are the easiest Formid to hatch.
Threkk, the Warrior caste- Threkk are the soldiers and hunters of the Hive. Their primary task is to hunt and gather resources, but also protect the Hive from external threats. Threkk work in packs to take down prey. They are nimble and fierce with strong mandibles that are designed to rip flesh and crack bones.
Thii, the Keeper caste- Thii are tasked with all aspects of young Formid development: egg fertilization, larval development, hatching, and raising of nymphs. Thii are smaller and more lithe than other Formids, with prominent antennae that act as Synapse Receptors. These antennae allow Thii to directly relay the Queen’s psionics to the young Formids.
Thrakka, the Wandering caste- Thrakka are the highly intelligent and ever evolving field agents of the Hive. They travel far and wide in order to fulfill their Kul in service of the Hive. Due to their enhanced cranial capacity and advanced genome, Thrakka take considerably more time to develop. From the moment a new Thrakka egg is laid, a small team of Thii are directed to care for its development. Whereas for the other castes, one Thii might attend a whole brood. Thrakka incubation chambers are far more spacious than their brethren, and each Thrakka receive the choicest nutrients throughout their development.
Queen or Hive leader-The Queen is the absolute leader of the Formids and is born with latent psionic abilities that she uses to exert her will upon the Hive. This includes larval manipulation to create a certain caste or to directly ‘influence’ the castes on their day to day work.
All Formids follow the lifecycle below.
Pre-Phase 1: Queen receives nutrients and genetic material from warrior caste.
Pre-Phase 2: Queen absorbs the materials and develops eggs
Phase 1: Queen lays eggs in different chambers based on caste
Phase 2: Queen psionically manipulates each chamber
Phase 3: Thii tend to chamber through hatching and larval development.
Phase 4: All Formids exit chamber as nymphs, where they undergo specialized caste training
Phase 5: Nymphs molt into adulthood where they carry out their assigned tasks.
Post-Phase: When a Formid dies, it sends out a psionic death pulse that alerts the Hive that one of their members has fallen.
- Synapse- Formid Queen’s exert their control over their Hive via psionic communication. This psionic communication is the extension of her will and allows the Hive to be synchronized into one working unit with one mind. Formids who leave synapse range through some extenuating circumstance are said to revert to a feral state, running on only the simplest instinct. The exception to this is the Thrakka. Thrakka are specifically designed to leave synapse to carry out their service. Despite this, when Thrakka are in synapse, they are still compelled to follow their Queen’s orders. This does not concern them, as all Thrakka draw comfort from the “songs” of their Queen and yearn for it, if away for too long.
- Loyalty- Thrakka are completely and absolutely loyal to their Hive and their Queen. Thrakka are psionically compelled to serve and would not be able to move against their home, even if for some reason they wanted to. Thrakka can form relationships and even bonds with non-Formids, especially to those that assist with their Kul, but these are secondary to that of their Hive.
- Evolution- In order to complete their Kul, Thrakka must be able to adapt to any situation. In order to assist with this, Thrakka are able to undergo rapid onset evolution. This process allows a Thrakka to form a temporary cocoon around their body. While in this protective shell, Thrakka psionically manipulate their genome and release a strong acid to break down their body structure. Then by using their natural regenerative properties, they are able to reform and emerge from the cocoon changed. This process is ingrained within their very pysche, and as such are generally very flexible beings.
- New discoveries- Thrakka actively seek to learn as much information in their travels as possible, as learning new information benefits the Hive as a whole. Thrakka will often appear as very nosey and analytical, seeking to learn as much as possible. This can be jarring for some races.
- Diet- For Formids as a whole, member of the warrior caste, Threkk, gather resources from their hunts. Formids are omnivorous, but prefer fresh meat. Once a resource has been gathered, it is partially digested and converted into pellets called nutrient caches. Nutrient caches are then delivered back to the Hive where they are distributed among all the Formid. The choicest caches are always sent directly to the Queen. The quality of the nutrients determines the strength of the Hive as a whole, and directly correlates to the number of new Formids the Queen is able to produce. Nutrient caches are the preferred food of Thrakka. Through a process of acid manipulation and regurgitation, they are able to emulate the production method used by the Threkk to convert “normal food” into nutrient caches. Nutrient caches allow food to be condensed down into highly caloric morsels that can be stored for long periods of time. Nutrient caches have a distinct odor, and are unpalatable to most other races. Thrakka are the only other caste capable of processing their own cache.
- Death- With the exception of the Queen, all Formids are expendable and their deaths only serve to fuel the Hive. Corpses are cannibalized and returned back into the Hive through their nutrients. Thrakka are valued higher than their brethren and are not just cannibalized. Fallen Thrakka who were particularly useful to the Hive are viewed as genetically successful and will have their genome recreated and passed on to serve as the genetic base for future Thrakka. The death of a Queen, if not planned for properly can lead to the death of the Hive. When a Queen is nearing the end of her life, she creates a genetic clone of herself. When this new fledgling Queen is of age, the old Queen will psionically transmit all of her past experiences and genetic accumulations to her. Hive control will transfer to the new Queen. This consciousness transfer process kills the old Queen. The new stronger Queen will then cannibalize her corpse, and then the cycle continues with each Queen being stronger than the last.
There are never any conflicts among members of the same Hive, as the Queen has absolute control. Formid of different hives are friendly as long as they are not competing for the same resources.
Formids, as a whole, are not hostile towards any race in particular. However being omnivorous beings with a taste preference for meat, they often run into trouble with neighbors who happen to look like tasty food.
With their increased intelligence, Thrakka have learned to use more discretion and have found that allies do not prefer their friends and family to be eaten. Due to the often close proximity of Hives to dwarves, Thrakka often act as liaisons between the two communities. Thrakka have even learned how to speak the Dwarven tongue. However in general being insectoids, Thrakka’s alien behaviors and cold-blooded mannerisms are at best off-putting to most races of Orn.
Thrakka’s Hive mindset makes it difficult for them to understand other races connections to the Immortals. Their absolute unwavering loyalty to their Hive and Queen, prevent them from forming connections to any Immortal themselves. This unfamiliarity means that Thrakka are generally uncomfortable or at the very best uncertain with devout followers of any Immortal.
By their very nature, Thrakka are prone to adventuring in order to fulfill their Kul. Thrakka join parties not out of friendship but out of necessity. Their unique perspective on life and their ability to adapt to many situations make them valuable members of a party. Thrakka are highly flexible in their group role, and are capable of evolving to meet the needs of the situation.
Thrakka rogues focus on ambush and evolve stealth carapaces, warriors focus on wading into combat and evolve hardened carapaces and longer claws, psions make great mages or healers evolving their mental prowess to deliver spells or mend wounds.
The native Formid language is nearly incomprehensible to most non-Formids. It is a mesh of psionic energy and harsh sounds-pops, clicks, and buzzes. Thrakka have evolved additional vocal cords in order to communicate with other races. However, Thrakka tend to struggle with the nuances of grammar and syntax, often simplifying sentences into choppy phrases.
Ex. “Monster outside Tavern” instead of “There is a monster outside of the Tavern.”
Furthermore, when speaking common, their accents are often heavy and grating to the average person. Also, Thrakka tend to use the terms “We, our, us” instead of “I, mine, me” since they think of themselves not as individuals but as a collective part of the Hive.
As a sort of tick, Thrakka will often chirp or click or buzz when under pressure or if they can’t think of a word.