Mantid Dor’ken Zar Dagoth – Bug District
The tan-robed entourage swept through the city center of Zar Dagoth’s bustling bug district. Dozens upon dozens of Aboriginals abandoned their shops or worksites to crowd around and see if the rumors were true. A prophet they said. A Nyr’kiin who would unite their entire race against those that would steal from them, kill them, and carry their young off in the night. The return of the essential, unparalleled oneness that had eluded their kind since the last Hive Mother died.
It was Mantid Dor’ken, the new Lord of the Hive.
From the roof of a common candlemaker’s shop, the prophet gazed out at the gathering crowds. “A veritable swarm of insects. Appropriate as it can be,”
he muttered under his breath as to only be heard by the two aboriginals closest to him – his first and second lieutenants. Behind them stood other members of Mantid’s inner circle, all solemnly staring out at the Zar Dagoth citizens.
Now projecting his voice out to the masses, “When will it be enough? When will we decide that there have been too many insults, too many attacks, too many murders? When will we remember that we were kings once; remember that the hives grew high and deep, that the Nyr’kiin roamed freely from the Drathan Delta to the Vorgul shelf. Now the aboriginal suffers through life alone – alone and weak. Well not anymore.”
The prophet’s cadence started to transition from a slow and steady articulation to an almost agitated cry.“The Nyr’kiin’s strength is in numbers. Isolated we are prey, but with our brothers and sisters behind us, the enemy is overrun. The Overmother has given us a place where we are together, where we are a family, where we are a horde. Orchid Home is the rebirth of the great hives of the past. No longer will you fear for your children’s lives – at Orchid Home you are safe. No longer will you feel the gnawing pains of hunger – the Overmother provides.”
As Mantid’s speech grew to a crescendo, the excited murmuring in the crowd turned to a frantic, fanatical buzzing. All insecurities and suffering were washed away by the stream of the prophet’s words.
Mantid Dor’ken continued on and on in this vein; he would promise anything and the throngs of aboriginals would believe him. They needed to believe. They needed a stirring of purpose. It didn’t matter that the Overmother was concocted entirely by her “prophet’s” imagination. If he made her real, she was real, and more would flock to his cause. By Mantid’s estimation, the aboriginal race was at its boiling point, and it only needed somebody to step forward and direct that energy. Mantid Dor’ken would provide that direction.
From the balcony outside his room, Mantid watched the new recruits to Orchid Home enter through the front gate. His herd was growing, and with it, Orchid Home itself. Built upon the ruins of an Old One temple, the new Nyr’kiin hive was constantly being reshaped and built up with mud and rubble to form an ever-growing, interweaving city. New believers would shape their own homes out of whatever space they could find, the first thing many of them were ever able to create for themselves in the harsh world. For this new purpose, they would give anything, and Mantid was happy to receive; offerings were regularly dropped off at Overmother shrines or simply to Mantid himself.
In the streets below him, the prophet heard a commotion brewing. A new recruit was shouting dissent and his fellow newcomers were hesitantly looking on. Mantid couldn’t afford any cracks in his armor of belief. One naysayer could lead to others, and before he knew it, the hive wasn’t his to control anymore. He knew exactly how to prevent this from happening. The prophet made his way down to the disorder. “When the hive mothers led the way, would there be dissent such as this?”
A hush came over the crowd as they realized their savior was among them. “The Nyr’kiin hordes of the past were the most ferocious armies in all of Azoth, and this was accomplished through one concept. Togetherness. When they would fight, each soldier would move in concurrence with his six closest neighbors – and each of those with their closest six. With this collaboration, a thousand spears could strike as one. Now, how will we defeat the enemy if we do not all strike as one? One individual acting on his own affects his closest six neighbors who will each affect their closest six. This cannot be. I ask now for this problem to be ended – by this solitary individual’s closest six and then their closest six. As the Hive Mothers would have had us and as to please the Overmother.”
Mantid’s final “Overmother” rang out across the silence for what seemed like eternity. No one dared to move until, finally, one young Aboriginal rushed the dissenter and tackled him to the ground. Five more followed suit and then twenty and fifty more after, forming a frenzy of biting and tearing. In an instant, the assault was over and the dissenter was devoured alive. The newcomers from Zar Dagoth looked at each other with proud smiles on their faces as they went back to their task of settling into their new home. Mantid walked over to the spot where the dissenter once stood and gazed in satisfaction at the only thing that remained of him – a small, black bloodstain on the dusty road.