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Swarm

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Swarm
A swarm tresher lord.
(Creature)
Type Monstrous humanoid
CR Varies
Environment Any
Alignment

Source: Alien Archive, pg(s). 110-111
The Swarm
(Organization)
Type Hive mind
Alignment Chaotic evil
Headquarters None
Goals Hunger

Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 497

The Swarm is a vast locust swarm that is driven by an innate need to consume all things and absorb their best qualities into itself. Piloting living starships and capable of slowly twisting their own biology into formidable weapons, the threat of the Swarm forced peace between the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium in order to stave off mutual destruction. Though it was repelled, the Swarm yet exists and will remain a threat until the day it is purged from the universe.[1]

Appearance

Because of its constant genetic upgrading and experimentation, the Swarm's members boast a wide variety of shapes, sizes and capabilities.[2]

History

The Swarm was originally called the kucharn and followed a goddess named Hylax, believed to be the first of their species, a kucharn queen who ascended to godhood to watch over her progeny for eternity. They later abandoned Hylax and evolved as a series of hive minds whose drones had no agency of their own. Kucharn hives competed constantly with each other, until one learned the trick of subsuming another colony's intelligence into its own. This proto-Swarm quickly overwhelmed the other hives, stripped bare its homeworld with its hunger, then learnt the principles of space flight. For many ages, the Swarm's biological hive-ships carried it through the stars, descending on world after world.[3][4]

Generations ago, however, a mysterious mutation caused an entire subcolony to break from the Swarm's hive mind, with each of its members gaining a sense of self. Addicted to the new drug of individualism, these renegades rejected the Swarm's mindless consumption, forming a new race called shirrens.[5]

In 291 AG, the Swarm launched simultaneous attacks on both the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium, who have been at war for more than 200 years. In order to survive, the two governments agree to end their hostilities, working together to successfully chase out the Swarm from their territory.[1]

Ecology

A swarm corrovox.

The Swarm moves from planet to planet in living ships, reducing each so-called feeder world to a barren, lifeless husk, occasionally altering its own DNA in the process to take on qualities from that world's natives. Once it has consumed everything of use on a planet, the Swarm moves on, not bothering to hold territory.[2]

While individual components of the Swarm have some form of intelligence, their decisions are more akin to complex programmed reflexes than true thought, constantly overridden by the directives of the overarching Swarm consciousness. While capable of operating independently when sent out on scouting missions, entire subcolonies are subsumed into the gestalt when they return within telepathic range of the hive. The Swarm is capable of nigh-unimaginable data processing, leaps of induction, and even the ability to slowly modify its own biology to create powerful weapons.[4][2]

Swarm components never communicate with other creatures, as they see every alien entity as either a food source or a threat that must be destroyed. Only massive force can deter the Swarm from descending on a world and stripping it of biological material before moving on. While individual components might tactically retreat, fear is utterly unknown to the Swarm.[4]

The Swarm's weapons are not manufactured, instead being grown or grafted onto component creatures.[2]

References