New Mutant Monday #14 - Barsoon

Chris Van Deelen

Barsoons

                        Workers       Warriors       Thinkers              Queen

No. Enc:          10d10             6d8            4d4                      1

Alignment:      Lawful

Movement:      90’ (30’)      120’(40’)      60’(20’)                None

Armor Class:   4                  1                   6                           1

Hit Dice:          8                  12                 6                           20

Attacks:           2 (claws)      5 (bite, 4 claws or by weapon)                                                                          

                                                      2 (claws)               5 (bite, 4 claws)

 

Damage:          1d4/1d4        1d6 plus special/ 2d4x4

                                                     1d4/1d4               3d4 plus special / 1d10x4

Save:                L6                 L12             L8                       L20

Morale:            7                   11                8                         11

Hoard Class:    I                   V                  VII                     VII (x4)     XXII (in hive)

These creatures are a breed of uplifted ant (see Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue 4: New Races) who were created several decades before the beginning of the final wars. To make matters even more interesting, these mutants have been infused with the genome of African Termites. The origin of the creatures remain shrouded in mystery. Why they were created is a complete mystery. Due to the uncanny similarities to a race of humanoid insects described in the venerable works of the master Burrows, although slightly different in spelling, the name was applied to these creatures and it stuck.

Currently, they are found only in two locations: the Great Plains of Canada and the United States, although they have been spreading across the mountains and have established hives along the Pacific Coast, as far down as near the ruins of San Diego, California.

Physically, they appear to be 6’ to 8’ tall humanoid ants. Instead of having segmented bodies like their ancient ancestors, the creatures have a full humanoid body. They possess six limbs, of which two are used for walking, while the other four are heavily modified arms. The heads of the creatures still retain the full insect features, including huge faceted eyes, antenna and mandibles, although the mouth behind the mandibles is strangely human in appearance, and filled with chewing teeth instead of maxillae.

The worker and thinker caste have very human-like hands tipped with claws. Even though the claws are quite small, they can still be used as weapons. The mandibles however are too weak to be used in combat.

The warrior’s claws are extremely sharp and flexible, allowing them to use all manner of weapon without risk of damage to the weapons. Unlike the worker caste, the warriors mandibles are suited for combat and contain a mild poison (class 3).

The hive’s queen is very adept at defending herself, having very powerful mandibles and extremely sharp claws. Her bite is far more lethal than that of the warrior, injecting the target with a class 12 poison.

Despite having a very humanoid shape, the creatures flesh is a tough exoskeleton that comes in three shades of color. Red, the most common shade, is for the workers. Green, the second most common shade is for the warriors or defenders, while blue is the least common shade and is reserved for the thinkers.  The Queen has a unique pattern of all three colors.

They have a distinct caste society of which there are four groups – workers, warriors, thinkers, and the queen (each have their own distinct shade of color, see above). The roles of the castes are very clear. Workers are the least intelligent of the three and do all the labor a hive requires, while the warriors job is quite clearly defined, and they are typically slightly more intelligent that most humans. Finally the thinkers are the hive’s scientists, scholars, diplomats and so forth. Thinkers are by far the most intelligent of the three castes.

They live in massive ‘hive’ complexes that are partially organic and partially technological. The hives appear as large pyramids on the landscape, but that’s the just apex of the hive. The rest of the hive is located underground and can contain dozens of levels, each devoted to a different purpose.

Despite the fact that these creatures have what many consider to be a frightening and imposing visage they are for the most part, quite peaceful. They do not wage war against other sentient creatures, unless they are first attacked, and those who do engage in warfare against them quickly discover that they should have attempted diplomacy instead. They are quite open to trade and exchange of knowledge and are even willing to hire out any of the three castes if the price is right.

Each hive is ruled over by a single Queen. Technically this makes a forth ‘Caste’ but there is only one Queen per hive. The female is slightly larger than the rest of the members of the race, usually being about ten feet in height. She is physically attached to a huge ‘egg’ sack that constantly churns out small 1’ long eggs that are taken away to be raised and eventually hatched. The eggs are fertilized through this massive sack by various members of the castes, those who have shown themselves worthy of being fathers to the next generation.

She can produce up to one hundred eggs in a twenty four hour period, although rarely ever has to do so as the population of the hive remains fairly constant. The eggs typically take about three months to hatch, bypassing most of the typical insect larva stages and the young are then tended to by workers who raise them. It typically takes a year for the young to reach full maturity.

All three castes have life-spans in the hundreds of years. They don’t seem to be affected by the sands of time and only die through violence or disease.

The queen is in constant telepathic communication with her hive and has an IQ that would put the Einstein’s of the Ancients to shame. To top it off, she also possesses several powerful mental mutations that she can use to defend herself, and her hive. She is constantly guarded twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and only the very rare visitor is ever allowed to have an audience with her.

They actively seek out technology to study. They have learned how to literally recreate a lot of technology by ‘growing’ it in specialized laboratories hidden deep inside their hives. This technology they guard quite selfishly and will not allow it to fall into the hands of other creatures. The only exception is that they will share this tech with are other hives.

Although it is actively sought out, any tech that falls into the hands of outsiders undergo a strange decay, rendering the organic technology into puddles of useless slime in a matter of hours.

The lands around a hive are neatly tended. They tend to be farmlands with numerous orchards and some have been known to raise mutant animals for food and domestic purposes, so there are even ranches located on their land.

All traces of human ruins are removed, the rubble and debris used to construct and maintain the hives, although if there are settlements, they do their utmost to establish good relations with the inhabitants, although when that cannot be achieved, they will often skirt around the territory controlled by other settlers. Rarely do they engage in open warfare with the inhabitants of these settlements.

Note that the numbers encountered are for numbers in a hive. The ML will have to decide the numbers of each encountered outside a hive.

            Mutations: all castes: aberrant form (xenomorphism), natural weapons, neural telepathy.

warrior and queen castes: toxic weapon

thinker and queen castes:  metaconcert, mind thrust, intellectual affinity (GM’s choice)

queen caste: empathy (queen only), greater force screen (queen only), possession (queen only)