Machines of War
The Formica are one of the sentient species that inhabit Golgotha.
Physiology & Diet
The Formica are insect like creatures. They are much larger than most insects though. They usually stand at about 3 ft but when standing on their hind legs they can get up to 4-5 feet. They each have 6 appendages on their thorax. 2 are used as hands and 4 are used as legs. On their head they have a set of antennae, large compound eyes, and a pair of small mandibles. The antennae and the compound eyes make them surprisingly perceptive. The antennae are also used for communication. The mandibles are not particularly threatening but they are versatile enough to easily produce the speech of other races such as humans. Their entire body is covered in an exoskeleton. This exoskeleton is smooth, sleek, waterproof, and cool but it is too thin to provide much protection from damage. Almost all Formica are female. Males are only used for breeding and are usually smaller, weaker, and less intelligent.
Formica primarily eat honeydew, an incredibly sweet sticky liquid produced by aphids. Formica colonies have large scale honeydew farms where they grow plants just for aphids to feast on so the aphids will produce honeydew. The Formica can taste many of the different subtle flavors of the honeydew based on what the aphids ate to produce the honeydew. Formica are omnivorous and can eat other kinds of food but they greatly prefer honeydew and other sweet foods such as honey. While they can eat human foods they usually do not because they do not like the flavor. They consider it extremely bitter.
Formica society is considered very strange by most humans. This is due to several distinct differences between humans and Formica. Formica can communicate extremely quickly and efficiently by using a mix of pheromones and subtle antennae touching. Their focus on their colony produces an extremely strong sense of comradery between the members of a colony.
The Formica congregate to form large underground colonies. Individuals in a colony are extremely close and trust each other a great deal. individuals will protect the other members of their colony with their lives and expect the same from them.
Individual colonies are incredibly large and will span hundreds of square miles. One colony will have many facilities and sections dedicated to the variety of needs that the colony intends to fulfill. There are aphid farms where Formica raise and milk aphids of honeydew, communal nurseries where the young are born and raised together, and many other specialized areas that serve specific purposes. Some individuals sometimes never even leave the colony.
There is no ruling government in Formica colonies. All Formica in a colony work towards the common good and will often make decision together.
Within a colony the Formica place themselves into different castes. They once put into a caste they usually stick with it but sometimes a soldier, worker, scout, or an ambassador will change into a soldier, worker, scout, or ambassador.
Princesses/Queens: Queens are female Formica who have been impregnated and begun reproducing. They primarily focus on producing children and little else. Before they are impregnated they are called Princesses. Some Princesses will go off to create new colonies but most will just expand the current colony. They are more rare than most other castes of Formica. They are usually only born when the colony wants to expand.
Soldiers: Soldiers are a colonies main fighting force. They are all female and are sometimes a bit bigger than other Formica. They usually hang around near entrances of colonies in order to defend the colony. They also at times journey out to deal with other threats. They do not have the physical might of a Pangolin but they make up for it with their use of advanced technology.
Workers: Workers are Formica who perform most of the labor that a colony requires. They dig tunnels and chambers, farm and milk aphids, transport food and goods throughout the colony, and even carry things from outside the colony that scouts mark. They do a variety of tasks inside and outside the they.
Scouts: Scouts spend most of their time outside of their colony. They travel the lands around the colony looking for valuable resources for the colony or dangers to the colony. This could be food, ancient tech, natural resources, villages to trade with, or other colonies. When they find something they leave a trail and return to their colony so that workers, ambassadors, or soldiers can move out and deal with it. They will only stay in their colony for short period between their expeditions.
Ambassadors: Ambassadors also spend a good deal of their time outside of the colony. They usually live among other colonies or races in order to be a representative with those people. They make trade deals and coordinate with allies. They will often return home, though, to inform their colony of their deals and discoveries and learn about what the rest of the colony has been up to.
Drones: Drones are the only male Formica. Their primary responsibility is to impregnate Princesses. They are a bit smaller and weaker than other Formica. Most Drones that are born stay in the colony and impregnate a princess of the same colony but they are sometimes traded between colonies to create a stronger bond between the colonies. Once in a while when there are no princesses for them a drone will leave the colony. They usually don't survive but they sometimes find a stray princess and begin a new colony. Like Princesses, Drones are rarer than other castes.
Formica from one colony to another do not have the bond that members of a single colony have. Individuals usually consider members of another colony the same way they consider members of other races. Individuals, such as Ambassadors, that spend time in another colony will sometimes gain the respect of the colony and will be a welcome visitor.
Colonies interact with each other like other nations. They make trade deals, form alliances, and go to war. Colonies will sometime trade Drones in order to strengthen ties between them. Some colonies with strong bonds will form large underground highways between them.
Relations with Other Races
Humans: Formica colonies often trade with human settlements. They treat them similarly to other Formica colonies. Strong followers of The Temple of the Venerated will avoid the Formica because of their use of technology.
Pangolins: Because Pangolins have been known to attack and eat them, Formica usually do not like or trust Pangolins. They usually will not trade with them and will try to keep Pangolins away from them and their colonies.
Formica are very tech savvy. They do not have the stigma against technology that humans do and have more of a knack for it than Pangolins. In addition to scavenging and repairing ancient technology they research new advances.
Big Brained: Formica use their intelligence to best their opponents rather than using physical might. They start with a d6 in Smarts and it can be raise to d12+2.
Tinkerers: Formica have made and maintained gadgets for generations. Every part of their lives depends on some sort of contraption. They start with a d4 in Repair.
Advanced Sensory Organs: Formica use their compound eyes, and antennae to detect threats around them. They start with a d4 in Notice.
Nonbelligerent: Formica have usually do not engage in melee combat and are not particularly good at it. Formica have a -1 to parry.
Bug Sized: While Formica are incredibly large for ants, but they are still small compared to humans. They are a size category smaller than humans and so receive a -1 to their toughness but they can easily fit into small holes.
These edges can be acquired just like other edges but only Formica may choose them. They are novice edges.
Wall Walker: The formica has gotten practice and is skilled with moving along vertical and inverted surfaces. They can walk on vertical surfaces at their normal pace and move along inverted surfaces at half pace.
Formic Advances: The Formica not only use ancient technology but have also improved on it. This Formica has studied the Formica advances and receives a +2 to Ancient Technology.
Ambassadorship: This Formica spent some time as an ambassador with another Formica colony. They understand how customs and traditions vary among different colonies. They receive a +4 Charisma with Formica from other colonies.