The Swarm Military Formation in Adyll | World Anvil

The Swarm

They have no will of their own, only the will of their God-King, Mahleck. The Locust King. The Swarm are those who were deemed to be more use to Mahleck as drone soldiers than as human sacrifice. They are the strongest of all of the survivors of the cities that have fallen to Mahleck. They have been forged through pain and suffering to be unstoppable. Weakness is unknown in their ranks, for those who are weak find an early death.   Their are no individuals within the Swarm, and they have no mercy.



The strength of the Swarm lies in its vast numbers, estimated at its height to be over 250,000 men.


The Swarm is outfitted with tents for officers and nobility. Veterans will often make their own shelters, while newer recruits sleep out in the open around fires for warmth. Medical care is rarely given to rank and file soldiers in any organized fashion, except during training exercises. It is believed by the followers of the Locust that dying for the cause is better than to be wounded and require the care of another. Often, wounded are left behind to die when the Swarm leaves one location for another.


Soldiers are armed with short swords, daggers, and leather armor (and whatever else they can scavenge from the lands they conquer). Men are taught to fight with whatever is available to them - clubs, rocks, and bare hands. Some units include archers, as well as trebuchets and catapults, but most fighting is done by simply overwhelming the opposition with sheer number of bodies. The Swarm never stops coming, and their most dangerous weapon is their undying loyalty to the Locust King Mahleck, God-Among-Men.


Horses are reserved for officers, as are camels.  Wagons are used to carry heavy equipment, food, supplies, and water, and are usually pulled by whatever animal is readily seized from the local populace.  Often as supplies are consumed or equipment breaks the wagons are left behind and the animals are slaughtered for food.


The Swarm relies heavily on its sheer size to overwhelm its opponents in battle. But before engaging in battle, the Swarm sends out scouts to find weaknesses in a country or city's defenses. Spies are also trained in finding those within their enemy's walls who would betray their own for promise of riches, or promise of safety. These traitors are always destroyed later as a liability by the Swarm.   Once a city has been laid siege, the Locust King will set his tent in a prominent area easily viewed by the city. On the first week the tent's walls are white, with only the red Locust banner flying from the center pole. For the first week, the Swarm sits in silence about the city and emissaries are sent to the gate with messages of peace, explaining to the rulers that if they surrender themselves, only the male leader will be killed and the rest of the city will be spared.   If this message is ignored, or if there is any offense launched against the Swarm, the white tent will be replaced with red. That same night, flaming arrows and balls of pitch will be launched over the walls by the Swarm, taking care not to aim in the direction of the leader's dwelling. This continues for one week, along with messages that if the city surrenders now, all females and male children under the age of eight will be spared, but all males from age nine will be put to the sword.   If there is no surrender, the tent's color is turned to black. They produce their battering rams and charge the gates. No one within remains alive except for the young women and children who will be sacrificed to The Locust King, and the boys between 8 and 15 years of age who are conscripted into service. If they refuse or fight back at any time, they too become sacrifices.


Training for the Swarm takes place in remote areas where conditions are harsh - swamps, deserts, frozen tundra. Recruits are young boys between the ages of eight and fifteen. Most training is not military in nature, but how to obey orders and be loyal to the Locust King. Once the boys understand that unthinking obedience and cruelty lead to comfort, food, and rest, they move on to actual training in fighting and use of weapons.   New recruits are met with an initiation ceremony which pits them against one another, driving divisions between those from the same ethnic backgrounds, and severing family ties.   To move up within the ranks of the Locust, one must show the ability to subjugate their own will to their leader and show they are willing to perform any act of violence or cruelty asked of them without question.


Logistical Support

Support for the Swarm is found by looting and foraging for resources by those of the lower ranks.  Very little supplies are brought with the Swarm other than what is needed to get to their next location, and even that will be sparse.  Often, the Swarm will slaughter and consume their own pack animals if they become hungry enough.


Recruitment is compulsory.  There is no choice.  If you are of age and male and within an area controlled by the Swarm, you will be conscripted and you will serve, or you and your family will be put to death.  If you become wounded and survive the lack of medical care, you may return to your family, if you can make it back to them on your own.


No one knows when the Swarm first formed around Mahleck, the Locust King.  He has existed for as long as history has, slowly making his way across all of the Earth, consuming everything in his path.  He is God-Among-Men.  He is the God-Emporer.  He exists to consume, and the Swarm is an extension of his will.   In the most ancient scrolls of the library of Adyll, it is told that beyond the desert, and beyond the mountains of the east, and further still, there was a man who tried to own Life and Hope, to consume them.  This is the first legend of the Locust.   The Swarm has consumed everything on the continent, beyond even the countries known to the people of Adyll.  There is nothing left but the Locusts.
The Locust King Serial chapter 1 will be released January 2023!
“You are still suckling at your whore mothers’ teats, aren’t you, boys? Things change now. You no longer belong to your demoness. You no longer belong to your country. You no longer belong to your fathers and you most certainly do not belong to your mothers. You belong only to one person. One God. One Man. One Lord. One King. One Swarm. One Locust!”   Excerpt from "The Locust King"


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