Carrier Ant Species in Cairne | World Anvil

Carrier Ant

"They're really quite gentle as long as you feed them..."

One of the more common beasts of labor on the outlands, these insects have taken on a commonly believed tame nature and are used for all manner of heavy lifting from trade and caravan work to outland construction and maintenance. They are remarkably docile as long as they are fed and not mistreated, and often even then they will tend to attempt to leave a bad situation rather than turning aggressive. They are believed to be descended from the carpenter ants that once thrived in the forests of Gaul Do Shah. Since the Blight, they have been found and tamed in both the fringes of the wastes, in the deserts of the Gaul Do Shah, and the underground regions retaken by the dwarves. They are still incredible tunnelers and engineers of their own right, and take direction almost as if they understand commands directly.

Basic Information


These are quite large and covered in thick chitin. Their feet end in numerous chitin barbs that are perfect for gripping any uneven surface for the purpose of climbing, and their strength is such that they may move and hang on any surface that these barbs can find purchase, as long as it can support the creature's weight.

Genetics and Reproduction

Each hive has and maintains a queen underground who's sole purpose is reproduction and the direction of the hive though pheromonal communications. This is not entirely understood, but seems to have a greater degree of depth and complexity that one might initially assume. The queen keeps several drones, the only males of the species, to fertilize the eggs she carries.

Growth Rate & Stages

They begin as a larval form, where they are cared for and fed by other ants designated as nurse maid effectively until they mature enough to be put to work for the hive.

Ecology and Habitats

Most carrier ants forage at night. When foraging, they usually collect and consume dead creatures. Some species less commonly collect live beasts when they can. When they discover a dead creature, workers surround it and extract its bodily fluids and meaty parts to be carried back to the nest. The remaining husk is left behind. Occasionally, the ants bring the head of the insect back to the nest, where they also extract its inner tissue. The ants can forage individually or in small or large groups, though they often opt to do so individually. Different colonies in close proximity may have overlapping foraging regions, although they typically do not assist each other in foraging.

Dietary Needs and Habits

The ants are scavengers, able to strip and find nutrients from all manner of sources. While they thrive on vegetative sustenance where they can find it, only very few of the mutated plants are able to produce anything akin to nectar. Carrier ants are considered both predators and scavengers. These ants are foragers that typically eat parts of dead creatures. Common foods for them include meat, fungus, or extrafloral nectar from subterranean plants. Their main food sources normally include proteins and carbohydrates. When workers find food sources, they communicate this information to the rest of the nest. They use biochemical pheromones to mark the shortest path that can be taken from the nest to the source. When a sizable number of workers follows this trail, the strength of the cue increases and a foraging trail is established. This ends when the food source is depleted. The workers will then feed the queen and the larvae by consuming the food they have found, and regurgitating (trophallaxis) the food at the nest. Foraging trails can either be under or above ground.

Additional Information

Social Structure

The ants have a regimented social order that starts with the queen. From there the nurse ants, warrior ants, workers, and then the drones.


These creatures are not aggressive at all, and will tend to ignore a threat until it is an active danger, at which time they will avoid confrontation if at all possible by running, hiding, or climbing out of harm's way.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Used as pack animals primarily due to their ability to carry large amounts of weight, their docile nature, and their ability to scavenge for food.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The ants are found and domesticated in the fringes of the Eastern Wastes, the Gaul Do Shah ruins, and the in the caverns of the Dwarves

Average Intelligence

Animal intelligence

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

They have acute vision and an extremely heightened sense of smell, able to follow the pheromonal trail of other ant without error for many miles. They also have the ability to sense movement and presence in total darkness granting them Blindsight 60 ft.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Some mutated strains of the cordyceps fungus have been found in the world that directly affect the behavior and lead to the death of the ant.
  • Large beast, unaligned
  • Armor Class 14
  • Hit Points 52(7d10+14)
  • Speed 40' (20' climbing)
  • STR 18 (+4)
  • DEX 13 (+1)
  • CON 15 (+2)
  • INT 1 (-5)
  • WIS 9 (-1)
  • CHA 2 (-4)
  • Condition Immunities None
  • Senses Blindsight 60 ft. , passive perception 9
  • Challenge 2 (450 XP)


  • Keen Smell/Taste. The carrier ant has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell or taste.


  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack:+4 Reach 5', one target. Hit 6 (1d8 + 2 Bludgeoning) On a successful hit, the target is grappled (escape DC 14). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained and the carrier ant can’t bite a different target.
Scientific Name
Carpenter Ant
20 years
Average Height
Average Weight
200 lb
Average Length
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Reddish brown to Black

Cover image: Carrier Ant by Midjourney


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