Marchon Species in Excilior | World Anvil


Hellions of the canopy

I laughed when these fools referred to me as an expert on torture. For they had never experienced the marchons.
Shannel Lodge, Varian flogger, 2448 AoR
archons are carnivorous insects ubiquitous to the northern, forested regions across Excilior. They are somewhat analogous to ants, in that they attack in swarms and, if left alone, will disassemble their prey by cutting it apart in tiny pieces. They are generally considered non-lethal to humans, although they are capable of killing full-grown men if the victim is bound or otherwise incapacitated. Casterways generally view them as a bothersome inconvenience, as they will mindlessly attack and sting anything within their path. Their bites are characterized by their irritating saliva that gives rise to painful blisters. Although a marchon bite is little more than a painful nuisance, the resulting welt lasts several days and triggers constant scratching. If left unchecked in the humid jungle environs, those welts can easily fester and lead to greater infections, occasionally threatening the life of the target.

Basic Information


he most notable feature of the marchon anatomy is their eight legs, each ending in sharp points, that swing upward and behind their body. These legs are used to great effect as they traverse the branches of their home trees. The legs are capable of also projecting "forward" (i.e., downward from their body), but in their process of locomotion, it's most common to see most-or-all of their legs projecting upward from their body, such that they are essentially hanging from their own limbs.

Ecology and Habitats

rbyrs are the sole domain of the marchon. Their hives are always situated in the highest reaches of the canopy. In the course of their constant foraging, they will range, occasionally, all the way down to the base of an arbyr's trunk - but they will never leave the safety of the tree. They will never step onto land. And they are incapable of swimming. Therefore, the easiest means of escaping a marchon attack is to simply flee the tree altogether - assuming, of course, that the person doing the fleeing isn't somehow bound to the tree itself...

Dietary Needs and Habits

f allowed to properly swarm their quarry, marchons will eat nearly any animal matter in their path. The centurions are perfectly capable of slaying sizable creatures of nearly any scale. But they are also voracious carrion feeders. Any carcass left in the treetops can easily be reduced to nothing but dry bone in a matter of hours. They are also perfectly happy to consume eggs, larvae, or any other animal matter, but they will never consume vegetation.

Additional Information

Social Structure

reat conjecture has been spawned over the marchons' social structures. Nearly all marchons that are observed in the wild are female. The vast majority of "work" - especially with regard to the discovery and disassembly of prey - is conducted by the females. All food (and other raw materials), once cut into manageable chunks, is carried back to the hive - a vast structure anchored high in the treetops that can easily exceed five meters in diameter. Each hive harbors a single male marchon - known as the feudal marchon. This male is solely responsible for inseminating all of the species' mothers. At any given time, approximately five percent of the females are fostering eggs. During this time, the mothers-to-be remain holed up in the hive. Once their eggs have been laid, they leave the nest, with all of their offspring to be cared for exclusively by the feudal marchon.
If only I knew how to harness the marchons, we could rebuild this city in less than a year.
Emy Balan, Enoerian consultant, 2853 AoR
There are at least another five percent of the females who do not bear offspring, but are permanently assigned to the hive. Their role is primarily one of construction. They take in the raw materials that are returned by the roving scouts and repurpose them to build and expand the central hive.  
The most feared marchons are known as centurions. They are a specialized variant of the species that is solely concerned with attacking, swarming, and subduing live prey. They are noticeably larger than their brethren, with formidable heads and elongated tongues that serve to better inject their caustic saliva. The centurions have been observed to attack anything, regardless of size. While swatting away a single centurion may be an inconsequential endeavor, if the other centurions receive the signal to attack, the swarming result is typically unfortunate for the victim. It's quite common for unsuspecting prey to find themselves entirely blanketed by thousands of the voracious pests. Verified accounts tell of homuhns, bronz horuses, and even larger prey succumbing to the centurion armies.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

hey are found in the canopies of all northern (humid) forests, including the Huntress, Blakskul, Silent, Howling, and Endpointe jongles; the Wyndwold, Arlinwold, Grimwold, and Greywold; as well as the northern reaches of the Yernwold and the Emerwold.

Civilization and Culture


asterways have often leveraged marchons as an excruciating form of natural torture. In extreme cases, they have even been used as a slow and maddening form of execution. In marchon habitats, victims are bound and lashed to the great branches high in the canopy. Inevitably, the marchons find this quarry and swarm upon it. Their tortuous bites can, eventually, lead to the complete dismantling of the victim. If death is not the desired outcome, the condemned can also be left to linger, for days, while their welts accumulate and fester. Even in those cases where the victims are ultimately freed from the torture, it's not uncommon for them to "escape" the ordeal with a lesser fraction of their sanity intact.
Scientific Name
Cygnus patagonicus
1 year
Average Height
4 centimeters
Average Weight
40 grams
Average Length
8 centimeters


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