Marobunta

The Marobunta are a race of insectile humanoids spread across much of the world that share many similarities with ants. They are eusocial, although not a hive mind, and are generally rarely seen by members of other races, as they tend to keep to themselves and see little benefit in working with or against other races, whom they tend to dismiss as selfish, fanciful, and unpragmatic.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Due to the Marobunta's unique development cycle, it is difficult to summarize all marobunta anatomy conclusively. In general, however, they are bipedal, six-limbed humanoids, with two arms and two legs -- the middle set's use depends on age and caste, usually either arms or pseudo-arms that can be used to aid in movement or manipulation. Their legs are sometimes digitigrade, but usually plantigrade. A marobunta's body is covered in carapace that provides protection at critical points of the body, although joints tend to be left uncovered in most non-martial marobunta, and even among warriors the face is left mostly uncovered by chitin. This face is deceptively human, with a lipped mouth, a nose, and two eyes, although these eyes are far larger (up to four times human size) and are completely black and pupilless. From the top of their head spring two antennae, whose length can vary quite significantly. These are used both for communication and the detection of pheromones released by their queens and fellow marobunta. Males, princesses, and queens also have wings which allow for low-altitude flight over short distances, although as queens grow larger their wings eventually become useless. In many marobunta societies, a princess's wings are cut off in a coming-of-age ritual when she becomes a queen.

Biological Traits

The most obvious trait that diverges between different members of marobunta society is size. Laborers can be four feet tall, whereas the tallest queens can be up to 18 feet in height. Soldiers or warriors are commonly larger and bulkier than their laborer counterparts, with thick chitin that can stop a sword with ease and corded musculature. Handmaidens are the personal attendants of queens, and are around the height of a warrior, but much lither and less thickly-muscled. Brew-Mistresses are often very long and wide, with underdeveloped limbs. The less-obvious aspect of this specialization is aging. Laborers and warriors rarely live longer than twenty years, whereas queens and brew-mistresses can easily live to be 150.

Genetics and Reproduction

Marobunta are predominantly a female race, with males being relatively rare. Most of these females are infertile, but some, referred to as queens, are immensely so, and give birth to their entire society. All Marobunta are the child of a queen, and the largest marobunta settlements can have up to a hundred of them. Marobunta are born either as eggs (if unfertilized) which hatch into male larvae, or through live birth as female larvae (with a low chance of producing a male instead).

Growth Rate & Stages

Marobunta have an initial larval stage following their birth, during which their entire future is effectively decided. Depending upon what the larva is fed and in what quantities, it will develop into a different type of marobunta. Instrumental in this process is a substance referred to as Kenaihwa, which is produced within the bodies of a special caste called Brew-Mistresses. The feeding of various dosage levels of this to a larva will lengthen or shorten its larval stage, allowing for precise manipulation of the traits it will start with. Those with no manipulation are themselves born as brew-mistresses, who are largely immobile, and as such tending to the larvae is the most important task a colony can undertake in order to preserve its future. The most common caste are the laborers, with a larval stage of barely four months, while the longest, princesses, take upwards of ten years before metamorphizing. These princesses will become new queens following a second metamorphosis, sometimes referred to as "puberty" by translators, that takes place over the course of their initial lives, during which they gradually become fertile and develop the magical and leadership abilities needed to rule.

Additional Information

Average Intelligence

Marobunta are inherently no less intelligent than other humanoid races, but their short life spans tend to limit the amount they can learn. In addition, laborers and especially warriors tend to be less intelligent than other races, but overseers and military leaders are often more so.
Marobunta are eusocial, but are not a hive mind. Each individual marobunta is a distinct individual, with her own thoughts, dreams, and desires. They are, however, almost unnaturally collectivist, and rarely will think anything of sacrificing their own good for the good of their community. Those who display "selfish" tendencies such as eating more than they require are viewed as insane, and may be punished, cast out, or even mentally altered to restore their sanity.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Due to their unique reproductive system, Marobunta naming schemes work on a completely different basis from those of other humanoids -- specifying family is effectively useless, since at most a colony might have a hundred potential mothers, all of whom are likely related anyways. As a result, Marobunta names are structured in the following manner. First is her caste and/or rank, then her personal name, and then potentially some sort of personal designator (whether a nickname, physical quality, number, or whatever else). To this may be added the mother's name and her titles/designators, and the name of the colony or hive to which the individual belongs.
An interesting result of this system is that lower-ranking Marobunta often have longer names than higher-ranking ones, as while there might only be 1 queen with the name Ishteli in a particular settlement, there could be hundreds or thousands of laborers or soldiers with that name.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

The Marobunta tend to consider other races as both misguided idealists and as selfish con-men. Throughout their history, various individuals and groups have tried to take advantage of their selflessness for their own ends, embedding themselves into their colonies and stealing what is theirs with false promises. As a result, they treat non-marobunta coldly at best and with outright hostility at worst. They have learned that other races are far less inclined to honesty and selflessness than they are, and have come to expect the worst.
The prediliction other races have for scholarship also fascinates the Marobunta. To their mind, individuals who do nothing but think are effectively a waste of resources, and yet other races prop them up on pedestals, ask them for direction, trust them to understand the secrets of the universe. This is not to say the marobunta do not prize knowledge, but they cannot help but view the concept of someone dedicated to art, or mathematics, or science, as foolish.
Origin/Ancestry
High Marobunta, Steppe Marobunta, Deep Marobunta
Lifespan
Variable
Average Height
Variable, but most are within 5'-6'3"
Average Weight
Variable
Geographic Distribution
Related Organizations
Related Materials

Articles under Marobunta


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