The Bugs in Riding entropy | World Anvil
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The Bugs

The bugs are terrible things. They lure you in like druids, your body moving forth on its own. You come into an understanding of some vital task, like cutting down a certain tree. It captures you, the task, like a rapture clouding your mind deeper and deeper as you resist. Many have come out fine by complying, lately, but this scourge must be stopped. Therefore the task is upon you, nameless knights, to exterminate every colony of those bugs in absolute perfection. You must not miss even one member of the colony, bring them all in together any way you can, live there for as many days as you must to corral them; we will erase these creatures from the map.

"The Bugs", as they are known, are a subspecies of ant. The bugs arrange themselves into circles and inscribe what looks to be legitimate words in our own written language, including the name of a chosen human. It is unknown how they find these names. After a short time, if the human referred to by that name is anywhere vaguely nearby they will experience a variation of mind-control urging them to complete a task which in some way benefits the ants. This presents, at best, a continuing inconvenience for anyone who lives near them, as ants repeatedly call upon them; at worst this can result in significant brain damage from anyone who resists this brainwashing strongly enough. The only known mitigation measure is to destroy the ants involved in forming the given circle to break the spell.
For the task of eradicating these bugs, the church comissioned a monastic order to adopt 33 infants, provided with ample food and supplies to raise these infants nameless, divided across 9 different temples. The monks were forbidden from naming these children or referring to them habitually by any moniker or identifier. After 17 years, 20 children survived and remained unnamed. These children have been trained in all extant knowledge of ants and related species, the process of human name summoning by The Bugs, and methods of extermination. Of the 20, 18 have expressed the desire to exterminate The Bugs. Their training has concluded, and it is time to send them out into the world.

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Apr 21, 2024 01:09

Interesting and novel sort of creature hazard. One presumes that other methods of control, restriction or extermination were attempted. It would be good to address these and how they were not satisfactory.