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The species called Legion Ants occupies a large area of land to the northwest, an area called the ant woods after the creatures. It is the solider insects, about half a foot long with small vestigial wings and vicious mandibles, which most resemble ants. Workers are smaller and have large body cavities which they use to store and partially digest food before bringing them back to the hive nexus. Attempts to exterminate these creatures or even to penetrate very vary into their territory have been thwarted by the surprisingly advanced tactics of the insects and the staggering variety of natural weapons they have access to. Human soliders in full containment armed with poison and flamethrowers have fallen to insect soliders that use a hydrolic launch system in their legs to suicidally propel themselves at invaders, melt through protective armour with potent acid and deliver a fatal dose of neurotoxin. Armoured vehicles sink into ground underminded by tunnelling insects. Shelling suspected nest areas from a distance has had little effect and the remaining option -- carpet-bombing the entire area with poison -- would leave it unfit for any particular use even if it did clear out the bugs. Therefore, the local government has given up on exterminating the bugs and instead established a perimeter to prevent any further expansion. This has proven a very popular make-work program and many young people from surrounding cities spend a few years on the bug-ring killing insect scouts.

Most of what we know about these insects comes from dissections of the drones and soliders. Unsettlingly, on a genetic level they are very closely related to claw ants, a relatively harmless social insect that forms small hives in rotten stumps and wood. They may actually be the same species. I have been trying to obtain access to remote monitoring drones to investigate the hive nexi in the depths of ant territory in hopes of better understanding what causes the complex behavior of these ants but have found little cooperation.

As a side note, native legends describe the insects as the embodiment of the wrath of some kind of mindless war-god. I don’t read very much into that, though -- it’s not hard to see how they would arrive at that conclusion after facing these things.

- Dakarai, Notes on the Unnatural
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