A large race of insect-like humanoids gifted with immense mental power. They can have forms resembling any different type of insect. Despite their mental powers, true magic is completely unheard of among them. They are typically a peaceful race, though deadly when threatened.
Average Lifespan:: 200 years
Average Height:: 5'10
Average Weight:: 200 pounds
Location Found:: Primarily Lizzarkyth, though abroad.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
The Queens Zirus, and true-zirus, live in large hives ruled by the Queens. Their word is law, by nature rather than force. They are much larger and more powerful than the regular zirus, many of them capable of growing larger than dragons. They are also immortal. The Queens typically resemble several different species blended together, and are capable of producing any of the species they resemble. The Queens are also far more powerful than their normal kin, though their abilities are still not true magic, limited, however slightly, by what is in their environment.
The Queen's Guard The Queen's Guard are the only true fighting force the zirus have. Each one is heavily skilled and well trained, in some cases even bred for the sole purpose of fighting. They will not act unless the queen is threatened, but when they do so they can kill even an average dragon with relative ease. They typically have the mark of their particular city or Queen branded on their carapaces. In the case of true-zirus Queen's Guard, they would go to one of the ordinary zirus cities to have it done.
Hive Mind Both types of zirus possess a hivemind. The node of the mind, which keeps it intact, is the Queen. This is the reason her word is law. However, zirus can choose to pull themselves out of the hivemind, similar to a dragon severing or weakening their bond with their rider. While this is fairly traumatic, a zirus can rejoin the mind at any time by asking the Queen. The mind is not absolute, and often only functions subtly, pushing the zirus to be more productive, or focusing their attentions. In danger, however, the mind becomes more powerful, directing them more effectively.
Zirus Cities Every member of a zirus city must build their own home, carving them out of the rock deep below the surface. The cities are welcoming places, peaceful and friendly to outsiders. Conflicts rarely occur between members of the same city, though occasional strife can occur between different cities.
Species info credited to Raven and Mikelus.
Appearance A bipedal, insectoid race of heavily armored humanoids. The zirus look like any arthropod ever seen in the wide Realms, including arachnids and crustaceans. The only common trait is that they all sport a pair of 'main-arms' and legs, with more bestial, insect-like legs attached to their backs, chests or sides, depending on the species they are based on or what they were bred for. Females tend to be slender with slightly more curves then their male counterparts, though some have so much armor that such curves vanish. One member of the zirus can differ greatly from another, having tough armor, or lighter armor for increased speed. The range of adaptions they can take is practically endless.
Culture The zirus do not wish war on anyone, in spite of the violent nature of their smaller cousins, this race on a whole are very peaceful, wishing nothing more then to create great works of art and trade with other races. If any being claims sanctuary within a hive-city, they shall be protected, no matter what that creature has done. They stress their neutrality to the point that few if any other races trust them. Instinct draws male zirus to follow females. The zirus have fair relations with all underground species, even managing to turn goblin hoards away with a few shiny trinkets. However, the surface world tends to fear them, being giant arthropods so like to their much smaller, uncivilized cousins. In a growing city, each zirus builds his or her home on with whatever they find to be a stable foundation. These cities tend to look like giant patch-work quilts with the more artistic members making lavish structures.
Abilities A zirus hive shares between its members powerful mental abilities, including but not limited to mind reading and telekinesis, as well as mentally-bound abilities over fire, water, earth, and lesser things such as blood and bodily fluids. While these powers mimic true magic, they are in fact born solely of the mind and pure focus, not aura or spirit. Few really master these mental powers beyond a sudden gout of flame or burst of air. They are unable to create the elements themselves, and are only able to bend existing resources to their will. Those who can gain greater control of their elements are extremely dangerous if confronted.
Death had never been one to let an opportunity to spread misery or suffering go to waste. He had witnessed time and again even some of the bravest of people draw back upon being confronted by lowly insects and arachnids. But, it wasn’t until he came upon a particularly large, black, hairy spider feeding on a bird that he decided how best to put that almost primal fear to use.
He drew a drop of blood from his own flesh, and fed it to the spider, which greedily consumed the dark god’s offering. Then, with his essence within its body, he wrought a great and terrible change upon it. It began to grow, increasing greatly in size until it rivaled the dragons, and its carapace thickened, growing rough as it formed into a thick natural armor. Its long, slender legs thickened to the point where they could easily support its great mass, and its sharp fangs filled with venom even as they grew long and powerful.
Eight gleaming red eyes stared out of its head, and its mind awakened, made exceedingly potent by Death’s influence. Though it had no true magic of its own, its enormous will could bend existing elements to serve its desires, and it could shift objects with its mind alone. Spider that it was, it was capable of spinning a vast web, touch enough to ensnare a dragon.
Pleased with the monstrosity he had created, Death left it to its own devices, knowing it would soon take to terrorizing other creatures simply through its size, appearance, and desire to feed. He gathered more insects and arachnids, and made several more of the zirus, as he named them, though none would ever reach the same size or mental power as the first.
Many millennia later, many of the zirus began to shift their base forms, becoming bipedal to better fit in with humanoids, though many were still looked upon with distrust, as they still retained many of their insect traits. These humanoid zirus are the type most commonly found by other species. However, there were some zirus who refused to change, steadfastly holding to their original forms, despite knowing the difficulties they would face when dealing with other species. These original zirus are now called the True zirus, and are becoming more and more difficult to find.
This Ancient First was a giant silvery-brown spider with many scarlet eyes. She was a regal, cold creature who directed the other zirus with her awesome telepathic powers. She also seemed to endlessly spawn a constant supply of help via a constant stream of insectoid eggs.
Classification: bestial zirus. Location: rarely abroad.
The true-zirus are the zirus that refused to become humanoids. As the original variant of the zirus, they are stronger and more animal-like than their humanoid cousins. While not more aggressive than their kin, they commonly have more strained relations with the surface world. In addition, they are entirely carnivorous, eating whatever meat they can find. Their abilities are more dependent on the type of insect they are based on, though in general these abilities can carry them closer to true magic than their humanoid cousins. The most common is the spider, though other giant true-zirus have been reported.
The abilities of the true-zirus are based around the type of insect they most resemble. For example, spider-like zirus are much better at stealth and ambushes than a beetle zirus. Despite their enhanced abilities and great size, due to the fact of their carnivorous nature and tense relations with the surface world, the true-zirus have been hunted to near extinction. Large colonies of the trues are no longer in existence, such as giant ants, termites, and other such things.
Classification: Tormented, intelligent zirus. Location: Anquil, Evylon.