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Birth of the Hivebroodby cj
Just a little Christmas present to all of you on this Holiday Season, enjoy it for what it is...a story of how the HIVEBROOD came to be and the origin of Thanatos. Completely made up and without any basis in canon, it was fun writing it anyway. The idea came to me while reading some of the Cthulhu type items that some of you have been playing with lately. The Brood could serve as a similar type of "assimilating menace" in a campaign. Gives a great reason behind the Hivebrood showing up in a campaign and becoming a worldwide threat. Just think, an invasion of the Hivebrood from another dimension where they have recovered, conquered and evolved and the possibility of EVERY LIVING THING becoming "brood", not to mention that they are literally the "offspring" of Thanatos. Lots of fun things to play with here...but as I said...it's all just for fun Merry Christmas
With a scream of agony the captives body dissolves into the warm nutrient bath surrounding the OVERMIND. The OVERMIND does not notice. The OVERMIND does not care. The OVERMIND drinks in the memories of the captive...of the scout? It was a scout? The OVERMIND sifts through the knowledge in alarm. THEY know of the OVERMIND'S existence...THEY know of the OVERMIND'S location...THEY are COMING!!! The OVERMIND sends forth IT'S commands. The ENEMY knows too much, there is no way an adequate defence can be mounted. Even now, an assault team has been sent to destroy the HIVE. A contingency plan is in order. A MOTHER must be secured with enough BROOD to ensure the continuation of the HIVE. Defensive fortifications must be put into place and more knowledge secured in order to protect the MOTHER and the HIVE. Another captive and yet another are fed to the MIND, IT'S knowledge growing with each sacrifice, IT becomes aware of another WAY, a WAY between worlds. This is the solution...the ANSWER. But the WAY is fraught with peril, it is uncertain. A chemical scream echoes through the HIVE, the ENEMY has arrived. Wielding weapons of fire and ice they attack the BROOD. THEIR armour is too much for the HIVE'S defences...the BROOD are dying...soon the ENEMY will reach the birthing chambers and all will be lost. The HIVE will end...this must not be. The OVERMIND concentrates, weaving the ETHER into a complex skein. Patterns form and the fabric of reality twists with a gut wrenching jerk. An opening appears in space, a black hole into nothingness. This is the WAY, the only hope for the HIVE. The BROOD surrounding the MOTHER enter first, all communication with them severed as they pass through the portal into blackness. Then comes a LEADER to guide the BROOD. Then the MOTHER moves slowly forward. Just before she enters, one last command is sent to her...when she reaches the other side, create a MIND to guide the HIVE. The HIVE must SURVIVE!!! Sounds of gunfire echo through the warrens...explosions shake the earth as the MOTHER disappears into the VOID. The ENEMY reaches the chamber...icy rays coming from their arms and beams of light and fire from the weapons in their hands. The OVERMIND moves to block their access to the VOID GATE. They must not be allowed to follow the MOTHER. The GATE closes as flame engulfs the OVERMIND. IT'S last thought being that now the HIVE will survive and flourish to some day return to it's home...
First Lieutenant Soth Turon of the Third Blackmoorian Battalion surveyed the remnants of the last hive on Mystara. It had taken years, but finally intel had tracked the "overmind" to this festering swamp. It was unfortunate that they were too late to save the scout team that had been sent ahead...Scout Simbar Kahn and the Mage Erinth Morta were two of the most capable and highly regarded of the Home Guard Defence Force and would be missed. A sergeant rushed up and with a quick salute gave his report "Sir, I think that you should see this, we've found the OVERMIND!" The sergeant led Soth to a large, bloated insectile body surrounded by tentacled filaments that once fed the warped being that they sprouted from. "It appears to still be alive sir", the sergeant said. The overmind's head turned slowly, showing a disturbingly human visage to Soth, "Damn," Soth exclaimed, "it's Than Athos!!!"
The OVERMIND rasped out a dry chuckle..."So Soth," it breathes, "we have met again, you have won this round, but my CHILDREN shall return to take this World from you some day!"
"Secure him," ordered the visibly disturbed Lieutenant. "Perhaps, Than Athos, the genetic engineers can repair the damage that you have done to yourself."
"Damage? HA, you have no idea of the perfection that I have achieved. I have created a NEW MASTER RACE. The next stage in evolution. My new CHILDREN are perfect, with none of my former races weaknesses. They shall persevere while you and your antiquated gene pool are extinguished!" Than replied. With that, the bloated THING once known as the greatest genetics engineer on Mystara was placed into stasis to be transferred to the high security research facilities outside the city of Blackmoor.
2 months later, an explosion rips through Blackmoor City as the Rain of Fire begins. The partially regrown Than Athos, his body and mind still in ruin by the experimental reconstruction techniques used by the scientists in charge of his "re-birth", is caught in the shockwave. The techno/arcane energy produces a metamorphosis in what is left of him. Rising from the ashes of Blackmoor City and the Rain of Fire comes a NEW BEING, no longer Than Athos, HE has become the IMMORTAL THANATOS, bringer of DEATH.
And HIS CHILDREN shall some day return...
Alternately, "Than Athos" could have been an avatar of Thanatos working to create a new race through which all life on Mystara would become corrupted and destroyed...thereby fulfilling his ultimate goal as a servant of the sphere of Entropy of the destruction of all life. Indeed, the whole "Blackmoor Incident" of the Beagle coming through a rift in space, landing on Mystara and the subsequent "Rain of Fire" cataclysm could have been engineered by the Ancient One in order to bring the genetic engineering knowledge and scientific skills necessary for the creation of his "child race" to Mystara so that he could benefit from them. One minor miscalculation in his plans resulted in a setback that forced his minions from the Mystara plane and into another dimension/world. There they proceed to infest the world and develop into new and more varied forms before they are once again found by Thanatos via a human mage follower of Mystara who Thanatos instructed to search for them. After 150 years of combing various planes of existence he finally found what he was looking for and reported to his Master. Thanatos instructs him to open a gateway to this other world and contact the HIVEMIND. In doing so the mage is consumed, his knowledge spread to the HIVE, and the new invasion begins...
If you would like it to stay within "canon" you can use this idea instead of the first :) same basic history, different reasoning behind it. A way to add some horror elements to your campaign when friends and relatives become infected and changed right before their eyes...almost an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" type of feel. All it would take is a new form of Brood that doesn't modify the host as much/as quickly and all sorts of fun can be had by all..."What was that? You said that you were bitten by a funny looking bug? Ewwww, look at that nasty scaly stuff around the bite, almost like an insect carapace...you really ought to put something on that before it gets an infection..."