Hexagota Biology

A Hexagota is a slender, six legged insectoid. Natively a methane breather and adapted to cold conditions. They prefer low light conditions and are well adapted to be able to function even in total darkness. The hives of their home world are endless miles of pitch black tunnels filled only with the chittering cries of Hexagota pupae and the tapping of chitin limbs against the stone walls.

A curious feature of the Hexagota is their ability to consciously cut off blood flow to any of their limbs and replace them as needed. Because all hives are genetically compatible it is easy to grow replacements. Some are even harvested from the dead after a battle and stored for later use. Hexagota biology and the cold temperatures they prefer help preserve disconnected flesh and make it reusable by others within the hive.

While the back four limbs are used solely for locomotion, the front two are adaptable tool limbs capable of being whatever is needed;  everything ranging from digger limbs for chewing through the icy rock of their world, to specialized ranged attack limbs using muscles and gas sacs to propel chitin projectiles at high speed. So long as a Hexagota’s thorax and head survive, it can be easily brought back to the service of the hive with little effort. 

Internally the Hexagota possess powerful coagulocytes capable of sealing up grievous wounds and stopping blood loss with astonishing speed. This healing power was a necessity given the brutality of the melee combat they utilize. Evolutionary pressures and genetic manipulation by the Queens turned what was initially a weak trait into a dominant feature of their biology. All of their internal organs and structures help to facilitate this regeneration.

Like other insects, they possess the ability to emit and detect pheromones as a means of communication. This is in addition to their ultrasonic emissions and use of body language. This intertwined communication has yet to be deciphered by the Realm or Batra. This is both due to how alien it is as well as the uncooperative nature of what few captives they have to study it.

While they prefer to breathe cold methane gas the queens have forced evolutions of their swarms which can survive on everything from nitrogen oxygen mixes to even more esoteric forms of atmosphere like argon and carbon dioxide. There are even Hexagota with gills which have been found on water worlds. This adaptability opens up most worlds to them for conquest and eventual conversion. 

The Queens produce the eggs which are the Hexagota young and all hive-kin are genetically compatible. The Queens themselves are quite risk averse and so to spread their psychic influence and ensure they maintain control of their hive they create genetic clones of themselves called Queenlings.

These small Queens venture forth and perform the Queen’s will with a certain degree of autonomy. This is a two-edged sword however; while a Queen is powerful and often times quite ancient Queenlings can grow in influence and knowledge until such a time when they become powerful enough to challenge the Queen of the hive.

If the Queen wins then the status quo is maintained. However if the Queenling wins they assume the mantle of Queen and the cycle begins anew. This is how the Queens slowly evolve into the strongest and most ruthless of their race. 

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