The Vyderac, sometimes referred to as Crimson Fiends, are hive based, "insectoid" found on The Swordfish Islands. Vyderacs can be categorized into five specific morph- and physi- ologies:
- Matron (or Queen)
The Vyderac Matron creates Vyderac Maggots and transforms Maggots into Seekers, Swarmers, or Feeders as the hive requires. She is permanently attached to the location of the hive but hardly defenseless. She is heavily armored, and capable of spitting corrosive acid 50' or more. The acid contains strong pheromones, so if she is ever caught alone, she won't remain alone for long. Matrons prefer to create their hives in trees, but can sometimes be found in caves or ruins.
Maggots are both the juvenile form of all the different types of Vyderac as well as the hive's workers. When a new queen forms a nest, the first several broods of maggots hollow out the inside of the tree. They are unable to process wood pulp, but they eat enough that they literally explode. Most of these maggots go outside the tree to explode so that their corpse and the wood pulp can serve to reinforce and lightly armor the outside of the hive. After this initial batch of maggots expands and armors the hive, the Matron fills much of the new cavity with more maggots that she will tap to become Seekers, Swarmers or Feeders. A maggot tapped to specialize will climb into the Matron's large fleshy sack, where it will form a "nodule" and pupate for a time before eventually ripping its way out once its metamorphosis is complete.
Seekers are able to "see" the flow of warm blood in creatures. They are exceptionally fast and agile flyers and capable of spitting paralytic poison at their prey. This poison is laced with pheromones that summon Swarmers and Feeders to the scene.
Swarmers are very small (like the size of a baseball) but they appear in huge numbers. Swarmer tend to stay on land, but are capable of short distance flight. Their purpose is to ensure that the prey does not harm the Feeder. Swarmers do not typically damage prey directly, preferring to simply climb all over it instead. Should a Swarmer bite warm blooded prey, as soon as they ingest the blood they turn to stone and die. A single stone Swarmer weighs ~2 pounds.
As the prey lies on the ground, partially paralyzed and covered in a mass of Swarmers (some likely stone), the Feeders will fly onto the scene. Feeders have a giant sack on their back, like a balloon. When the sack is full you can hear the blood sloshing around inside it for quite a distance. Feeders fly very slowly, and some say it almost looks like they "hop" through the air instead of "fly". The front two legs of the Feeder end in hooks and can be rapidly extended like a frog tongue or "hookshot". As a Feeder approaches prey it shoots out these hooks and pulls itself over, rapidly closing the gap. Once hooked onto their prey, armored plates that normally cover it's "mouth" open and a long needle like appendage shoots into the prey with extreme force. A single Feeder can drain two pints of blood per minute, and one feeder can comfortably hold the blood of a single average sized human. After filling itself with blood the Feeder returns to the hive where it empties its haul into the Matron's large "scoop shaped" appendage, and the cycle continues.