The latest part in Underfoot's Unfolding the Lore series is out and centers in on Arthicrex, the hive of those troublesome cliknars we've been battling over the past few weeks.
Built by a race of ant-like creatures known as the Cliknar, Arthicrex is the great anthill of the Underfoot. The interior of Arthicrex itself is composed of winding circular tunnels and circular rooms, built from mud and trimmed with stone and chitin. Cliknar live crowded in spaces that most species would find confining.
Entering the hive itself is a deadly proposition, as the Cliknar will attack en-masse and swarm over any foe.
The southern end of the cavern housing Arthicrex is currently home to a group of disaffected Underfoot races who have built a temple dedicated to the idea of enlightened self interest, a notion being spread by followers of a new cult which calls themselves the Autarchians. Though the Cliknar also heard the indoctrination of the Autarchian messengers, they interpreted the message differently, being a hive mind.
The unity of the hive mind, together with the teachings of the Faith of Self, have caused the Cliknar to deviate radically from the plans of Brell Serilis, and to cause the ruin of vast portions of Underfoot as area after area falls under Cliknar attack.
The northern half of Arthicrex is a large desert, formerly fertile and beautiful but now given over to spider infestations, mining, and military maneuvers as the Cliknar perfect their plan for the conquest of all of Underfoot. Their desires for much more than territorial acquisition has turned them away from Brell and the needs of the Underfoot. Their lack of faith in their god has caused the great farmlands to decay into their current state.
The Cliknar were once orderly servants of Brell Serilis, tending their farms and feeding the denizens of Underfoot through their efforts. All but forgotten by Brell, the Cliknar were the first creatures to fall under the sway of the heresy of the Faith of Self. They came to believe that they should be allowed to farm whatever they wanted, to DO whatever they wanted. They also discovered that they had a taste for Sporali. Slowly they dedicated more and more of their efforts to things that they desired rather than things that Brell desired.
These great ants became too powerful and too numerous, following their adherence to the influence of the Faith of Self. They began to ignore the will of Brell and behaved as they saw fit. This caused the other races of Brell to push them back to their hive and seal off their tunnels with great masses of quarried stone from the Underquarry. This measure is only a stopgap, for the ants are very clever and are figuring on ways to burrow out of their home to do as they please.
The hive of the Cliknar is the fortified hub of the community. The highest pinnacles loom hundreds of feet above the ground. The interior of the Hive is a maze of mud passages and small rooms, all swarming with inhabitants.
The Cliknar Queen runs the hive mind through scent and sound commands. She was the first of the minions of the Underfoot to fall sway to the Faith of Self. While the Cliknar workers do not fully understand the Faith of Self, their hive queen believes in it and so they follow its tenets.
Now that the Cliknar have broken down the barriers sealing them in the Arthicrex, they dominate the area, maintaining several slave races and food sources.
Here are a few images of Arthicrex (you can check out a few more at EQLive):