And we finally round out our exploration of thriae with the soldier caste. Their queens’ precious merope only affects their prescience long enough to boost their fighting ability, but that’s nothing to sneeze at, especially since it also grants fast healing. A soldier’s character is likely to reflect that of her queen, her seer superiors, and her surroundings—soldiers from more remote or orthodox hives might revere divination as a mystery, while others might be only interested in the gold it brings; some soldiers might be spiritual Amazons who treat fighting as an art, while others may be as happy to mix it up in a tavern as any dwarf.
(I also failed to mention thraie larvae in Friday’s entry on thriae queens, so let’s see if we can’t squeeze some of them in, too.)
Torburg’s Hivetown Quarter is aptly named, as the district has grown up around the giant thriae hive that used to lie on the outskirts of town in generations past. The thraie soldiers’ libertine attitudes toward sexuality make them welcome patrons at the area’s many bars and pubs; in fact, Torburg has become quite a hub for mercenaries, who are as eager to bed the thriae as the thriae are to bed them. Thriae soldiers tend to have problems with alcohol, though, and human mercenaries tend to have problems with merope—making brawls and street battles a daily occurrence that often sweeps up passersby in the melee.
Thriae soldiers defend their hive from local adventurers. When they unleash their fusillades of arrows, even the missed shots are not a waste—any errant arrows strike the waxy wall that line the walls, allowing the larvae inside to attack.
A convoy of thriae soldiers makes a long pilgrimage to a gold mine to pick up the ore they so crave. When they are ambushed by orcs led by a masked human in a wide-brimmed hat, the soldiers believe they have been sold out and treat all subsequent encounters with humanoids as potentially hostile.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 267
Some of The Daily Bestiary’s newer readers are tearing through the archives and commenting/reblogging like mad. I can’t do justice to all their comments in this space, but I encourage you to go explore the blogs of dr-archeville, agelfeygelach, and knightdisciple to see the conversations unfold.
Regarding “outsiders”—I wonder if thriae aren’t meant to be the “wasp-formians” mentioned but not elaborated upon in 3.5’s The Great Beyond.
My gut is no, because thriae are so humanoid; I imagine the wasp-formians are a separate subspecies. But I’ll leave the comment in here in case Todd Stewart wants to weigh in as he sometimes does.