The Srik'Kr'Sril are a semi-intelligent race of ants that live in the extreme heat of the deserts, and the cool darkness of the night. Their name derives from the Tremederik tongue, and their encounters with the giant ants between the Prizm Wars and the Shaping Wars. The 'Srik' as they're more commonly called, disappeared for millennia, only to reappear during the War of the Undead.
They can travel on four legs or six with equal speed, surveying their environment with sensitive scent detectors, motion-detecting antennae, tiny hairs that can sense vibration, and multi-faceted eyes. Agressively pursuing anything they see as nutricious food for their food-producing fungi, they thoroughly enjoy pork -- and the humanoids that taste like pork: men, elves, dwarves, and ograns in particular. Their sensitive equipment makes it difficult to surprise them, engendering them with a +2 bonus to their surprise rolls. Their desert coloration makes them difficult to detect, and their six legs spread their weight very well -- coupled with their speed, they are formidable opponents, difficult to spot until it's too late.
Impalement (Ex): Against formidable prey, a Srik rears back and attempts to strike its opponent with all four of its deadly claws. It makes only a single attack roll (at its base claw attack), but if that attack is successful, the opponent takes damage as if it were struck by four claws. A Srik can't use this ability against creatures two categories smaller than itself.
Scything Attack (Ex): Unlike female Srik that can rear up to make an impalement attack, the males can make a scything attack from above with all six claws. It makes only a single attack roll (at its base claw attack), but if that attack is successful, the opponent takes damage as if it were struck by six claws. A critical hit with a scything attack is a x2 multiplier (range of 19-20). The attack is so-named because it often beheads prey.
Whirring Attack (Ex): For prey that survive their scything attack, the males can hover just out of reach of fangs or claws, showering their victims with small debris. These miniature whirl-winds inflict 1d6 points of damage per round of exposure, blanketing an area twenty feet on a side. Creatures caught within the whirl-wind are blinded (20% miss chance), and rarely see the second scything attack from above until it is too late. A victim can make a Reflex Save DC 14 to take half damage from the debris.
Breath Weapon (Ex): When truly hard pressed, the males can spit an aersol-like mist at an attacker. Victims can make a Reflex Save DC14 to avoid the mist; should they fail, the prey's eyes and other mucous membranes sting and burn, allowing the male to withdraw -- and report the encounter. The mist has an effective range of twenty feet, spreading over an area nearly twenty feet on a side. The victim is considered blind for 4d4 rounds.
Breath Weapon (Ex): Warriors' aersol-like mist is similar to the males, but different in significant ways. Victims can make a Reflex Save DC15 to avoid the mist; should they fail, the prey's eyes and other mucous membranes sing and burn. Females use this mist first off, to subdue any prey that might be too much for a drone or a male to handle. Afterwards, it may a day or so before the warrior has enough mist to do so again. All Srik are, of course, immune to the mist.
Summon Insects (Ex): When a warrior is reduced to half its Hit Points, it puts out a special pheremone, and ceases to make biting attacks -- using its mandibles to create an ultra-low pitched, subaudible hum that travels for miles. The pheremone and the hum attract all other insects within a dozen miles o the warrior, up to and including other Srik.
Breath Weapon (Ex): The queen will mist any attacker within her hive, but if roving, will reserve her mist until her Hit Points are reduced to half. Victims can make a Reflex Save DC20 to avoid the mist; should they fail, the prey's eyes and other mucous membranes sting and burn. The mist is otherwise identical to that of the males and the warriors.
Summon Insects (Ex): After her breath weapon has been used, a queen will begun humming much as the warriors do. However, her hum and pheremones have such an effective range, that 1d6 hives will respond to her call -- bringing down the wrath of hundreds of males, thousands of warriors, and perhaps millions of drones.
The nests build up, as the tunnels are excavated. Usually the heart of the nest is built over an aquifer or underground river, so that it can provide water to both the fungi they live off of, and to the nest as a whole. The built-up nest is made of the same material as the desert, and is often indistinguishable from the hills or mountains nearby. During their growth seasons, the nest is relatively inactive, and few Srik might be seen about. One false step then can bring an entire swarm out to attack prey so close to the nest.
Srik nests have many tunnels, all of which can accomodate the warriors. There are also several large caverns within the nests where the males can fly. The caverns serve different purposes -- farms, nursuries, cisterns, garbage pits, and the throne room. There are several smaller caverns in which the males rest. These smaller caverns have many tunnels leading in and out of them, and serve as the conditioning rooms for the air, letting the nest breath in and out in complex harmonies of scents and fresh oxygen. As well, some minor species can cohabit with the Srik
A nest's many tunnels are aerated, with the fungi that feeds it at the deep heart of the nest. Other tunnels may branch off for miles away from the nest, aerating the desert and making it more fertile than before. Coupled with the nitrous waste that the Srik exude as a slime along their legs, they can be of great benefit to the desert when held in check by such creatures as elder hatori or even packs of slicer beetles. In addition, most nests feed off of only those things that would best feed the fungi they live on; only after those resources are exhausted, do other plants and animals become a food source.
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