Saturday, November 9, 2013

More Decisions About Termites

Here are a few more decisions/flavor pieces that shape the ‘big picture’ of the termite mound:

- We’re increasing from three termite clans/families to four. The fourth will be focused on genetic mutation, attempting to develop super-powers that would allow the queen to regenerate, live forever, and be nigh invulnerable. I see them extracting animal parts and radiating these, experimenting to see what happens. An entire node could be devoted just to developing a ‘human torch’ insect, littered with failed experiments and odd fire-based machines. The same could be true for any number of powers these termites would care to develop.

- The mound is an ancient space (by bug standards). There was once a great termite empire (back in the day – which might only be ten years ago, but to insects this would be a long time, right?) the termites constructed this huge, labyrinthine mound. Then, the sickness came, and wiped them out almost completely. They retreated into the dark, nursing their wounds and living on the edge of annihilation for a few generations. This most recent queen came to power, and restored the power and prestige of the termites, saving them from the brink of extinction. They began to return to the mound proper, exploring old passages and tunnels that had fallen into disuse, sometimes inhabited by other creatures. When the queen died at the height of this exploration, her daughters fell into fighting amongst themselves, and civil war broke out along clan lines throughout the complex. There are no clear lines of who controls what – they were once intermingled throughout, and when civil war erupted, everyone claimed a piece of territory and started to defend it.

- There would be ‘neutral nodes’ where none of the four families lays claim.

- As I think about this whole story, I’m influenced by the flavor of Arkham Asylum (a game I’ve never played, but which I think I get the basic premise – might want to track that down…) A lone dark hero descends into a massive complex populated by insane creatures of great power.

- Edit: I was thinking also that Phil is an important character, since he is in constant contact with Zak, providing him with intel or helping him work through problems (you can elect to take or ignore his advice at various points throughout). Then, as I was reading about Arkham Asylum, I saw that a character was included in the game that performed the same function... hmm. Great minds think alike! Just so you know, I did develop this idea independently of the Batman game - don't let your friends tell you otherwise!