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Antinium, also known as The Black Tide and The Invaders from Rhir, are a race of strange ant-like people that had invaded Izril years ago and fought in two bloody wars known as the First and Second Antinium Wars. They live in underground Hives and mainly come in two varieties, Workers and Soldiers. More specialized versions exist, but they vary from Hive to Hive. Each Hive has its Queen and own personality, but the Antinium are united in one goal: to return home.

Antinium Soldier and Worker by Jason Yao

Physiology[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Antinium size varies greatly depending which duty each has. For example, a Soldier is much taller, and wider than a Worker. Their blood is green.[1]

Worker Appearance:[edit | edit source]

They have dark brown chitinous body with a huge abdomen, rounded backs, bipedal legs, four arms, rounded feet, two feelers on top of their heads, two long pincers coming out of there mouth and black bulbous eyes which are multi-faceted like those of an insect. Their shells are as tough as any leather armor.

Soldiers Appearance:[edit | edit source]

These Antinium are nearly twice the size of Workers, with massive forearms and spiked, sharp gauntlets formed of their exoskeleton.[2]

Physical Qualities[edit | edit source]

Antinium Soldiers fight hand-to-hand and charge into pikes and magical traps without regard for their lives. They can continue to attack even when mortally wounded, and they are capable of bludgeoning even the most well-armored warrior to death given time.

Antinium are resistant to various poisons and toxins. They are not affected by Crelers toxins.[3]They are also resistant to diseases that affect humanoid races,[4] and infection, meaning using a healing potion on an old wound has much less chance of festering by boosting the infection.[5]

Antinium are capable of surviving in freezing temperatures for about two hours before needing warmth again.[6]

Senses[edit | edit source]

All Antinium connected to the same hive can share memories and thought process, enabling telepathic communication. For both long ranges and greater synchronisation, the True Antinium had the means of the Unitasis Network.

Listener-Antinium have specialized their senses for ultra-sensitive hearing, but are unsuitable for any other role and die young.

Lifespan[edit | edit source]

Most Antinium are created through Birther Vats. These Birthers need to be monitored by a Queen to function, are difficult to transport, and cannot make more of themselves, requiring a Queen to create new ones. They are also so fragile that if one shouted in their presence, they would be injured and lose the Antinium they were creating. Recently, the Twisted Queen improved on the design and created Autonomous Birthers. These Birthers are easier to transport, do not require a queen to function, are able to clone themselves, and have their resistance upgraded to thick glass.[7] However, currently they still aren't fully independent, as they can be miscalibrated or underfed and produce poor quality results.[8] The creation process of a Queen is unknown, and the Queens of Izril have lost the means or knowledge to make new ones.

The 1st Grand Queen was said to have lived for several centuries, although it is not known whether she naturally lived that long or if she had to undergo the Rite of Anastases.[9] If Grand Queens live as long as Queens, then it is more likely that the 1st Grand Queen was forced to make use of the Rite. Before the Queen of the Free Antinium left Rhir, which means a bit over 20 years ago, she was considered "young, a new Queen, barely more than a child".[10] And, yet, Klbkch wondered only after around 2 decades if it is time for her to go through the Rite, as she is "certainly old". This shows that the Queens have even shorter lifespans than Humans.[11]

Soldier Antinium vs. Undead, by Brosciple Of Brodin

As for the Workers, one can make a rough estimation based on Pawn's statements. He said to have been "created long after those wars", which refers to the 2 Antinium Wars. The last one happened only 12 years ago, though it hasn't yet been revealed when it ended.[12] Furthermore, he also said that he "lived more than half of the average Worker’s lifespan".[13] This would mean that if one were to say that he had been created around 9 years ago, his total lifespan would probably at most be around 17 years. Although, when he was talking about the average Worker's lifespan, he might have not been referring to how long they naturallly live but their short life expectancy that is the result of being often used as soldiers in the dungeon. It is confirmed that their lifespan is at the very least above 13 years, and that it is around that age that they start to deteriorate in quality due to old age.[14]

While it is not known how long exactly the Workers live, it is known that when they grow old, they will become slower, to the point that they would be given jobs fitting their station. As they keep aging, they will reach the point were they would be too slow and too weary, until they curl up and stop breathing.[15]

Diet[edit | edit source]

The Antinium's diet is varied, but primarily consists of meat and other products that are ground into a nutritious but incredibly bland high-caloric paste[16] called celdes-paste.[17] They can also digest most dishes eaten by humanoids, but all Antinium made based on Galuc’s form[18] are all naturally gluten-intolerant, making bread, pasta and similar dishes difficult to process as it makes them lethargic and does nasty things to their digestion.[19] A weak magical charm against food poisoning has been shown to be successful in allowing them to consume these products without issue.[20]

Soldiers need about three times the amount of food as workers. For that reason, regular workers and soldiers eat in separate mess halls and use differently-sized earthenware bowls, so that they can be served efficiently.[16]

Worker, Silent, Soldier and Flying Antinium by Flausche Soeckchen

Despite the variety of foods that are available to them, the Antinium in Liscor's Hive have shown a preference for different forms of bugs. This includes both Acid Flies and Ashfire Bees to date. Though these bugs do not meet their nutritional requirements, they are tasty.

Sleep[edit | edit source]

The Antinium are unable to lie down to sleep, as their backs do not curve like mammals, but resemble beetles in many ways, like the rocking that occurs when they lie down, which is not desired. Thus, both Workers and Soldiers prefer to sleep while sitting. The Workers of Liscor's Hive have huge barrack-like sleeping areas that hold five hundred, where they can rest. Six hours are considered adequate sleep for Workers. Different Antinium are using the same alcove to sleep in during their 'sleep shift'.[16]

Magical Qualities[edit | edit source]

Antinium do not have any mages, as they possess no mana reserves. The only exception is Xrn. However, it is possible for Antinium to become [Shamans], as evident by Grass Shell becoming one.[21]

Antinium are difficult to raise as undead,[22] and none have been shown rising naturally. This may be due for the same reason arthropods do not naturally rise as undead, due to lacking bones to store the death magic.

Special Abilities[edit | edit source]

It is possible for the Queens to revive a deceased Antinium by doing a ritual called Rite of Anastases, but it is rarely done, as the ritual costs a lot of resources and time (three weeks without rest). Therefore, the Queens would only consider a Prognugator or another Queen worthy of the effort and time required. The Antinium revived will lose a great deal of levels and skills possessed before dying.[23] However, the rite isn't solely used to revive deceased Antinium, but also to rejuvenate Queens that have reached a too-advanced age.[24]

The Antinium have safeguards to fight off hostile enchantments and illusions built into their very nature when they were created. One of those protections was an innate resistance to mental trickery. Under the effect of mental enchantment, only a part of the Antinium's mind is affected, while the rest can still think and fight back control of their body back. This an effective bit of mental conditioning that made the Antinium so effective in battle. However, these safeguards have limits in regards to Aberrations; should an Antinium be subjected to the effect of strong enchantment such as true [Insanity], they would become an Aberration at once.[25]

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

The Antinium cannot swim. They are unable to float, and despite being able to hold their breath for an extended duration, they perish of suffocation like any other species.[26]

Antinium do not possess arteries or a closed circulatory system. As such when they sustain massive hemorrhage, it is almost impossible to close a vein or stem the bleeding. Only intensive treatment can save them at that point.[27]

As a necessity, all Antinium that recreated and modified from Galuc’s form suffer from chemical imbalances, such as gluten-intolerance. However such imperfections do not extend to Queens[18] and Antinium not based on Galuc.

History[edit | edit source]

The Antinium were created by the sleeping demigoddess under Rhir. At some point they gained independence.[22]

Once, the Antinium Hives were only semi-linked and fought among themselves, and Queens even killed each other despite their common goals. The First Grand Queen solved this by creating the Unitasis Network, uniting the species and elevating them to be the dominant force on Rhir.[28] They would complete the Trials of Levelling and gain the ability to level.[29]

They learned to develop their Unitasis Network with the aid of psychic beings that lived underground in Rhir. They expanded through layers of ancient civilizations, and for a time had no concept of direction due to the large quantities of water and lessened gravity encountered at extreme depths. When they first breached the surface, the first people they encountered were half-Elves and Halflings. Only seventeen Centinium had been created at the time.[30][22]

After the Grand Queen died, the Antinium sought to conquer other continents in order to build up great armies there and then return to Rhir to destroy their enemy.

First Antinium War[edit | edit source]

The Antinum first appeared in Rhir, and quickly overwhelmed the land. The Blighted King's armies were defeated time and time again, until they were forced back to the First Wall, the final defence for their kingdom. Likewise, the Demon King's forces had been bested and they had retreated to the brink of their territory. However, instead of conquering the continent, the Antinium departed suddenly and swiftly.

Worker, Soldier, Flying and Silent Antinium by mg

The kingdoms of the world warily watched their coasts for signs of the Antinium. It was Izril that would ultimately be the landing ground for the Antinium species. Surprisingly, of the 200 ships that were seen leaving Rhir, only four made landfall. The rest were destroyed, having been pursed by the fleets of Rhir and [Pirates], and then bring wrecked by great storms summoned by [Mages] of Wistram and other enclaves. The Antinum weathered all this, but were finally brought low by a Kraken and its horde, leaving only four ships containing a handful of Queens, and a few Centenium.

Nevertheless, their numbers were still enough to pose a serious threat. After further experimentation and sacrifice of Queens, the Antinium were able to replenish their numbers. This came at great cost to the remaing Queens, as they forced their bodies to accommodate manual birthing of thousands of Antinium, a process that had been abandoned by the Antinium as they evolved. After months of hiding and rebuilding their forces, the Antinium attacked.[31]

This incursion led to the bloody year-long war known as the First Incursion War or the First Antinium War, in which hundreds of thousands of Antinium soldiers established huge colonies across the southern plains, razing cities and forcing Gnoll tribes to retreat into the lower plain regions. Initially, the northern cities and allied confederacies were slow to react to the Antinium sweeping through the plateaus and rugged mountainous regions of the continent, underestimating the dangers of an entrenched Antinium Hive and the true numbers of the Antinium concealed beneath the earth. It was only after five cities were lost that they decided to act.

The tide of the war only changed after the discovery of the Antinium’s fatal weakness. Using their newfound tactics, the Southern Alliance used long-range mage spells to assault Antinium Hives and deter attacking forces. Several Hives were destroyed entirely before a temporary truce was formed between the Antinium Queens and the Collective and the leaders of the city-states. This peace was tenuous however and lasted for only eight years when the Drakes attacked the Antinium, leading to the Second Incursion War.[32]

Second Antinium War[edit | edit source]

The Second Antinium war started at when a Drake army, formed by three Walled Cities and several lesser city-states to destroy the Antinium, crossed the Antinium border and laid siege to one of the Hives, intent on killing one of the seven remaining Queens. They entrenched themselves and used rain-tactics to flood the tunnels.

Klbkch and Xrn were the only Prognugators in range to help and they launched a desperate counterattack to break the siege before the Queen drowned. Thousands of Soldiers perished attempting to overwhelm the Drakes, but repeatedly failed to penetrate Drake lines. Klbkch led the Antinium forces himself in a full-scale attack while Xrn focused on killing the [Mages] and stopping the rain, then led a second charge. The Drake forces broke when Wrymvr and reinforcements of Flying Antinium arrived.

The Antinium retaliated and the war began. Wrymvr was released from his post as protector of the Grand Queen and led an army against an army from Pallass. The Hives also deployed the Flying and Silent Antinium, developed after the first war. These variants invalidated the tactics prepared by the Drakes, swiftly flanking their enemies and mounting surprise attacks on vulnerable and high profile targets.

The Silent Antinium created such fear that Drake cities locked down their gates for fear of infiltration, which the Silent Antinium bypassed regardless. They were eventually checked by the Assassin's Guild, who put out a contract on all Silent Antinium and dueled them out of sight in what would be known as the War of Sighs.

The three Centinium and their respective armies kept advancing, undefeatable save by the most famous Drake [Generals]. Zel Shivertail routed Klbkch's army and Xrn's was stalled by multiple assailants, but Wrymvr rampaged unchecked behind Drake lines and hunted down Drake commanders.[33]

The Antinium also tried to send armies to seize parts of northern Izril, but Teriarch again stopped their invasion of the north by destroying two armies.[34]

When Tallis the Stormbreaker led the Goblin forces in the south, they came too close to one of the Hives and an army was sent to attack them, led by Xrn. Tallis destroyed the Antinium army in less than ten minutes with one spell, forcing Xrn to flee. He destroyed the next two armies as well. The Antinium realized that the Goblin King's might had to be broken at any cost, and they changed tactics to harassing and ambushing the Goblins to wear them down. Tallis' battlefield-wide spells were especially suited to destroying the Antinium, so they fled him and destroyed lesser Goblin armies instead.

Later, Velan went south, encircled a Hive, and entered to personally kill the Queen. The Antinium immediately ceased attacking the Goblins and pulled back all of their armies to defend the other Hives.[35]

The Antinium agreed to a truce with the Drakes, sending reinforcements led by Klbkch to lift the Siege of Liscor by Az'kerash. The Antinium charged the undead three times, breaking their lines and allowing the Drakes under General Zel to charge as well. Attacked on two sides, the Necromancer was defeated. Klbkch and Zel had to be separated to prevent them attacking each other in the immediate aftermath.

The Antinium and Drakes ceased hostilities and agreed to an alliance against the Goblin King for the remainder of the war. The Grand Queen and Drake commanders signed a Peace Treaty, in which establishing a Hive in Liscor was part of the terms.

Both forces turned their attention to the Goblins. Wrmvr killed one of the Goblin Lords in personal combat, and the combined might of Xrn and three Archmages killed Tallis. During the final battle of the war, the Antinium helped separate Velan from his remaining Goblin Lords.[36]

Post-War[edit | edit source]

There are currently six[37] known Antinium Hives located in Izril. All five of them are being under the authority of the Grand Queen. One of the laws she set was that the Queens of each colony are prohibited to bear Queens of their own.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Antinium have a strict caste system, therefore every member of the Hive has a single task to fulfil —a soldier is to defend the Hive, a Worker to construct, and so on. Another noticeable feature of the race is the lack of self-consciousness. Every Antinium, except for selected few, such as the queen, and the Prognugator, appears almost machine-like. The only thing they live for is to simply fulfil the task that was given to them. There have been few, who managed to achieve self-consciousness, called Aberrations or Individuals.

Once an Antinium has become an Aberration, it becomes immensely aggressive and tries to kill everything it sees. As a result of that, once someone has been identified to be one, they are immediately killed. Individuals, on the other hand, show no such negative behaviors, and as a result of that are very desired by the hive, though the success rate of an Antinium becoming one is extremely low. Only the Queen of the Free Antinium attempted to create Individuals, as the other Queens believe it to be pointless and only leads to a waste of resources.

Centenium[edit | edit source]

The Centenium had been the ageless champions of the Antinium. While it appears that the knowledge to create them had been lost, it is said that the Antinium sacrificed a million lives for the first Centenium.[38]

The Grand Queen made many Antinium in many shapes to serve every role imaginable, but she labored upon, gave individuality to, and bestowed names and strength to one hundred. They were not made to be spent and replaced like the other Antinium. The Centenium were made to be one thing and one thing alone: to be heroes.[33]

Currently, only 3 Centenium are still alive on Izril, while at least one other resides in Rhir.[39][40] While it is not known what exactly the original task of the Centenium was, it was said that it pertains directly to Gods.[41]

Caste System[edit | edit source]

Others[edit | edit source]

  • Individual Antinium

There are 21 who are considered to be the original Individuals. These are the names of those we know: Anand, Belgrade, Bird, Bishop, Calabrian, Emanuel, Garry, Jose, Magnus, Milner-Barry, Knight, and Pawn.

  • Autonomous Antinium
  • Aberration Antinium

Antinium Varieties[edit | edit source]

  • Queen
  • True Antinium
  • Flying True Antinium
  • Borer True Antinium
  • Centenium Antinium
  • Worker Antinium
  • Soldier Antinium
  • Birther Antinium[44]
  • Listener Antinium
  • Drone Antinium
  • Silent Antinium / Assassin Breed / Infiltrator Antinium
  • Armored Antinium
  • Flying Antinium
  • Twisted Antinium
  • Sword Prognugators
  • Glowing Antinium
  • Steelclad Antinium
  • Exploding Workers

True Antinium[edit | edit source]

Not much is known about True Antinium. What is known is that they are considerably more advanced than the Izrilian Antinium, which is due to the fact that most of the Izrilian Queens' knowledge were lost at sea. Klbkch considered them to be similar to Individual Antinium (albeit superior in every way) in terms of personality, though they were unable to level as quickly. Their armies could fight with a single thought and their morale was unbreakable.[45] True Antinium had mental links and are capable of talking with each other over vast distances. They also came in all shapes and sizes.[42] The bodies of the few True Antinium seen in the series are made of the same unbreakable material of Xrn's body and Klbkch's swords.

They are much more powerful than the Antinium in Izril, as one Hive claimed they could overrun the Blighted Kingdom by themselves.[40]

They are allied with the Demons, though they do not participate in conflict with the Blighted Kingdom.

Hives[edit | edit source]

The Six Hives in Izril[edit | edit source]

Hive Ruler
Hive of the Grand Queen Grand Queen
Hive of the Free Antinium Free Queen
Hive of the Armored Antinium Armored Queen
Hive of the Flying Antinium Flying Queen
Hive of the Silent Antinium Silent Queen
Hive of the Twisted Antinium Twisted Queen

Known Hives in Rhir[edit | edit source]

Hive Ruler
War Hive War Queen Heclaivk
Wrchrl Hive Possibly Deceased
Slk Hive Deceased

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Antinium are incapable of blinking,[46] nor weeping.[47]
  • Liscor's Hive created their own alcohol, Rxlvn.[48]
  • Liscor's Hive is the smallest of the six with only around 4000 Antinium.[49]
  • A Drake [Tactician] during the First Antinium War believed each Antinium Soldier to be the equivalent of any Level 15 [Warrior], maybe even stronger the longer the fight lasts them.[50]
  • A thousand Antinium Soldiers are roughly as strong as two Gold-rank teams.[51]
  • The Antinium's greatest disaster occurred on the oceans when they lost almost their entire people. Even now, they are a fraction of what they were.[52]
  • The first Grand Queen was a Level 79 [Supreme Matriarch] – a special class gained from advancing in the [Queen] class for centuries. She was extraordinary among her people because she continued to level even in her later years. She only truly desired one class and seemingly mainly focused on that one, making it highly likely for that to be the reason for her high level, as Ryoka's theory seems to indicate. However, Klbkch stated for her to have had another class, which he oddly enough can't remember any more.[53]
  • It is implied that the Antinium created themselves. Whether this is the creation of individual Antinium by a queen, or the creation of the entire race, is unclear.[54] If one takes into consideration how the race is described and how the Antinium are formed/born it is possible that the creation of the race was the work of an intelligent monster becoming sentient and consequently changing both the looks and inborn roles of its insect Hive-type race from its origins to the Antinium, possibly over a longer period of time and several generations of Queens.
  • The Antinium don’t have anesthesia or painkillers, which leaves them awake and aware of all the pain they sustain, even during painful treatment.[27]
  • Antinium Workers speak in a staccato tone.[34]
  • On Rhir, they called Bags of Holding "lingbegh"[30]
  • If Antinium get sick, they use btiqk to recover. Btiqk are reproducing microorganisms that target pathogens and expel oxygen.[4]
  • Their regenerative gel is called cilxas.[55]
  • Antinium show fear through shaking their antennae.[56]

References[edit | edit source]