Lore Of Kenshi #2: The Hive People

What are hivers?

The name says it all, hivers are a hive based race who work for one goal: to strengthen their hive and serve their queen. Often referred to in slang as bug or insect men by foreigners, hive people are physically very different to humans and Shek, they are relatively bloodless, and their wider eye positions give them a larger field of view.


Apart from their queen, they are all sexless, they have no concept of he, she, or even ‘I’ for that matter, since they work as a collective with no individual needs or aspirations. Hivers hatch from eggs, the only member of society able to reproduce is the queen via parthenogenesis. New queens can be made by having the queen’s eggs fertilized by another hiver.

Other than the queen there are three subraces of hiver: Soldiers (the guardian brutes), Workers (the farmers and labourers) and Princes (the intellects and assassins). Enforced by the queen’s pheromones, all members of society work selflessly together for the good of the hive, even crime is extremely rare since there is no real motivation for it in the homogeneous hives. When it comes to outsiders however, the hive people can be extremely deceptive and untrustworthy.

“Number one reason not to deal with a bug man, you can’t trust ‘em as far as you can throw ‘em! All us ‘no-hives’, as they call us, are just walkin’ Cat signs to ‘em.”

Cabo, the Hub bar drunk


Bug juice

The western hive people are vegetarian, mainly living on cacti and other plant based foods due to their lesser hunting skills and superior farming/gathering skills. Their high-in-cactus diet, means that they are able to produce a kind of super hemp by using their manure as both a fertilizer and additive during it’s fermentation process. Bug juice (known as ‘nutrients’ to the hivers) is an extremely potent and addictive substance known throughout the world.



  • Southern Hives

The Souther Hives’ (location TBC) society goal is to be the sole thinking race in existence; everyone else in the world is seen as a threat to be destroyed for the hive’s well-being. They tend to be territorial and aggressive of outsiders within their area however they will only fight when numbers are in their favour.

  • Western Hives

Thinking in the opposite direction to their cousins, the western hivers see warfare as the least conductive method for Hive survival. Instead, they mainly seek to strengthen their hives pragmatically through industry and trade with other factions so that they can build up a strong defensive military deterrent.


When a queen dies, her subjects all either die, lose their minds or become lost “Ronin”. Alternatively, if a hive person spends too long from the hive, without the queen’s pheromones controlling them they may ‘defect’ to freedom and become an individual, a ronin. Most ronin will die as a result of separation, if madness doesn’t destroy them first. As a result of suddenly going from a higher purpose to nothing but the self, ronins who survive are the most existentially confused and depressed of people.


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