Ardan Keale, Tryker Entomologist¶
In response to certain rumours of the Kitin becoming agitated, we went to meet a scholar from the Lakes, an insect specialist, who has studied these creatures for many years. He received us at his underwater residence in Windermeer.
Thank you for allowing us the honor of visiting you, Master Keale. We know that you are extremely busy.
I have in effect a lot of jobs, but when it is a question of enlightening minds, I try to be available. I was pleased to receive, just this morning, an interesting specimen of Hymenoptera Sylvanus Aeris, sent by an associate from the Majestic Gardens. I am eager to examine it.
What is a Hymenoptera Sylvanus Aeris?
It is an insect of the forest, better known under the name of Buzzing Sower. It is easily recognizable by its yellow and brown striped body and its translucent green wings. It has amazing ability to cause the pollen it harvests to glow. Did you know that this pollen was used by the master lamplighters in the ancient times?
To be honest, we did not know. You have an amazing collection of insects on your walls, as if Atys was revealed before our eyes!
I prefer observing insects living in nature and I am loath to kill these splendid living beings. They are so perfect! I sometimes have the opportunity to recover the undamaged bodies of some specimens. Over the years, I gathered this collection. But the dance of the insects is a show that cannot be captured in amber.
Would you consider Kitins superior to homins?
There are numerous types of Kitins, and, for the most part, they seem at first glance to have a purely instinctive behaviour. Yet Kitins are also much more than animals. The sovereigns who control them have plans that concern us, that is for certain.
That is not reassuring at all... Who are these rulers that you mention?
Kitins are organized in swarms and colonies. According to my research, these large groups develop under the command of the individuals of a distinct type called Kizarak. In a way, Kizaraks are the Kitin generals. Only a handful have ever been seen in the new lands. The Emperor Dyron was nearly killed by one during the Battle for the Knot of Dementia. Even so, Kizaraks are not the leaders of Kitin colonies. The supreme rulers are in fact sovereign: the Queens, mothers of all Kitin.
Queens? And they would give birth to all other Kitins?
Yes, they are the founders of colonies. In my knowledge, no queen has been seen in the new lands for 50 years. I had the huge privilege to observe one for a minute and to live to tell about it.
How did you manage to do that?
I had some help from some friends who have developed some particular techniques to approach Kitin. We exchanged information and, thanks to them, I was able to make some very interesting discoveries. For instance, there are four different types of Kitin eggs, and the diet of the grubs is critical in the determination of the social role of future members of a colony.
Who are these mysterious friends of whom you speak?
All that I can tell you is that they are members of the Rangers of Atys. Until now, discretion has been essential in their ranks, but with the increasing threat of the Kitin in the ancient lands, the Rangers have decided to take a cautious step out from the shadows.
Have you been in contact with the famous Fyros scholar Daeronn? He has numerous theories on Kitin and some notable thoughts about the influence of seasons on the Kitin.
I do not work with Daeronn and I disagree with him on a number of points. Based on my observations, for several decades, Kitin have been adapting to life on the bark. Let's not forget that they come from the depths of Atys, and so, the behavior of swarms is not influenced by seasons. Daeronn founded his theories on studies led by the Force of the Brotherhood at the end of the 25th century, an epoch in which the Kitin workers appeared to leave for the winter. Kitins have evolved since then, and like the Homins, they continue to harvest during the cold seasons. As for Daeronn's hypotheses about the reproduction of Kitins in the spring, they are in complete contradiction with the existence of the Queens. I imagine that Daeronn refutes their existence.
An unrelenting hate seems to exist between Kitins and Homins. How do you explain it?
The Karavan tell us that the Kitin are the children of the Dragon, having been born after the Green Rising, and that their hate comes from the anger of the beast that growls within them. I have not found any other explanation, but I think that it shall be difficult, or even impossible, to live in harmony with the Kitin on Atys. Unless they are only a stage towards a kind of supreme being capable of transcending the anger of the Dragon, perhaps... but I digress.
Thank you for answering our questions, Master Keale. Any last words to be said to our readers?
I recommend that they observe all the small animals that swarm about on the Bark to amass knowledge.