Hailing from the Resk system in the California Nebula Sector, the Reskan are hive minds of tiny insects that adopt humanoid forms. Not even recognised as sentient when they were discovered by the Ascendancy, the Commonality regards them as an excellent example of their philosophy of interconnectedness - though they are individually small, together they form a Mind and Will on par with other sophonts. The Resk system was one of the main targets for Commonality control during the Elysian Revelation.
The home planet of the Reskan is a rich and fertile world teeming with life. The majority of living fauna on the planet are species of insect or other arthropoid. Competition for resources among the native life is furious, and most extant creatures display an incredible variety of interesting evolutionary adaptations. The Reskan evolved from several types of hive-forming insects whose individual hives tended to cooperate rather than compete. By the time they were encountered by the Ascendancy, they had formed a sophisticated if diffuse culture and technology base. Their home planet contained numerous small settlements, and an information age level of technology. However, their works were initially thought to be the recently abandoned ruins of another spacefaring species, as the Reskan Hives kept distant from surveyors, and were indistinguishable from the planet's teeming insect life.
Reskan hives always refer to themselves as “we”. They are highly cooperative with allies and tend to form strong friendships.
Reskan are made up of millions of tiny, chitinous insects that resemble Terran beetles or flies. These insects tend to be shades of black and browny-red, but some can be partly iridescent. Reskan hives contain a number of different specialised insects that perform different functions, such as coordination, feeding, protection and distributing weight. Each sub-species (of which there may be hundreds within a single hive) varies in size and shape, but in general they are between 0.5 and 6cm long. All Reskan insects are 6-legged, and have at least vestigial wings. The smallest sub-species tend to be the most mobile - often carrying food and other essential elements around the rest of the hive. The largest sub-species tend to be much more static, providing structure such as a bone-equivalent, or performing specialist functions such as the largest insects, the queens, who restore the hive's numbers.
Reskan communicate with others via hundreds of specialised insects who rub their legs together to produce a slightly buzzing speech. Although many hives choose to form themselves into a roughly humanoid shape and wear humanoid clothes, others may take the form of amorphous masses of buzzing insects or any other shapes they can sustain. A Reskan Hive can even slowly change its shape given time to redistribute its various insects.
Reskan hives are extremely difficult to eradicate – when they take damage, a few individual creatures die, but the majority merely disperse into the local area. As a result, they do not have locational hits – instead, they have 10 global hits, and become unconscious when this total is brought to 0. Each +1LH they would gain normally instead becomes +3 global hits. Reskan have a Death Count of 200 seconds. Reskan cannot wear armour – their bodies are unable to support its weight. When they do take damage, Reskan hives can rapidly reintegrate separated individuals as long as they remain in the area – they regain 1 of their total body hits for every minute they remain in the area where they took damage, as long as they are not in combat or performing other intensive activities. Reskan hives are also immune to the LETHAL call, and call RESIST any time they are hit by it.
Reskan hives are more vulnerable to certain specific attacks – the DISRUPT call causes a massive loss of hive cohesion for a short time – if a Reskan is hit with DISRUPT on their global hits, they suffer a KNOCKOUT effect for 30 seconds (which can be reduced by the Steel Head skill as normal). If a Reskan Hive is incapacitated (on 0 body hits), a DISRUPT call will begin their Death Count (rather than LETHAL). The First Aid and Physician skills can be used on a Reskan as normal, although the roleplay they perform may be different.
Environmental toxins can rapidly poison a Reskan hive – their many-bodied forms respire from everywhere, so the hive can quickly take on a lethal load of toxin. Reskan are unable to use respirators (but can still take advantage of full-body forms of environmental protection), and environmental toxins progress in a quarter of the time it takes in most species. Reskan are also unable to use most injectors without some kind of specialist delivery mechanism like an environmental suit.