Insect Spirits: the Invae

Fly, Spider, Ant, Roach, Mosquito, Butterfly, Firefly, Mantis, Wasp, Beetle...Insects are some of the oldest, and most alien creatures on earth. Their astral equivalents are also ancient and alien, but they are also powerful and plentiful.

Insect spirits do not come from metaplanes familiar to most metahuman magicians. The power and ultimate doom of all insect shamans comes from these unfamiliar netherworlds, and the voracious intellects that occupy them. Whether a magician has always followed the Insect Totems, or whether they had previously been pledged to a more familiar totem and later fell prey to the invae's influence, few survive the culmination of the Way of the Invae.

Normal magicians may not travel to the metaplanes of the insect spirits, the alien realm from which the Invae come. Little is known of these netherworld(s), save that the invae have referred to them as "crowded." As other shamans reflect or aspire to the nature of their totems, so are the psyches of insect shamans influenced and perverted by their insect totems; often driving the magician with an obsessive compulsion to summon forth as many insect spirits as they can. The ability of the insect shaman to invest Insect spirits is their greatest power, and often the key to their inevitable doom. Unlike most conjurings, the summoning of an insect spirit requires a living host, which gestates for a time, often in a coccoon, as the spirit's astral presence enacts physical changes on the host. The presence of the spirit warps the body and mind of the host, and destroys the host's spirit, even if the process is halted before the merge is complete.

Often, an insect shaman uses unwilling hosts to summon insect spirits, using some means to capture and restrain them. The aborignals of the Australian Outback have accepted the insect spirits into their magical worldview, and allow those they see or sense as marked for the insect spirits to be used in this manner. A few others willingly offer themselves as sacrifices, hoping to become Good Merges and gain a measure of power. These poor fools are all naive, for while the intellect of the host may remain in a good merge, the host's spirit does not.

Generally speaking, the number of invae a given insect shaman may summon is limited by their magical power, experience and will. Insect shaman have means to increse the number of invae they can summon and control:

Among the invae, the Mantids are something of an aberration. The powerful and difficult to control female Mantids consume other insect spirits in order to propogate; and are always "good merges." Mantids, however, are far from metahumanity's allies against the invae, they are still alien beings that must sacrifice the lives of other metahumans to produce.

Opposed to, yet somewhat akin to, the Insect Totems is the Spider Totem. Spider was unleashed from an ancient magical prison in 2050, and set about trasnforming its servants around the world in a manner similiar to investing flesh-form insect spirits. Spider was eventually reduced in power and the fleshy servitors destroyed. The servants of Spider now actively work against the invae wherever they are found.

Invae Timeline

The Burning Time Before the Scourge, during the Age of Legend, the invae spread through southern Barsaive, especially the temples of Chorrolis. They were routed from the Cult of Chorrolis in a period known as The Burning Time, remembered even after the Scourge by the followers of Chorrolis by a time of fasting. The few remaining invae fled to the caverns of Scythia.
















FASA (Shadowrun)

7106 (The Grimoire: the Manual of Practical Thaumaturgy 14th Edition, 2050)

7117 (Bug City) 7120 (Awakenings) 7121 (Threats) 7122 (Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Secrets) 7205 (The Universal Brotherhood) 7214 (Target:UCAS) 7901 (Shadowrun Second Edition) 7903 (The Grimoire: The Manual of Practical Thaumaturgy 15th Edition, 2053) 7907 (Magic in the Shadows) 7001 (Shadowrun 3rd edition) 7304 (Queen Euphoria) 7319 (Double Exposure) 7320 (Harlequin's Back) 7322 (Super Tuesday) 7323 (Shadows of the Underworld)

FanPro/WizKids (Shadowrun)

10651 (Target: Awakend Lands)

25002 (Shadows of Europe)

25006 (Loose Alliances)

25007 (Shadows of Asia)

26000 (Shadowrun Fourth Edition)

26002 (Street Magic)

Fasa (Earthdawn)

6100 (Barsaive Boxed Set)

The Novels
Find Your Own Truth (Secrets of Power Volume III) 2XS Into the Shadows Burning Bright House of the Sun

Hunter and Prey

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