“On Bugmen” by Melker the Wise

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bugman

My conversation with a bugman

“And then, the big’un made me fly!”

The big’un did what?! Made yo …

This was the ninth time I was interrupted. Bugmen clearly prefer talking to listening.
The entire area was littered with bodies, bugmen and humans alike.

“Yes! It picked me up and threw me. High up in the air! I could see everything!
I’d dreamt of this moment since I was a larva. My first real melee!”

“I was like, flying through the air, with feathered, pointy sticks swirling all around me.
The playground below was jolly and full of colour. Mostly red.
Everyone was having fun. Screaming and cheering and killing and laughing and gettin’ chopped to pieces!
I couldn’t reach anyone with my club though. Still too high up in the air.”

The euphoric buggle sat in a pool of its own blood and swung one of its ripped-of legs as if it was a club. Totally oblivious to the fact that it wouldn’t last more than a few minutes.
The voice was so bright, and the pacing so high that I had a hard time hearing what was said.

How did you survive the fall?

“What do you mean. What’s ‘survive’?”

Survive is the oppo …

“Anyway, I landed soft and bouncy on someone’s belly.
My feet got all nice’n’ soggy by belly juice.
Tall ones were all around, and I didn’t have to wait for long until someone wanted to play smash’n bash with me.”

The tall ones?

“Yeah, like you! Come, I’ll show you how I bent a tall ones leg the wrong way!

No, I’m fine, thank you.

“After playing some chase’n’ chop with some tall runners, my legs fell of.
And then … Oh, here comes some of my mates, they might play with you!”

Nonono! That won’t be necessary, I’m actually leaving. Don’t …

It was too late. I could see them now as well, and the buggle did all in its power to make sure they noticed us. Two merry buggles, painted in bright colours, were heading towards us. Well, mostly towards me. Fortunately, they too looked wounded.
I’ve never run so fast in my entire life. Through brushes and over stones, with two enthusiastic killers, just metres away. My old heart nearly quit on me, but finally I reached the village.

I can’t help thinking, that a world with only bugmen, would be a utopia. No grief, no suffering, only happiness.

Overview

Though not inherently evil, bugmen don’t understand the concept of suffering. This is especially unfortunate when put together with their childish fascination with violence. To them, violence is fun, and what’s the harm in hitting someone with an axe?

There are several types of bugmen, each with a different purpose. The most basic one is only blessed with a happy soul and hopefully something dangerous to wield. Others have wings and some are highly explosive.

Technology and magic

Bugmen have neither the time nor the brains to invent machines or read spell books. They are, however, gifted with extraordinarily rapid evolution. Instead of inventing new stuff, their den-mothers invent new bugmen.

The most recent bugmen to be invented are the brainies. Originally they were intended to be something similar to engineers. Bugmen, however, are not are not the best when it comes to designing big brains. The brainies were all as mad as mad goes. As if this was not enough, it was soon evident that they had destructive magical powers. To this day, no attempt to make a really smart bugman is known to have succeeded.

Relation to other races

Bugmen don’t understand death or fear and aren’t really bothered by pain. To them, everything is nice, especially bloodshed. They believe there is enough violence to go around for everyone, and no one should have to be without it. It can actually be seen as rather rude not to attack someone.

Gnomes are boring since they won’t share any violence. Instead of participating in any fun activities, such as limb-ripping or friendly head-chopping they just disappear. No fun at all.

Dwarves, on the other hand, are both reliable and generous when it comes to hurt. They always deliver.

The relationship between bugmen and necronomen is rather one-sided, as most bugmen don’t even know that the necronomen exist. The necronomen however, tend to use the bugmen as muscle in their various schemes.

Warfare

Bugmen don’t wage war in any classical sense, but rather they roam the worlds in small raiding parties or “swarms”.

It’s well-known that bugmen never flee, no matter the odds. They don’t feel pain as others do, and they don’t understand death, so in their opinion there’s really nothing to flee from.

Society

Bugmen like moisture – “Damp’n’ swampy is best!”
Of course, the decapitation-game is far more important than swampyness, so if playmates live in a desert, the bugmen won’t hesitate to pay them a visit.

On the top of their hierarchy are the winged den-mothers. They travel the worlds in swarms to find a decent nesting place, preferably one with a lot of playmates nearby. Some den-mothers continues building on their nests their entire lives.

If left alone, these colonies will grow into huge, staggering structures. At some point it’s just a matter of time before bugmen fall for the temptation and decide to give the hive a push. To cheerful shouts and loud laughter they watch and celebrate as their homes come crashing to the ground. They then head out on one last play tour, and visits as many neighbours as they can before they die.

Physiology & Appearance

Their appearance varies greatly depending on their specific role on the battlefield or in the hive. Some are as tall as trolls, others barely match the gnomes in size. Buzzers have wings while bombies are explosive.

A good melee should be frisky and colourful. Every bugman knows this to be true. Because of this, it’s common for bugmen to paint themselves before battle. Some paint their faces, other their shells, or in some cases their entire bodies. Some don masks, feathers and other colourful accessories. Seen from a distance, a swarm of bugmen could easily be mistaken for a colourful parade. This is the kind of mistake you only make once.

Buggles:

Your standard go-happy killer. Jumping, cheering, chasing and chopping. They wield whatever weapons they can lay their hands on against whichever opponent they can find.

Buzzers:

A king might feel safe on his balcony behind city walls and towers. He really shouldn’t. Buzzers are basically buggles with wing attached to their back. They can fly for long periods of time, and are known to have travelled between worlds in search for some friendly Spine-breaking. It goes without saying that neither city walls nor balconies offers any protection worth mentioning against buzzers.

Bombies:

Of all the bugmen, these are the most short-lived. Their oversized shells are filled with explosive chemicals and when the bombie gets too excited, it will explode. It’s said, that there is no feeling, in any of the worlds, that can match the happiness felt by a bombie about to go boom. However, their happiness is seldom shared by their victims.

Brainies:

These are gifted with a soft and squishy head of significant size. It’s not a head full of wisdom and intelligence, but rather of lighthearted madness and delusion. Their colourful fantasies of destruction are so vivid that they occasionally spill over to reality, often with devastating results. They are the mages of the bugmen society.

Spitzies:

Spitzies or “spitters” as humans call them, are almost as numerous as the buggles. It’s they who carve out the tunnels in the bugmen colonies, using their highly corrosive saliva. Unfortunately for their neighbours this saliva can be used to dig tunnels into skulls as well as rock. With their long snouts they can spit almost as long as an archer can shoot an arrow.

Big’uns:

The big’uns are slow and stupid, but just as happy, and almost twice as tall as any other buggle. Perfect for smashing in gates, heads or whatever comes in their way.

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