Intelligent major race with a large federation trailing the Imperium. Hivers average 1.5
meters from ground to top of upraised head and weigh about 150 kg.
from omnivore gatherer/scavenger stock, they are the most alien of the
major races. Hivers exhibit a modified six-fold radial symmetry;
has a calcareous internal skeleton consisting of a series of rings
supporting the limbs and a fused carapace protecting the brain and
The head is a modification of one of the limbs and contains six
and six manipulative tentacles, plus paired infrared sensor organs.
other five limbs are identical (except for slight modifications of the
opposite the head) and are used as arms and legs indiscriminately.
limb ends in a six-fingered radial hand. Fingers are very
have muscular suction cups on the lower surface about halfway to the
Hiver arms and hands are generally weaker than a human's but are very tough and difficult to
The mouth (digestive opening) is on the lower surface of the body.
is no sound-producing organ, but hivers do have three ears placed
the neck near the head.
Hivers have only one sex. Reproductive cells are exchanged each
that hivers meet, using the modified rear hand (the process has been
by humans "shaking hands"). The cells are kept in a reproductive
on the lower body surface where they conjugate and exchange genetic
Once every forty days or so, a cell will develop into a larva,
then drops from the parent's body.
Hive planets are mostly wilderness, and the larva enter the wilds,
most are killed. After about a year, survivors return to
where they are welcomed into any nest and begin their education as
Parental instinct in hivers is very strong, and the young are
by the entire nest. (Note that this instinct applies only to the
returnees; Hivers have no concern for the younger larvae, and in fact
consider them minor pests.)
Hiver language is a combination of arm/tentacle waving and physical
The written language is ideographic and is used as a standard
among the races of the Hive Federation.
Hivers talking among themselves use all three aspects of language
touch, and writing) at once, a process capable of great subtlety and
but unintelligible to the outsider.
Hivers are unique among major races in that they had a complex culture
becoming sentient. Originally, they lived in the tunnels and
mounds of a large (1000 kg) burrowing animal. In exchange for
they gave food. They farmed fungus and foraged outside for
vegetation and dead animals as a source of food for the fungus.
Burrowers were allowed to graze in the farm tunnels. Hivers ate
fungus and whatever fresh food they could find outside.
Intelligence arose as the outside environment changed, forcing the
foraging parties to
travel farther to discover new sources of food and fertilizer; foragers
from simple scavenging and gathering efforts to complex cooperative
of hunting and trapping live game.
Today, fungus remains the staple of the Hiver diet; fungus growing is a
developed art. Most buildings retain the beehive shape and large
tunnel complexes of the original burrowers, but they are constructed by
the burrowers (known as snohl) are now reduced to the secondary
of keeping the tunnels clean. Hiver attachment to them is
nonrational; they just feel more comfortable with snohl around.
Society: Hive society is highly individualistic. The term "Hive"
from an early human misconception which stems from the appearance of
Hivers' building and tunnel complexes. Nests contain from five to
hundred individuals, who are usually centered around some common
While one hundred is an average size for a nest (and was the size in
times), larger groups may come together for some civilized purpose such
large manufacturing companies or universities. Small nests are
spaceship crews or isolated research parties. A young hiver will
his first fifteen years in his home nest; thereafter, nest changes may
place as often as a modern human might change jobs.
Because of the nature of their reproduction, hivers never experienced
population pressures so important to human history. The
of the homeworld is now only a few hundred million, only ten times
than it was in prehistoric times. Predators control the young;
the adult survival rate rises, thus increasing the numbers of young
the predator population increases proportionately and the balance is
Space colonization arose not from pressure but from curiosity,
which Hivers are amply endowed.
The Hivers have colonized only those planets with climates most
to themselves; if the planet has no predators that like to eat Hiver
they are imported. Because of the high birth rate, a colony will
fill up to its maximum population level of a few hundred million and
then stabilize. Hivers like planets of size 6 or less, with thin
standard atmospheres and unvarying climates. Hiver enclaves, for
or scientific purposes, are found on worlds of more extreme
Hive industry and business excels at communications technology and
construction. Major exports include artificial and computer
languages, translators, and sophisticated electronic hardware of all
types. Hiver mathematical systems are much in demand for their
power and elegance.