|Queen Ver'lak (supreme ruler)|
|General Malkor (General of the Royal Fleet)|
Ker'Tak (Leader of the Mantis Rebels)
“Tellingly, a favourite song among the Mantis spells out the ultimate dream of the race as it pertains to the Frontier Wars. Among other galactic exploits, recently added stanzas foretell of the capture of the planet Terra. The hives fly together, birthing the millions of Mantis who spill across the Terran plain. These brand-new children then seize the nine billion inhabitants of Terra and mechanically grind them into a milky pink paste, which they then feed to the rest of the Mantis Navy, who dance across the planet, drunk on the Terrans’ liquefied carcasses. Something to keep in mind...”
The Mantis are an insectoid race best described as predatory. They are volatile and expansionist, with a low tolerance for coexistence with other species. Mantis fleets depend on overwhelming numbers. They lean on light-hulled cruisers so heavily that even scout ships house fighter wings. Devious and brutal, the Mantis hammer advancing fleets with a devastating range of attacks and overwhelming resource efficiency.
We may never find a planet of more unforgivable beauty than Chut, the home world of the race known as the Mantis. Terrans visiting Chut would be awestruck by the stunning fields of wheat and grass as far as the eye can see - for seven years at a time, at least. Following that verdant long season is an equally long season of almost unbelievable cold, ice covering the planet in layers miles thick, atmosphere so cold that airbreathers’ lungs would turn stone hard in seconds. This strange phenomenon of seven-year seasons is due to the calamitously wild swing of the planet Chut in its rotation around its sun.
Swarming across these plains in days of old came the Mantis, the gigantic, somewhat narrowly hive-minded insects bearing the powerful exoskeletons necessary to withstand Chut’s unique environment. Like the miniature insects from which they are descended, the Mantis feed well on grain for seven entire years, after which they must hibernate in caves of ice and rock. During this hibernation, once nutrients run out, the Mantis feed upon those who die during the long sleep: drilling machines reduce the corpses of the Mantis to a liquid mash that allows the rest of the race to survive. In this way they make it through the long, cold winter. The insectoid Mantis are completely oriented toward the group to which they belong. Mantis politics are extremely complex, but over the years we have developed a basic understanding of how the system works. Modern Mantis are divided into sects arranged by maternal heredity. The sects themselves do not have inherent duties; rather, as powers shift in Mantis politics, the various sects are placed in charge of various more and less important duties. These duties cover just about everything a race might need to survive, from food supply maintenance to ship-building-and even, surprisingly, to humour (Mantis humour has to be heard to be believed, although it will never be understood).
The three most important sects are the royal Azkar; the military Malkor, who are in charge of ship-building; and the mystic Kz’ra, whose influence at court with Queen Azkar is not completely understood. The hive-minded race has produced a very interesting kind of technology that is difficult for an individualist society such as the Terrans to deal with: Everything they build is based upon the precept numbers upon numbers.
Several of the Mantis ships are carriers. If they could, they would build carriers that carry carriers. They don’t care about the individual. Hull defence is almost completely unimportant: the numbers are what count. And as Abraham Lincoln of the Terrans observed, numbers win wars.