When we discuss the Sahara during the Hodgepocalypse era, we inevitably delve into the enigmatic realm of the Void Covenant. This vast expanse is under the dominion of insectoid invaders, posing a grave threat to the entire continent should they gain a foothold.
The Void Covenant's origins remain shrouded in obscurity, with scant knowledge predating their arrival on the Hodgepocalypse's chaotic stage. Their ancient texts and cryptic scent markers are inscribed in a perplexing language that baffles non-insectoid beings. However, among the fragmented history, some glimpses emerge:
· The Void Covenant was once an insectoid species uplifted by the Precursors, fashioned as a slave race to wreak havoc across entire solar systems.
· At some point in the distant past, they managed to break free from the Precursors' dominion, taking on the role of antagonists in their own mythos.
Their trepidation of the Precursors endures, uniting them in a conviction that expansion is a prerequisite for survival, a preparation for the day the Precursors return.
A dimensional rift, believed to have manifested somewhere in Algeria, provided the Void Covenant the opportunity to sever their connection with the Precursors. In the wake of this pivotal event, they embarked on an aggressive campaign of conquest. Ravaged by the Hodgepocalypse's aftermath, the world became fertile ground for their territorial expansion. Yet, their conquests were not limited to land; they metamorphosed the very terrain, molding it into their preferred habitat. The ruins of the past were claimed as foundations for their hives, while a sprawling network of roads and railroads connected their burgeoning empire.
But their expansion was not without impediments. Encounters with rival factions, such as the Salted Lands, Duat, and the Kingdom of Quarrimba, thwarted their advances. Consequently, the Void Covenant currently resides in a state of relative respite, regrouping and fortifying their position in anticipation of the cyclical renewal of their expansion
A Multifaceted Hegemony
When outsiders contemplate the Void Covenant, they often envision a voracious insectoid horde devouring all in their path. However, reality paints a more nuanced picture—a hegemony composed of diverse insectoid species, each meticulously organized into castes to serve the "greater good."
Culture and Society
Within the Void Covenant, an eerie silence prevails, as they communicate through intricate pheromones. To those who decipher these scents, they reveal a cacophony of commands, shouts, and debates reminiscent of any other species. As a peculiar bonus, they can leave scent markers by releasing copious amounts of pheromones onto a specific point or object, which persist for 24 hours or until washed or magically cleansed. These scent markers convey single words or emotions, comprehensible to non-insectoid beings only through a challenging DC 22 Wisdom (Perception) check.
Bioluminescent insects are employed to craft mesmerizing displays of art, transforming their hive cities into beacons of beauty within the desert's heart. Their cuisine includes exotic dishes made from unique fungal crops grown on terraced fields, much sought after by locals and traders.
Transformation of the Land
The Void Covenant wields psionic abilities to terraform the unforgiving desert environment, shifting sand, excavating underground tunnels, and molding the terrain to their whims. Genetically modified insects extract moisture from the air and soil, rendering the region less arid. Insects and native creatures are repurposed to generate biomass, enriching the soil and supporting agriculture. Immense underground hive cities shield them from harsh weather conditions, becoming central hubs for governance, research, and commerce.
The Tamanrasset Hive:
The Gateway Tamanrasset, Algeria, has undergone a radical transformation into the hive city and dimensional portal of the Void Covenant. Towering hive structures mirror insect colonies, seamlessly blending organic and metallic elements. Extensive underground chambers house the dimensional portal, queen chambers, and crucial resources. Ingenious moisture-extraction systems sustain their insect population and inhabitants. Terraced fields cultivate unique fungal crops for sustenance and trade.
At the city's core, a psionic nexus channels their formidable psychic abilities, maintaining the dimensional portal, protecting the hive, and connecting with the outside world.
Hassi Messaoud, Algeria - Energy Management Hive:
Hassi Messaoud plays a pivotal role in the Void Covenant, specializing in energy management and serving as the central hub for power generation and distribution. Its significance lies in its:
· Advanced geothermal energy extraction technology, harnessing Earth's internal heat.
· Unique bio-psionic fusion, generating energy from living sources.
· Integration into an inter-hive energy grid for equitable resource distribution.
· Skilled Psionic Guardians, safeguarding energy sources and transmissions.
· Holding political importance, housing the Grand Synapse Council for governance.
· Thriving technology sector, exporting telecommunication and encryption technologies.
· Furthermore, the city sits atop a potent dimensional nexus, optimizing power flow.
Agadez, Niger - The Void Covenant Outpost:
Agadez, Niger, serves as a critical outpost with key features:
· Strategic location at the crossroads of multiple regions.
· A rich historical legacy, bridging the Void Covenant and the outside world.
· Subterranean chambers sustaining the insect population and colonies.
· Vibrant locations like the Chitin Market, Psionic Exchange, and the Saharan Reliquary.
· The Throat of the Abyss, an underground well providing life-sustaining water.
· The Sandsinger's Serai, an inn for travelers and adventurers.
· The Whispering Wall, an auditory guide to the hive's dimensional portal.\
· The transportation hub and the main base for road and rail construction.
Nouakchott – The Surveillance Hive
Nouakchott is the nerve center of telecommunication and surveillance, vital for information management and intelligence operations. Key features include:
· A vast psionic beacon network transmitting data across the Void Covenant.
· Psionically-enhanced surveillance drones monitoring the desert landscape.
· The VoidNet control center, utilizing psionics and biotechnology for data management.
· Psionic Encryption Wizards securing Covenant communications.
· A political hub at the Synaptic Forum, facilitating intelligence reports and decisions.
· A technology-based economy exporting to other hives.
· Timbuktu Hive: Mystical and Cultural Archive Timbuktu focuses on preserving and studying the Void Covenant's mystical and cultural heritage. Its features include:
· A central repository for ancient and mystical artifacts, texts, and knowledge.
· Mystic Scholars deciphering ancient texts and unlocking hidden knowledge.
· Ancient Relic Forges crafting magical items infused with Void energy.
· The Psionic Enclave, a place of meditation and training.
· Cultural preservation, guarding oral traditions, rituals, and dances.
· The Theater of Shadows, featuring captivating psionic plays.
Ghat – The Geothermal Hive
Ghat specializes in harnessing geothermal energy and plays a pivotal role within the Void Covenant. It features:
· Vast underground geothermal reservoirs, supplying energy to the Covenant.
· Energy Amplification Nodes enhancing and distributing geothermal energy.
· Natural hot springs used for relaxation and energy generation experiments.
· Geothermal Alchemists creating energy-enhancing elixirs.
· The Tempered Forge crafting resilient and powerful weapons and armor.
· Bonds with geothermal elementals known as "Flamebinders."
· Extensive Geothermal Pylons routing surplus energy to other hives.
Faya-Largeau Hive: Military Training Grounds
Faya-Largeau serves as a military training center, emphasizing readiness and preparedness. Features include:
· Combat Academies offering training in various military disciplines.
· State-of-the-art Battle Simulators for realistic combat scenarios.
· Weapons Development Facilities for crafting and improving Covenant armaments.
· Tactical War Games for enhancing strategic thinking and coordination.
· Survivalist Camps teaching essential outdoor skills.
· Special Operations Training for elite units.
· Aerial and Ground Vehicle Training for reconnaissance and combat missions.
These locations collectively ensure the Void Covenant's survival, strength, and readiness in the challenging Hodgepocalypse world.
As the Covenant excavated the Ahaggar Mountains, they unearthed ancient Saharan artifacts. These relics have been preserved and placed in a unique museum, blending history and the Void Covenant's culture.
Bir N'Has, Algeria - The Desert Conservatory
This oasis within the desert is meticulously preserved by the Void Covenant. It hosts a thriving ecosystem of unique insectoid species and serves as a research center to understand desert ecology.
Chirfa, Libya - The Sonic Echo Chamber
Located beneath towering dunes, this enormous chamber is used to amplify and broadcast the Covenant's pheromone-based communication across vast distances. It also hosts dramatic psionic performances.
Djado, Niger - The Dune Forges
In the heart of the desert, the Dune Forges are known for crafting formidable weapons and armor. Expert artisans use alloys of unique desert materials, empowered by pheromone-enhanced techniques.
Kidal, Mali - The Psionics Academy
This academy focuses on training Covenant members in harnessing their psychic abilities. It offers specialized courses in telepathy, telekinesis, and other psionic disciplines. Students engage in practical applications to defend the Void Covenant's interests.
This plateau in Algeria is renowned for its rock art and striking landscapes. It can serve as an archaeological site, an otherworldly realm, or a source of ancient wisdom. Void Covenant Technology
The Great Void Highway:
a central highway running through the Sahara, connecting major insect hive locations. This highway should follow ancient caravan routes and passes through significant sites like the Atlas Mountain Hive, Oasis of Ghadamès, and the Tassili n'Ajjer Plateau Caverns. Roadbugs can be responsible for maintaining and expanding this highway.
Void Covenant Technology
The Void Covenant employs a unique techno-organic technology that melds chitin composites, resin, and organic chemical mixtures. This forms the basis for their weapons and equipment, created through a molding process. Mass breeding and dissection of insectoid life provide essential components, assembled by dedicated Covenant workers in efficient shifts, rivaling industrial factories.
This technology also underpins their wares, including psychic-enhancing equipment and bio-psyonic technology, serving as a foundation for their society's continued advancement.