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The Vord are an extraterrestrial insect-like race led by queens that possess a symbiotic relationship with the croach. Accidentally awakened from the Wax Forest by Tavi and Kitai during Furies of Calderon, they are a hostile race only intent on the eventual conquest and subjugation of all life that is not them. They serve as the overarching antagonists of the entire series, though they are most proactive in the second half of the series.

Forms of the Vord Edit

Primary Forms Edit

Takers (Parasites)Edit

Before the main invasion force appears, the Vord will send out small rodent-size parasites called Takers. These parasites take over the host and, during the initial phase, will just lead the host back to the Vord nest. The Marat refer to the hosts as the "Taken". Once they're taken, there's no hope of ever recovering the original person's consciousness. If the host could previously control furies, this ability is lost until furycrafting is used against the taken host. When fighting, the host will have little concern for its own life and will ignore most pain. The Taker will often override the mechanisms of the hosts body, allowing the taken to bring out its full strength at the expense of the host's body. Taken individuals demonstrate immense strength and complete ignorance to pain, with them only ceasing to fight when their bodies have either been destroyed or maimed past the point of any potential use. The Canim are able to tell the difference between Taken individuals and un-infected, claiming that Taken Canim (and presumably other Taken races) "smell differently."

WarriorsEdit

The Vord warriors vary depending on the target of the invasion. The parasitic version returns samples of their target and the warriors assume a similar, but different form. They don't use any weapons directly, but are incredibly strong, fast, have swordlike appendages, and are naturally extremely well armored. The warriors are known to have a weakness on their back - a croach-filled sac, which acts as a sort of breathing apparatus. Once destroyed, the warrior will soon smother to death. The original form seen by the warriors is a vaguely lobster/crab-esque creature the size of a large bull covered in black chitin. They contain a set of large, cockroach-esque wings hidden under their backs, which they can use to take to the skies and fight their adversaries in that form. They are the most common type of Vord seen in battle, typically serving as the backbone of any Vord attack.

QueensEdit

The Vord queens are the leaders of the Vord, and also capable of varying their appearance and shape. They are incredibly fast, strong, and tough. During a typical invasion, a queen will quickly create a nest and send out two other queens to form their own nests. Queens are known to have telepathic abilities and can, if within a certain range, control enemies that are not yet under control of the parasites along with gathering the thoughts of their enemies so as to use these plans against them. They command their forces telepathically over long distances, though for sufficiently advanced tactics the Queens must be in relatively "close" proximity (at least a few miles) and be focused on the task at hand - otherwise, the lesser Vord revert to a state like that of wild animals and can be (relatively speaking) easily repelled. They are exceptionally intelligent and are easily the most dangerous members of all Vord. The original "Awakened" Vord Queen developed the power to furycraft, and had power even beyond that of the First Lord. They are implied to strongly resemble the forms of the race that first touches/"awakens" them, albeit with the addendum that their bodies are covered in strong chitin and their eyes are multi-faceted like that of a dragonfly's.

KeepersEdit

Called "the Keepers of Silence" by the Marat and more often referred to as "wax spiders," the Keepers are spiders the size of large dogs, light-weight, and covered in tough, pale chitin. Custodians of the croach, they act to repair any breaks in its surface as well as entomb captured prey beneath for digestion. Keepers communicate with others of their kind through chirps (generally for passive vocalizations) and whistles (for aggressive communications and alarms). They are also armed with a deadly and fast-acting venom. Keepers are capable of infrared vision, which allows them to see at night and locate enemies (as Tavi established they have 'heat vision'). (Furies of Calderon ch.33-34) It is mentioned that they actually have far too many legs to resemble spiders in the traditional sense, but "wax spider" is still used as a descriptor for them.

Specialized Vord Forms Edit

Cane-Form Vord Edit

Created as part of the Vord Conquest of Canea. They are shown to be making up the vast majority of the invasion force in Canea, especially at the assault on Shuar. These Vord have powerful shoulders and heavy arms ending in vicious, scythe-like hooks. Their heads are elongated and seemingly eyeless, sporting a mouthful of oversized and curving black fangs. In general, they resemble the Canim the most out of all Vord-forms.

Frog Vord Edit

Created as part of the Vord Conquest of Canea. These Vord are described as walking on four legs, though with the addendum of having freakishly oversized and overdeveloped back legs. They attack by leaping between forty and sixty feet at a time, slamming their spine-covered bodies violently into the enemy.

Giants Edit

Created as part of the Vord Conquest of Canea. These Vord are described as walking on two legs, being over ten feet tall and "impossibly wide." They move with slow, ponderous steps, attacking by easily lifting stones that typically weigh over a hundred pounds and hurling them at the enemy and enemy fortifications with equal measure.

Garim-Form Vord Edit

This type of Vord were first utilized in the First Vord War during the various skirmishes leading up to and the Battle of Ceres, along with the Battles of Antillus and Alera Imperia. They are described as strongly resembling the vicious garim lizards encountered in the southern swamps of Alera (such as the Weeping Hills), and are typically the size of a large wolf. They walk on four legs and lie low to the ground, having bodies covered in dark black chitin. Their primary method of attack (aside from biting and clawing) is to wrap around enemies and writhe around them, essentially shredding their enemies due to the raised serrated ridges of chitin running down the lengths of their spines and flanks.

Vordknights Edit

These are among the most common form of Vord warrior seen in the First Vord War, and are first observed fighting in the many skirmishes leading up to the Battle of Ceres. In a similar way to how the Cane-Form Vord resemble the Canim, the Vordknights resemble the Knights Aeris of Alera - They are humanoid entities covered in black chitin, and are able to fly due to a set of dragonfly-esque wings sprouting from behind their shoulders. Their arms terminate in a single scythe-like talon made of black chitin that is the approximate length and shape of a legionare's gladius, and the armor around their shoulders is designed to resemble a legionare's lorica. They also bear multi-faceted eyes similar to that of a dragonfly. Their main weakness is their wings - They can be injured fairly easily, and even the slightest pause in their motion will send them crashing to earth (landing with usually enough force to kill them instantly).

Mantis Warriors Edit

Created by the Awakened Vord Queen as part of a way to "solve" the issue of Aleran shieldwalls, and are first observed fighting in the Battle of Riva. As their name suggests, they resemble praying mantises the size of a man, albeit covered in dark black Vord chitin. Their primary armaments are long scythe-like blades at the ends of their arms, which allow them to reach over the protection of an Aleran shieldwall and strike at the unprotected soldiers behind it.

Blade Beasts Edit

Seen only in the Awakened Vord Queen's hive in the Calderon Valley, Blade Beasts look like very large Wax Spiders, but have steel blades furycrafted to their legs. These six specialized Vord act as protectors for the Vord Queen and defend her when Countess Amara and four High Lords come to assassinate the Queen. They are all killed by Araris Valerian after Amara and the High Lords are incapacitated/killed.

Hornets Edit

Large hornets made of Vord chitin, the Vord Hornets live in large hives, from which they burst out to attack their foes. The Hornets have very large stingers, about the size of a woman's finger. The stingers are filled with a fast-acting poison that can paralyze and kill the target in a matter of minutes.

Behemoths Edit

The Vord utilize large gorilla-like beasts called Behemoths as siege units when attacking a city. Behemoths are very large - nearly the size of Gargants - and use their oversized arms to smash enemies and knock down walls.

Vordbulks Edit

In the final assault on Garrison, the Vord employed a new asset - unbelieveably large monsters called Vordbulks. These gigantic creatures are the size of buildings with heavily armored and eyeless heads and a beak similar to that of an octopus. They wield no special abilities, instead using their massive size to simply obliterate everything in their wake. Vordbulks have extremely tough skin, able to shake off metalcrafted steel, firecrafted explosions, and the sharpened beaks of the Herdbane. The only viable way to kill a Vordbulk is from the inside, demonstrated by Count Bernard and High Lord Cereus in the Battle of Garrison during Third Calderon.

In Furies of CalderonEdit

In Furies of Calderon, Tavi and Kitai come across the wax spiders, also known as Keepers of Silence by the Marat, as part of Tavi's trial of cunning while amongst the Marat. In order to pass the trial, both descend into the Wax Forest to retrieve the Blessing of the Night, a native fungus that grows at the forest's center. Early on in the trial, Tavi breaks through the croach, alerting the Keepers to his and Kitai's presence. Tavi and Kitai's presence near the circle of blessing wakes the Vord queen. Later on, once the Blessing is retrieved, Kitai gets bitten by the Vord Queen. Doroga throws a large boulder at the queen to defend Kitai, and drives the Vord queen back into the Wax Forest.(Furies of Calderon  ch.33-34)

In Academ's FuryEdit

Doroga informs Isana, Bernard and Amara that a large number of Marat were killed recently destroying a Vord nest. They had traced the movements of the Vord in three directions from the Wax Forest, which has now been completely abandoned and the remaining croach has died. The first was the nest they attacked. The second was in the direction of Aricholt. The final was in the direction of Alera Imperia along which they found Tavi's bag from his previous encounter with the Vord. Isana leaves to warn Tavi of the potential enemy and ask for reinforcements.

Bernard, Amara, and Doroga arrive at Aricholt only to find that they arrived too late. Most of the townspeople are already missing. During the investigation, several of Bernard's own men were captured by the Vord. Bernard sends for help, but goes ahead with an attack on the Vord nest, which is in a cave. The attack initially looks successful, with no remaining Vord in the cave. The group quickly discovers this was just a ruse and that the queen and her army are actually outside and have them pinned in. The Vord queen offers to let the group escape if they allow themselves to be Taken. The group refuses and plans to hold out as long as they can against overwhelming numbers.

Once in Alera Imperia, Isana is attacked by Kalare's men before she can tell Tavi or the First Lord about the situation. She is rescued by Fidelias and makes a deal with High Lady Aquitaine to send reinforcements to the Calderon Valley and to make sure Tavi is safe in exchange for her votes as a Citizen. Lady Aquitaine dispatches troops to Aricholt and decisively turns the battle against the Vord.

In Aleria Imperia, the Vord have formed another nest in The Deeps. They have been taking the Canim. Ambassador Varg has noticed discrepancies with his guards and makes several attempts to talk to the First Lord about it. Unfortunately, the First Lord has been (unknown to most people) incapacitated and there is currently a look-alike in his place. Varg eventually successfully gets the attention of Tavi and alerts him to the matter, making the Vord nest in the deep known. Tavi attempts to warn the citadel about the upcoming attack, but is too late. Max and Tavi successfully defend the incapacitated First Lord while Lady Aquitaine destroys the assault from behind. All of the Vord except for the queen are wiped out. Sir Killian is heavily wounded, and reveals that he was a spy before he dies.

Known Vord Queens Edit

The Awakened Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by First Lord Gaius Octavian of Alera with the assistance of First Lady Gaius Kitai of Alera and the Great Furies Garados and Thana Livia.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Fertile

Notes: The Awakened Vord Queen is the only Vord Queen that has demonstrated furycrafting.

Appearances: Furies of Calderon (first appearance), Academ's Fury, Cursor's Fury, Princeps' Fury, First Lord's Fury

The Maratea Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by a large alliance of Marat tribes.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Unknown

Notes: This Queen and the first and third Queens the Awakened Queen created to inhabit Canea are the only Vord Queens to have never been seen in the series.

Appearances: Academ's Fury (mentioned only)

The Calderon Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by Amara ex Cursori.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Unknown

Notes: This Queen is the only known Vord to refer to "the Purpose," which is the nebulous and unknown goal of all Vord.

Appearances: Academ's Fury

The First Canea Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by the Canim of Maraul.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Unknown

Notes: This, the Queen killed by the Marat, and the third Queen the Awakened Queen created to inhabit Canea are the only Vord Queens to have never been seen in the series.

Appearances: Princeps' Fury (mentioned only)

The Second Canea Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by Princeps Gaius Octavian of Alera with the assistance of the Narashan Hunters Sha, Nef, Koh, and Warmaster Varg.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Sterile

Notes: This Queen was the first of the Queen's "daughters" to show genuine emotion and non-Vord behavior, displaying jealousy, rage, and even confusion over the Awakened Queen becoming "defective".

Appearances: Princeps' Fury

The Third Canea Vord Queen Edit

Status: Alive

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Sterile

Notes: This, the Queen killed by the Marat, and the first Queen the Awakened Queen created to inhabit Canea are the only Vord Queens to have never been seen in the series.

Appearances: Princeps' Fury (mentioned only), First Lord's Fury (mentioned only)

The First Junior Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by the Awakened Queen with the assistance of Nihilus Invidia.

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Sterile

Notes: This Queen was created as part of an experiment by the Awakened Queen to see if any of her children had become "defective" like she had. The experiment failed and she was forced to kill the Junior Queen in order to survive.

Appearances: First Lord's Fury

The Second Junior Vord Queen Edit

Status: Deceased, killed by the High Lords of Alera during the failed assassination attempt upon the Awakened Vord Queen

Ability to Produce Other Queens: Unknown (presumably sterile)

Notes: This Queen was created as a lobotomized body double by the Awakened Queen so as to trick Invidia and the other High Lords into a trap when they came to kill her.

Appearances: First Lord's Fury

Trivia Edit

  • As a whole, the Vord are heavily inspired by the Zerg from Starcraft, with the croach even serving as an analogue to the Zerg's creep.
  • As confirmed by Jim Butcher, the Vord are actually a space-faring species unlike the Marat, Canim, Alerans/Humans, and Icemen (all of whom were deposited on Carna via wormholes). In fact, the Wax Forest is actually located in the impact crater left by one of their destroyed spaceships. This assertion is further supported by comments from the Awakened Vord Queen in First Lord's Fury, with her telling all of Alera that "between the worlds, between the stars, we [the Vord] conquer."
    • One popular fan theory suggests that the Vord are actually biological weapons in service to a more intelligent species, intended to "terraform" planets by exterminating the locals and laying down croach for whatever is to follow.
  • According to Ehren ex Cursori, the croach naturally creates enough wax spiders to keep itself alive and spreading, suggesting that they are the most common form of Vord.
  • The Vord given over to protect the Alerans that surrendered to the Awakened Vord Queen are the only known Vord in Alera to have not "gone wild" after the death of their Queen and continue to follow her orders. Notably, they have even attacked "wild Vord" that threatened the humans under their care.
  • The history of the Vord, like that of the Canim, Marat, Alerans, and Icemen is very mysterious. Only the vaguest of ancient legends in the Marat speaks of them. What is known is that the Vord had previously destroyed the Marat's ancient and advanced civilization, with the modern "tribes of barbarians" being descended from the few refugees that managed to survive that ancient war between the two species.
  • According to the Awakened Vord Queen, the Vord are immune to disease, with them having "lived longer than some diseases."
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