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5e Monster: Rexenant Drone

illustration of a Rexenant

*The Rexenant Drone first appeared in the 5e Campaign Setting Adventurer's Agency.

The backbone of the Rexenant hive is the humble and abundant Drone. They are the tireless workers, hauling organic matter for the hive’s consumption and building the structure of the hive itself. Broad and squat, the Rexenant Drone is a surprisingly strong creature, able to lift and carry things weighing several times more than it. Their tough pincers are used for all manner of labors: cutting materials, digging through packed earth, grabbing and moving materials. In larger, older hives, some drones have even been observed to have what appears to be specialized roles and adaptations, with some drones having larger flatter pincers for digging and others having smaller sharper pincers for cutting materials and more delicate work.

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Each hive has large numbers of drones, though the proportion of drones to over varieties differs depending on the needs of the hive. In a new and growing hive, drones are one of the most populous varieties of Rexenant while in an older and more established hive they tend to be less numerous. Commanded by the pheromones of the Hive Queen, they build and maintain the hive according to her will. Their unending toil is indispensable for the survival of the hive and indeed the Rexenant race. When a drone is are no longer needed, such as when they receive too many injuries or the hive simply has less need for their labors for whatever reason, they will calmly cease moving and allow themselves to be lifted and carried off by their drone brethren, sacrificing themselves as food for the rest of the hive.

Drones are not built for combat, though their strength and tough mandibles make them difficult opponents for the unprepared. They are approximately five feet long and four feet wide, creating a wide base for their thick strong legs to hold them and everything they are carrying. Their bodies are covered in a hard shell, and their front legs can rotate all the way around to hold items above their heads or manipulate things placed on their backs, sacrificing martial ability for functionality. Their oversized pincers dominate the front of a head with seemingly no neck and are used to dig and cut materials rather than eat.

Encountering a drone or more likely a swarm of drones in combat almost always means you have stumbled into what they consider to be their territory. They only fight in defense of the hive, and will avoid combat if a warrior-type Rexenant is able to engage the threat, instead continuing their assigned tasks for the Hive Queen. However, if the warrior-type is defeated or calls for their aid via a pheromonal or psychic call, they will never hesitate to join the fray and spend their lives to repel the threat. Their biggest advantage in combat is their sheer numbers: felling a drone means nothing when another simply replaces it, and a hive always seems to have more drones around. While weak individually, they are not to be underestimated.

stat block for the Rexenant

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