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The Horror of the Squatting Mantis Man

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  • The Horror of the Squatting Mantis Man

    Find it in here

    So what do you think? Could this be an instance for some ancient Mantis Host of some kind? Or perhaps a true shapeshifter descended from Mantis? What role did Mantis even had in Pangaea? What was its fate? And could this be related to that Buffy episode with the men eating mantis demon which gave me nightmares as a child? I mean, mantises are cool enough even without a prehistoric petroglyph of claimed mantis man- and now I must wonder what kinds of terrors - or blessings - did those ancient icons bestowed upon early humanity..


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    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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  • #2
    I’ve been playing Hollow Knight, and the Mantis Tribe is probably my favorite group in the game. That, and if people know me they know that I have been wanting to see someone make a Mantis Host for YEARS, so you can guess my opinion lol.

    But all of those are equally valid.

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    • #3
      You know, after giving it some thought, I am starting to think that a Mantis Host may not actually be a good idea. The reason? They don't fit the theme.

      I mean, let's look on those Hosts that we already have- spiders, wasps and snakes? Poisonous. Rats? Carriers of plague. Locust? Bringers of famine. Crows and worms? Eaters of the dead. Leeches and lamprey? Parasites and blood drinkers. Fungus? Rot. Toads? Connotations of witchcraft, and as such plague, poison and ugliness. Termites? Decay and ruin. Cicadas? Their calls could actually harm your hearing. Crabs? In Japan (where they are found), there is a type of crabs claimed to be the reincarnated souls of dead warriors.And of course, we have wolves- the eaters of men in folklore.

      I mean, just looking at it, we can see that the vast majority of the animals which carry the Shards are pests at best and dangerous at worst. Crabs are the least terrible ones, even though I guess it is more because they are seen as food than anything else- their pincers could be very painful, after all. Thinking about it, we could make the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse based on the Hosts and it would fit just fine (for your question, Plague would be Rat, Famine is Locust, War is Crab and Death is probably Fungus). Compared to all of those, Mantis is... too nice?

      I mean, I can't really think about negative connotations for mantises, and a lot of positive ones. They are not pests- they eat pests. They are a model of patience, mediation and prayer. They are something you should aspire to, not fear of. Sure, they could look alien, and there is the whole thing about the females eating the males, but it is mostly a symbol of wisdom- and again, most of the Hosts seems to be connected to negative properties towards humans, not how they relate to each other. After all, we could all learn a lot from termites- but they are still the agents of decay due to how to eat through buildings, which is how their Host express itself.

      So what I am saying is that mantises, in general, don't have negative relations with humans, and don't really have negative symbolism in human culture- on the contrary. I am not saying that Mantis the Pangaean was a noble being (it looks like 90% of them were selfish deities which either didn't care about humanity at best or tried to exploit it at worst), but Hosts usually draw upon something much more negative in relation towards humans, and mantises just don't really fit it, IMO. Perhaps some sort of a "Claimed Tradition", like the ones from Predators (I think, I always get that book confused with the Book of Spirits), or maybe some actual shapeshifter, even vicious ones like the Sobeki or the Balam Colop, but I am not sure they work well as an Host.


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      • #4
        Predators with trademark dedicated natural weapons used in a very visceral way that serves as an inspiration for martial arts. While sometimes used to get rid of pests, they do hunt indiscriminately and will eat beneficial insects as well.

        There's a little to work with. The only thing ravens have going on for them is them being carrion eaters, and that's actually beneficial. Same thing for worms, except they are also icky.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tessie View Post
          Predators with trademark dedicated natural weapons used in a very visceral way that serves as an inspiration for martial arts. While sometimes used to get rid of pests, they do hunt indiscriminately and will eat beneficial insects as well.

          There's a little to work with. The only thing ravens have going on for them is them being carrion eaters, and that's actually beneficial. Same thing for worms, except they are also icky.
          Yeah, but I am talking about cultural connotations, not objective scientific truth. Crows and ravens are awesome, IMO- but they have been connected to death and bad omen in popular culture. Same goes for some other Hosts- most spiders are usually harmless, and are beneficial to have around. People would still be scared of them. I am just not sure that mantises are in the same boat as some of the other Hosts- I have known a lot of people who are scared or disgusted by almost all of the animals in the Host list. Mantis? Not really- I know they make some people uncomfortable, but not outright scared.

          And that, of course, without mentioning that as most humans still hold empathy for the dead (hence the concept of burying them or giving them a funeral), seeing a person gets eaten, even if dead, is shocking and repulsive. There is something we see as "wrong" in such cases, and the Hosts play on their relations to humans. The fact that it is a natural and overall good thing does not mean that humans, on an instinctive level, won't get disgusted by the scene and view those animals who do it as "enemies".

          Again, just my two cents of it- mantises can be scary, but in popular culture, they are not "vermin" or "predators" or "dangerous" at all. They are dangerous for insects, sure- but in relation to humans? Not so much, and from the trend I see, almost all of the Hosts play on being considered as "negative" towards humans (again, with the exception of crabs, but they have that myth going on for them being Japanese specific Host). I mean, no one stops you from making a Mantis Host- but I feel they are very out of the pattern compared to the rest of those.


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          "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            I mean, let's look on those Hosts that we already have- spiders, wasps and snakes? Poisonous. Rats? Carriers of plague. Locust? Bringers of famine. Crows and worms? Eaters of the dead. Leeches and lamprey? Parasites and blood drinkers. Fungus? Rot. Toads? Connotations of witchcraft, and as such plague, poison and ugliness. Termites? Decay and ruin. Cicadas? Their calls could actually harm your hearing. Crabs? In Japan (where they are found), there is a type of crabs claimed to be the reincarnated souls of dead warriors.And of course, we have wolves- the eaters of men in folklore.
            Not a bad place to start, but I think you are ignoring an important correlation:

            The list of creatures all have common examples of operating simultaneously in large groups. For spiders it's when they hatch and if they've overrun things. Crabs swarm the coast eating everything they can; they are formian little buggers. A murder of crows is actually a team. etc.

            Which, of course, supports your notion, as mantids scatter really quickly after hatching and are quite solitary predators. (at least the ones I'm aware of)


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            • #7
              If we're talking about cultural/popular perceptions, there's also the semi-myth of sexual cannibalism. I say semi-myth because the earlier reported prevalence was unknowingly triggered by human interference but there are reports of mantises in the wild also engaging in sexual cannibalism. It's very unlikely it doesn't happen naturally but absolutely not as often as believed by many still today.
              If a host were to be based on that concept, it could explain why they are mostly solitary (because they don't want to be eaten by their peers) and how shards amass (because they're eaten by their peers).


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              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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              • #8
                All the more reason for there to be a Mantis Host, representing a corruption of all those positive aspects, being a self destructive, selfish super predator that causes the Gauntlet to implode on itself, creating predatory hellholes.

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