Lore:Kwama

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Kwama are large insectoids native to Vvardenfell, which are usually kept for their eggs (or "mined"). They live in underground communal colonies, where each kwama has a specific role. At the top of the colony's hierarchy is the Queen. Kwama Queens are huge and bloated, and produce the nest's eggs.[1] They are too fat and heavy to move, so all their needs are attended to by the Workers. Kwama Workers dig the colony's tunnels and chambers and tend the queen and the eggs. They are usually docile, but not completely helpless.[1] The workers also produce a pheromone unique to their colony. Different colonies compete over resources, making them natural enemies.[2] Kwama Warriors defend the colony's tunnels.[1] They are aggressive and dangerous, with poisonous or shock attacks. They don't attack the miners because they are used to their odor, but will assault outsiders without hesitation.[1] Kwama Foragers hunt for prey and scout the surface and natural underground passages, searching for suitable locations for new colonies.[1] Foragers are aggressive, but not very dangerous.[1] Scribs (or squibs) are a late larval form of the kwama.[1] They are not very aggressive but can paralyze adversaries. Scrib larvae can sometimes be found in rotten meat, and will eat their way out of the victim's stomach if consumed.[3] The hive can easily replace scribs, but colonies don't always recover from the loss of a Queen.[1]

Kwama are exploited by both the native Dunmer and the Empire.[1] The flesh of scribs is crushed down into the soft Scrib Jelly, a nutritious but sour-tasting gelatin with an unpleasant texture that is popular with the natives.[1] Scribs can also be cut into strips and dried in the sun to produce Scrib Jerky, a practical foodstuff for travelers as it doesn't spoil.[1] Kwama Cuttle is a tough, waxy substance that comes from the beak of kwama beasts.[1] Kwama Wax expands and hardens with heat, making it useful for plugging leaks or mending furniture.[2] It is also sometime used to dress armor.[4] Kwama Eggs are a rich, nutritious foodstuff and a principal agricultural commodity of the Vvardenfell District.[1] Eggmines are set up in kwama colonies, often in Morrowind, though there have been instances in Valenwood and Black Marsh. The miners protect the kwama from poachers, predators, and raiding kwama foragers from other colonies, and harvest the eggs judiciously, leaving enough eggs to sustain colony growth.[1] Kwama Eggs can be eaten boiled, roasted, or raw, and remain fresh for weeks. They are popular throughout the Empire, and are a major export for Morrowind.[1] The eggs come in two main sizes, large and small, with the large eggs having more alchemical properties than the small ones. The Blight is a major threat to eggmines, making it unsafe for miners and killing the Queen if she is not cured.[1] Once the Queen is cured, the colony will recover. Kwama can also become infected with droops, a common disease.

The Seven Eggs of Gold are seven legendary golden kwama eggs, which were laid by the Kwama Queen of the forgotten Pudai Egg Mine. The Fighters Guild were contracted to find these eggs, and in 3E 427 the mine was found on the island of Sheogorad.[5] The eggs were of solid gold and fetched a high price. Settlements such as Gnisis and Rethan Manor are dependent on eggmining, and House Hlaalu control a great many of the mines. The Shulk Egg Mine is the largest single source of Kwama Eggs on Vvardenfell.[1] A symbol of a scrib is used to signify an inn or tavern in Morrowind, and one can usually be found hanging on a banner outside of the establishment. Scrib Cabbage, a domesticated plant found in southern Morrowind, is named after the larvae.

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Miner dialogue from Morrowind
  2. ^ a b Revus Demnevanni's dialogue in ESO
  3. ^ Vampiric nightmare from Morrowind
  4. ^ A Guide to Liturgical VestmentsHigh Ordinator Vermethys
  5. ^ Events of Morrowind