Like their close cousins, the apoc, the symph are tall and proud, equally at home as farmers or warriors. But unlike the individualistic apoc, who move about singly or in small bands when they are not living as the guests of others, the symph are a mutualistic species–the Sisterhood, as they called themselves.

Building great hive-cities, the symph were ruled by a queen that was mother to nearly the entire population, though some would have co-regent daughters to smooth the transitions between generations. Males were rare, and though they were stronger than females and made excellent warriors, they consumed vital resources while offering little in return and wer therefore only hatched for breeding purposes, sent to other hives to cement alliances and keep inbreeding at bay. The other symph were all sisters–hence “the Sisterhood”–and their close relationship gave them all a degree of mutual empathy bordering on telepathy.

The apoc and others have occasionally accused the symph of being an uncreative hive mind, a mass of interchangeable and faceless clones. This is, however, not true; many symph are passionate and artistic, but their culture does place a great deal of importance on maintaining the unified front of the Sisterhood. Disagreements happen and outliers exist, and it is a culture that values and allows for personal freedom. But the Sisterhood requires that those differences be strictly internal and secret, guarded from all but a few close friends and allies. A remnant of when the wood was a crueler place, perhaps, or before large numbers of apoc began living among the symph as laborers, warriors, and lovers.

Individual symph can and do leave the safety of the hive and the sisterhood, but without the rare males they cannot live anything but a solitary existence. Those who do eke out such a living are not unheard of, though, and the most successful often eventually barter with other symph for males and begin new Sisterhoods of their own.

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