The Driller’s Hives
The Driller’s Hives

The Driller’s Hives

The Driller’s Hives

Realm of Tharzax, obyrith lord of the ekolids.

The Driller’s Hives, now there’s a place I wouldna wish on me worst enemy. Right at the gory heart of Tharzax’s domain in Descolada, the second layer of the Abyss. It’s an abominable land, filled to the brim with the nightmares of every poor sod who’s terrified of crawlin’ critters. It’s a sprawling, maddening place, built on the bodies and fear of countless victims. A stroll there is like a descent into madness, with every step a journey deeper into a living nightmare where your worst fears come to life, a jumble of grotesque imagery and fever dreams, enough to turn the hardiest stomach.

So try and imagine a landscape so horrific that it defies the imagination, a place where the ground itself seems to shift and squirm with a life of its own. Imagine walkin’ through a land where the very air you breathe is thick with the smell of rot and decay, and where every step takes you deeper into a twisted maze of jagged badlands and seas of thick, shuddering sticky resin that threaten to swallow you whole. A place where even the sea ain’t safe, being more a pool of viscous ooze that pulls you down, drowning you in its suffocating embrace. Yeah, not the kind of place you’d take your dearly beloved for a leisurely afternoon stroll, that’s for certain.

But it ain’t just the land itself that’s hostile, oh no. It’s the inhabitants that truly make the Driller’s Hives a place of unending horror. The ekolids, now they’re a breed apart, a terrifying fusion of every nightmare ye ever had about insects, and then some. They’re the kind of fiends that make even the tanar’ri’s knees quake in fear, monstrous things that embody the very concept of infestation, creatures that exist only to spread fear, pain, and madness wherever they go.

Within this bloody realm, the ekolids have built their cities, gruesome parodies of human societies at their most decadent and degenerate. Imagine a city built of corpses, where every building, every wall, every street is made from the bodies of the ekolids’ victims, coated in a layer of putrid ooze that captures their final moments of agony for all eternity. It’s a sight that can drive a body to madness, a place where death is an art form and suffering is celebrated with grotesque, perverse glee.

The chattering markets are the worst of it, let me tell ya, a bustling hive of activity where every manner of poison and venomed blade is for sale, where slaves are bought and sold like cattle, destined to become incubators for the next generation of ekolids. It’s a place of unspeakable cruelty, where the choicest victims are chosen for what they call “performance hatchings”, grotesque ceremonies where the ekolids compete to see who can create the most graphic, the most horrific death. It’s a sick parody of entertainment, a bloody spectacle where death is not just a certainty, but a cruel, agonizing inevitability. It’s a place of darkness, of madness, a place where hope goes to die, and where the air is filled with the constant, never-ending buzz of wings and the chittering laughter of the ekolids as they revel in their own cruelty. It’s a place you’d do well to avoid, unless yer tired of living, that is.

Inside all of this horror, is Tharzax’s palace, a place where even the shadows got teeth. Oh, berk, ye’ve really got to be addled to even want to hear about this place. It’s my job to warn you, cutter, so here goes nothin’. Nestled in the dark heart of the largest forsaken ekolid city of Driller’s Hive, it’s a towering, writhing mass, a fortress of flesh and chitin, a place where the walls pulse with a sickly rhythm, as if the whole blasted place has a heartbeat of its own. Now take that image and turn it up to eleven.

Tharzax’s throne room is the piece de resistance of this house of horrors. The lord of all them crawlies holds court in a chamber of pulsating flesh, where the walls themselves are alive, movin’ and shiftin’ like the innards of some great beast. Picture a throne made of living, writhing worms, where Tharzax sits in all his grotesque glory, a being so foul and venomous that just lookin’ at him can drive a body mad.

There’s a kind of sick elegance to it all, though, if you’ve got the stomach to see it. The way the flesh and bone structures meld together, the way the light plays off the wet, glistening surfaces, it’s a kind of twisted beauty, a testament to the perverse creativity of its master. But don’t get me wrong, this ain’t no place for sightseeing. Every corridor is a gauntlet of horrors, a place where every shadow hides something ready to tear ye limb from limb, and where the very air is thick with the scent of decay and the constant, mind-grinding noise of chittering vermin.

Now imagine trying to navigate this labyrinthine palace, with its halls that twist and turn in impossible ways, defying all logic and reason. It’s a maze of the mind as much as it is a physical place, a place where reality itself seems to warp and twist, where time loses all meaning and space folds in on itself in mind-bending ways. Ye can get lost in there for years, wandering in circles while Tharzax’s countless minions hunt ye down, a never-ending game of spider-scorpion-wasp-monster and mouse where you’re always the mouse, always the prey.

So there ye have it, cutter, the palace of Tharzax, a place of madness and horror where every moment is a struggle for survival, where every step takes ye deeper into a nightmare made real. A place where the prince of vermin holds court, surrounded by his horde of chittering, buzzing, writhing minions, all eager to do his bidding, to spread his reign of terror across the planes. It’s a place ye want to avoid at all costs, unless you’re just plain barmy. It’s the kind of place that makes the toughest of the tough break down in tears, a place where fear isn’t just a possibility, but a guarantee.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

Recommended reading: Entry for ekolids on the Forgotten Realms wiki.

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