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A letter is left with the guards of the northernmost city of Oberin.
To the Marali Vanguard,
First and foremost, we would like you to stop the cruel extermination of ants you described in your letter. The Myrmecologist Society is willing to help Marali building facilities to promote research of this magnificent species, but we will not collaborate in the extermination of the object of study.
There have always been worker ants in Marali. There have always been ants everywhere. From what Armsman Nial describes, it is evident that the recent sighting in your lands can only be a case of primary or secondary polygynous polydomy, double primary or secondary monogynous monodomy, double primary or secondary monogynous haplometrosis, primary polygynous pleometrosis, or any of those things in combination.
There are a few certainly possible scenarios:
1) You have brutally interrupted a wedding party. The two queens were there to introduce the princess to the princes. We assume you have examined the soil around the anthills. Have you seen any sings of a nuptial flight? Have you seen the detached wings of any young alate ant? Do you realise the cruelty of your actions, if this is the case? You have eradicated a family before it even had the chance to flourish. One would expect better from Maralians.
2) There is a rich source of nourishment in Marali. We do not know your hidden stocks and provisions. Given that the city was sieged several times, we can safely assume that you store great amounts of food.
Ants develop into their different kinds according to the environment around them as larvae. You say there were ants of all kinds, which might mean abundance. Great abundance might mean two queens. We kindly ask you to give us more specific numbers next time, in order to know exactly how many forager, giant, worker, and warrior ants were found (and brutally killed) by your troops.
3) As you point out, they may have been at war or at peace. Not that you bothered to take the time to discover. The presence of two queens may indicate double monogyny, polygyny or oligyny. The first means they are just next door neighbours. The second, that they are good friends who decided to share a life and a house. For both cases, you may imagine what would have been the most natural choice for Galandir and Tirana, were they to decide to reign at the same time. In both cases, the colonies from both royals would be required to live at peace and collaborate with each other. There would be no cases of slave-making, but a balanced polyethism among them.
In the third possibility, you may have obstructed a tremendous fight for each other’s nest, a wonder to behold. One of the most magnificent spectacles of nature. In comparison, the famous fight between your own Commander Vaup and the dragon Vandrovic was a second rate comedy. If evidence is found that this was the case, you will be held responsible for preventing the study of such combat.
4) These may be the beginnings of a supercolony. If so, expect to find many other queens. Millions of queens all over the territory of Marali, with hundreds of millions of ants in their nests. In that case, we demand that you inform us immediately and that you provide accommodation for our team of four specialists at your city’s inn. When making the booking, please consider that none of us eats meat, and are all very found of a bubble bath twice a day. We will need robes of resistance to be supplied for our investigations, and we appreciate a light supper of cookies and milk.
You have not given us enough information to determine that there were two different dynasties but, if that is the case, we are inclined to think it is certainly the case of possibilities 1 to 4. As for the pixies, you would have to consult the fairy folklorists from Andris.
Boale Myrmidon II,
on the behalf of the Myrmecologist Society of Lerilin