The lands of Hallownest are filled by several groups of strange sentient creatures. They occupy various territories around the vast kingdom and developed their own societies and cultures aside from the Pale King's rule.
The Mantis Tribe is a tribe of proud and ferocious bugs whose traditions date back to ancient times before the kingdom of Hallownest was founded. These naturally-born fighters built the Mantis Village deep within the Fungal Wastes. Led by the Mantis Lords, they defend their territories from intruders with their lives. Their flying youths are compelled to prove their strength before becoming warriors. However, they all come to respect any who would defeat their leaders in honourable combat, and give them the freedom to enter their territory.
Being opposed to the Kingdom of Hallownest, the Mantises negotiated a truce with them to retain sovereignty in their domain. In exchange, they agreed to keep the beasts of Deepnest, which borders Mantis Village, at bay. At some point, Elder Hu believed the Infection spread to their village and tried to purify it. He was killed by the Mantises after attacking them, not realizing his own madness driven by the Infection.
The Mantis Traitors
Unlike most other species in Hallownest, the Mantises are able to resist the Infection. Their defiance towards it, however, forces them to outcast any who would be affected by it. The Traitor Lord chose to embrace the Infection and opposed his three sisters. He was forced to exile along with other youth and warrior followers.
The traitors set tents in the lower part of the Queen's Gardens, but the Infection which gave them new strength also drove them mad. They placed marks throughout the abandoned gardens while claiming them as their territory. They tried to drive the White Lady out of her sanctuary but failed to do so because of the great knight Dryya protecting her. Nonetheless, they continue surviving in the overgrown Gardens, fiercely attacking any intruders on their path. Some of them also became fighters at the Colosseum of Fools.
Mantis Youth attacking
Mantis Warrior bowing
Mantis Village in the Fungal Wastes
Mantis Petra in the Queen's Gardens
Mantis Traitors attacking
Tents of the Mantis Traitors in the Queen's Gardens
Mantis Traitor corpses outside the White Lady's chamber
↑ 11.011.1Elder Hu: "Have you come to tame this savage, ruined land? Many have come to purify this place, but all who dwell here are eventually consumed. Yes, even the wild bugs lurking below us. They were once proud like you, but now they are only monsters." "If there was madness in that village, it was I who brought it. They were right to cast me out. When I attacked, they were right to... [...] To kill... me...?"
↑Quirrel: "The sickness in the air that clouds the mind of lesser beasts... they resist it."
↑Traitor Lord Hunter's Journal entry: "Deposed Lord of the Mantis tribe. Embraced the infection and turned against his sisters."
↑ 14.014.1Mantis Traitor Hunter's Journal entry: "Once a member of the Mantis tribe, now cast out and driven mad by infection."
↑Cloth: "Then, you too come to test yourself against that traitorous tribe? A deadly bunch they are that roost within these glades."
↑Traitor Lord Dream Nail dialogue: "Our lands now..."
↑White Lady: "Dear Ogrim, I'm sure you saw Dryya on the way in? She's stood guard over me for so long."