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 Moths are an ancient tribe of bugs learned in the manipulation of dreams. They possess the Dream Nail, an artifact which can peer into the mind of others, extract Soul from living creatures and allow its wielder's consciousness to enter their dreams. With this knowledge, the Moths also crafted Charms such as the Dream Wielder to reinforce the Dream Nail's abilities, and the Dreamshield to protect its bearer. Like the Snail Shamans, they can sense when their thoughts are intruded upon.
The Moths were birthed from the light of the Radiance, a higher being brighter than Essence living outside the physical realm. While they used to worship her, they turned their backs on her when the Pale King arrived in Hallownest. Through their newfound devotion to the Pale King, they eventually forgot the Radiance, which sealed her away. This crime led to the wrath of this powerful being, who would force the Kingdom's bugs to remember her and be the cause of the Infection.
Under the king's rule, the Moth Tribe were caretakers of the Resting Grounds, tending to graves in this place of remembrance for the Kingdom's departed ones. They eventually closed off the Spirits' Glade, where Essence took the shape and memories of departed bugs and forbade its entry. There, the Moths would also record otherworldly words inside the Shrine of Believers, a lingering dream watched over by a lone moth spirit. An abandoned place of worship to the Radiance still exists in Hallownest's Crown at the top of the Crystal Peak, far above the Resting Grounds.
The Moths are usually a passive species, with two exceptions. Thistlewind wielded a weapon to explore the caverns of Hallownest. The warrior Markoth did the same but died alone far in the Kingdom's Edge, never to be found before the Knight's journey. Of the tribe, however, only the Seer remains. She keeps the traditions and duties of her brethren in the Resting Grounds, awaiting the Wielder once dreamed of by the Moths.
The Seer rescues the Knight when their consciousness is dragged into a forgotten dream by the Dreamers. Believing them to be the Wielder, she guides them to use the Dream Nail to collect Essence and awaken Hallownest's memories, in penitence for the tribe's crimes. When the Knight hones the Dream Nail to its limit, the Seer finally confesses to them the Moths' abandon of the Radiance. With this last memory finally shared, she remembers the Radiance and disappears into Essence, bringing an end to the Moth tribe.
Unnamed moth outside Shrine of Believers
Upper Resting Grounds
Moth statues in Spirits' Glade
Statue of the Radiance on Hallownest's Crown
↑ 1.01.1Dreamshield description: "Defensive charm once wielded by a tribe that could shape dreams. Conjures a shield that follows the bearer and attempts to protect them."
↑Dream Nail description: "Allows the wielder to cut through the veil between dreams and waking. Can be used to reveal hidden dreams or open gateways."
↑Dream Wielder description: "Transient charm created for those who wield the Dream Nail and collect Essence."
↑Snail Shaman Dream Nail dialogue: "Poking around in the dreams of others... You're more curious than you look!"
↑Seer Dream Nail dialogue: "What are you doing, poking about in a dusty old mind like mine? Nothing of worth is hidden inside, believe me."
↑ 6.06.16.26.126.96.36.199Seer: "You truly are the Wielder my tribe so long has dreamed of. The folk of my tribe were born from a light. Light similar to Essence, similar to that powerful blade, though much brighter still. They were content to bask in that light and honoured it... for a time. But another light appeared in our world... A wyrm that took the form of a king. How fickle my ancestors must have been. They forsook the light that spawned them. Turned their backs to it... Forgot it even. And so this kingdom was born from that betrayal. But the memories of that ancient light still lingered, hush whispers of faith... Until all of Hallownest began to dream of that forgotten light. [...] Don't remember us, Wielder. Don't honour us. We do not deserve it... Aahh... I'm sorry... Light... Radiance... I... remember you."
↑Quirrel: "I'd heard it told the Kingdom's moths did delve amongst dreams and the dead."
↑ 8.08.1Seer: "Have you seen that great door just outside? My tribe closed it long ago and forbade its opening. Ah, but as far as I can tell I'm the only member of my tribe still breathing. [...] Listen closely in there and you may hear the utterings of bugs long gone."
↑Unnamed Moth: "Recorded within this shrine are utterings from another world."
↑ 11.011.111.2Thistlewind: "I've long ceased travelling the caverns of Hallownest [...]. You find it strange to see a moth wielding a weapon? We are a passive species, though I am not the only one amongst us to take up arms. Another braved the edges of this world, hoping to uncover a truth long forgotten."
↑Markoth: "I can... see myself there, still sleeping. How long have I been hidden here? Here at the edge of the world, no-one could find me... except you."
↑Seer: "Tending these graves and guiding the Wielder... all penitence for old crimes."