Due to the quirks of Hiver physiology, death as we know it is not necessarily the end of a Hiver’s life. A great deal of short and long-term memory is stored in crystalline form in a Hiver’s brain case, and these chemically stored memories can be extracted intact for days, months or years after death.
With the help of a Princess or Queen, who passes these crystalline deposits through her own digestive tract, the memory of the fallen Hiver can be re-implanted and re-born in a freshly laid egg. The result is a new Hiver child which has many of the memories, skills and experiences of the Hiver who died.
Such a Hiver is called zok’an, “Beloved”–the word also carries connotations of immortality. Once re-born in this fashion, a Hiver is entitled to add the infix zok to his or her name. Examples include the legendary Hiver warrior Rizokis, “Beloved Blades”, or the contemporary Hiver Prince Chezokin, also known as “Chezokin the Thrice-Born”.
This form of limited reincarnation is also central to the spiritual beliefs of the Hiver population, who conceive of the Divine as a female Hiver, constantly devouring and renewing the universe. This biologically useful quirk may have had an evolutionary function in the past, allowing Hiver clans to preserve valuable skills and knowledge despite high rates of mortality, giving the kin group access to information which would otherwise have been lost. Occasionally, however, this practice has led to unfortunate incidents. Hivers exposed to a lethal plague can be carried back to a Princess or Queen for renewal, resulting in a predictable disaster for all.
~ “Chapter 2: Children of the Goddess”. The Sword of the Stars Premium Lore Book
Just posting the excerpt above along with some images for Hiver fans who enjoy the Hiver versions of “reincarnation” and immortality. There is always a bit of confusion in the minds of some fans as to what a Hiver brain crystal was supposed to look like, and how much space in a Hiver skull they’re supposed to occupy, so…eventually I decided to come up with an answer.
I picture a Hiver brain crystal, if found outside the body, as being a deceptively ordinary looking lump, the way a thunder-egg or geode looks before you crack it open. Once you do open it, you’d find the beautiful and complex crystalline interior, looking something like the interior of this bismuth egg.