The Princess of any given Hive is its absolute ruler and reason–for–being; her workers and warriors will be loyal to the death and devote themselves to her welfare for the entirety of their lives. The workers and warriors of the Hive are simultaneously her children, her employees, her servants, her subjects and her zealous cult of personality. A Hiver Princess is many times larger than a standard Hiver. Depending on her care and feeding she can grow to a height of 400 centimetres and mass nearly 400 kilograms. Her wings and chitin are largely ornamental and often will be cut or painted to enhance her natural beauty.
A Hiver Princess can produce any number of Hiver eggs, especially if she has regular access to a Prince. A single session with a Prince will allow the Princess to fertilize thousands of proto–eggs at once, depending on how many ovaries she has open. The eggs she produces are largely generic when they leave her body — it is the care she gives them during infancy that determines their futures. Variations of light, heat and nutrition will produce a variety of changes in the developing Hiver allowing its mother to not only determine whether the resulting offspring will be a worker, warrior or breeder, but to assign it a number of other physical and mental characteristics.
The one thing a Hiver Princess cannot do is reproduce herself. Although she can create any number of workers, warriors and male breeders, no Princess can lay an egg which will develop into another Princess. The power and privilege of birthing female Hiver is reserved for their High Queen — a nigh–mystical and legendary female Breeder who rules the entire species from the Hiver homeworld.
But why would a Princess breed Princes? It does indeed sound a little counter–productive to be providing rivals with consorts. However, providing consorts to other families spreads one's influence and may help to heal many disputes and even wars between clans. Having a coterie of beautiful (and sometimes loyal) sons at her disposal is very, very useful for a Princess who needs influence or bargaining chips in politics.
When different Princesses form alliances with one another and/or the Queen, it would generally be called a coalition. Calling it a "political party" might be a bit too impersonal — nothing in Hiver Society can be entirely separated from the family. Coalitions are not only common and inevitable but necessary, in order to maintain peace and order among the general population.
Whether or not a Hiver Princess/Queen gloats to their enemies depends on who that enemy is. Princesses are often very competitive with their sisters, and certainly understand malice, taunting and using anger to lure others into political or military faux pas.
If a rival Princess manages to kill the Princess of the other clan, the children of the fallen Princess are unlikely to want to remain alive — and if they did want to remain alive it's likely they would have no goal in mind but destroying those who killed their mother. It is very unlikely that the conquerer of any given Princess could expect loyalty from the defeated children of her enemy unless the victor was the High Queen herself — for she is the Mother of All.
However, sometimes it is not necessary to kill a Hiver Princess in order to defeat her and her children. A clan will stand down if their Princess is taken prisoner/hostage or if she is at such an extreme disadvantage that defeat and death is imminent. Any warrior or worker Hiver will gladly countenance his own death but they can and will surrender and swear fealty to those who have spared the life of their mother. Similarly, Princesses may simply bow to a new Queen and order their clan to serve rather than allow their children to be needlessly killed or their clans senselessly weakened by fighting for the ultimate prize.
Hiver are not mindless animals — it's good to be Queen but being a Princess is also very fine, especially given a choice between being a Princess and being...oh...dead.
Every new Colony consists of at least one Princess, who was either quite young when launched aboard the colony ship or a full grown Princess who might sacrifice her wings and crown for purposes of becoming a colonial power, and fold her limbs tightly in the hold. Under such circumstances her size profile would be significantly reduced. Larger colony ships allow for more Princesses.
Hiver do not like it when you blow up their colony ships — they also don't like it when you destroy their colonies — as generally at least one Princess and all her children — actual and potential — die when a colony or colony ship is lost.
Mad Clans Edit
It is unthinkably rare, but the bond between mother and children can be broken. However, Hiver who have the misfortune of being born to a mad Princess have been known to turn on their mother when her madness became too much to countenance; not every child of a Hiver Princess shares all of her defects, given the contribution of the male to their genetic code.
This is why a Hiver Princess who becomes mentally ill or paranoid may cease to use a Prince to reproduce — the children she produces will thereafter be half–mindless things, sharing in her madness and unable to question her will.
Hiver, as mentioned elsewhere, do have a sense of loyalty, patronage and love for their fathers. It is not impossible for the children of a lost Princess to follow their father from then on, or even become the despised step–children of another clan. They will usually be ill–treated however, and seldom cling to life unless they have a long–term goal in mind.
Mad clans of Hiver are eliminated by the Queen's forces and other clans, if possible. However, sometimes mad clans can be remarkably strong, especially if the mad Princess somehow retains the services of a Prince.