In a SciFi world I'm building with other people, we'd like to create a planet with an infection outbreak going on. There are wildlings. They are pretty primitive, have stone tools and wood houses. They are human-like. The wildlings are getting infected and when it happens, they become highly aggressive, their appearance changes and they have a hive-mind (meaning they are all connected to each other, know what each other thinks and are controlled by a queen).
The infection comes from a gigantic underground beast. This beast grows trees that are spreading the outbreak, meaning the infection of wildlings comes from those trees. It is the beast that is controlling the wildlings. So if the beast is killed, the infected stop, the trees die and the infection stops.
What could be a scientific reason for this infection? What does my beast need to provoke such changes to wildlings?
Important aspects of the infection
- Infected are highly aggressive
- Infection comes from the trees growing out of the beast
Changes caused by infection: (please try to keep as much as possible)
- Changing in aspect
- Black skin
- Claws / fangs / other means of attack
Time can be a factor to explain any of those aspects.