“Never say, ‘It could get worse.’ There could be… thousands of carnivorous locusts headed our way.”
“You’re kidding, right? (Looks up. Sees a large, buzzing black cloud over the road.) Yup. And now we run.”
When last we left our heroes they were in danger of having the flesh stripped from their bones by this swarm for Dungeon Crawl Classics.
Carnivore Locusts only emerge from their caves and deep underground nests to rampage in a bloody four month feeding season approximately every 77 years. Village elders and ancient texts describe them as demonic in origin. Others describe them as a magic experiment gone horribly wrong. Still others describe them as nature’s revenge on the various races of men, dwarves and elves.
Whatever started them, they have never stopped. They travel in a mostly straight line depending on wind, rain, and civilizations encountered. At the end of their season, they find or dig shelter and go back into hibernation. Woe is the unsuspecting traveler who takes shelter in the entrance of one of their hives.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect is the mating cycle of these wee beasties. From survivors accounts, two of the locusts burrow into a corpse and emerge a few minutes later well fed. Within 36 hours the body will bloat and eventually explode, giving birth to 100+ more carnivorous locusts. A few cattle or a small village is usually sufficient to repopulate most of a swarm if needed.
Carnivorous Locust Swarm: Init +5; Atk swarming bite +3 melee (1d4); AC 11; HD 4d8; MV fly 40’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, gnaw (DC 8 Fort save or additional 1d4 damage); SV Fort +3, Ref +10, Will -2; AL N.
The swarm occupies a 30’x 30’ space and inflicts its bite damage on everyone within that space. Any creature bitten must make a Fort save or also suffer additional damage from being chewed upon. Swarms take half damage from any attack that is not an area effect (i.e., swinging a sword is not nearly as effective as launching a fireball into the swarm).
1 swarm in 10 leaves a nasty surprise behind in carcasses they’ve ravaged, raising it as a flesh eating zombie after 36 hours in addition to giving birth to a swarm of more zombie-causing locusts. Burning corpses affected by the carnivorous locusts prevents the new spawn from hatching and thus prevents the corpse from rising as a zombie.