Monday, August 5, 2013

A Plague upon Hyphrates - Scarabs

In the days of its colonization Hyphrates was a land of lush farmlands. That was before the dark influences of the Djinn and the backstabbing attempts that the Hyphratians eventually learned to pursue. There were many different elements that transformed the beautiful countryside into a sterile desert. One of the most significant causes were the scarabs that came to infest the nation.

These massive, boring insects each have a wingspan of more than two feet. They travel in swarms of thousands, though their presence is seldom recognized. This is because they move by boring through the ground and swarming in massive underground tunnels. Specimens are apparently capable of going without food for hundreds of years—likely undergoing a metamorphosis or entering a state of extended hibernation.

When they finally do emerge, it is never in small groups. Instead, they invariably appear as massive swarms, capable of wreaking devastation upon a region. All flora and fauna in an extended area is soon devastated as the massive insect-like creatures gorge themselves upon all life. Survivors of a scourge always insist that the swarms preferentially target the flesh from any animal life—including humans. However, when a location is searched after a swarm has departed, finding any discrete evidence of their diet is nigh impossible. All that remains of the lands they visit are sterile sand. The scarabs consume everything else.

There is no clear pattern that leads to the emergence of a scarab swarm. Mercifully these events are rare. Historically, they occurred only once every few decades, and never lasted long. During the Great War, however, Swarms were much more common, with several happening each year and some lasting for weeks. Some now believe that the Djinn and her agents are associated with their presence. Legends indicate that they have a ritual that can be used to control these creatures. If that is the case, it may be that scarabs are not naturally occurring creatures at all, but rather banes explicitly created by the missing Witch.


Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d10, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 10 (3)
Biting Mandibles: Swarms of scarabs attack and rend the flesh from their victims in massive numbers. Each round of combat with a swarm, they automatically hit a foe's least armored location and inflict 2d6, AP 2 damage to everyone within the template.
Scarab Swarm: A swarm of scarabs is treated as a single creature. When the swarm is incapacitated, it is considered dispersed and all of its members incapacitated, effectively eliminating it. Scarabs cover an area equal to a Large Burst Template and attack everyone within every round. Typically, a swarming event would constitute dozens, if not hundreds, of these templates, each of which must be slain separately.
Chitinous Shell: Scarabs have a thick shell, capable of resisting most attacks. This provides 3 points of Armor.
Wild Card: Scarabs are considered Wild Cards.

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