Fine Vermin [Incorporeal, Swarm]
Hit Dice: 6d8-6 [21 hp]
Speed: 5 ft (1 square), Fly 40ft (Perfect)
Armor Class: 23 (+8 Size, +5 Dex), touch 23, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/-
Attack: Incorporeal Swarm 2d6
Full Attack: Incorporeal Swarm 2d6
Special Attacks: Distraction, Hitchhikers, Infestation
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft, Incorporeal traits, Mindless, Swarm Traits, Vermin Traits
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +2
Abilities Str 1, Dex 20, Con 8, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 3
Environment: Warm Swamps
Organization: Swarm [1-20 swarms]
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None, but see Vile Honey
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 7-36 HD Fine (10ft swarm)
Around the size of undersized honey bees but a translucent turquoise with angular forms, spectre breeders are a deadly threat. The insects are known for infiltrating their targets and laying eggs inside the fabric of the target's cells and obliterating the victim with disturbing and messy efficiency.
The glow of Spectre Breeders is oddly appealling to animals, which is part of their primary feeding strategy. They stake an area as their own and use their glow to attract insects and mammals to the area. The insects are ignored, leading to a powerful level increase in fecundity in the region as they pollinate freely, while the mammals are attacked for food.
Predictable, as a swarm, these bugs surge over the targe and start biting, made even worse by the fact that even if you escape, you'll pick up deadly hitchhikers.
Mammals or reptiles that are attacked by these swarms are always deserted before they die, unless the swarm has suffered significant damage. A damaged swarm continues eating and infesting the target in the hopes of slaying it and replenishing their numbers [there is a critical mass imperative built into their swarm instincts].
Distraction [Ex]: Any creature damaged by a spectre breeder swarm's swarm attack must make a Fortitude save DC 12 or be Nauseated for the one round. Characters attempting to cast spells or perform any action that requires concentration must make a Concentration check, DC 20 (+ spell level if appropriate) or lose the spell/attempt. The DC is Constitution based.
Infestation [Ex]: Not only do they move in and start attacking the fabric of the target but spectre breeders lay their eggs inside the target's very cells. Any creature that fails a save against the swarm's Distraction ability contracts a case of Spectre Breeder Eggs. This functions like a disease with an incubation of five days. The effect triggers every two hours with a Fort DC of 12 and inflicts 1 point of Constitution damage. Curing this effect requires either 5 consecutive successful saves or an effect that cures disease. The DC is Constitution based
Hitchhikers [Ex]: Those who fail a save against the Spectre Breeders Distraction ability and then leave the cloud suffer 2d6 damage on the following round and then 1d6 damage on the round after as those few bugs still inside their bodies continue to feed and then jump ship. Any effect that deals at least 1 point of fire or cold damage to the victim drives the remaining Swarm Breeders from them.
Vile Honey [Su]: The growth of the larval form of spectre breeders produces a foul, tarry substance that, while disgusting to behold, is sweet tasting and powerfully magical. For every point of Constitution damage that the victim suffers, he is affected by one dose of Vile Honey.
Doses provide a +2 Strength bonus per dose and have a duration of three hours. If, however, another dose is administered, the new duration supplants the original and the bonuses stack to a maximum of +10. This material is powerfully addictive [a High addiction rating, basically a disease with DC 14, triggers every other day and deals 1d6 Dexterity, 1d6 Wisdom and 1d2 Constitution damage, but only triggers if you have not taken Vile Honey for two days. Long term use increases the rating by one grade every month that use continues; further details may be found in Book of Vile Darkness or Sharn City of Towers].
Larvae mature into a new swarm after 3 weeks and produce one dose of Vile Honey every two hours even after the host is dead. It has been known for hosts to either remain alive throughout the entire infection [and unknowingly get reinfected], basically becoming powerhouses of strength. Certain figures of old suffered from this.
16|The swamps in this are seem to be full of Will o'wisps, but don't believe it; the glow comes from a deadly breed of insect called the Spectre Breeders.
21|Spectre breeders are incorporeal, possibly due to magical saturation long ago. Beyond this, they are just surprisingly intelligent mosquitoes the size of hornets.
26|Because they are incorporeal, the Spectre Breeders tend to lay their eggs inside living beings. This usually happens in the months of June and July, which coincides with the times when young Skyclimbers are starting to take their first steps.
31|Ridding oneself of an infestation of Spectre Breeders is difficult, not only because it requires curative magic but because you'll have to force yourself; Vile Honey is highly addictive and somewhat addling, making you difficult to restrain and cure...[/table]
- A Local farmer has been troubled by Spectre Breeders in the past and is offering 4,000gp per Skyclimber brought alive to his estate in order to protect his slaves from the breeders.
- Teleporting adventurers brought Swarm Breeders into the city from the far south. If they aren't contained immediately, the whole city could be turned into a maddened realm of paranoia and vicious anemea
- The PCs are hired quietly, on the side, by the owner of a gladatorial stable. One of his prize acts is addicted to Vile Honey and becoming violent as his supply runs out. The PCs must assist his hired necromancer create a regenerating vessel and then capture some breeders before the week is out. How they're going to manage all this and keep it hush is anyone's guess.
- That helpful witch's medicine has worked wonders but there's a catch...the stuff contained Vile Honey and one of you is slowly getting crippled by the withdrawl. Until you can figure out how to beat the addiction [presumably a difficult quest to find an Exalted character for a Remove Addiction spell], you need a supply of Vile Honey and quick...
The Spectre Breeder is the Prey of the Skyclimber Lizard