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Monday, October 12, 2009

Drone Swarm

The first hint of Drone Swarm's presence is a faint, directionless susurrus, a drone if you will. As it increases in volume, lethargy creeps into body and mind, growing as the faint noise becomes louder. By the time the Drone Swarm is in sight, it is a struggle to keep awake as the buzzing roar wraps you in a cocoon of lethargic slumber.

Drone Swarm is a mobile colony of insects that roams vast distances in search of food and breeding grounds. The individual members of the swarm resemble over-sized mosquitoes or crane flies, with a swarm consisting of thousands of such creatures. Drone Swarms form in late summer or early autumn, when cooler weather and increased rainfall cause the aquatic larvae to molt and become full-fledged adults.

Drone Swarms are blood suckers, feeding on any warm-blooded creature they encounter. They emit a sonorous drone that has a soporific effect on any creature that hears it. Once creatures are subdued the Swarm can feed freely. Victims are generally unharmed by the feeding process (being the equivalent of a hundred or so mosquito bites), but the sleep effect lasts for an hour or more, leaving them vulnerable to other dangers. Certain species of predators, particularly reptiles, are drawn to the sound of Drone Swarms, and feed on creatures left sleeping in their wake.

Drone Swarms only last a few days, long enough to feed and breed. The creatures lay their eggs on leaves and branches overhanging water, then scatter and die. Drone Swarms have the following characteristics:
  • Drone - The noise of the swarm has a Fair chance of causing sleep in any creature that hears it. Most reptiles and amphibians are immune to this effect.
  • Poor toughness - Any area effect attack will easily destroy a Drone Swarm. Mundane attacks generally disperse the Swarm for a few minutes but do no real harm.
  • Average flight - Swarms can fly, but strong winds or heavy precipitation will disperse them.
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