SotF: Codex: Bestiary: Insectoids

  • Insectoids are insects that are at least larger than a house cat. Like Beasts, Insectoids are non-sentient living mostly on instict alone.



    Ash Hopper

    Help Wanted! Ash Hopper infestation at the Lerran Farm. A bounty of 2 Septims for every Ash Hopper killed. Speak to Sorvyn for more details.

    ~ Raven Rock Bulletin Board


    Native to the ashen covered plains of Morrowind, the aptly named Ash Hoppers forage these desolate lands for roots or smaller creatures, including each other to eat. Resembling dog-sized ants or crickets, Ash Hoppers live in packs and are highly territorial creatures and are willing to attack adventurers and other Ash Hopper packs that wander into their lands. During the day, Ash Hoppers bury themselves deep under the ash to protect themselves from the elements. It is by night when they feed that one can understand how these insects earned their name.


    While covered in chitinous armour, it doesn’t take much for to strike an Ash Hopper down – even a child could do it. Now what makes these things a physical threat are two things. First, Ash Hoppers rarely attack alone. When forced to defend their territory, the pack swarms, slowly but surely whittling down the intruder with their strong mandibles. Second and more sinister is that Ash Hopper bites may cause the case of the Droops. The Droops is a disease that stiffens the shoulders of the victim in addition to the classic fevers and untreated, the Droops can be deadly.


    Despite their territorial nature, Ash Hoppers have a well-developed survival instinct: they are willing to flee and hide if the battle does not go their way or if they are outnumbered. In fact most locals would say that Ash Hoppers are mostly harmless with their eating habits are only a nuisance to pets and crops.


    ~ Excerpt from Bestiary: Ash Hopper by Vigilant Sindril Evorvi


    …And if you find yourself lost in the ashlands of Morrowind and can’t find any yams to eat, fear not for there is another more plentiful source of food you can eat: The Ash Hoppers. To the squeamish non-locals, the creature’s visage may be off putting but after the first bite you’ll be asking for more!


    Start by removing the abdomen and the legs, especially the hind legs: that’s the bits with the most meat. Then roast it over a roaring fire until the shell becomes orange and brittle and you’re done. Ash Hopper meat has been described to have the consistency of fish with a taste nutty chicken. What? You want more? Fine!


    Ash Hopper Stew is a staple of the Velothi people and preparation in this harsh land is also simple. Throw some chopped onions and carrots in the pot with some oil over a fire. When the onions brown and the carrots soft, add in the water, bring to boil before adding the Ash Hopper meat. Stew is ready when the Ash Hopper shell turns orange. Serve with a cup of Shein. That’s it. If you’re feeling fancy, throw in diced yams to the mix.


    ~ Excerpt from The Survivalist Guide: Morrowind by Devlin Archburrow.




    Fever Wasp

    The Tumtum tree. It's beautiful red-brown bark belies a deadly secret...

    ~ The Botanist's Guide to Tamriel, 12e


    The Xul-Thota or Fever Wasp in the common tongue are insects native to the Shadowfens of the Black Marsh. No bigger than a grown man’s big thumbnail, the Fever Wasp can be identified by the layperson by their long antennae, thin abdomen, and dark blue colouration. Feeding off the nectar of the Tumtum Trees, the Fever Wasp’s namesake comes not from its eating habits but its reproduction cycle.


    When stung by the Fever Wasp, which has been described as no worse than a mosquito bites, it implants an egg in the host’s flesh typically by the base of the neck or the spine. Upon hatching the larvae will began to feed on the host’s nerves and if possible, the brain. On earlier stages of the incubation, the host will suffer mild fevers, nothing out of the ordinary for the untrained eye. At later stages however, the host will suffer dementia, spasms, paralysis and ultimately – death. At the final stage, newly grown wasps will emerge from the now empty skull and repeat the cycle.


    For most, getting stung by the Fever Wasp is a death sentence and it is custom to burn their bodies to prevent the wasp from reproducing. Crafty mages may attempt to kill the larvae but doing so will leave a rotting larva in the host while mundane surgery is just as useless even if the larva is somehow detected before the spasms, removing the larva will cause the wound to be infected unless the entire larva is removed.


    Fortunately, the Hist Shamans of the Argonian people have a dependable albeit grisly treatment. First the shaman will coat the host’s back with a concoction of Hist sap and other strange herbs. Then, the larva will burrow out of the host with minimal damage. However, what separates these Hist Shamans from other healers is that the shamans have the ability to detect the larva before the spasms just by sight. How they do so, remains a mystery.


    ~ Excerpt from Bestiary: Fever Wasp by Vigilant Sindril Evorvi




    Frostbite Spiders



    Endemic to Skyrim, Frostbite Spiders are a common threat to many cave explorers. Though all Arachanae are highly venomous, Frostbite Spiders differ in what its toxins do to its victim. Instead of inducing internal haemorrhages and necrosis, Frostbite venom will slow the heart and seize the muscles before the victim will eventually suffocate. It is especially dangerous in the cold winds as the weather may mask the victim’s condition before it is too late. Be aware that biting is not the only method these creatures may transmit it’s venom – they can and will spit globs from afar although this will drain its venom reserves but unnecessary risks should never be taken.


    Typically brown or grey, Frostbite Spiders are as large as a mule although there have been reports of larger sizes. Frostbite Spiders have five eyes, all facing forward and its eyes offer it some levels of night vision. Like other Arachanae, Frostbite Spiders have eight legs and a pair of fanged pincers although its chitin is not as durable as its relatives. Should you engage in combat, note that its underbelly, mouth and eyes are especially vulnerable to damage.


    When entering its lair, remain vigilant for its webs for the silk is strong enough to ensnare a grown-man. Also keep watch for the ceiling for they wait for unsuspecting prey before silently descending for a quick and deep bite. While commonly found in caves, do note that Frostbite Spiders have been sighted scuttering in the open wilderness and are no less deadly than they are underground.


    Practitioners of the arcane beware: ice magic has little effect on the creature but fire magic would make short work on them. If possible, coat your weapons in Namira’s Bane.


    ~ Excerpt from Bestiary: Frostbite Spiders by Vigilant Ostrid


    Warning: DO NOT try to suck out the poison. Even if you don’t have any sores in your mouth or stomach, the venom will at best produce a numbing sensation on your gums and at worst, instant putrefaction. To all cave explorers: carry a syringe of antivenin with you or even better – spend the month before exploration with weekly dosage of antivenin to immunise yourself to the bites and carry a syringe of antivenin with you.

    ~ Additional Footnote from Bestiary: Frostbite Spiders by Senior-Vigilant Falrielle, scribed by Vigilant Gideon of Wayrest





1 Comment
  • Delta
    Delta   ·  February 8, 2019

    - Added entry for Fever Wasp