An individual hellwasp was the size of a typical wasp, about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. It had a shiny black chitinous body with stripes of red the color of rubies. The compound eyes were green and had an iridescent luster. A swarm of these creatures buzzed loudly and appeared more red than black.
Hellwasps were individually angry and aggressive. In a swarm, they formed a hive mind with a thirst for blood and the intelligence of a wily predator.
A hellwasp swarm surrounded its victim and stung it repeatedly. Each sting injected a tiny amount of poison that, in aggregate, could quickly overwhelm a creature, resulting in unconsciousness or death. Just being in a cloud of these creatures caused nausea unless the besieged had the fortitude to withstand the droning terror. Swinging weapons at the swarm was useless and the creatures were partially resistant to fire. Even magic had a less-than-normal effect on them.
Once a victim was helpless, incapacitated, or dead, the swarm could choose to enter the body or corpse through orifices or open wounds and control it like a zombie puppet. This process took about one minute and a single swarm could occupy and control one small, medium, or large creature. Multiple swarms could even take over a huge creature. If the victim was still alive, the wasps neutralized their own poison and took control, similar to a dominate monster spell, but death from being eaten from within occurred in a matter of hours.
Hellwasps could inhabit a body for as long as they wished, using it to approach other unsuspecting victims or manipulate objects that they could not normally operate without hands. The skin of the host rippled with underlying insect activity, but a hellwasp hive mind was clever enough to hide this telltale sign under baggy clothes or a cloak (although it was more obvious in small hosts because it was so crowded inside). Exiting a body could be a accomplished in a matter of seconds. A swarm could be forced out of a living host by means of a heal or remove disease spell. Any damage done to an inhabited host was also done to the hellwasps at about half intensity. If a swarm was sufficiently degraded by injury, it lost its hive mind and reverted to being individual insects. Additionally, the hellwasp hive mind was not able to manifest psionic powers.
A hellwasp swarm had good flying maneuverability. They could hover, reverse, and make right-angle turns without losing much of their speed.
Sages believed that hellwasps were originally from Nishrek, where they plagued the armies of all sides. They could be found in any of the Infernal planes, especially the Barrens of Doom and Despair and the Nine Hells, and in any climate or terrain.
- ↑ The measurements are only approximate, based on the subjective description of "thumb-sized" used by the source.
- Frank Brunner (June 2004). “Strike on the Rabid Dawn”. Dungeon #111 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 19.
- Tim Hitchcock (March 2005). “Class Acts: Swarm Familiars”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #329 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 98.
- ↑ Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 238. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 238–239. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 237. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
- ↑ Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
- ↑ Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 144, 161. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.