The isopterite is a creature from the Spelljammer campaign setting.
2nd Edition StatsEdit
|Intelligence:||Low (5-7)||Low (5-7)|
|No. of Attacks:||2||1|
|Special Defenses:||Hive mentality, parry||Nil|
|Size:||L (12'+ tall)||H (20')|
Isopterites are semi-intelligent, bipedal termites that live beneath the ground or in trees in giant hives.
The typical isopterite appears to be a large insect with a great bulbous head and six appendages (two of which are legs). The do not wear clothing or armor, nor do they carry any weapons. Their tough hide and strong, chitinous arms are all the arms and armor these powerful creatures need.
The isopterites are very quick and agile. The creatures are part of a hive mentality which aids them in coordinating their attacks against intruders in their lair. The isopterites that arrive at the scene of intrusion and begin combating the enemies are constantly sending a limited telepathic report to other members of the hive. In this manner, additional reinforcements can be most effectively deployed. This has the effect of overwhelming the enemy, inflicting attacks from vulnerable rear and flank areas.
The isopterites are also very quick in hand-to-hand combat. They attack twice each melee round with rapid strikes from their bone-hard appendages, inflicting 1-8 points of damage per attack. They can also parry one frontal attack each melee round without sacrificing their normal attacks. The parry gives the attacker -3 on his attack roll.
Once per turn, a warrior isopterite can squirt a highly acidic, chemical deterrent at its enemy. This is done in place of the hand-to-hand strikes. The insect can squirt the acid with deadly accuracy, gaining +1 on its attack die. The acid inflicts 2d12 points of damage on a successful hit. There is a 25% chance that the acid will be aimed at the eyes of the target (unless he is wearing protection over the eyes). In this case, the eyes will become highly irritated and blindness will ensue. The blindness lasts for 1d6 turns if flushed with water (2d6 turns if not treated).
Isopterites will generally fight only in defense of their lair, but they will fight tenaciously and with regard for their own lives. Thus, the creatures never make morale checks when defending the lair.
If the queen is killed, however, the insects go into confusion. They begin to wander around aimlessly, fighting only if attacked, but attempting to flee even then.
The queen is capable of combat, but only in her own personal defense. She is so large and nearly immobile that often when she begins her egg laying cycle, she will not move for the duration of her life. But if she is attacked, she is capable of dealing a powerful strike with one of her arms, inflicting 1-12 points of damage.
The isopterites are hive-oriented creatures. Their hives are usually dug deep under the ground. They live in large colonies and are divided into "castes," each representing individuals with specific duties to perform. There are warriors to defend the colony (they are identical to the standard isopterite, but have the ability to squirt acid); workers to construct the nest and perform domestic tasks; and kings to fertilize the queen.
Isopterites live partly underground and partly in huge nests (called termitaries) which they build on the surface. These vary greatly in size and shape, and the exteriors solidify as hard as rock. The termitaries are often hundreds of feet tall! Inside are innumerable galleries, nurseries, fungus-gardens, a royal apartment, and other chambers.
The isopterites' chitinous, hard appendages are suited for combat, though they are not a war-like species. The creatures are wingless. They feed on fungi and decaying organic matter, some of which is generated within the colony.
Reproduction is the occupation of the kings and queens. After fertilization, the queen's abdomen swells until it becomes an enormous bladder. She becomes merely an egg producing machine, and will lay an egg every few minutes for several years. At any one time, her abdomen may contain up to 4,800 eggs in various stages of development, and they are carried off to the nurseries by queues of workers as quickly as they are laid. Since the queen is nearly immobile, she is groomed and fed by special worker attendants.