Crystal Hornets are heard long before they are seen. Their humming is like the beautiful sound of a violin that is being played by a master musician,and to those who have encountered them before, it acts as a warning.
Lord Harwich was a warlord and an accomplished mage who had made himself very unpopular with his campaigns against the nearby city-states. So much so that the states had put aside their traditional rivalries about trade and influence and sent a unified army to defeat him. He needed more money to pay his mercenary companies so he cast a spell on his jewels to make them multiply.The spell backfired and turned them into small crystaline dragons which flew away from him.
He was unable to pay his army and was tracked down and killed, but his creations survived and bred with each other.
A Crystal Hornet is half the size of a human hand and looks like a beautiful dragon cut from the finest jade, that gleams in the sunlight. It\'s wings shine with a soft inner light like moonlight and it\'s tail is a long thin sting. If attacked or provoked it will sting, and the sting is not only horribly painful but cannot be healed by magical spells. It feeds mostly on sunlight, but above all else it loves to feed upon magical energy. Any powerful magic spell cast within two miles of the nest of one of these creatures will bring them to the scene in vast numbers.
If they can they will team together to pick up magical items such as wands, magical staves and cryatal balls and put them into their nests. Magic-users hate them, but love to make them and what can be distilled from them into magical items or potions.The Hornets love their lives as much as any sane creature and will fight anyone who wants to make them into items.
It is the numbers that make these hornets such a potental menace. There are anything from five hundered to more then two thousand in each nest.A single sting is very painful, but not serious. Up to fifteen of these stings are agonizing, more then fifteen in one day are potentialy deadly, and when one stings, the rest do. They are normally placid, content just to buzz around humans, but if they, their nest or their eggs are threatened, they turn into killer hornets.
They normally make their nests in the mountians although a few nests have been made in the lofts of magic-users. A nest appears to be a huge lump of milky quartz from the outside,with a few sentry-hornets at the entrance, and on the inside are hundereds of what seem to be diamonds, each of them in fact an egg which will sooner or later hatch into a crystal hornet. The nests have a thin skin, and they and the hornets can be cut by any reasonable weapon or just by a rock.The trouble is, those who attack the nests had better be ready to repel the hornets or they will be quickly stung to death.Often magical items that have been stolen are found in the nests.In winter the hornets are dormant,as they dislike the dark.
A wizard has left his window open and a swarm of Crystal Hornets flew in and stole his amulets, staff, and crystal ball.He is willing to pay the PCs a lot to get said items back.
Chasing the Dragons
A wizard wants a couple of these creatures to be captured and brought back alive.
A nest has been almost abandoned as most of the Crystal Hornets are out feeding and mating. If the PCs crack it open they will see what appears to be the treasure horde of a dragon. What appears to be hundereds of diamonds, each one worth a lot of money, are on the floor, whilst several magical items are there as well.As soon as they have looted the place, the musical humming of a swarm of Crystal Hornets thousands strong is heard as it flies towards the luckless looters. Instead of one big dragon, they must face thousands of tiny ones, all eager for revenge.
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? Responses (12)
I like the idea a lot. Very cool sounding, and not too powerful, just enough to be a nuisance. Overall, a nice magical creature! I would love to put these in some forests of mine.
Daughter in Trouble: A sect is recruiting in the city and their methods are rather extreme. The PCs are hired to rescue the daughter of a rich merchant or noble from the clutches of the strange, isolationist sect. To complicate things further, the sect has a rite of initiation which involves sprinkling sand imbued with weak magical energies over the initiate, and then release Crystal Hornets upon him/her. Some manage to remain calm while the Crystal Hornets gather the grains of sand, while others panic and are rewarded with myriad stings (and then they die). The sect claims that only those of a calm inner spirit may ascend to the status of Ascendii, the rest can only embrace the notion of forgettance and death.
Now the PCs must, in some way, enter the sanctuary of the cult and retrieve the daughter before she undergoes the rite of initiation. But the cult and the daughter is unwilling. Can the PCs persuade/pay her out, or do they have to brave the dangers of the cultists and the hornets (and the daughter) to get her out?
Is there a way to placate the crystal-hornets, such as smoking their nest like a beehive?
It's probable that there is,Scrasamax, but not many people would dare.
Truely inspired and devious in the extreme. I like them. I also would like to have my PC's to set up nesting sites for them like pigeons so that he can replace the real magic items they collect with non magic replacements.
Oh yeah, and I want to put up steel mesh screens on all my doors and windows to keep these little nasties out. Maybe some alchemical bug spray too!!
very good Cheka!
I like this a lot! I was thinking about something similar.
Can't believe I didn't vote on this before. It's one of my favorites.
Nice Piece. I forgot to vote on this long, long ago.
Not a lot of new ideas like this floating around but I like this one.
Nice, very nice... strange how trying to multiplying treasures always seems to cause trouble. Nice beasties too.
Some nice imageries here and solid plot hooks, like this.