Friday, June 10, 2011

The Cicadas are Here

Currently, where I live is going through one of those fascinating life cycles found in nature. Our trees are inundated with thousands of red eyed cicadas. Despite having experienced this phenomena several times in my life in various parts of the country, I am always amazed at how loud they are. This got me thinking about what that might be like if they were bigger…much bigger.


What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. — Joel 1:4

Number Appearing: See Below
% in Lair: nil
Alignment: Neutral
Armor Class: 4
Move: 6 Ground 18 Fly
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 Bite (1d8)
Special: Noise (See Below)
Save: F3
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: nil
XP: 38

These wandering giant insects are normally only found in groups of one to four; however, if threatened they will start vibrating their abdomens, creating a noise that attracts more tettixi. Every round that a group of tettixi makes this noise 1d4-1 more will show up.

In addition to attracting more tettixi, this noise effectively acts like a Silence 15'r. spell — the noise is so loud that speaking and casting spells becomes impossible. Further, if there are ten or more in the same area making noise, the sound becomes so loud as to do damage to other creatures. Each round this sound will do 1d6 damage for every 10 tettixi in the area (half if a save versus dragon breath in made).

The abdomen of the tettix is highly valued because they can be used as a one-use Detect Lie device (it rattles if a lie is detected).


Anthony said...

I live in California, so never had heard cicadas until I first went to Indianapolis for GenCon. That is one of the weirdest sounds I've ever heard.

Spawn of Endra said...

Quite interesting, nice treatment of the noise of cicadas. I was just looking at Hosea for the reference for reaping the whirlwind and passed by Joel and realized I didn't know anything about it. Lots of interesting imagery in those OT prophets.

FrDave said...

@Spawn of Endra
Lots of interesting imagery in those OT prophets.

Yes! They are are a largely forgotten and untapped source, especially for those of us who love this hobby.