Here's a monster!
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-6, 10-100
MOVE: 20 ft., 60 ft. (fly)
ATTACKS: Bite (1d4), Sting (1d4 + poison)
SPECIAL: Poison, parasitism
A horrible mutation of vespula vulgaris, the common wasp, giant wasps attain massive size, up to a hundredfold greater than their natural kin, ranging from three to six feet long. Giant wasps are often raised and ridden as steeds by small humanoids and fae; the creatures are as intelligent as dumb dogs, and can be trained to recognize their masters and perform a few minor tricks. Giant wasps build colonies, preferably underground, and often come into conflict with giant ants, burrowing animals, and subterranean races when seeking to expand their territory. Unlike their smaller cousins, giant wasps do not necessarily die off in winter, and can hibernate; in warmer climes, they remain active year-round. Giant wasps feed on nectar and secretions from their larval cells, but are indiscriminate in collecting victims for their larvae. While they prefer giant insects and soft, fuzzy mammals, they will gladly take any small, tasty, paralyzed creature, such as a gnome or halfling, back to their lair for their larvae. The dried husks of these victims sometimes include treasure. There is a 50% chance the lair will contain 1d4 human, demi-human, or humanoid husks per 20 adults wasps, each husk with type 1d4 treasure. Each colony lair contains a 6 HD queen plus a number of eggs and larvae each equal to the number of adults.
Combat: Giant wasps attack by biting and stinging their prey; they prefer to try to sting first, so as to not spill and waste any blood, but will bite if their poison does not take effect quick enough. Giant wasp stingers do not have barbs, and wasps can sting many times without harm to themselves.
Poison: Giant wasp poison paralyzes the victim. A failed CL 4 save versus poison indicating that the victim is instantly paralyzed, a condition that lasts for 1d4+4 days. At the end of that time, if still alive, the victim must make another poison save, with a failed save indicating the paralysis is permanent. A queens poison is quite potent, and requires a save against CL 8.
Parasitism: A paralyzed victim taken back to the wasp colony is in for a dire fate, as the queen will inject an egg into the victims abdomen and the workers will place it in a hexagonal cell. The egg hatches in 1d4+4 days, instantly killing the victim. The larvae will feed on the remains of the victim, plus additional food as provided by the adults, for a month, then enter the pupae stage for an additional month, after which it will emerge from the cell as a fully-grown adult. Giant wasp eggs are worth 20 to 50 gp to the right buyers, including goblins, fae, and wizards; as the trainer must be there upon the hatching of the larvae to impress upon them, larvae and pupae have no value. A giant wasp can live three to five years.
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