Most monsters are scary when you’re a kid, not so much once you grow up. (I no longer have flashes of Audrey II every time I go into a dark basement, for instance.)
Termites, on the other hand, get even scarier. You 15-year-olds have no idea. For those of us with mortgages, a termite swarm is legit the most terrifying thing in the Bestiary series.
Termites are also cool because they actually build something—huge mounds, 17 feet or higher, according to National Geographic. Which means the pony-sized giant termites could build truly epic structures—easily a mile high if I’m doing my math right. Even taking into account something like real-world physics, mounds the size of cathedrals (as Bestiary 5 suggests) would easily be possible, provided there were a large enough food source nearby. And speaking of buildings, giant termites can also do what termites do best—take down earth and wooden buildings—ignoring hardness of 5 or less.
To sum up, much of adventuring comes down to “Explore the thing,” or “Defend the thing.” Termites give you things to explore and things to defend aplenty. For simple vermin, that’s not bad.
The annual Woodcarving Festival at Schönholt is a celebration of all things carving and carpentry-related. So it is naturally a scene of absolute bedlam when several termite swarms are let loose in the main exhibition hall. The culprit, not unexpectedly, turns out to be a gremlin. But in the course of the battle and subsequent cleanup, adventurers discover that many of the intricately decorated hope chests were being used to smuggle contraband alchemical items—and worse. Was this luck on the gremlin’s part, or was he following some obscure moral code?
The Black Hills of Heaven are a series of strange outcroppings that turn out to be the cathedral-like mounds of giant termite colonies. (Their black color comes from the dark sandy soil of the area.) But some of the hills, when seen from above, suggest eldritch symbols…and at least one of the colonies shows signs of aberrant corruptions.
One bright Tirsday, the city of Hindon awakens to birdsong…from below their houses. The entire town as been hoisted into the branches of a giant oak that stretches more than two miles across. Worse yet, the tree is infested with giant termites that skitter through the cobbled streets, devouring buildings and people alike. Only when the termites are slain can adventurers uncover what is really going on: A branch of the multiversal World Oak, Ysfarn, has manifested in this world, hoisting Hindon hundreds of yards into the air.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 5 242
During last night’s radio show we listened to Death Cab trump Trump, gave some love to Told Slant, and looked back at 10 years of the Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America. You can do all of the above till Monday, 10/17, at midnight by clicking here.