Merciless Monsters 10: Goldtooth Mosquito

The Culex Molestus. A recently discovered species of subterranian mosquito with a distinct golden color. Goldtooth Mosquitoes are a serious nuisance for adventurers. Unlike most of their cousins, they do not feed on the blood of other creatures for their sustenance and reproduction. Rather, they use their superheated proboscis to liquify, and consume gold. Encountering a swarm of the creatures is, understandably, enough to send a wise adventuring group running. Truthfully the creatures pose little threat to the adventurer’s health, as they find blood to be quite poisonous. Their smoldering proboscis is quite painful, though, and the creatures have been known to sacrifice themselves if they feel their swarm is threatened. And, of course, the true danger is to a character’s gold. Anytime a character occupies the same space as a swarm of Goldtooth Mosquitoes, they must make a reflex save (DC: 20) to keep any of the creatures from getting inside their coin purse or backpack. Fortunately, the pests do not like incense, and can be dispersed easily by bringing a censer.

While adult Goldtooth Mosquitos pose a serious threat to a player’s wealth, they’re much less dangerous than their eggs are. This species lays their eggs on the surface of golden objects. Preferably in a dark, cool place. The flat surface of a coin in a treasure chest is an ideal location. The eggs themselves are numerous, and very fine. After laying them, the creature excretes an amber adhesive which holds the eggs in place. When the newborn Goldtooths hatch, they’ll spend their first hours eating this amber substance to give them enough energy for their first meal of gold.

 Upon inspection, an item with Goldtooth Mosquito eggs lain on it appears to merely be coated in a coarse, sticky substance. Many inexperienced adventurers have shrugged off this clue, stashed their newly found treasure, and continued adventuring. Only hours later do they discover that the eggs have hatched, and the newborn creatures have devoured every item of gold in their possession. In a few of the most dire cases, the eggs have not hatched until the player deposited the gold in a local bank, causing thousands, or millions of gold pieces worth of damage.

Despite the danger they pose, some adventurers actively try to capture these creatures to make use of their unique Goldsense ability. By keeping a handful of the creatures tied to strings, adventurers hope to uncover hidden treasures they might otherwise miss.

Goldtooth Mosquito Swarm

A flitting, thrumming cloud of gold flecks glints at the edge of your torchlight.


Goldtooth Mosquito Swarm; CR 3; [Vermin (Swarm)] [Underground] [Active 12-16 hrs/day. Activity not relative to time of day.]


XP: 800
N Diminutive Vermin (Swarm)
Init +4; Senses Darkvision 60ft, Goldsense, Perception +10


DEFENSE


AC 22, touch 21, flat-footed 15 [10 + Dex(7) + Size(4) + Natural(1)]
HP 24 (4 HD, 4d8)
Defensive Abilities: Swarm Traits; Immune mind-affecting effects, weapon damage
Weaknesses Swarm Traits
Fort +6 Ref +11 Will -3;


OFFENSE


Speed 5ft, fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee Swarm (2d6)
Space 10ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks Blood Sacrifice


STATISTICS


Str 1 Dex 24 Con 14 Int - Wis 11 Cha 2
BAB +3; CMB –; CMD
Languages None
SQ Goldsense, Gold Feeding


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Goldsense(Ex) Able to detect gold by scent. A small amount, such as a single gold coin, can be detected within 10ft. Larger amounts can be detected from further away, at roughly a rate of +10ft per multiple of 100gp. For example, 300 gold can be detected from 30ft away, 1000 gold can be detected up to 100ft away. This ability reaches its maximum at 200ft. Beyond that range, no amount of gold can be detected. Note that Goldtooth Mosquitoes will always attempt to fly towards the nearest gold, not the largest amount of gold. So if a character has gold in their backpack, the creatures won’t pay any mind to the untended dragon’s horde in the next room.

Gold Feeding(Ex) If a Goldtooth Mosquito finds any gold, they consume it quickly. Though an entire swarm could survive for a week on a single gold coin, the creatures have a tendency to gorge themselves. A single swarm could easily devour a large chest full of coins in an hour. As noted above, characters who pass through the same square as a swarm of Goldtooth Mosquitos must succeed on a reflex save, DC 20, or the creatures will devour their gold. Note that the save involves dropping to the floor, waving arms wildly, etc. The GM may choose to move the player to an adjacent square as part of the save, and may choose to grant any nearby opponents attacks of opportunity against the character.

Blood Sacrifice(Ex) The superheated probosci of the Goldtooth Mosquito is an extremely effective weapon against larger opponents such as an adventurer. It causes a stinging burn which can last for days, and often leaves a scar. However, since blood is extremely toxic to Goldtooth Mosquitoes, any members of the swarm who use this appendage as a weapon are immediately killed. On any successful attack, the swarm can sacrifice some of its own HP in exchange for a damage bonus. For every 1 hp sacrificed, 3 additional damage is dealt. There is no limit to how often this ability can be used, or how much hp can be sacrificed on a given attack.


ECOLOGY


Environment Underground, in dungeons. Any environment which is cool, and provides easy access to gold.
Organization Swarm
Activity Cycle Active 12-16 hrs/day. Activity not relative to time of day.
Diet Gold; Natural Enemies Rust Monsters, Mimics.
Treasure If placed in a smelting fire, the organic material of the swarm will melt away, leaving only the gold they consumed. A given swarm will commonly have 6d10 gold pieces worth of gold in their bellies. Of course, this requires capturing an entire swarm. Not merely dispersing it by reducing it to 0 hp.

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2 thoughts on “Merciless Monsters 10: Goldtooth Mosquito”

  1. Interesting monster. Another one to add to the list of monsters players fear.
    The Goldtooth Mosquito could be used to damage a rival organization.
    Just get some gold with eggs on it inside the organization.

  2. Like tiny rust monsters.. I wonder if they work on some manner of symbiosis.. I mean, gold doesn’t rust so it’s likely of little use to the rust monster.

    That could be an interesting encounter to say the least.