Hundreds of twisted, distorted faces roil in a miserable cloud, screaming of their unquiet deaths.
Str —, Dex 18, Con —, Int —, Wis 15, Cha 19
A drocha swarm’s many biting jaws are considered to have the ghost touch special ability. This allows it to deal its swarm damage to corporeal foes, and to deal normal damage to incorporeal creatures such as ghosts, shadow demons, and even other drocha swarms.
As a standard action, a drocha swarm can target a creature within 30 feet and cry mournful wails that fill the listener with images of its own death. The targeted creature must succeed at a DC 18 Will save to steel itself against this morbid onslaught. If that save fails, the victim must succeed at a Fortitude save or die from fear. Even if the Fortitude save succeeds, the victim takes 4d6 points of damage. A creature that successfully saves against the initial Will save is not subject to the same drocha swarm’s project death ability for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Organization solitary or pack (2–5)
Mostly translucent, drocha swarms contain only the faintest traces of black and green delineating the writhing mouths and rolling eyes of the faces within. The faces moan independently, creating a cacophony of voices, each shouting rage at its death or screaming for others to listen to the story of its plight. It would be maddening to pick out individual voices and follow their terrible cries. The swarm can expand and contract as necessary, pouring over enemies and draining them of the life drocha swarms were so violently denied, an action that does not seem to bring the pitiful creatures any relief from their hideous afterlife.
It is postulated drocha swarms can form anywhere death has occurred on a massive scale. The dead individuals that make up a drocha swarm have lost any identity they once had and are hideously transformed; they are now horrific vehicles of undeath, created only when the conditions are right. As dead souls trapped on the Material Plane are wont to do, drocha swarms are angry and vengeful, and attack any living thing near them with impunity.
Because of their roaming nature, these swarms infrequently encounter each other. As unintelligent undead, drocha swarms have no society. Even when swarms come across each other, they seem unaware of each other’s existence—which is perhaps unsurprising since drocha swarms focus on living things.
On rare occasions, drocha swarms have been reported to collide with each other. When this event occurs, a strange thing happens. The two (or more) swarms appear to merge together, the translucent cloud of screaming faces darkening and billowing out in an even more chaotic roil. The screaming faces that float within the deadly mass pass through one another in a twisted dance and the volume of their wails increases to a painfully uncomfortable level. The merged swarm pulses and continues to grow larger than the volume of the two individual drocha swarms. This horrid mass coalesces and ceases flying, coming to rest on the ground, and remaining stationary for hours at a time. During this period, living creatures can actually approach the merged swarm without the drocha swarms pursuing them, though some have reported that pseudopod-like appendages stretch out from the mass and probe the air in the direction of the living. After several hours, the wails and shrieks build to a crescendo loud enough to make one’s ears bleed and the area of the swarm’s fear aura doubles. Once this happens, the merged cloud of drocha swarms rapidly pulses, then dramatically contracts to the size of a single drocha swarm. It’s unknown whether the two merge and take up the same space or one swarm takes over the other. Some believe the two swarms engage in a brutal battle with one another until a single swarm is destroyed. It’s believed this is the only way the component spirits can be freed from their tortured existence, but what truly happens in these rare circumstances is unknown.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #75: Demon’s Heresy © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jim Groves.