This mass of iridescent blue-black insects emits a foul stench, and a faint chorus of thousands of clicking and clacking jaws can be heard from all sides.
|Scarab Swarm||CR 3|
Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary, pair, or infestation (3–6)
The scarab beetle is indigenous to warm deserts. Scarabs are small, six-legged insects with sharp protrusions on their front legs that they use to aid in burrowing. They are primarily coprophagous, eating dung for sustenance. An individual scarab often spends days rolling a single ball of detritus across the desert until it can find the perfect place to bury and deposit eggs in the dung. Because of this practice of burrowing underground to create new life, scarab beetles have long been associated with burial rites.
A scarab swarm comprises thousands of scarab beetles, each filthy from its constant contact with dung. Normally inattentive toward other creatures, scarab swarms subject those that get in their way to thousands of sharp bites as well as a highly infectious disease. Indeed, the bites of a scarab swarm are the least of their victims’ worries, as the disease they carry claims far more lives than their hunger.
Some religious scholars theorize that scarabs are prone to swarm because they’re drawn to the same malign energy that causes some undead to rise, though most people regard this explanation as purely superstition. Some see the arrival of a scarab swarm as a portent for ill fortune and upon encountering such a sight utter quick prayers to the Lady of Graves.
Source Pathfinder Adventure Path #79: The Half-Dead City © 2014, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Crystal Frasier, Jim Groves, Will McCardell, Michael McCarthy, and Amber E.Scott.