Death Butterfly Swarm

The green and orange on the tree trunk isn’t moss but, rather, an enormous collection of butterflies. The swarm of butterflies lifts from the rotten stump in unison and flies forward in a slow, fluttering mass. The air is heavy with the sweet smell of rot.

Death Butterfly Swarm CR 4

XP 800
CE Diminutive vermin (swarm)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9


AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 size)
hp 40 (9d8)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +4
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune weapon damage
Weakness swarm traits


Speed 5 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee swarm (2d6 plus poison)
Special Attacks distraction (DC 14), poison, weight of wings (DC 16)


Str 1, Dex 13, Con 10, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB —; CMD
Skills Fly +13, Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ swarm traits, vermin traits


Poison (Ex)

Swarm—injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1 Con; cure 1 save. This poison also affects undead creatures, dealing 1 Cha damage/round.

Weight of Wings (Su)

Creatures affected by the swarm’s distraction effect must also make a DC 16 Will save (Cha– based) or suffer from the effects of hold person. This paralysis only lasts as long as the victim is within the swarm.


Environment forests, mountains, temperate hills, and warm marshes
Organization solitary, pair, or cleansing (3–5 swarms)
Treasure none

Particularly vile creatures never seem to rest, often coming back as unliving abominations and ghastly spirits. Sometimes, though, these creatures do just cross over to whatever reward awaits them, leaving behind tainted corpses that pass the evil on to those that feast on the remains.

A death butterfly swarm results when a rare breed of carrion-eating butterflies, drawn to an incredible stench of decay, feed on the corpse of an evil creature. Individually, and prior to feeding on such a creature, the butterflies pose no threat, but the driving animus forces the butterflies to swarm and inflict misery on all who cross their path.

Naturally attracted to rotting material, the swarm’s new state allows it to inflict a fast-acting, necrotizing poison on its victims. Thus, it can feed immediately on carrion created with its poison. The oppressive evil infused in the butterflies bears down on those caught in the swarm’s wake, potentially paralyzing victims the swarm passes over. The swarm benefits from this effect, fluttering around unmoving victims and necrotizing more and more flesh while they cannot escape.

Undead creatures, to which the death butterfly swarm would obviously be drawn, are not immune to a death butterfly swarm’s poison. Just as the swarm rots away a living creature, it may also dissolve an undead creature’s animating force. Given the choice between an undead and living creature, the swarm always attacks the undead target. The swarm finds ghouls and ghasts to be particularly appealing.

Rumors persist of a death butterfly swarm that has fed on a particularly malevolent red dragon. The swarm possesses the breath weapon, special abilities, and SR of an ancient red dragon. Its poison has increased efficacy, dealing 1d4 Constitution damage over the course of 10 rounds and requiring 2 consecutive successful DC 20 Fortitude saving throws to cure. The swarm targets the dragon’s former enemies, but it also randomly attacks other creatures it encounters.

An arcane spellcaster that knows summon swarm can replace it with a 4th-level version of summon swarm that conjures a death butterfly swarm. This spell gains the [evil] descriptor.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Midgard Bestiary for Pathfinder RPG, (c) 2012 Open Design LLC; Author: Adam Daigle with Chris Harris, Michael Kortes, James MacKenzie, Rob Manning, Ben McFarland, Carlos Ovalle, Jan Rodewald, Adam Roy, Christina Stiles, James Thomas, and Mike Welham.

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