“Here, in this desert, there live amid the sand great ants, in size somewhat less than dogs, but bigger than foxes. The Persian king has a number of them, which have been caught by the hunters in the land whereof we are speaking. Those ants make their dwellings underground, and like the Greek ants, which they very much resemble in shape, throw up sand heaps as they burrow.”Herodotus, The Third book of Histories
Despite their name these terrors of the desert are found in many places. They are said to be similar in form to the ants of Greece, aside from their size, which is reported to be larger than a fox but smaller than a dog. They are very territorial and attack any living thing approaching one of their mounds. As many as fifty of these creatures come swarming out of their mounds at the first sign of intrusion.
Man Eating Ants have hard shells, making them very difficult to slay. Their sharp and powerful mandibles can deliver fearsome bites, similar in those delivered by hyena. They are very quick as well, able to run faster than nearly any other animal on earth. Even a small number of these ants are able to dismember and haul off animals as large as a camel in just a few minutes.
The reason anyone ever goes nears these ant hills are the legends of gold. It is said that these ants encounter veins of gold deep below the surface of the desert. They then deposit this gold, in the form of small nuggets and gold dust, on the surface along with normal sand from their excavations. Rumor has it that even one sack of sand from a Man Eating Ant mound contains enough gold to support a large family for a year. Unfortunately the ants are so deadly that attempting to harvest this sand is foolhardy at best and suicide at worst.
However, some tribes have developed techniques for raiding these ant mounds. They typically assault the mount at the hottest point of the day, bringing twice as many mounts as needed. They then fill as many sacks as possible, tossing them onto the fleetest horses or camels. As soon as the ants emerge the raiders flee, abandoning half of their mounts. The abandoned animals are quickly swarmed and slain by the ants, their sacrifice granting the raiders the time needs to escape.
Many people wish to capture some of these creatures, for private menageries or for display in the arena as part of a gladiatorial spectacle. However, these ants eat a unique fungus which they cultivate themselves deep in their mounds. Without access to this fungus captured ants starve to
death in 2D3 days. Also, like all ants, only their queen reproduces. No one has ever encountered a Queen Man Eating Ant.
Secrets of the Man Eating Ants – The man eating ants are a failed experiment by the Mi-go. They were created as a servitor race to assist the Fungi from Yuggoth in mining, delving, patrolling, and defending Mi-go facilities. However the ants proved impossible to control after they developed a taste for their master’s flesh. After numerous disastrous and many Migo deaths the program was abandoned. However the beasts continue to thrive, usually in areas where Mi- go once had a presence. The rare unseen fungus these creatures eat is a form of cultivated Mi-go tissue.
The Gold of the Man Eating Ants – Keepers can decide if this is a rumor or not. It could be the sands contain no gold what-so-ever. Maybe the sands do contain gold, but in such a small amount it makes such a risk ridiculous to take (3D6 sestertius worth per large sack). However, keepers may choose to have the rumors be true, with each sack containing gold equivalent to an
average middle class a year’s wage (10d10 X 10 sestertius worth per large sack).
However, if the rumors are true then locals are sure to know about it. Periodically raiding these mounds being are a necessary part of local tribe’s survival. Said locals defended such mounds from harvesting attempts by outsiders, as savagely as the ants do themselves.
Man Eating Ants of India, Voracious relentless horrors of the desert
Char. Averages rolls
STR 65 (2D6+6 x 5)
CON 65 (2D6+6 x 5)
SIZ 30 (1D6+3 x 5)
DEX 75 (2D6+8 x 5)
POW 65 (2D6+6 x 5)
Av. Damage Bonus: none
Average Build: 0
Attacks per round: 1
Fighting 65% (32/13) 1D8+db Dodge 35% (17/7)
Armor: 4-point Hard Chitinous Shell
Skills: Listen (by vibration) 80%, Spot Hidden (by vibration) 75%, Climb 70%
Sanity Loss: 0 / 1D4 points to see a Man Eating Ant of India.