Aspis (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Aspis
Aspis (Dungeons & Dragons).jpg
Aspis in the original Monster Manual II (1983).

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the aspis (/ˈæspɨs/ AS-pis)[1] is a roughly human-sized weevil-like creature that lives underground.

Publication history[edit]

The apsis drone, larva, and cow first appeared in the first edition in the module A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity (1981),[2] and later appeared in the original Monster Manual II (1983).[3]

The aspis drone, larva, and cow appeared for second edition in the Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1990).[4] The aspis was further detailed in Dragon #260 (June 1999).[5]

Description[edit]

An aspis is usually neutral in alignment. They are highly intelligent, but most are just drones.

An aspis begins its life as a larva, which resembles a giant maggot or grub, white or pale pink in color. Larvae are blind and deaf, but are able to sense food though vibration in the ground and scent. They are ravenous, always eating or trying to eat, and when a larva has fed enough, it begins to transform into an adult.

Rarely, an aspis larva is chosen by the drones to become a “cow”. This larva is fed a special diet and groomed until it reaches a massive length of 15 feet when fully mature. A nest’s cows gives birth to all future larva.

Adult drones are the only ones that leave the underground nest, and deal with other creatures. It has a hard, off-white chitinous body, and six clawed legs. An aspis’ head has two multi-faceted eyes, a pair of short, blunt antennae, and a long proboscis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mentzer, Frank. "Ay pronunseeAY shun gyd" Dragon #93 (TSR, 1985)
  2. ^ Cook, David. Slave Pits of the Undercity (TSR, 1981)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  4. ^ Breault, Mike, ed, et al. Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1990)
  5. ^ Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Aspis." Dragon #260. (TSR, 1999)