Insect Plague

Level: 5   Sphere: Combat [Conjuration/Summoning]
Range: 120 yds.   Components: V, S, M
Duration: 2 rds./level   Casting Time: 1 turn
Area of Effect: 180 ft. x 60 ft. cloud   Saving Throw: None

When this spell is cast by the priest, a horde of creeping, hopping, and flying insects gather and swarm in a thick cloud. In an environment free of normal insects, the spell fails. The insects obscure vision, limiting it to 10 feet. Spellcasting within the cloud is impossible. Creatures in the insect plague, regardless of Armor Class, sustain 1 point of damage for each round they remain within, due to the bites and stings of the insects. Invisibility is no protection. All creatures with 2 or fewer Hit Dice will automatically move at their fastest possible speed in a random direction until they are more than 240 yards away from the insects. Creatures with fewer than 5 Hit Dice must check morale; failure means they run as described above.

Heavy smoke drives off insects within its bounds. Fire also drives insects away. For example, a wall of fire in a ring shape keeps a subsequently cast insect plague outside its confines, but a fireball spell simply clears insects from its blast area for one round. A single torch is ineffective against this vast horde of insects. Lightning, cold, or ice are likewise ineffective, while a strong wind that covers the entire plague area disperses the insects and ends the spell. The plague lasts two rounds for each level of the caster, and thereafter the insects disperse. The insects swarm in an area that centers around a summoning point determined by the spellcaster. The point can be up to 120 yards away from the priest. The insect plague does not move thereafter for as long as it lasts. Note that the spell can be countered by a dispel magic spell.

The material components of this spell are a few granules of sugar, some kernels of grain, and a smear of fat.

Last modified: May 3rd, 2000