Blood roaches are abnormally large, foul smelling cockroaches that are easily identified by their shiny deep red shells and black limbs.
In combat, blood roaches have a tendency to swarm and do so by the thousands. They communicate with some sort of pheromone and act almost as if they shared a communal mind. They will envelope a creature quickly and can kill a man in seconds. Each blood roach delivers a bite and then proceeds to suck the blood from its opponent. Blood roaches are easily dispersed by bright light or fire. A horde can disperse in the blink of an eye as the roaches flee through floor boards, into cracks between flagstones and beneath rugs. Blood roaches are able to flatten themselves as flat as a typical gold coin.It is rare for a horde of blood roaches to attack a large target such as a human unless they are provoked or controlled by magic.
Blood roaches can be found in grave yards, rubbish piles, junk yards, dungeons and catacombs. They feed on blood, carrion, other insects, garbage, vegetable matter, rotting leather, paper, cloth and even wood. However, blood roaches are primarily carnivorous and feed on the blood of animals. This practice gives them their name.
The blood roach is a plague to many lands. Small colonies often infest dungeons, castles and cemeteries. Blood roaches breed rapidly and infestations are very difficult to get rid of. Blood roaches often fed on rats and other cockroaches. They typically compete with rats and roaches for the same food and living space. For reasons unknown, blood roaches dwell in communal nests which reach a certain population and then cease to expand. Each such nest is ruled by a queen and will typically number 1000 roaches (although some nests are reported to be as large as 5000). Rather than double its size every so often, a nest will reach a predetermined size and then level off. Scholars believe that the queen maintains the nest population based on available foodstuffs and living space, although this is only a theory. Blood roaches are very territorial, maintaining the same nest for many generations, and will wage war against other nests.
Some cities will search suspect caravans and ships bringing goods into the city for fear that a blood roach may be imported into the city.
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.