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Gharton are large, communal, insectoid creatures. They stand six to seven feet tall, and have six legs and two pairs of wings. Their long, thin, segmented bodies are covered with black chitin. Their bulbous, multifaceted eyes allow only poor, colourblind vision but this is offset by their very sensitive antennae which can detect the faintest sound. The forelegs end in large, very sharp pincers which are used to entrap and kill their prey. The rear two sets of legs have surfaces covered in microscopic suction pads which allow the gharton to cling to most surfaces. Their tails have stingers and can inject a paralytic poison into their victims.
Gharton live in large colonies and must establish their hives in active volcanoes. Their thick-shelled eggs* must incubate in lava to maintain the necessary temperature for hatching. Young gharton live in the hive until they reach maturity, which takes about three to four months.
One female is specially treated at birth to become the hive's queen. She grows three to four times normal size and her sole responsibility is to birth the young. The queen will never leave the hive.
Adult gharton are responsible for hunting outside the hive, requiring live mammal or reptile meat as food. They usually hunt in packs, surrounding a victim and attacking it until it's unconscious. The victim is then stung; the paralytic poison lasts for up to a day. They fly the victim back to the hive where it is wrapped in tough, sticky fibres. The gharton prefer to wait for the prey to return to consciousness before feeding.
Gharton are not D&D monsters, but are, rather, gleaned from an underground role-playing game created by Dodger's late friend Daniel Lawrence. This is one of many AQ creations to come made in memoriam for Dan.