|An aspis engaged in battle, as depicted on the cover of Slave Pits of the Undercity (1980). Art by Jeff Dee.|
The aspis is a roughly humanoid weevil-like creature that lives underground.
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.
Typical physical characteristics
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.
An aspis is usually neutral in alignment. They are highly intelligent, but most are just drones.
- Breault, Mike, ed, et al. Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1990.
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR,, 1983.
- Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Aspis." Dragon #260. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.