For those who know this, a question is often asked: is the mind of the mage required, or does magic flow down any channel, heedless, irrgating the world with chaos?
The answers to these questions may be found in the shell of the Skitterjaw. Endemic to a single region of the frozen Republic of Wurmgar, these titan centipedes can be found stalking a wetland known as the Dead Fens.
The Dead Fens are part of the watershed of the River Vok, which skirts along the Grave Ridge, where the bones of gods are said to lie, and continues to distant Xarrac to the east. These fens are known for their blood-red algal blooms, and the huge spires of 'godbone', carried from the Grave Ridge by storms, landslides and ancient glaciation.
The Skitterjaws themselves are apex predators, 20ft. long, with poisonous, greatsword sized mandibles. They hunt the giant toads and catoblepas of the Fens as their primary food, but will gladly eat folk, little morsels though they are.
This is not what terrifies folk. What does terrify folk, keeping children and soldiers alike awake at night in nearby Tzorovik, is the Skitterjaws' use of powerful, primitive necromancy.
In short, it reanimates its victims. A skitterjaw's horde of shambling, rotten zombies is never far behind it, mostly swamp fauna, but always with a few unfortunate folk shambling alongside.
The skitterjaws' use of the undead is threefold - first, they serve as excellent defense, either guarding the skitterjaw's feeding grounds or accompanying the creature itself. Second, they provide temperature control and defense for the beast by clinging to it, forming an 'armour' of corpses. Third, the mobile, sturdy undead provide perfect repositories for the fist-sized, glistening eggs of the Skitterjaw.
Rival Skitterjaws have been observed using their hordes to resolve conflicts, with the winner reanimating the usable parts of the loser's legion, and the loser fleeing unharmed into the bogs.
Stats for these horrible boys: