What medieval weaponry to authentically hunt cat-sized mosquitos?

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Umm. No. Insects are often strong in proportion to their mass because of the square-cube law. Scale a mosquito up to the size of a cat and realistically it wouldn't be strong enough to move its own limbs.



Mosquitos don't bite with jaws. They just push the tip of their proboscis in.

I can't speak for every species or gender of mosquito (some of which aren't even hematophagous) but I can confirm that many species of mosquitoe do in fact have an enlarged jaw like structure and mandibles at the end of their proboscis.

In these examples there are small serrated "teeth" at the end of the jaw which use a sawing motion to break the skin. Then the jaw opens and the tounge probes into the body of the prey.

Enlarged to the size of a cat it would be horrible!

(On that point to the OP check out The Secret Life of Flies by Dr Erica McAlister. Some of the examples of flies there if scaled up would be truly Locecraftean in their horror).
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
I can't speak for every species or gender of mosquito (some of which aren't even hematophagous) but I can confirm that many species of mosquitoe do in fact have an enlarged jaw like structure and mandibles at the end of their proboscis.

In these examples there are small serrated "teeth" at the end of the jaw which use a sawing motion to break the skin. Then the jaw opens and the tounge probes into the body of the prey.

Enlarged to the size of a cat it would be horrible!

(On that point to the OP check out The Secret Life of Flies by Dr Erica McAlister. Some of the examples of flies there if scaled up would be truly Locecraftean in their horror).
Nasty little buggers they are:thumbsup:!

On that note, the Alien in Alien is basically an insect with acid blood.
how-you-look-like-to-mosquitoes-in-the-jungle-eat-66111291.png
 

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Nasty little buggers they are:thumbsup:!

On that note, the Alien in Alien is basically an insect with acid blood.
how-you-look-like-to-mosquitoes-in-the-jungle-eat-66111291.png

The Bombardier beetle is very close to a real life insect with acid blood!


"The spray is produced from a reaction between two hypergolic chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in two reservoirs in the beetle's abdomen. When the aqueous solution of hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide reaches the "vestibule" (Eisner's word), catalysts facilitate the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide and the oxidation of the hydroquinone.[1] Heat from the reaction brings the mixture to near the boiling point of water and produces gas that drives the ejection. The damage caused can be fatal to attacking insects"

Some ants and termites on the other hand will simply self-destruct by exploding and spread a sticky and corrosive liquid on their unfortunate victims.

 
Last edited:

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
The Bombardier beetle is very close to a real life insect with acid blood!


"The spray is produced from a reaction between two hypergolic chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in two reservoirs in the beetle's abdomen. When the aqueous solution of hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide reaches the "vestibule" (Eisner's word), catalysts facilitate the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide and the oxidation of the hydroquinone.[1] Heat from the reaction brings the mixture to near the boiling point of water and produces gas that drives the ejection. The damage caused can be fatal to attacking insects"

Some ants and termites on the other hand will simply self-destruct by exploding and spread a sticky and corrosive liquid on their unfortunate victims.

Well, so it's just based on insects:grin:!

And well...I think we now need to know the statblock the OP has in mind. Because there are a number of theories in this thread, ranging from a "No problem at all, barely an inconvenience, let's see if they're tasty" level of threat (congrats, Agemegos Agemegos ), to an "invading Huns in insectoid form, bring the phalanx" threat, to a "nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" threat. And the difference would depend on stuff we can only extrapolate about, so everyone would favour his (or her) pet theory.
So in order to remain at least tangentially relevant, we should have Shipyard Locked Shipyard Locked weigh in on how he sees them:angel:.

...or, I guess I could just keep posting funny pictures.

BTW, Z Zebraman (RQ-inspired name?), welcome to the Pub:thumbsup:!
 
Last edited:

Sharrow

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
322
Reaction score
670
Swamp-draining? How feasible is that in a low-tech society?
Build a dam up-stream, let it self-drain. At worst it turns into a salt-water marsh, and unless the mozzie larvae like salt water, that's it for their breeding grounds.

But Humans have been draining wetlands for a very long time. They tend to be quite fertile once they're drained out and cleaned up.
 

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Well, so it's just based on insects:grin:!

And well...I think we now need to know the statblock the OP has in mind. Because there are a number of theories in this thread, ranging from a "No problem at all, barely an inconvenience, let's see if they're tasty" level of threat (congrats, Agemegos Agemegos ), to an "invading Huns in insectoid form, bring the phalanx" threat, to a "nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" threat. And the difference would depend on stuff we can only extrapolate about, so everyone would favour his (or her) pet theory.
So in order to remain at least tangentially relevant, we should have Shipyard Locked Shipyard Locked weigh in on how he sees them:angel:.

...or, I guess I could just keep posting funny pictures.

BTW, Z Zebraman (RQ-inspired name?), welcome to the Pub:thumbsup:!

I think also the sheer numbers would be helpful. Consider how large a mosquito is. Then consider how large a cow is. Then consider that following the 2020 Hurrican Laura in Louisiana the resultant mosquito hatching surge claimed some three or four hundred cattle from bleeding caused by their bites. Not infection mind, bleeding.To say nothing of horses, dogs, goats and cats....

Being friends with a dipterist is basically a source of instant nightmare fuel.

Re: The name, I am a massive RQ fan as it happens but it's actually a Takashi Miike reference.
 

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
4,420
So in order to remain at least tangentially relevant, we should have Shipyard Locked weigh in on how he sees them:angel:.

Well I did envision them as serving a goblin-like role: too dangerous to ignore, too disorganized/minor to justify a nation-level response, too plentiful to permanently get rid of.

But honestly, what I was thinking of is much less interesting than some of what has transpired here.
 

Toadmaster

Legendary Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
5,872
In my experience they are, and I have to deal with them every day, so I have regular experience.



Flies are more difficult to hit because they have an eye in the back of their head (which mosquitos don't have) alerting them of threats, not because they're faster than mosquitos. And even without that extra eye mosquitos can be pretty alert and slippery. I often slap my hand fast against the wall only to find the mosquito's already gone once I move my hand away despite slapping it right where the mosquito was. When I try to slap one in my arm or leg, any movement can alert it and set it flying away before my palm reaches it.



Which is possible in real life formations against regular land-based troops because you only have to cover the front. Here you'd have to cover the front, back, sides and top all at the same time, which would be impossible, and fails to account for the likelihood of at least some of these small sized creatures slipping through in ways that larger, land bound creatures wouldn't be able to.



All of this assumes that you'd be able to cram enough people closely together to effectively cover an entire semi-sphere and still have enough swinging room to maneuver all poles without everyone getting in the way of each other, tightly enough for few or no small creatures to get through.

I am not a stranger to mosquitos, granted there are hundreds of species and my experience is with the mountains of Western North America. Perhaps some species are faster than ours.

My personal experience is they are one of the less quick and darty flying pests. What can make them tricky is like gnats they can be hard to spot, and so light that the air movement from a swat can displace them. Neither of those would be an issue at cat size, which would be more like whacking at a pinata.
 

Peter Von Danzig

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
206
Reaction score
504
All of this assumes that seasoned warriors will be able to figure out an effective formation with just their seasoning alone, which itself assumes that such a formation is possible and that facing a swarm of small fast flying creatures with poles tightly pressed together would be effective. Except that only works against humans and cavalry because given their movement capabilities and body dimensions there's simply no way for them to get around a pole set to receive a charge without getting poked first. That's what gives poles such an advantage.

But that advantage only works against frontal assault and wouldn't exist against small creatures capable of moving around the pole in any direction. Historically pole formations would get obliterated by flanking opponents, cuz it's difficult change direction for a whole group of poles, and that would leave them exposed to whatever enemy they were originally facing even if they could.

And these opponents would be able to not just flank, but move around, up or down, the pole's pointy end. And once they're pass that end there'd be nothing could do against them cuz you've got no shield and the bodies from all the people pressed against you in the formation would prevent you from bashing the mosquitos with the other end of your pole (what you'd normally have to do if someone managed to move pass your pole's head and was closing in on you). Even in a porcupine formation you'd still have to deal with the fact that these opponents can move ever which way, even high and around you, were you couldn't move your pole with a bunch of people pressed against you.

You'd be better off on your own if you have a spear or halberd to fight against cat sized mosquitos than with a bunch of people pressed around you, preventing you from spinning that pole around and swinging it all over the place, as you'd have to when fighting such an enemy.

i wouldn't agree with this. Pike formations came in different levels of quality, but the better trained ones - notably the Swiss but not just them - were actually able to form squares and fend off cavalry attacks in the flanks quite effectively.

There was a significant decline in the effectiveness of pike / polearm armed infantry during the famous (post medieval) Pike and Shot era. Troops were not as well trained and could not, for example, maneuver safely in the field. But in say, the 1470s you would find that the Swiss, Bohemians, and many others had no problem marching through enemy territory, forming a square to fend off a cavalry charge, and then reforming (often with overlapping formations working together to pin down the cavalry) as well as smaller 'forlorn hope' formations acting as skirmishers, but also with some ability to fight off horsemen.

During the 30 Years War (post medieval / 17th Century) by contrast, it was very rare for pike formations to do much more than march to a spot by the cannon or VIPs and just sit there to protect them, as they were vulnerable to cavalry if they moved. The reasons are complex but in a nutshell, different kinds of (much lower paid, and less skilled) troops in the later era.

swisspikes.jpg


Also the pikes were used in layers, with each rank threatening a space of about three feet behind and / or above the previous, and going from horizontal gradually to vertical. They really formed a 'forest of points' even in the traditional more or less 'two-dimensional' type warfare you saw in the medieval period. partly this was because all the pike hafts helped break up volleys of arrows which were descending on to the formation. So in a way they were already thinking of attack from above.

So I would think a pike square would actually be pretty difficult to attack from above, though against a short-ranged attacker like a cat-sized mosquito, probably halberds, bills or glaives ... or even just spears would be better. You don't need the extra length of a pike necessarily.

22ddd3fceb68b5ae2f4b60c234aa0622.jpg


Pikemen from more sophisticated armies like the Swiss, the Czechs, Spanish Tercios or German Landsknechts were also equipped with swords as sidearms, and they were ready to deploy the sword very quickly in case someone got past the point of their polearm. Pike squares also included halberdiers, two-handed swordsmen, and of course, marksmen. This latter was very important because it's how the pike formations, particularly in the medieval period, applied pressure (or as von Clausewitz put it, 'friction') against the opposing army. But it's also a third rail for most fantasy RPGs because marksmen would include both crossbows and firearms.

a1249.jpg

They also carried a lot of smaller missiles like vaned javelins. These can help at that intermediate range just before the mosquito swarm arrives - a volley of javelins comes up to meet them.

War_Wagons_bbb-Mss-hh-I0016_253_Close.jpg Warr_Wagon_Small1.jpg
There are a few more exotic things which might help though. First that comes to my mind would be war-wagons. Most war-wagons used in the field were open topped, but they also had many closed topped war-wagons and war-mantlets which were particularly useful for siege warfare. I attached a couple of images from the Bern Chronik (circa 1475). Of course, these made use as you can see, of cannon which would be quite helpful against mosquitos but many RPGs would recoil in horror from.

You also had some far more exotic types of war-wagons showing up in the various war-manuals and even fencing manuals of the era.

1669310320352.jpeg
This is one from the von Wolfegg hausbuch, (circa 1485) notice the wagon has little panels which can be opened and closed. It has a cannon inside but that could just as easily be a couple of bowmen or crossbowmen. Close the panels, load your weapon, open and shoot a volley, close again and repeat.

images

Here's another one from Hans Talhoffer around 1460

779px-Philipp_M%C3%B6nch_-_Kriegsbuch_-_cod._pal._germ._126_-_017.jpg

And here's one from the Philipp Mönch kriegsbüch, circa 1495. Notice the scythe like blades which were a common feature of these.

Flegel.jpg Flail2.jpg Flail3.jpg
Of course war wagons can get 'swarmed', by people or mosquitos. So you need close-in weapons. One which I think would be particularly helpful against giant mosquitoes would be the Czech style 'cep', (German 'flegel') which is the original type of flail. Not a dangerous (to the weidler) ball in chain of medieval fantasy so much as an articulated club, usually wielded by men (and women) with experience threshing grain with similar devices, who could manage 120 strokes per minute. Apparently these were devastating against armored knights. They posed enough of a problem that the Germans adapted them and tried to figure out how best to use them, so you even see them in the fechtbücher (as here in Paulus Hector Mair).

Warship_FA_Badass_Gun_barge_bbb-Mss-hh-I0002_242_Close1.jpg WarShip_AB2_bbb-Mss-hh-I0002_045_Close.jpg
Of course given you had war-wagons and war-mantlets, they also had war boats and rafts, again often with overhead cover, again often with guns but they used crossbows too. Handy for getting into those giant-mosquito infested swamps.

Volley_Gun.jpg
If you were going to allow gunpowder weapons, I'd say another obvious way to go would be volley guns. This specimen is a 40 barrel volley gun taken from Maximllian I's "book of armaments". One of these set off at the right moment (and they could be shot by row, by individual gun, or all at once) could be a big problem for any flying attacker.

553cab09e776df5a5087932f7d05294b.jpg

For cannon in general in the late medieval period, in the more technologically advanced zones like Italy, Flanders, or most of Central Europe, they also had light cannon with removable breeches which could be swiftly reloaded and shot again and again. These would routinely be mounted on a flexible pintle mount kind of like am odern machine gun, so they could be pointed in any direction. Cannon could also be loaded with shot as well as a ball, so quite devastating against your flying beastie.

ae1efa1d9dbe58279beb69a7904fed33--medieval-manuscript-illuminated-manuscript.jpg

Another kind of weird one is the war-kite. We don't really know what these were for but they are all over the period war-manuals. I imagine something like this with hooks on the string maybe could be a potential help. Anyway they had them.

Then of course, I'd add pyrotechnics. Colored smoke, poisoned smoke, narcotic smoke... i don't know, citrinela? : Pyrotechnics of a wide and devious array of subtypes were very common on medieval battlefields. They could light something on fire to burn very brightly and of course, could shoot fireworks and other devices into the sky. They had the (al)chemical knowledge to make a very wide variety of explosive, burning, caustic and smoky compounds.

I wouldn't want to discourage the people who prefer earlier settings or just no gunpowder though. You too have tools at your disposal. The Arabs and Persians in particular made a bunch of interesting devices to make a bow into something more like a shotgun. Look into the Panjegan


The Sikhs had a lot of interesting weapons, like the Chakram, kind of a disk-shaped razor-frisbee. Might be good for cutting through mossie legs. They also had this fascinating net thingy. The Vadda Chakkar ('big wheel'). They perform with these things and it looks pretty, but it had a very serious purpose. These would be spun above their heads riding in cavalry formations, and the 'wheel' would intercept descending arrows. The edges of the wheel also had razor-like blades. Perhaps something like this could help against a flying beast.


Hope perhaps this helps provide a few good ideas against giant mosquitos or say, flying monkeys.

One final thought on the mosquitoes. Given how loud a large flying insect is, I imagine a cat sized mosquito would create a terrifying noise. If you had a swarm of them, even more so. That would probably be a major factor for the morale of people and horses.
 
Last edited:

Agemegos

Legendary Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
779
Reaction score
2,432
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas une chasse aux punaises, as General Bosquet might have said. Or Private Hudson.
 
Last edited:

chall

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
17
Longbows and recurve bows were used to shoot birds prior in flight prior to the shotgun. You can find videos online of people using them today to hunt pheasant. Swords or large clubs at close distance.
 

Peter Von Danzig

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
206
Reaction score
504
Longbows and recurve bows were used to shoot birds prior in flight prior to the shotgun. You can find videos online of people using them today to hunt pheasant. Swords or large clubs at close distance.

Bows, crossbows and firearms were all used for hunting. And one of the most common ways to train for archery from Central Europe to Central Asia was something they called 'shooting the popinjay' - meaning shooting at a target, usually a wooden or metal bird, sometimes just a bag of sand, up on top of a high pole. Sometimes the shooters would be mounted, sometimes on foot. The wooden and metal targets were made like 3D puzzles, with different pieces being worth different amounts of prize money.

So archers and marksmen would typically be experienced with shooting accurately at small targets up in the air.

1669325097185.jpeg




Popinjay1.jpg Popinjay2.jpg
 

Peter Von Danzig

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
206
Reaction score
504
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas une chasse aux punaises, as General Bosquet might have said.

Well if you are dealing with ze big bugs, you may want to borrow from a couple of those ideas... if you had a carpenter and a wagon (or a raft) you could make a fairly good mobile fighting position for yourself for example. A two handed flail is probably a pretty good way to smack one of those bugs out of the air...
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
Well if you are dealing with ze big bugs, you may want to borrow from a couple of those ideas... if you had a carpenter and a wagon (or a raft) you could make a fairly good mobile fighting position for yourself for example. A two handed flail is probably a pretty good way to smack one of those bugs out of the air...
That was indeed an impressive post, but I agree with Agemegos. That post is fine for an army going to hunt the mosquitoes to their habitats.
BTW, fun fact: the cep was included in a book on nunchuks here. That's actually where I saw it first (then, a couple years later, saw it in an ethnographic museum, and I was all like - hey, I know this implement:grin:!)
But yeah, after your reminder, I'd pick that over any polearm or spear! Swings to cover a wide arc and prevent the flier from swerving mid-flight to avoid the point of the spear, and enough power that not only wings, but even the chitinous body can be easily crushed...perfect:gunslinger:!

For adventurers, though? I doubt it that they'd be able to mount a formation. A war wagon might be a lot more their speed. And even then, how exactly do you make the mosquitoes swarm the formation...instead of flying over it and attacking the nearest settlement:shock:?
In fact, I suspect that the adventurers would be used exactly for that: sent to deal with pest control.

Related to that, it seems like in that world settlements would need a protective netting over the place, just to stop mosquito menaces (Gorean cities have those to prevent attacks by tarns and their riders, but those are actually huge birds).
But since those things are cat-sized, the netting would have to be very tight. The biggest loops should be about a man's forearm, I'd think (that should break the wings). Or maybe two forearms? Either way, that would be an additional expanse and make cities look quite different:shade:!
 

Agemegos

Legendary Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
779
Reaction score
2,432
Related to that, it seems like in that world settlements would need a protective netting over the place, just to stop mosquito menaces (Gorean cities have those to prevent attacks by tarns and their riders, but those are actually huge birds).
But since those things are cat-sized, the netting would have to be very tight. The biggest loops should be about a man's forearm, I'd think (that should break the wings). Or maybe two forearms? Either way, that would be an additional expanse and make cities look quite different:shade:!
You only have to put grilles or slats on the windows (of residences, stables, and byres). Squitozillas are large enough that they are only a threat to infants and when you're asleep. Anyone who is awake can easily "mission-kill" one with any thwackbonk, such as a walking-stick — it is not necessary to net the streets. And it is easy enough to search a stable or byre for lurkers when you shut up the cattle for the night.

The problem is in the pastures. LIvestock is vulnerable while it's grazing, and putting a phalanx of halberdiers in each paddock is not the answer.
 
Last edited:

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
You only have to put grills or slats on the windows (of residences, stables, and byres). Squitozillas are large enough that they are only a threat to infants and when you're asleep. Anyone who is awake can easily "mission-kill" one with any thwackbonk, such as a walking-stick — it is not necessary to net the streets. And it is easy enough to search a stable or byre for lurkers when you shut up the cattle for the night.

The problem is in the pastures. LIvestock is vulnerable while it's grazing, and putting a phalanx of halberdiers in each paddock is not the answer.
One, yes, but one mosquito does not a swarm make...:devil:
 

Agemegos

Legendary Member
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
779
Reaction score
2,432
Are we mincing our way to the conclusion that human life is impossible? Where there are no humans, no humans will hunt mosquitozillas.

Note that each skeeterzilla will require the same ecological support as a million mosquitos.
 

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Are we mincing our way to the conclusion that human life is impossible? Where there are no humans, no humans will hunt mosquitozillas.

Note that each skeeterzilla will require the same ecological support as a million mosquitos.

At the very least I think it maybe comes back to my point that human settlements might not be established in the first place in those areas with these critters especially if it is just easier to move.

The alternative is that there is some kind of very obvious benefit. To that point in most species of mosquito it is only the female that feeds on blood as they require the energy to grow and lay eggs. Male mosquitoes are mostly harmless and drink nectar. Consequently male mosquitoes are often major pollenators for all kinds of plants. So perhaps a world with cat sized mosquitoes would also need proportionate mega flora to make living next to such horrors worthwhile.

Additionally I am thinking human cities relatively close to mosquito areas might end up being either underground or very high up.
 

Sharrow

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
322
Reaction score
670
At the very least I think it maybe comes back to my point that human settlements might not be established in the first place in those areas with these critters especially if it is just easier to move.

The alternative is that there is some kind of very obvious benefit. To that point in most species of mosquito it is only the female that feeds on blood as they require the energy to grow and lay eggs. Male mosquitoes are mostly harmless and drink nectar. Consequently male mosquitoes are often major pollenators for all kinds of plants. So perhaps a world with cat sized mosquitoes would also need proportionate mega flora to make living next to such horrors worthwhile.

Additionally I am thinking human cities relatively close to mosquito areas might end up being either underground or very high up.
Or they just drive out the mozzies. Killing off whatever the mozzies normally live off would be a start, as would draining the wetlands they live in, and their larvae will be needing quite a bit of food to grow that big, so we're not talking breeding in a few puddles the way normal sized mozzies can.
 

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Or they just drive out the mozzies. Killing off whatever the mozzies normally live off would be a start, as would draining the wetlands they live in, and their larvae will be needing quite a bit of food to grow that big, so we're not talking breeding in a few puddles the way normal sized mozzies can.
The thing is planned settlements of this nature starting with a relatively major infrastructure project are quite rare before the modern era and not that common even in the 21st century. More common is for settlements to start small and then grow up. Assuming population density is similar to the pre-Industrialised world then there's a question of why bother going to the effort of visiting some massive swamp land area, fighting off giant mosquitoes, organising draining and then building your settlement when you can just move to some nice temperate plains and start planting crops immediately?

I think it's a really interesting scenario though with regard to how it applies to the PCs.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
So the giant mega-flora produces giant mega-drugs/medicinesf, and its nectar has mystic properties once it dries up in the sun, in its natural habitat:thumbsup:!
Now on to the weapons to fight godzimoskeeters with:grin:!
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,687
Reaction score
22,338
Are we mincing our way to the conclusion that human life is impossible? Where there are no humans, no humans will hunt mosquitozillas.

Note that each skeeterzilla will require the same ecological support as a million mosquitos.
Mincing? Mincing?! I do not mince. I sashay seductively.
 

Sharrow

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
322
Reaction score
670
The thing is planned settlements of this nature starting with a relatively major infrastructure project are quite rare before the modern era and not that common even in the 21st century. More common is for settlements to start small and then grow up. Assuming population density is similar to the pre-Industrialised world then there's a question of why bother going to the effort of visiting some massive swamp land area, fighting off giant mosquitoes, organising draining and then building your settlement when you can just move to some nice temperate plains and start planting crops immediately?

I think it's a really interesting scenario though with regard to how it applies to the PCs.
Probably because some other sods have already got all that nice land and they aren't interested in sharing. So it's the swamps or the mountains, and if the swamps have cat-sized mossies I expect the mountains probably have trolls or worse.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
Probably because some other sods have already got all that nice land and they aren't interested in sharing. So it's the swamps or the mountains, and if the swamps have cat-sized mossies I expect the mountains probably have trolls or worse.
Nah, the mountains have rat-sized ants...:devil:
 

Zebraman

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
Probably because some other sods have already got all that nice land and they aren't interested in sharing. So it's the swamps or the mountains, and if the swamps have cat-sized mossies I expect the mountains probably have trolls or worse.

If the mosquitoes are cat sized I hate to think of the size of the trolls.

And then it hit me maybe WE are living in a world with cat sized mosquitoes it's just we're not humans. We're giants.

Though that doesn't explain the size of cats...
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,687
Reaction score
22,338
Hmm. Trolls. Trolls that regenerate. Perhaps capturing some trolls and chaining them into something like a mosquito farm. Give the skeeters an easy source of blood that heals its own wounds and can be fed nearly anything.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
Hmm. Trolls. Trolls that regenerate. Perhaps capturing some trolls and chaining them into something like a mosquito farm. Give the skeeters an easy source of blood that heals its own wounds and can be fed nearly anything.
Including mosquito omelettes...
BTW, how long in your opinion before people in this world hire trolls to kill the goziloskeeters:tongue:?

If the mosquitoes are cat sized I hate to think of the size of the trolls.

And then it hit me maybe WE are living in a world with cat sized mosquitoes it's just we're not humans. We're giants.

Though that doesn't explain the size of cats...
The cats are secretly tigers. And the normal tigers are actually sabertooths.
The skeletons of sabertooths are those of normal-sized cats before all living things were reduced in size dramatically:devil:.
 

Toadmaster

Legendary Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
5,872
Are we mincing our way to the conclusion that human life is impossible? Where there are no humans, no humans will hunt mosquitozillas.

Note that each skeeterzilla will require the same ecological support as a million mosquitos.

This is starting to remind me of some ecological discussions about the bat creatures I've read in the youtube comments of Pitch Black clips. Maybe like it is suggested in Pitch Black it is a cyclic thing. The giant mosquitos life cycle results in them only coming out in number every so often, devastating the local eco system, then they return to a dormant state allowing the eco system to recover.

In the case of mosquitos they drink blood for egg laying. Perhaps giant mosquitos have a longer cycle, and only produce eggs when mature and sort of an end of life cycle thing. Something like Salmon returning to their birth river to spawn.

If it is life cycle based and cat sized mosquitos life span is 3-5 years like a Salmon instead of days or weeks like a regular mosquito then you greatly reduce the numbers seeking blood at any time (of course kill them all as you never know until they are coming for your blood).

Or more terrifying, they are synched up reacting to environmental conditions, so you get long periods of peaceful mosquitos with periodic death swarms wiping out large swaths of larger mammals.

Mosquitos can drink 2-3x their body weight, so even if they only take their bodyweight a 5lb / 2kg (figure cats are 10-20lbs but flyers tend to be very lightly built) mosquito drinking its fill will be pretty lethal to anything smaller than a whale, and a single mosquito will likely kill 2-3 human sized creatures before becoming satiated. A human adult contains roughly 5 liters (pints) of blood so 5kg / 11lbs, but of course a mosquito will probably not be able to drain every last drop of blood. Enough to kill a person, but leaving much behind. Of course if they can hoover up down to the last drop that reduces the bodies required and leaves behind a more horrific shriveled up corpse.
 

Peter Von Danzig

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
206
Reaction score
504
I think people are very adaptable and unless you are talking about magically weapon-proof and / or super intelligent mosquitos, or mosquitoes in enough numbers to blot out the sun, I doubt they would have trouble having a settlement near an area where they come from. Things wouldn't go well for the giant mosquitoes. The reason real mosquitoes are a problem is precisely because they are so small.

In a world with cat sized ones, you put up something to repel the beasts - bonfires, pots of smoke giving off fumes they don't like, maybe yeah even nets here and there, shelters, bars on the windows... but more importantly, archers and crossbowmen in protected positions up on the towers. Then after the initial problem is blunted (maybe a seasonal thing sure), you send expeditions into the marsh where they come from, with covered boats, and wipe them out with poison, arrows, whatever. Drain the marsh.

You could also make something that attracted them - put a bunch of game animals in a box, or expose fresh blood to the air or whatever, and set up a trap, where the mosquitoes have to fly past a bunch of little bunkers or towers bristling with archers and marksmen. Pretty soon you are gaining control over the problem.

I think where it could still be a little bit difficult would be as someone mentioned, protecting herd animals and maybe isolated travelers. But I think people would adapt to that as well.

It might remain a hazard. Wolves were a hazard in some parts of medieval and Early Modern Europe for a long time. At one point for example in certain places they were putting up shelters every so many miles so that travellers could have a place to run to. Venomous snakes were and still are a hazard in many parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. But enough to prevent communities? Seems unlikely to me.
 

AsenRG

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
11,853
Reaction score
13,781
Yeah, I'm not seeing the "extermination of humans", either. I'm just saying it would make for a hard(er) living and might indeed offer some fodder for adventurers - before the problem gets resolved, that is. Also, a couple of failures might be expected before a solution is found.

But after all, many adventurers have contended with wolves, tigers, or other natural threats, and it was part of their adventures. Cat-sized mosquitoes are just a variation on that.
 

Peter Von Danzig

Legendary Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
206
Reaction score
504
Yeah, I'm not seeing the "extermination of humans", either. I'm just saying it would make for a hard(er) living and might indeed offer some fodder for adventurers - before the problem gets resolved, that is. Also, a couple of failures might be expected before a solution is found.

But after all, many adventurers have contended with wolves, tigers, or other natural threats, and it was part of their adventures. Cat-sized mosquitoes are just a variation on that.

Absolutely, I agree - I can see it as being a particularly nasty ongoing nuisance.

I was also wondering if people might train birds of prey - eagles, falcons, owls, to attack these mosquitoes on the wing, so to speak.

All tactics would depend on the particulars - how tough (within the realm of physics or not), how numerous, how fast etc.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top