The boneswarm is an undulating mass of water-logged bones given horrid life and animation by lingering necromantic energies in swamps where many have died.
Boneswarms manifest in swamps, marshes and lonely waterways marked by a preponderance of suffering and death. Dark spirits are drawn to these sites and inhabit the skeletons left behind, transforming the lifeless remains into an entity driven by horrible predatory instincts.
Boneswarms are ideally suited to navigate the dark waters they inhabit, and these expanses provide numerous opportunities for concealment. They lie in wait in such places for victims to add to their bulk. Boneswarm victims are torn apart by its snapping teeth and clattering bones, their flesh and organs stripped clean, and their bones incorporated into the boneswarm. The larger a boneswarm, the more victims it has claimed and the more powerful it is. Any living creature will suffice to fuel the boneswarm’s growth.
During rainy seasons, when waters rise and villages flood, ill-kept cemeteries and mausoleums can lose their sanctity as the graves are destroyed. They will soon be emptied of their corpses by rampant boneswarms that sometimes follow waterways and can be found in unlikely places far from their origins, such as city sewers.
Boneswarms are driven by an insatiable need to consume and exterminate all life. This loathing imbues the boneswarm with a preternatural ability to sense living creatures nearby, regardless of darkness or intervening obstacles. Although a boneswarm can detect everything, the proximity of intelligent life drives it into a focused and murderous frenzy. Boneswarms are not drawn to other undead, although a recently killed and reanimated corpse can retain enough warmth to temporarily fool a boneswarm into pursuing it.
Gatorman bokors and witch doctors can create boneswarms, which they employ as warbeasts. Using necromantic rites and bloody sacrifices, the bokors peel the flesh from corpses and summon restless swamp spirits to animate the bodies into a boneswarm under their tenuous control. Boneswarms are valued by swamp warlocks for their inherent resilience and power.
Graveswarms are an unusual type of boneswarm sometimes encountered in abandoned and ancient graveyards. It is a foul scavenger that burrows into graves from beneath the soil to claim the skeletons within, adding them to its mass. The readily available remains allow a graveswarm to grow to a larger size than wetland boneswarms but make them more ponderous as a side effect.