From a post in the Decipher forum by someone named Camdin:
|FLIES OF MORDOR |
‘Flies, dun or grey, or black, marked like orcs with a red eye-shaped blotch, buzzed and stung…’
—The Return of the King
ATTRIBUTES: Bearing 3 (-1), Nimbleness 7 (±0), Perception 4 (±0)*, Strength 0 (-3), Vitality 14 (+3)*, Wits 0 (-3)
REACTIONS: Stamina +3*, Swiftness ±0, Willpower -1, Wisdom ±0
MOVEMENT RATE: 7
SKILLS: Armed Combat: Natural Weapons (Bite) +1, Observe (Spot) +3, Search +2, Track (Blood) +8
SPECIAL ABILITIES: Flight, Welts, Swarm
SIZE: Medium (5 Wound levels)
TN EQUIVALENT: 6
UNIQUE SPECIAL ABILITIES
Swarm: As a swarm, normal weapons do not affect the Flies of Mordor, and they ignore the Nimbleness portion of their target’s Defence as well as any actions that would normally force them to make Swiftness tests (such as Dodge). Significant quantities of smoke force the swarm to make a TN 8 Bearing test or flee. Spells that affect an area, such as Burning Sparks, can damage the swarm, and spells that lower the temperature in an area force them to make a TN 5 Bearing test or become docile. The Wind-Mastery spell forces the swarm to make a TN 10 Stamina test or be dispersed. If dispersed, the swarm will reform in 2d6 minutes.
Welts: The bites of the Flies of Mordor ignore all armour but inflict no real physical damage. They do, however, raise oozing welts on the skin of their target. On an exceptional success from the bite attack the welts itch terribly and cause such distraction that the target suffers a −1 test result penalty for 1 day. The target can make a TN 10 Stamina or Willpower test to ignore the penalty.
The Flies of Mordor are large, biting insects that resemble horseflies. They are a half an inch long, and have shiny thoraxes that bear markings reminiscent of a baleful red eye. The Flies of Mordor range in colouration from a sickly brown to grey to grim black.
The listing above is for a medium-sized swarm (500-1,000 Flies). Larger swarms have higher Vitality and Health scores. Very large swarms would have a Vitality of 20 and a Health of 17 or more.
How the Flies of Mordor came to be is a mystery, and indeed their very existence is largely unknown to anyone that has never travelled in Mordor. Like many of the creatures that live in the Land of Shadow, it is very likely that the Flies of Mordor were once normal creatures that were cursed and twisted by Sauron for some nefarious purpose. That purpose can only be guessed at, and the Free Peoples can be thankful that only Orcs and evil Men usually feel their bites.
The Flies of Mordor seem to only live in one place: in the festering lands that lie between the Ephel Dúath and the Morgai in Mordor. Swarms of these Flies might dwell in other places in Mordor, but like normal black flies they seem to prefer marsh lands and stagnant pools. It is not impossible that swarms of the Flies of Mordor have arisen elsewhere in Middle-earth that are under the sway of the Shadow, unwittingly carried there as eggs or maggots in the gear and food of travelling Orcs. The regions of Mirkwood around Dol Guldur, parts of Angmar and the North, Harad, the East, and even the ruins of Annúminas and Fornost might be host to swarms of the Flies of Mordor.
The Flies of Mordor are befouled but otherwise normal insects, and have no social structure beyond the swarm.
The Flies of Mordor are no real threat to travellers, but the penalty brought about by the incessant itching their bites bring could cause problems for heroes with only a few advancements. Like swarms of normal black flies or mosquitoes a swarm of the Flies of Mordor is hard to disperse without the use of magic or fire, both of which can easily alert more powerful adversaries to the heroes’ position.