The Lost Seas
Undead war beetle
The rezhatta is a huge pincered beetle native to the Great Ivory Plain. It is one of two beetles (the other being the watroach) hunted for use in constructing undead war machines by the sorceror-kings. They fulfill the role of modern tanks, providing armored support and firepower and can serve as rally points or punch through enemy lines.
Living rezhatta cannot be killed by conventional means if their undamaged carcasses are to be re-animated for use in battle. Instead, they are distracted with feints while a single stealthy hunter crawls underneath and injects a powerful poison into the belly (an extremely perilous task). Once dead, the rezhatta bodies are hollowed out, dried, and brought to a city-state for reanimation. Only the sorceror-kings and their most powerful servants have the capability of creating an undead rezhatta war machine.
Once re-animated, the rezhatta can carry an internal crew who attack through window slits cut into the sides (with bone curtains further obscuring the occupants). Sometimes a howdah is bolted onto the top of the carapace, allowing archers to launch missile attacks at foes. Between the rezhatta’s sweeping pincer attacks and the spear, missile, and magic attacks emanating from within, enemy armies without rezhatta of their own are at a considerable disadvantage and often break and flee.
Rezhatta and watroach differ in that rezhatta are smaller and more agile and possess great scything pincers; watroaches are larger and more durable, but are not as fast and do not have quite as powerful attacks.
With the death of Kalak, Tyr lost access to undead war beetle technology, a fact that worries many members of the Tyrian military. They dread the thought of trying to keep discipline in their ranks of footmen in the face of a rezhatta assault.