Thursday, 2 April 2020

Worm Lord Ruins

Ok hayfever meds kicking in and feeling better and this came out.
I like worms in Operation Unfathomable and mentions of hidden elder gnawing things in LOTR. These guys would be good in Xor too. 

Worm kind was one of the earliest beings to swim in the dark primordial oceans. They came in all kinds of sizes and types some were even wizards using black magic Some lived in the corpses of titans, others lived inside other creatures controlling them. While in the dawning age when gods and their servants made the world as we know it now, worms hid in waters and deep under the earth. Worms began the secret alliance between the monster kings and the beings of the outer void. Together they started the age of darkness and the reign of the monster kings. Towards the end of that age, they were betrayed and replaced by vultures. Worms became food and slaves for other races who wanted their eldritch secrets. They were allied with Insects and arthropods who also lost their position.

Many worms are genderless and many if cut in two and left for dead, will have both halves recover with memories intact. Some recover memories of the dead from working or enemies.

Best known Worms

Purple worms served as diggers who burrowed beneath
Rotgrubs are lethal heart-eating parasites
Rock worms burrow through rock and are super heated, swim in lava
Carrion crawlers helped to patrol passages and keep out enemies
Giant leeches dwelled in damp tunnels of worm lairs
Lamprey giant ones haunt salt and freshwater
Centipedes giant, huge, megacentipede, stegocentipede
Thunderherders were desert worms that were driven in huge herds
Tenebrous worm bred as guard worms
Tunnel Worm bred to fight tough armoured tunnel intruders

Lesser-Known Worms

Dungeon Threadworms live in damp dark places and enter the flesh of victims to live
-dangerous parasites in egg form in  water or as brown spaghetti-like masses
Swarm Worm are a crawling slow-moving but deadly swarm type
Sting worms are several metres long with a single fang
White Worms are cow sized and telepathic often direct cultists on surface
Borer Worms are for slow painful torture and ordeals used by cult
Mind Worms are a rare parasite that enslaves hosts and use them as pawns
Thrall Worms are foot-long intelligent worms that attach to victims nervous system
-control host who is aware of everything worm commands
Kyuss Grubs are a necroparasite that turns the host into living dead horrors
Elder Worms with heads and several tentacles were the standard race of worms
-many are wizards or evil priests or psionic and can talk
-technologist of worm kind who wear armour and weapons
Wormlings smaller less aggressive elder worm species less aggressive
Walking Worms are colonies of worms that would take human form and use evil magic
Great elder worms were immortal god-like worms devoted to black magic
Brain Pools worm colonies with collective intelligence
Gargantuan worms are half-mile long and worshipped as gods by other worms
-unclear if intelligent or killable but other worms seem impressed
Void worms are vast things that lurk beyond and are worshipped
-small ones are summoned like demons 

Allies & Servants & Enemies
Worm folk are humanoids with worm heads bread for battle with more recent races
Insectoids were common allies especially those with larva like beetle grubs
Many arthropods were servitors especially centipedes
Human cultists seek elder lore and immortality
Some more pure worms treat segmented, legged and armoured worms as inferior
Serpentine and limbless draconic wyrms were considered civilised
Mole folk and giant moles are especially hated and feared
Other monster kings who betrayed them like fish, amphibians, bats, vultures
All birds and mammals are disgusting upstarts
Marine worms are allied kin but rulers and cults are different

Deep under the earth, there are mile wide caverns crawling with millions of worms writhing together, breeding, eating and communicating. Not very hospitable or interesting places. Some intelligent worms communicate by chemical touch and pheromones in skin slime thus they writhe together in masses in a manner humans find repulsive. Worms especially hate mammals and birds who they see as upstarts who eat worms and plunder their secrets. Humans are slightly better as they don't have a rep for eating worms.

Elder worms had magic whereby they could feed a young worm on a human and it would know lots of the human's knowledge which helped with magical disguises and shapeshifting magic spies. In most disgusting version the worms head might resemble the human head in a ghastly parody. They also knew spells to swap bodies so they could borrow a human body leaving the horrified human helpless in the worm. Sometimes the worm in the human body would die trapping the human who often went mad. Cultists often willingly did this. Mindworms in the past kept massive populations of slaves until a surgical procedure (often fatal), careful poisoning of the host (possibly fatal) or cure disease magic was found to help resist. Skilled herbalists and apothecaries know many treatments and some are possibly true as mind worm outbreaks are rare.

Intelligent worm folk who just want to live in peace undisturbed and don't practice elder magic or commune with the outer void do exist. They still have possibly the oldest bad reputations. Village of humble worms or hidden sewer colonies exist. Smaller wormlings tend to be less militant than elder worm folk and hang out with gnomes and goblins. Many have had enough of conquest and black magic failures since the dawn of time.

Worm writing looks like patterns of gnawed squiggly lines only some experts can even recognise. They also leave pheromones in their slime trails like warnings other worms can scent.

Worm ruins are often so old other creatures have moved in and only a few have worms of some kind thriving. It's more common to find cultists trying to restore the worm empire or learn it's secrets than actual intelligent worm kind. Of course, deep underground worm structures may be fully operational as they were long ago. Now worm kind mostly shuns the surface and the hateful sun.

d12 Ancient Worm Ruins

1 Temple - worm cult religious sites
2 Worm farm - a complex of pits with organic waste and trash heaps
3 Slave pens - where humanoid slaves bred as food and labour

4 Gateway - where worms and cultists met, entries to underground colonies
5 Wizard tower - where evil worm wizards dwelled
6 Burrow complex - where worms left tunnels
7 Ziggurats - larger step temple complexes
8 Hillforts - huge artificial hills with fortified camps on top
9 Grave mounds - huge artificial hills with tunnels within
10 Quarries - remains of huge open pits full of tunnels
11 Fungus garden - seems to be cavern but was gnawed out 
12 Colony mound - artificial hill riddled with tunnels

d12 Worm Traps
1 Passage floor waste deep in muck with borer worms
 Corpses with rot grubs and tempting treasure
3 Dirty pools full of threadworm eggs on the ground
4 Dirty pools full of threadworms attack any walking on them
5 A worm on the walls opens chamber releasing a monster or son of kyuss
6 Sting Worm hiding under the soil or ceiling sting intruders and attack
7 Pit with pool with giant leeches
8 Pit with the bottom ten-foot full of corpses, random carrion and threadworms
9 Pit with swarm worms in the bottom
10 Guardworm in the ceiling causes a cave in sealing passage then gets help
11 Guardworm in ceiling causes deadfall or rubble to fall on enemies then gets help

 Telepathic young white worm alerts guards of intruders

d12 Worm Chambers
1 Slave pen where servants and prisoners kept, cultists like to use as barracks  
2 Spawn pits of muck and soil with various worm young, eggs and imprisoned hosts 
3 Feeding pits with various kinds of muck for worms to eat
4 Thrall chamber with niches for humans to be eaten or implanted with mind worms
5 Fungus garden where worms grow food 
6 Workshops for slaves to make stuff for worm masters
7 Throne chamber where worm elites directed slaves and relaxed
8 Pools of biological waste and worm excretions
9 Storeroom with various stockpiles in stone bins or living biological sacs
10 Laboratory with living apparatus for making potions (it probably wants to die) 
11 Wizards chamber with scrying pool or crystal and worm writing on walls
12 Worm temple with statues of the worm gods and beings of the outer void

d12 Worm Ruin Encounters
1 Explorers d4 1=murder hobos 2=wizards seeking evil lore 3=tomb robbers 4=scholars
2 Cultists searching for lore d4 1=worm brothers 2=order of the white worm 3=sisters of the burrowing ones 4=sons of they who gnaw
3 Worm swarm pours from every crack and hole hungering for flesh
4 Giant leeches can smell blood and snuffle about in the dark
5 Abhuman savage berserkers protecting this taboo place d4 1=lamprey folk 2=centipede folk 3=leech folk 4=slug folk
6 Giant critter d4 1=whiteworm 2=giant slug 3=giant centipedes
7 Slave hosts d4 1=cultists controlled by mind worms 2=slaves controlled by thrall worms 3=sons of kyuss 4=escaped victim or carrion crawler needs help 
8 Elder worms party d4 1=wizards seek lore 2=priests seek relics 3=degenerate mutants 4=Elder worm work party cleaning the place up to repopulate
9 Elder worm warriors d4 1=with prisoners 2=with work crew 3=with waggon of eggs 4=chasing escaped human slave
10 Carrion crawlers scuttling about d4 1=on ceiling 2=dragging victim away 3=eating victim 4=on way to hunting grounds
11 Walking worm wizard will offer immortality of the worm gods and attacks if refused
12 Giant mole with paralytic venom bite (as bear plus blind fighting)

d12 Worm Evil Schemes
1 Gateway requires reactivation d4 1=plane of earth 2=outer void 3=nightmare world 4=subtereanean elder worm city in a colossal cavern
2 Collecting ledgers and tithes from local bribes and crime guilds 
3 Seeking narcotics desired by worms like black lotus resin or magical tea leaves
4 Start kidnapping and implanting key humans with mind worms for a spy ring
5 Capturing humans to attach thrall worms and sending into the Underland as slaves 
6 Make a deal with some other local species to make lives hard for humans
7 Recruit cultists promising them elder secret lore and immortal life as worms
8 Kidnap humans and use to feed implanted elder worm grubs to build an army
9 Run a cult of assassins to terrorise the local human leaders and control them
10 Stealing human waste and corpses to feed a baby army of elder worms
11 Kidnapping people with skills so worms can eat them and acquire technology
12 Have summoned worm demon who eats humans and turns them into elder worms

d12 Worm Ruin Treasures
1 Medalion allows the wearer to speak to all worm-like beings
2 Obsidian weapon d4 1=dagger +1 2=spiked club +1 3=spear+1 4=hand axe +1 
3 Potions secreted from living slave apparatus d4 1=parasite eggs 2=cure disease 3=memories of some long-dead worm 4=
4 Scrying crystal, most broken but still valuable rock crystal 1in6 works 
5 Bag with d4 magic mushrooms d4 1=poison 2=heal d4 3=+d4CON hour 4=detect magic for a turn 
6 Fossil of some bizarre ancient sea creature valued by collectors
7 Hex stone that provides protection vs void creatures if carries +2 Save and AC
8 Tablets covered in worm scrawls d4 1=ancient lore 2= 3=poetry 4=maths
Tablets covered in worm scrawls d4 1=inteligence report 2=cursed 3=truename of some demon from the void to summon one 4=wizard spells
10 Magic rune stone can release 8HD earth elemental once follows one order
11 Medalion may activate a ruined worm gateway location
12 Tablet with map of worm complexes and tunnels connecting them

d12 Worm Cults
1 Cruach the worm beneath, the borrower the devoured, gnaws on the world tree and corpses of dead titans, worm god of underworld and war
2 Celana the Great Worm Mother
3 Aleph the great worm of darkness from beyond patron of wizards
4 Xithirion mad worm god and it's many spawn who rule on it's behalf

5 Shudmar the borrower beneath, shaker of the earth
6 Gorvara the worm of time that devours all and chews holes through time and space
7 Eadra the great ancestor of elder worms 
8 The worms that walk were once elder worms or human cultists enlightened by elder black magic, none know their true horrid purpose
9 Elar the parasite who gnaws at the universe to end time
10 Goram great earth elemental patron of worms who brings forth delicious soils
11 Cerecore the many segmented one, centipede god of hunting and war
12 Eiroth dwells in the depths but sends his spawn to find hosts to control or devour


  1. Neato. I remember when I was on meds briefly when I was 12 or 13 I whipped up a map of what was down the road from the keep on the borderlands and a 20 something level deep dungeon with Orcus at the bottom guarded by Pit fiends with Fusion Rifles. This post is much more coherent.

    1. I had Dis managing a buried Walmart guarded by bearded devils run by morlocks with floor of eloi dupes

  2. another awesome entry for lots of creepizoid adventures. I laughed out loud at the wormfolk with "possibly the oldest bad reputations"
    Have to say worms made my self-imposed quarantine day!

  3. I have the perfect homebrew setting for this!


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