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Wurmlingby Jamie Baty
Huge Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 10d8+40 (85 hp)
Initiative: +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), burrow 5 ft. (1 square)
Armour Class: 16 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +10/+26 (+30)
Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d8 +8)
Full Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d8 +8) and tail +11 melee (1d8 +4)
Space/Reach: 15 ft. /10 ft. (5ft with bite)
Special Attacks: Roll and crush
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., resistant to mind-affecting spells, sheer bulk, wurmling knowledge
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +9
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 7
Skills: Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Disable Device +11, Gather Information +4, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (history) +5, Knowledge (local) +5, Listen +10, Open Lock +10, Sense Motive +16, Spot +9
Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative (B), Iron Will, Negotiator, Persuasive
Environment: Any land
Organisation: Solitary plus 2-40 bodyguards (1st-3rd Orc, Gnoll, Human, Krolli or Troll fighters) and 100-200 non-combatant retainers and servants
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Usually lawful evil
Advancement: 11-20 HD (Huge); 21-30 HD (Gargantuan) or by character level
Level Adjustment: +6
Wurmlings are large, intelligent worms, often found at the helm of evil brotherhoods (such as assassins' guilds) and crime syndicates. They rule through a combination of physical presence, intellect, cunning, intimidation, and blackmail. Wurmlings are utterly greedy masters of subterfuge and blackmail, skilful at acquiring wealth and manipulating pawns. Wurmlings have an unparalleled ability to pay attention to details. They have phenomenal memories and never forget anything.
Wurmlings grow up to 45 feet long, gaining in length and bulk as they age. A mature wurmling (10 Hit Dice) weighs about eight tons and gains 1 ton per Hit Dice thereafter. They are brown in colour, with a tough, leathery hide. The top of the wurmling is usually a darker shade than its underside. They have small spindly arms, a long whip-tail, and a prehensile tongue. They have large, yellow eyes and can see quite well in a wide variety of ambient lighting conditions, from bright sunlight to a single flickering candle.
Wurmlings are hermaphroditic; they have both male and female reproductive organs, although they are not self-fertile. Mating between wurmlings occurs only after long and arduous negotiations (carried out through intermediaries), followed by the signing and witnessing of elaborate, intensely detailed contracts and agreements. Wurmlings will mate only after they are absolutely certain that they are not currently (and will never be) competing. The mating always occurs in neutral territory.
Since wurmlings weigh several tons and their mating is very energetic (coupled with the spontaneous and unpredictable firing of their Legacies), it can be very dangerous to be anywhere near a pair of mating wurmlings. After mating, both wurmlings become pregnant and have one offspring after a gestation period of about two years.
The immature wurmling stays with its parent until it reaches 10 Hit Dice (about 100 years), learning the business before it strikes out on its own. A wurmling can live to be over 1,500 years old. After its death, a wurmling's decayed remains turn into steel seed.
Wurmlings speak their own language, and know the predominant local language. Most also know Orcish and any other common local languages.
Wurmlings are proficient with all simple weapons and light armours. Most however prefer to avoid combat, negotiating with their foes or letting their guards fight them. If forced to fight, they will use their bite and tail attacks, expend their legacies, and if the opportunity presents itself, Roll and Crush their foes.
Sheer Bulk (Ex): A wurmling is so bulky it receives a +4 bonus to all grapple checks it defends against or are made as a result of its Roll and Crush ability.
Roll and Crush (Ex): As a full attack option, a wurmling can roll forward or to either side up to 10ft. Ant creature in the path of the wurmling must make a Reflex save vs DC 23 (Str based) or be rolled over. A rolled over character is knocked prone and suffers 1d4 damage. A wurmling may end the roll occupying the same squares as prone creatures. The victims in this case suffer 1d4 damage automatically each round and cannot free themselves unless they succeed on a grapple check or Escape Artist check.
Resistant to Mind-Affecting Spells (Ex): Wurmlings receive a +3 bonus to Will saves made against mind-affecting spells and abilities (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
Wurmling Knowledge (Ex): A wurmling may make a special knowledge check with a bonus equal to his wurmling HD + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the wurmling has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), he gains a +2 bonus on this check.)
A successful wurmling knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A wurmling may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.
Skills: Wurmlings have a +4 racial bonus to all Spot checks. They possess a +8 bonus to all Sense Motive checks.
The Red Curse
Each wurmling gains Legacies at the rate of 1 per 2 HD. Thus, a 10 Hit Die wurmling has five Legacies. A 12 Hit Die wurmling has six Legacies, and a 15 Hit Die wurmling has seven Legacies. A wurmling requires crimson essence to activate all Legacies after the first. Like an Inheritor, the wurmling gains the Legacy permanently. Also, the wurmling requires cinnabryl to support its Legacies.
Typical wurmling Legacies include: Anti-Poison, Crimson Fire, Digging, Farsight, Red Shield, Shape Stone, and Temperature. Wurmlings often have Legacies appropriate to Eusdria.
Wurmlings, while evil, are scrupulously fair in their business dealing. They do not cheat, although sealing a bargain with them is a tricky business. Wurmlings thrive on the seamy side of business, and they drive extremely hard bargains. Wurmlings do not tolerate competition, especially from other wurmlings. Each wurmling establishes a clearly defined territory. Conflict between wurmlings is always fatal to at least one of the wurmlings involved.
Wurmlings always have bodyguards. They are never found alone. There will always be at least 1d4 trusted guardians around the huge, bloated creature. In many cases, they have as many as 4d10 guardians. Typical guardian creatures include orcs, trolls (if properly trained), gnolls, evil humans, etc. Typically, a wurmling also has 100 to 200 retainers, servants, and assorted underlings.
A wurmling pays its people very good wages, which helps to ensure loyalty. The paranoid wurmling does not rely on that, however. Wurmlings seem physiologically incapable of trust. Instead, it supplements the wage-loyalty with magical conditioning, drug addiction, and blackmail. It typically knows 1d4 scandalous secrets about each of its servants.
Wurmlings sometimes obtain krolli bodyguards. The two races are compatible enough that the wurmling rarely has to blackmail or coerce its krolli bodyguards.
The only widely known wurmling resides in Eusdria. This may seem like a strange place for a wurmling, but it works; Eusdria gave up contact with the Heldann freeholds years ago, so the wurmling supplies a steady and illicit trickle of red steel to the Heldannic Knights. The wurmling poses as a legitimate business owner, but its legitimate businesses are only the tip of the iceberg. The wurmling's organisation is also bound by a rigid code of business conduct, similar to the Honourbound code. Eusdrian officials have tried for years to pin a criminal conviction on the wurmling, but have so far been unsuccessful.
Wurmlings are typically involved with a host of illegal and reprehensible activities, including blackmail, black marketing, bootlegging, bribery, copyright infringement, drug-trafficking, extortion (exorbitant charges for services rendered), gambling, money-laundering, assassination, prostitution, "protection" schemes, racketeering, and smuggling. Wurmlings are unlikely to kill or maim a defaulter. Dead people do not repay loans. They are, however, relentless in pursuit of a jumper. Wurmlings typically have considerable influence in the local police force, military, trade and merchant's guilds, and political offices.
Lair Description: A typical wurmling lair is underground, in a city or other centre of commerce. A wurmling lair will always be well-defended, with lots of open space, traps, guards, and detection points. Trick floors, pressure plates, false doors, and trip-wires are also common. The lair usually includes one or more special holding cells for use by the wurmling's information retrieval technicians. The lair will also include quarters and accommodations for the wurmling's servants and guards.
Anyone looking for written records will be sorely disappointed. Wurmlings never write anything down, relying on their flawless memory to keep books, juggle accounts, etc.
Wurmlings can burrow, albeit slowly. They take advantage of their long life span and burrowing ability to carve intricate networks of secret tunnels beneath their lairs.
A wurmling's favoured class is rogue. Wurmling clerics may choose two of the following domains: Greed, Knowledge, Strength, Trickery or Wealth.