Wilderlands Age of Worms
On Shoggoths and the Worms of the Outer Darkness
From a distance, shoggoths appear to be ordinary zombies. Closer up, however, their undead flesh bubbles and writhes, animated by the hideous green worms beneath the surface. These worms are creatures of the Outer Darkness, a plane of madness and terror that lies even beyond the Void (Astral Plane) that surrounds the world of the Wilderlands and most other planes of existence. The presence of these worms makes shoggoths extremely dangerous and difficult to kill.
Facts about Shoggoths
- When a shoggoth is damaged, the worms immediately begin to knit the undead flesh back together. As a result, a shoggoth can never be completely destroyed unless the worms are eliminated first.
- The worms inside a shoggoth can only be killed by using remove disease, remove curse, or shoggoth worm paste. Casting these spells (or using the paste) on a shoggoth will transform it into a normal zombie.
- A creature attacked by a shoggoth is likely to be infected with one of its worms, which will burrow its way into the victim’s brain, killing them and transforming them into a shoggoth within a matter of minutes.
- When inside a victim, a shoggoth worm can be destroyed by using remove disease, remove curse or extracted by someone skilled in the healing arts. Dispel evil or neutralize poison will slow the worm’s progress, but will not kill it.
- The hideous appearance of a shoggoth is enough to strike terror in the heart of even the bravest.
- Shoggoths are much faster than ordinary zombies, but they are somewhat intelligent and will sometimes feign the slow gait of a normal zombie to lure their victims into overconfidence.
While shoggoths carry green worms that rapidly convert other creatures into their kind, the obvious zombie-like nature of the shoggoths makes it hard for them to reach large population areas because they’re easily spotted. However, there is a different kind of worm—the “slow worm”—that works more slowly and subtly, taking days or even weeks to convert its host and revealing its presence only at the last minute.
Slow worms can enter an indefinite hibernation state if kept in liquid, awakening when they enter warm flesh. Slow worms can be hidden in potions, wine bottles, and beer barrels for the purpose of infecting large numbers of victims and causing a horrible outbreak of shoggoths when the hosts succumb to the infection.