"I don't care how much they offered you for it--get rid of that damned thing!"
The first Wermilith was discovered just prior to the Second Cloud Incursion, although there is an unverified allegation that was put forth by Gnosiomandus that one of his students uncovered a Wermilith prior to the First Cloud Incursion. Since Gnosiomandus left Wermspittle some time ago and is not expected to return any time soon, if ever, there has been no progress whatsoever on ascertaining the veracity of this claim and it has been deemed academically spurious and inconsequential by the Council of Unnatural Affairs.
What Is Known
- The myriad 'eyes' covering each Wermilith seem to be similar to Purple Amber. In fact the first ones to be examined were mistakenly thought to be simple votary carvings and when an 'eye' was removed it was discovered that these things are in fact some sort of fossil or pupal-state living creature.
- Wermiliths have so far proven to be impervious to acid, fire and electrical discharge.
- Anyone sleeping within 300' of one of these things tends to be harassed by nightmares that defy description even by trained oneirosophists.
- All conventional divination and prognostication magics reveal only that the Wermiliths are deeply enchanted, oneirically toxic, and do not originate on any of the Known Worlds nor any of the common Adjacent Worlds. More than that cannot be reliably verified as those attempting deeper inquiries suffer various and sundry backlash effects including but not limited to madness, being rendered comatose for weeks at a time, or loss of all memory.
- Roachers appear to be drawn to a particular Wermilith, entering into a strange trance-like state as they mindlessly skitter around it at a distance of 30' to 90'. Masses of up to a hundred of the creatures have been reported and they are doggedly persistent. Only extremely bright lights, actinic weapons or fire has so far driven them off, and that only temporarily.
- A nearby Wermilith has attracted the attention of an Ungezeifer who has sent (2d4) Cacozombies to retrieve the thing. If the Cacozombies are destroyed, another (3d4) will follow in under an hour. If necessary another 3d4 Cacozombies will attack whomever possesses the Wermilith every 1d4 hours until, after the fifth wave, the Ungezeifer will come calling personally.
- (1d4) War-Grubs of Nhorr guard the entrance-way to a mostly abandoned tenement where a spell-caster has been experimenting with a recently discovered Wermilith. It is unclear whether the spell-caster summoned the war-grubs or if they came at the service of someone...or something else. Could the Wermiliths have some sort of connection to Nhorr?
- An Interstitial Insectoid wishes to sponsor a small group of dedicated professionals to recover a Wermilith from a rival Thysanurian anti-librarian. If the group could be so kind as to eviscerate the Thysanurian in the course of the recovery effort there will be a bonus. Unfortunately the Thysanurian not only knows the group is on their way, it has known for at least a week and has taken what it feels are appropriate counter-measures...
- A local sorcerer and collector of peculiar antiquities, Julixian Vall, has discovered that his recently purchased Wermilith is in fact a fake. Now (1d4) Octovoidal Transvectors are hunting him with bad intent. He didn't look closely before, there wasn't time, but glued inside the remaining fragment of his fake Wermilith is an octagonal talisman cast from some sort of gray metal. Perhaps the creatures will leave him be if they are offered the talisman? Will he willingly part with the new-found talisman? Will your group leave him much choice in the matter? [The creatures will attack anyone who attempts to assist the targeted sorcerer.]
- One of your group has met a pretty young thing who does everything in their power to convince your group to help them retrieve their master's rightful property...which turns out to be a Wermilith...and the Eloi is actually an infected thrall in service to a Fungal Tyrant.
What People Are Saying: Rumors
- Wermiliths are some sort of weapon sent into Wermspittle by the Purple Hordes to prepare the way for their masters to finally claim the city for the Purple Clouds.
- These are some sort of secret Pruztian counter-measure originally meant to be deployed against some other secret Franzikaner uber-weapon during the last war.
- These things are the vengeful spawn of some hideous god-thing that is a rival to the Purple Clouds...either that, or they are residual fragments from the Nightlands.
- Wermiliths have no connection to the Clouds, but rather are semi-living relics of some lost civilization yet to be discovered out past the boundaries of the established camps in the Purple Forest.
- Everyone else is completely wrong, these things are merely astral anchors intended for use in plumbing the depths of the Violet Abyss and were crafted by some long forgotten cult that was wiped-out decades ago.
- These aren't werms at all. They are in fact seeds. Unreal seeds that will eventually sprout into horrid things that will seek to kill or enslave us all.
- Some disgraced Franzikaner Noble bred these creatures as a way to preserve the souls and memories of his lineage in the face of the Revolution and one day soon the Wermiliths will awaken in order to facilitate the return of these despicable aristocrats.
- These are merely the precursors of an invasion by forces never before seen among the Known Worlds.
- The Council of Unnatural Affairs has posted a reward for the recovery of any further Wermiliths, Details of the reward are vague and subject to negotiation, but the Council has a reputation for being generous to a fault, so this does little to dampen anyone's enthusiasm.
- Curiosity Seekers have started to scour the less-traveled and picked-over areas of the cities looking for Wermiliths. So far only a few have disappeared.
- Three Verminista warlords have denounced the Academy and its puppets for attempting to thwart the will of their so far unidentified benefactor. Each of their stories conflict significantly, so few take them seriously at this time.
- So far every Nomad that has seen as much as a photograph of a Wermilith has closed-out all their accounts and left the city as quickly as possible.
- A band of Cuckoos has taken out an ad in the Whisperer to announce that they've uncovered a cache of no less than six Wermiliths. They are attempting to set up some sort of auction to determine who will get access to the newly uncovered Wermiliths.
- There have been reports of a Deep Purple Smog prowling the Near Deeps close to Schroedinger and Cave's shop. Local Authorities claim it is an entirely unrelated incident, but others aren't so sure...
"If coming events are said to cast their shadows before, past events cannot fall to leave their impress behind them."