Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: A Writhing Incursion

This encounter can work either with a cemetery used by the PC’s village (if their culture mandates burial for its dead) or at an Ancient graveyard found nearby. It’s reported by one of the villagers that graves appear to be recently disturbed and emptied of their contents. Rumors and hushed whispers allude to a potential Walking Dead infestation (MF rulebook, pg. 101). Lest the village become overrun by flesh-craving undead, the PCs are tasked to investigate the situation.

Upon arrival, the first thing the PCs may notice is the lack of footprints in the graveyard. Not only has nothing climbed out, it doesn't appear that anyone has entered the graveyard either. If the graves are investigated (and a successful save versus INT is made), the PCs can tell that there doesn't seem to be any earth pushed up and out from the burial sites. In fact, it appears that the graves collapsed from underneath. If the PCs decide to do a bit of digging, they'll find that there is a complex tunnel system underneath the cemetery.

As the PCs investigate the tunnels under the cemetery, they should encounter a solitary, silent, robed figure standing in the darkness. When it turns to look at them, they see that its face is a mass of wriggling, writhing earthworms. What the PCs have yet to discover is that a small group of Skwirm have set up an advance colony under the graveyard. They have been feeding on the corpses buried there while they establish a beachhead for a future invasion of the area.

Skwirm (3) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), (Dig 90', (30')), AC 6, HD 8, #AT 1 (weapon or constriction), per weapon or 1d6, SV L4, ML 9, mutations: metaconcert, hyperburroring, dermal poison slime, dual cerebellum)

The Skwirm will lash out with one of its worm tendrils at the intruders, hoping to ensnare and subdue the strongest-looking of the group while also doing 1d6 hit points of damage from constriction and 2d6 points of damage from its dermal contact poison. If combat starts to turn against it, it will silently "call" its two other Skwirm-brothers using its metaconcert ability. The other two Skwirm will come to its rescue, bursting out from opposite walls of the tunnel with their hyperburrowing mutation. One of them will be riding a Small Purple Worm (half the size of an adult Purple Worm) (MF rulebook, pg. 90).

Small Purple Worm (1) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 6, HD 10, #AT 2 (bite/sting), 2d8/2d8/poison, SV L5, ML 10, mutations: gigantism, toxic weapon)

The Skwirm managed to get their "hands" on a newly hatched Purple Worm, raising it as their own. It will defend its "parents" to the death. Once the Skwirm and the Purple Worm are defeated, the tunnel complex can be searched. It's quite extensive, spreading throughout the area (and possibly leading to other subterranean adventures!). The PCs may also locate the Skwirm's hoard consisting of 835 gold pieces, two Satchel Charge As (4d6 points of damage, 10' radius), and a fully stocked survival kit.

Defeating the Skwirm's advance colony will set back their planned incursion of the area by several months. However, the Skrirm will then send a scouting party to the area to find out what happened to the original colony, starting the whole thing over again, as the Skwirm are tenacious and single-minded of purpose. The party may be called upon to find a more permanent solution.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent as usual. My dice should arrive any day!

    I've seen the Skwirm around in various forms (Worms That Walk on some other blog at least)for a while.

    Always likes them a a villain.

    I would love to see your take on this guy

    http://theskinner.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/parasites.html

    who I am working into my planned campaign.

    ReplyDelete

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