Farah’deen Dune Worm
|Farah’deen Dune Worm|
|Official Name||Farah’deen Dune Worm|
|Common Nicknames||God-Worm, Eirur-Xolyul|
Ever-violent and vicious titans, the Farah’deen Dune Worm lurks deep beneath the sands of Farah’deen, exploding out of the ground without warning to swallow up prey. The Dune Worm is a creature of unbelievable size and appetite that will consume almost anything in its path, including other Dune Worms. These rare monsters are some of the most feared things in all of Farah’deen, able destroy any caravan traveling on the sands within an instant.
Before the Cataclysm, the current Dune Worm was non-existent. Instead, much smaller and smoother worms existed which mostly fed on lizards. The events of the Cataclysm caused unprecedented amounts of Void energy to be forced upon the worms, causing them to grow in size uncontrollably and become excessively violent. Over the next fifty years, each generation grew larger and larger until they reached their present size. Originally, the population was almost triple what it is now, but their violent nature and close proximity lead to rampant infighting and cannibalism, causing their numbers to shrink rapidly over the course of only ten years.
The first Dune Worms was reportedly spotted by a caravan in the wastelands of Farah’deen. The two Dune Worms in question were recorded in 80 AC, engaged in fierce combat. Ultimately, one reportedly tore its foe asunder before dragging the mangled corpse back into the sands. Twenty years later, the first reported attack by a Dune Worm occurred on a small town named Madj, when the worm smashed through half the town. These creatures were promptly feared by the denizens of Farah’deen, even though their sightings stayed relatively low. Attacks on cities are uncommon, but Dune Worms will not refrain from doing so if there is no other available food source. Seeing one of these beast is rare to this day, though deep in the desert it's clear where they’ve shifted the sands.
The Farah’deen Dune Worm is a creature of gargantuan stature. They average around 1,300 feet, with the largest ever reported estimated at over 2,000 feet in length. In width, they average around 150 feet and up to 200 feet at the largest. All Dune Worms have a cylindrical body that tapers into a tail around the last 200 feet, and boast leathery skin that can be upwards of two feet thick and covered with streamlined ridges that curve to the back of the worm. This skin is most commonly a shade of brown, with blacks and muted reds being much rarer. The most prominent feature on its body is its massive maw, which takes up virtually its entire head. Three large flaps on the front of the beast open to reveal it’s mouth filled with thousands of large curved teeth on all sides of its tubular body. Twenty black eyes are located in a ring around the beast’s mouth, giving it excellent vision of the prey it means to swallow whole. On the underside of the worm, concentrated at the front under the mouth, are six large arachnid-like claws that they use to move on top of the sand but tuck away while burrowing.
The sexual population of the Farah’deen Dune Worm is estimated to be split relatively equally. Each worm typically remains extremely solitary, meeting others only to mate. Curiously, the exact way of how they mate is completely unknown, as the dune worm shows absolutely no sexual diversity when observed with the naked eye. The only way to tell the sex of a dune worm is their teeth patterns. All female dune worms have teeth that spiral clockwise while males spiral counterclockwise.
Life Span and Development
A Dune Worm birth has never been observed, but fragments of eggshells have been discovered after intense windstorms. The immense size of these broken eggs (about the size of a small hovel) left the simple conclusion that only the Farah’deen Dune Worm could be responsible. Based on the grouping of these eggs, it is accepted that only one egg is laid by the female at a time, and takes roughly a year to hatch. Furthermore, these eggs are usually buried deep under the sands, as there have been reports of Dune Worms smashing and devouring eggs that do not belong to them. The exact age limit of these beasts is not known, but they can at least live up to 150 years. This is only known because a worm bearing the same scars attacked the same unfortunate city 150 years after its first attack. When the creatures do die, they burrow up near the surface and coil up. The bodies never last more than a week, as another dune worm will inevitably arrive and devour the body whole in a matter of hours. The number of Dune Worms are still extremely low, as they have a habit of devouring each other. It is estimated that maybe only 250 remain in all of Aloria.
The Farah’deen Dune Worm is vicious and savage in nature. These beasts wander the desert, bursting out of the sand, with only a dull rumble as a warning, to swallow creatures and buildings whole. The fact that they cannibalize their dead makes many people think they have no form of intelligence but many Dune Worms have been known to repeatedly attack the same point year after year on the same day, down to the exact minute. The worms also attack defensive points first, completely crippling their opponents. Dune Worms clearly have some semblance of intelligence.
Territory or Groupings
These goliaths are notoriously solitary creatures, only meeting up to mate or fight over the corpse of a deceased dune worm. The creatures are so large that having more than one in one area would end up starving both worms as they competed over the already sparse desert food. Dune Worms tend to stay far apart to better their chances of survival. Even so, these creatures are still rather rare, as they stay few in numbers from their regular seclusion and habits of cannibalism. But, there are tales of three Dune Worms attacking a city at once, devouring it in ten minutes, but these are still only stories.
- The largest Dune Worm ever recorded was a ghostly white and was first sighted after it violently burst out of the ground, consuming an entire caravan. It was named Aljue Baly and has only been spotted cresting the sands once since then.
- Dune Worms will usually crest over the surface of the sand to locate their prey before submerging again. After a few minutes, the entire ground will shake as the beasts violently burst out in an attempt to swallow their prey whole.
- Dune Worms often will bury deep under the sands to hibernate for years when food becomes scarce.
- Dune Worms have been spotted bursting straight out of the ground to swallow up entire murmurations of low-flying birds.