|Height||2-6 inches long|
|Weight||under 1 lb.|
General Description Edit
The Silverwyrm is living proof that sometimes the most diminutive creatures can be deadly. Unlike the name suggests, Silverwyrm is not actually a worm but an arthropod. It has a very slender body from which sprouts several sensory antennae and six pairs of legs. Its color ranges from arsenic shades to more brilliant silver and in rare cases, they have been seen as brown. The Silverwyrm is rumored to reach lengths in excess of one's palm, but is usually only spotted at lengths of ten centimeters or less.
The head is equipped with several tiny barbels and hooks with which to detect and then latch onto its victim. Once the jaws secure a grip on the flesh, a proboscis injects a milky fluid into the host tissue.
Hunted Object Description Edit
A four-inch long wingless insect with a skinny, silver body.
Habitat and Habits Edit
First discovered by miners tunneling deep within the earth. Records of Silverwyrm encounters date back centuries, mostly found in miners' logs but also in healer journals. The Silverwyrm prefers to dwell in dark, damp places like mines or caves. Not much is known about the Silverwyrm's daily life as an adult - what it eats, where it goes, etc, but rather it is typically encountered near the end of its natural life cycle when it is ready to reproduce. It is in this stage of its life that the Silverwyrm is a hazard to people and the term "Miner's Madness" has been coined to refer to the "insane" symptoms that its victims suffer during the last stages of infection, usually several days, even weeks, after being first bitten.
General Behavior Edit
When encountered, the Silverwyrm is typically shy and reclusive. Those of the species that are ready to reproduce, however, become far more aggressive in nature. Rather than retreating from a light source, they will scurry towards it and as in most cases, seek out the flesh that carries the light.
Silverwyrm adults do not bite to feed but rather to lay their eggs. Rarely have there been instances of bites inflicted by male silverwyrm. Once latched firmly onto the flesh of her host, the female silverwyrm will use her proboscis and inject the tissue with a milky fluid. This fluid contains hundreds of tiny eggs that then enter the bloodstream.
The eggs develop rapidly and within a day of infection, will have settled out of the bloodstream and into surrounding tissues - usually the muscles. After developing further, the eggs hatch into miniscule larvae that immediately begin to munch away on the host tissue. In days to come, they cause a great deal of swelling, rash, and general pain at the site of infection. Within a week, they are a quarter of an inch long and begin their migration against gravity, towards the brain. It is this stage in the game that elicits the "mad" behavior from the victim as their movements cause great pain and irritability for the host.
In the end of their larval stage, the Silverwyrm reach the brain tissues - should they survive - and consume the fatty tissue to complete their growth. Not all larvae will reach the brain and sometimes will burrow their way out of other orifices or through the skin itself in attempts to reach their destination. Once they do reach the brain, the fate of the host is sealed and most victims die within hours a very agonizing death. The emerging Silverwyrm are nearly an inch long and immediately seek out the shelter of cool, dark places where they will spend the next several months to a year of their life.