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Zhen Worm

Barely thicker than hempen rope, this orange-banded worm stretches many feet in length.

Zhen Worm CR 1/2

XP 200
N Medium vermin
Init –1; Senses tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 9, touch 9, flat-footed 9 (–1 Dex)
hp 5 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref –1, Will +0
Defensive Abilities protective mucus; Immune gaze attacks, mind-affecting effects, sight-based attacks, and visual effects
Weaknesses blindness

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee slam +1 (1d4+1 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (1d4+1), dissolve flesh

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 9, Con 13, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 10
Feats Blind-Fight B
Skills Stealth –1 (+9 in swamps), Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +10 Stealth in swamps

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Blindness (Ex)

A zhen worm perceives solely through its tremorsense ability. It is immune to all sight-based effects and attacks, including gaze attacks.

Dissolve Flesh (Ex)

Though too dilute to cause damage in combat, a zhen worm’s acidic mucus reduces a Medium-sized corpse to bones and a pool of foul-smelling slurry in 1d4 days. Each size category above Medium doubles the amount of time required, and each size category smaller than Medium halves it.

Protective Mucus (Ex)

Weapons slip off the slick slime that coats a zhen worm, and fire has difficulty burning it away.

Zhen worms take half damage from weapons and fire. This ability does not reduce damage from confirmed critical hits.

Zhen Distillate

Through alchemical processes, zhen worm mucus can be distilled into a preservative ointment. When spread liberally over a dead game animal, zhen distillate preserves the meat for 1 month. If left on for at least 3 days, the distillate dissolves away hair, nails, and skin, while leaving muscles and organs untouched. If not thoroughly washed away with wine or a similar alcoholic liquid, zhen distillate leaves behind a foul aftertaste. A flask of zhen distillate weighs 1 pound, costs 50 gp, and preserves the corpse of a Large creature. Each step up or down from Large doubles or halves, respectively, the amount of distillate needed.

The mucus harvested from a single zhen worm can be processed into one flask of distillate with a successful DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.

ECOLOGY

Environment warm swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3–20)
Treasure none

The blind and mindless zhen worms thrive in warm, wet environments.

Cold disrupts their tremorsense, and they cannot burrow through rocky soil, so the worms do not roam far from their geothermal baths.

Though rarely thicker than an inch in diameter, zhen worms reach up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 20 pounds. The orange bands along their sides react to tremors and vibration, providing their only means of perceiving the environment around them. Zhen worms hunt by lying unseen beneath mud or water, waiting for prey to approach close enough to attack. Zhen worms normally restrict themselves to modest prey such as rodents and lizards, but a hungry worm may attack Small or even Medium prey.

A zhen worm has no mouth or digestive tract. Instead, it absorbs nutrients and secretes waste through thousands of tiny orifices along its body. The mucus coating its body slowly dissolves organic matter. Over a matter of days, a zhen worm wrapped around a corpse reduces it to nothing but bones and a foul-smelling slurry.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Jim Groves and Russ Taylor.