Brain Worm

While tiny and rare, there are few terrors in Cairne that rank as high as this small creature. No bigger than a human pinky finger, the Brain Worm has the ability to enter into a host creature and burrow into the brain, slowly taking other the entire nervous system and rerouting the impulses there until it gains total control to the creatures higher functions. This entire process occurs over the matter of only a few days, and leaves the host entirely under the control of the worm, but with their consciousness still active enough to be aware of what is happening, pushed back into the shadows of the subconscious mind and forced to watch themselves do the bidding of the worm. Considered a fate worse than death, use of the worm as a weapon has been outlawed by all civilized cultures, and even those that do not adhere to the global political machines, tend to avoid its use as it can very quickly get out of hand if not used in a controlled way.

Basic Information


This creature has a short segmented body that terminates at a pointed barb at one end, and a cyclopean head at the other. Its head is surrounded by a large number of mandible like appendages used for both gripping and burrowing, as well as taking over the synaptic pathways of the brain it infests. The mouth itself is filled with row after row of tiny curved and jagged teeth that go all the way down into the the depper digestive tract. These are used as a means of acquiring sustenance, expelling waste, and reproduction.

Genetics and Reproduction

Reproduction of the brain worm is achieved by the creature effectively repurposing the bone marrow of the host, altering the stem cells there in such a way that they assign themselves a new role in the body to create copies of the brain worm in a larval state rather than red blood cells. This leads to, over the course of a year, the host (in the case of a humanoid) dying from aplastic anemia as the marrow is entirely repurposed and the hollows of their skeletal structure is filled with the larval brain worms. After the host dies, the initial brain worm will die as well, leaving the larval worms to slowly devour the body of their host as they move into maturity and spread out to find new hosts and continue the process.

Growth Rate & Stages

The larval brain worm will remain fairly dormant in that state until the receptors in the membrane that covers its body determine that the host creature is dead, at which time it will begin to devour the host and mature rapidly into an adult brain worm. Once free of the corpse, the worm will distance itself from the others as much as it can, unless the host was moved by the initial worm into a heavily populated area, in which case it will seek out the nearest potential host as quickly as possible.

Ecology and Habitats

The brain worm free of a host to protect it, prefers warm and dry climates, preferring darkness if possible and hiding mostly during the day. It's size and anatomical make up allow it to move about horizontal and vertical surfaces with relative ease giving it access to high places where it can drop onto unsuspecting passers by to begin its cycle, or to hide in bedrolls and clothing as well, seeking warm dry places as mentioned.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Once nestled into a host brain, the worm will remain stationary, filtering out what it needs to survive from the cerebrospinal fluids. It does not need much to survive at this point, as it remains stationary for the remainder of its lifespan, using very little energy to do so, instead relying on the host's survival to keep it going.

Biological Cycle

The Brainworms has a lifespan of approximately a year and a half at most, and a quarter of that if it does not find a host. These creatures are reliant upon a host body for their survival.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

In the past, some cultures have utilized this creature as a biological weapon, however, after a number of situations where the spread of the parasite got out of control, this was deemed by most as far too dangerous to employ in this way. Once a host is taken over, it is nearly indistinguishable from any other of its ilk save for various behaviour and communicative quirks that can give it away. The brain worm has full access to the hosts entire scope of memory and experience to pull from to maintain its disguise, however, it has little ability to interpret the actual meaning behind most of it, leading to responses and reactions based upon memories of similar situations, meaning things like names and subtle reactions will often be completely wrong or awkward, as well as emotional reactions and expressive responses.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

While the central eye of the creature is extremely limited in its visual rance, able to see shadows moving up to about five feet away, the creature maintains an extremely sensitive membrane that covers its entire body, allowing it to detect movement and shifts in temperature easily twice that distance. Once it has embedded itself in a host, however, it has the sensory abilities of the host at its disposal.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

The brain worm can utilize any living creature with a central nervous system as its host, though it prefers humanoids when at all possible.
Scientific Name
Cerebroparasitus dominus
Segmented Worms
1.5 years
Average Weight
2 grams
Average Length
1-2 inches at most


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