Lava Wyrm.

Deep in the belly of Evalaw lurk countless things that have been long forgotten for eons. Every once in a while, strange tales’ surface of such creatures. Stories of the great primordial serpents that slumber in the depths are one that never fails to spark the imaginations of many intrepid bard, or those foolish enough to seek them out.
The Lava Wyrms are a species of giant, fire-breathing serpents that dwell in the molten depths of Evalaw's active volcanoes.
The Great volcanic lakes in the deepest recesses of The Sunless Realms are not as desolate as many would like to hope, in fact it could be forgiven to assume no life could survive here at all. Well known for being an unbearable furnace, The Volcanic Basin is an unpredictable landscape of fissures and rifts rupturing throughout, filled with vast lakes of lava and jagged rocks where the caverns have broken apart and reformed from geothermic movements. Many tales have emerged of explorers to these volcanic depths barely surviving encounters with a ferocious creature that lurks deep beneath the burbling magma flows and molten lakes. The beast has been variously described as a giant worm or snake, but there are those who claim it is merely a hallucination brought on by the heat. The most recent reports describe the creature as a serpentine Dragon of great size, with the head of a reptile and the body of a huge snake.
In Arshinus legend, the Wyrms are said to have Slithered their way up from the belly of Evalaw at the behest of the great serpent Seerix, when the world was young. Long before the first sun rose, or our great mother Reishala was bestowed the kindling of life. So the fire sages say.
— Vanya, Arshinus Prince of Caldaria.
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150 years.
Average Length
140 m. | 131 ft.
Geographic Distribution

Messengers of Seerix.

Legends amongst the indigenous Arshinus people of The Volcanic Basin tell of a being known as Seerix, the great serpent. Seerix was the great foe of their beloved goddess Reishala, and once said to be the handmadien of Shilina herself. It was believed in ages past the Lava Wyrms were servants of this mysterious entity and bore a bitter enmity toward the Arshinus people, fighting several great battles across the depths of Evalaw. While there is little evidence of the creatures harbouring such resentment or aggression toward the Arshinus. It serves as a word of warning among young Arshinus not to take these creatures lightly.

Behaviour And Ecology.

  Often a common sight for those brazen enough to attempt exploration of the sunless realm's volcanic regions, These Lava Wyrms are massive in size, able to easily fill streams with their bodies, even known to cause lava floods if one stubbornly decides to dam up a river with its body if it finds itself comfortable. The creature has been given many names over the years; commonly referred to as a lava wyrm or the Greater Salamander by overworld zoologists, although some believe this name to be somewhat misleading due to its appearance and temperament. Renowned to be a very aggressive and territorial species with no compunctions about attacking and devouring anything that poses a threat to themselves or their home.   Indigenous knowledge among the Arshinus contradicts this misconception; natives travelling the region know the Lava Wyrm to behave indifferently toward anything unfamiliar; most violent incidents occur when humanoids get too close or disturb them. Lashing out in surprise, thrashing its tail to cause molten waves or dragging those unfortunate enough to have enraged it to a grisly fate. Should someone earn their ire, it is hard for these creatures to forget. It has been known for them to hold such grudges for decades, even passing on their grievances to their descendance. Many non-natives have earned their hatred, accents and languages are recalled by the Wyrms as being sources of trouble. Becoming increasingly agitated or in some cases actively hostile if they enter their domain.   Due to the scarcity of prey in The Volcanic Basin, these creatures have habitually hunted a stranger creature for eons, and many of them. These tiny molluscs are often seen in great numbers, often found littering the edges of lava streams, lakes and the various vents of these burning caverns, consuming the minerals and chemicals the lava secretes. In turn the Lava Wyrms seeks out these colonies, settling themselves down by them to feast, engorging themselves on the molluscs until they're filled, then settling down to sleep until they need to feed again. It has been known that should one grow hungry enough, or its prey becomes scarce they will begin to venture further afield in search of prey, feeding on any living thing they come across.

Social Interaction.

  These creatures have notoriously difficult temperaments. They are extremely territorial and prone to aggressive behaviour when they feel threatened, especially towards other Wyrms. Despite their fearsome reputation as predators, Lava Wyrms are not indiscriminate killers. They are highly intelligent creatures, capable of learning quickly and adapting to new environments and situations. They have been known to form symbiotic relationships with other creatures, such as certain species of bats, that benefit both parties.   However, this intelligence has been known to lead to unpredictable behaviours and even self-destructive tendencies. They are generally solitary creatures who avoid contact with others of their own kind; only known actively seek out each other to mate during specific times of the year, usually during the hotter months when volcanic activity increases. During this time, they leave their lairs and travel to specific locations in the volcanic regions where they engage in a mating ritual. The males and females will perform an intricate dance, circling around each other and intertwining their bodies in a complex choreographed manner.   This is accompanied by a series of vocalizations that sounds like a symphony of roars and hisses, which can be heard for miles around. The dance can last for several hours or even days. After mating, the female will lay her eggs in the heart of her lair, generally found in the very heart of an active volcano where the heat will incubate them until they hatch. It is unknown how many eggs a female Lava Wyrm will lay, but it is believed to be a relatively small number due to the difficult environment in which they exist. The Lava Wyrms do not form long-term bonds with their mates and will go their separate ways once the mating ritual is complete. They have a solitary and independent nature and prefer to live and hunt alone, except for the brief period of time when they come together to mate.   The hatchlings are born fully formed and are able to move and breathe fire immediately. However, they are vulnerable to predators and must stay with their mother until they are large enough to fend for themselves. The mother will protect and teach the young Wyrms how to hunt and survive in their harsh environment.


  A mighty predator that appears to be naturally immune to heat and fire, capable of submerging themselves in lava without being harmed. Documented to measure upwards of 100 feet in length and weighing several tons in maturity. They have sleek serpentine bodies covered in iridescent interlocking scales that shimmer like molten lava; These scales give the creature an impressive degree of camouflage in the volcanic environment while also providing ample protection against the searing heat of the surrounding magma, including its ability to breathe superheated gas and fire to attack its prey. They have long, sinuous necks able to twist and turn with remarkable flexibility.    
Along the sides of its neck, there are several rows of sharp, backward-pointing spines that can be raised or lowered at will that end in compact wedge-shaped heads and a sloped snout that is equipped with a row of short, needle-like sharp teeth. Its eyes are small and bright, set deep within its skull, and appear to glow in the dim light of the volcanic environment adding to the creature's intimidating appearance. Their tails are long and whip-like and are tipped with membranous fins that help create balance on uneven terrain.

Cover image: by amoriredwood


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