Blazing Worms Myth in Tremanac | World Anvil

Blazing Worms

Giant worms whose bodies burn hot enough to melt rock. They are said to be the cause of volcanic eruptions.

Summary

Deep beneath the stone dwell immense creatures that make even dragons look small. Even older than the mountains these enormous worms were fashioned to help shape our world. Long before anything else lived here they moved around the barren surface reshaping the rock as they melted it with the intense heat produced by their bodies. By their efforts were the mountains raised and the space for the seas dug out.   When the great work of shaping the world was done it was clear to the deities that the life they intended to create on the world would not be able to survive alongside the worms. Though some argued for the worms to be destroyed others foresaw a need for the worms in the future so they were instead put to sleep beneath the very mountains they had created. The worms have continued to sleep deep underground until they are needed but at times they stir slightly from their slumber. As they stir the heat from their bodies melts the rock around them, and the movements of the worms are felt as tremours on the surface. When a worm stirs still further it forces the molten rock around it to towards the surface, causing it to erupt as a volcano.

Cultural Reception

Although the existence of the worms has been disproved, stories about them hav eeremained popular. The most commonly told is that of Adan McAdray who descended deep undergroud to quell one of the worms that threatened to destroy Khezdur with it's movements. Several cults also grew up around worship of the worms. These cults have persisted despite evidence that the worms do not exist.
THE PURIFYING FLAME

This group believes that the world has lost it's way and that the best solution is for the everything to be consumed in a sea of rock and flames. In order to achieve this end the followers of this cult dedicate their lives to trying to reawaken the worms.
THE COOLED HEART

This group believes that the worms stir when those living nearby fail to control their emotions. They preach that volcanic eruptions are a punishment visited on those who fail to hold to the true path. This has led to the cult launching purges of those they deem as evil, ranging from those who indulge their desires to those who are to free in expressing their emotions.

Although neither cult worships a real being the cultists have occassionally been able to obtain some cleric like ablities as various dark powers have taken advantage of them. This has allowed the cultists to gain more followers as they can prove they are worshiping a divine being. When cults are taken over in this way their goals are gradually shifted over to align with their unknown patron, though in many cases the goals were not too far apart to begin with.
The authorities in Khezdur have long outlawed the worship of the worms but have been unable to stamp the cults out entirely. Belonging to a cult brings shame to both the person and their family and clan so influential members of dwarven clans tend to take steps to cover up any involvement by a family member.
This was written to answer the Mythical prompt for Bestiary February. Other articles can be found in Tremanac Bestiary February.  
Just a myth
The idea of giant worms causing volcanos is of course ridiculous. Modern magic has proved that no such creatures exist, even if the stories persist. The real cause for volcanic eruptions is the movement of the material plane relative to the planes of earth and fire. When close to either of these planes the changes in the density of rock or the temperature at points intersecting with the planes causes the melting of rock and movement of magma which is then forced to the surface.
Related Species
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Cover image: Amongst the grass (createdin Flowscape) by Tnai Cuinsear

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