The Orm is a common small insect found through most of Caelereth. They are about a half to a bit larger than a nailsbreadth, covered in a dark colored armor, and walk on six legs. They usually live in hives built from small pieces of wood, leaves or dirt, or in an airy space under a rock. They are mindless little buggers, who annoy anybody who have sugar, or other sweet things. Orms are ruled by a queen (size is usually six times larger than the average worker), whose main task is to lay small white eggs.
The Orm is about a half to a bit longer than a nailsbreadth long. It possesses six legs, and a small head with two claw like things which function as
teeth, also known as mandibles.
divided in three parts, the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.
On the head you can find the mandibles, their eyes and two ormennas. The Ormennas are used for communication by rubbing them together, which makes a very faint whistling sound, and they are used to feel their way through dark places.
On the thorax are the Orm's six legs. On the legs are two small claws, used when climbing or digging.
The abdomen is larger than the thorax. It is full of the Orm's vitals, and has a small stinger which poisons any attacker. The poison isnít fatal to anyone larger than a thumbnail, but itches a bit upon touch.
The body is covered with dark colored, shell-like body armor, the exoskeleton. The armor is the only thing that keeps their body together as Orms have no internal skeleton.
The soldiers however, are a bit larger than the other Orms. They got stronger body-armor, and an additional set of legs. The additional legs resemble more of arms, as they are placed in front of the legs, and instead of the gripping claws, they are pointed. These arms are used as weapons instead of walking.
Another thing related to the Orms' appearance is that they turn rather slow, and donít have a clear vision at their back or sides.
The Orms are capable of pulling weights several times larger than their own.
The Orms can easily dig their way through dirt, and use it
(or parts of it) for their hive.
also live without food or water for oneīor
Territory. Orms are found in most places in Caelereth. They live in cities, in their hives in the forests, plains and in the high valleys. They usually donít bother with the climate, able to live and prosper in immense heat or cold.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Orm workers are usually out harvesting in the daytime, and sleeping in the night. Thatís pretty much what they do.
The soldiers are usually out and checking if there are hostile Orms in their area. If there are, they fight them, if not, they continue searching. Sometimes, they wage war, fighting another hiveís soldiers, until the other hive is annihilated. Both soldiers and workers are pretty much mindless.
The queen is the one who creates new Orms. If the queen dies, the hive usually dies after a little while. Thatís why the queen is closely guarded by soldiers and given extra food.
Diet. The Orms feed on smaller insects and the juices and parts of plants and fruits. The most important Orm part in their diet is the sugar of the plants. Orms will go through anything to get regular, old fashioned sugar.
They usually eat in the evening, when the cold night makes them more drowsy than usual. The caste that have the task of gathering food and keeping the tunnels clean are called workers. They hunt down bugs or carry the pieces of plants to the hive in the daytime. But it is the queen and the soldiers that get most of it.
Mating. An Orm queen only mates once in her lifetime. She, and a male Orm created especially for the act, reproduce when the queen is about twice the size of a standard worker. The sperm is carried by the queen throughout her entire life. After a little while, the queen lays several white eggs, which are, on sunny days, carried onto the top of the hive, and placed in the sun. She continues to lay eggs every six days. After a couple of weeks, half-grown Orms emerge from the eggs.
Usages. When in great hunger, it is possible to fry Orms. They taste a little salty, but not much. They are full of necessary stuff, and are a better option than dying. But if you eat too much of them, youíll get too much of their poison. Nothing critical though, except a bad stomach.
Some 50 years ago, some scientists collected Orms and put them into conserving fluid. The Orms were put on bruises, and the wounds seemed to grow faster, better and no one who used some Orms on their wounds, ever got infections. In the same respect it is said that the bite of Orms is has healing effects too Ė but there is one drawback: a terrible headache and a sour stomach. This only works with large amounts of Orms, so you must put your arm into a hive to rouse them. Youíll certainly get lots of bites...
Some magicians are also capable of encouraging their growth magically, and making them do their bidding. The spell used for these transformations also adds a slightly larger intellect, so that they can perform their tasks better. Most wizards use soldiers, as they are larger, stronger and more solid. Their arms are also a plus. The spell's effects last until they die, either of hunger, as they are possessed with the task, and donít eat, until they get killed. The tasks which are safest to use, are guard, patrol, go, hunt or roam.
Species. There exists a great variety of Orms. The most important types are described in the overview below:
The Brown Orm
The Brown Orm is a common forest insect. It is a trifle shorter than a nailsbreadth, and clad in brown "body armour" as one might call it. They are found troughout most forests in the southern half of Northern Sarvonia, down to the northern parts of the United Kingdom of Santharia.
Brown Orms are forest creatures, so their hives are built of pieces of twigs, leaves and small pieces of dirt. The hives "lean" into the southern side of tree, mostly trees with a clear view to the sun. Why Orms want a sunny hive-location is simple: their eggs are carried out in the sun to make them hatch faster, and in the winter, it wonít get too cold.
The Black Orm
The Black Orm, or often simply referred to as the "Black Bug", is about 0.7 nailsbreadth long, and clad in a solid (Orm standard), but dull, black body armor. They are found throughout most parts of the United Kingdom of Santharia, parts of Northern Sarvonia, as well as in Yamalquain and southern Cyhalloi. Black Orms live in the forests, on grasslands, in mountains and other variations of the land. Their hives are built in the classic Orm style, a heap of twigs, leaves, dirt and pebbles. They are usually built "leaning" into something like a tree or a rock, with a sunny view.
The Snow Orm
The Snow Orm is the most poisonous and vicious of all northern Orms. Snow Orms are about a nailsbreadth long, covered in a dark bluish bodyarmor, and walk on six legs. They usually live in hives made of small pieces of wood, dirt and stones. They often annoy anything or anybody who got sugar, or other sweet things. and are ruled by a queen (size: usually six times larger than the average worker), whose main task is to lay small white eggs. The Snow Orm lives in the Northern Sarvonia, parts of Cyhalloi and the northernmost parts Akdor.
Snow Orms are accounted among several local tribes as a neat seasoning to soups and stews, so through the years they have developed a more powerful poison. The poison of the Snow Orm is many times stronger compared to usual Orms, and to get bitten from more than 15-20 (depending on the size) makes people feel dizzy. More than a hundred can make you faint, which may cause you to fall on a hive, which may kill you. When used for seasoning, it is recommended to remove the abdomen part of the Orms, and sell them to alchemists who can create a powerful, but (painful) ointment used for aches and bruises, or a paralysing or slow working poison suited for daggers in the dark or your "best" friend's dinner.
The Fire Orm
The Fire Orm, or the Flaming/Fiery Orm is a common Aeruillin Orm, thriving in hot places, like the Ysthalinth Desert, the Sveltash Desert and the Plains of ColíPaehjaar. They are about 1.2 nailsbreadth long, and clad in a bright red body armor which reflects the sun, giving them a surounding illusion of fiery insects. The Fire Orms live in hives built mainly of sand, dirt and pebbles, with corridors dug trough the sand/soil.
The Ajan Orm
The Ajan Orm is the most common Orm in Nybelmar. It is the second smallest known Orm in Caelereth, only a trifle broader than a nailsbreadth. These insects are clad in black and brown body armor, which is thinner and smoother than what is Orm standard. Nevertheless, their armor is just as strong as any other Ormís.
The hives of the Ajan Orms are built underground; the corridors and chambers are dug out of the soil. The hives are easily found, as the dirt is lying in heaps around the location.
The Red Orm
The Red Orm is the Ajan Orm's bigger brother. It is nearly one and a half times larger than the Ajan Orm, about 0.85 nailsbreadth long. The bodyarmor is colored in deep red. Red Orm armor is as thick as the Brown Orm's, but a trifle stronger and smoother.
The Red Orm hives are built partly underground, in the Ajan Orm fashion, with corridors stretching down into the soil, and a part where the spare dirt is combined with twigs to build a classic Orm hive on top.
The Town Orm
The Town Orm, or the so-called "Creeter" (probably derived from the term "Secreting Orm") is the smallest known Orm, about half a nailsbreadth long, and clad in shining black body armor. They are said to show the most intelligence among the Orm family throughout Caelereth, possessing something akin to an independent will, which may be due to the harsh circumstances (inhabited regions like villages or towns) they live in. Town Orms are smaller and weaker than the other Orms. They are known for secreting aggressive body fluids in opponentís wounds (thus the nickname), causing festering of body parts of the opponent. As has been alread mentioned prefer to live in town and other humanoid settlements, as other Orms (except the Ajan Orm) got problems with building their hives in towns and cities. Town Orms live solely in settled places, all around Caelereth. Their hives are built in walls, cellars and other similar places.