Attracting giant worms to your neighborhood takes planning, but you do your research it isn't difficult to anticipate the essentials. Basically they just need soil to swim through, fresh prey, and protected shelter that caters to their monstrous tendencies and reproductive quirks. If you can supply them with these essentials and have a little luck you will soon see the ill-starred land beyond your moat teem with their indistinct but still awe-inspiring forms.
- Kinds of worms. Determine what sorts of worms you would like to attract. Some worms eat carrions, others eat live preys, still others eat radioactive material or electricity. Knowing the types of worms you would like to visit your lair is one of the keys to initial success. Visit your local dusty scroll merchant or call your villainy area rep to assist in discerning what types of giant worms may be found in your area. Search the guide to determine the wormsign that is native to your area. No matter how great you prepare your area, you won’t have success in attracting desert sandworms in the Himalayas and will have to adjust your expectations.
- Substrate. It is very important that worms have access to a source of unconsolidated material through which to wriggle. Ideally, the terrain around your lair is an arid waterless expanse of blowing dunes, but a layer of artificially pulverized rock and fine gravel is good in a pinch. Many worms prefer incubating their brood in loose rubble so you may want some rubble piles as well. Just keep them from providing cover to enemies seeking to infiltrate your walls.
- Shelter. Worms will often make their warrens in an area which is God-forsaken and terrifying. Some worms construct deep complexes many fathoms deep below the surface while others enjoy simply slithering through a fetid swamp without setting up a permanent home. Generally, dank caves and craggy rock outcroppings are attractive to giant worms where they can hunt their food and mate, and many enjoy basking on the bare concrete and asphalt surfaces of military outposts and mining colonies.
- Food. You don't have to spend a lot of money to feed giant worms. In fact you probably have some of their favorite food languishing in your basement ready to be staked out in a wasteland perfect for these creatures. Do not place the food too high above the soil as giant worms generally have poor eyesight if any and can get easily frustrated. Many villains enjoy seeing their worms take prey so set up a viewing area convenient to your lair. If you are having problems with other lifeforms raiding your worm feeders, you could try installing commercial guards around your worm bait or you could simply resign yourself into give these other members of the ecosystem their own food rather then drive yourself crazy trying to keep them away.
Strokes of genius
- Worm ranching. If you are in an area which is inaccessible to wild worms for one reason or another, you might consider raising a herd of your own on the back forty. While giant worms do take up more space than more common nightcrawler vermiculture setups will allow for, many of the skills and resources needed are the same. Once you have spread sufficient bedding for the young worms, well moistened, provide a few table scraps now and then (coconut shells, a beef chine, or eventually a whole stuffed camel periodically, taking care not to overfeed. When you harvest the best developed specimens to assist in your capers, be sure to leave some worms for breeding stock. With just a little care and the proper climate, your giant worm ranch can produce a dozen or more nightmarish beasts a month for your own nefarious use or to give or sell to other supervillains.
- Killer worms. Whilst we await definitive proof of the legendary Mongolian Death Worm or allghoi khorkhoi which is reputed to kill either by shooting an acrid poison or by electrical discharge. After a certain length and girth, however, nearly any huge worm is likely to be a hazardous beast to be around, and if you are successful in drawing any of these around your compound, it is generally a straightforward matter to adapt their behavior to provide a lethal defensive perimeter, or in the case of the higher sentient worms even an attack capability. Contact an experienced worm-rider to work with the worms to habituate them to hunt where you want them to (pheromone sprays are useful in protecting those you designate). Before long you will be able to publicize your insatiable annelid associates to marauders and local villagers.
- Multimedia. If you are handy with a still or video camera, you can for a small outlay in materials set up a blind where you can record the comings and goings of the giant worms you attract. A sensitive microphone is also useful to pick up the subtle sounds associated with these animals as is a seismometer. As their habits are notoriously hard to predict, you may need to arm the system and set up a trigger to capture the goings-on, then edit the footage later with a soundtrack and narration suitable for posting on the Web.
Traps for mere fools
- Plagues and other banes. In order to keep your worms healthy, use organic techniques whenever possible to keep their habitat pest and curse free. Through the normal means, prevent superheros from straying into the range, as they disrupt the ecosystem with their physical presence, their scent, and any heroic behavior they engage in. Task a ranger to maintain good hygiene particularly around the feeding stations, and to watch for signs of listlessness or disorientation as these can be signs of disease which can spread to other healthy stock.
- Predatory worms. Although there are very, very few lifeforms which are able to prey on giant worms, there are certain rare kinds of giant worm which are reputed to prey on others when given the opportunity. If you have a good population of worms then notice their numbers dropping off suddently, giant skeletons on the brow of a ridge, and so forth, you may need to ascertain whether one or more of the population has gone rogue and is cannibalizing the rest. If this is the case, generally all you can do is to make sure that you have made provision for sufficient cover and that you are putting out adequate amounts of their main food supply, and wait for the situation to take care of itself.
Precious and needful
- Maker hooks.
- Pumice soap.
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- Image credit Donna & her giant worm by santheo
- Image credit ersatz / substitute by OliBac
- Image credit Ah! Worms in the Food by *PaysImaginaire*
Created by: . Last Modification: Monday 03 of August, 2009 15:51:40 EDT by GrinningSkull.