7th Sea - Weird Encounters to Have at Sea: Boneflower Worms

World Ocean Day is June 8, 2022! In celebration of the oceans and the weird little monsters that live in it, all week I'll be sharing a variety of strange creatures and people to encounter below the waves in 7th Sea.

These posts are extracted from a long-shelved project I did called The Forever Reef. I'll be happy to share a copy if you send me a message on Facebook or Twitter.

Boneflower Worms; AI image created at NightCafe

Today's nightmare: BONEFLOWER WORMS! [CW: bones; flowers; worms]
Little invertebrates, innocent on their own, but they do tend to travel in swarms. Should your Heroes find themselves in a sea cave, murky shoreline, or coral reef, they're likely to learn that all building materials are fair game in the sea, even your own living bones.

Boneflower Worms

Monstrous Qualities: Relentless, Destructive, Chitinous

The boneflower worms were bred and cultivated by the Sirens (more to come on them soon), prized for their decorative value and appeal to the Sirens' aesthetic. 

The leech-like worms, about six to ten inches long, are soft, slippery things. When they are between shells, their skins are the color of dried blood streaked with dull yellow. Their name comes from their magnificent shells: architectural achievements in the medium of bone. They grow these shells with calcium taken from the bones of other animals, living or dead. 

The worms swarm around an unsuspecting vertebrate creature with a non-cartilage skeleton – whales, humans, and the like. Bare skeletons are easiest, but the worms don't shy away from undecomposed, or even living, sources. The worms burrow their drill-like mouth parts into the flesh of their target until they reach bone. They then vomit into the wound a substance that reduces the bone to slurry, after which they eagerly lap up the calcium. They excrete this material out their other end in a beautiful, complex structure – the boneflower.

Crafted into loops, whorls, spirals and other patterns, the worms use these boneflowers to protect their vulnerable bodies as they feed. The process of burrowing and forming the boneflower takes less than a minute, but the longer they're able to feed uninterrupted, the larger and more complex shells they can make. The shells last for up to a week, after which they've usually chipped and dissolved and fallen away. When the shell is gone, the worm seeks out new bone.

As a monster, these worms seem manageable at first. However, they tend to swarm in groups of at least ten, often as many as fifteen or twenty.

You might successfully cut three or four away from your body, but a few will still find a way to attach. A few moments later your own skeleton is being used against you, as you find yourself hacking away at a shell made of your bones that protects your attacker, your limbs growing weak and useless as the bones are liquefied and devoured.

It may be some consolation to know that your bones are being made into something beautiful.


An encounter with the boneflower worms means an overwhelming, panicky struggle. Only a few out of each swarm will live to successfully feed on a victim, but overall they succeed in sufficient numbers to continue their species.

The worms are primarily attracted to dead, dying or struggling animals. Scents of decay or of panic will draw them in great swarms. They will often wriggle along behind a victim as it flees from something more dangerous, or wait for it to become lost and exhausted. Once their prey is engaged and distracted with something else, the worms tend to “bloom” in a large, undulating, tangled body, emerging from cracks in the rock to surround the prey.

Boneflower Worms: Stats

Brute Squads: This monster functions as one or more brute squads of Strength 5 each. However, it also has monstrous qualities, described below. When spending Danger Points for the monstrous quality, spend them only for one brute squad at a time, not for individual members of the squad. 

Monstrous Qualities:
Relentless: Any attempts to evade or escape from this Monster cost 2 Raises. Spend a DP to have the Monster enter a Scene, so long as it is physically possible.

After 1st Round of combat, add:
Destructive: Spend a DP to have the monster destroy one item or non-vital limb

Chitinous: Spend a DP to negate all Wounds dealt to this monster from 1 attack.

Tactical Tips: 
You could introduce the Worms as the only monster in a Scene, but they really shine when you pile them on top of an already tricky situation. Let the Heroes get involved in fighting a large monster, or navigating a dangerous Hazard, or get them fleeing from something really frightening (the Devil Jonah, perhaps?). Then spring these Worms on them. If a Hero or an NPC ever falls Helpless, the worms will seek them out for preference. 

Want to have your own wild adventures I'm the world of 7th Sea? Try this out: Put That Thing Back Where it Came From, or So Help Me... is a brand-new, randomized heist adventure. Perfect for conventions or a one-shot at home!

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7th Sea - Weird Encounters to Have at Sea: Boneflower Worms

World Ocean Day is June 8, 2022! In celebration of the oceans and the weird little monsters that live in it, all week I'll be sharing a ...