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Time Lord Game Additions

By Justin Reynolds


The Wirrrn are a race of giant insects, resembling wingless dragonflies. They usually move via levitation, but in enclosed areas they drag themselves about with their six long legs. Although not yet a technologically advanced species, the Wirrrn have very powerful minds - they can break through into hyperspace by mental energy alone. This power, coupled with their ability to survive in space for long periods of time, has allowed them to spread across many solar systems.

The life cycle of the Wirrrn is rather unusual. First their eggs are injected into the body of a living creature by a Wirrrn Queen. After a short incubation period (in The Ark in Space the development of the larvae is stretched out over thousands of years by the Cryogenic Systems), the eggs hatch, releasing hundreds of tiny larvae. The larvae consume their host from the inside, absorbing any knowledge possessed by their victim in the process. Wirrrn who hatch in an intelligent host will therefore have knowledge additional to that given on the character sheet. The larvae grow quickly, and then form cocoons and metamorphose into adult Wirrrn. Once their development is complete the Wirrrn head for deep space, visiting planets occasionally to feed, renew their air supply, and reproduce. The mature Wirrrn often form huge swarms, and establish a particular solar system as their territory.

The Wirrrn were first encountered by humans on Andromeda Gamma Epsilon, around 3000 AD. After a long battle the Wirrrn breeding colonies were destroyed and the surviving adults fled. These Wirrrn will always be hostile towards humans, but conflict with Wirrrn from other systems may be avoided. However, as they have no experience with technology they are unlikely to realise that humans are anything more than strange animals. Wirrrn who develop inside human hosts will correct the misapprehension, but by this stage peace is probably out of the question.

With the powerful pincer at the end of their abdomens, a Wirrrn can inflict 5 Wounds. It is capable of tearing a hole in the hull of a space craft when necessary. Wirrrn arch their pincers over their heads scorpion-like to attack. Their mandibles are also dangerous weapons, causing 3 Wounds.

The extremely hard carapace of the Wirrrn provides full Armour 7. It gives almost total protection from laser weapons, and protects the Wirrrn from the hostile conditions of outer space.

The Wirrrn are very hard to destroy - few weapons are able to harm them, and they are unaffected by temperatures ranging from absolute zero to far above human tolerances. They thrive in high radiation, and can survive without eating or breathing for many days. However, they are extremely susceptible to high voltage electricity. Against electrical attacks, they have only Armour 3. Young Wirrrn obey their swarm leader unquestioningly, making them rather vulnerable to external control.

Hyperspace [Move]
Mature Wirrrn are capable of entering hyperspace for brief periods, allowing them to cross interstellar distances without overtaxing their remarkable recycling abilities. This power is limited, and can only be used at a considerable distance from large objects - it is not a teleportation ability.

Levitation [Move]
When in the open, Wirrrn have the ability to fly using mental energy. The ability is strong enough for the Wirrrn to completely escape a planet's gravity, and with time they can accelerate to interplanetary speeds. They lack manoeuverability, however, so do not use their power inside buildings etc.


In the first stage of their lives, Wirrrn are amorphous green blobs, which leave sticky snail-like trails in their paths. They are multi-nucleate organisms, i.e. their bodies are as fluid as wet mud. This enables them to pass through fine grills unharmed, and makes them virtually immune to physical attacks. They can move rapidly across walls and ceilings as easily as the floor.

Once the larvae have consumed their host, they are primarily occupied with the search for energy. Solar radiation is ideal, and rich sources can accelerate their growth tremendously. When they are strong enough, they enter a pupal stage, during which they transform into adult Wirrrn. If they are close to a strong radiation source, the metamorphosis can be completed in only a Few hours.

Alternatively, if there are suitable life forms available, the larvae may attempt to take over their bodies using the Absorb Form ability, thus bypassing the pupal stage. The larvae will attack any appropriate creatures en masse, but retreat quickly if the potential victim proves capable of harming them. If no mature Wirrrn are present, a larva which succeeds in taking over another creature is likely to become swarm leader - it will not only reach full strength before the pupating Wirrrn, but may also have additional knowledge.

The Wirrrn larvae can form tentacles and lash out at their enemies. These attacks, or any other physical contact with the larvae, causes 4 Wounds and puts the victim at risk of being taken over.

Because their bodies are completely lacking in structure, most physical attacks have no effect on the larvae. Wirrrn larvae have no Armour against energy weapons, etc.

Larvae do not possess the adult's resistance to lasers etc, and are slowed by low temperatures. They are not as intelligent as mature Wirrrn, and cannot make good use of much of the knowledge they may possess. Larvae which take over an intelligent being are initially vulnerable to influence from the original personality.

Absorb Form [Strength]
The Wirrn larvae are able to take over the bodies of other life forms. To do this a larva must first contact the skin of their victim (they can burn through clothing as strong as a radiation suit with a touch, however). If it beats the difference between its total Absorb Form ability and the victim's Strength, the larva's tissue begins to take over, mutating the body into an adult Wirrrn form. The original personality of the body is slowly submerged, although the Wirrrn retains the full knowledge of the victim. To temporarily overcome the Wirrrn personality requires the victim to beat the difference between their Determination and the Wirrrn's. The difficulty increases by 1 after every five hours, until the Wirrrn takes over completely.

This item appeared in TSV 30 (September 1992).

Index nodes: Time Lord Additions, The Ark in Space