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.
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.
Absorb Form [Strength]
This item appeared in TSV 30 (September 1992).