A man admits to arson but swears he didn’t kill the girl inside – the worms bursting from her stomach did.

CWs: sexual content, infestation, gore, human cattle


A sect of ageless Disciples of the Worm (DotW; see DG’s Targets of Opportunity) have embedded themselves within McKinley Pharmaceuticals, gaining unfettered access to opioid medications to cope with the agonizing pain of hosting their worms without the tedium of the drug trade.

Using the Second Chances homeless rehab nonprofit as a front to provide subjects for new Brood Mothers, these DotW experimented with inserting worms from opioid-saturated Mothers into dry hosts and back over generations to “engineer” the worm s to s ecrete opioids alongside their regenerative fluids to sate their own withdrawals. Mother 72 was successful - more than they realized. This artificial selection evolved worms that could breach the GI tract, embed in the host’s spinal column, and influence them.

Disciple Tatiana Sokolov was implanted with one of 72’s worms as a trial, and has been AWOL since 72 mysteriously burst. DotW seeks to collect Tatiana. Her new Queen wishes to propagate and destroy inferior worms to ensure survival.


  • Worms
    • Spiked, 2-3ft long, ~3” diameter, embeds in GI tract, secretes regenerative fluids in host, hermaphroditic - can self-replicate.
        • 72’s worms erupt from hosts with insufficient nutrients, seeking nearby bodies.
  • Herbal tonic
    • DotW compound synthesized to prevent worm replication if taken regularly


The Outlaws recently installed a bot to scrape witness statements entered into federal databases for unusual terms. This statement was flagged last night:

‘Timothy Hodges pleads guilty to setting his apartment ablaze, but not guilty to second-degree murder for the woman still inside - claiming she was dead before starting the fire. Suspect testifies after intercourse, “her abdomen ruptured with worms squirming inside”… In panic, he set fire to the bedroom and fled. ’

The Handler fears spreading contagion and orders Agents to monitor the police scanner for similar incidents. Orders: Contain, Destroy, Cover-up.

Timothy Hodges

A pudgy accountant who got un lucky at the club. His statement, recorded in witness interview tapes, is accurate.

Officer Carpenter’s notes: “Suspect requested STD kit – negative. Tox screen – high opioid levels. Likely took some Oxy, killed the girl, hallucinated from guilt, and set fire to cover evidence. Ship to County Prison for holding with $250K bail till trial.”

Hodges unknowingly hosts Tatiana’s worms. In person, he now looks gaunt, sometimes lucid, and corroborates feeling weird sensations under “Emily’s” skin.

  • PERSUADE: He confides sex was good, even though she stuck a finger in his bum (it wasn’t a finger).

He is a ticking bomb. Due to meager prison meals, he may pop before he’s moved for trial…

Emily Yoon

Pre-PharmD, Chemistry major. Identified via dental records.

Interned at McKinley Pharmaceuticals with Dr. Sokolov as her mentor.

Strict about dieting for appearance, she primarily used low-cal jelly snacks to stave off hunger, making her worms quick to pop.

Her concerned roommate knows:

  • Em’s been acting weird lately, neglecting her studies.
  • She last saw Em getting ready to go partying, although they have exams tomorrow.
  • Em wasn’t a partier - could barely handle alcohol.

Tatiana Sokolov

Apparent age 39; chemist at McKinley Pharmaceuticals; co-owner of Second Chances; new Queen’s host.

Suffers delirium from the Queen’s influence on her nervous system, which caused Tatiana to lapse in her tonic dosage, enabling worms to replicate. Driven to frenzy near “inferior” worms, with occasional lucid moments.

Always supporting women in science, Tatiana favored Emily but let her get too close… The Queen intensified this maternal favor to invite Emily out, then in delirium, drug Emily’s coffee, and implant worms while she slept.

Afterwards, during a bout of lucidity, Tatiana realizes her actions and returns to her apartment to retrieve supplies and find Emily. Senior DotW Yousef Abbasi was staking out the apartment to retrieve Tatiana and remove 72’s worm for her safety. Enraged by her Queen, Tatiana disembowels Yousef and rips his worm apart.

***During the struggle, her neighbor makes a 911 domestic violence call which Agents can hear over police scanners; emphasizing a woman screaming. However, she’s gone well before Agents arrive.

Tatiana believes she’ll be executed unless she can fix this; ideally using a new Brood Mother (Hodges, etc.) to study & perfect this latest worm strain. She takes her remaining tonic (not enough to last), a go-bag, and jumps from her 4th story window to lay low, in case others were watching the door. Her further movements are up to the Handler.

Tatiana’s apartment clues:

  • Yousef’s body, intestines spooling from the ripped hole in his abdomen. SAN 0/1D3
    • Wallet contains cash, license, McKinley Pharmaceuticals ID, Second Chances business cards
    • Clutching a chef’s knife, point-down
    • Clothes are bloody & shredded, but no injuries on his body except the hole
      • MEDICINE: Evidence of healing from the ripped organs SAN 0/1D2
    • Appearing age 30, he wears full dentures
  • Heavy blood spray across the walls
  • Kitchen floor: The bloody pulp of Tatiana’s degloved hand (thumb still attached) inside one closed clasp of industrial-strength handcuffs.
  • Remains of Yousef’s worm, bitten, ripped, and scattered across the apartment.
  • Tatiana’s McKinley Pharmaceuticals badge
  • Office: Tax documents strewn about, detailing personal taxes and 501(c)(3) documents for Second Chances.
    • ACCOUNTING/BUREAUCRACY + time: Follow Tatiana’s records to property addresses, including one nearby listed online as the foreclosed Shady Acres Retirement Home.
    • BUREAUCRACY + time: Tatiana’s identity is expertly forged
  • Multiple pill bottles of Oxycontin
  • Balcony door is ajar
    • Things are scattered near the balcony door, like someone hastily pulled something out of the cabinet.
    • There is a slight depression in the grass 4 stories below. A short blood trail leads towards town then stops…
  • Bedroom SEARCH: hidden go-bag near the window containing an alias ID, $20,000 cash, and a silenced pistol.
    • INTx5: “Maybe she had multiple go-bags near windows?”

McKinley Pharmaceuticals

Corporate pharmaceutical production plant primarily manufacturing opioid medications.

Tatiana has worked as chemistry research staff for several years with a sterling reputation. While she didn’t interact with employees much, she seemed to take a shine to Emily. Odd that she hasn’t been to work lately…

Yousef worked security, but no one remembers them interacting.

Three other Disciples hiding here who will deny any involvement, contradicting employees:

  • Dr. Amir Lee - physician; interacts with Tatiana
  • Mark Han - delivery truck driver; interacts with Yousef
  • Gregory Davis - security; interacts with Yousef

Second Chances

Ostensibly an aid organization assisting those struggling with homelessness & addiction with nowhere to turn. Offers live-in rehab at clinics near major US cities. Once clean, patients are set up with fresh starts in new cities.

The website is vague on details like locations, only saying “Contact us for more information” which leads to automated voice-mail.

Shady Acres

Isolated in abandoned suburbia with a fading Shady Acres sign outside. Outside-facing glass has been reinforced and exterior windows/doors are kept locked. Basic security camera setup inside. See Maps.

Incoming patients sign “paperwork” (waivers of rights in case others contact missing persons) and exchange clothes for hospital pajamas. 1-2 patients housed for a time, then during sleep are drugged and lobotomized in the soundproofed exam room. After they’re healed & all drugs are out of their system, they’re moved to The Farm for worm implantation to become Brood Mothers.

Surface-level, everything is legit. All rooms are stocked and contain mundane (albeit thrift-shop quality) items, with no connections to outside. Nurse’s station doors automatically lock.

The West wing door is soundproofed & locked with “ Under Construction: Employees Only ” signage. If opened, groans like wounded animals echo within the hallway…


Patient files, research notes, sample freezer


Renovated with UV lights & hydroponics to grow wild varieties of plants used to synthesize herbal tonics.

(*** Tatiana might attempt raiding these supplies provided sufficient distraction.)

The Farm

Animal groans become screams behind another soundproofed door. Cinderblocks have portioned the shallow pool into 12 spaces.

Inside are massively bloated Brood Mothers:

  • Obscenely engorged stomachs wriggle like giant earthworm-filled balloons ready to burst
  • Heads are secured at the edge of the pool, with feeding tubes down their throats (tubes suspended from ceiling, snaking into another room).
    • Sharpied numbers written on their foreheads
  • Eyes are dumb and uncomprehending
    • MEDICINE: Possibly lobotomized
  • Dirty water seethes with newly birthed worms

On the right :

  • Subjects are placid. IVs in their necks.
    • MEDICINE/SURGERY: Contents labelled Olinvyk; an intravenous opioid used in surgery

On the left :

  • Source of the terrible screams
  • Emaciated appendages feebly splash the water
  • Eyes are wide, panicked, and tearful
  • One segment is covered in gore. 72’s neck dangles secured above a massive ruptured stomach, sodden in brackish water.

SAN 1D6/1D10


Jury-rigged gristmill to grind expired Mothers (re-entered into their food supply).


Contains personal effects, weapons, and firearms.

Inside one of the showers sits something resembling a gynecological exam table, but that requires subjects to lie on their stomachs, with heavy leather straps to secure the arms & legs…

*** If compromised, Disciples will take or destroy everything and vacate within 24 hours.


This scenario hook was inspired by Writhe from Magnus Archives.

GM Map


Player Map



The Worms

STR 5; CON 8; SIZ 2; INT 2; POW 4; DEX 14;
HP 5
Movement: 4 (half human speed on land); 9 (faster than human swimming)
Attacks :

  • Bite: 33%; 1D3 damage.

Traits :

  • Burrow : If a bite is successful, it latches onto the host and will attempt to burrow. Each subsequent round the worm uses its action to burrow further into the victim for 1D2 points of damage, becoming fully submerged after 3 successes (critical success, it has already begun to burrow once).
  • Horned ridges : The worms all are covered in sharp piercing spikes and legs. Attempting to grab or handle a live thrashing worm without thick leather gloves or other implements will cause 1 point of damage per round.
  • Removing a worm : Requires a successful Surgery roll and a Luck roll to remove a worm with no damage to the host. Failure on the Luck roll can inflict up to 1D6 damage and inflict lasting injury to the host. Worms may be poisoned from within a host using a successful Pharmacy or similar skill by subjecting the host to toxic conditions (such as chemotherapy, etc.), then requiring Surgery to extract their bodies before they rot and induce sepsis inside the host, which will likely be fatal.
  • Limited Regeneration : Worms may only regenerate while inside a host, at the same 1D6 per round.

SAN 0/1D2 for seeing a worm; 1/1D6 for seeing a worm emerge from, or burrow into a host

Brood Mother

STR 9; CON 15; SIZ 35+; INT 0; POW 5; DEX 3;
HP 27
Movement: 1


  • Bite (close range) 44%; 1D4 damage. Ever ravenous, it’s important to keep one’s fingers clear of a Mother’s mouth.

Traits :
Enhanced Regeneration : Thanks to their brood, Mothers regenerate 1D10 HP per round. Close-range shotgun blasts to the head and spine for at least 15 points of damage should be sufficient to kill the mother, which will cause their brood to attempt to escape. It will be difficult to kill the swarms of parasites they hold without some area of effect damage (e.g. explosions, electricity, flamethrowers, etc.)
It’s a Boy! : Brood mothers birth new 3-4’ long worms from their anus every few minutes. Triggers a separate SAN roll of 1D2/1D6 to observe.

SAN 1D4/1D8 for seeing a brood mother

Disciples of the Worm

Names (falsified):

Yousef Abbasi (McKinley; security)
Dr. Amir Lee (McKinley; physician)
Mark Han (McKinley; truck driver)

STR 11; CON 13; SIZ 12; INT 18; POW 13; DEX 12; APP 12; EDU 19;
HP 13
Movement: 8; human average, some may be faster

Languages: English, Spanish, Pashtun, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Muvian Naacal, Aklo

Attacks :

  • Unarmed 70%; 1D3 damage; aged and nearly unrecognizable martial arts techniques
  • Melee Weapon (security baton, knives, etc.) 70%; 1D4 to 1D8 damage (depending on weapon)
  • KSG Tactical 12-gauge shotgun 70%; 2D8 close, 1D8 up to 20m, 1D6 past 20m; 12 round capacity
  • *The KSG is just over 2 ft long & can be concealed under robes
  • Modified 9mm Uzi - 70%; 10% Lethality, 1-3m Kill Radius; 2 burst capacity, then reload

Traits :

  • Skilled : Due to their prolonged lifespan, aged Disciples of the Worm have a wide range of skills and speak multiple languages; however their knowledge of science and current affairs is likely far out of date.
  • If it doesn’t involve modern technology, they will likely have a skill of ~70%, though for example their computer use skills may only be as high as 20%.
  • Regeneration : Their host worm causes them to regenerate 1d6 HP per round, and continue regenerating as long as their brain has not been destroyed by a single attack causing >10HP of damage, or destruction of their abdominal cavity containing the worm.
  • On a hit, a Called Shot to target where the worm might be (-20% penalty) inflicts damage as normal and gives a 33% chance of hitting the worm and dealing the same damage (HP: 5). The target will stop regenerating if the worm is dead.

Spells :
Ascend to Higher Plane
Find Gate
View Gate
Exaltation of the Flesh

Tatiana Sokolov

STR 11; CON 13; SIZ 12; INT 18; POW 13; DEX 12; APP 12; EDU 19
HP 14
Movement: 8

Languages: Russian, English, Spanish, Pashtun, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Muvian Naacal, Aklo

Attacks :

  • Melee Fighting 70%; 1D3 damage; aged and nearly unrecognizable martial arts techniques
  • Melee Weapon (security baton, knives.) 70%; 1D4 or 1D8 damage (depending on weapon)
  • KSG Tactical 12-gauge shotgun 60%; 2D8 close, 1D8 up to 20m, 1D6 past 20m; 12 round capacity
  • *The KSG is just over 2 ft long & can be concealed under robes
  • Modified 9mm Uzi - 60%; 10% Lethality, 1-3m Kill Radius; 2 burst capacity, then reload

Traits :

  • Skilled (New Recruit) : A comparatively newer member of the Disciples, Tatiana has above-average skills for most checks including Computer Use, as well as skills in Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, etc. above 60%
  • Enhanced Regeneration : While infested with multiple worms, regenerates 1D8 HP per round. The number of worms within Tatiana’s system means a called shot cannot kill a single worm and stop regeneration.
  • No Pain, All Gain : Due to the analgesic effects of the new breed of worms, Tatiana literally feels no pain and can recklessly injure herself to succeed, knowing that she will quickly heal.
    • Tatiana can take an additional 1D3 damage to turn a physical skill failure (e.g., athletics, grappling) into a success, or double her damage on a melee attack – breaking her own bones in the process.
  • Queen’s Rage : As the new Queen has seated herself near the spinal cord, she is able to exert subliminal orders to her host. As a result, Tatiana experiences uncontrollable fury towards hosts of worms from the old brood, and will seek to end them with extreme prejudice.
  • Worm Transfer : Due to the number of worms in Tatiana’s body, she can attempt to cause an abdominal injury to a target, wound herself to extract a worm (1D4 damage), and then shove it into the wound to forcefully implant it. If a wound is already present, this takes 2 turns to complete (See Worms > Burrow above).
  • *Attempting to rip the worm out at this point is possible with a STRx5 roll, but unwise, as it will cause 1 point of damage from gripping its spines, and then 1D3-1D6 damage from ripping all the tissues out on its way. If a victim is conscious when this occurs, they suffer 1D6/1D10 SAN loss.

Spells :
Ascend to Higher Plane
Find Gate
View Gate
Exaltation of the Flesh


Writhe was written by Lex Hurley for the 2023 Shotgun Scenario contest.
Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Iu_hwW91P9HyeiIDPRfzfVyvJjbeOJ8MklgAgKqojxA/edit

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.