One of the Big Bad Elements of the next game is a parasitic plague named the Wendigo Worm because it slowly drives you into a cannibalistic frenzy. There are four stages and the natural scientist (Dr. Ekim) can work with the assistant scientists to find a cure for it. To begin with, the cures will only push it back a stage or two, buying you some time and letting your character feel normal before it increases again. This is because the Wendigo Worms lay more eggs as part of their growth cycle so killing the mature worms won’t stop the process.
No One Has Encountered This Before So You Won’t Recognise It
Infection is spread either by being injected with the worm eggs (the device we will use won’t look like a needle) or being bitten by a Wendigo. A bite or injection must happen on the torso, neck, face to affect an augmented human (Harry, Cooper, Firestorm, Cinders). The upper back (i.e. shoulders area) represents the neck for injection sites coz obviously no one wants to be jabbed in the neck. A Wendigo might try and bite the arm first, though, if that’s the easiest spot to grab.
People progress through the stages roughly ONCE every 30 minutes or more as the parasitic larvae rapidly expand in size and move to connect with important parts of the body. Resist the urge to speed the process. Yes, being a late-stage Wendigo is fun but you have several hours of game-time and Stage 4’s will inevitably end up either dead, sedated or handcuffed in the corner and you won’t want to do that four hours.
Stage 0: Recently infected. Blood tests won’t work as the wendigo worm hasn’t spread sufficiently.
Stage 1: A headache, feeling spacey and irritable. The wendigo worm are mainly microscopic at this stage. They can be tested for in the blood stream if checked under a microscope.
Stage 2: Growing hunger, growing suspicious of the people around you (encouraging you to hide your symptoms) and becoming increasingly aggressive. The wendigo worm has one large domitor worm growing on the spine at this stage — though at the moment its more of a long noodle. The rest are more like maggots biding their time and breeding new eggs.
Stage 3: A breathing hole appears in the upper part of the spine (use a circle of modelling wax or face paint to draw a visible hole). Hunger becomes intense and you will attempt to eat anything and everything. You will chew your lips, causing your mouth to become bloody, which will also help spread infection should you bite anyone. Even in the late parts of Stage 3, you will pause if hit by Stall for Time (aka “But Wait!”). The domitor worm is much larger now and it bulges beneath the skin. There are other thinner worms in various cavities in the body.
Stage 4: You have become completely subsumed by the will of the wendigo worms wriggling inside of your skull. Everyone else is nothing but food. You can’t speak, beg or respond to Stall for Time. You can still be impacted by Knockout. You gain the GRAPPLE skill for so long as you are in Stage 4 and you regain 1 Faith per 30 minutes that you can spend on this or other combat skills. The domitor worm is much larger now and its head might be glimpsed out of the top of a person’s jumper if it were physically checked.
From Now On: Lost 1 health point every 10 minutes that they don’t feed you a sufficient quantity of food as the worms begin to consume your body.
What Happens If I Die?
Go see Sabrina or hang around in the NPC area (the area of room behind the 8 ball table) until she comes and collects you. You can occasionally come into game as a nearby Zed (will attack PCs and NPCs but not each other) or potentially Wendigo survivor (will attack anyone including each other).