This week’s entry is from the stranger-than-fiction department:

Staff at a British aquarium have captured a massive sea worm that had been terrorizing other aquatic life. For months, the 4-foot-long creature — which staffers call “Barry” — had been devastating coral reef at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Tuesday. The menacing monster also apparently injured a Tang fish.

The creature is covered with nasty bristles that sting and can cause permanent numbness in humans, the newspaper said. “It really does look like something out of a horror movie,” Matt Slater, the aquarium’s curator, told the Mail. “It’s over 4 feet long with these bizarre-looking jaws.”

'Barry' -- Isn't he adorable?

'Barry' -- Isn't he adorable?

“BARRY”: Large Sea Worm
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: bite (1d6-1)
Special: numbing touch
Move: 3 (9 when swimming)
HDE/XP: 2/30

This giant sea worm can reach lengths of 4′ or more and terrorizes other aquatic life. Though particularly fond of eating coral, “Barry” is omnivorous and has been known to attack anything and anyone who enters the water.

The creature is covered with nasty bristles that sting and anyone handling (or stepping on) “Barry” will suffer permanent numbness in the affected area unless a save vs. poison is successful. This may result in a negative to hit adjustment or even penalties to strength or dexterity scores as ruled by the game master unless healed magically.

Full news report here.

I tried to stat “Barry” more-or-less like the real-world version, with the exception of making the numbing effect permanent unless treated magically. Chgowiz, on the other hand, went all out when writing this thing up.

As Mythmere on the S&W boards noted, Chgowiz’s write up sounds eerily like a swimming carrion crawler:

I’m just looking at the armor, the legs, the front tentacles, and the paralysis. Put them all together with that picture, and you’ve got a carrion crawler. The collective subconscious of gamers apparently created something out there in the sea. Everybody stop thinking about Cthulhu!

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