Delver

Delvers are enormous gastropods covered with corrosive slime and designed for burrowing through stone. Fifteen feet long and weighing several tons, they are most commonly encountered deep below ground, particularly near underground water sources. Surprisingly intelligent, these juggernauts exist to tunnel, surviving off metals— which they find intoxicating, and sometimes maddening— and leaving behind smooth, 10-foot-diameter passages.

To surface-dwellers, stone and earth are often the essence of safety and stability, their unchanging nature used as a metaphor for the stolid and the sensible. Yet below civilization’s very feet, strange creatures lurk in the darkness, twisting and reshaping the world to their alien specifications. With eldritch powers beyond imagining, these presences carve cavernous kingdoms for themselves, raising new races to sentience in their blind world of silent stone.

Delvers now follow their own mystical obsessions, burrowing through the earth with incredible power and speed and leaving a warren of tunnels in their wake. Though delvers possess no magic, their flesh is corrosive to nearly every material that humanoids possess. Also commanding a fierce intelligence and the strength to crush boulders to dust, delvers are slow to anger but terrible when riled.

Though delvers are not particularly malicious, they sometimes come into conflict with other races over their pressing desire to consume metallic ore. Once worked, metals hold less appeal for delvers, but when consumed in their natural state, different ores create a variety of powerful, intoxicating effects much sought after by the delvers. Even trace amounts of ore are enough to produce an effect when consumed in sufficient quantity, giving rise to the popular perception that delvers eat stone indiscriminately. This gluttony is the primary reason why most miners take a dim view of the strange slug-beasts, as few can stand and fight against the rage of a gorging, intoxicated delver feeding on an ore vein.

Still, so long as a significant distance is kept, the sight of a delver is not necessarily cause for alarm, as the creatures have little interest in attacking others save out of self-defense. Some canny adventurers have even made temporary alliances with the intelligent beasts, offering vast amounts of raw minerals and metals in exchange for guidance or service, whether it be directions to a specific site (for delvers see much in their wanderings) or even a custom-built tunnel to reach it.

Notable delvers


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