|Climate/Terrain||Aquatic (salt water)|
Hull worms are disgusting six inch white worms with segmented backs of glossy hard shell. They coat themselves in a slippery mucus secretion.
Hull worms pose no threat to swimmers (although it is disconcerting to have a dozen of the slimy critters swim past you). Due to their slimy body coating of mucus, they are slippery and difficult to grab hold of, especially in the water. If you can catch one, though, it is easy enough to kill.
Hull worms inhabit tropical regions of the world's oceans. Salt is necessary to their survival and they cannot abide fresh water. Placing a hull worm in fresh water (such as a river) will kill it. Hull worms are found in most oceans through out the world except for very cold water. This is why the borrellians never have to worry about hull worms. Even if a Borellian ship becomes infected, the hull worms die when the ship returns to the cold waters of the north.
The hull worm is a threat to all ships for this terror of the deep feeds on wood. They also attack piers, docks and other submerged wooden structures. They typically will infest ship hulls by the hundred, slowing feeding on and weakening the hull of the vessel until numerous breaches appear. Usually by that time, it is too late and the hull is so badly compromised that the ship must be scrapped.
Getting rid of these is of primary concern for many ship captains and dock masters. Ship mages are often employed to detect, find and destroy these pests. A less expensive solution is something known as pakra oil. This oil, which is obtained from the pakra plant, is the cheapest protection, but is only temporary. The oil works best if it is applied to the ship while it is in dry dock and allowed to dry completely. The oil remains effective for about 6-8 months and then must be re-applied.
Not all woods are equal to the hull worm. Pine is its favorite meal. Ironwood stands up to the abuse the best and lasts the longest, but it too is vulnerable. The best wood for ship building is the Mercian Red Oak - a strong, flexible wood. The hull worm dislikes the resins found in the Mercian red oak and hence this wood is immuned to the worms. Mercian red oak is found only in the Mercian Forest. Ships built with this wood command great prices. Unauthorized harvesting of this wood by Ormek and the Coalition is a serious problem.
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.