Worms of the Earth
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|"Worms of the Earth"|
|Publication date||November 1932|
"Worms of the Earth" is a short story by
Bran Mak Morn, King of the Picts, vows vengeance on Titus Sulla, a
Searching for a contact with these creatures, Bran Mak Morn encounters a witch who lives in a secluded hut, shunned by her neighbors, who was born from a sexual encounter between one of the "Worms" and a human woman. The witch's price for helping him is "one night of love" which her human-half craves - as men in general are repelled by her reptilian traits. Bran Mak Morn, though also himself repelled, agrees to pay the price. In exchange, she tells him of a
Stealing the Black Stone is a highly risky enterprise - if caught by the "Worms", Bran Mak Morn would die in torment "as no man had died for a thousand years". Fortunately, the barrow is unguarded and he manages to carry out his theft by hiding the Stone at the bottom of a lake. To get it back, the "Worms" agree on delivering Sulla to him. This they proceed with, undermining and destroying a Roman fortress known as "