The worms are some of the most dangerous creatures that any adventurer can run across, seriously these are bad ass dragon wyrms;"Among the most feared creatures in the Norse lands are dragons, there called linnorms, as noted in the AD&D® 2nd Edition HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (VCS). These great wingless and legless serpents are among the fiercest of the Norse countries denizens, in some cases even dwarfing the power of the vicious giants. Fortunately for the Vikings and other peoples, linnorms are also very rare. Linnorms, like dragons in traditional AD&D 2nd Edition campaigns, have 12 age categories. Linnorms never stop growing, and the older a linnorm becomes, the more awesome and frightening it gets, gaining more abilities, a thicker hide, and the capability to mete out ever-increasing amounts of damage. Sages speculate that the oldest linnorms are insane; centuries of solitude and a fixation on power and wealth take a toll on their intellects. This has not been proven, however, as the only recorded survivor of a battle with a great wyrm linnorm was the hero, Sigurd, who slew the legendary Fafnir. All linnorms are evil and seek to better themselves and increase their riches at all other creature's expenses. While some of the craftier linnorms have been known to strike up temporary alliances, they turn on their partners after the great feat they allied to achieve is accomplished. Most linnorms are solitary because of their selfish natures and because they do not trust their peers, much less other races"
Alright so let's dive right into these monsters & speak about the fact I look at linnorms completely & utterly evil one off indivdual NPC monsters. These things are the central figures & villains of a campaign setting. They cast a long shadow of evil over a setting, the communities, even many of the dungeons of a campaign. There is a linnorm for each wilderness adventure location from forrest to dread. They're all deadly & would easily overwhelm most mid to even high level adventurers in a heart beat. The linnorms are so good that Paizo did a Viking style setting taliored around them called Lands of the Linnorm Kings for Pathfinder. linnorm wyrms are OGL these days & can easily be incorporated into a wide variety of settings but I've got two OSR settings in mind for these insane bastards. The first would be Dark Albion where one or two might completely dominate a country or two. There might also be a very large & dangerous chaos cult associated with a linnorm. This is where Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos comes in very handy.
Now let's stick with the cult of chaos for my second pick here & add in a linnorm into Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Now before anyone here starts booing there are several reasons for this:
- Second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons works very well with AS&SH
- The linnorm are completely individual & one off monsters. They will completely dominate a landscape.
- linnorm will fill the gaps left by the lack of Hyperboreans & other top teir predators within the Hyperborean landscape.
- These bastards make excellent quests for Viking & Keltic PC's within AS&SH.
- The linnorm are perfect for guarding dangerous artifacts or treasures of the ancients. They also have the added bonus of making excellent guardians of Norse or Keltic barrows in the game.
- Linnorm make excellent representives for the Ashen Wyrm of AS&SH especially for the Outer God's cults.