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  • Silverfish are a razor-toothed, carnivorous vermin found deep in the bowels of the earth. While fierce individually, large groups can devour an adventurer in seconds. These creatures are often encountered in swarms, of which a couple of members are always active. If the active members are attacked, or spot prey, they emit a high-pitched shriek that awakens other silverfish within hearing range.

    Although they are a common danger in ancient temples and abandoned stonework, adventurers more commonly encounter them as part of a death trap of some sort. These vermin are often added to narrow passages, pit traps, or underground tunnels as a cheap and deadly method of keeping out unwanted intruders. While burrowed, silverfish can lie dormant for years, but have an acute sense to vibrations to detect creatures that move nearby. Swarms can locate moving creatures and objects utilizing this tremorsense. When swarmed, silverfish will attack any living creature, but they will become particularly aggressive if they smell the blood of an injured creature. When all other creatures close by are killed, or have fled, silverfish feast upon any corpses left behind, even of their own kind, and then burrow back into stone, leaving almost no trace of their presence.

    Though their population and hives are difficult to number, silverfish appear to have some sense of serving their queen, who guides the swarms towards new territory dependent on food supplies (of which she is always given a share). A queen lays new eggs monthly, and will often devour them whole should food prove too scare. These eggs average the size of a human fingernail, and have a texture akin to gravel. They are incubated in solid stone for twelve days before hatching into larvae, at which point they grow by devouring nutrients from the stone around them. It is for this reason that many biologists believe the larvae to be the primary means to a hive's growth, the swarms themselves seeking only food rather than building the hive or serving its functions.

    As a hive mind, silverfish cannot learn or deduce, although they do have the instinctual capacity to shriek first instead of directly attacking when detecting prey. When scouting for silverfish, careful examination of stone surfaces for the tiny teeth marks denote an entry point. Terramancy is particularly effective against a burrowed swarms, expelling them from their burrows and allowing exterminators to strike at the exposed and stunned vermin. As a hive mind, they are also vulnerable to compulsion spells, as long as they are not within immediate range of a queen.

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