The purple worm was akin to an enormous (5 feet wide and tall and 80 feet long) and bizarre earthworm.
As its name implied, the purple worm was deep purple in color, with a pale yellow underbelly. Separating its yellow part from its purple part were hard crests going down its sides. It was well-armored and segmented. One end of the purple worm terminated in a large, toothed mouth, with slit-like eyes set above the mouth and dragon's ear-like limbs at the sides of the "head". While many that encountered the purple worm worried about falling into the worm’s mouth, they commonly forgot about the creature’s tail, which was capped by a poisonous paralytic stinger. The purple worm was often depicted as bursting out of the ground and arching itself in a distinctive pose. Purple worms were not able to speak.
Purple worms spent their time burrowing through the underground and sought to consume any organic matter they found. Their favored and most feared method of attack was swallowing their prey whole. Many groups of adventures succumbed to such a fate, disappearing down a Purple Worm's gullet one after the other. Purple worms could also attack with their tail stinger, and by grabbing and grappling with prey.
Purple worms existed deep within the earth. They laired in vast underground caverns when they have consumed too much, allowing them to digest while they rested.
Purple worms were regarded as neutral in alignment, since their aggressive nature was the result of instinct rather than evil maliciousness.
Varieties of purple worms were known to live in lakes or desert plains. These creatures possessed color variations that allowed them to blend in with their respective environments.
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