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This subject contains information from the "Lovecraft Circle" Myth Cycles, and while guided by HPL are not based on his work alone. This subject contains information from the Expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. The Crawling Ones are a fictional race developed by Chaosium in 1994 for their Call of Cthulhu horror roleplaying game. They were based on entities which appeared in H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Festival," written in 1923.


In past times, good folks were wise to burn the bodies of evil wizards, lest their "essential fats" be eaten and consumed by grave worms and the like. As Lovecraft notes in "The Festival", such worms may be "instructed" and form corruption "horrid life springs". Which is to say, the consciousness of a dead wizard or witch could be consumed (when laid to rest) by worms, maggots, and other crawling things, imprinting the wizard's mind upon them and creating a new form of life intent on carrying on the ambitions of dead wizard. Thus, a crawling one is a union of such creatures, forming a human-like mass, able to disguise itself to pass as human and work its malign intent. The "ingested" will of the wizard effectively drives the mass to work collectively to perform deeds and actions.

Despite their ghastly appearance, a Crawling One is not undead, for the worms that compose its form are living creatures. While the injuries it suffers may kill individually roaches or spiders, this merely inconveniences the "whole" monster, as over time the vermin breed replacements.

Normally, Crawling Ones cannot speak but can use tools, and, thereby, write messages - some may use magical means to create a voice with which to communicate, and are able to learn or remember differing languages. It is unnecessary for crawling ones to use spoken words in performing spells or when communing with their alien overseers or creatures from beyond. In many cases, Crawling Ones are driven to continue the work of their "forbear" wizards, which could be magical experimentation, the adoration of Mythos Gods, or the culmination of a horrific ritual that in life they were unable to complete.


Thousands of maggots and worms make up a Crawling One. Each of the squirming creatures is individually alive and is constantly moving, though the general shape of a human is maintained. Because of the soft resilient quality of the body they create, normal weapons inflict the most minimum of damage.

Crawling ones are unable to speak but they are capable of writing messages. They are all able to use magic and in close combat they use hand-held weapons as they are unable to make physical attacks.