the musical loot.
The longer you beat,
the more they toot!
Squash and smash,
(the slower they die)
kill them good!
(the nicer they cry!)
The above children's rhyme (circa -70 EC; an MSG variation of an Olkuull text), though cruelly macabre, is an adequate description of one of the odder facets of the Jorvyll-inhabiting yesticale worms: their death throes. When nearing the end, the worms periodically and intensely vibrate, enough so as to actually resonate and agitate the air around them. The sound is exasperated by the release of gas through a small hole in the worm's posterior; this gas is created during the eating of ghoulwood (the yesticale's favorite nesting material), and is thought to contain a small essence of any Memories trapped within.
This gas and sound serve a dual purpose: it often scares off the instigator of the worm's death (if any; ancient worms die peacefully and with somber tones), but it also contributes to the releasing of any Memory stored in the wood. The sound awakens the Memory, and the released "worm/Memory essence" sparks the idea of a possible escape. Unfortunately for the Memory (and worm civilization too, one supposes), a great many worms must die in tandem to create enough sound (both in persistence and audibility) for the Memory to free himself.
This has happened exactly once, on a Boxing Day in recent memory.
--Morbus Iff 12:14, 15 Apr 2005 (EDT)