Hellworm (Guide)

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Railwaysmall.png Late-Game Content

Once you have built the first station of your Great Hell-Bound Railway, you get access to the Upper River Exchange.

There you can buy Your Very Own Miniature Hellworm for a measly 200,000x Hinterland Scrip. If you are willing and able to invest that same amount of money once again, you can upgrade it to Your Very Own Miniature Hellworm, Saddled and Bridled. Equipping either adds a fun and profitable card to your Upper River opportunity card deck.

Why Should I Bother?[edit]

A good question, with many possible answers, like:

  • Because it's a hard-to-get item. For some players that's motivation enough.
  • Because it's just so darling, it's like a big fuzzy puppy and it loves you
  • Because it gives access to more unique items, such as
    • Hellworm Milk, which you can turn into Ripened Wheel of Hellworm Cheese through the Whitsun festival
    • Sap of the Cedar at the Crossroads, otherwise only available by spending FATE
    • Vial of Cantigaster Venom, a pretty good weapon otherwise only available by spending FATE
  • Because it adds a very profitable card to the Hinterland opportunity deck
  • Because it is a Crime against the Chain, and a rejection of the authority of the Judgements
  • Stupid question. "Because I can".

How to Obtain Your Hellworm[edit]

Once you have the required Hinterland Scrip, you can buy your Hellworm from the Upper River Exchange.

Typically, obtaining enough Scrip is a months-long process. See Hinterland Scrip-Making for advice on how to go about that efficiently.

To give you an idea of the scale of the task: even if you are a Licentiate, and have enough money (nearly 81 thousand echoes) to buy Bright Brass Skull from the Bazaar, and you have enough Nevercold Brass Sliver, simply turning your Skulls into Scrip through the Licentiate Brass Lollipop grind takes 5164 actions. If you typically spend 100 actions per day playing Fallen London and devote those fully to grind, it still takes over 51 days.

On the other hand, if you start with zero echoes and assume a 10 Scrip-per-Action grind, it takes you 200 days under the same assumptions, or more than half a year.

Upgrading Your Hellworm[edit]

After obtaining your Hellworm, equip it and draw cards at the Upper River. Sooner or later you will come across Your Very Own Hellworm. There you can invest another 200,000 Scrip and play Purchase a hellworm saddle, which exchanges your Hellworm for Your Very Own Miniature Hellworm, Saddled and Bridled, a pretty awesome item in the Transportation slot.

There are further options to spend Scrip to obtain more Hellworm accessories, namely the Hellworm-Riding Boots with Brass Spurs and Hellworm-Riding Boot Polish. The Hellworm-Riding Boots are worn in the Boots slot and give +8 Dangerous and +1 Dreaded. Those stats are no better than that of several other boots you probably already own and only add flavor text when riding your hellworm. The Boot Polish does nothing. There's no reason to buy these accessories, but if you have the money, why not spend it? (Additionally, there is no lock on purchasing the polish, so you can own multiple tins!)

Hellworm Mechanics[edit]

Equipping your hellworm (upgraded or not) grants the In the Company of a Hellworm quality, which allows you to draw the Your Very Own Hellworm card in the Upper River deck.

There you can play options to increase The Disposition of your Hellworm:

Once Disposition reaches 7, you can Milk your hellworm, which reduces Disposition by 7 points again, and gives you random liquid (see below).

Hellworm Milking Rewards[edit]

Milking your hellworm randomly gives you one of 31 possible rewards, ranging from annoying to highly profitable.

Reward Value Notes
Bottle of Black Wings Absinthe - only useful in Ambition: Bag a Legend!
Bottle of Broken Giant 1844 2.5 E
Bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise 62.5 E Otherwise somewhat annoying to obtain
Bottle of Greyfields 1868 First Sporing 0.20 E Otherwise somewhat annoying to obtain
Bottle of Greyfields 1879 0.01 E
Bottle of Greyfields 1882 0.02 E
Bottle of Morelways 1872 0.10 E
Bottle of Strangling Willow Absinthe 0.50 E
Bottled Oblivion 0.01 E Can also be bought from the Bazaar (at an 80x markup)
50x Drop of Prisoner's Honey 1.00 E
Holy Sanguinarine Ointment (0.50 E ) Only useful for Assemble a Tasting Flight of Targeted Toxins
Discriminating Aconite (0.50 E ) Only useful for Assemble a Tasting Flight of Targeted Toxins
Emetic Revelation 12.50 E
Amanita Sherry 0,10 E
Muscaria Brandy 2,50 E
Vial of Tears of the Bazaar 312.50 E Otherwise pretty annoying to obtain
Vial of Masters' Blood 1562.60 E Otherwise very annoying to obtain
Vial of Cantigaster Venom 312.50 E Otherwise FATE-locked. Good weapon.
Sap of the Cedar at the Crossroads - No known uses. Otherwise FATE-locked.
Tin of Zzoup 2.5 E
Oil of Companionship (~65E ) Useful for Lead an expedition to the strangest point on the horizon
Flask of Waswood Wellspring Water (13 E ) Can be turned into 650x Drop of Prisoner's Honey on its item page, used to Search Parabola for the location of a particular treasure, or drunk to gain ~13E worth of items and +1 CP of one of four dreams
F.F. Gebrandt's Superior Laudanum 0.10 E
F.F. Gebrandt's Tincture of Vigour 0.10 E
Nikolas & Sons Instant Ablution Absolution 0.25 E
Hellworm Milk - Up to 2 can be used per Whitsun to turn into Ripened Wheel of Hellworm Cheese with a one-year wait time (worth 312.5E once, then 62.5 E )
Distillation of Retribution (312.5 E ) Can only be cashed out by turning into Discriminating Aconite and then into A Tasting Flight of Targeted Toxins
Salve of Righteousness (60 E )
Concentrate of Self (360 E ) Can be used for Prepare a Curatorial Cocktail
10x A Taste of the Garden - Swamps the London Deck with annoying opportunity cards until used up
Magisterial Lager 1 / 0.5 E


Adding up just the milking rewards that can be straight-up sold to the Bazaar or the Upper River Exchange and dividing it by the number of possible rewards gives an average 73.03 E reward for milking.

If you raise your Disposition through Play with your hellworm, you need to do that seven times before you can milk (and you need draw the card 8 times total). That gives you 9.16 EPA. Plus lots of Nightmares removed, if you have any.

If you have the saddled hellworm, you ride it on average 4.67 times before you can milk it, giving you just as many CP of Scandal, and giving you an extra 4.67 * 2 Aeolian Scream worth 23.35 E . If we add one extra action for getting rid of the scandal, that's 73.03 E plus 23.35 E for 6.67 actions (and 5.67 card draws), resulting in 14.45 EPA.

You can raise the EPA further by transforming some of the other, high-value rewards into items that can be sold to the Bazaar or otherwise used for your own purposes. A full analysis of this is nearly impossible, because it depends on too many factors. Instead, here are a few ideas on what to do with some of these items:

On the other hand, you also tend to draw and play other cards and have to travel to London now and then, which lowers your overall EPA.