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During the time of the Galactic Republic, artery worms were a torture method favored by the Nightsisters of Dathomir. The torture involved force-feeding or injecting the victim with liquid containing artery worms. When ingested, an artery worm would burrow through its host's veins, "turning them to molten fire" (according to the Witches) as it digested them. A Nightsister would survive after a day of torture; but others would die, unless they were given a potion containing witch blood, which would rid the victim of the worms, provided the creatures hadn't reached their heart.
In 31 BBY, the Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos was sent on Dathomir to inquire about the sudden disappearance of planet Ova. When Queen Zalem discovered his identity, she decided to "charm him to death" by injecting worms in his arteries. Vos was saved by Ros Lai, Zalem's own daughter, who gave him witch blood potion.
- Star Wars 23: Infinity's End, Part 1 (First mentioned)
- Star Wars 24: Infinity's End, Part 2 (First appearance)
- Star Wars 25: Infinity's End, Part 3