When it comes to horror in D&D the rot grub might be the most horrifying creature in the original AD&D Monster Manual even though it has only 1 hp, causes no hp damage, and the illustration looks like a fishing lure.
Their effect is simple, they hide in filth and immediately burrow into any living flesh that touches them. In 1-3 turns they reach the heart and kill the victim. The only way to stop them is to apply fire to the wound and cause 1-6 hp damage to the victim in the process, or use a cure disease spell (lvl 3 cleric spell, so you need a lvl 5+ cleric nearby).
Your level doesn’t matter. Your hp total doesn’t matter. Your armor won’t help if they get inside and plate might get in the way of your attempts to reach them with a torch. They aren’t magical or poisonous so you get no saving throw, your own magical protection against those things won’t help, and healing potions won’t help.
Adventurers are always sticking their hands into trash heaps, dung middens, and rotting corpses to search for loot. The rot grub arguably needs no roll to hit, but simply latches on and starts chewing. There may be 20 of them in one heap. Did you stick both hands in there? Were you standing in it? How many of your own limbs can you burn before it is too late?
I would be generous as DM and give the players until the final turn of burrowing to respond with fire, explaining that the worms are visible under the skin, writhing and moving toward the torso and across the ribs. You feel every movement. The excruciating pain might make it difficult to help yourself in time if your torch is in your pack and your flint and tinder are sealed in a little waterproof pouch.
Is your friend eager to target you with a fireball or lightning bolt? Sure, give it a try. We all want to see what happens.
At best, you won’t be putting armor back on the affected area until you have received full magical healing or a long bed rest. Good luck with the rest of the dungeon. I hear something big in the next room.
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