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The Leeches of X'yethby John Hare
Parasite Young Adult Elder AC 7 5(7) 3(6) -1 HD 3 5 10-12 15-18 Move 30' (10') 90' (30') 120' (40') 90' (30') Attacks 1 bite 1 bite or 1 weapon 1 bite or 1 weapon +2 1 bite and 2 claws or 1 bite & 1 weapon +4 Damage 1-4 + special 2-8 + special 2-12 + special 1-8 + special/1-6/1-6 # Appearing 1-6 1-4 1-3 1-2 Save as F3 F5 F10-12 F15-18 Morale 10 10 11 12 Treasure Type Nil U V/A Vx2/Ax3 Intelligence 0 12 15-18 18+ Alignment C C C C XP value
Monster Type: Planar Monster, Rare
Immunities: Poison (due to their original function as poison removers they had to become immune or die)
Leeches of X'yeth are inhabitants of the ethereal plane. Because they subsist on the life force of other intelligent creatures, they are generally shunned. Because of this, the Leeches have developed a way to disguise themselves as human. By implanting a Leech egg inside a freshly killed human (no more than 2 days old), the young will hatch and slowly eat away. Eventually the Leech will grow to enough size where its limbs allow it to move the host body in a slow awkward step. During this time it wears the host body like a second skin. Because the secretions of the Leech do not leave the host body it in effect provides the Leech with a form of armour. The host skin turns greyish and more rubbery. In game terms this means that the skin provides the young Leech with an additional 16 hp and an AC 7 (which is worse than the normal AC of 5), any damage done will be split between the 'skin armour' and the inside Leech equally. When the last point of the skin is done it falls away revealing the Leech inside. Until the skin is destroyed the Leech will use weapon attacks, but afterwards will use its bite attack. When it grows to elder size it can no longer contain itself inside the host skin and thus sheds it.
The Leeches vary in size depending on how far grown they are. A parasite is about 3-4' long, is a mottled green and yellow in coloration. It has no true arms and legs at this point but has the beginning nubs of where they will eventually grow from. As such it has an extremely poor movement rate, which leaves behind a foul smelling trail of slime. In the young stage the limbs have in fact grown enough to support the Leech in upright movement and can in fact wield a weapon, they are about 6' long at this stage. It is at this stage that identifying coloration start to form upon the Leech. (similar to human facial features) The coloration schemes can be quite varied in colour including but not limited to: red, blue, violet, brown, green, yellow, black, grey and white. Adult Leeches are normally 8' to 10' long while elders are 12' to 20' long. The Leeches are one fourth as wide as they are tall. However this width can be squeezed into a tenth of its length. (10' Leech can squeeze through a 1' opening.)
The Leeches came into existence as a servitor race for a much more advanced civilisation. They were created to first aid with medical research in removal of poisons from people's systems. Of course they could only be applied for a short period of time before the subject was drained of blood. Over time they were also used to try and remove impurities in the life force systems. It was at this stage that the Leeches began to increase in intelligence. They became willing partners with their creators and learned about their powers of magic and manipulation of other races. They eventually overpowered their creators their civilisation. However over time they overgrazed on their creators and were forced to leave to find new sources of life force. Going forth and quickly trying to conquer several other worlds they discovered it to be more difficult than they thought. They could sustain themselves only for a time with the captured life force. They found that poor containing techniques wasted much life force. Devoting much research into how to capture life force much more efficiently, their scouts and explorers posed as human merchants to capture the test subjects required. They found that they could obtain more life force through parasitic merchant ways than through brute force conquest.
The Leeches require more life force as they age. As a parasite they require no life force but require 10 hp of life force a year as a young Leech. Adults require 50 hp of life force and elders require 200 hp. It is believed that the increased levels of life force required are what allow the Leeches their intelligence.
The Leeches have several abilities. They all have the ability to drain life force from a victim if their bite attack succeeds. Until the Leech is killed or is removed then every round after the bite attack succeeds an additional 1-6 hp are drained each round. With adults and elders the drain attack increases to 2-12 hp and 3-18 hp respectively.
Dimensional Gates, adults and elders can open a gate, which jumps into the ethereal plane and then jumps back into the prime plane. It takes 3 rounds for a gate to be opened and can be held open so long as the Leech, who opened it, is concentrating. However the number of gates allowed at any one time depends on how weakened the boundary between the prime plane and the ethereal plane are.
Proxy Control, elders unlike adults can not squeeze inside a human skin to disguise themselves. Instead they gain the ability to mentally control a proxy from the ethereal plane by means of 2 white translucent tentacle-like appendages which are implanted in the proxy's head. These tentacles reach partially into the ethereal plane and allow the elder to completely control the actions of the proxy. In this instance the proxy must be alive for it to work. An elder may control up to 3 proxies (one for each 6 HD). These tentacles can only be stuck with a +2 weapon. A heal spell will kill the tentacles and place the proxy into a deep coma for 1 month. A second heal spell will bring the victim out of the coma. However the victim will have no memory of the time when under the Leeches control, only up to the time of implantation.
Telepathic powers, starting with young Leeches they gain slight telepathic powers that enable communication. They only seem to be able to send thoughts and then receiving the thoughts of what goes to the speech centre of the person, who they are speaking to.
Spell-like abilities: Adult and elder Leeches gain limited spell-like abilities which help them blend in. Adult Leeches get to cast spells as a 10th level caster Dispel Magic 1/day, Dimension Door 1/day (quick single shot of Dimensional Gate ability), Hold Person 2/day. Elder Leeches cast spells as a 15th level caster Dispel Magic 3/day, Dimension Door 3/day, Hold Monster 3/day, Lore 1/month. Note that elders controlling proxies may cast spells through their proxies but are still subject to the maximum number of uses per day.
They do hold slaves, which are used as cattle for feeding and implanting of new eggs.
They have citadels in the ethereal plane and have allies, which they call upon to help them obtain more life force by quick attacks. It is possible that some of these allies are in fact constructs of some nature.
Leeches never wear any armour, as this would impose a serious restriction on their movement. If unencumbered by a skin or clothing they leeches can squeeze themselves through much smaller openings than one would think possible.