Vampire Leech: A paralyzing parasite for TFT

“A leech that will not quit the skin until sated with blood.”

– Horace


Of all the perils found in the marshes and jungles of Cidri, one most often goes unmentioned as its victims rarely know to be wary before it is too late. These are there dreaded vampire leeches — loathsome bloodsuckers that beguile their prey into immobility before they strike.

The leeches themselves can grow more than five feet in length and are thick corpulent slug-like things that end in a large circular sucker mouth surmounted by six bulbous eyes. Their back sides are mottled brown and green to meld into their environment while their underbellies are pallid white shot through with pulsing red patterns. They are ambush predators, lying in wait in marshy ground waiting for prey to get close enough for them to lunge upward and lock eyes with their victims. Whether it is the eyes themselves or some trick of their writhing movements and pulsating patterns, those facing a vampire leech within one megahex must make 3/IQ save (-2IQ if taken by surprise) or be immobilized as if by the Freeze spell (ITL, p.24) for 2d turns. Figures affected can not move, speak, or take other actions until the effect ends or they are forcibly separated form contact with the leech by another.

Once a victim is secured the leech will grab on with its mouth and drain the victim dry of blood. Rarely does a vampire leech leave its prey alive. Mesmerized figures do not gain shield defenses or any other active protections, but things like armor and toughness still apply. Once a leech causes a hit to a creature it has attached and it will drain 1d hits each round.

Nearly as revolting as the creatures’ feeding habits is the idea that the vampire leech has a strange intelligence that belies its simplicity. There are those who have survived attacks that claim they have seen the spark of cunning in their strange eyes. And many of their habits — not overfeeding, avoiding other predators, clever camouflage, etc. — seem to support the idea that they are more base vermin.

It is even speculated that groups of vampire leeches may exist under the ground that keep sentient creatures like livestock for slaves and sustenance and use their powers to command their chattels every action.

The lifespan of a vampire leech is not known, but it take more than a year for them to gain maturity. Immature vampire leeches lives in ponds and waterways and live in swarms like giant leeches (see the TFT Bestiary). Once mature they are solitary hunters that rarely encroach on another’s territory.


New Creature: Vampire Leech

ST6 / DX10 / IQ10 / MA2 / AD1 /D1d bite
Powers: Camouflage, Mesmerize

A vampire leech is a 5’ foot long barrel-shaped slug with six eyes above its circular sucker mouth that lives in tropical marshy environments. Brownish green mottled top that fades to pallid white shot with pulsing red patterns. It hunts by concealing itself in the underbrush (4/IQ to Notice) only to rear up and attempt to immobilize its victim with its hypnotic power. Those within 1MH of the creature must make a 3/IQ save or be stuck like the Freeze spell.

The leech tries to attach its mouth to the victim and drain it of blood. Once it succeeds in causing a hit of damage it is attached and will do 1d damage each turn thereafter. To pull a leech off you must make a 4/ST test. Up to two others may assist, rolling 3/ST for themselves to remove 1d from the victim’s test.

The strange eyes of the vampire leech have proven valuable in brewing potions like Freeze and Control Person, and can be kept for up to a week.

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