7 Votes


Hits: 1961
Comments: 9
Ideas: 1
Rating: 3.6429
Condition: Normal
ID: 6727


May 13, 2012, 10:48 pm

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Sheen Leech


A variety of bizarre but otherwise harmless insects.

Full Description

At a glance, a Sheen Leech appears much like a caterpillar except for its colouring which normally ranges from silver grey to midnight blue. This perception only holds, however, until the moment when one observes a Sheen Leech making a diet on flies and other small insects. For then its unique tongue darts out from its mouth in one quick motion, much like lizards. Rather than directly capturing insects with their tongues, however, Sheen Leeches use a sucking motion to draw insects into the lone suction cup that is located at the tip of their tongues. Besides this, the other distinct physical characteristic of a Sheen Leech is that it has a transparent outer layer of membrane-like skin.

This insect is named for its ability to remove the sheen off polished steel and leather during its mating season, which it slowly ‘leeches’ off said items through its suction cup. The sheens acquired in this way reacts with its skin membrane, producing mesmerising patterns frequently of a metallic colour but sometimes with hints of an earthy brownish colour mixed in. Such patterns are the means by which Sheen Leeches attract mating partners.

Additional Information

Items whose sheens have been removed by Sheen Leeches do not degrade in quality in any way as a result of the ‘leeching’. That is, a polished sword might appear lusterless after the ‘leeching’ but still retains its sharp edge and a suit of leather armour is just as durable as before.

Usage in Roleplaying

Lustreless equipment?
The players camp in the opens overnight and wake up to find that any of the steel/leather equipments that were previously shining had become dull overnight. What's going on?

Additional Ideas (1)

I would love to combine this with another bug that takes advantage of the missing sheen though. It attracts a mate, why not something else that may react with the blade.

Perhaps a fresh sheen removal attracts a certain spider that will spin a web cocoon around the "leeched" equipment. Chemicals in the web interact with the leeches excretion and solidify in some kind of uber hard reaction. The web can be removed but it is left with a reddish discoloration that is now much harder than the weapon/armor was. If it is leather, it is no longer supple or bendable. Works best on bladed weapons...but hope it is already sharpened. It will never lose its sharp blade but if it was dull or nicked when wrapped, it will be impossible to sharpen as well.

2012-05-14 03:03 PM » Link: [6727#81424|text]
this is genius and i will be putting this in my world immediately.

2017-09-25 01:28 PM » Link: [6727#97827|text]
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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Strolen
May 14, 2012, 14:58
I like it. Simple, nothing crazy, just a fun twist to confuse and confound.
Voted Cheka Man
May 15, 2012, 15:29
Soldiers in peacetime must hate these things.
Voted Scrasamax
May 16, 2012, 9:56
Simple and strange
Voted Silveressa
May 22, 2012, 6:57
Interesting and certain to drive curious PC's to distraction as they attempt to find a practical use for the leech or fuss over their "altered" equipment.
Voted MysticMoon
June 28, 2012, 11:04
I can see these being popular with alchemists. Their ability to absorb "sheen" could come from some interesting alchemical properties that would be useful in some interesting concoctions.

Potion of glamour: be sure to use a sheen which has fed off of shiny metal.

Potion of inconspicuousness: be sure the sheen has not fed.
June 7, 2013, 14:09
Only voted
Voted valadaar
June 2, 2014, 12:15
The Alchemical tie-in seems to be the best way to use these. Treat them similar to silkworms, only used for exotic Alchemical processes.

So, they could be something for PCs to collect for alchemists, or transport to alchemists, or to find, live and wiggling, in an alchemist's lab.

Voted Murometz
April 6, 2016, 20:21
Lovable bugs! As already mentioned above, simple, yet interesting and strange. Love them.

Link Backs


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

The Candle-Eyed Man

       By: Murometz

The third son of a candle-maker, and secretly a spy, Tsiao Fong Wei betrayed his family, clan, and town to the merciless Qongg Dynasty, causing the deaths of his own family members. He survived to an old age hiding out in the country side and keeping a low profile. One day however, the “Paper Knife” finally found Tsiao Fong Wei , and exacted his revenge on behalf of the folk, dead and tortured.

After a furious struggle, the “Paper Knife” plunged twin burning candles into the eyes of the traitorous old man and laughed, as Tsiao Fong Wei howled in dismay and pain. Some say Tsiao Fong Wei died that day. Others say that the old man somehow escaped despite his sudden anguish and utter blindness.

The truth is lost to time.

But to this day the children of the Red-Ridge County towns and villages are told by their parents to always beware twin lights in the darkness and to never venture into the woods at night, and to keep an ear open for the Groaning Ghost, for somewhere out there Tsiao Fong Wei the Traitor, now a vengeful spirit, stumbles about the darkness moaning and wailing, candles still sticking forth from out of his otherwise empty eye sockets. And though the candles plunged into his eyes all those years ago were a’flame going in, now the wax protuberances are somehow lit from within and burn without, and two flickering lights in the darkness, always portend his coming.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | December 6, 2013 | View | UpVote 4xp

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