Gredil the Leech was the best healer in Szridhar, but no-one went to him with minor ailments. All of his cures were disgusting, and usually involved some type of bizarre creature. Take for example the Spirit Leech.
The Spirit leech appears little different from normal leeches, though somewhat lighter in color. One very familiar in this sort of critter, perhaps from perusing the Parasiticon will be able to pick these out from mundane leeches.
The Spirit leech, as its name implies, draws nourishment from its ‘host’ by drawing out small amounts of their life-force. The amount is relatively minor, and a single such leech is unlikely to cause perceptible effects, as it will drop off once sated. A single leech will draw forth at most 1% of a host’s life-force, which is easily regenerated by the host overnight.
The danger lies if the host is infested by many, though they are solitary by nature and quite rare. Too much life-force drawn will weaken the host spiritually, creating a vacuum that could allow hostile spirits, such as demons, to take over.
The Spirit Leeches are most easily found in the Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin, where they seem to be quite common and occasionally attach themselves to people visiting these enchanted springs.
As with mundane leeches, the Spirit leeches can be used in healing. Whereas physical leeches can draw poisoned blood from a wound, the Spirit Leech can draw froth maladies infesting one’s soul. Curses, magical poisons and diseases, and even insanities can be drawn forth, slowly, through this means. When used in this manner, the Spirit leeches are sated for several days after use, requiring a large supply on hand. Occasionally, the spiritual toxin drawn forth will kill the leech.
It is said that consuming one of these leeches, alive of course, can impart a portion of the life force that the leech has extracted, possibly boosting health temporarily, or perhaps even extending life by a small amount. Care must of course be taken, for should one devour a leech containing toxic energies - insanities, poisons, even possession - one may visit that malady upon oneself.
Plot ideas and Campaign use
The PCs may have need of spiritual healing, and find that Gredil the Leech is their best bet for a cure. He could be difficult to find of course.
Perhaps the Leeches are vanishingly rare, and are the subject themselves of a quest. Use 30 Legendary Antidotes-Cures for inspiration of locale if you wish.
A villain could have a pit full of these suckers to feed captured heros to. Of course the demise is slow, so the opportunity for escape or rescue exists.
The PCs could carry of few of these along as ‘medical equipment’.
Provides an odd flavor of healing for more esoteric injuries, including that caused by undead.
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? Responses (6)-6
A useful if dangerous little creature.
An interesting danger, an interesting remedy. You could mark it with both the Spirit and Healing freetext.
A question, though: would the little suckers be attracted to someone strongly connected to the spirits, or repulsed? And, what if someone uses the leeches to draw on people's very essence, having an easier time to control them?
These things could have many uses...
Updated: Freetexts for Spirit and healing added.
Updated: Increased plot hooks. Added another use.
Very interesting critter! Will be used.
Hmmm, 'maladies infecting one's soul', eh? If taken with a mundane slant, this leech could actually be used (probably wrongly and with devastating effects!) on actual 'maladies' of the 'spirit'. You touch on it by mentioning insanity.
I'm thinking of a disturbing sect of monks who would use these leeches to literally weed out bad behavior and 'weaknesses-in-the-soul' among their imperfect peers. They would attempt to 'cure' alcoholism, sloth, lechery, and so forth. These misguided blackhearts would be convinced that the Spirit Leeches can make 'bad' men, good and whole again.
That is a very cool idea Muro!