Friday, July 29, 2011
Fun with Leeches and Flies!
The common practice of leeching, whereby the spineless water parasites are affixed to those who are unwell with the intent that they should draw forth the bad blood or excessive humors which cause sickness, is in fact only ignorant superstition, and no help at all to those who have fallen ill.
The origin of this error lies in simple, unruned folk attempting to duplicate without sufficient understanding, the performance of Nahwalar’s Marvelous Thaumnivorous Leeches.
That most puissant Viviomancer and life-shaper, by dint of much effort and practice, achieved a spell whereby he might turn the natural actions of the leech to his own advantage and that of the sick he cared for.
This spell, when cast upon a suitable supply or number of ordinary leeches, alters them in such a way that they may be used to ameliorate some unhealthful conditions.
The degree of effect on the patient, and the conditions which may be treated, varies by the number of Thaumnivorous Leeches set to feeding upon him.
A single leech will suffice to draw forth any poison or venom by which the victim’s life is threatened. A victim of poison must receive the attentions of the leech within 4 rounds of the poisoning or envenomation in order to survive. Use of a single leech will cause the loss of one hit point in blood loss as the magically enhanced leeches draw mightily upon the vital fluids of the patient.
A leech which sucks poison will itself die afterwards.
Two leeches are sufficient to cure disease, either natural, or magically inflicted. This includes the infestation by fungal spoors and molds, but not other large parasites such as rot grubs. A pair of thaumnivorous leeches will inflict 4 points of damage upon the patient while removing all trace of disease from the body.
Three leeches must be used to clear the body of the effects of potions, dusts, or other ingested magics. The person so treated will incur 8 points of damage during the procedure.
A set of four leeches will end the effects of any sort of magical Curse, while also causing 16 points of damage to the leeched.
As with normal leeches, thaumnivorous leeches may be removed prior to satiation by the use of salt or fire.
Due to the Laws of Spontaneous Generation, it is wise to destroy by fire any leeches which have become engorged upon magic by their feeding. There is always a possibility that arcane mutation or alteration could bring about changes in a magic-sated thaumnivorous leech which may be infelicitous.
Also, there exists the possibility that a leech, employed upon multiple patients, may in some form transmit magical effects or disease which it had previously drawn from one patient to another.
The spell used to create the Marvelous Thaumnivorous Leeches is quite rare. It has been found to date only in the form of an enscrolled incantation. It prerequires a crystal vessel or decanter of fine workmanship with which to contain the leeches, sufficient solution of aqueous sortilagic fluid to fill the container, and at least four, and no more than eight leeches in good health, as well as a sprinkling of powdered gold and ivory dust.
The spell may of course be copied into a spell book rather than expended directly. All the standard costs and consequences of so doing apply.
Once created, the thaumnivorous leeches will survive within the crystal vessel handily until they are needed.
*Notes of warning, there have been reports that some scrolls containing the engenerative spell have either mistakes or deliberate malignancies written into them. Thaumnivorous Leeches created through the use of such a warped spell result in parasites which directly draw life energy from the patient in a manner similar to some undead. Victims of such leeches will lose one experience level and one hit die per leech attached to them, per round until death.
The Bloodfly Pin.
A large cloak or hat pin of bronze and ruby in the shape of a biting black fly, the Bloodfly Pin isn’t particularly attractive as a piece of jewelry, but it is effective as a magical deterrent.
Once per day, the wearer of the Bloodfly Pin may summon a cloud of vicious biting flies and direct them to swarm a given target. This target may be a single creature, or a designated space, such as a room.
If the target is a creature, the flies will inflict painful, maddening bites causing 1d4-1 pts of damage per round. If the target is a volume of space, then all living things within it will suffer 1 pt of damage per round they remain within it.
The fly swarm will remain for 1D6 rounds before dissipating.
The flies will fly into ears, nostrils and open mouths and make spell casting impossible. Horses and other touchy or high strung animals will bolt and run if attacked by the fly swarm.
The wearer of the pin will draw flies of the normal non biting sort at all times. Usually a half dozen or so will be found buzzing about the general area the pin wearer occupies.
The wearer will also develop a taste for overripe fruit.
If the wearer of the Bloodfly Pin should kill an insect for whatever reason, the next time he attempts to summon the fly swarm, the swarm will target him instead for the full duration of the summoning.
Insects will not attack the wearer of the pin unless attacked first. This includes giant types, but not intelligent insectoids. Intelligent insectoids such as Thri-Kreen, Aspis, etc… will generally feel non-hostile towards the wearer of the pin when first encountered. What happens afterwards is up to the pin bearer.
It's deer fly season here, hot, humid, still, deer fly season. I hate the blasted things.
Google fetched for me the top pic from some wiki type site.
The second came from the Pictoral Arts blog. It's a sketch for a jewelry maker.