Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.
13 April 2012
[A to Z April] L is for Lung Leech Swarm (monster)
“Wow, Noatil. You sound horrible. Those coughs, they sound painful...and whatever that is you’re sicking up? Ugh.” The halfling punctuated his comments with a full body shudder.
From outside the ring of light cast by the small campfire, a hand reached out of the darkness and fell on the halfling’s shoulder. “Leave him alone, Dillil. The poor man took a blast right in the face from a lung leech larval sac. He couldn’t help but breathe some of those in. Give him a break; Alakin’s done what he can to cure him. With enough time, Noatil will cough them all up and be back on his feet.”
“That’s all well and good to say, Seandi. I’m willing to be patient, but his coughing and vomiting? He sounds like a small dog trying to throw up the equal of a small ox. Everything in these caverns for at least a mile around is going to hear it and is going to come see. Then we’re going to have more on our hands than Noatil’s stomach contents.” Dillil shuddered again and gagged. “Plus, well.... It’s disgusting and the smell is utterly vile.”
“Peace, Dillil. Alakin is standing watch with Flakim. Shiloru has set wards all around us...unless you do not trust your sister’s magic?” The halfling shrugged in response. “No answer? Hmm. That is telling, indeed. Consider this, then. It is better that Noatil spends a little time making you feel queasy than to have those vermin spawn inside him and infect us all.”
The duo looked over at the sick human just in time to witness a particularly spectacular vomiting event. Seandi’s mouth turned downward in a moue. She held up a hand as the halfling opened his mouth to speak. “Deal with it, Dillil. You have the next watch.”
Lung Leech Swarm
Size/TypeFine Vermin (Swarm)
Hit Dice: 9d10 (51 HP)
Speed: 5 ft.
Armor Class: 22 (+8 size, +2 natural, +2 Dex) touch 20, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/--
Attack: Swarm (2d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, incubation, wounding
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immune to weapon damage, swarm traits, tremorsense 30 ft., vermin traits
Saves:Fort 5, Ref 6, Will 3
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 14, Con 10, Int –, Wis 10, Cha 2
Environment: Any warm or temperate
Organization: Solitary, tangle (2-4 swarms), or colony (7-12 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 6
Alignment: Always neutral
Level Adjustment: --
The bane of all underground dwelling creatures, lung leeches begin their life in a larval sac, usually attached to the wall of a cavern or passageway, although they have been found rarely on ceilings and floors. The larval sacs are patterned similar to a turtle shell, with a thin carapace covering a slightly pulsating, gel-filled sac.
Any unsuspecting creature that brushes against a larval sac, or an adventurer who dares to deal damage to the sac, quickly regret their carelessness. Upon any contact with a living creature, the larval sac will violently explode sending releasing thousands of wriggling lung leeches into the air in a swarm. If two sacs rest side by side, the act of one swarm being released will release the swarm from the adjoining sac, so long as the sacs are within 5 ft. of each other. Where a colony of lung leeches resides, this may cause a chain reaction of numerous swarms, sometimes as many as a dozen swarms at once. Any creature within 5 ft. of the swarm becomes a victim.
Victims of a lung leech swarm must make a Reflex save (DC 16) upon being engulfed by a swarm. A successful save means that the victim sustains only 1d6 damage per round that she remains within the swarm; this damage comes from the swarm’s vicious bites as they attach to the victim. A failed save, however, indicates that the victim has inhaled lung leeches; the lung leeches will then quickly begin to incubate in the victim’s lungs. In the initial round, upon a failed save, the victim will take 1d6 hit points of damage as the inhaled leeches attach to the victim’s lungs, as well as 1d2 points of Constitution damage. As the lung leeches eat their way through the lungs and chest cavity, the victim will suffer 1d2 points of Constitution damage per hour until she is either cured or dies. Upon a victim’s death, the lung leeches will continue feeding on their siblings until only a few of the leeches survive to metamorphose into their adult stage and burst forth from the victim’s chest. A small creature will spawn only 1 adult leech, a medium creature 1d3 leeches, a large creature 1d6 leeches. For each size category greater than large, an additional swarm is required for a successful incubation (two, three, and four swarms respectively) which will re-spawn an additional 1d6 leeches (2d6, 3d6, and 4d6 respectively).
Wherever the adult forms land they each have a 1-in-3 chance of attaching to a nearby surface and cocooning themselves. They are essentially born pregnant; within the cocoon, the infant forms will eat their way out from the parent form to become larvae. The cocoon thus forms a new larval sac within one week.
A lung leech incubation can be cured only by a heal spell, and even then the heal spell will only stop the infestation. For the eight hours following the heal spell, a victim will cough almost continuously in order to cough out the remains of the lung leeches. During this period of time the victim will be effectively sickened. Contrary to the spell’s normal description, when curing a lung leech incubation, a heal spell will only stop the incubation. It will not restore any lost hit points from the swarm attack; neither will it cure the sickened condition. The ability damage can only be recovered through use of a greater restoration spell.
The larval form of the lung leech looks nearly identical to a normal leech, but much smaller. The lung leech also has a slight carapace encircling the front quarter of its body, just behind the mouth parts.
Last year's "L": L is for Lehman Caves