Marsh Bullets

The witch-doctors of the people who dwell on the edges of the Great Marsh seek out the nests of the Turga Leech as the spring thaw draws close. There, they harvest the leeches, which have spent winter curled up in deep hibernation, and hurry back to their lodges. Right after severing the tail of the still sleeping leech, they sing their odd magic and the leech turns into stone, remaining in that state “until it flies as fast as the swallow in the thaw”.

These curled up and petrified leeches are known as Marsh Bullets in the surrounding lands, and the few traders who find their way out of the bogland sell them at exorbitant rates.

Sling

Marsh Bullets may be thrown, but are far more effective if used as sling bullets. If thrown, they have only a 50 % chance of activating, and will otherwise remain dormant. Once activated, the bullet turns into a live, ravenously hungry leech in mid-air, covered in a sticky mucus and with teeth sharp enough to cut into metal. On a hit, D4 damage will be caused and the leech will stick to the target, causing an additional D4 damage each round due to blood loss. Since the tail end of the leech has been cut, it will never be sated, and the blood drained from the victim will spray the surrounding area. The leech lives for about a turn, after which the shock from having been petrified and the loss of its tail kills it.

Removing a leech requires a full-round action, and causes 2D4 points of damage on that round as the fangs are torn from the flesh. Healing magic can be used to remove a leech; a healing spell or potion will seal the wound where the leech is lodged and expel it, causing it to drop to the ground and die. Also, any spell or effect that instantly slays the creature will work. Extreme heat or cold can also be used, but this will usually deal damage to the leech’s victim (removing one with a torch, for example, causes D6 damage).

If the Marsh Bullets are ever targeted with a Dispel Magic, or the enchantment on them is otherwise broken, then they will awaken ravenous and attempt to feed on whomever is carrying them; the exact effect of this is left up to the GM, but an easy way of handling the situation is to require a save vs Paralyzation in order to safely get rid of them before they “dig in”…

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