Pit Leech

Aberrant Cultists

Pit leeches are a devout, but annoying,  race of chittering and skittering aberrations who worship those they feed on. By placing astral tethers, they form a quasi-parasitic relationship, taking slow sustenance in exchange for granting improvements to the creature's mental capabilities.

Pit leeches can receive information on their subject's deeds in the form of shared dreams with other pit leeches that have tethered to the same creature. They build up a sometimes complex religion based on their victims deeds and apparent motivations, and count as worshippers for characters that track them.

They are not malevolent, per se, but if enough of them attach to someone, they become a major threat. 

Confidence in Numbers

Unless their group has taken recent losses, pit leeches are never found in groups of less than 5. If even one Pit leech survives, it may lay 1d4 eggs per week, which hatch after seven days. They always start a fight in groups that are increments of 5, and will flee passively if forced to fight alone. 

Psychic Lore-keepers

Pit leeches don't quite have a hive mind -- each has their own personality and quirks, but they can transfer knowledge between members of their own group. Newly hatched Pit Leeches receive a rapid education from their parent via a process called "The Glow". The offspring surround their parent, and it emits a glow that they bask in. After 1 hour, the newly born are full adults.

Those that hatch after their parents were killed still learn, but slowly and over time. They don't inherit their ancestor's religions.  They learn socially upon meeting other pit leeches. They cannot receive The Glow, and often go into hiding until the group is mature after three months. When they are adults, they head out looking for someone or something to worship. 

Pit Leech Pod

Medium Swarm of Aberrations, Lawful Neutral

Armor Class 18 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 30 (5d10)

Speed 40 Feet

STR: 12 (+1)   DEX: 20 (+5)   CON: 11 (+0)   INT: 18 (+4)   WIS: 12 (+1)   CHA: 11 (+0)

Acrobatics, Athletics, Religion, Persuasion, Stealth.

Damage Resistances Bludegoning

Damage Immunities Thunder

Condition Immunities Charmed

Senses Darkvision 60 ft. 

Languages Hrum, Imperial Common (Undercommon, and Common)

Challenge 5 (1,800 xp)

TRAITS

 

Multiattack. A Pit Leech Swarm may make three attacks per round. 

Swarm of Individuals. Every 6 HP lost represents one Pit Leech that dies. When one dies, the swarm's maximum HP is reduced by 6. When only one Pit Leech remains, it becomes an Individual and attempts to flee. It is reduced to a maximum of 3 HP.  

Healing Tether. For every Astral Tether that they anchor (their victim must fail three saving throws), the swarm heals 1 HP, to their maximum value. 

ACTIONS

Astral Tether. A Pit Leech swarm may make a special touch attack at +3 to hit. If it lands, the target must make a DC 14 Charisma Saving throw or be charmed relative to the entire group of pit leeches. 

A character may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end this effect, but if they fail this saving throw three times, the effect becomes anchored. 

A creature or their allies may only remove anchored tethers by killing all of the the Pit leeches in the group, or with a Remove Curse spell. The creature that the tether is anchored to will always recognize a pit leech from the pod that anchored the tether to them. Each Pit Leech may only place one tether per creature. 

For every five Astral Tethers a creature has anchored to them, they may increase Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom (their choice) by 1 point, to a maximum of 20. Additionally, when each Astral Tether is anchored,  the target's hit point maximum is reduced by 1. When all of the anchors are removed, the character's ability scores and HP return to their normal values immediately. 

Claws.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, 1d6 damage.

PIT LEECH INDIVIDUAL

Tiny Aberration, Lawful Neutral

Armor Class 18 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 3 (1d4)

Speed 40 Feet

STR: 12 (+1)     DEX: 20 (+5)     CON: 11 (+0)     INT: 18 (+4)     WIS: 12 (+1)     CHA: 11 (+0)

Acrobatics, Athletics, Religion, Persuasion, Stealth.

Damage Resistances Bludegoning

Damage Immunities Thunder

Condition Immunities Charmed

Senses Darkvision 60 ft. 

Languages Hrum, Imperial Common (Common and Undercommon)

Challenge 1 ( 200 xp)

TRAITS

Terrified. A Pit Leech Individual will only attack or even fight back if cornered.  

ACTIONS

Astral Tether. A Pit Leech may make a special touch attack at +3 to hit. If it lands, the target must make a DC 14 Charisma Saving throw or be charmed relative to the entire group of pit leeches. 

A character may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end this effect, but if they fail this saving throw three times, the effect becomes anchored. 

A creature or their allies may only remove anchored tethers by killing all of the the Pit leeches in the group, or with a Remove Curse spell. The creature that the tether is anchored to will always recognize a pit leech from the pod that anchored the tether to them. Each Pit Leech may only place one tether per creature. 

For every five Astral Tethers a creature has anchored to them, they may increase Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom (their choice) by 1 point, to a maximum of 20. Additionally, when every Astral Tether anchored,  the target's hit point maximum is reduced by 1. When all of the anchors are removed, the character's ability scores and HP return to their normal values immediately. 

Claws.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, 1d6 damage.