[Demon] Legacy Leech

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[Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Havard » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:44 pm

So the legacy leech (SCMCA - Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendix) has the form of a slug like creature, but is able to disguise itself as a Red Steel weapon. However, in reality legacy leeches are actually demons (tanar'ri) who are banished to the Prime Plane.

Now it is not clear why these demons were banished. We do know that there is more than one of them found on the Savage Coast. What could have been the reason why a group of demons were banished? Could they all have been banished at the same time, or is this just something that happens now and then?

Would there be some way for them to return to the planes? The SCMCA makes a vague speculation of this, but nothing substantial.

Is the Savage Coast the only place on Mystara where these demons were banished? If not, did demons banished to other parts of Mystara take on other forms?

They reminds me of the Huptzeen (AC9) which are Outer Planar creatures bound to objects, but that is not quite the same thing.

Could they be related to Polymar(AC9) or other shape shifting creatures? If so that would make those banished demons as well, I suppose.

Could there be any connection between them and the Navarezan Fiends (SCMCA) or Utukki (SCMCA)?

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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby agathokles » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:54 pm

It seems to me that these entities should be quite rare. For once, they only exist in the Savage Coast, and cannot be present in large numbers. As such, it seems more likely that they are a specific group of Tanar'ri who were banished in a single batch, likely for some reason related to the Savage Coast itself, or some of the related aspects (e.g., it is known that Factol Sarin of the Harmonium, a lawful planar group that is a natural enemy for the Tanar'ri, wears Red Steel plate; maybe these demons were part of a team charged with assassinating Sarin or his Red Steel provider?).
It is also quite likely that there be some condition upon which the Legacy Leech can return to their original form and place in the Outer Plane.

I don't think the other entities mentioned are related -- Narvaezan fiends are quite less specific, and so are the Utukku, who aren't even demons (they come from Carceri, not the Abyss, IIRC).
Even less likely is a demonic background for the many shapeshifting monsters -- most of them are relatively natural.

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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:44 pm

Yeah, this one feels a little bit half-formed (there are a couple of creatures like this in the SCMC- the Deathmare is one of the oddest, IMO). It talks about some of its abilities in demon form, but never gives a description of it. Perhaps its true form is really just a larger version of the leech-like entity described, but with taloned hands?

I'd tend to agree with the reading that they were all banished together for some reason or another, and I'd think that there might be other ways for them to regain their true forms besides just absorbing Legacies. In their current form, though, that seems to be the only method available to them, and would certainly account for their apparent presence solely in the Savage Coast region- nowhere else on Mystara has a "legacy" of Legacies.

Given that they need to absorb Legacies to return home, they may be a very recent phenomenon on the Savage Coast. Prior to the WotI changes, Legacies did not exist as such. So maybe there were Legacies in some very rare form, or perhaps they are only just now beginning to be recognized as a threat, due to the sudden emergence of Legacies. IE, prior to the outbreak of them on the SC, the "Legacy Leeches" were just parasitic predators, but now they recognize that they can absorb Legacies and regain their former might, and so they are actively trying to do so. (Think Highlanders and the Quickening on the Savage Coast, with them all competing to be "the One.")

One suggestion I'd venture forth is that these are not actually tanar'ri at all, but instead they may be Obyrith demons, and they have been trapped on Mystara for a very long time, indeed.
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Havard » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:15 pm

agathokles wrote:It seems to me that these entities should be quite rare. For once, they only exist in the Savage Coast, and cannot be present in large numbers. As such, it seems more likely that they are a specific group of Tanar'ri who were banished in a single batch, likely for some reason related to the Savage Coast itself, or some of the related aspects (e.g., it is known that Factol Sarin of the Harmonium, a lawful planar group that is a natural enemy for the Tanar'ri, wears Red Steel plate; maybe these demons were part of a team charged with assassinating Sarin or his Red Steel provider?).


I like the idea that there is only a limited group of Legacy Leeches. How many we are talking about exactly could be left up to the needs of the individual DM, but this allows us to lock their origins down to a single event.

I do think connecting their origins to Factol Sarin and the Harmonium has potential. My knowledge of Planescape is limited, but what if the Harmonium followed the demons to the Savage Coast and did something to them there that prevented them from ever returning? While there, the Harmonium champions could have picked up the armor and brought it back to Sarin? The assassination option is also possible. Perhaps the leader of the demons actually wore that armor before Sarin killed him and claimed the armor?

It is also quite likely that there be some condition upon which the Legacy Leech can return to their original form and place in the Outer Plane.


Yes. This is also implied in the SCMCA. I guess the Leeches would be working to find a way home. Aquiring Legacies is one way, but could there be others? Savage Coast PCs might also try to find a way to banish them from the Prime Plane. Could some of them already have made it back home?


agathokles wrote:I don't think the other entities mentioned are related -- Narvaezan fiends are quite less specific, and so are the Utukku, who aren't even demons (they come from Carceri, not the Abyss, IIRC).


Perhaps not, but I think it is worth examining all these connections between the Savage Coast and the Planes. The Utukku are indeed from Carceri. They are linked to an unknown Immortal who is an enemy of the Enduks.


Cthulhudrew wrote:Yeah, this one feels a little bit half-formed (there are a couple of creatures like this in the SCMC- the Deathmare is one of the oddest, IMO). It talks about some of its abilities in demon form, but never gives a description of it. Perhaps its true form is really just a larger version of the leech-like entity described, but with taloned hands?


I think their true form is that of some kind of tanar'ri. But yeah it is weird that they aren't more specific.

I'd tend to agree with the reading that they were all banished together for some reason or another, and I'd think that there might be other ways for them to regain their true forms besides just absorbing Legacies. In their current form, though, that seems to be the only method available to them, and would certainly account for their apparent presence solely in the Savage Coast region- nowhere else on Mystara has a "legacy" of Legacies.


Makes sense. If their current state is linked to some kind of curse, there should be some way to break it.


Given that they need to absorb Legacies to return home, they may be a very recent phenomenon on the Savage Coast. Prior to the WotI changes, Legacies did not exist as such. So maybe there were Legacies in some very rare form, or perhaps they are only just now beginning to be recognized as a threat, due to the sudden emergence of Legacies. IE, prior to the outbreak of them on the SC, the "Legacy Leeches" were just parasitic predators, but now they recognize that they can absorb Legacies and regain their former might, and so they are actively trying to do so. (Think Highlanders and the Quickening on the Savage Coast, with them all competing to be "the One.")


Good point. Well, I suppose they could predate Legacies as such, but definitely they could not predate the Red Curse.

One suggestion I'd venture forth is that these are not actually tanar'ri at all, but instead they may be Obyrith demons, and they have been trapped on Mystara for a very long time, indeed.


Cool idea, I was not familiar with Obyrith myself. Personally I would actually prefer that they were Immortals Rules Lesser Demons. You know, like all the AD&D Mystara would be changing classic Demons into Tanar'ri.

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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:29 pm

Havard wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:Given that they need to absorb Legacies to return home, they may be a very recent phenomenon on the Savage Coast. Prior to the WotI changes, Legacies did not exist as such. So maybe there were Legacies in some very rare form, or perhaps they are only just now beginning to be recognized as a threat, due to the sudden emergence of Legacies. IE, prior to the outbreak of them on the SC, the "Legacy Leeches" were just parasitic predators, but now they recognize that they can absorb Legacies and regain their former might, and so they are actively trying to do so. (Think Highlanders and the Quickening on the Savage Coast, with them all competing to be "the One.")


Good point. Well, I suppose they could predate Legacies as such, but definitely they could not predate the Red Curse.


Not necessarily. What I am thinking is that their banishment and curse (or whatever put them in their current form) may be independent of the Red Curse, but that at some point while attacking and absorbing the essence of a Legacy infected human during the course of its miserable existence, one of the leeches discovered that it regained some of its former might. After some experimentation, it learned that this was a repeatable thing it could do to become more powerful, and eventually word somehow spread.

Now, legacy leeches across the face of Mystara have been maneuvering their hosts to the Savage Coast region in order that they can try and soak up all these wonderful little Cursed people that live there.

So, they could be very recent transplants, they could be exclusive to the Savage Coast, they could be directly connected to the Red Curse- or perhaps they are not connected at all, and date to a time independent of the SC and its history. Some of them may still be out there in other places, having yet to hear/discover about the wonderful "healing" properties of Legacies; some of them may have found other means of regaining some (or all) of their former might. But there is a definite (and possibly growing?) group of them in the Savage Coast with a decidedly predatory taste for Legacy-cursed host bodies.
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:22 pm

Dragon #357 (page 67) name-dropped Qij-na the Shattered, who was among seven demon lords who joined together to defeat an obyrith (an elder demon) called the Malgoth. Away from their centers of power, the demon lords' rivals took the opportunity to assassinate or imprison each member of the alliance.

There's no other canonical information on who, exactly, Qij-na the Shattered was, but what if it was literally shattered by its rivals? The shattered fragments of Qij-na, lost and stranded on another plane but still intelligent beings in their own right, discovered that Legacies give them enough power to return to the Abyssal layer that Qij-na once ruled, where, with access to some of their old, lost power, they can begin the process of pooling together and reforming as Qij-na.

I'd make Qij-na the demon lord of weapons, with some of the iconography of a shattered sword. In its true form, it resembled a legacy leech: a much larger, writhing slug-thing with writhing tendrils, each tendril capable of forming any kind of weapon it could imagine, dwelling on an Abyssal layer where the very vegetation naturally formed into hooks and spikes and blades. With such an inhuman form, it's not impossible that Qij-na was also an obyrith, like its enemy the Malgoth. Qij-na was once worshiped by a cult of weaponsmiths and warriors who honored their patron by slaughtering their opponents and using trophies torn from their corpses to create new weapons with which to honor their demon lord. With their patron's defeat and exile, the old shrines were abandoned, identified with the symbol of a broken blade as a last act of devotion and remembrance.

Perhaps, as the demon lord of weapons, Qij-na and his cultists had a particular interest in the possibilities of Red Steel, and so the cult thrived on the Savage Coast in an earlier, more savage time (maybe among the Azcans?). Some dark temple there may have been infused with enough blood and sacrifice to Qij-na that it attracted Qij-na's remnants as the demon was torn asunder and flung from the Abyss into the Astral void.

The Harmonium could be linked to this plot too, as the Harmonium despises demonkind and would be particularly offended by a demonic force corrupting their source of valuable Red Steel armor. Or they might have discovered Red Steel in the first place while tracking down sources of Abyssal corruption in the planes. Perhaps they first discovered it after noting some demon-tainted metal had found its way to Sigil. I wouldn't personally make them responsible for Qij-na's banishment, though that's another possibility.

And perhaps there are there are still those on the Savage Coast who remember the Shattered Sword and seek to aid the legacy leeches in reviving their fallen patron.
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:37 am

Wow! That's a pretty awesome backstory rip! :D

Did you just remember that obscure history of the demons from Dragon, or is this something you've been thinking about for a while?
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:32 am

Thanks. I didn't have Qij-na the Shattered's name memorized, no. I had the general idea of them being fragments of a demon lord, so I looked up some of the imprisoned demon lords in Fiendish Codex I, which led me to google the list of lords who killed the Malgoth. Qij-na seemed appropriate enough that I didn't have to invent a new demon.
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby zontoxira » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:53 pm

Whoa, I never imagined the armour the Harmonium wear is indeed red steel from the Savage Coast. The story of the Malgoth and Qij-na gives me excellent ideas for adventure too, thanks once again rip!
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Re: [Demon] Legacy Leech

Postby Patrick » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:52 pm

The Qij-na the Shattered theory is cool--nice work, ripvanwormer! But here's my OD&D and weird fiction-inspired take...

Since before the earliest memories of today's immortals, there have been a few mortals in each generation gifted with extraordinary magical ability but cursed with madness, recklessness, and cruelty. And a few of these mad wizards gain such knowledge and power that they begin summoning horrors from the abyss. Turning one of these fiends loose to wreak havoc is bad enough, but again and again over history, there have arisen dark sorcerors who go further, seeking to bind these extraplanar demons, trapping them in a vessel and forcing them to serve. There is something about swords that make them the ideal vessels for such intellects, but other weapons and even nonweapon objects have been used from time to time. The dark rituals for summoning and binding are buried in the most vile tomes, but some common elements are known. Summoning such fiends requires the blood of a dragon; the murder of an innocent; and the anguish of a multitude. Binding them to the Prime Plane and into a vessel requires earth, air, fire, water, and steel.

And for just as long, spellcasters dedicated to the defense of Mystara and its people have sought to remove such threats when identified: actually destroying the fiends is beyond the capability of most mortals, even when working in concert, so other approaches are necessary. The high priests and druids of many faiths guard secret and complex rituals that they employ only when they locate such a vessel of evil. Through complex ceremonies and prayer, they can expel the fiend's essence from the enchanted vessel, and then banish it across the fabric of reality, into the dimension of nightmares. And thus the never-ending battle of good and evil continues.

And that would be that... except that, on the other side of the infinitely-thin veil between worlds, a similar battle of good and evil rages endlessly through the ages. Dark sorcerors in the dimension of nightmares similarly bind extraplanar fiends in steel, and Diaboli and other priests and druids perform secret rituals to sever the connection between demon and weapon, and then banish the fiend into a neighboring dimension. The dimension that happens to include Mystara.

Disembodied, the spirits of these fiends rage voicelessly against their long imprisonment within a mere object and the world which they can no longer experience. Vicious, angry thoughts, lacking even the manifestation of a ghost, drifting aimlessly through an alien world they can barely sense. Just as the mortals within the Prime Plane and the Dimension of Nightmares can barely sense them: a passing bad mood; an unexpected flash of rage; vague echoes of inchoate gibbering; disturbingly-writhing tentacles glimpsed out of the corner of the mind's eye.

Over centuries or millennia, most of these disembodied fiends's essences have drifted beyond the skyshield and out into the uncharted void. But a rare few have found a different fate in recent centuries. They have managed to drift into a magical material that combines the core ingredients of the enchantments that work on their kind: blood of the Great One which rained down through the air; ashes of murdered enduks; Ixion's fiery wrath and spellcraft; anguish from many races and peoples; earth and water melded into weird red clay; steel seed and cinnabryl. The vermeil-infused red clay would catch a spirit, serving as a substrate as it re-incarnated and began slowly building a new body. Each of these fiends began its new life in the larval stage common to all fiends, a microscopic sac-like tube with hair-thin tentacles at either end. Sheltered within the red clay, they slowly grew in the coming years, bloating into the slug-like forms associated with legacy leeches. Despite their small, larval bodies still in early stages of development, the legacy leeches still carried the same rage and frustration born through their centuries of exile: angry turgid sacs of filth, feebly writhing in the sunless clay.

And it was this silent rage that attracted Her attention. You see, She had been there when the red clay nursery was first laid down. Nervous about Thanatos' rising ascendancy in the world and the Nithians' persecution of Her followers, she allied herself with Ixion, the Great One, and their allies to form the ad-hoc Council of Oblivion, partnering with Her fellow hierarchs to take direct action against the Nithians, Manscorpions. and Herathians. It was She who, under cloak of darkness, descended beneath Surra-Man-Raa and hid the Pearl. It was Her sorceries that turned entropy upon itself. It was Her secret incantations that bound together the magicks of Her fellow councilmembers: blood of the dragon, anguish of multitudes, and the rest. The rest of the Council seemed uninterested in the lingering effects of their collaborative efforts far to the west. But She sensed potential in the odd fallout, and She watched and waited. She watched, too, for attention from Her former partners--never quite allies--but they stayed away. And it was during this long observation that She first noticed the rage from beneath the surface. Taking incorporeal form, She descended to investigate and found something that reminded Her of the larval fiends in the creches back home. And yet the rage she felt from this little fiend far exceeded anything She had ever previously felt from larva. Fascinated, She returned again and again to observe, gurgling traditional lullabies to the young tentatcle-monster and, over time, discovering more and more of them.

Three centuries ago, She watched as the eldest burrowed its way to the surface. She was intrigued to see that it was more red-colored than usual for young fiends, and that it seemed to glow faintly, disturbing the darkness of the night, much like the vermeil dust that blows off the red clay deposits when the weather is dry. When the sun rose the next morning, She was still observing, so She saw how it instantly began drying the young fiend's unctuous flesh. And She saw how it instinctively reverted to a new form: a rapier, shining red in the sun. She saw the party of dwarves approach, though they did not see Her. And She observed as one of the dwarves bent to pick up the strange sword, and as the young legacy leach pierced his hand and fused. The other dwarves treated this development with suspicion, so she put them to sleep, and then watched in fascination as the red steel rapier wielded by the lucky dwarf pierced the heart of each of his former companions in turn, its might swelling as it drank the powers from each. Throughout the day and night, She stayed and conversed with the dwarf, learning of the fiend's history. Seized from its homeplane by strong magicks; bound to slavery within the vessel of a rapier by some horned sorcerer, residing so long within the rapier that it felt like home. And then forcibly expelled from the rapier by diabolus druids, driven into another dimension, and cursed to wander in silence and disincarnate rage through this alien world. When the sun threatened, reverting to the rapier form felt natural; when the dwarves were incapacitated, drinking their hearts' blood felt even more natural.

When She went next to visit the other larvae, She began gurgling to them of how to transform into a rapier. Over time, She has watched each and every one, learning about additional weapon vessels and passing along instructions for how to disguise themselves. She has tunneled ley lines through the vermeil veins, allowing the young demons to communicate directly with one another, rather than rely on Her as intermediary. And when the eldest had drained its twentieth legacy and began its abrupt metamorphosis, She was alongside to make sure that it found sufficient food and then to evacuate it to her Home plane, where it could thrive. She alerted some of the others of the important potential of drinking legacies, and allowed them permission to share the tips with one another, too. The red clay continues to trap and foster more shades, and more and more of these demons are growing sufficiently experienced to strike out on their own.
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