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The Towers of X'yeth

by John Hare

After some experimentation to ensure the gates worked properly the Leeches approached the Wizard King of Wendar with their gift of gates to other countries. The King being somewhat suspicious agreed to a small tower outside of Wendar City. A joining one was put up outside of Glantri City. To establish their role as merchants each tower had 3 parts, the gate room, the store and the living quarters. The only door into each tower opens into the store which is open at all hours. The store has a connecting door which opens into the gate room. It also has a second door which opens into a store room, which has access to the top levels of the tower where the Leeches live. The towers are made of what appears to be green stone with red streaks. The tower is rather plump in shape being approximately 40' in diameter and only going up 30'. However the ceilings are lower than normal, having barely enough clearance for those of 7' tall.

The Leeches have a device which sucks out 1 hp from a person wishing to access the gate. It is a blue metal pad upon which the person making use of the gate places his/her hand on it for one round. This does the person 1 hp of damage which is collected into a special vial that is underneath the metal pad. Should the contents of the vial be drunk it acts similar to a potion of healing except that it heals a specific amount of hit points. Each vial is large enough to hold up to 10 hp worth of lifeforce. Should a person hold their hand on the metal pad for another round, another hit point is sucked in. The Leeches monitor the vial to ensure that lifeforce is never wasted due to a full vial.

Some speculate that the Leeches have a weapon which is based on this same idea, but none have claimed to see it or shown proof of its existence.

The Leeches generally have a well stocked store, except that they are reluctant to sell weapons or armour of any kind, and generally don't stock either item. They will however buy weapons and armour. This is from their philosophy that intelligent creatures should always be able to resolve their differences peacefully. Thus they hope to promote peace by taking such instruments out of circulation. They have prices which are similar to most others except that they will accept lifeforce as payment. Of note they don't particularly care whose lifeforce is offered in payment. They are also rumours that they accept slaves as payment, but they aren't seen again.

The Towers are able to move about in some fashion. It is thought to be a magical levitation of some sort as they have been seen to move slowly. However with ropes and horses the towers can be moved fairly quickly. Of course one band of brigands attempted to steal a tower by just such methods but apparently the tower's magical levitation field is not always on.