The Leechfinger gained an appetite in Faerie. Not the coarse hunger of a Gristlegrinder, or the predatory urge of a Hunterheart, but a soft, gnawing appetite, both hunger and thirst. It may be a craving for blood or breath or even slivers of soulstuff, inherited from a Keeper far more ravenous than his changeling pets. Now among mortals once more, the Leechfinger is often defined by how she decides to indulge herself. Some Leechfingers embrace their odd lusts, perhaps joining the Court of Desire to be among like-minded Lost. Others restrain themselves with stoic ascetism, treating the occasional sip of a victim’s vital essence as a pragmatic necessity, not a vice to be indulged. Leechfingers are difficult to recognize for what they are. They may appear as Darklings of almost any stripe, whether smoothly scaled or bowed under tangles of matted black hair. There are no common traits to distinguish Leechfingers (though the great majority are quite fair at least of face), but a well-educated fae scholar may pick out a few of their possible tells. Some are fishbelly-pale, flushing to a slightly pinkish pallor after using their kith blessing. As befitting their common sobriquet, peculiarly attenuated and flexible fingers may be a kith mark. Some have the delicately pointed needle-teeth of a vampire bat, while others are entirely toothless, or even possess the jawless mouth of a lamprey. As Wyrd rises, a Leechfinger may feel an increasing level of hunger, and that hunger may shine in her eyes like witch-fire. Or perhaps there’s nothing in her eyes at all — meeting her gaze is like looking into the eye sockets of a hollow porcelain doll.
Leechfingers are often shaped by their Keepers more than their environment. Many Leechfingers were born from exposure to their fae masters’ own vampiric hunger, tapped repeatedly like a favorite bottle of wine. Leechfingers may also have been changed over time by exposure to a particularly strange diet, developing unusual hungers from the bizarre concoctions they were fed. Some were even abandoned early by their Keepers, and became hungry wandering the tangled forests of the Arcadian night.
Leechfingers are tied to those legends of fae that steal breath or blood or souls. The possibilities are numerous. Leechfingers might have been tied to succubi and incubi, beautiful and hideous in turn. Some might take on a faintly animalistic appearance, like a cat or fox, animalistic without being a Beast proper, reflecting stories of breath-stealing animals. The goat-footed gwyllions and bird-taloned Lamashtu may represent a Leechfinger’s Keeper, as might the more diabolical demon lover of English folklore or the Scandinavian mara. One might note that there seems to be a far greater tendency to assign vampiric traits to female faeries and demons. While this may be true, Leechfingers are unlikely to reflect that gender divide. Their Keepers are really things without gender, who wear a sex much as one wears a favorite shirt, and who abduct men and women in equal measure. There’s no reason to limit a male changeling from resembling the Swedish skogsra — a hollow creature that haunts the forest — simply because the skogsra is depicted as female.
Cannot enter a dwelling without invitation, may not eat solid food, can be enthralled by a game of cat’s cradle, cannot attack someone with fresh flowers pinned to his lapel, repelled by blasphemy, cannot enter a child’s dreams.
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