A ling is a type of elemental being or golem, formed from a non-organic substance with a tiny organic heart. They can control their own shape within a fixed diameter sphere (only waterlings are ever likely to be precisely spherical). The tiniest, size 1 lings, are adorable things an inch or two across, something like a blob of sentient water from a studio Ghibli movie, or those cute long-legged smuts in Spirited Away. These smallest of lings are always friendly, and will often attach themselves to a player character, burbling away at them for hours on end.
Larger lings are something else entirely. Often hostile, they range in size from a few inches to hundreds of feet across, the largest being the size 6 godling, with a size and presence similar to that of the Forest Spirit in Princess Mononoke.
Most lings are resistant to all except one type of attack (see Ling Types for details of which types). Attacks by any other weapons or spells does only half damage, but attacks of the type a ling is vulnerable to will do double damage.
A ling attacks by throwing itself at a foe. On a hit, they become automatically attached to the victim. On the next round they will crawl towards the nearest orifice (usually an ear, nose or throat, but could be… somewhere else) unless someone attacks them and causes damage (50% chance to damage the person that the ling is clinging to). On the third round the ling will enter the victim’s body unless a constitution save is made (see Ling Sizes for details of save DC).
Each round that the ling remains inside, the host may make another constitution saving throw. Success means that the body has rejected the ling, which flies out and lands on the floor nearby. Failure means that the ling has control over a part of the body. The amount of a body which a ling can control is roughly equivalent to to the ling’s diameter. Different lings target different systems of the host’s body, as described in Ling Types.
Multiple lings can inhabit the same body. in this case, they may control multiple body parts. The host has to make a separate saving throw for each ling to see if it can be rejected. All lings inside a host can also be ejected by casting a purify spell on the host’s body.
Each type of ling may cast spells. For each individual ling, roll a D3 to select one of the 3 spells listed in Ling Types. They cast this spell at a level equivalent to their size, but when they inhabit a body along with other lings they may combine their levels together to cast a spell belonging to one or more of those lings.
If a ling engulfs a character’s entire body (usually the case when dealing with size 4 to 6 lings, or multiple size 3 lings) they control it entirely. They will usually direct Tte host to jump into the nearest large body of water and drown. However, some lings, especially size 6 ones, may have other uses for the host.
The heart of a ling is a wonderful thing. A ling heart may be eaten, and most of them have healing properties, according to the ling’s size – these are detailed below under Ling Sizes. A character may eat multiple ling hearts, but there is a limit on how many hearts will be effective in one day, again listed under Ling Sizes.
There is evidence that lings are created due to the presence of strong magic. Indeed, powerful wizards have reported witnessing the creation of lings when casting high-power spells. However, lings are also known to appear alongside extreme events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, severe storms and flooding.
Humans being humans, there are reports of lings being used as a kind of sex toy. Most healers have at least one amusing tale about removing one or more lings from some orifice or other. There is even rumoured to be a sex cult trying to birth a new type of ling using from the fluids produced during intercourse between humans and lings.
Weapon vulnerability: piercing
Spell: 1: Mist, 2: Rain, 3: Ice
Body system controlled: blood
Weapon vulnerability: bludgeoning
Spell: 1: Slow, 2: Hold Person, 3: Petrify
Body system controlled: bone
Weapon vulnerability: slashing
Spell: 1: Mud, 2: Hold Person, 3: Polymorph
The existence of firelings, cloudlings, skylings, and aetherlings has been postulated, but no trustworthy evidence ever produced.