The three sergal scouts have arrived at a hunting area that they have been to before. During a previous hunting expedition, they deliberately refrained from harvesting all of the Talyxian moles in order to leave a population behind for emergency gathering in the future — a strategy that is looking to pay off, to Little Chatter’s excitement.

However, the trio will have to use utmost caution, as these Talyxian moles have some rather nasty neighbors: dangerous Talyxian predators known to the Seig tribe as “needle leeches”. These potentially deadly creatures have long tube-like bodies and are vampiric in nature with blood being their main diet.

In order to feed, needle leeches lie in wait until they detect an external stimulus, where they then shoot out a large syringe-like needle upwards, hoping to stab their prey. If they do manage to ensnare something in their trap-like attack, they then proceed to suck out the blood of their victim. It is a very painful attack that can be deadly if the needle strikes vital organs or is left untreated and the victim bleeds out.

Needle leeches can be identified as two different types, active and inactive. Active needle leeches are live and will attack any prey that they can detect, making them incredibly dangerous. Conversely, inactive needle leeches do not move and are not a threat at all. In fact, they are the dead shedded skin from live active needle leeches. They are hollow and shell-like, with no living organism inside. It is very important to not mistake the two, as what may seem to be a pile of empty shedded husks may instead be a deadly trap, armed and ready to spring.

Meanwhile, Little Baldy is making good use of their particularly keen hearing to detect for the presence of active needle leeches. As expected, Little Baldy reports that the needle leeches that surround the coveted molehills are indeed active. However… the sergal also detects something else much more ominous and foreboding. The faint sound of something underground, squirming through the earth, catches his ears.