||This nightmarish aerial predator shares similarities between a bat and a giant mosquito of a deep reddish colour, with a patch of fur running the length of its back. With a leathery wingspan of around 0.60 metres (2 ft), four viciously sharp hooked talons for grappling its prey, and a 1 metre (3 foot) long proboscis for draining the blood of its victims, the stirge seems to have flown right out of someone’s nightmare.
If the stirge successfully strikes in combat, it inflicts damage for each of its four clawed insect-like legs. If it successfully generates a special effect, the stirge will select Choose Location, or if possible, Bypass Armour, in an attempt to find exposed skin. Whether or not damage is inflicted, it immediately establishes a grapple on the body location struck. If the creature’s attack was Parried by a limb or other natural extremity (or the creature itself is parrying an appendage), then the creature is granted the Grip effect against the opponent’s limb instead. A stirge always uses its Brawn skill to resist a victim from breaking free of its grapple; however, the victim finds the roll at Herculean difficulty, due to the clawed hooks grasping flesh, clothing, armour, etc. Successfully ripping a stirge free re-inflicts any damage that was previously done by the claws, if any, as they are torn free of the victim’s flesh. Killing the stirge allows it to be removed with no additional damage.The real damage from a stirge attack, however, comes from its mosquito-like proboscis, for on its Turn after successfully grappling its victim, the stirge forces it into any exposed flesh. In addition to the body location gripped, the length of the proboscis allows it to puncture any adjacent location the Games Master deems within reach. The proboscis is capable of easily penetrating normal clothing; however, if all relevant locations are armoured, the stirge will instead begin making additional attacks in an attempt to generate a Bypass Armour special effect. Otherwise, no roll is necessary as the creature forces its proboscis into the victim. One Round thereafter, the stirge will begin draining blood from the victim at a rate of 1 Fatigue per Round. After draining 3 Fatigue, the stirge is considered gorged, and will release the victim and fly back to its lair to sleep off its meal. Larger creatures possess more blood per Fatigue level, with victims of SIZ 21-40 requiring 2 Rounds to drain 1 Fatigue, and a creature of SIZ 41+ requiring 3 Rounds to drain 1 Fatigue. In this case, the stirge will become gorged after 2 Fatigue from a SIZ 21-40 victim, and 1 level of drained Fatigue from a victim of SIZ 41+. If after 1d3+3 Rounds the stirge cannot penetrate the defences of its victim, it will disengage and attempt to find easier prey.