LEECH: The Medicaid

The World of Leeches

Of course, Leech society doesn't exist in a vacuum. If it did, it would have explosively decompressed long ago. No, there's a long history behind them, for Leeches have been around almost as long as there have been swamps.

Their full history is known to very few, though it's rumoured to be set down in a single tome known as the _Book of Wink_. What is known is that they were founded by a Prestidigitatorr, an early member of what would become the Kashinhand Brotherhood named Raphael "Candyman" Cain. Candy, as he was known to his friends...well, friend, anyway...realized that people would pay for frivolities only as long as their life didn't depend on that money...so clearly, the best way to suck those last dregs of cash out of them was to make them believe that their life DID depend on it. Simply taking up a large knife and explaining this connection - their money or their life - seemed a short lived prospect; easy for the first couple instances, but not so good in the long run. Instead, he hit on the idea of taking problems they already had, and convincing them 1) that this was potentially fatal, and 2) that he could fix it.

It didn't take long before he had followers. He embraced those who were interested in his scheme, and soon they were too organized to fit in with the relative anarchy inherent in Prestidigitatorr kind. They broke off to form their own organizations, developing their own techniques and refining the broad practice of Psycholology into what are the Kiss-Up Lines today.

Unfortunately, there grew to be too many Leeches, and resentment came to the people. While royalty was still relatively easy to fool, the common folk started to notice that their cures didn't work. There was some competition with the church, as well, for the Leeches tended to leave their patients so destitute that they had nothing to leave to the church when they died. And so, several centuries ago, came what is now known as The Inhibitions. As plague swept across Europe, Pope Guilty MCDLXVII declared medical science bogus. The Leeches were in tatters, driven out and underground. The very concept was nearly destroyed, but for the brilliance of Nathanial Andrew d'Manor, who appeared during the Renaissance. He proposed the Plan.

The Plan, of course, was to convince people once again that Leeches were not only useful, but necessary. They were organized into Arch Types, and Plans. Gradually, the Kiss-Up Lines were revived and revitalized. Soon, it was all so successful that Leech society divided into three major groups. It seems, however, that there are once again becoming too many Leeches. The quarreling over limited resources grows fierce, causing strife between the Plans that were meant to work together.

Even worse, is the Gee Dad. In the patriarchal organization of the Leeches, it has come about recently that the older members have taken to using their sponsorship of new members as a way to influence them to take care of the elder in later years. Meanwhile, the younger members pester their elders, asking for loans and, ultimately, jockeying for their positions, thinking that a younger, more dynamic mind might do better in the upper echelons. Because the older Leeches still have the most influence, this conflict has been characterized as the whining of the youngers, and is therefor known as the Gee Dad.

The Cashorrhea is the major group that most concerns Leech: The Medicaid. Medicaid, and the rest of the health insurance industry, is their invention. Through its cunning, people pay medical bills -even when they're not sick-. When someone does come in, the Leeches send the bill to an insurance agency, usually run by the Dentrue or Trematore, who, of course, just pay it with the patient's money. The patient has already written that money off, and never even looks at the bill, so they can get away with charging more for a night on a hospital bed in a room with twelve other people than most hotels can get away with for a double bed room with kitchenette. Money has been just gushing through this system.

The enemies of the Cashorrhea are the Scabbat. Also Leeches, the fiendish Scabbat want to stop up the free flow of moolah into the Cashorrhea's coffers. Members of the Scabbat tend to cooperate - rarely will you find one acting alone. Rather, four or five will infiltrate a city and start up a low-cost clinic, actually giving care to people at rates that even someone getting minimum wage can afford to pay up front. Their sinister motives are unknown.

Finally, there are the Incontinentu. The oldest surviving Leeches, the Incontinentu have withdrawn from Leech society, and will have nothing to do with the Gee Dad. They can take care of themselves, darnit, even if their bladder control is long gone and their teeth are in a jar. Rarely will a Leech actually meet one of the Incontinentu - they don't get around much - but when one does, they can be very cryptic and enigmatic. Or, as the case may be, senile and difficult to understand, what with the tooth thing.

There is one significant external foe to the Leeches, who are known as the Loopies. Loopies are, bluntly, the violently insane. Leeches don't deal with mental disorders, as a rule, and when they do, they get themselves into a cushy minimum security psychiatric ward. There are, however, a significant number of psychopaths who seem to feel instinctively that doctors are Bad, and will attack them on sight.

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