Friday, December 13, 2019

OSR: Hags

They were good once.  Virtuous, noble, beautiful even.  And powerful.  Her skills and talents were once in a decade, once in a century.  She became the talk of the community and likely served them well with her spells and knowledge.
But along the way, something went wrong.  Like the Half-Ghoul who steals life, a bite at a time, she did something bad.  She took that first bite, took the first sip of that terrible wine.  Perhaps she felt there was no other way, or it was an accident.  Yet she was blamed for it, accused of a horrible deed.  Or maybe she wasn't.  Maybe she was able to cover up her deed.  Or maybe, her situation was desperate, so no one thought it was unjustifiable.

But just as the Half-Ghoul goes from eating the dead, to the Undead, to the living, slowly sacrificing more of himself to his appetite, she does the same.  One compromise, one secret sin, the worsening of circumstances, it leads to another.  What was only to be done once e, or in the most desperate of times, slowly becomes more familiar to her.  It's a long, patient road she walks, but regardless, it leads to the same place.

Eventually, all pretense is shorn away.  Either her crimes become known, or her actions unjustifiable, or she simply comes to it no longer useful, she flees or is driven out.  And there, beyond the reach of Law and Justice, she broods and waits.  And as the years pass, as she grows older and and stranger, she changes.  Tired muscles that should have withered grow wiry and misshapen and surging with unnatural vitality.  Wrinkled skin turns tough as leather armor; while fingernails that used to crack and break easily now grow long and hard, sharp enough to open a man from neck to navel.  And her once noted magical abilities flower into something fearsome indeed.  This is the story of how a helper becomes a horror, and how a good maintained past its natural duration can fester into a malignant evil.  This is the tale of the Hag.

                                                       source unknown

Mode of Being:

Hags are foul creatures, twisted by years of living in unrepentant sin, consorting with Dark Powers and other vile practices.  They are wicked, hating what is good and watching the suffering of others with glee.  It is these small cruelties that usually drive a Hag.  Hags can be motivated by things like money and power, but just as often, they succumb to more petty vices.  A Hag is just as often motivated by a desire for revenge against those who wronged her in the past, or if that person is dead or unavailable, merely someone who resembles the original target.

Hags also love to strike bargains, offering their power or knowledge, for a price.  But these bargains are wretched and Faustian, usually causing as many problems as they cause.  In fact, that is one of a Hag's favorite things to do: offer a solution that replaces a current problem with a larher one.  The other thing Hags love to do is to cause a problem,  such as poisoning the well to cause illness, then when the locals come to her,  offer a gruesome solution that will be just as painful.

Black Sororities:


Hags keep tabs on and maintain contact with each other.  All Hags know who all the other Hags near them, if there are any.  As such, if one Hag ends up in trouble, she will often retreat to one of these other Hags and ask for their help.  If the other Hag is feeling generous (unlikely) or feels that helping might benefit her plans, she will help.  Of course, Hags have little love for each other and find as much enjoyment in watching one of their own fall as any other. 

That being said, if a Hag is killed without the permission, tacit or otherwise, of any Hags connected to her, such as within a Coven or a Master-servant relationship, the superior Hag will have to try and take revenge, or otherwise be thought of as weak.

A note on Covens: these are alliances between Hags on a semi-permanent basis, usually composed of 3 Hags, though larger ones can exist.  Not for very long though, as once more than three Hags are involved in a social situation, cliques form and the various members start scheming about how to destroy the others.  That happens in a Coven, of course, but usually limiting it to three members limits the amount of back-stabbing to an absolute minimum. 

Foul Magicks:

Hags possess natural magical abilities, but they also possess knowledge of rituals.  These rituals can be done by anyone who knows how, though a Hag is unlikely to give out this information to anyone, unless that person were as corrupt as them or the Hag felt it would benefit her.  These rituals can be performed by one Hag, but are more effective as part of a Coven.  As the Referee determines, a Hag may know one or more of these rituals. 

What can Grannie do for thee?
1d6

1- Foretelling.  Hags can peer into the future and receive omens of what is to be.
2- Scrying.  Hags can spy on unwarded creatures from far away.
3- Birth Changeling.  Hags can sacrifice a child and create a new creature that resembles it perfectly, but has an inhuman soul.
4- Alter Weather.  Hags love to conjure storms or cause droughts.  One Hag can only alter the weather for short periods or in a local area, but a Coven can do truly terrifying things with this ritual.
5- Create Poison.  Can be applied to a piece of food, mixed into water to cause disease or sprinkled on fields to blight crops.
6- Alter Form.  Hags can create smoke that mutates those who are surrounded by it.  They can also use this ritual to transform someone into a beast, ala Princess in the Frog.

Types of Hag:

                                           by berserkerart

Sea:

Perhaps these foul specimens began their lives under the sea, themselves originally belonging to some aquatic race, before undergoing the same slow transformation as their land-dwelling "sisters".  Or perhaps they were originally land dwellers themselves, before striking bargains with some horrible creature from beneath the waves.  Or maybe the Sea Hag's mother was not actually wedded to a handsome sailor taken by the sea, but instead was taken by the sea herselfin another, more intimate way.  Regardless of her origin, Sea Hags are horrific in appearance, covered in scales and corded with muscle beneath, a wet fringe of tangled hair resembling limp seaweed dangling from her head, in some grotesque parody of a woman's flowing locks.

Sea Hags are aware of how they look to people and most of them despise the fact that they are not beautiful.  As such, they seek to corrupt beauty wherever they find it, whether that beauty be contained in an object, custom or person.  Sea Hags are also the most direct of all Hags, as they are the youngest when they complete their transformation, so they still bear the passions, as well as the follies, of youth.  As such, compared to other Hags, a Sea Hag's manipulations are childish and simple. 

This is not something the Sea Hags care about though.  They tend to scorn their "aunts" and "grandmothers", as they address other Hags, usually in mocking tones.  They claim to be creatures of action, while other Hags tend too much time nursing their grudges and plotting, while Sea Hags actually do things.  Of course, if a Sea Hag ends up in trouble, she will often end up retreating to one of these other Hags for aid and protection, if she is not part of a Coven.   

Sea Hags dwell in places of ill repute next to the sea, though due to their unsophisticated nature, most of them reject the trappings of civilization.  An abandoned cave along a rocky shore or a rotting shipwreck perched on a faraway sandbar is good enough for her.  For servants, Sea Hags recruit the ruffians of land and sea, bringing aboard Lobstermen and Crablings to guard her subsurface holdings, while strong-arming pirates and scavengers to keep an eye out for things above water.  Most of these creatures who end up serving a Sea Hag do so because fighting her is a losing proposition, or simply because the arrangement is mutually beneficial.  A pirate crew with a Sea Hag at their backs is much stronger than one without, and that goes triple for a Sea Hag Coven.  For this reason, captains of pirate crews and leaders of underwater raiders are often willing to partner with Sea Hags.  The leaders entertain the notion that they are intimidated by the Sea Hag's power and obey her out of fear.  In reality, of course is that while Sea Hags are powerful, they are not as strong as they claim.  One of them can only do so much damage.  As such, the officers are usually wary of Sea Hags, but aren't (that) scared of them. 

This is just another piece of evidence to prove the fact that officers are dumb, and should listen to their NCOs more often, especially when their NCOs are telling them that teaming up with the horrifying fish-woman with magical powers is an idea that can only end badly.

Additionally, Sea Hags are known to raise hostile sea life to protect their lairs, raising or taming such creatures as giant octopi, enormous crabs, Lobstrosities, poisonous sea snakes, large sting-rays, saltwater crocodiles or dolphins.

                                                       from The Witcher 3, source

Statblock:  

Sea Hag
HD 3  AC 14  Atk Claws (+3, 1d6+2/1d6+2) or Death Glare
Mor Stand and fight on a 13 or less    Saves 9 or less is a success

Horrific Appearance: A Sea Hag's true form is shocking and disturbing to behold.  When you first see a Sea Hag or when you see her drop a Player Character or hireling to zero HP, you must save.  On a failure, you become frightened of the Hag and take 1d6 WIL damage for every round you spend fighting the Hag.  If this WIL damage ever equals or exceeds a creature's WIL score, that creature must flee and gains the Conviction, "I wil never fight that Sea Hag ever again."

Death Glare: As an action, a Sea Hag may glare at a creature, exerting psychic force on it.  This attack only works if the creature can see and notices the Sea Hag.  If the Sea Hag is observing from a concealed position, it automatically fails.  The creature, if it was not frightened by the Sea Hag, takes 1d8 psychic damage from this attack, no save.  If the creature was frightened of the Sea Hag, the creature must save or drop to zero FS (Fighting Spirit).

Illusory Appearance: As an action, a Sea Hag may create an illusion over itself to alter its appearance.  However, whatever it transforms into will be ugly still, though it won't be supernaturally repulsive, like the Sea Hag's true form.  The Sea Hag may dispel this illusion as a free action.

Amphibious: Sea Hags can breathe air as easily as they breathe water.

Powerful Swimmer: Sea Hags can swim faster than any land-dwelling creature.

Tactics:
- Try to lure into water, if they follow, grapple and drown them
- Ambush and frighten
- Use Death Glare on frightened creatures, then rip them to shreds

Sea Hag Coven:


All Sea Hags within the Coven gain the following ability:

Coven Casting: When the Coven is together, all the members of the Coven gain access to a pool of Spellcasting dice that they can use to cast spells with.  Any member may access this pool, but these spellcasting dice are otherwise normal, burning out on a "5" or "6" and returning after a long rest.  The Coven can also, upon casting a spell, imbue an object with their magical power.  If they choose to do this, when the object is used, the spell is released.  For example, a cask of wine would be imbued with the spell Curse, so the first person who drank it was cursed. 

A Sea Hag Coven has 6 spellcasting dice and gains access to the following spells: Curse, Liquefy, Monsterize, Steel Intangibility, Tentacle Swarm, Vagina Dentata.

Sea Hag plot hooks:
1d4

1- The Duke's daughter has been kidnapped!  On the way to her wedding, the young Annette Manders', daughter of Duke Manders' was kidnapped by fishmen, led by a terrible seaweed Queen!  The girls male bodyguard and driver were killed, but her handmaid was found later, naked and scarred, her face marred by horrible cuts, the other attractive parts her body similarly damaged.  Rescue her, please, before worse happens to her!
2- A homely woman shows up at a noble or rich man's house, preferrably when he isn't home, and starts asking where he is, as she has born him a son.  This woman will make a fuss until she is asked to provide proof, to which she will promise to show you.  She will take you down to the shore and show you the enormous, half-human, half-sea monster baby that this woman apparently gave birth to. 
3- An important man or woman in town, a real pillar of the community, apparently molested and killed a child in an act of hideous violence.  There is extensive proof, but the accused swears that they did not do it. 
4- You see a group of robed people about to toss a baby into the sea or a similarly large body of water.  If this sacrifice is stopped, a Sea Hag will emerge from beneath the waters to extract her payment in other ways.

                                             by albe75

Green:

Green Hags are the overseers of tangled, overgrown forests, misty moors, salty fens or miserable bogs.  They dwell amid corruption and filth, happily tending herbs useful for magic and poisonous flowers amidst de facto graveyards.  They even seem to revel in this fact, going out of their way to put on an air of false joviality, always trying to look on the bright side, but in the most insincere way possible.  They make pots of skulls and plant flowers in them, or tapestries of flayed skin to decorate the walls.

Green Hags are master manipulators, cloaking their true identities and intentions behind layers of deception.  They use their illusion powers to their full extent, making sure to spread confusion and alarm wherever they go.  An example Green Hag deception might go like this; the Green Hag disguises itself as a concerned citizen and tells the players that she suspects that a shrine worker has been engaged in illict behavior.  Then, she will travel to the shrine worker's residence. ambush and kill him, then hide the body.  Once the party arrives there, tell them she knows nothing about illict behavior and be very cooperative.  Then, use the shrine worker's body and frame one of the player character's for murder.  Then the Green Hag will retreat to watch the seeds of Chaos that she has sown germinate.

Sometimes a Green Hag will deceive as part of a grand plan, but just as often, deception it an end onto itself.  The Green Hag just wants people to doubt and be afraid.  She wants people to be unable to trust, as she finds herself unable to do that.  She resents the bonds of trust and love that people share and is secretly envious of those people, though she would never admit this to anyone, even herself.  So the Green Hag goes out of her way to damage those relationships through lies and deceit. 

Green Hags themselves usually see people as divided into two categories: those who trust, ie the weak and foolish, who are free to be exploited; and the wise, who do not trust and instead base all transactions on power.  If you are one of the former, the Green Hag will exploit and deceive you.  If you are one of the latter, the Green Hag might try to recruit you into one of her schemes.

For lairs, Green Hags will make their homes in caves, isolated cottages, dank grottos or underground burrows, either dug by the Green Hag herslef or more likely, by her servants.  For servants, Green Hags recruit brutish men, becoming a surrogate mother to them, telling gruesome stories and feeding them porridge.  She will also do the same for foreign barbarians or bands made of members belonging to the Savage Races.  Additionally they sometimes recruit lesser Folk who are more interested in bloodshed than ideology as well as other beasts that love muck and filth, such as Otyughs, Ogres and Ettercaps.  They also love vermin, particularly larger versions of that, taming and training giant spiders, dog-sized wasps and Stirges.  This isn't all though- a Green Hag can tame almost any animal, given enough time, so her pets and servants are only truly limited by what is available near her home.  Hopefully there are no giant snakes or panthers near her.

                                                       by LindaB

Statblock:
Green Hag
HD 4  AC 15  Atk Claws (+4, 1d6+3/1d6+3)
Mor Stand and fight on 15 or less  Saves 10 or less is a success

Spellcasting: Green Hags have 3 spellcasting dice and 3 spells prepared.  Her spellcasting dice burn out on a 5 or 6.  The spells she has prepared are Fogbank, Illusion and Light.

Chaos: If a Green Hag casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, she has a 2-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If she does invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of the Green Hag
1d6

1- One random creature starts coughing.  He loses his next action as he pukes up 1d6 snails, 1d4 snakes and 1d3 dog tails.
2- A skull suddenly appears and starts whispering.  Only one of the player characters can hear it.
3- A random animal nearby swells like a balloon, before exploding into a shower of gore.
4- The ground for 30' around the Hag transforms into a patch of peat bog.
5- A dense, foul-smelling fog rolls in and fills the area around the Hag for 100'.  Visibility drops to nothing, you can see 10' in front of you and no more.
6- Everyone within 50' of the Hag must save, including the Hag.  Those that fail their save lose their action and spend it cackling, howling with laughter at an unsaid joke. 

Illusory Appearance: As an action, a Green Hag may create an illusion over herself to alter her appearance.  The illusory disguise must be of the Hag's general size and shape, being a Medium creature.  Additionally, the illusion fails to stand up to physical inspection- if the Hag is disguised as a maiden and you touch her hand, you will not feel the soft skin of a young woman, but the rawhide flesh and sharp claws of a Hag.  The Green Hag may dispel this illusion as a free action.

Mimicry: Green Hags can mimic the sounds of creatures they have heard, including the roars of beasts or the voices of others they have heard.  You can only tell these sounds are the product of mimicry by an appropriate DC or saving throw.

Invisible Passage: As an action, a Green Hag may turn herself invisible.  She remains invisible until she makes an attack or casts a spell.  Additionally, Green Hags are skilled at sneaking around, so they leave no trace of their presence, unless they fail a DC appropriate stealth check.  DCs are Referee's Discretion, examples being 5 for leaving no trace on a hard-packed dirt road and a 20 for deep snow.

Amphibious: Green Hags can breathe water as well as they can air.

Tactics:
- Divide enemies, lure into hazards
- Sneak up invisibly
- Ambush, then retreat

Green Hag Coven:


All Green Hags within the Coven gain the following ability:

Coven Casting: When the Coven is together, all the members of the Coven gain access to a pool of Spellcasting dice that they can use to cast spells with.  Any member may access this pool, but these spellcasting dice are otherwise normal, burning out on a "5" or "6" and returning after a long rest.  The Coven can also, upon casting a spell, imbue an object with their magical power.  If they choose to do this, when the object is used, the spell is released.  For example, a cask of wine would be imbued with the spell Curse, so the first person who drank it was cursed. 

A Green Hag Coven has 9 spellcasting dice and gains access to the following spells: Acid Rain, A small Death, Bad Taste in their mouth, Curse, Gamma Infusion, Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Ora!, Steal, Summon Plague, Venomous Fluid.

Green Hag plot hooks:
1d4

1- A young man is accused of forcing himself on and stabbing a maiden to death.  He denies it and claims he was seduced, after which she tried to kill him.  The maiden's body, if investigated, doesn't seem to be suffering any stab wounds.
2- A wife thinks her husband is cheating on her, as he has been acting very suspiciously.  The husband has been sneaking off and will not tell her where he goes.  He also seems to have strange wounds on his body.
3- The party, while traveling through the waist, realize they are being stalked by some shadowy monster, who never stands its ground, only acting to harass them, before retreating into the mists.
4- A group of bandits attempt to stop the party and demand money.  If defeated, the bandits will flee, promising that they are going to go tell "Mommy" and then you're going to sorry you ever messed with them.       

                                                       by Tiffany Turrill

Bheur:

Bheur Hags are creatures of frozen passion and compressed hatred, bitter old crones that despise youth, passion and potential.  Having wasted theirs on wickedness, pursuing pleasure or folly, they sit and scowl down at other mortals, despising them for the thing the Hag can no longer have.  This feeling is so great it demands recompense, vengeance!  So the Bheur Hag sets out from her home on a mission.  If Sea Hags take and Green Hags manipulate, Bheur Hags devour.  They do not care to take from others, that is mere machinery to them.  The real joy is depriving others of the natural virtues that they possess. 

Like the Sea Hag, they despise beauty, (all Hags do, in truth) but more then that, Bheur Hags hate innocence and passion.  They hate warm summer days and chasing your beloved through a field of dew-damp grass, huge silver moon shining down on her white dress, turning her blonde hair to a regal garb and her pale skin the finest porcelain.  They hate that first, romantic kiss while the fireworks go off, of meat roasting on a spit over an open fire, of the hearty stew that your Mother made for you when you were sick.  They hate the glee you felt whenever it was time for Goblinwatch or the joy you felt when you first won the town riddle contest at 21, along with the razor-sharpness of your mind.  All the signs and tokens of youth are infuriating to Bheur Hags.

Slothful creatures as they are, Bheur Hags do not attack creatures who are strong and vital, but only those who have been wounded, slowed, or hindered.  They are predators, picking off the weak, slow, old and inexperienced.  They take sadistic joy in destroying those weaker then themselves, as well as the helpless rage of the strong, when they cannot protect their inferiors.   

Bheur Hags pick and choose their targets carefully, though if things escalate, they have no problem in destroying a whole village.  What they will do is select one person, usually someone virtuous, beautiful and most importantly, young, and then the Hag will devote her resources to destroying that person.  She will be as careful as she can not to tip her hand.  An example would be a young nobleman, who is kind-hearted, wealthy, but kind of clueless.  The Bheur Hag will have his young bride poisoned on her wedding day, have his Father die in a mysterious "accident", slander his reputation, kill one of his rivals and plant clues that it was him, then threaten his friends into abandoning him.  Then, she'll set his house on fire.  Once this young man has lost everything precious to him, only then will she kill him.  

Bheur Hags are most common in cold climes, or in places where the sun never lingers long.  They make their homes in isolated ruins, frozen keeps set far above where any sane creature would make its home, metal spires rising from above a permafrost-ridden plane or in caves concealed in the folds of snow-capped mountains.  For servants, they recruit the savage Yeti and other hardy races that can endure the cold, such as Mimes or Dwarves.  They sometimes also recruit cold-hearted Unseelie Fey, the denizens of the Winter Court, subjects of Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness.  But most of all, their favorite servants are the Undead.  They bind Ghosts to them through foul rituals and raise the scraped skeletons of lost travelers to serve her evil ambitions.  They are known to keep packs of Ghouls, Half-Ghouls and mundane cannibals on "retainer", by feeding them her enemies.  The Ghouls keep her company, the Half-Ghouls act as cannon fodder and the mundane cannibals serve as her eyes and ears in the midst of her enemies.  They lure prey to her and provide her with information she needs.  And of these groups, the Ghouls are the most important.  If a Bheur Hag ever loses control of her Undead, she knows they will turn on her in an instant.  In such a situation, having a bunch of creatures who love to eat Undead around is a true asset.  Plus, Ghouls are great at making conversation.

                                                            source unknown 

Statblock: 

Bheur Hag
HD 3  AC 12  Atk Claws or (+2, 1d4+1/1d4+1)
Mor Stand and fight on 12 or less  Saves 9 or less is a success
Resistance to Cold Damage

Spellcasting: Bheur Hags have 4 spellcasting dice and 4 spells prepared.  Her spellcasting dice burn out on a 5 or 6.  The spells she has prepared are Bloody Feast, Create Servant, Enslave Undead, Freeze Ray and Ring of Frost.

Chaos: If a Bheur Hag casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, she has a 1-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If she does invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of the Bheur Hag:
1d6

1- The area for 50' around the Bheur Hag is plunged into magical darkness.
2- The next time a fire spell that does damage is cast, the Bheur Hag is automatically the target.
3- The next spell within 50' that does elemental damage does the opposite type of damage.
4- The Bheur Hag's body heats up to 200 degrees F.  This does not hurt her, but it does damage anything she's touching.
5- The nearest corpse rises as a 1d4 HD Undead under no one's control.
6- A wave of power passes out of the Bheur Hag.  All creatures within 30' must save or be stunned as their muscles lock up from the cold.

Illusory Appearance: As an action, a Bheur Hag may create an illusion over herself to alter her appearance.  The illusory disguise must be of the Hag's general size and shape, being a Medium creature.  Additionally, the illusion fails to stand up to physical inspection- if the Hag is disguised as a maiden and you touch her hand, you will not feel the soft skin of a young woman, but the rawhide flesh and sharp claws of a Hag.  The Bheur Hag may dispel this illusion as a free action.

Tactics:
- Scount carefully
- Send in minions to gauge strength and wear down
- Assault with extreme prejudice, devour the fallen, repeat as necessary

Bheur Hag Coven:

All Bheur Hags within the Coven gain the following ability:

Coven Casting: When the Coven is together, all the members of the Coven gain access to a pool of Spellcasting dice that they can use to cast spells with.  Any member may access this pool, but these spellcasting dice are otherwise normal, burning out on a "5" or "6" and returning after a long rest.  The Coven can also, upon casting a spell, imbue an object with their magical power.  If they choose to do this, when the object is used, the spell is released.  For example, a cask of wine would be imbued with the spell Curse, so the first person who drank it was cursed.

A Bheur Hag Coven has 12 spellcasting dice and gains access to the following spells: Break the Chains, Blood Pressure, Curse, Explode Corpse, Hailstorm, Knock, No More Room in Hell, Ounce of Prevention, Release Me, Sepuchral Voice, To Dust, Vampirism.

Bheur Hag plot hooks:
1d4

1- A young woman's parents are desperate for help.  Their daughter was to be married, but her bridegrooms keep dying.  It's always accidental, supposedly, but as it has happened six times before, no one trusts the family anymore.  Please help.
2- In an isolated village, an old man with no surviving kin disappears from his home on a cold night.  No one knows where he went.  Then the same happens to a bitter spinster.  Then to a child who stepped out to go to the privy.  People start disappearing left and right.
3- In the middle of the night, an army of zombies attack a remote town.  The villagers flee inside their small fort and try to wait out the attack.  They might manage to do so, but every night, they are attacked again, with all the fallen joining the ranks of their unnatural attackers.
4- A young witch comes to the party and asks them to help her.  She is trying to do some research, but monsters keep attacking her.  When the party escorts her to the place of her supposed location, the monsters turn out to be a pack of highly intelligent and courteous Ghouls who ambush them and either try to kill or trap them in a prison created by the Bheur Hag.  Thus defanged, the Bheur Hag leaves to go wreack havoc on whatever place of civilization the party was last seen at, whether that be a mountainside town or a run-down inn along an isolated road.

                                                      by JLeichliter

Night:

Magic, while sometimes dangerous, is an undoubtable good.  Magic allows mortals a chance to fight back against monsters much stronger than them and to change the world.  That being said, it is still dangerous, because it has such potential for good. And the greater your potential for good, the worse you will be if you fall.  For this reason, governments, religions, even Deities place restrictions on certain types of magic.  Examples of such magic include such things as Necromancy; Biomancy that seeks to fuse and combine the opposites, male and female, two different races, etc; Magic that seeks to contact the powers beyond Heaven or stir the Elder Evils from their slumber; and of course, Magic that deals with souls.

The soul is a complicated thing, but conventional wisdom states that it is our bridge between the bestial and the divine.  Mortals dwell in this gray area between the two, similar to both, but belonging to neither.  To attempt to meddle with that delicate balance is madness and heresy, an abomination against the laws of God and men.  Those who attempt to do so and have their crimes discovered are driven from society, hunted like the Necromancer, branded with the name "Witch".

This is a title that the Night Hag wears with pride.  They are the "female" equivalent of the Lich, an open rebellion against all of Reality, a declaration to tear down the universe and remake it in their image.  This is what the Night Hag represents. Wherever they go they bring death, suffering and chaos.  They sometimes are known to create long terms plans, grand schemes involving enormous amounts of magical power, slaughter and suffering.  But just as often, a Night Hag is content to slip through the cracks in the great powers, evading the Agents of the Law as easily as they hide themselves from the Slaves of Heaven.  Here, in the shadows, they perpetrate small acts of wickedness, seeking not the destruction of a whole people, evenb though such things are often the goals of an ambitious Night Hag, or a Coven of the same, but the ruin of a single man.  And not just any type of ruin.  What she seeks is the more desolation of this man, to force him to betray everything he stands for, to make him fall and to willingly reject the Good.  A Night Shade who can do this is to be feared far more than any who can whisper death to Kings or plunge whole cities into darkness.  For the Crown will pass to another and in time, even the greeatest of cities will be nothing but a heap of rubble, forgotten by all.  But Man lives forever, so to pollute him, to transform a small immortal into an everlasting horror, that is the greatest feat of wickedness imaginable.

Night Hags do not do this merely for their own amusement, but they also do it because Night Hags deal in vile treasures.  Artifacts crafted by the Dark Powers, magic items that were once used by history's greatest villains, magical debts and last but certainly not least, the souls of mortals.  A mortal's souls can be useful for many purposes; they can be used to power an ascension to Daemonhood; or to fill the bodies of the slain, to raise them as Undead; or if the mortal whom the souls belong to still lives, to make them your slave.  Night Hags corrupt mortals so that they will be more likely to sign over their souls to the Hag.  The personal satisfaction they get at watching something good be twisted into a grotesque parody of itself is just a bonus.

Night Hags are creatures who thrive on loneliness and isolation.  They sometimes make their homes in rubble heaps on the desolate frontiers or elaborate cavern complexes hewn out of bare stone.  Just as often though they will dwell in supposedly haunted mansions or in seemingly abandoned buildings in the middle of a city or town.  The dungeon of a forgotten keep can serve the same purpose to the Night Hag as the catacombs beneath a sprawling metropolis.  As for servants, Night Hags chiefly recruit among wicked or vice-addled men, men with insatiable appetites for all that is dark and foul.  They enable these men, as long as they serve faithfully.  They are also fond of taking in those who have grudges or small seeds of anger, then fanning them into an inferno.  Pariahs such as Werewolves, Vampires, Mutants and other freaks are welcomed by them, then skillfully molded into useful tools.  But that is not all.  Night Hags are masters of soul manipulation and fleshcarvers of incredible talent and unspeakable sadism.  They create many unique and terrifying horrors, both of living flesh and dead, reanimated by souls called back from beyond the pale, bound to the Night Hag to serve as Undead terrors.  And should even those prove insufficient, Hags can also call upon horrors from beyond our universe to serve her.

                                              by Bruna Nora

Statblock:

Night Hag
HD 4  AC 16  Atk Claws or Weapon (+2, 1d6+2)
Mor Stand and fight on a 13 or less   Saves 10 or less is a success

Spellcasting: Night Hags have 5 spellcasting dice and 5 spells prepared.  Her spellcasting dice burn out on a 5 or 6.  The spells she has prepared are Baleful Charm, Blight, Dream a little Dream of Me, It's only a Paper Moon, Morbid Metal and Wave of Mutilation.

Chaos: If a Night Hag casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, she has a 1-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If she does invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of the Night Hag:
1d6

1- For the next 1d10 minutes, it starts raining blood for 1 mile, centered on the Hag.
2- If someone died within the last 1d6 minutes, in the presence of the Hag (when they died) that person suddenly finds his body healed and "returns to life".  This person will be hunted down by the Slaves of Heaven for violating the Laws of Death, but for now, they are alive!
3- All creatures within 100' that can laugh must save.  The first person within 100' that fails his saving throw must make a melee attack against the nearest creature.  This consumes the creature's action.
4- The next successful attack within 100' misses instead.
5- The next missed attack within 100' hits its intended target instead.
6- Choking black smokes explodes out from the Hag, filling the air for 100' around them.  Anyone in the cloud must save.  On a failed save, they lose their action as they start choking.

Shapeshifter: As an action, a Night Hag can change her shape to that of another creature, whether a beast, another species or a specific person that she has seen before.  She adopts the physical stats of that creature, unless that creature is stronger than her, in which case she uses her original physical abilities.  She also cannot transform into any creature larger than Medium sized.  She also may not cast spells while shape-shifted, unless her new form has the ability to speak a language and opposable thumbs, or appendages roughly as dextrous.

Tactics:
- Ready an action to cast It's only a Paper Moon to teleport out of danger if struck
- Cast Morbid Metal to prevent them from hurting you
- Once a safe distance away, open up with Wave of Mutilation
- Use their own weapons to cut their throats or use It's only a Paper Moon to teleport creatures into hazards

Night Hag Coven:

All Night Hags within the Coven gain the following ability:

Coven Casting: When the Coven is together, all the members of the Coven gain access to a pool of Spellcasting dice that they can use to cast spells with.  Any member may access this pool, but these spellcasting dice are otherwise normal, burning out on a "5" or "6" and returning after a long rest.  The Coven can also, upon casting a spell, imbue an object with their magical power.  If they choose to do this, when the object is used, the spell is released.  For example, a cask of wine would be imbued with the spell Curse, so the first person who drank it was cursed. 

A Night Hag Coven has 15 spellcasting dice and gains access to the following spells: Ash Cloud, Baleful Moon, Create Servant, Combustication, Curse, Death Mask, Demonic Vigour, Fingers of the Thunderhead, Funeral Fog, Lucky, Me and My Shadow, Soul of Things, Star Dust, Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds and Two Black Crows.

Night Hag plot hooks: 
1d4

1- There is a story of a gambler who cannot lose, who seems to be protected by Heaven itself.  Others suspect darker powers behind this man's impossible luck.  When you investigate the man, a concerned young woman will come and offer to tell you how to acquire the same Fortune that this man has.  The ritual is a bit gory and somewhat unsavory, but without it, there is no chance of defeating the gambler.  The Night Hag, is, of course, the source of the gambler's luck; as in, she is helping him cheat.  With a little skill, she will try to make you into cheaters too.
2- A Night Hag attempts to convince a pair of rival city-states to go to war.  She skillfully manipulates events, having messengers disappear or messages altered, threatens or black-mails various officials into enacting small pieces of legislation or doing small, illegal things, building tension between the two states.  Eventually, when the tinderbox has been prepared, she tosses in a spark and watches it explode.
3- A Night Hag begins manipulating the dreams of a religious individual, sending dreams that seem to be prophetic or from a divine source and use that person as an unwitting pawn to spread her influence through an otherwise noble organization.  She may be seeking to target one specific individual, or just to rot the organization from within so it can be turned toward her purposes.
4- A Night Hag spreads rumors of a treasure in an isolated, dangerous location, then posing as different people, hires two different adventuring parties to recover the treasure for her.  Then she stalks them, posing as one of the other adventurers to harass or attempt to stop the other party.  She starts small, trying to force real recriminations.  Her goal is to get them to fight each other.  The winners of this conflict will be given the opportunity of serving her, while the survivors of the losers will be given their chance for revenge, in exchange for the same.

                                                      by Krystian Biskup

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