They are three in number, a trio of monster women who dwell on the borders of the Gloaming Wood. Their crepuscular hunts are well known to the locals, who curse them bitterly, as they have been strangling the local towns by chilling trade. The vineyards have barrels of wine that they cannot sell and the dairy farmers are sitting on wax-sealed thrones of cheese that they cannot eat themselves. Meanwhile, the demand for succulent grapes, local cheese and other goods produced in the Fernix valley grows, but few will brave the roads for fear of these dreadful predators.
There is a bounty out for the heads of all three of the Sisters, though no one has managed to claim it yet.
Criza is a terror, a beast with a shark-like muzzle, glinting with dozens of rows of overlapping teeth that could shear straight through anything short of iron plate. She'll splinter your shield and snap your spear haft like a toothpick well enough though. Her jaws are often barely noticed by her opponents however, as she is terrifyingly strong, capable of throwing horses like projectiles and small trees like javelins. She uses this strength to her advantage, rushing in and striking anything near her, smashing anything that tries to stop her. The caravan guards and merchants that have managed to encounter her and survive don't bother to fight her. If they see Criza, or even suspect she is around, they bolt.
Criza herself is an endlessly irritated and aggrieved creature. She is constantly complaining about everything: the food, the poor hunting, the poor sport, the cowardice of her opponents, the injuries she's received, her aging joints, your outfits, the lack of challenge, your appearance, etc. She talks to her sisters when she can, but they have heard most of her complaints and don't suffer fools lightly, especially Yandri. So to entertain herself, Criza will sometimes capture interesting looking travelers and hold them captive and force them to keep her company. She will drag them back to the cave and force them to listen to her litany of complaints.
If you express any interest in her at all, Criza will tell her story. She will claim to be have once been a simple Orzanian (pigman) countrywoman, but when her daughter was snatched up by a group of amorous Folk, she refused to let this go and after arming herself with an iron pan, set out to give them a piece of her mind. When she found her daughter, the Folk refused to give her up, and when Criza attacked them, they cursed her to transform into a hideous monster. Criza was transformed and passed out. When she awoke, her daughter was gone. When she returned, her story was not believed by her former neighbors, who drove her away with spears and arrows.
She is relentlessly bitter about this. When confronted by locals from where she lived, she always tries to hurt them or make them suffer. She is especially cruel to children from that area, though she goes to great lengths to not do anything unjustifiable in front of witnesses. She tries to portray her actions as justified due to the immense suffering she has been subjected to.
If a Prophet examines Criza, he will be informed that her transformation into this form was caused a curse.
Weakness: Criza has three weaknesses.
1) She loves to victimize people from her hometown and will take extra risks to do so.
2) She is thin-skinned and easily angered. If prodded enough, she usually loses control and tries to tear the offending party apart.
3) Criza's strength is so great it makes it difficult for her to perform any task that requires delicacy almost impossible. Her sisters have given up on having doors, as she tends to rip them out of place. She also crushes glasses, snaps the handles of weapons, bends silverware into pretzels and bruises people she touches, even if she tries to be delicate.
AC Warped, Mutated Frame (Blunt 1d8)
Atk Club (1d8+3) or Thrown Object (2d6, save for half)
Saves 11 or less
Enormous Strength: Criza Cleopa possesses enormous strength. She can break objects such as weapons, crush armor, uproot trees and hurl boulders. For checks like these, she may reroll failed STR checks. For purposes of STR checks, she has a STR of 18(+3).
Large Size: Criza Cleopa is a Large Creature. She may reroll all grapple checks being made by and against her for creatures smaller than her.
- Throw objects
- Attack the most dangerous person
- If too dangerous, grapple and throw them
- Hate Priests, Prophets, Shamans, etc
Criza will greet you with a hurled boulder or a barricade of fallen trees. She will stalk forward and set about the grim business of slaughter with nary a word, except for perhaps a blood-curdling threat. She is ill-mannered compared to her other sisters, at least according to Vivia. Vivia is a cruel creature, but she hides her cold-hearted nature behind layers of politeness and gentility.
Vivia will slink up to a camp or caravan once night has fallen, covering her front part in a cloak, concealing the rest of herself in the shadows. She will speak to you softly and ask you questions, if you might help her with a small matter. Few accept her offer, for good reasons. Those who survive regret it for the rest of their lives. Thankfully however, that isn't a very long time. For you see, Vivia likes to capture people. She takes them away and makes slaves of them, if they seem interesting, useful or unappetizing, or she just eats them.
But why does she do it? Vivia will tell you a sob story about how she was mutated or changed into this form by various individuals, but these stories are all lies. She tells them with a blatant insincerity, but if you accuse her of lying, she will pretend to be offended. Regardless of what story she tells, she will never include such elements as envy, a lying seductress, betrayal, mutation or Wizards.
Vivia's danger comes from her speed. Despite her long, muscular body, she can move quite quickly, as fast as a galloping horse, at least over short distances. For this reason, she favors ambush as a strategy, lunging forward in a quick surge, locking her jaws around a target of choice, then scurrying away. When this isn't an option, she will sprint into the fray and use her four strong arms to seize her enemies and position then for a bite. And while she prefers to fight with her bare hands, Vivia knows how to use most weapons. Though due to her large size, she prefers to use polearms and spears, holding one in each hand. She can also fling a longspear like a javelin. So yes, you should be afraid.
Weakness: Vivia is arrogant. She does not doubt her own proficiency in the art of dealing death, nor her intelligence. This causes her to underestimate her opponents. This is not something that has gotten her into too much trouble yet, but it certainly will, eventually.
She also despises Wizards. If she sees one, she will attempt to slay them, unless to do so would unreasonably endanger her.
If a Wizard or Sage examines Vivia, he will be able to tell her that she was mutated into this form.
AC Rapid Movement (Ranged 1d12)
Atk Polearm (1d8) + Sword (1d6) + Spear (1d6) or Javelin (1d6/1d6/1d6)
Saves 10 or less
Rapid Movement: Vivia Cleopa can move as fast as a galloping horse.
Climber: Vivia is an excellent climber, getting a +4 bonus to climb any slope that is not a sheer cliff, covered in ice or otherwise unclimbable.
Tail: Vivia Cleopa's tail is a long and muscular and highly flexible. When in melee range, she can substitute a melee attack with her tail. Anyone struck by her tail takes 1d6 damage and is then grappled. If you try to target her tail directly, it was 2 HD and AC Rapid Movement (Sharp 1d10)
- If weak, attack in melee
- If well protected, soften them up with ranged attacks first
- Hit and run tactics
- Grapple someone, drag them along behind them
- Target Wizards, Magic-Users first
The dense woodlands of the Fernix valley have grown more overgrown than usual. A monster stalks them, by day and night, a female terror that feeds on the flesh of mortals. Corpses are often found on the edge of the wood where men would ordinary go to fell trees and cut down wood, torn apart by blunt teeth and strong hands. Children now return home earlier and only the bravest stay outside after dusk.
The Cleopa Sisters speak of the youngest of their group, but no one has ever seen her and lived to tell the tale. At night, locals and travelers huddle around their fires and speculate about her- what does she look like? Is she perhaps, invisible? Could she be behind us right now? Or does she tunnel beneath the Earth like an Ankheg, ready to burst out and crush your leg in her jaws?
None of these tales are accurate. Yandri Cleopa is not some terror or impossible beast. She is strange looking, but otherwise, utterly beautiful. But here are two facts that should be known. Firstly, Yandri was beautiful even before she became a Cleopa. The second thing to know is that when a girl is as beautiful as Yandri, she never has to learn to accomodate reality. Yandri spent her youth being waited on hand and foot. Any difficulty in her path was smoothed or removed if possible. Her paths were made straight and cleared of thorns or brambles. She also learned that she could do almost anything she wanted.
This does not help someone develop virtue, as any moral teacher will tell you. And that was the case for Yandri. She became a tyrant, worshiped by her lovers and despised by others. Finally though, she got her just desserts. One day, a scorned lover attacked her, vowing that if he could not have her alive, he would slay her and have her dead. At that moment, Yandri should have died.
But instead, she was transformed. Yandri's natural beauty became accuentated by some dark power, to the point where her virtue no longer merely stole the hearts of men figuratively, but literally. Not only does the mere sight of her cause mento want to be with her, falling instantly, desperately in love with her, but it is so great that it plucks the souls of these men from their bodies and traps them here as Ghosts, binding them in states of worshipful adoration, she she pays attention to them, and envious rage, when she looks at someone else.
Yandri slew all of her male admirers inadvertantly in that moment, including her assaliant. When they saw this, the women around Yandri declared that it was clearly divine judgement placed upon Yandri and attempted to slay her. Yandri barely managed to escape, fleeing into the wilderness. There she waits, mourning and raging intermittantly at what she has.
Yandri longs to return to her life as it once was, but now that she has tasted real suffering, she may be able to understand the trials she caused others. She may be able to become virtuous.
At the same time, for the unprepared, suffering can poison them. Unless you understand how to endure suffering, it can turn you bitter. It can make you into a monster.
Yandri has three important people in her life right now. A young, blind man by the name of Tricio and her two "sisters". Tricio was a soldier who, despite being uninjured, went blind in a battle and never recovered his sight. Still, he is regarded as a virtuous man who works hard and does his best to not be a burden on his community. Tricio recently wandered into the woods and stumbled upon a woman with lilting voice and a nearly smothering aura of sadness. He has become smitten with the girl and has, so far, ignored the warnings and gone into the woods at every opportunity to speak to her. Everyone else in the community thinks he has gone mad, but no one has done anything to stop him yet.
The other Cleopas are not virtuous at all. Both are consumed by a desire for revenge and a thirst for blood. However, when no one else would, they accepted Yandri and adopted her into their family. They love and support her and would do a lot for her- though they wouldn't die for her.
Yandri and Tricio are both fond of each other, though to describe it as love might be premature. However, if Tricio were to be killed or if she were to be kept from him, Yandri would be incredibly angered by that. Similarly, if one or both of her sisters were slain, she would be twisted into someone who would take her revenge upon everyone who dared to try and harm her, as well as everyone else.
And that, would make the person who "blessed" her with her abilities very, very happy.
Weakness: Yandri, at the moment, desires to protect her sisters and to avoid hurting any of the people around her. The ghosts of her former admirers have kept the murders they committed secret, because they know it would displease her. They are also the ones who encourage her to stay in the heart of the forest, away from the rocky hills or roads, where she might endanger someone.
Atk Dagger (1d6)
Saves 10 or less
Soul-Stealing Beauty: Anyone who is attracted to women who lays eyes on Yandri Cleopa must save vs death. Those who fail their save have their soul plucked out and must save again to see if they remain as a Ghost or are successfully manage to escape from the area, where their soul will meet a Psychopomp as per usual. Anyone who is not attracted to her must still successfully complete a COG save to attack or cast a harmful spell on her. Those who are blind or cover their eyes are immune to this effect.
Entourage: Yandri rarely goes outside during the day. When she does, it is to accompany her sisters. At night, she is more comfortable walking around, as she knows fewer people are out. Additionally at night, her Ghostly admirers can attend her, serving her and protecting her from danger.
- Avoid danger as much as you can
- Don't take any enemy seriously
- Run if in serious danger
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