The difference between nixies, nereids, and rusalkas is about orders of magnitude. The former beguile and charm and sometimes even kill—but the impulses are capricious and selfish, not usually outright malicious. Rusalkas are actively malevolent, luring slaves in a much more calculated fashion and releasing them to far bloodier ends. While fey biology is an elusive thing, it is clear that rusalkas must feed on the torment they cause somehow…just as a fish mysteriously captures oxygen from the bosom of the water.
If you’re going to use rusalka in your game—and you should, as they’re a solid mid-to high-level fey threat—make sure you have the rules for being dazed or staggered down, and don’t forget about the nasty CMB of those tresses!
Trade between the Barony of Held and the nation of Neifferl is almost nonexistent thanks to one creature—a rusalka who guards the only path through the rapids that separate the dominions. If the way is opened, the Barony’s clockwork creations could bring a renaissance to the beleaguered and mage-poor Neifferl.
The queen of Parkorov is a cruel, vindictive monarch who has her husband and her stepsons beguiled. But the privy chamber has so far avoided her control. Fearing for her life, one of the chamberlains has taken to spending much of her time in the crypts beneath the castle library, where she discovered an underground river and the queen’s secret—that she is actually a rusalka.
Despite the legends, most rusalkas are not, in fact, reincarnated spirits of the drowned. But—the borders between life, death, and the fey realms being what they are—some rusalkas are. These tend to either return as rusalka necromancers or witches whose power springs from dark wells, often attended by powerful (Advanced) draugrs or lacedons in additional to their elemental allies.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 232
If I’m going to write about rusalkas, I should play some Slavic folk music…or at least something fey like Clannad. (Or this! Which I just discovered. Whoa. Opera.) But since tomorrow is June, naturally I’m listening to Warren Zevon, because that’s what I do in June.
Speaking of music…YOU GUYS!!! *forehead slam* *forehead slam* I’ve been so out of my head with stuff this week I never told you that I was BACK ON THE AIR!
Saturday was my first show back in three weeks. And you’ve only got five hours to listen to/download it. The file vanishes at midnight. Think of this as a one-day-only sale.
BTW, I packed it chock full of new Vampire Weekend, Cayucas, and Dungeonesse. And maybe a human head, like at the end of that movie! GRAB IT WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.