Friday, February 8, 2013

Night Hag

There was a bone with 28 marks on it that was considered Man’s first attempt at a calendar.  Until a woman said, “What man needs to mark 28 days?”

For years, scholars have assumed the complicated hairstyles worn by vestal virgins and other Classical women were wigs.  A Baltimore hair stylist just proved the looks could be achieved with a needle and thread.

And let’s not forget Cain and Abel—just where did their wives come from anyway?

For every system Man constructs, there is a woman outside of it. 

Archon vs. demon, agathion vs. daemon, azata vs. devil, genies holding the elements in balance…and then there are the night hags.

And if hags represent a fear of the feminine other, night hags are that fear engorged with fears of nightmares, the dark, and the fate of souls.

Night hags ride the backs of dreaming creatures, sapping their vitality and strength.  Night hags haunt the Ethereal Plane like foul hunched shepherdesses, harvesting souls for sale.  If there is a deal to be brokered or a market to be exploited in the multiverse, a night hag will be there.

Every warrior has to sleep.  Every room can’t be warded against ethereal creatures.  After you die, your soul may not be your own.  Everyone sometimes lets his or her guard down…and that’s when a night hag strikes.

Young men in the village keep dying in their sleep after debilitating nightmares and exhaustion.  All made the mistake of paying attention to the same girl, a changeling who has no idea that her night hag mother watches her from beyond the Veil of Mist.

An animate dream flees a night hag’s service and takes the shape of a noted adventurer.  Soon the adventurer finds herself the subject of rumor and whisper as this monstrous version of her invades both the dreams and real lives of her neighbors and friends.  Meanwhile, the night hag begins riding the adventurer in a dream haunting, trying to piece together why the dream should have taken this particular woman’s shape.

When an adventurer falls in battle and loses his soul to a night hag, his friends vow to rescue him.  Determined to avoid her pursuers and get the highest price, the night hag eschews the Hag Market and the Dis Exchange in favor of a new bazaar run by asuras, where moon-beasts and caulborn rub shoulders with nues and half-constructs (see the Advanced Race Guide).  It is soon clear to both the night hag and the adventurers that they are in over their heads, and that new players with strange motives have entered the soul racket.

Pathfinder Bestiary 215

1 comment:

  1. "What man needs to mark 28 days?"

    If he's anything like me, a VERY CAREFUL man.