Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blood Hag

Now this is more like it!  Blood + golem = no.  Blood + hag = hell to the yes!

What is a blood hag?  It's a soucouyant from Caribbean folklore. This is a hag that wears other women’s skins as her own (after days of torturing and bloodletting, of course)—even though she has to regrow the stolen skin every morning because she bursts out of it into her monstrous true self at night.  When she’s not flying around as a ball of fire, of course.  And blood hag covens?  They cast fire storm.  That’s a 7th or 8th-level spell in the clawed hands of CR 8 witch.

Hags don't get any tougher this side of the Ethereal Plane.  This is a monstrous humanoid that doesn’t waste time with necromancy—she simply sets you on fire.

If you want to stay true to the folklore, here’s a nice tidbit, though: Soucouyants seem a bit obsessive-compulsive—the common preventative measure being rice sprinkled around the house or at a crossroads, which the blood hag then feels compelled to count.  Having a weakness like that ties blood hags to similarly burdened monsters like divs and certain oni or fey.  GMs shouldn’t volunteer this information to players, but if a player brings that knowledge to the table, or her character asks the right questions and carefully observes local village customs, then I see no reason why spilling rice or grain or copper coins couldn't at least delay a blood hag…for a little while.  Her revenge will be all the more savage after the insult and frustration.

A blood hag lurks outside San Sirocco.  She is notable for three reasons: She has her green hag coven sisters absolutely petrified.  She was born freakishly short for a hag, and takes only the skins of dwarf, gnome, and especially halfling women.  And she once masqueraded as an ambassador’s daughter for more than three months.  The ambassador has sworn revenge and left his country’s service to pursue it.  Having found what may be her lair, but being too wounded from a duel gone wrong to seek satisfaction, the ambassador seeks adventurers to end her life.

Shipwrecked on the Burning Coast, adventurers are given hospitality only reluctantly by the local visitors.  They fear a soucouyant will be attracted by the foreign beauty of the party’s female members.  That night, the appearance of a fireball in the sky proves the villagers’ fears are well founded.

When a Missouri senator disappears journeying down the Mississippi, the list of suspects is long: secessionists, abolitionists, the zombie-raising Second Slavers, the resentful Dwarven Brotherhood of Steamship Engineers, the Niutachi-Veshanith nation (a conglomeration of First People and elven tribes), and the usual gnoll bandits.  In truth, the senator ran afoul of a blood hag who finds mystic uses for the blood of powerful men.  But with so many enemies to rule out, rescue parties may not find the senator in time.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 19

Work and family obligations have sadly ensured that no last minute Gen Con attendance miracles will happen for me.  Hope you all lucky enough to go have fun and say hi to any Pathfinder players and staff for me!

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