The Hag

Beguiler Version Character Builder

Hunter Version Character Builder

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
HagBeguilder, level 3
Eladrin, Vampire
Dark Sun, Inherent Bonuses
Scorned Noble (Scorned Noble Benefit)
Theme: Gloomwrought Emissary

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 12, DEX 18, INT 14, WIS 8, CHA 16

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 12, DEX 16, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16

AC: 17 Fort: 13 Ref: 15 Will: 16
HP: 34 Surges: 2 Surge Value: 8

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Athletics +6, Bluff +9, Intimidate +9, Stealth +10, Thievery +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +5, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +0, Endurance +2, Heal +0, History +5, Insight +0, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion +3, Streetwise +4

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Gloomwrought Emissary Attack: Strike from the Shadows
Eladrin Racial Power: Fey Step
Vampire Attack: Blood Drinker
Wizard Utility: Augury
Wild Talent Cantrip: Psionic Image
Vampire Attack 1: Swarm of Shadows
Vampire Attack 1: Dark Beckoning
Vampire Attack 1: Taste of Life
Vampire Attack 1: Vampire Slam
Vampire Utility 2: Charming Gaze
Vampire Attack 3: Feral Assault

FEATS
Level 1: Superior Implement Training (Transcendent ki focus)
Level 2: Witchcraft Initiate

ITEMS

====== End ======

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
HagHunter – Copy, level 3
Bugbear, Vampire
Dark Sun, Inherent Bonuses
Scorned Noble (Scorned Noble Benefit)
Theme: Misshapen

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 18, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 12, DEX 16, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16

AC: 17 Fort: 13 Ref: 15 Will: 15
HP: 34 Surges: 2 Surge Value: 8

TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +9, Endurance +7, Intimidate +11, Stealth +12, Thievery +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +5, Arcana +2, Athletics +2, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +0, Heal +0, History +2, Insight +0, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion +2, Streetwise +4

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Misshapen Attack: Grasping Limb
Bugbear Racial Power: Predatory Eye
Vampire Attack: Blood Drinker
Paladin Utility: Shroud of Shadow
Wild Talent Cantrip: Sensing Eye
Vampire Attack 1: Swarm of Shadows
Vampire Attack 1: Dark Beckoning
Vampire Attack 1: Taste of Life
Vampire Attack 1: Vampire Slam
Vampire Utility 2: Hunter’s Gaze
Vampire Attack 3: Feral Assault

FEATS
Superior Implement Training (Transcendent ki focus)
Level 2: Walker of the Dark Path

ITEMS

====== End ======

Playing the Hag

Beguiler — This character is a mobile combatant able to mix both melee and ranged attacks as needed as well as engage or disengage almost at will.

Hunter — This character is a brute that pushes, pulls, and slides enemies and uses combat advantage to get bonus damage

Looking at the two choices of build, if you pick the bugbear/goliath/mule build then it emphasizes her deceptive physical strength. For example she has decorated the chapel area of the funeral home with porcelain vases that are lead lined and weigh over 60 pounds. She does this because she thinks it is funny to see a big strong knight try to move one, then be humiliated when the frail old lady does it easily. Her vampire slam melee attack is likely to be your go-to power in battle in this case as it not only does lots of damage but it has a push built in so from a roleplaying standpoint it is visibly a powerhouse move. The eladrin on the other hand, teleports. Imagine following a 70-year-old woman stooped with age and shuffling along the street with a cane around a corner and she’s just gone. You look around and for a fraction of a second see her face in a third-story window smiling at you. When you blink, the window is empty. In this case she would use her charming gaze power to attack at range and intimidate enemies. There are two builds of vampire: the hunter and the beguiler. The hunter would use the physical build and the beguiler the eladrin build. Either is completely viable and just draws out whichever side of the character you want to focus on.

Outside of combat the Hag has physical skills and capabilities most spellcasters can’t access which opens interesting doors for problem solving. A bugbear has the ability to use giant-sized weapons (Large rather than medium) which represents that ability to  move have objects easily. The beguilder build has charm abilities and once per day can know the outcome of a course of action before taking it (Augury). Resources include access to a graveyard for making bodies disappear at will, and multiple ways in and out of the necropolis, safe ones, unsafe ones, and semi-safe ones, as well as great familiarity with the necropolis in general.

 

Long form back story

NOTE: All hags are women, so this is one of two characters that is absolutely locked into a single sex. This character is inspired by the kindly hag Ziroonderel from Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter, which was named by both JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis as the greatest work of fiction by a (then) living author, and both men named Dunsany as the strongest influence on their own writing. HP Lovecraft tried to commit suicide after reading Dunsany’s work because Dunsany had done everything he tried to do as a writer but better than he himself could, and Lovecraft felt without writing he had no reason to live.

======

Near the Castle of Erl there lived a lonely witch, on high land near the thunder, which used to roll in Summer along the hills. There she dwelt by herself in a narrow cottage of thatch and roamed the high fields alone to gather the thunderbolts. Of these thunderbolts, that had no earthly forging, were made, with suitable runes, such weapons as had to parry unearthly dangers.

 

And alone would roam this witch at certain tides of Spring, taking the form of a young girl in her beauty, singing among tall flowers in gardens of Erl. She would go at the hour when hawk-moths first pass from bell to bell. And of those few that had seen her was this son of the Lord of Erl. And though it was calamity to love her, though it rapt men’s thoughts away from all things true, yet the beauty of the form that was not hers had lured him to gaze at her with deep young eyes, till–whether flattery or pity moved her, who knows that is mortal?—she spared him whom her arts might well have destroyed and, changing instantly in that garden there, showed him the rightful form of a deadly witch. And even then his eyes did not at once forsake her, and in the moments that his glance still lingered upon that withered shape that haunted the hollyhocks he had her gratitude that may not be bought, nor won by any charms that Christians know. And she had beckoned to him and he had followed, and learned from her on her thunder-haunted hill that on the day of need a sword might be made of metals not sprung from Earth, with runes along it that would waft away, certainly any thrust of earthly sword, and except for three master-runes could thwart the weapons of Elfland.

======

 

Most tragic stories claiming to be about love really aren’t, they are about obsession, addiction, passion, lust, and personal weakness but the people involved glamorize the scenario by calling it love instead of admitting the truth. Hags are usually horrid creatures who use this inherently human form of denial to prey upon weak men. They are tall, physically powerful monstrosities with shriveled and hideous aged bodies that use magic to disguise themselves as beautiful women. They seduce vulnerable men and then devour them, sometimes while still alive. Often they reveal their true form to the man just for the pleasure of seeing him freak out in horror. This rejection fuels the hate that drives and sustains them emotionally. They see the horror as weakness in their prey, but also they feel rejected and disappointed by it and react with violence. In truth, they have inside a normal human sense of aesthetics and know they are hideous. They hate themselves and they deny this hatred by projecting it out onto the world and reveling in all things ugly while secretly desiring and coveting and destroying all things beautiful. They are also, famously magical and powerful from many traditions around the world Hags are the origin of witch covens, and the rule of three in western magical traditions. It is from this understanding that we begin the tale of our next character.

The kingdom of Gallia is the second largest of all kingdoms, and has by far the largest population. It is covered in lush forests and has every imaginable climate somewhere within its vast borders. Among the many terrors that stalk the kingdom whose Monster Lord is a creator of infinite nightmarish offspring (based on HP Lovecraft’s Shub Niggurath, “The Beast with 10,000 young”) are many hags. One of them had been hunting the men of the province of Senones, a small province with weak lords in the heart of the deep forests, for two generations. She had been very successful in her hunting and kept her identity secret so that the local people all thought she was a kindly forest spirit who protected them fr roaming and wandering spawn of the Monster Lord. Sometimes she would let a potential victim escape after a night of passion and illusionary beauty so that others would come seek her out in the future as her false reputation spread.

As she was disguised as the impossibly beautiful forest spirit and leading one foolish man to his doom, a second came upon them in the woods. She noticed him spying on her from a distance and as her prey babbled on about how lovely she was, she decided to chase this second man away and showed him, for a brief moment, her true form. But he did not recoil in disgust, nor run away, he smiled and nodded to her. And so struck was she by this acceptance, that she bespelled her prey into leaving instead of killing and devouring him, and went to this man and spoke to him. He said that he had always heard rumors that the spirit was not to be trusted, that things were too good to be true, but no one ever denied she did keep away even worse threats from the villages. And he thanked her for her honesty to him. The hag didn’t know what to do or how to respond and for the first time in her many century long life, she fled. Later she tracked down this man via her magic and watched him from afar. She overheard him defend her and maintain her secret at the same time, and whenever the dangers of the land threatened his small village, she kept it safe in secret. When the man got married, she found herself jealous. When his wife died in childbirth, she found herself glad. Two nights later, she came to him in his sleep disguised as his wife. But he awoke, and saw through her illusion. And he took her into the woods to a Hunter druid he knew and married her.

Alas, they did not live together for long, as villagers were suspicious how he could travel in the woods safely while not being a great warrior. They followed him, and spied upon her in her true form, and assumed he was bewitched and needed to be saved. When he defended the hag they saw he was not charmed. The local champion came with his two knights to slay the hag but her strength was great and she tore them apart. Then the villagers set upon her and she might have slain many of them but her husband begged her to spare them, and for him she let the villagers bind them both and burn them together. While she battled the champion, her husband had taken the daughter they raised in secret to a villager that was his trusted friend and begged him to take the child as far away as possible. He took the child to Kentarre, where he knew the man’s aunt lived and gave the child to her.

The aunt was old and had married into a noble family. She and her husband managed one of the larger graveyards in Kentarre province, near to the city but part of one of the surrounding estates. This graveyard not only used burial on the land, but also had multiple mausoleums in the necropolis nearby. Few aristocrats For many generations it was terribly haunted but the estate had its own champion and the old woman was a priest of Ordanna the Lady of the Woods and between them they kept the evil trapped underground. She recognized the potential for great magic in her niece and as she had never had children of her own happily agreed to raise the girl.

Quickly, the girl’s true nature became apparent. Plants and grass withered and died outside her window, and in all the places she frequented. She had physical strength as a tiny ten-year-old child to move stone coffins and crypt doors that needed the work of a team of men using ropes. And when she got angry, the subject of her wrath felt fear that was so great that even warriors had been known to wet themselves and flee. The locals assumed it was because of growing up in the haunted estate that she was a cursed child. No one said anything bad around her, because the aunt was so beloved, but wherever the child went people signed the wheel of the sun to ward away evil behind her back. They said she was growing up too fast, hadn’t she just been four years old, so how could she now look to be almost ready to marry?  She was too beautiful, so they feared her. Too strange, so they feared her. Was that her mother visiting, no said the aunt there is no woman here only me and my niece and my husband. So more rumors spread and more fear.

Then one day the champion was slain by some nameless undead horror with the crypts and everyone feared that the evil would escape as it had in the past. But the aunt was able to keep it at bay, so the people trusted her to also contain the evil they feared was growing in the niece.

Then new rumors grew. The old man had dementia and was dying, was it the child’s fault? Farm hands from nearby villages and lonely widowers who brought their wives to be buried were going missing. Was the evil escaping and responsible? Shriveled and aged corpses of unknown people were found in the woods, was the aunt losing control of her graveyard?

Of course the young girl heard all of this. Of course she understood what they feared. She knew what they did not. Every day she aged about a year. The only way for her to look her true age was to feed on other living things. Her aunt had caught her after she killed an oak tree and some animals. And the aunt suspected she was responsible for the shriveled men. But the aunt also knew that her own powers were gone and it was the child whose strength and magic were keeping the dangers of the crypts contained. And the aunt and the girl knew that she was using her own magic to make it seem like the aunt still had her own. So the aunt let it become something they willfully ignored, no matter how the common folk grumbled and whispered.

When the aunt’s husband finally died, things became unbearable. The aunt got so depressed that she wouldn’t leave the house and stopped eating and drinking. The young girl knew that soon she would be alone in the world, and the villagers here would probably burn her just like her parents. Her aunt made her swear not to kill any more humans as food just to stay young and beautiful. The young girl agreed, but wondered if she truly meant it. When the aunt finally died the young girl had gone so long without feeding that she looked as old as her aunt.

This turned out to be a blessing as the first client to come seeking to bury his parents thought she was her aunt. So saying nothing she did what she had always seen her aunt do and handled it. Then another client also mistook her for her aunt. And another. And soon it was just business as usual.

But still she feared what might happen if her true nature was revealed. And, technically, with her aunt and aunt’s husband dead the estate should go back to the lord to give to a new noble. Which would certainly result in her being found out and probably killed. So she came up with a plan. She had never told any of the clients that she WAS the aunt, she just didn’t deny it either. By taking this to the extreme she could prove to a champion or to a magistrate that she had never lied, nor actually stolen her aunt’s title. If the lord never claimed the estate back, that was his choice. So she used a ritual to preserve her aunt’s body in her bed, frozen at the moment of death, while allowing the spirit to leave. When people asked “where did your niece go?” she would answer “are you sure you haven’t seen her around? How curious”. And because no one felt comfortable talking about the cursed girl, that was all they needed to hear and never asked for more. So with the right magic she could prove that her aunt never died and the estate was still hers, and that never once had she lied to anyone about herself. This eventually became a habit of keeping secrets and answering questions with questions to keep everyone at a safe distance.

If anyone wondered why the old priestess stopped using even the least bit of divine magic, well, it would be rude to bring it up. Just like they had never commented on how her powers had clearly weakened as she got older, it was just assumed that finally they were gone. It was easier to ignore the mystery of how the old woman living alone with no magic in the most cursed house in Kentarre never got killed by any evil thing from the necropolis. Or how the evil was more contained now than it ever had been with a powerful champion around. Sure there were strange doings at the graveyard, like how the frail old woman could do her work without needing day laborers to help move the stone coffins or heavy blocks anymore. Or how she could get from one side of the graveyard to the other so fast without anyone seeing her travel. But maybe she did still have a bit of divine magic in her. And if anyone wondered what happened to the young girl, well there were always those who said they saw a beautiful woman through the upper windows from time to time. And if a drunk young man bragged that he would sneak into the house and have his way with the cursed girl of the graveyard but was never seen again, well, drunkards are unreliable like that and the graveyard is a very dangerous place at night. Very dangerous.

DM’s NOTE: The relationship between the Hag and the Bane Sidhe will be revealed only to those two players (or one if only one is picked). However what should be obvious is that a PC with knowledge of and access to safe entry/exit points from the necropolis is likely to be very helpful to the whole group, and probably has been helpful to Whitehall over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About GavinRuneblade

I'm a gamer. Currently in Star Trek Online. RIP City of Heroes, I'll never forget you. Check out www.thecaperadio.com they rock.
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