Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hagtessa (Wermspittle)

Hagtessa
No. Enc.: 1(1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (see below)
Armor Class: 3(9)
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 2 Spells/Abilities, claws or weapon
Damage: by spell/ability, 3d4+paralysis, or by weapon
Save: F9
Morale: 9

Wicked, shriveled and screeching mockeries of humanity, these daemonical  wizened crones wander the interstitial intervals between sane universes and other unnameable places. Once they were living, even young, but now they are bitter, babbling and blasphemous things that have lost their humanity along with their morals and whatever former virtues they might have once had.

Foul and frenzied, these depraved minions of terrible unnameable masters commit all manner of unspeakable acts, horrible crimes and worse. They delight in tormenting those who delve a little too deeply into the dark arts or the mysteries that other, more kind powers have forbidden. These sly and cunning crones will gladly whisper the foulest sorts of secrets to those who would listen to their mad discourse and they will act as mentors to those who seek after knowledge, power and revenge via the blackest and vilest of sorceries and pre-human rituals. The Hagtessa know many, many such things and if it costs a few souls or causes great suffering, they will joyfully share these things as they delight in corrupting those who still retain some semblance of freedom or free will.

Not All Their Fault...
Because the Hagtessa serve terrible powers and what remains of their souls are held in a terrible bondage to these masters they resent those who are not likewise slaves. And they especially hate the proud and those who do not serve, unless it is one who serves only their own selfish interest--those ones the Hagtessa dearly adore and seek out at every opportunity as they are the most delightful to torture and taunt and drive mad.

The Basic Repertoire
Hagtessa have the innate ability to cast Charm Person, Darkness, Putrefy Food and Drink, Cause Fear, Ventriloquism up to 3 times per day each. They can automatically Read Magic and Detect Magic at will. Once per day a Hagtessa can cast Arcane Eye, Clairvoyance, Contact Other Plane (but only dismal, horrific domains), and/or Commune (with their Masters). The favored spell of choice for a Hagtessa tends to be Feeblemind. They generally also have 3d4 random spells of various levels, types and sorts, most of which may or may not be particularly useful in combat such as Curdle Milk.

Not Just Another Un-Pretty Face...
However, the Hagtessa have worse things to do to you than simply cast spells. Their claws inflict terrible wounds that only heal fully by use of a spell or potion and any such attack requires a Save or the victim is paralyzed for 1d4 turns. They also know how to both physically and psychically travel via Hyperspatial Geometries and often use a form of oneiric or dream-oriented astral projection to seek out and clutch onto the sleeping minds of vulnerable dreamers. Once they latch onto a dreamer, the Hagtessa inflict 1d4 damage, and attempt to paralyze their victim (Save at -2 penalty unless adequately protected, see Dream Wards), and then they will fill the dreamer's mind with all manner of cruel and disgusting nightmares in an attempt to cultivate insanity and unbridled turmoil in their minds, which the Hagtessa can then feed off of, draining 1d4hp / hour of dream torment that the Hagtessa then gains as temporary hit points. Anyone being so 'ridden' must Save every morning, or when they are awakened if earlier, or suffer the loss of 1 point of WIS.

Transgressive Things
The Hagtessa can travel across planar boundaries by use of a bizarrely ritualized form of Hyperspatial Geometry that employs fear, pain and suffering to act as a catalyst to open the way. They must expend 4d10 hit points (by no means necessarily their own) to open the way to another planar location. For the use of just 1d10hp they can teleport across any distance within a particular plane, as distance is effectively a bad joke to them. They can also teleport others for double the cost if the victim fails a Save, but the victim gains a +1 bonus to their Save for every 100 miles of distance involved. Anyone with an INT of 16 or better gets a second Save within 1d4 turns of arriving, and if they make that second Save, they can force a return for the same cost in hit points.

Got Skills
Some Hagtessa retain the ability to craft wands, brew potions, and commit other such acts of magical crafting and creation, often incorporating grotesque, unsavory and revolting things into their work -- in many ways the Hagtesa are artists after their own foul idiom and despite their deplorable, even one-track approach to all things evil, they have managed to fashion some incredibly useful, if repugnant magical weapons and other items that few really appreciate.

It is alleged, probably falsely, in certain rare tomes of disrepute that the Hagtessa can earn their freedom in exchange for several hundreds of innocent souls led into damnation and despair via their cruel, corrupting ministrations.

Let's Make A Deal...
The Hagtessa know a number of obscure and awful spells that they will trade to the unsuspecting and ill-informed for magic items, relics, etc. but you can be sure that they intend to always come out of such deals with a clear advantage...


2 comments:

  1. Yikes. They certainly know a few tricks, and the dream draining and planar movement seem very apt. A fearsome encounter.

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  2. @Porky: This critter has been on-hold for close to a year and wasn't going to wait any longer. The Hagtessa are integral to certain Planar-oriented adventures that we intended to kick-off with an adventure on Vhonj, but have now decided to pursue along another route.

    Hagtessa was derived/inspired by the old folklore, and once we had it raedy to go, a quick re-read of HPL's 'Dreams in the Witch House,' just confirmed how spot-on HPL was in his interpretation of the classic Hag and Night Terrors, etc.

    Hyperspatial Geometries are very useful and play a significant role in several of our adventures surrounding the Synchronocitor. You'll be seeing more about this stuff in the weeks ahead...and over at Bujilli's new blog which will be ready to go next week...we hope...

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