For my next post in the A-Z Challenge, I will be posting a Sandbox Encounter focused on the covens of twisted witches devoted to Reverie, Lord of Dreams, a demigod that once served the dead goddess Psyche. N is for Night Hag Cult.
Night Hag Cult
Brief Description: Night hags appear as wretched old women, with long, frayed hair and withered faces. Their frail frames possess supernatural strength and preternatural speed, and their thin fingers bear iron-like claws. Worshippers of Reverie, a grieving demigod of dreams and slumber, these night hags and their mortal followers practice dark magics, lulling their victims to sleep and attacking them in their dreams. Although individually powerful, a coven of three night hags is even moreso, accessing greater magical prowess when working closely with one another (cast spells as two levels higher). Their followers often bear a special gem called a hag eye, which the hags can magically see through at a distance. Night hags love to trick unsuspecting victims into performing heinous acts, because they believe that nightmares empower their god and thus themselves. Night hags are gluttons for the flesh of humanoids, particularly humans.
Encounter Groups: These are common encounter groups for this type of encounter.
- Novice (levels 1-3): 6 Initiates, 1 Witch. 2d6x10 silver shillings, one consumable item (50% chance). (I use a silver standard in my campaigns.)
- Seasoned (levels 4-6): 10 Initiates, 2 Witches, 1 Night Hag. 3d4x1000 silver shillings, 1d4+1 gems, one potion (100% chance), one scroll (100% chance) and two other consumable items (50% chance each).
- Veteran (levels 7-10): 12 Initiates, 6 Witches, 3 Night Hags. 3d6x1000 silver shillings, 3d4 gems, three potions (100% chance), three scrolls (100% chance), one magic weapon (50% chance), one magic item (50% chance), and two consumables (50% chance each).
Stat Blocks: The following stats are provided as examples for inspiration. Please adjust as needed to fit your preferred gaming system and style.
- Initiate: AC 8 ; HD 1d6-1 hp; Atk: by dagger (1d4); ST: 15; SP: casts spells as 1st level magic-user; MV: 12; CL 1; XP: 15.
- Witch: AC 8 ; HD 3d6-3 hp; Atk: by quarterstaff (1d6); ST: 13; SP: casts spells as 3rd level magic-user; MV: 12; CL 4; XP: 120.
- Night Hag: AC 1 ; HD 8; Atk: one bite (1d8), two claws (1d6); ST: 8; SP: casts spells as a 6th-level Magic-User, damage reduction (half damage except from iron or +2 or greater magical weapons), shape change (any man-sized or smaller humanoid); MV: 15; CL 13; XP 2,300.
Encounter Ideas: Here are six different scenarios related to this encounter type.
- The cult is in the midst of a dark ritual when the party comes upon them.
- The cultists decide that the most charismatic member of the party would make a great sacrifice to their god, and attempt to lull him to sleep.
- A witch is torturing a blasphemous cult member before the other cultists when the party comes on the scene.
- The cultists demand to know why the party has come to consult the oracular abilities of the night hags, assuming that they are pilgrims seeking mystic insight at a price.
- The night hag cultists are sleeping and performing dream magic, and do not take kindly to being interrupted.
- The cultists are preparing children (who are still living at the moment, but not for long if the party doesn't act quickly) as meals for night hags when the party encounters them.