Thursday, December 5, 2013

Krampus, The Christmas Demon

Today (December 5) is the eve of Saint Nicholas Day. It is also the time when the pagan demon Krampus walks the earth in search of bad girls and boys.

I had done Krampus a few years back for Ghosts of Albion.  Though today I'd like give him a try is old-school/retro-clone stats.  As before I am taking a large number of liberties with this write up.  So please keep that in mind.

Krampus, The Christmas Demon
Long ago, long before children would know of the kindness of St. Nicholas there was a demon that tormented the long Alpine winter nights.  This demon, know locally as Krampus (from the word meaning Claw) would torment children and punish wrongdoers. Sometimes Krampus would even carry off a child that had been particularly wicked.
The trouble was that Krampus was more or less in a pact with the parents of the region that had used him as a means of controlling unruly children. Over the decades since their un-witting pact Krampus had grown in violence and deceit.
That is till the coming of St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas was able to confront the demon and was well on his way to dispatching the fiend (Santa was a bit more of a fighter in those days) when the issue of the pact was brought up.  The pact made with the demon was strong, and even though not one adult in area had made it an overt one, built up over the centuries with a little tale here, a story there, made it as strong as any pact sealed with a soul.  St. Nicholas then employed Krampus as a personal assistant, he could still torment bad children, but now under the eye of St. Nick himself.  Krampus also got more children as he traveled with St. Nick. Since St. Nicholas was know as Sinterklass in some areas and Father Chritmas in  others, Krampus also received more names such as "Belsnickel" or even "Black Pete".
Sometimes it is even said that his travels with St. Nicholas has tempered his evil.
Or maybe he is just bidding his time.

Armor Class:  2 [17] (hide)
Hit Dice: 6d8+5* (32 hp)
No. of Attacks: 2 claws /  bite / birch switches
Damage: 1d4+2 (x2) / 1d6  (bite) / 1 (birch switch)
Special: Acute Senses (taste, sight, smell), Cause Fear (Cha: 2), Unique Kill
Movement: 60’
No. Appearing: 1 (rumored to be unique)
Saves As: Fighter 6
Morale: 12
Treasure: None, Krampus carries a bundle of birch switches to hit bad children with
Alignment: Chaotic (Evil)
XP: 500

Krampus will only attack bad children and typically only with a single whack with a birch switch.  If attacked though Krampus reveals that he is in fact a demon with claws and bite.

Krampus appears as a particularly nasty looking satyr or demon.  He is covered in fur, but is sometimes wearing a coat covered in soot.  He has one cloven hoof and one animal-like paw for feet.  His legs are like that of a goat and his upper body is humanish.  His hands are human, but end in terrible claws. His face is a twisted snarl of evil, with goat like eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth.  His long tongue lolls out of his mouth and constantly drips saliva.  Despite this he can still speak eloquently.  He uses his tongue to lick a person, typically their face, to know if they are naughty or nice.  His head supports to long curved horns.  He smells of burnt coal. He is sometimes seen carrying an old rusted chain. It is not clear if the chain is for himself or for the children he terrorizes. He also carries a satchel of switches that he uses to beat children with.
His overall appearance is menacing and demonic. He cowers though from any stern word from St. Nicholas.
Krampus does have a weakness.  If given a piece of fruit, typically an apple or an orange, by a child, he will sit down to eat the gift, sharing it with whomever is there and engage is polite conversation.  Krampus will then leave the area, harming no one.

Krampus may be a demon, but he is fair and impartial. "Good" children have nothing to fear from him, "Bad" children are only punished in relationship to the severity of their "naughtiness".  Of course Krampus will attempt to use any trick he can to get someone onto his naughty list. For truly evil children he carries a sack to put them in. He will either drown them or take them off to Hell.
It is suspected though that he in fact feeds on the children's fear and the tales told by the parents.

Krampus is most often seen during the first two weeks of December.  All other times he is bound to his cave somewhere in the Alps.  There is no known way to dispatch of Krampus permanently.

Like many of the supernatural creatures associated with Christmas, as long as one child believes then he will return next year. He can be killed but will return next year.

Krampus is kinda like the Grinch really.  Except a Grinch that eats bad children.
Though given how Cindy Lou Who turned out the Grinch might reconsider.


Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I first learned about Krampus a few years ago and I just love it! We always celebrated St. Nick's when I was a kid but I didn't know he had an evil counterpart. Too funny.

Unknown said...

Rock on Krampus!!!

BigBennyD said...

Santa and Krampus seem to be "the Good Cop/ Bad Cop routine", the carrot and stick approach to childhood behavior!