Monday, March 14, 2016

The Iconic Witches of D&D

No game this past weekend. I wasn't feeling great and my son was at a birthday party.

I was thinking about Friday's post on the witches of Rahasia and of Ravenloft and it occurs to me that D&D lacks in iconic witches.  There are great examples of Vampires, Liches, Wizards, Priests, Paladins, Rangers, enough Thieves to fill a guild, even Bards.

The witches in Rahasia are one thing, but the ones in Ravenloft don't even have proper names really.

Pathfinder does a good job with their iconics.  Feiya is a proper witch, but even the sorceress Seoni is often referred to as a witch.  Not to mention all the witches to be found in Irrisen like Queen Elvanna.

The witches three. Larina, Feiya and Seoni
I have my iconic, Larina.  But she appears mostly in my Pathfinder books.

Who do we have for D&D?

Well for starters and maybe the most iconic is Iggwilv, the Witch-Queen. We also have Elena the Fair, Witch Queen of Summer. Also, while not as a well know or even explicitly a witch is Skyla.

There is also one witch that both D&D and Pathfinder share, Baba Yaga.

There was also Koliada, the Winter Witch. a Level 26 Solo Skirmisher from the 4th ed era adventure "Winter of the Witch". But there is not a lot out there about her.  Interestingly Pathfinder also has a lot Winter and Cold related witches.

Dungeon Crawl Classics gives us Lady Kyleth, The Witch Queen.

Personally I'd love to see more.  There might be more, I just haven't found them all yet.


JB said...

Dude, can't even believe I have to tell you this one: Thingizzard.

She's mentioned in S2: White Plume Mountain (on the beautiful map/illustration inside that shows the region of the mountain), with the warning "Beware her potions." In the 2E adventure Return to White Plume Mountain, they provide her states, profile, and lair details including some pretty cool "swamp zombies" (swamp mummies? Maybe...I don't have the module here).

The "Hag" monster found in the B/X Companion is based in large part on Thingizzard, plus a combo of Night Hag and Sea Hag. Maybe a little folkloric Baba Yaga thrown in.

I'm sure folks there are folks who ran S2 back in the day that wrote their own stats for Thingizzard. I know I statted up Keraptis back in the day (since you can meet him in the "Indoctrination Center").

There are also the Witch practitioners in Glantri, though I'd hardly call them "iconic." It's possible they played prominent roles in some BECMI campaigns.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Oh yeah! I'll have to look her up.

Sean Robert Meaney said...

Okay...lets create a witch. One with history. Protoindoeutopean has the word Ansu meaning demon. Ansu is made of two phonetic components: An (meaning ancestor) + Su (meaning swine). Imagine a little old lady who keeps a 'herd' of swine. She resides in the forest beyond the village. Children are told not to venture there least they be eaten by her pigs. While some might respect the limits of the village as An-su defines them, others might act violently toward her wild swine and she might transform the villagers into pigs...adding to her herd.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Sounds cool! I'll have to add this to my list of characters to work up.

Hyrieus said...

Well there's the Crones of Cytorrak from the CM modules set in Norwold, perhaps Luthic from the Orc pantheon, or maybe the Witch King Zhengi. You could say Dame Sephora from Castle Amber though she really is a Clark Anton Smith creation. I'd also argue that many of the Crow are also witches, being priestesses of Lolth in the same way witches could be priestesses of Hecate

Sean Robert Meaney said...

The witch of belcadiz has progressed in my campaign. The nightdragon synn offered her immortality. The witch is now a minor artefact: a brush made of a shatter of bone, a hank of hair, and a twist of gut. In this form she can posess anyone as needed.