Monday, May 9, 2016

The Return of Monstrous Mondays: The Cailleach Bheur

For a while now I have been contemplating returning to an old feature here, Monstrous Mondays.
A few other bloggers I met in the A to Z Challenge also do it, tailored to their respective audiences.  The last one I did was just over a year ago (Yog, Monster from Space) but I never kept going.

Natasha Duncan-Drake
Part Time Monster
MindweaverRPG
Dispatches from Kickassistan,

For this blog, I would feature monsters that would likely appear in my games. I would likely focus on OSR stats.  Also, I am likely to release them all as "Open" via the OGl.  Art is excluded from that of course.  Wish to join me?  Let me know each Monday and post with the hashtag #MonsterMonday (Twitter) or #MonsterMonday on Google+.

So let's get going!

I think for my "OSR" stated monsters I am going to start using the format/stat block I used for some of the vampires I did last year.

The following text is considered Open for use under the OGL.

The Cailleach Bheur as a human witch
The Cailleach Bheur by Andrew Paciorek
used with permission
The Cailleach Bheur
AKA: The Blue Hag, The Crow of Winter
Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1 (believed unique)
Size: Large 8" (L)
Armor Class: 2 [17]1
Movement
 Basic: 120' (40')
 Advanced: 12"/18"
 3e: 30ft
Hit Dice: 10d8+5 (50 hp)
% in Lair: 50% (roaming countryside in winter, dormant in summer)
Treasure Type: None
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite) + cold, fear
Damage: 1d6+4/1d6+4/1d4
Special Attacks: Cold 6d6 (breath), once per day. Cause Fear once per day.
Special Defenses: Immune to cold based attacks
Save As: Witch 102
Magic Resistance: 25%
Morale: 103
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Level/XP: 10/5,530 + 15/hp

STR: 19 INT: 10 WIS: 17 DEX: 16 CON: 204  CHA: 75

1 Descending and [Ascending] Armor classes are given.
2 This is used for Basic games, and S&W. Also for monsters that I think need to save a little differently than others.
3 Morale is "Basic" Morale and based on a 1-12 scale. Multiply by 1.6667 for 1-20 scale.
4 Have not decided yet if I want to use 3.x style undead Constitutions or not. (15) Reflects what their Con would be if I do use it.  I might just put a number in () like I do for Ghosts of Albion.
5 monster witches can use an "absolute value" for Charisma.  So a really bad CHA is just as good as a really good one.

Known as the Crow of Winter, The Cailleach Bheur is a very deadly hag. She appears only after Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve and stays till Beltane eve. While as evil as other hags, Cailleach Bheur is more interested in eating sheep and deer than children. In Ireland and Scotland, she is the personification of Winter. During the summer months, Cailleach Bheur turns to stone and is indistinguishable from the other standing stones of the area.

The Cailleach Bheur was cursed into her existence back in a time before writing came to Scotland. One tale, disturbing as it sounds, describes the Cailleach as the ancient Protector of Alba, maybe even a faerie queen or goddess.

In her previous life, the Cailleach Bheur was a lone protector of animals (a Ranger) and a follower of the Great Goddess. One night he fell asleep by a well. The well overflowed with the thaw and she nearly drown. She invoked powerful magics to move the water away, but in the process created Loch Awe (in Scotland) and drowning several villagers and cattle. As repentance, she is to walk the snowy earth till she can feel the mid-summer sun on her face, something that can’t ever happen since she is cursed to be stone from Beltane to Samhain.

The Cailleach Bheur still protects her lands as she did before, ignoring humans unless they tread on her domain, then she kills them with glee by freezing them solid. She blames humans for her current state.

The Cailleach Bheur is believed to be at least 400 years old.

Staff of Winter: Possibly a remnant of her former life the Cailleach Bheur carries a magical staff. The Staff of Winter is made up of holly and gorse branches intertwined to form a 7’ long staff of solid wood. It acts as a magical focus tool providing the Cailleach Bheur +2 magic to all magic related rolls, attacks, saves and checks.

Anyone in possession of this staff can command Cailleach Bheur to leave the area by holding the staff and saying “Bì falbh buitseach!” (begone (get out) witch!). Both Cailleach Bheur and her staff will disappear after the command is uttered. This would require research into Cailleach Bheur specifically or local lore.

Section 15: "The Cailleach Bheur". Copyright 2016 Timothy S. Brannan.

4 comments:

Linneman said...

Looks like a fun thing to take part in! I seem to benefit from some structure in my blogging goals. Best way to let you know, if we're not on Twitter?

Timothy Brannan said...

Just post and reply back to others who post as well.
I'll do the same. No need for great structure...just fun and cool monsters.

I think we can do tags in Google+ too.
I'll give it a try.

Timothy Brannan said...

Yes. the #MonsterMonday works on Google+ too.

Linneman said...

Cool, looking forward to it!

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