"Hehehe...my services will cost you my dear, oh yes, they will cost you..."
In ages long past many cultures worshipped the aspect of woman as divine. Mysterious, enigmatic and powerful in creation, these deities often possessed darker aspects: aspects of fear and death, infertility and cannibalism and aspects of woman the destroyer. From Hecate of the Greeks, Badhbh of the Celts, Sedna of the Inuit, Kali of India, Ixtab of the Mayans and many, many, others grew powerful nightmares. Nightmares that ultimately gave birth to the Hags.
Powerful in the ways of magic, Hags are perhaps the least numerous of Thallain, jealously hoarding their knowledge and power, both from outsiders and each other. In truth it is this drive for selfish knowledge and power that led to the Hags becoming changelings, reluctant as they were to leave their power-base on the mortal world behind. Indeed, it is also the reason for their decreasing numbers, for they only continue their lines to ensure they can reincarnate. After all, more Hags only increases the competition.
Unsurprisingly they often lead isolated and xenophobic lives, especially as they grow in power and age, for they greatly fear the theft of their knowledge or the dark assassin's dagger of jealousy. unning, malicious, and far-planning, some of the younger Hags seek power in the Unseelie Court, proving manipulative in the extreme. Many an Unseelie lord has met his match in these crafty Thallain while others curry their favour, seeking to harness their knowledge for personal gain.
Despite their Thallain legacy it is rare for Hags to join the Unseelie Court. Those few oddities who do are usually followers and priestesses of the dark goddesses that inspired their creation, recognising the power and need of the dark side as part of the natural order. Their legacy is still Thallain however, for their worship often requires dire sacrifice.
Usually cannibalistic, Hags have a powerful drive to devour sentient flesh, with many tales relating the Hags who devour men and children. Such is the embodiment of dark terror they represent. One wonders how many missing children are the result of this kith's dark appetite...
Were that Hags only knew the element of land, but this is not so, for even watery realm are domain to some Hags; the Hags of drowning who drag hapless prey to their watery lairs for consumption. Small fortune that these Water-Hags are not as magically gifted as their land-dwelling sisters.
It is no surprise that kithain shudder at the mention of infamous Hags such as Black Annis of Scotland, Baba Yaga of Slavic myth, Yama Uba of Japan, Utluhtu of America, and the 3 Graea Sisters of Greece.
They have an affinity with the Actor realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Hags are truly repulsive. Tall and stick thin, bent, and hunched, their skin is leathery and their hair long, dark, and matted. Their features are often long and sharp, especially their noses; their faces wrinkled, their eyes piercing and malevolent. With long, clawed fingers, and twisted teeth, few sights are so terrible. Despite their fragile seeming however, they are surprisingly powerful and tough, often bearing extra deformities such as a gnarled, useless limb, or missing eye. With warty skin, and dark, tattered clothing, there can be no mistaking a Hag. Usually possessed of a sickly pallor, some have blackened nails and teeth, and those of the watery realms have skin of a sickly green hue.
Childling Hags are incredibly rare, and becoming increasingly so. Ugly children, they evoke loathing, fear, and assault among their peers, but such is their cunning and appetite that few suspect the instigator of a child's disappearance...
Wilder Hags age very rapidly, becoming increasingly grotesque. By now they begin their isolationism, or join the Unseelie Court in pursuit of power.
Grump Hags account for 85% of this kith. They are the dark sorceresses and cannibals of legend. The epitome of the nightmare.
The nasty, mysterious old hermit out yonder, and the scary old woman who watches children from her window down the street. These are the Hags.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Hags have a few traits exclusive to them.
Dark Arcana (Land Hags only): The sorcerous arts and black occult knowledge come easy to this kith. They gain + 1 dot of Occult (even above 5), and lower the difficulty of all cantrip rolls by 1.
Glaucous Depths (Water Hags only): Hags of drowning are at home in the murkiest depths, able to breathe water and air equally well, see with ease in even the blackest, murkiest water (or darkest pit), and can swim at their full movement rate.
Twisted Talons (both): The wicked claws of Hags are sharp, twisted and tough, inflicting Str + 2 damage.
Foul Appetite (both): No morsel is so succulent as the flesh born of intelligence and innocence. Hags can only subsist on flesh, but they truly crave intelligent, and especially young, tender flesh. The Hag must roll Willpower (Difficulty 7) to resist this urge at the Storyteller's demand.
Terrible Mien (both): Redcaps are ugly. Hags are hideous. All Hags have an Appearance rating of 1 when childlings and wilders, dropping to zero when they reach grumpdom. They also suffer a +2 difficulty in any social situation except intimidation. In fact, they lower the difficulty of any intimidation roll by 1. The fact that they are still successful manipulators, despite this handicap points to their great skill in this area.
Views on Other Kith
Adh-Sidhe: The avengers' flesh is sour. Cunning is the order of evasion, for these fools hunt us.
Foul, twisted mockeries! Spreaders of lies and evil. Trust not these devouring monsters, trust only their burning corpse.
Bean-Sidhe: Hehehe...the great suffering of arrogance. Delicious...
The dark crones are ravens at the corpse. They fill me with disgust.
Bendith y Mamau: Tortured little goblin-kin, oh! How my heart weeps...Hehehe!
My soul shudders under their gaze, for although we stole children, we allowed them to live.
Boggans: Gossip, oh juicy gossip. Has the plump, succulent little Boggan got a loose tongue...mmm?
Sick n' evil, watchin' from the darkness with eyes that aren't just hungry for knowledge.
Centaurs: What's wrong dearie? Has my bee-oot-iful appearance made you go 'limp' with envy? Hehe...slurpy horsemeat eh?
They're much more effective than an ice-cold shower.
Dwarves: Little smiths, toiling, ever toiling, deep and hidden with your secrets.
Prowling old bats! I'll deter their probing noses with cold iron.
Eshu: The tales of faraway lands? Bah! Useless! Esoteric knowledge is hard to pry isn't it my spicy morsel?
The cost of their knowledge is dear. Too dear...
Fatae: Delicate and fragile, but oh so sweet...
Nockers: Your craft is flawed and your tongue is blunt little toy-maker. Hehehe!
Piskies: Pixie in the pastie! Hehehe!
Oi don' like them 'ags, no sir, them's nasty and 'orrible.
Pooka: Hello, my sweet, fluffy, little child. Are you alone?
HAG!! (points her finger and runs like buggery).
Redcaps: Oho! Dark cousins and able guards, apt to share in the feast.
Untrustworthy, despicable and cannibalistic. Sounds like me.
Satyrs: Tiresome fools, led by their 'meat'...meat?...yummy...
Gawd, they're so gross, I think I'm gonna hurl.
Selkies: Briny-broth fit for our watery sisters.
Note the Sea-Hags home, and note it well. Avoid it thereafter.
Sidhe: I see the loathing in your eyes my pretty but I also see the lust for power. A deal perhaps?
Thoroughly foul. Do not trust these plotters. Play their game warily for the power it can garner.
Sluagh: Dark, whispering spies, lingering under rocks. Come, and join us...
They offer temptation. They also offer lies and damnation.
Spriggans: Delightful thugs. They know well enough to ply their trade elsewhere.
Stealing from them just isn't worth the risk.
Trolls: Vigilant soldiers, watching us without fear. Curse them all to hell!
NEVER take the serpent to your bosom.