Monday, April 14, 2014

B/X D&D Month XIV: Terragia, the Witch of Galitath

Terragia, the witch of Galitath

Some call her the Bramble Queen, for she is said to haunt the thick, spiny woods along the foothills of the Askofar Mountains. Others call her the Lady of Sar, for she seems to have an uncanny familiarity with the mechanical golems of the ancients, the so-called meks. Those men of the Barbarian Lands who claim to have met her in person say she is at once cunning and mad, and surrounded....always the hideous brambles that spring up wherever she walks.

On one occasion, the regional hero known as Arabast the Cleaver said he met Terragia on a dark night, under the harvest moon after a particularly gruesome battle against a horde of orcs. She was sifting through the hundreds of corpses that had piled high in the battle when she came upon Arabast, wounded and recovering from a rattling blow to the temple. She offered Arabast a choice: to suffer his wounds, but in so doing, if he healed, he would be stronger than he could imagine. Or she could heal him and insure his health, but in exchange he must give of her a portion of his spirit, his katra, as the Galitath call it, a concept similar to but not quite the same as a soul.

Arabast considered her offer and decided he would have none of her withccraft. She left him to his own means, as her hulking mechanical giants carried off dozens of corpses. A year later he found himself ruler of the entire Northrender clan, ten thousand warriors under his banner. "She knew my destiny," he once said to his young wife Ezeta, "and she let me choose it. I could have been fodder for her machines....I think she steals the katras of men, and that the meks she commands are powered by those fragments of our spirits."

The truth about Terragia remains a mystery, but there are a few other facts worth mentioning:

She is a friend to the efreet that dwell in subterranean cities beneath the silt deposits on the coastal plains

Terragia is visited once a year along the coast by a contingent of priests and nobles from the Great City Phantomax to the distant west, often bearing strange concotions and tomes of eldritch lore in exchange for some of her fabulous meks

Terragia is shunned by the orcs, and her mere presence at an engagement is enough to send them routing

At least a few priestesses of Suliversa in Tordalis claim that Terragia is the bastard daughter of their goddess, from a tryst with Tokandros

Armor Class: -2 (can only be hit by magic weapons and attacks)
Hit Dice: 12+12*** (M)
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: staff or magic
Damage: 2D6+3 plus special
No. Appearing: unique, but usually has 1D4 Meks (RC pg. 192) with her
Save As: MU12
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: F (but see below)
Intelligence: 19
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 4,200
Creature Type: humanoid (enchanted, immortal)
Terrain: any area in the Barbarian Lands of Galitath

Staff Special: A +3 Staff of Power (8D6 damage fireball, lightning bolt, cone of cold, plus telekinesis, continual light; RC pg. 237)

Helm of Technomancy: Terragia's decorative helm contains ancient technomagical secrets which let her speak with and control the meks who serve her so willingly. Her helm also allows her to ethereally cut a portion of the katra of willing target away, and implant it in the ether engine of a mek to power it. An unwilling target of this effect (which she can do once per day) must make a save vs. petrification. The target loses 1 point of a mental attribute of choice but gains XP equal to their current level times 5,000. The experience diminishes the spirit but the immateial bond with the mek proves an enlightening experience. Once one's katra has been bonded to a mek that mek will always behave as a friend to the donor (so long as he/she lives).

Immortality: Like all demiurges, Terragia has a form of immortality, and can only be harmed by enchanted weapons and spells, and regenerates 2 hit points of damage per round. To slay her requires dismembering and burning her body. She will resurrect 1D6 months after being slain, appearing somewhere in the bramblewood of her homeland. The myths say that she can only be slain if one finds the exact crop of bramblewood and burns them down, then salts the earth.

Sorceress: Terragia is a gifted sorceress and commands all spells of 1st through 6th level as a 12th level magic user.

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