A night hag is a type of hag. They are usually solitary, but sometimes gather together in covens of three hags (of any type). They haunt the dreams of mortals, eventually trapping the souls of their victims in gems which they trade to other evil outsiders.
In its natural form, a night hag appears as a horribly thin, dark-skinned crone. While generally human in appearance, their face makes their outsider heritage obvious as a pair of infernal, curved horns sprout from the top of her head and her mouth boasts sharpened fangs easily capable of tearing into flesh. They vary significantly in size, from between five and a half and seven feet in height, and from 150 to 300 pounds in weight.
Night hags are primarily known for hunting not mere flesh but human souls; they attack when mortals are at their most vulnerable: when they dream. They torment their victims night after night slowly draining away their life force before trapping their tormented souls within dark soul gems. If forced into melee combat, they use their sharp claws, and their bite which carries the dreaded demon fever. It is not known whether night hags are an offshoot of the hags on the Material Plane, or vice versa. Night hags have a number of potent spell-like abilities. They also each carry a special periapt known as a heartstone, which is fundamentally linked to the night hag that created it and grants them additional powers. It ceases to function 24 hours after it is separated from the night hag or the hag dies.
Being outsiders, night hags are incapable of bearing children or giving birth to changelings, and most night hags were once powerful hags in their mortal lives. When a night hag needs a daughter, she magically warps the daughter of a pregnant coven mate into a moon may changeling, sometimes called a night-born changeling, to be transformed into a night hag after death.
A night hag can follow a process to evolve to a dreamthief hag, the most powerful kind of hags, by devouring the soul of an unborn daughter of a coven mate and replacing that soul with hers, killing herself to be reborn as a waker may changeling. Because the night hag dies in this process, she relies on her coven mates to follow her final commands to corrupt the newborn waker may into an eventual dreamthief hag.
Habitat and society
Night hags gather the souls of mortals to be sold to evil outsiders in infernal market places across the Outer Sphere. Within Abaddon, they are afforded immunity to predation and free movement between the territories of the Four Horsemen and the daemonic harbingers, due to a bargain between the Horsemen and the hag's patron goddess Alazhra. Night hags are known to be enemies of the psychopomps that guard the River of Souls. They are most often hunted by memitim, or vanths commanding packs of trained esoboks.
Most night hags revere Alazhra the Dream Eater, although some worship Zon-Kuthon or Lamashtu. They have a particular hatred for Desna.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Bestiary (First Edition), p. 215. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, and F. Wesley Schneider. (2010). Classic Horrors Revisited, p. 37. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-202-9
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, et al. (2017). Blood of the Coven, p. 4. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-982-0
- ↑ John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, et al. (2017). Blood of the Coven, p. 6. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-982-0
- ↑ Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 197. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- ↑ Jim Groves, James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, et al. (2012). Inner Sea Bestiary, p. 39. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-468-9
- ↑ Crystal Frasier, Thurston Hillman, and Will McCardell. (2014). Bestiary. Empty Graves, p. 85. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-589-1