Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Prydain Project - Monster - Cyhyraeth


AC: 5                                                            
HD: 5***                                                                
Move: 120' (40')
     Flying: 180' (60')                                            
Attacks: 2 claws, 1 bite + special                                   
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8                        
No. Appearing: 1                                  
Save As: Fighter: 5                                        
Morale: 8                                                  
Treasure Type: nil                                            
Alignment: Chaotic                                          
XP value: 650

Does the Cyhyraeth represent one of the results of efforts by Arawn (and by Achren before him) to corrupt the Fair Folk and twist them to their will?  Or is it merely a reflection of the darker face of the Tylwyth Teg? Is she a single, twisted being?  Or is she one of a race of dark fae?

At first glance, the Cyhyraeth appears to be a thin, bent old woman wrapped tightly in a long cape or shawl.  However, it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong: her hair is wild and tangled; her limbs are not merely thin, but skeletal, almost insect-like; her flesh is pale, waxy, corpselike; her face is split by a wide mouth filled with long, black teeth as sharp as knives; the "shawl" is in reality a pair of membranous wings.  

Often, she will lurk at crossroads, at the edge of fens, on the bank where a bridge crosses deep water, at the foot of the docks of a lonely mooring - all places where lonely travelers forced to journey at night might be expected to pass.  She will never venture into cities or large towns - the vibrant sense of life is unpleasant to her - and she will avoid any Fair Folk if at all possible.  But on occasion, she may venture to lonely farms or homes, perhaps even small hamlets, drawn especially to those places where strife and ill-feeling is rampant. 

When she is lurking in lonely places and at crossroads, travelers will first notice Cyhyraeth's presence by the constant sound of her piteous muttering and moaning, like the voice of someone mad or suffering and close to death.  The noise is soft at first (see below) and not likely to be noticed beyond 60' distance.

At first, the moans may excite sympathy and an urge to help, but as the unwary traveler approaches it will soon be clear that there is something terribly wrong: the moans are so dolorous and despairing that it raises the hairs on the arms of mere mortals, and sends a chill through their bones.

Non-adventurer type NPCs and animals hearing the moaning while within sight of Cyhyraeth must check morale, and will flee the area if morale fails. Adventurers (mainly PCs) may make a save vs spells - those who succeed are chilled and filled with dread, but otherwise unaffected; those who fail suffer -1 on attack due to their trembling limbs.

Cyhyraeth is ordinarily cowardly, and unlikely to fight if clearly faced by a superior foe, but having lured potential victims close she will reveal herself - her hideous face, black, snaggle-toothed grin, evil eyes - and her voice will rise to a shriek: "Fy mhlentyn! Fy mhlentyn bach!" ("My child! My little child!"), and all those within 60' must make a save vs spells - those who fail will be rooted to the spot, paralyzed with fear if 3rd level or lower or will flee in a random direction (similar to the cause fear spell) if 4th level or above.  In either case, the effect lasts 1d10 rounds, during which Cyhyraeth will pounce on the weakest victim (or pursue someone separated from the group) and attempt to kill them as quickly as possible.  Slain, the victim will be carried off to be devoured at leisure.  Cyhyraeth can shriek 3 times per day.

Such road-side encounters are uncommon however. Whenever possible, Cyhyraeth prefers wait until the depths of the night when mortals are asleep, at which time she will creep close to the home or camp of her victim and lurk in the shadows just outside the window or in the brush.  Thus hidden, she will call out to her chosen target (who will almost always be alone) in a low whisper (once again, her words - should they be overheard - will be "Fy mhlentyn! Fy mhlentyn bach!").  The victim must save vs spells or be affected as though by a Charm and come out to Cyhyraeth where she feeds.

Naturally, though drawn by strife and discord, Cyhyraeth most desires the flesh of the innocent and by preference will try to lure children out into the night.

To cover her approach, or in the event she needs to escape, at will Cyhyraeth can call a heavy mist to rise from the ground in a 30' radius.  This mist will linger for 1d6 turns unless dissipated more rapidly by brisk winds or other effects.

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