Hags

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A hag in its humanoid form. (Image source: Wizards of the Coast.)

Hags are the wicked witches of the Feywild, who promote their dark dreams of depravity and decay.

Physiology

A hag’s true form is that of a giant vulture, with a wingspan of about 10 feet or more. When they land, hags can shapeshift into a humanoid form. In this form, they still resemble vultures: they have large, hooked noses, wrinkly skin, beady eyes, and talon-like nails, and their cloaks are tattered and black, rather like feathers.

While in humanoid form, hags can access their potent magic, including illusions to disguise themselves as prettier humanoids. They favor curses to dehabilitate and destroy mortals and fey for their amusement. In a coven of three, hags can pool their magic to concoct tremendously powerful potions and lay terrible curses on their enemies.

All hags are female. When a hag wishes to produce a child, she begins a long and draining ritual. As part of the ritual, she lays an egg in her cauldron, and must nourish it with a stew of dark ingredients. After several weeks, a new hag hatches from the egg, already imbued with her mother’s magical knowledge. Hags fledge a few months after hatching, and fly the nest soon after.

History

Hags have always menaced the rest of the Feywild, causing death and decay where usually there is none. Within the Feywild, vegetation only rots within a hag’s domain. Hags have a longstanding alliance with other dark fey, and have employed them in skirmishes and even wars against their opponents.

Many hags have crossed over to the mortal world, which they find comfortable and profitable. They menace mortal communities with curses and hexes.

Culture

Hags love death, decay, and other unpleasant things. They have a macabre sense of humor, and enjoy making cruel jokes out of mortal lives. Hags often decorate their nests with mortal remains and trophies, both to scare off intruders and for their own personal amusement. Hags sometimes do business with mortals, offering to place curses on the mortals’ enemies, but their bargains have a way of ending badly for the mortals.

Hags are known to steal mortal children, whom they imprison and enslave. Rumors that they eat the children are so far unconfirmed.

Relations with other races

Eladrin hate hags, and hags hate them back. Eladrin represent everything the hags despise: beauty, grace, purity, joy, and life. When they encounter eladrin, hags try to strip them of their beauty and happiness, disfiguring and cursing them, before ultimately killing them.

In the Feywild, hags often employ goblins as spies, soldiers, and servants. The two races often trade magical secrets, and work closely in their wars against the eladrin. It is rumored that hags in the mortal realm steal children because their size and shape remind them of their goblin servants.

Hags dislike pixies, and stay away from them. Every hag has eaten a pixie at least once, only to be sick for weeks afterwards. Pixie dust makes hags terribly ill, and induces vivid and terrifying hallucinations. For this reason, hags exterminate all pixies within a wide radius of their nest.

Trolls are difficult to command, requiring a very real threat of punishment, but serve as excellent bodyguards or shock troops when successfully cowed. An individual hag is lucky to have one troll following her; a powerful coven, however, can have dozens of trolls under their command.

Hags

Miklagard Andrew_White