Monday, June 3, 2013

Tallemaja, Queen of Huldras and Lamias

Name: Tallemaja, Queen of Huldras and Lamias
Symbol: A bark-scaled snake with a cow's head.
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 60' (30')
Armor Class: –2
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 54 (15 HD + 3)
Attacks: 2 / 2 (see below)
Damage: 1d8 spear & 1d12 crush / 1d8 + Special
Save: F12
Morale: 10
Hoard Class:  XVII (in lair only)
XP: 7,500

Tallemaja Bettencourt was a lady in waiting in the entourage of the Empress of Cerise. Her beauty caught the eye of Pherosathoola, Petty Goddess of Sexual Fear, who fell in love with the lass. Under the guise of night, Pherosathoola seduced Tallemaja with promises of ascendency and the immortality of petty godhood, a promise that was not hers to give. After several years of this affair, Tallemaja finally demanded her reward. Pherosathoola, unable to grant the boons she promised, released Tallemaja from her thrall.

Enamored with the thoughts of achieving godhood, Tallemaja plotted to attain such at any cost. She fell in with the powerful Lord Greensayne (an advisor to the Cerisian Emperor; see below), was initiated into the Cult of the Jale God, and appeared to have caught the Jale God's favor. To cement her place at court, she accepted Lord Greensayne's marriage proposal and prepared to enter the upper tiers of polite society and the bowels of cult leadership as a priestess novitiate.

However, three days before the wedding was to take place, Lord Greensayne discovered Tallemaja's dwarven heritage (1/6th dwarf on her father's side) and ordered her execution. Tallemaja fled, taking the Eidolons of Hate and Fear (which had been in Greensayne's possession for several years) with her. She ended up in a forest glade where she discovered an abandoned temple dedicated to Hymenphalia, Petty Godling of Hermaphroditic Fertility, who is a sworn enemy of Pherosothoola. When Hymenpahlia discovered where Pherosothoola's former lover was taking refuge,  Hymenphallia  beseeched Ywehbobbobhewy, Lord of Waters, King of Mirrors, Patriarch of the Most Profound, to interceded with the Greater Gods to ascend Tallemaja to minor petty godhood. A greater god found the irony of Hymenphalia's scheme agreeable and interceded, and thus Tallemaja was transformed into her current form and place of power.

Tallemaja is now a minor petty god and Queen of Huldras and Lamias. For twelve hours a day she appears as a half-snake/half-woman; she has the upper torso, neck, and face of a beautiful woman while her trunk is a 20-foot long constrictor snake's body. For the other twelve hours she appears as a stunningly beautiful human female except that her backside is covered in tree bark and she has a heavy, cow-like tail. Because she was in possession of the Eidolons of Fear and Hate at the time of her transformation into petty godhood, she was  rendered barren as well (the Eidolons were eventually stolen by a halfling wearing an Amulet against Scrying).

She now resides in the forest temple where Hymenphallia discovered her, hidden from the world in the heart of the great forest. She sometimes appears near the woods' edge to lure hearty young men to their deaths to feed, as she can cast Charm at will. The inhabitants of small thorps and farms that border the wood speak in hushed tones of the shed skins of great snakes that litter their fields and meadows thrice yearly. Female villagers rarely enter the great woods alone, as it is rumored that, grief-stricken at never being able to conceive and bear children of her own, Tallemaja has developed the power to shift the flesh of the unborn and  cause pregnant mothers to give birth to lamias or huldras (50%). Additionally, she can command normal and giant-sized snakes, salamanders, and newts to do her bidding (and sometimes a begrudging giant frog).

Tallemaja also suffers from infinite hunger; she can never be satisfied no matter how often she feeds. She must fill her belly at least twice a day with human or humanoid flesh. Huldras and lamias throughout the realms lure men to their death on a regular basis to feed her unending appetites. It is said that a clever clutch of lamias in a southern kingdom near the Thunder River has been raising dwarf Neanderthals in a secluded valley rift to fulfill their obligations to their Queen, while a coven of huldras near the western glaciers have discovered a way to raise cave gnomes in glass jars to send in tribute.

Needless to say, Tallemaja's table is never empty and she prefers to devour the tributes rather than tire herself in the hunt itself, although she is a fearsome foe in battle. When in her lamia form, she can attack with a large spear for 1d8 damage and do an additional 1d12 crushing damage with her constrictor-like body. She also possesses a limited Scrying ability for a 75 foot radius.  When in huldra form, she attacks with a large spear for 1d8 damage and can perform a Psionic Swat with her cow-like tail, creating a 20x30 cone of psionic energy that does 2d8 damage + –1 to CON to any creature caught in its area of effect. There is no save against this attack. The reduction in CON can be regained by eating a succubi or incubus egg laid by Pherosathoola.

Tallemaja is impervious to non-magical attacks in either form and cannot be attacked with edged weapons.

The Jale God was surprised at Tallemaja's ascendency to godhood and is seeking the god who dared interfere in his affairs. The Jale God despises Tallemaja and does what He can to derail her schemes and dampen her influence. His Jaleness is often perplexed to find his own interference in Tallemaja's affairs deflected by powers greater and darker than His own.

Reaction Table (2d6)
2-6    Indifferent. Will tolerate the party, answer questions, etc.. Will be helpful, but only to a point.
7-9 Hungry. Will attempt to seduce, kill, and feed on a party member. Or all of them.
10-12 Commanding. Will demand the party fulfill a minor quest (usually involving some intrigue against the worshipers of Pherosathoola) and will reward them richly for their service.