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Crone of Chaos

by Jamie Baty

DMR2 23
Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 6d8 (27 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armour Class: 12 (+1 Dex, +1 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+6
Attack: Claw +7 melee (1d6)
Full Attack: 2 Claw +7 melee (1d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: Animal control, daggers of sorcery
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., spell-like abilities
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +6
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 15
Skills: Bluff +6, Disguise +6, Gather Information +6, Intimidate +6, Listen +11, Search +5, Sense Motive +5, Spot +11
Feats: Alertness, Quicken Spell-like Ability (Alter Self), Weapon Focus (Claw)
Environment: Any land
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Medium) or by character class
Level Adjustment: +2

A crone of chaos is a very intelligent, evil-natured creature who uses deception to cause pain and suffering. A relative of hags, she is always female. Unless she is taken by surprise, the crone is always veiled by illusion, assuming the guise of a beautiful maiden. In her true form, a crone has wrinkled, leathery skin; sparse, wiry hair; long, crooked arms; sharp tartar-encrusted fangs; and large hands with claw like fingers. Dried blood of past victims is caked beneath her sharp nails. Her hair often stands on end or at strange angles. The odour of the creature is foul, for she despises contact with water and therefore never bathes.
A crone of chaos normally lives alone in a dark forest or desolate wilderness, often in a cave. She may be found in any climate, from the steaming tropics to the cold fringes of arctic tundra.
The crone speaks Common. She may also speak any language befitting the form she most often assumes.

Crones of Chaos usually try to avoid combat. They choose to disguise themselves as beautiful, young maidens to avoid bringing suspicion upon themselves. If no other option exists, the crone will first try to control any near-by animals to help protect her, followed by the summoning of her Daggers of Sorcery. She will only fight with her claws as a last resort.

Animal Control (Sp): The crone can control ld6 normal or giant animals automatically (no saving throw). Exceptionally intelligent animals (over 3 Int) receive will saving throws vs. DC 15 (Cha based), while those with special loyalties (a paladin's warhorse or a wizard's familiar) or of a magical nature (a shapechanged druid) are unaffected.

Daggers of Sorcery (Su): This attack creates ld6 ghostly white daggers that appear in midair and attack. Each dagger attacks a different target and fights until either the dagger is destroyed or the victim is killed. The crone controls the movement of the daggers and can make each one follow the target as it moves.
The daggers can be attacked as if they were living creatures: AC18; 1 hp;
Attack: 1 dagger +6 melee (ld4). Any hit on a dagger destroys it. As each dagger is destroyed, all characters that fought that dagger must make a Will saving throw vs. DC 15 (Cha based). Those failing their saving throw become shaken for 6 rounds; these penalties are not cumulative. Those who make successful saving throws are unaffected.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): At will: Alter Self. The caster level is 6th.

Skills: A crone of chaos has a +2 racial bonus to all Listen and Spot checks.

A crone of chaos lives alone, avoiding the company of humans and even other crones. She may live with tamed animals, however.
A crone of chaos can mate with any humanoid species, but she prefers humans. She uses her alter self ability to ensnare her victim. When she is done with him, she kills him and feasts on his corpse.
Crones abandon their female offspring and devour males. No one knows whether a male crone-child could survive otherwise; none has ever been seen.
To the kind folk who adopt an abandoned crone-child, the infant appears to be member of the father's species. However, she later seems to age rapidly; by late adolescence her skin is winkled and discoloured, her joints gnarled, and her hair thin. Simultaneously, she develops the magical powers of a crone of chaos, which help hide the truth of her changing nature. In time, the young crone will be overwhelmed with contempt for the race with which she lives; or, as the years pass, her alien nature may be suspected. In any case, she soon forsakes the company of those who reared her and adopts the life of a hermit, embracing the wicked ways of a crone of chaos.