Sunday, August 5, 2018

DIY 30 #4: Wood Wights

Not a form of undead, in this case "wight" is meant in the semi-obsolete sense of "a human being/a living being" (per the dictionary).

the Wood Wight
AC 3 (7 for tree)
HD 5 (8 for tree)
THAC0 15 (12 for tree)
damage: 2 slams 1-6 / 1-6 + petrification (2 slams 2-12 / 2-12 for tree)
petrification -- 3/day may "breathe" a 10' x 10' x 10' cloud of pollen, those within save v. petrification or transform into wood over 2-7 rounds
piercing and missile weapons never deal more than 1 damage to a wood wight or its tree, bludgeoning weapons deal half damage, fire deals double damage
immune to hold, sleep, charm, and other enchantment-type spells
save as a Elf 5, -2 on all saves versus fire or lightning
180' movement (0' for tree)
morale 9

Wood wights are a kind of evil forest spirit, similar to a dyrad, but malicious where a dryad is shy. Like dryads, wood wights are attached to a particular tree in the forest, and will discorporate if that tree is destroyed; unlike dryads, the wight's particular tree is capable of animated movement in defense of itself and its wight (it cannot actually uproot itself, but it strikes with its limbs as a treant). Just what the relation between wood wights and dryads might be scholars are still arguing; and too, it is unknown whether the wight is a spirit that springs up sui generis within a particular tree, perhaps one struck by lightning but still living, or ancient enough to develop a will of its own; or if the wight is rather some wandering form of spirit that alights in a tree when the conditions are right, and thereafter remains attached to it and the woodland around it.

Wasn't sure just what a wood wight looks like until
a Google search for "dryad" turned up with this

Being suddenly attacked by the tree animated by a wood wight's presence is certainly a fear any seasoned woodsman might have (wood wights and their trees surprise on a 1-4 on a d6); but more fearsome is the wood wight itself, which possesses an ability similar to the gorgon (the iron-scaled bull version), that is, a wood wight is able to "breathe" a cloud of pollen in a 10' x 10' x 10' area three times per day. All who inhale this pollen must make a saving throw versus petrification or begin to stiffen as their limbs and then their entire bodies are transformed into hard wood. This transformation takes from two to seven minutes (2-7 rounds). A cure disease spell cast during the time of transformation will undo the effects; but once the transformation is complete, only a wish or a wood to flesh spell will restore the transmogrified individual. (Magic-users in areas known to be haunted by wood wights will often research wood to flesh as a variant of stone to flesh, which spells will both be of the same level, and may grant access to their spellbooks to those in need ... for a fee; without recourse to that, it is up to a magic-user to research the spell for himself).

The wooden bodies of those transformed by a wood wight's pollen make excellent base-bodies for the creation of wood golems, and can be sold to powerful magic-users for large sums of money. Prudent would-be creators, however, make sure to expel or destroy the life-force remaining within the body (just like in the case of flesh-turned-stone, the spirit of the one transformed is trapped within the unliving body until the body is restored or destroyed ... woe to those ancients petrified by Medusa of old and now forgotten!). For if the spirit is not expelled in some way from the wooden form, there is a significant possibility that a wood golem created therefrom will become self-willed and attack the creator in a berserk rage. Such free-willed golems do not possess any actual memories of their former life; but they are instinctually drawn to familiar things, e.g. family, home, or friends. And drawn there, but incapable of understanding why, it is almost inevitable that the spirit's impotent anger transforms into a berserk rage by the golem!

No comments:

Post a Comment