A hag can magically bestow a mark on a willing creature, binding them. The marks take different forms, depending on the hag who bestows it: for instance, a physical deformity or a subtle supernatural effect. The hags often trick people into accepting a mark in exchange for a service they are seeking from the hag, in order to use or corrupt them. Some hags also bestow their mark on their favored minions as a form of blessing. While the recipient of a hag mark must be willing, they do not have to understand the nature of the marks.
A mark can be permanent or remain only for a specified time or until a certain condition is met. A hag’s death also removes the mark. Marked creatures act as witting or unwitting agents for hags to gather information and sew misery in the outside world. In Maillon, it is easy for such marks to pass unnoticed even if they are unconcealed since many denizens have strange mutations or demonic ancestry anyway.
A hag mark has several effects:
- The marked creature is charmed by the hag.
- As an action, the hag can perceive using the marked creature’s senses until she takes an action to end the effect or until she falls unconscious or dies.
- The marked creature has advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Wisdom (Perception) checks.
- The mark manifests as a physical change to the creature and might carry additional effects unique to the hag who bestowed the mark (see below).
In their study of and struggles against the hags, the Fellmire Covenant has acquired an extensive knowledge of what hags leave which marks and what their unique effects are. Here are three examples of hags known to them.
Rowena the Raven Haired
Rowena most commonly appears in the form of a pale maiden in a white gown with flowing black hair who can walk across water and mud without sinking or becoming dirty. She is known for having fanatically loyal followers willing to sacrifice themselves for her without hesitation, which often results in them giving her their very soul. She is thought to have been the patron of a number of powerful warlocks through the centuries.
Rowena’s Mark. One of the marked creature’s eyes turns a different color, sometimes an unusual color such as gold, orange, or violet. As a bonus action, the marked creature can cause a creature they can see within 30 feet of them to make a Charisma saving throw (DC 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency bonus). On a failed save, the creature is charmed or frightened (your choice) for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the save at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success.
The marked creature can use this feature a number of times equal to their proficiency bonus, and they regain all expended uses when they finish a long rest.
Moira, Queen of Ogres
Moira seems less inscrutable than some of her counterparts. She leads a tribe of ogres and revels in spurring them to frenzied slaughter. She has a number of trusted ogre mage (or oni) lieutenants and is rumored to be capable of transforming a normal ogre into an ogre mage. She has a genuine affinity and even affection for giant kind. She has only been seen in her natural form, an unusually tall and powerful green hag, wearing pelts and festooned with fetishes. She is always attended by an entourage of giantkin.
Moira’s Mark. The marked creature grows a third nipple. When the marked creature makes their first attack during their turn, they can enter a blood frenzy. During the frenzy, the creature gains advantage on attack rolls using Strength, and attack rolls against them have disadvantage until the beginning of their next turn.
Magda usually appears in the unassuming form of an old grandmotherly apothecary. She takes a special interest in children. She often acts as a midwife and aids women through pregnancies. She is consulted by people who wish to become pregnant but cannot or who are pregnant and wish they were not. Children who are lost or abandoned often disappear when she is said to be in an area. Even among hags, Magda is said to be ancient, and those who have spoken to her say there is little she does not know. She is said to know the secret of eternal youth. Potions of longevity found in the bottle market are thought to be her creations, and it is rumored that even Andress the Ageless has sought her council.
Magda’s Mark. The marked creature’s fingertips turn pitch black as if they had been dipped in tar up to the first or second knuckle. Once per turn, when the marked creature deals damage to another creature, they can deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage and gain 5 temporary hit points.
2 thoughts on “Midgard Alchemy: Hag Marks”
This is such good content. Easily applicable to almost any campaign and the idea can be easily applied to other types of creatures that make deals, like fey and fiends. It’s basically Warlock-lite. Please keep up the great work here.
Fey pact Warlock would have one.