Presenting the Fairy Bugaboos, from the Bean Sidhe (or Banshee) of Irish folklore to the frightening Black Eyed Children of modern urban legend. Like all Fairy Folk, Bugaboos are more plot devices than monsters to be defeated. Examples of the common types of Bugaboos are provided at the end. Other Bugaboos can be created by the Castle Keeper as needed. The CK will simply decide how many Hit Dice the Fairy possesses, give her a Preferred Form that symbolizes her function in the story, decide upon appropriate Glamors, Trickeries, Boons and Curses that she will be able to use, and define a Mysterious Ban that provides a way to overcome the Fairy.
Terrifying Fairies who haunt the night, and embody mankind’s fears
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1
HD: 1 – 9 (d8)
MOVE: 30′ (or by assumed form)
ATTACKS: By type and assumed form (see below)
SPECIAL: Frighten, Call the Restless Dead, Fairy Magic, Fairy Glamor, Fairy Trickery, Grant Boon, Inflict Curse, Fairy Immunities, Fairy Sight, Magic or Iron Weapons To Hit, Weakness To Iron, Aversion To Salt, Mysterious Ban, Undead Affinity
TREASURE: Equal to Hit Dice
Like all Fairy Folk, the dark Fairies who are known as Bugaboos can vary quite widely in appearance. Almost always, however, they will present a frightful image that embodies one or more human fears. Often, they will have cadaverous or ghostly features, causing them to be confused with the restless dead. Bugaboos are in fact particularly fond of undead creatures, often appearing in the company of apparitions and revenants. While all Fairy Folk can be found near tombs and graves, Bugaboos are particularly likely to haunt burial grounds. As befitting their nature, Bugaboos prefer the hours of darkness, although only a certain few are actually banished by sunlight.
Fairy Bugaboos appear in as many shapes as there are human fears. Many such Fairies are unique, possessing favored forms, abilities and weaknesses peculiar to themselves. Most others, however, belong to particular types that share typical appearances and characteristics. Known types of Bugaboos include the Barrow Woman (or Banshee), the Red Cap, the Erl-King, and the Hairy-Claws (or Krampus).
Fairy Bugaboos are native to the part of the Otherworld known as the Western Isle. Those abducted by Bugaboos are often brought to that riotous realm of dancing shadows and merry-making corpses. Some few, notably the Barrow Women, prefer the Isle of Youth, ensconcing their stolen lovers in grand mansions there.
Although frequently mistaken for demons, devils, or the wicked undead, Bugaboos are not truly evil. In fact, many of them are under Bans that cause them to attack or harass evil people. On the other hand, the Bans of some other Bugaboos cause them to regularly murder (and sometimes eat) hapless humans. Even then, the Bugaboos lack any commitment to evil or destruction as cosmic principles, unlike the devils and demons. Bugaboos who hunt humans do so as lions hunt their prey, because it is in their nature to do so, but without any desire to bring the whole world to death or ruin.
It is extremely difficult to obtain Boons from most Bugaboos. Those who do, frequently come to wish that they hadn’t. On the other hand, some few Bugaboos (particularly the Men of Hunger) grant proper Boons to deserving mortals.
The following powers are unique to Fairy Bugaboos:
Frighten: A Fairy Bugaboo can cause mundane creatures (Animals, Beasts, and Humanoids) to save versus their Charisma, or flee in terror. Creatures so affected will not stop running until they can no longer see the Bugaboo. The CL for the save is equal to the Fairy’s own Hit Dice. The total Hit Dice of creatures that can Frightened in a day is also equal to the Bugaboo’s Hit Dice. Most Bugaboos only Frighten if they choose to, but a few (such as the Black-Eyed Children) always Frighten everyone they meet.
Call The Restless Dead: A Fairy Bugaboo can cause existing Undead located within 1 mile of its present location to travel towards it at their fastest rate of speed. The maximum total hit dice of creatures so called over the course of a night cannot exceed the Fairy’s own Hit Dice. The Fairy does not otherwise control the Undead creature once it appears, but all Undead are always positively inclined towards Fairy Bugaboos. Calling The Restless Dead supersedes all other forms of magical or clerical control that might be exercised over the Undead. For example, a Fairy Bugaboo can make recently created Zombies disobey their creator and travel to join her in a dance!
Fairy Bugaboos share the following powers and weakness common to all Fairy Folk:
Extraplaner Type: Fairy Bugaboos are native to the Otherworld, and thus are Extraplaner. They are subject to all magic that affects Extraplaner creatures. (Creatures with the Fey type are closely related to Fairy Bugaboos and other Fairy Folk, but are native to the mundane world.) Fairy Bugaboos who become Changelings, however, lose the Extraplaner type and become Fey.
Fairy Magic: Fairy Bugaboos can perform the following spell-like Abilities at will, but no more than one per round: Enlarge/Diminish (to any size between 1 inch and 12 feet tall), Improved Invisibility, Pass Without Trace, and Dancing Lights. A Fairy Bugaboo can Polymorph into the form of any humanoid, plant, or animal between 1 inch and 12 feet tall, or create new forms that combine humanoid, plant, and animal features. All Fairy Bugaboos can become Ethereal at will.
Fairy Glamor: All Fairy Bugaboos can create one Illusion-type effect. This can range in power from Ghost Sound to Programmed Image.
Fairy Trickery: Every Fairy Bugaboo can use one spell-like ability that can be used to mysteriously move objects, or allow the Fairy to appear unexpectedly. Dimension Door, Fly, Levitate, Teleport, Transport Via Plants, and Time Stop are all possible examples of Fairy Trickery.
Fairy Boon: While all Fairies can perform a special service, or bestow a single magical benefit upon mortals, Fairy Bugaboos are known for rarely granting such Boons. When they do, it is usually to Distort Reality in a way that fulfill a mortal’s desire in the most literal and unpleasant way possible. Those who force a Fairy Bugaboo to fulfill their wishes almost always come to very unpleasant ends. On the other hand, sometimes a Fairy Bugaboo will decide to help a mortal on a whim, just to observe the results. Only certain Bugaboos, such as the Men of Hunger, regularly grant truly helpful Boons.
Fairy Curse: Fairy Bugaboos who are angered can inflict a particular curse upon adversaries. The exact curse varies from Fairy to Fairy. Typical Fairy Curses curses include effects similar to Bestow Curse, Blindness, Sleep, and Polymorph Other.
Fairy Immunities: Fairy Bugaboos are immune to disease, ordinary poisons, or magic that influences minds or perceptions.
Fairy Sight: Fairy Bugaboos can see regardless of illumination, and with constant True Seeing.
Magic or Iron Weapons To Hit: Fairy Bugaboos cannot be harmed by most ordinary weapons.
Weakness to Iron: Fairy Bugaboos hate pure, unalloyed iron. Their own weapons are never actually made of true iron or steel, even if they are glamored to look that way. Even non-magical weapons of pure iron (but not steel) strike Fairy Bugaboos with a +1 on both the to-hit and damage rolls. Even in an Ethereal state, Fairy Bugaboos cannot pass a barrier of solid, pure iron.
Aversion To Salt: Pure, crystalline salt (but not brine or salty liquids) is disgusting to Fairy Bugaboos. While it doesn’t actually damage them, they will avoid it whenever possible.
Mysterious Ban: In addition to their weakness to iron and aversion to salt, every Fairy Bugaboo has one single item they can never touch, action they cannot abide, or action they must always perform. Examples include never being able to touch a blue item, never being able to hear their own name, or having always to wear a golden necklace. If Fairy Bugaboos are tricked or forced into violating their Bans they temporarily lose all their special powers, and are forced to flee to the Western Isle of the Otherworld until the next quarter of the year. If a Fairy Bugaboo is somehow tricked into violating her Ban while in the Otherworld itself, she will simply lose her special powers for the remainder of the quarter.
Undead Affinity: No Undead creature, of any Alignment, can ever harm a Fairy Bugaboo by any means. Fairy Bugaboos are completely immune to physical attacks, level draining, spells or spell-like effects, or any other attack or effect from Undead sources. Unintelligent Undead who are commanded to harm Fairy Bugaboos will simply not move. Intelligent Undead of any Alignment will be positively inclined towards any Fairy Bugaboo in their presence, and will refuse any attempt to make them act otherwise. This peculiar fact has convinced certain Sages that Fairy Bugaboos are actually the transformed souls of an ancient race of men.
Known Types of Bugaboos:
The following are some of the more common types of Fairy Bugaboos:
Barrow Woman (Bean Sidhe, Banshee)
A Barrow Woman usually attaches herself to a prominent human family. Whenever a member of her family is close to death, the Barrow Woman will appear and sing a mourning song in the ancient manner. Often, she will be seen washing bloody clothes or armor in a river or lake, indicating that a coming death will be violent. Some say the Barrow Woman is actually an ancestral member of her chosen clan. Like other Fairies, Barrow Women have been known to abduct handsome young men to be their lovers in the Otherworld.
Preferred Form: A fair-haired, ghostly-pale woman wearing a cloak or shawl, and a mourning gown. She may be young and beautiful, or old and haggard, and may even change during the course of an encounter. In either form, her eyes will often be red from weeping. Often, she will have a beautiful comb in her hair.
HD: 6 | Attack: No physical attacks | Glamor: Hypnotism | Trickery: Wind Walk | Boon: Divination | Curse: Shatter | Ban: A Barrow Woman is usually Ethereal when in the Mundane World, and can only assume a solid body when someone in her chosen family is close to death.
The Black Elves prefer to stay underground and hoard treasure, or to live within the walls of houses. They love to visit humans at night, sitting on their chests and causing frightful dreams.
Preferred Form: A twisted, thin little man about three feet tall, with pale skin, enormous eyes, pointed ears, and grotesque facial features.
HD: 2 | Attack: 1 Punch (1d4) | Glamor: Darkness | Trickery: Dimension Door | Boon: Vision (bestowed on another) | Curse: Nightmare | Ban: A Black Elf can never see sunlight.
Black-Eyed children typically operate during twilight. Often, a pair of these creatures will knock on a door, and beg to be let inside. If anyone is so so foolish as to do so, the Black-Eyed children will abduct the unwary person to the Otherworld. Fortunately, Black-Eyed Children always Frighten everyone who meets them. If anyone actually withstands being Frightened, however, a Black-Eyed Child will then try to Charm that person.
Preferred Form: A pale child with unusually large eyes that are completely black in color.
HD: 1 | Attack: 1 Punch (1d4) | Glamor: Charm Person (requires eye contact) | Trickery: Dimension Door | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: A Black-Eyed Child can cause any item (including magical items) of a mechanical or electric nature to permanently malfunction, including crossbows, clockworks, and even Wands of Lightning. | Ban: A Black-Eyed Child can never enter a home or vehicle uninvited.
A Bloody Bones will haunt a small, hidden space such as a closet, or the area under a staircase. There it will sit atop a pile of bones, waiting to snatch wicked and nosy people.
Preferred Form: A bloody, skeletal corpse, with only a few scraps of flesh remaining on its bones.
HD: 1 | Attack: 1 Grapple or 1 Strangle (1d8) | Glamor: Ghost Sound | Trickery: Phase Door | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Hold Person | Ban: A Bloody Bones must stay in small, enclosed spaces, and can never enter any open area larger than 10′ x 10′.
A Bogeyman will usually select a child to be its victim, taking up residence under a bed, inside a closet or within a chest. The Bogeyman will wait until no adults can see, and manifest to its victim in increasingly disturbing and bizarre forms. If the child is evil, the Bogyman may eventually decide to kill or abduct him to the Otherworld.
Preferred Form: Bogeymen have no single preferred form, although they tend to like shapes with outrageously-colored skin or fur, goggling eyes, and large hands.
HD: 1 | Attack: 2 claws (1d4), 1 Bite (1d4) | Glamor: Minor Image | Trickery: Mage Hand | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Sleep (once a night) | Ban: A Bogeyman cannot allow itself to be seen by adults.
An Erl-King wanders through the woods, seeking children and beautiful young woman to abduct to his home in the Otherworld.
Preferred Form: The Erl-King prefers the form of an old man with a long white beard, long pointed ears, sharp teeth, and long fingers. He will be crowned, and dressed in black finery. An Erl King usually rides a swift black horse (which may itself be a transformed Fairy).
HD: 9 | Attack: 1 Sword (1d8) | Glamor: Mirage Arcana | Trickery: Transport Via Plants | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Magic Missile (always as an invisible bolt) | Ban: An Erl-King must never leave his chosen forest.
The Hairy-Claws wanders at night during the winter festival season, menacing evil children and young woman. He often works in tandem with the benign Fairy Folk who grant gifts to good children.
Preferred Form: A shaggy, black-skinned man similar in appearance to a Devil, with goat-like horns, clawed hands, and a fanged mouth from which his tongue seems to constantly protrude. He sometimes seems to carry a birch switch.
HD: 5 | Attack: 1 Claw (1d4), 1 Switch (1d4), or 2 Claws (1d4) | Glamor: Darkness | Trickery: Dimension Door | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Dispel Magic | Ban: A Hairy Claws must always attempt to beat any person of Evil alignment that he encounters.
Headless Coachman (Dullahan)
A Headless Coachman often appears during the festivals of Death, or when a mortal is close to dying. The Fairy will be seen driving a black coach or wagon, drawn by black, headless horses, and filled with the restless dead.
Preferred Form: A headless man dressed in black livery, holding his bloated and rotted head in one hand, and a whip in the other. Sometimes, the whip appears to be made from a human spine.
HD: 8 | Attack: 1 Whip (1d4, + Save versus Dexterity or lose an eye.) | Glamor: Major Image | Trickery: Unseen Servant | Boon: Death Ward | Curse: Finger of Death | Ban: A Headless Coachman must never touch any item made of gold.
Man of Hunger (Fear Gorta)
A Man of Hunger may roam the countryside during times of famine, begging alms. Those who give him food are granted his Boon, while those who could give, but selfishly refuse, are Cursed.
Preferred Form: A severely emaciated man, who looks as though he has died, or is about to die, from hunger.
HD: 3 | Attack: 1 Punch (1d3) | Glamor:Ghost Sound | Trickery: Shadow Walk | Boon: Permanently Bless those who give alms| Curse: Bestow Curse upon those who refuse to give alms | Ban: Can only appear in a town after someone dies of hunger there.
Orco (True Ogre)
An Orco is frightening, man-eating Fairy who haunts woods and mountains, devouring most folk they meet, but sometimes protecting the flocks and crops of truly good people. Orcos often force human women to become their wives. Some sages suggest that both common Ogres and the Orc-men were originally born from women abducted by Orcos.
Preferred Form: A hulking, hairy man about 9 feet tall, with short horns, tusks, and bestial facial features. Some Orcos have scales or feathers in addition to, or in place of hair.
HD: 4 | Attack: 2 Claws (1d4+4), 1 Bite (1d6) | Glamor: Influence | Trickery: Hold Portal | Boon: Heal | Curse: Bane | Ban: Orcos must eat some human flesh every day to remain outside the Otherworld.
Red Caps haunt old, abandoned castles, and other ruins. They are particularly murderous, since they must keep their hats dripping with blood in order to stay alive in the mundane world.
Preferred Form: A short man with grotesque facial features, sharp claws, and a mouth full of fangs. The Red cap wears red peasant clothing, iron-clad boots, and a conical cap soaked in blood. He bears a pike, spear, halberd, or other pole arm. Note that Red Caps are just as subject to damage from iron as other Fairy Folk, despite apparently wearing iron boots!
HD: 3 | Attack: 1 weapon | Glamor: Obscure The Path | Trickery: Haste | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Slow | Ban: A Red Cap must never allow the blood staining his cap to dry out.
A Sack Man wanders through towns and villages, seeking wicked and disobedient children to abduct to the Otherworld. When he find one, he stuffs them into his bag, the interior of which is a portal to the Western Isle.
Preferred Form: An old man carrying an enormous sack, which constantly bulges as if holding a number of thrashing bodies.
HD: 3 | Attack: 1 Grapple or 1 Kick (1d6) | Glamor: Silence | Trickery: Hold Portal | Boon: Distort Reality | Curse: Hold Person | Ban: A Bag Man must never abduct a person of Good alignment.
True Goblins are mischievous Fairies who live in dark corners, disused cellars, dusty attics, and deep closets. They are usually found in urban and village settings, rather than the wilderness. They are not truly malevolent, and while they will always make mischief, they may help people who laugh along with the Goblins’ pranks. The race of Goblin-men are said to be the degenerate descendents of humans and True Goblins.
Preferred Form: A three-foot tall man with green skin; large, red eyes; an absurdly long nose; and long, pointed ears.
HD: 1 | Attack: 1 Bite (1d2) | Glamor: Prestidigitation | Trickery: Mage Hand | Boon: Mending | Curse: Putrify Food and Drink | Ban: A Goblin must not fail to perform mischief whenever possible.
True Trolls prefers northern lands, where they live either in wild places, or underneath lonely bridges. They particularly dislike Good clerics, and anything pertaining to religion. The common Troll-men are said to have come about when humans and True Trolls married and gave birth to grotesque offspring.
Preferred Form: Either a twelve-foot tall, hairy man with grotesque and bestial facial features, or a well-dressed and beautiful woman of human size, but with an animal’s tail hidden under her clothes.
HD: 7 | Attack: 1 weapon (+4 due to high Strength) | Glamor: Mirage Arcane | Trickery: Freedom of Movement | Boon: Major Creation | Curse: Bestow Curse (as the Cleric spell) | Ban: A Troll must never be exposed to sunlight, and must flee from lightning.