"From a distance you can see the elk standing majestically in the fog ribboned field. It turns towards you and you feel its unsettling gaze wash over you. The creature lets out a bellow and you are certain its mouth unhinges and opens wider than it naturally should.
The creature begins to dash towards you. As it draws closer you can see its antlers look like rotted wood. Its flesh is messing almost completely in some places. The thing's hide is covered with eyes that wildly look in all directions.
As the beast closes in on you its rotting skin splits and bits of oozing muscle and tissue lash out in thick tendrils as the smell of stagnant water and rotting meat assault your senses."
Hag-Blighted Beasts are created by the introduction of a horrible strain of hag-blighted poison to the bloodstream of a small, medium, or large living creature with a 2 or lower intelligence. The Hag-Blighted Beast poison corrupts the being, fully twisting and mutating the beast both inside and out over the course of a 24 hour period.
It is rumored that Hags create Hag-Blighted Beasts as guardians to protect their secret meeting places and strongholds. Hag-Blighted Beast's provide only rotted meat that will sicken anyone trying to eat it, and they provide dangerous prey, so their presence will detour hunting parties from entering areas where they dwell.
Creating a Hag-Blighted Beast
“Hag-Blighted Beast” is an inherited template that can be added to any creature that is not already Hag-Blighted (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A Hag-Blighted creature retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. In some cases Hag-Blighted creatures do not follow the exact guidelines plotted out in this template. Please feel free to evolve and build Hag-Blighted creatures to fit your campaign settings. Originally they were intended as a twisted contrast to the Strange Stricken creatures in MYA during The Sickness.
CR: Same as the base creature +4.
Size and Type: If the base creature is Tiny or smaller, increase its size to Small. Otherwise, increase its size by one size category. A Hag-Blighted creature cannot increase past Large creature size. The Hag-Blighted creature does not gain any penalties or bonuses to ability scores that arise from increased size.
AC: Natural armor increases by +2. If the base creature has no natural armor bonus, it gains a natural armor bonus of +2. This bonus stacks with the bonus gained from the increase in size.
Hit Dice: If the Hag-Blighted creature is Small, it has a number of Hit Dice equal to the base creature +1 (minimum of 2 HD). If the Hag-Blighted creature is Medium, it has a number of Hit Dice equal to the base creature +3 (minimum of 4 HD). If the dire creature is Large it has a number of Hit Dice equal to double that of the base creature (minimum of 6 HD).
Speed: Same as the base creature +15 ft.
Attacks: Adjust damage dice of all natural attacks upwards to the Hag-Blighted creature’s new size according to the natural attack progression table.
Special Attacks: Small Hag-Blighted creatures gain an additional tentacle attack at 1d4+2. Medium Hag-Blighted creatures gain 2 additional tentacle attacks at 1d6+2 each. Large Hag-Blighted creatures gain 3 additional tentacle attacks at 1d8+2 each.
Abilities: Str +2, Dex +2, Con +15, Wis +2 and Cha -2.
Feats: Same as base creature, with additional feats gained through the usual means from the increase in HD. If the base animal has Weapon Finesse and the feat would become useless after its increase in Strength, then it may trade Weapon Finesse for Weapon Focus with one of its natural attacks.
Skills: A Hag-Blighted creature gains skill points equal to 2 + Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) for each HD it gained. Its class skills are unchanged. A Hag-Blighted creature gains +10 to all perception checks.
Special Rules: Hag-Blighted Beasts are pawns of the Hags who live or at one point lived in the area. Normally they act as guardians, lookouts, or spies for the Hag who caused them to be created. However, if the Hag is killed, leaves, or is removed from a 30 mile radius from the Hag-Blighted creature, the creature will retain its mutations and appearance but return to its normal habits.
This can be incredibly disturbing when a hunter encounters a pack of wolves and one of them is Hag-Blighted but not behaving as such.
Strange Stricken Art by : Matt Garbutt