Heroes of the New Day
Called the grandmother of all witches, the Archfey known as Baba Yaga is immensely powerful, highly mercurial, and mostly insane. Think of Grandmother Winter from the Dresden File books mixed with Okra from The Dark Crystal , with a little bit of Master Yoda and Granny from Spirited Away . There are hundreds of stories & songs about Baba Yaga, though smart bards will use other names to describe her.
The rumors about Baba Yaga are many and varied. Some of these might even be true:
- has a house that walks around on chicken-like legs (and spins?)
- eats those who displease her
- tortures those who displease her (possibly in a stew pot)
- eats those she likes
- eats children
- enjoys riddles & games of skill
- eats raw frogs
- speaks to animals
- can only turn left
- cannot cross frozen water
- can appear in the guise of a hag, young woman, cloud, moon, death, winter, snake, bird, pelican or Earth goddess
- is more powerful than any other Archfey
- actually destroyed at least one primordial on her own during the Dawn War (more than some gods could manage)
- has a peg leg
- enjoys music
- enjoys awful sounds, which she thinks are music
- has boney legs that look quite weak
- gets upset at those who are not properly polite
- knows every ritual and spell ever cast, or can cast bones to learn any she doesn’t know
- prefers women over men
- eats men who displease her
- was the first witch ever
- gains a piece of power from every witch who dies
- cooks amazing pies (or meat pies?)
- is actually the remnants of power from a dead primordial
- was created by some spell/event during the Dawn War
- used to be a god before she got bored of it
- used to be an archangel of a now dead god
- used to be a god (or primordial) of magic
- predates the Dawn War
- is actually the secret power behind the Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye
- has very fractured personalities, sometimes being very kind & grandmotherly, other times being a monster, other times just cackling insanely
- has tea and plays gin with the Spider Queen and Erathis from time to time
Those from the Feywild will know that Baba Yaga is avoided by most other Archfey, and that most fey creatures avoid saying her name. Many witches in the feywild will seek her out for tutelage, though even these brave souls refer to her as “Grandmother”.
While she has no real “friends” among the other Archfey, Baba Yaga is known to be a huge player in the fight against the Fomorians, and it is likely her power that has kept those insane giants from overtaking the entire Fey realm. Any fomorians who have gone to kill her have disappeared, though some say that her stewpot occasionally has heads floating in it with the tell-tale two-different-eyes that define those of a fomor persuasion.
IN-GAME, the party met Baba Yaga after defeating three of her grand-daughters who were working with the Fomorians to create an anti-fey device that could kill the Grandmother of All Witches. In that exchange, Ginger became one of Baba Yaga’s granddaughters, taking on the Witch class and gaining (from the old crone’s spittle) a tiny gelatinous cube familiar.
In theory, this should give Ginger a little bit of weight to throw around with other feywild creatures, though it’s unclear what other lasting repercussions this might have on Ginger and/or the rest of the party.
IN-GAME: Ginger met with an old treant, Elmer, on Lord Malfeather’s estate in Coventry, where she learned that Baba Yaga had infused the knowledge of an ancient and awful power known as Blood Magic into his leaves. Elmer had never read it, but Ginger was exposed to it, and (with the death of Lord Malfeather) is now likely the only person (outside of Baba Yaga herself) who knows the theories involved in using Blood Magic.
IN-GAME: Baba Yaga has also become something of a god(?) in the Cannery Coast region of Coventry after she helped to stop a primordial of storms from destroying the region. With the release of the Fey-infused blood magic on that nation, she has now claimed the woods of that area as her own, calling them Grandmother’s Forest. The prayers to Baba Yaga get sent to a magical hourglass that Ginger currently has, since Baba Yaga did not think her hapless worshippers knew the ramifications of making a request of an Archfey.