Friday, January 17, 2014

Hill Cantons Bestiary: the Polevik

No. Enc.: 1d8
Alignment: Lawful (Evil)
Movement: 120’ (60’)
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2 Sickles or Special (see Below)
Damage: 1d6, 1d6
Save: E2
Morale: 8
XP: 50

In the corelands of Zem the grain field is simply and drearily a place of endless toil, in the borderlands it can also be a place of terror for the unwary. Old Pahr peasants whisper tales of millenia ago when a mysterious devil called The Man introduced the Poleviki, dread spirits of the field, into the world as a gift to the lords of the land.

A Polevik, when not invisible (an effect it can cast on itself twice a day, but always dissipates for a turn after noon), appears on first glance to be a benevolent dwarf-like spirit, pale-skinned and hairy with wheat-stalk hair and beard. But behind the large-mouthed grin and mixed blue and green eyes is pure malice.

Crouching patiently and malevolently behind the sun-dappled rows a Polevik will sit for years until that one fell moment when an exhausted field hand or drunk villager lays their head down for a stolen nap. Often only a bloodied work blouse remains behind as a sober reminder of vigilance. Once a decade or so during high summer, when the field-demons fidget with boredom, they will also lead a stray individual into the fields to their doom.

Beyond the short sharp shock of their sickles, Poleviki are also known to attack by a disease-ridden touch (hit at AC9). Without a successful save vs magic those such touched will be afflicted with a virulent and dangerous yeast infection that will spread without treatment over the whole body before killing in 2-7 weeks.

Some savants maintain that a Polevik can be appeased by tossing a sack containing a rooster, a jug of white gravy, a frog and a pork chop into a hole in the field, but old wise women discount such newfangled theories of science.

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