The Lonesome Road
|Climate/Terrain:||Temperate forests (Barovia)|
|No. of Attacks:||2|
|Special Defenses:||+1 or better to hit|
|Size:||M (5˝’ tall)|
The forest is a strange creature, lonely and ravenous.
Abigail the Moonchild
A muma padura is an exceedingly dangerous creature native to the forests of Barovia. Though she resembles a comely maiden, a muma padura deliberately misdirects travelers and then inflicts a horrifying transformation on them, turning them into living trees.
A muma padura normally appears as a attractive young Barovian woman, dressed in the manner one would expect of a hermit. She wears only a worn, earthen-brown blouse and skirt, and goes about barefoot. Her skin is deeply tanned, but shows no sign of weathering from the harsh elements. Perhaps the only clue as to a muma padura’s unusual nature is the fact that her long, dark brown hair always reflects the seasons. In the spring, her hair sprouts tiny, pale pink flower buds. As summer emerges, the buds open into delicate flowers, and her hair acquires moss-green highlights. During the autumn, the flowers fall away, and shimmering reds and golds replace the greenish tint. With the arrival of winter, a muma padura’s hair again returns to ordinary dark brown.
Muma paduras speak Balok, and sometimes Luktar as well, although it is unknown if they understand the written forms of these languages.
Combat: A muma padura never carries a weapon, but is hardly a defenseless creature. At will, she can cause her fingertips to lengthen into woody claws that are as hard as iron. She can strike twice in a single round with these claws, doing 1d4+1 damage with each strike. Anyone struck by a muma padura’s claws must save vs. paralyzation or undergo a terrible transformation. The victim’s flesh quickly begins to turn to wood, and in four rounds the victim becomes a completely inanimate statue of solid wood. Each round during the transformation, the victim’s movement rate is reduced by one quarter of his base movement rate, his Dexterity drops by one quarter, and his natural (unarmored) AC drops by one point. The victim’s initiative also suffers a cumulative +2 penalty for each round that passes. After four rounds, the victim stops moving completely and becomes a bark-covered statue of living wood. Living roots quickly (1d6 turns) worm their way into the soil from the victim’s “feet”, after which it becomes nearly impossible to move the statue. Depending on the season, tiny buds or leaves may appear on the statue after a time. Over years, the statue sprouts branches and begins to resemble a mundane, living tree. The victim remains completely aware and utterly helpless as long as the tree lives. No psionic powers or other special abilities of the victim function.
This horrific state can only be reversed by a remove curse or wish spell, or by slaying the muma padura which caused the transformation. If the tree is chopped up, burned, or otherwise destroyed before the transformation can be reversed, only reincarnation or wish can restore the victim, who is effectively dead.
A muma padura can only be struck by weapons of at least +1 enchantment, and possesses 30% magic resistance. Additionally, she can use audible glamer at will, as a 7th-level mage.
Habitat/Society: Muma paduras wander the forests of Barovia, both in the river valleys and high in the Balinok Mountains. They seek out travelers and attempt to misdirect them with their audible glamer ability. Typically, they create the distant sound of a crying child or maiden in distress, ideally causing a do-gooder to lose his way as he searches for the voice’s owner. The muma padura will then follow her victims from a distance, relishing their mounting fear as they realize that they are lost. She waits until the perfect opportunity to strike, such as when a lone individual becomes separated from the group. Muma paduras love to transform their victims one at a time, and loathe it when anyone escapes their grasp.
Many Barovians say that muma paduras are demons that simply delight in the horror of transforming men into trees. Others insist that the forest itself created them as vengeance for unfettered timber felling. The Vistani have another theory, insisting that the muma paduras are the spirits of lost children who died alone in the wilderness. Once, such creatures were benevolent protectors, happily leading other lost children back to their homes. They have since been driven insane by the corrupting influence of the Land. Now they desire only for the wilderness to devour humanity, and gladly help it along.
Ecology: Although they seem to be linked closely to nature, it is not known what, if any, role muma paduras plays in the forest ecosystem. They subsist on sunlight rather than food and water, and seem to have no need to sleep. They interact little with the other plants and animals of the forest, and are not known to make alliances. Perhaps this is only because Barovia lacks the fell sylvan creatures that plague some lands (such as Tepest).
The Lonesome Road
Last Modified: February 10, 2014, 20:51:45 GMT
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