Monster Mayhem
The Unseelie Nymph
By Robert Wiese

Based on the version appearing in Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume Four, published in 1998 by TSR, Inc.

"Over there, Scout. That's her." Miala pointed at the enchantingly beautiful creature seated in the clearing. The fairy -- for surely that was what it must be -- sat surrounded by four human males in their early twenties, each clearly bewitched. "See the twisted trees on the far side of the clearing? She causes that. She's some kind of nymph."

"So why didn't you just kill her?" Scout asked, drawing an arrow from her quiver. "It seems easy enough, if she's just a nymph."

"My powers are considerable now, but with those louts fawning at her feet, I would have been in over my head when it came to blows. I left the dogs behind so I could move quietly. And I don't have your gift for archery -- you know that."

Scout fitted the arrow to her bow, then drew the string back and took aim from behind the brush. Her clothing made her six-foot frame meld with the brush, and Miala's leaf armor caused her to actually appear to be part of the bush. Taking careful aim, Scout said, "After we kill it, will the forest return to normal?"

"I don't know; I've never run into one of these. I was able to tell that she was causing the corruption only by observing her for more than a week. And she's not dead yet, friend. . . ."

At that moment, Scout let the arrow fly. The twang of the bowstring echoed through the woods as the arrow sped toward its target. Suddenly, one of the men around the nymph turned and interposed himself between the arrow and its target. As he fell screaming, the others produced clubs and swords, and turned towards the two women in the brush. Scout and Miala drew their own weapons and readied themselves. Miala said, "It's getting to the 'after' that's always hard for us."

Nymph, Unseelie
Medium-Size Fey
Hit Dice: 3d6 (10 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 11 (+1 Dex)
Attacks: Dagger +1 melee
Damage: Dagger 1d4
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Corruption of nature, corruption of beauty, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, SR 16
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +5
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 19
Skills: Bluff +10, Diplomacy +12, Hide +7, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +9, Listen +10, Move Silently +7, Sense Motive +8, Spot +10, Climb +10* (forest nymph only) or Swim +10 (aquatic nymph only)
Feats: Ability Focus (corruption of beauty), Ability Focus (charm), Alertness, Dodge
Climate/Terrain: Forest, marsh, or aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 4-9 HD (Medium-size) or by character class

As beautiful as nymphs, unseelie nymphs are their exact opposites in outlook and temperament. They delight in the corruption of all that is beautiful and good in nature.

Unseelie nymphs can be found in both forest and aquatic environments, working their destruction. Each has a chosen terrain that it prefers; forest unseelie nymphs live only in forests, and aquatic unseelie nymphs live only at lakeshores or in lakes. They will not willingly live in other terrain; even forest unseelie nymphs will not live near a lakeshore that is contained within the home forest.

An unseelie nymph's beauty rivals, but does not quite equal, the beauty of a good nymph. However, few get the opportunity to compare them side-by-side, and so the subtle differences are not apparent. Unseelie nymphs resemble young human or elven women with perfect features and thick, luxurious hair. Forest unseelie nymphs tend toward brown or black hair, while water-dwelling individuals have blond or a greenish-blue hair that looks just as lovely and appropriate as the more normal hair colors. This beauty hides a heart as corrupt and evil as can be found in the natural world, and the sardonic or hard glints in these creatures' eyes are so fleeting that almost no one sees them. An unseelie nymph never betrays her evil tendencies overtly, always maintaining an appearance of innocence. Because of this, they are often confused with nymphs who have turned off their unearthly beauty's deadly effects.

Unseelie nymphs speak Sylvan and Common.

Combat

Unseelie nymphs avoid combat, relying on their love-stricken companions to defend and protect them. When bereft of such servitors, they seek to escape combat unscathed. Though they are spiteful about destroying the beauty of others, they prize their own beauty too highly to risk it in combat.

Charm (Sp): Any creature who sees the unseelie nymph must make a Will save (DC 17) or fall in love with her. This ability works as the charm person spell cast by a 7th-level sorcerer. If the creature is male, he treats the unseelie nymph as the love of its life, the center of his universe, and will do anything short of ending his own life, or violating his basic ethos, to please the unseelie nymph. Those charmed by an unseelie nymph will not leave her side while the charm is in effect for any reason, and will defend her to the death. (Note: Defending one's love to the death is different than throwing oneself off a cliff simply because the beloved wished one to do so.)

Corruption of Nature (Su): An unseelie nymph can twist and corrupt nature itself. For every week that an unseelie nymph lives in an area, she twists, deforms, and kills the plants, and fouls the water. Fouled water cannot support life, so fish in a lake that becomes fouled by the unseelie nymph die the following week. The unseelie nymph first affects the area around her designated "home," and extends her influence in circular patterns of increasing size. Each week the unseelie nymph can corrupt a circle of radius 150 feet, but successive weeks' circles add on to the first. Thus, in the first week the unseelie nymph corrupts a circle of radius 150 feet centered on her home. The following week, the circle of area affected grows to a radius of 300 feet, and in the following week the circle of effect grows to a radius of 450 feet. The maximum area that can be affected by a single unseelie nymph is a circle with radius 2 miles, and this takes 71 weeks to accomplish. Any plant in the area that is sentient and self-willed or controlled by another creature, such as a druid's oak or a treant, can make a Fortitude save (DC 11) to resist the effect each week that it remains in the area. Creatures that make this saving throw cannot identify the source of the effect simply from being attacked by it.

Corruption of Beauty (Su): Once per week, an unseelie nymph can permanently drain one point of Charisma and one point of Constitution from any creatures under the effects of its charm ability. The range of this ability is 30 feet, and the affected creatures can make a Fortitude save (DC 17) to resist this effect. Males receive a -2 circumstance penalty to this saving throw, as they would willingly give the unseelie nymph anything it requests.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): Unseelie nymphs can use dimension door once per day as cast by a 7th-level sorcerer.

*Terrain-Dependent Skill: Unseelie nymphs who have chosen water as their home have ranks in the Swim skill, and those who have chosen the forest as their home have ranks in the Climb skill. Unseelie nymphs receive a +4 racial bonus on checks using their terrain-dependent skill.

Ability Focus

Choose one of your special attacks. This attack becomes more potent than normal.

Benefit: Add +2 to the Difficult Class for all saving throws against the special attack you select to focus on.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new special attack.

About the Author

Robert Wiese lives in a little cubicle at Wizards of the Coast and masterminds the downfall of Living campaign characters for the RPGA Network. When not so occupied, he plans RPGA convention presences, develops the member database, and does everything that no one else is specifically doing. When let out for a walk, he plays the harp, studies theology, and attempts to outwit himself and keep his character alive in the RPGA's Living Greyhawk campaign.


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