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Annis Hag

The Annis Hag, a dark and formidable figure, is steeped in the lore of Dungeons & Dragons as one of the most fearsome varieties of hags. Residing in the shadows of folklore and nightmare, these creatures are known for their imposing stature, strength, and cunning, making them a dire threat to those who dare to cross their paths. With iron-hard skin as blue as the deepest night and towering frames that loom large in the darkest corners of forests and mountains, Annis Hags embody the terror that lurks just beyond the safety of the hearth.

An Annis Hag's lair is often found in the wild, desolate places of the world, shrouded in mist and woven through with the threads of ancient magic. These hags are solitary by nature but sometimes gather in covens to increase their power through dark rituals and collective spellcasting. They take delight in corrupting the innocent and sowing fear, using their abilities to disguise themselves and manipulate those around them to achieve their malevolent goals.

Abilities and Tactics

Possessing incredible physical strength, Annis Hags can crush bones with their bare hands and have been known to rend armor and flesh with equal ease. Their magical abilities are equally daunting, with powers to create illusions, turn invisible, and charm or scare their victims into submission. They are also capable of crafting magical tokens known as "soul bags," which they use to capture and enslave the spirits of the dead or the dying.

Role in Campaigns

In D&D campaigns, encountering an Annis Hag can lead to a richly layered narrative of deceit, horror, and survival. These hags make for complex antagonists, often plotting from the shadows, manipulating events and people to achieve their dark ends. Heroes might find themselves drawn into the Annis Hag's web of intrigue, needing to use both brawn and brains to outwit and defeat her. Whether it's unraveling a curse, rescuing a kidnapped villager, or confronting the hag in her own lair, dealing with an Annis Hag requires courage, cunning, and strength of spirit.

The inclusion of an Annis Hag in a campaign brings a touch of dark folklore to the adventure, challenging players to confront and overcome primal fears. It's an opportunity for storytelling that explores themes of corruption, the power of true names, and the resilience of the human (or elf, dwarf, etc.) spirit in the face of utter malevolence.

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The Crone of Blackthorn Glade

Overview: The party is summoned to the remote village of Oakwood, deep within the Blackthorn Glade - a dense, foreboding forest rumored to be the lair of a fearsome hag. The villagers speak in hushed tones of a towering, monstrous crone that has been terrorizing the local populace, abducting children and livestock, and generally sowing chaos and despair throughout the region. Desperate for aid, the mayor begs the adventurers to venture into the dark forest and confront this ancient evil.

The Plot Twist: As the party investigates the Blackthorn Glade, they discover that the Annis Hag, known as Morgantha, is not simply a cruel and wicked creature, but rather a guardian of a dark secret. Morgantha has been tasked with protecting the location of a powerful magical artifact - an ancient stone circle that serves as a nexus of arcane energy. However, a cabal of power-hungry necromancers have learned of the artifact's existence and seek to harness its power for their own nefarious purposes, using the threat of the Annis Hag to deter any would-be rivals or heroes.

Additional Monsters:

- Swarms of dire wolves and other feral beasts, drawn to the Blackthorn Glade by Morgantha's corrupting influence

- Packs of trolls and ogres, summoned by the necromancers to serve as enforcers and bodyguards

- A coven of green hags, ancient sisters who have allied with Morgantha to strengthen the forest's dark defenses

- A towering, two-headed troll that the necromancers have empowered and trained to be Morgantha's personal enforcer

These diverse monstrous threats are all connected to the machinations of the necromancer cabal that seeks to uncover the location of the ancient magical artifact hidden within the Blackthorn Glade. The dire wolves and other feral beasts serve as Morgantha's natural guardians, while the trolls and ogres have been summoned by the necromancers to bolster the Annis Hag's forces. The coven of green hags, in turn, have forged an alliance with Morgantha, using their dark magic to enhance the forest's corrupting influence and shield the artifact's location.

The towering, two-headed troll is the necromancers' most fearsome creation - a monstrous enforcer that they have empowered and trained to be Morgantha's personal champion, unleashed to crush any who dare to challenge the Annis Hag's dominion over the Blackthorn Glade.

The Location: The Blackthorn Glade is a dense, twisted forest, where towering, thorny vines and gnarled, blackened trees create an oppressive, foreboding atmosphere. As the party ventures deeper, they'll encounter a range of environmental hazards - treacherous pitfalls, venomous plants, and other natural dangers - all while fending off the monstrous denizens of the forest.

At the heart of the Glade lies Morgantha's lair - a towering, moss-covered cave that serves as the Annis Hag's domain. Here, the party must confront the fearsome crone, her monstrous minions, and the necromancers' champions, all while navigating the traps and obstacles that guard the location of the ancient magical artifact.

If the party can overcome these challenges and defeat Morgantha, they not only save the village of Oakwood, but also uncover the true nature of the artifact and the necromancers' plans, potentially leading to further quests to thwart the dark mages' ambitions and restore balance to the Blackthorn Glade.

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