Sunday, 29 March 2015

A monster for the Weekend, Sir? Lamia.

Left to herself, the serpent now began
To change; her elfin blood in madness ran,
Her mouth foam’d, and the grass, therewith besprent,
Wither’d at dew so sweet and virulent;
Her eyes in torture fix’d, and anguish drear,
Hot, glaz’d, and wide, with lid-lashes all sear,
Flash’d phosphor and sharp sparks, without one cooling tear.

Lamia , mistress to Zues, cursed by Hera;  a Lithe of body, and perverse of hunger, she is a creature of profound horror. Described as Draconic or serpentine, and occasionally used interchangeably with Drakaina Sybaris. Yet in out hobby the mythic resonances of this character is largely abandoned. That needs to change.

 This weeks "a monster for the weekend, Sir?"  focuses on re-imagining the Lamia of Swords and Wizardry, in a manner that takes advantage of her horror is a manner that works well in the mode of Fantasy/Cosmic Horror.

A bundle of trigger warnings. 

This article is inspired by the Myths relating to Lamia, and as such, what follows contains reference to a number of possible touchy subjects relating to parenthood. If discussion topics such miscarriage, and infanticide are likely to cause you pain or offense, or are not something you want in your gaming this may not be the article for you.


There are few monsters so terrible pr fearsome as the Lamia, for their existance perverts one of the most treasured and idealised aspects of human life; motherhood.

Rather than beasts or monsters in the traditional sense, Lamia are victims of a terrible genetic disease. Lamia-ism affects about 1:1,000,000 human females. Remaining hidden throught childhood, it is triggered during pregnancy with male children, as a result of a allergic reaction to the blood of their child, in a manner similar to the immune response .

In it's first stage, Lamia-ism results in morbid patterns of thought during pregnancy and occationally in Miscarriage. During the first stage, the suffer slowly starts to obsess over the throught of eating babies. This Obsession never seems unnatural  or wrong to suffer, who see it as a secret expression of Motherly love.

The second phase begins when the new Lamia acts on, or attempts to act upon this urge. In the hours following this, the Lamia withdraws, finding a place to hide away. Once she is tucked away, somewhere relatively safe, she slowly starts to metamophose. The process starts with the secretion of a thick, cacoon, which contains the developing Lamia. Within, her lower limbs elongate, fuse and crack, forming a serpent like tail. Her skin hardens and become scale like. After a week within this cacoon, the new lamia emerges, filled with a hunger for the flesh of children and a cruel and cunning intelligence

A lamia can perfectly imitate the crying of any child she has heard. This mimicry is so convincing that a parent who's crying is being copied must make a saving throw, or attempt to make their way to the source of the crying.  The magic that surrounds a Lamia means than no door or window will bar her passage, unless magically locked, meaning that any non-magical lock will open at her touch. When a Lamia enters a building, its adult inhabitants are effects as though by the spell sleep, with those closest to the entering Lamia, falling asleep first. 
  • Lamia: HD 5; AC 2 [17]Atk Bite (1D6) and 2 claws(1D4); Move ; Save 12; AL C;
    CL/XP 6/400; Special: Mimicry, Free Passage, Terrible Tiredness

1 comment:

  1. I like this, take a humain and transform him into a monster.. now a little moral dillema when PC confront it.. kill or try to save?