Art by Dave Allsop Ironhead Arts
The old woman cackles and runs her hands across the dangling herbs, chicken feet, onions and other tat that dangles from the ceiling of her stinking shack.
“Oh, you want to know about those two do you? I suppose you’ll be venturing out into the woods after them will you? You’ll fail, just like the rest of them. All of them. You’ll find their bones out amongst the trees before you join them. That pair though? Well…”
She picks up a stone from her table and peers at it as though it holds the secrets of the universe, before turning her yellowy eye back to you.
“Back before the new god came to these shores the tribes followed the old gods but they knew some sins were beyond the pale, even then. There was a king in these lands then, a chieftain. He had a son and daughter with skin like milk and hair like midnight. They were the most beautiful youths in the whole of the land, as far as men knew it in those days, unsurpassed by any other. When they came of age their father sought to marry them off to the sons and daughters of other tribes to bring peace and alliance to the warring clans. They did not want to marry for political reasons, which is not unusual, but the reason was that they were already lovers.
She cackles lasciviously and leans in closer to you as she gives that salacious detail.
“The pair ran away rather than be parted and with nowhere else to go, they went to the Queen under the Hill, a powerful faerie, to seek safety and boon. The fey folk care not for our human morality and brother and sister as lovers meant nothing to them. Nor did they care about the lovers either, they just saw a chance to be cruel, as they so love to be, making the lovers safe but making them… different. They’re together now, forever, but not what they were, now they’re a tool of the queen and the mother… father… whatever of so many of her children.”
Nemon and Bracon are the two immortal beings twisted and corrupted by their unnatural love and the boon that the Quene under the Hill – a powerful fae – has given them. Thin and pale, elfin looking, their skin is like alabaster and their hair like obsidian. They wear ancient armour of blackened bronze ‘leaves’ and carry enchanted blades, gifted to them by the Queen.
They are neither male nor female any more, they are blended together and betwixt their legs lurks nothing that a man or woman should have, but a spike of bone and chitin that brings with it their most terrible legacy and their service to the Queen.
AC: 15 (Bronze leaf armour)
Hit Dice: 10d8 (45 hp)
Number of Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6 (bronze swords).
Special Abilities: Nemon and Bracon are immune to poisons and diseases. Their swords have a chance to cause paralysis on a successful strike that causes damage, and sting like a wasp, bee or hornet sting. The paralysis lasts for an hour. When their prey is paralysed Nemon and Brecon mate with each other and implant their victims with eggs that gestate into vicious sprites over the next month, devouring their way out from inside before crawling off to pupate. (One hit point lost, permanently, per day they host the egg until they die, the ‘maggot’ remains in the husk for four weeks (28 days, 28 hit points). A character with enough hit pointscan survive the emergence of the grub, but it’s a painful and horrifing experience that leaves them permanently crippled. The grub can be cut out, each attempt causing 2d6 hp of damage and requiring a successful Save Vs Poison. A Save Vs Poison at the time of implantation prevents it from taking hold and growing.
Skills: Nemon and Bracon are considered to have the following skills – Bushcraft 4, Climb 5, Search 3, Stealth 4