7
$\begingroup$

A hag is a witch deeply entrenched in the art of dark magic. This kind of magic comes from experimenting with forces beyond our reality. Over the years, her abilities and spells grow in power. However, her physical form also changes, evolving into a higher life form. At the initial stages, she retains some resemblance to a humanoid form. As time goes on, it grows in size and all traces of humanity slowly vanish as she begins to resemble something close to an eldritch creature. Misshapen, formless, with tentacles, mouths, or limbs,etc, or what have you. Every new form is different from hag to hag.

Although powerful, they are not at the top of the ladder in terms of scale, and there are the authorities, who work in tandem with good covens, who seek to hunt then down and exterminate them. Some of these hags run the equivalent of fortune 500 companies, or are politicians in positions of power. Therefore, they must conceal their identity in the public sphere for the times when business must be conducted. Their changing form obviously poses some barriers for them, and must be worked around.

My first thought was some kind of glamour spell, which allows then to put on a false disguise to communicate with others. However, this doesn't take into consideration the size of the individual. A 9 ft (2.7 metre) tall human would be a dead giveaway, not to mention the increased weight of the hag, which perceptive people would notice. Also, there is always a feeling of wrongness that comes from an eldritch creature. They are so anathema to normal life, something from beyond this world and reality itself, that they ooze a sort of corruption that would be picked up by anyone who is in their presence for any length of time, and would figure out that something is wrong.

How can this creature remain in public life without exposing itself?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First, what era is this set in - modern times? Second, why does the hag want to remain in public life at all - is she lonely for human contact, wanting to date - what reason is there to continue in public life that can't be handled by "normal" minions? $\endgroup$ – KerrAvon2055 May 29 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ I thought they ran for public office $\endgroup$ – Gary Walker May 29 at 13:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Simulacra are a viable option, with magic on the table. Just stay hidden and puppet a human-like construct / projection for any public-facing endeavors. $\endgroup$ – trevorKirkby May 29 at 20:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ this just has to be linked here $\endgroup$ – Vatev May 30 at 15:04

11 Answers 11

15
$\begingroup$

They don't hide in public

The problem with the spells that hide their form is that they can fail. If the people looking for the hag know what they are looking for, then eventually the spell will be seen through. Either through supernatural means (there are other witches working at this) or maybe through indirect means - finding which person is too heavy or has conspicuous trouble going through doors that are smaller than 9 feet, or otherwise somehow doesn't match their image.

The hags hide in private

The hag should just stay out of cities. Maybe they will go amongst humans for something urgent or maybe if they are needed for something, but the hags should just limit contact with normal humans.

Instead, the hags should just have other humans handle their errands. Normal humans can blend very well with other normal humans. And these minions should be loyal, so as not to endanger the hag.

To this effect, a hags should start cults. Magic can help and maybe even brainwashing (even magical one), but a cult can be started even with mundane means. We do have some pretty crazy cults in the real world. Serial killers have led them as well as others. So, the hag doesn't need to use magic to start a following.

A cult is pretty loyal once properly trained and it can be a self-replenishing resource. If a minion becomes too bothersome, or maybe exposes themselves, then they can be removed via whatever most appropriate way the hag has. The cult can just have recruitment efforts to maintain their numbers.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the hag might start forming a cult before she becomes disfigured, allowing her to 'recruit' by herself before having to depend on others. $\endgroup$ – A Lambent Eye May 29 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @ALambentEye that would be the smart move, indeed. But an eldritch abomination should also be able to get a cult. It most likely would involve magic but...well, let's say that people are strange and cults stranger. With at least a follower or two, more can be added and the cult can be expanded. However, it does take time, so a wise hag would probably start early. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 29 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ By "removed", do you mean murdered, i.e. deliberately killed to death? $\endgroup$ – void_ptr May 29 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @void_ptr or sacrificed in a magic ritual. Maybe used for experiments that doesn't leave them dead but perhaps worse than dead. Or they might be put to work away from everybody - say in a mine or something. I suppose a being that deals with evil magic to the point it physically changes would have lots of uses for a spare human being that aren't necessarily murder. Of course, murder itself is always an option. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 30 at 3:22
8
$\begingroup$

The classic approach is for the abomination to have a human representative who acts as a proxy in day to day life. They can then keep their monstrous form hidden behind castle walls, only interacting with that single person who is well compensated for keeping the secret.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is what your apprentice is for. You teach them all you know about dark magic, they look after your more mundane tasks that need you to keep secret. being someone who has not yet learnt enough to have large scale transformations they can apply a glamour to look like you used to look. $\endgroup$ – J.Doe May 30 at 8:55
5
$\begingroup$

Once a hag starts transitioning, she also starts transitioning out of public life.

If she is running a Fortune 500 company, then her charismatic and loyal heir takes over and becomes more and more of the public face of the company. If she was very much in the public eye prior, then perhaps just have her go on a sabatical or retreat to re-ignite her "creative energies" and have her become an excentric and brilliant recluse.

If she is a politician, then she retires and keeps her connections and funding to keep pressing for whatever political agenda she got in to politics for (Cthulhu 2020 seems a bit too overt).

So, as others have also said, a continued public life is not likely something that can be maintained. But that doesn't have to stop her from gathering and exercising her power (whether economic, political, or magical).

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

The hag's powers extend beyond the feeble perceptions of reality that mere mortals are aware of. She is a higher dimensional creature now and what people see in public is merely the cross section between her higher dimensional form of writhing tentacles and the three dimensions of our reality. To kill the beast, you will have to trick or force the bulk of her mass into our world.

This would be like making a giant bend over so you can stab at it's head. Some chains which reach far enough and are strong enough to contain it will be needed.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Eldrazi inspired? $\endgroup$ – Daniel B May 29 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel B Not sure who/what that is. $\endgroup$ – Muuski May 29 at 22:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Muuski it's something from Magic: the Gathering. I've only heard them mentioned, so I really don't know much. It seems to me the Eldrazi are some form of eldritch abominations. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 30 at 10:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Muuski Daniel means the explanation here: magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-story/… Ctrl+F for the paragraph with the sentense "Ugin described each Eldrazi titan as a man sticking his hand in a pond..." $\endgroup$ – hijarian May 30 at 16:24
3
$\begingroup$

Another possibility is that the Hag has some kind of spell that allows her to use the skin of a human to look like that person and even have the size of that person. Another possibilty is that the hag controls person from her safe hiding spot directly. Or the glamour is more complex and directly alters the minds of the people seeing the hag so that they don't realize the difference.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

They might be able to hide them selves under a large cloak with a human head rigged up as a puppet, sticking out of the robes. Look up Hiruko from Naruto to see an example of what I mean. The over sized robe would likely look like they had a hunched back, and with her magic rigging up a human head to seem alive seems to fit her character. If it seems to obvious they'd be seen, you could have the puppet pushing a cart where the hag hides beneath goods in the cart.

I think the sense of doom emitted would be generally passed off by people who feel it, as long as she keeps moving. This would allow her to pass from town to town, and remain uncaught by the authorities. Unless they know to look for something like this, it's just an old woman passing through.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

The Elders have a much better understanding about how the universe works than we do, but let's consider that our fledgling science, for all that it has gotten wrong, is right about mass. The problem that the hag-abomination has to deal with is not that she looks horrible and inhuman, but rather that she has grown too big to pass for human. Her magic can easily conceal the tentacles and extra eyes, but her five tonnes of writhing blobbiness cannot easily negotiate human size doorways and low interior ceilings.

The solution requires her to magically divide herself into multiple separate beings, each apparently independent, but all unified under a single will. The spell to do this is old and has surfaced in human history in the biblical references to the demon named Legion, a single supernatural mind that can inhabit one body or many.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

The hag uses her eldritch powers to possess a normal, non-magical person. With her own corporeal form hidden in the depths of her secure, magical fortress, she goes forth in public in the body of another.

The host may be a victim, overwhelmed by the force of her will and subdued by her magic; or they may be a volunteer from her own coven, who is willing to sacrifice their own body in her service; or maybe she has constructed a flesh golem specifically for this purpose.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

They use propaganda to controll public perception and live secluded

Ever read the Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft? There was an eldritch horror wich hid in public by mostly keeping to itself. It even got away with a lot of odd things in its community, but people simply thought he was unpleasant and eccentric.

Additionally the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher might give you a good idea on how to hide supernatural creatures. The magical world has remained hidden by using propaganda, having magic that makes technology malfunction and simply using the widespread disbelief wich is well established in the publics mind. After all if I were to claim that Donald Trump was an eldrich abomination advancing a n ancient doomday scheme I would be ridiculed and thrown into the luny bin. Even if I present some bloomy pictures as proof I would be seen as just another conspiracy nut.

If your hags have existed for a long time in powerful positions they had plenty of time to run success misinformation campaigns and shape the publics perception. Should someone discover things for real they are killed, bribed, or recruited.

The hags then live secluded lives as businesses people or run politics via lobbying (as important people do today) as grey eminences.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Possession

They select a victim and take control while stashing their actual body somewhere safe. After awhile they can discard the victim for a new victim and continue in the same roles.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Corsets.

corset tightening

http://www.corsetiere.net/Spirella/Modelling.htm

The hags have special tight underclothes. Not just waist corsets, but tightenable gear for all parts of the body. Their helpers put them on the hags and tighten them up, smashing and squeezing all that hag meat down into a human shape underneath the strong underclothes. Even the head. It is super uncomfortable for the hags but they kind of like it in a masochistic way because they like discomfort and pain so much they still like it even when it is happening to them. They like even better though thinking about the hags that are even haggier and saggier than themselves and how uncomfortable they must be when they have to get their human stuff on. Hags help make this gear for other hags and give them as gifts.

As regards the ooze of corruption: strong cologne. Also a great gift between hags!

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.