Our Lady’s Child
This is the third in my series adapting elements from each of the Grimm's Fairy Tales for Cairn in order of their KHM numbers. The story this time is Our Lady’s Child (KHM3).
This one is a kind of off-putting morality tale, to me at least as a recovering pastor’s kid. The Virgin Mary appears to a poor woodcutter and offers to take away his child that he can’t afford to raise. He agrees and in Heaven the girl ends up caught in a lie about opening a forbidden door. She is sent back to earth and goes through an ordeal of living in the wilderness, marrying a king, and having several children, each of which Mary takes away after the girl refuses to admit her lie about the door. It’s not until they are attempting to burn her at the stake for suspicions she ate the children that Mary took, that she finally admits it and can live a happy life with her family.
Rather than deal with the moralizing aspects of the story, I’d rather focus on the idea of this deity that appears in the woods and offers to take children away. In this case though, we’ll make it a demon in disguise as a local forest goddess who is attempting to lure people into the woods to be eaten. She appears to woodcutters, hunters, travelers, or anyone else who may pass too far into the woods. Perhaps the party meets her while trekking through the forest, or perhaps they come across a town with a rash of disappearances and rumors of a glowing goddess among the trees.
Our Lady of the Trees
10 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 16 WIL, Bite (d8)
- appears as a beautiful woman bathed in glowing light, but is actually a demon in disguise looking for prey to eat
- offers travel to a marvelous kingdom of plenty to anyone who comes across her in the woods, but can turn violent quickly if her charm is unsuccessful
- Soul Devourer: Opens her mouth wide and begins sucking the soul out of a nearby target, dealing d4 WIL damage per round until she is interrupted by taking damage, loses line of sight to the target, or the target makes a successful WIL save to fend her off