The Green Ladies, also known as the Verdant Horde, are normally seen as breath-taking women, with long flowing hair and long, close-fitted robes that accentuate nearly ideal figures.
This is, however, a cruel illusion, for the being's true appearance is as comely as a thornbush. While still having a basic female humanoid figure they have little else in common with most beings. Their faces are flat and featureless like the side of an acorn. Their skin is olive colored and their head is adorned with long, green hairlike fibers as well as long, thin, vine-like tendrils. Their lith arms are slender and their hands have segmented thorn-like fingers which end in viciously sharp points. Their feet are masses of hard, tuber-like material of similar consistency as hardwood.
|The Green Ladies are the agents of the The Queen of the Dark Wood of the dark wood, an ancient power that preceded all of the current pantheons of Neyathis. She is a power that holds domain over all flora and holds no love at all for mankind.|
|The origin of this emnity is long in the past, and results from some interaction between the Queen and the newer gods of Neyathis. She is firmly committed to destroying all of their works...||Unlike Dryads, they are both mobile, and absolutely hostile to non-vegetative intelligence. Though they tolerate the presence of animal life, their ideal world would have naught but plant life. Even those beings who revere the forests are not immune to their emnity. They are not above working with non-vegetative life if it advances their goal, they will simply seek later to betray and slay their 'allies'.|
|The Ladies know of Dryads, and although they will not attack them directly, will definitely try and cause trouble by framing them for attacks.||Green Ladies will not directly attack enemies unless the odds are heavily in their favor, but once committed, they fight to the death. When the odds are not high enough, they will resort to traps, sabotage and controlled creatures to attack their foes. Their illusions allow them plenty of opportunity to take advantage of male victims.|
|The Green Ladies are slightly less intelligent then humans, but still capable of much cunning, being able to organize ambushes, sabotage equipment and use human weapons. Their limited intelligence comes into play when their plans are upset. They are unable to adapt quickly to changes and instead will either flee or revert to simple violence.|
|The Green Ladies work in large groups, usually led by an exceptional member of their race, usually more intelligent or strong of will. Typically two dozen form a clump of Green Ladies. Within a clump, the Green Ladies are team players and will not fight amongst themselves. Their plans lose all sophistication should they lose the exceptional member of the clump.|
|The Green Ladies cannot actually speak. They use their powers of illusion to communicate - beings 'hear' their speech as auditory illusions. They can understand spoken languages through their link with their Queen. Beings immune to illusion cannot hear their speech, which might reveal their nature.|
|The Green Ladies spawn from seeds cast to the earth by their queen, each seed producing roughly two dozen sprouts which mature within 6 months into fully functional Green Ladies. These seeds fly on the wind for hundreds of miles before landing and sprouting. They do not tolerate sun early on, so generally only those landing in wooded areas will germinate. The Queen dispenses seeds unpredictably, whenever her seething fury overflows.|
|For worlds where extra-planar realms exist, an astral 'runner' joins each Green Lady with their queen, and serves as the conduit for their powers. This also allows the queen to communicate with them and to see through their eyes..||Unable to perform sophisticated magics, they do have innate powers drawn from energies granted them by their queen. The primary ability they have is the ability to produce powerful illusions that allow them to appear as normal humans or other humanoids. As a secondary ability, they can control mobile plant-life within line of sight, and to tap into their senses. To make this particular talent more deadly, they impart onto their controlled flora the ability to find the weaknesses in Man's works - allowing them to destroy inanimate structures much more rapidly then would be expected. They also occasionally have the ability to work magic, but not forms requiring speech. There is no room in their minds for any apart from their queen, who is both their liege and god.|
Plots and Campaign Use
The Green Ladies are basically an unreasoning foe to most intelligent life and can take the place of various goons.
They represent a primal force of nature which wants to strangle and slay all humanity, to bury their works beneath the roots of trees and their bodies as fertilizer.
The PCs come across a small elven village - perhaps they were coming to meet someone or seek help. However, the village was overcome by a force of Green Ladies and now is populated by numerous dangerous mobile plants, many of which sitting atop mouldering elf remains.
Yerthic the Mad
A mage has been studying the threat of the Green Ladies and has devoted much time to them. He has located where he thinks a Clump is maturing, and contracts the PCs to obtain them before they mature. This might actually come to pass, with later havoc caused by Yethric after somehow controlling his green Beauties, or the information is old, and the PC's arrive to a fully mature clump of Green Ladies..
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? Responses (14)-14
Ok, the Green Brigade.
--I find it intriguing that they are slightly less intelliegent than humans. Its usually the opposite with these types of creatures, so i was pleasantly surprised!
--A "Clump" of Green Ladies. Thats rich!
--They use their powers of illusion to communicate - beings 'hear' their speech as auditory illusions As long as Moon or manfred cant punch a hole in the "science(magic)" aspect of that concept, its beautiful! :)
--Reproduction is terrific! One question. If these seeds fly for hundreds of miles, how do they all get together to form clumps? Just curious.
And on that note, I can see a short tale, perhaps tragic tale, of one such Green Lady, whose seed flew far, and then yet further, until at last it came to rest, and eventually sprouted in the garden of....
Another tale could involve the Green Ladies and the Cult of Dalharad, the Root-Lord, wherein the Cult, led by the irascible and convincing charlatan, Rancis, is in the midst of "converting" another hamlet, to the cause of a non-existent god, when the Ladies arrive. The PCs may become embroiled when the "high-priest" of the nature cult, pleads with PCs for help, against the True forces of nature.
I like them. They've been done before here and there, but I really like how you bring them to life, particularly the physical description and some of the details (clump and repro). Could use a little more juicy minutae, ecological, anecdotal, or otherwise, just to breathe a bit more life into them, but basically, I like them.
Each seed causes a clump to sprout, much like a hosta or similar plant.
As a fantasy sub, am not worried about holes being punched in the science :)
Will look at adding a little more minutae though...
well, that answers that! :)
Nice one. Murometz had some useful points, let me add some:
- their communication via illusions is no problem at all, it is just a potential weakness or telltale sign that can be exploited. :)
- from the writing point of view, the first paragraph is a little off; also their ability to use mechanical devices seems to be pushed forcefully inside.
- instead (or in addition), they could have the instinctive power to find weak points in structures to collapse them, much like gentle roots of plants can destroy any building with time.
- more detail on the Queen would be useful... do I sense another submission forthcoming?
- yes, someone will try to use the seeds for ulterior purposes, or simply for research or to milk them for magic. A group of PCs could be contacted by a group of 'nature priestesses', who want to stop such an evil, nature despoiling villain. How long will it take until the heroes notice they haven't been told everything?
I'll fix up that first paragraph - it missed my 'review' phase...
Updated: New format - let me know if it sucks, and I'll drop it. Also added more text in places and more spellchecking...
- instead (or in addition), they could have the instinctive power to find weak points in structures to collapse them, much like gentle roots of plants can destroy any building with time
and nice new format, val! love it. Allows the naked eye to experience feng-shui :)
You know, I could feel these. I liked them so much, I started envisioning them in different situations with my players.
There is a pocket dimension in my setting that the players travels through in dire times, as it shortens the journey betweem two cities by 6 months. This pocket dimension is called "The Passage of Muir" and in the exit area of that pocket dimension, close to a city in my setting called "Gethrensburg", there will be a forest of Green Ladies.
I love it!
Hey, finally someone made use of those tables - and it looks really good, too!
With that and a few updates, time to up the vote.
What do they think of Ents/Dryads?
Dryads and Ents are viewed as freinds to their enemies - they are too soft on humans, etc. They are too closely allied with nature to be directly attacked, but they will make use of opportunity to cause them trouble and will never aid them.
The note on dryads is in the text, though perhaps it was not presented well in the current format:
The Ladies know of Dryads, and although they will not attack them directly, will definitely try and cause trouble by framing them for attacks
Evil Dryads/Ents who share the Green Ladies view would be treated as expendible allies, as would any other human-hostile plant-like beings.
As a note, I am working on expanding their Queen. Their hatred of 'meat things' such as humans is not a rational hatred but borders on psychosis. Their queen was mortally offended by something done by a human god long in the past...
Now this is an awesome idea! I can imagine remote villages on the fringes of enchanted forests being continuously under siege by these murderous creations of nature. A perfect explanation for why some ancients forests might be considered 'cursed' or 'forbidden' by local priests or sages.
Splendid work, I linked it in a plot hook in the submission Alm the Herbalist and HoHed it as well.
A good read and easily used in a game. Other than that, I don't have anything more to add than was already said.
Have another HoH.