Dragonmarks: Night Hags and Nightmares

The night hags of Eberron are mysterious and enigmatic. The Princess Aundair asserted that night hags were fallen fey cast out of Thelanis; it was likewise Aundair who popularized the idea that night hags created nightmares by ripping the wings off of pegasi. The scholars of Galifar debunked both of these ideas, and established that night hags are native fiends of Eberron that have existed since the Age of Demons. But many questions remain unanswered. If night hags are fiends, why do they seem to have no sympathy for raksashas or other native fiends? How is it that on the one hand you have Sora Kell, who’s described as tearing apart armies with her talons and laying waste to a city with a single spell… and on the other, you have stories describing night hags who seem little more powerful than a typical troll? And if the night hags are native fiends, why do they have such an affinity for dreams and a talent for traveling to other planes?

The most reliable source on the topic is the Codex of All Mysteries, written by Dorius Alyre ir’Korran. The Codex makes the following observations.

Thirteen hags emerged in the First Night, old on their first day; they were called grandmothers even before the first mortal was born. Twelve of these night hags were bound in covens of three; even then, Sora Kell made her own path. Most fiends are tied to one of the dread overlords, and it would be easy to think that the first hags were children of Sul Khatesh, given their affinity for both secrets and magic. But there is no overlord in the First Night. Rather, it seems that the twelve and one collectively embody an idea. Many fiends embody concepts that mortals fear, and the simplest answer is that the night hags embody mortal fears of the night—both specifically of nightmares, but also of the unknown forces lurking in the darkness. The accounts of Jhazaal Dhakaan add a twist to this, suggesting that the night hags embody the curiosity of Khyber itself. Jhazaal observes that the night hags should be considered evil, as they will lead mortals into despair and doom without remorse. But she notes that the hags lack the greater malevolence of the overlords, that they have no desire to dominate mortals or the world; instead, they love to watch stories unfold, especially stories that end in tragedy. In the first days to the world, the night hags served as intermediaries between mortals, fiends, and the other great powers of reality. They took no sides in the many wars of that time, finding joy in moving stories along and watching the horrors that unfolded; they had no agenda, for this story needed no finger on the scales to tilt it toward disaster. The hags simply loved being in the midst of the chaos, and reveled in turning the pages of history.

Should we accept these stories, a night hag is many things at once. She is a shaper of nightmares, who takes joy in hand-crafting nocturnal visions so terrifying that a mortal might fear to ever sleep again. She is an ancient being who may have spoken with dragons, demons, and even overlords. And above all, she is a creature who delights in watching stories unfold and in seeing what happens next—especially when those tales end in tragedy.

What of the curious spectrum between night hags? How can we reconcile the legend of Sora Kell shattering an army with the tale of Sola the Smith outwrestling Sora Tenya? How can we account for the fact that a catalogue of night hags produces more than thirteen names? The answer may be found in another Dhakaani account. The dirge singer Uula Korkala blamed the hag Sora Ghazra for the tragedy that befell her city, and rallied the greatest champions of the age to her pursuit of vengeance. She worked with the legendary hunter Ur’taarka to track the hag and to create snares that could bind even the greatest of fiends. She worked with the daashors to enchant the chain of the mighty Guul’daask, creating a weapon that would shatter the hag’s spirit even as it crushed her bones. Korkala took her vengeance, and Sora Ghazra was defeated. But it is no simple thing to kill an immortal. The shards of Ghazra’s shattered spirit embedded themselves in her killers. Ur’taarka, Guul’daask, even Korkala herself—all were haunted by nightmares. Unable to sleep, they wasted away in body and mind. Eventually the magic of this curse reshaped them into hags—lesser versions of the primal crone they’d destroyed. This created a line of night hags, each bearing this curse. When any one of them dies, the killers will be consumed by nightmares. The curse grows weaker with each generation, and there are heroes who have survived this gauntlet of nightmares; but any who are broken by these terrors will become a weaker hag. Thus, should you encounter a night hag who seems not to live up to the terrifying legend of Sora Kell, she is likely one of Ghazra’s line; the threat she poses will depend on how far removed she is from her ancestor.

Dorius Alyre ir’Korran is a legendary scholar and diviner, known for his ambition to supplant Aureon himself; the Codex is the most trusted source of information on the hags. The actual entry includes far more information than just this, providing further details on many of the original thirteen hags and their covens. However, it is as always up to the DM to decide if any of this is true, or if it is still speculation or even misinformation spread by the hags themselves.

If you trust the Codex, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Night hags can have a vast range of power. The Challenge 5 night hag presented in fifth edition is likely a weak descendent of Sora Ghazra. Sora Kell was the most powerful of the primal night hags—the one who always stood alone—and likely has a Challenge rating over 20. Other hags—between the other primal hags and the greater descendants of Sora Ghazra—would fall somewhere within that spectrum. Because of Ghazra’s story, there’s no absolute limit on the number of night hags in the world. There may have only been thirteen primal night hags, but the extent of Ghazra’s brood is entirely up to the DM. The lesser hags of Ghazra’s brood DO NOT retain many memories of the hag that spawned them; they have a basic foundation, but a CR 5 hag doesn’t have memories of the Age of Demons and doesn’t retain all the contacts and connections of their parent hag.
  • Night hags largely view mortals as a form of entertainment. They typically have a cruel sense of humor, and they take joy in hand-crafting nightmares for people who catch their interest. Many of them do enjoy testing virtuous heroes and seeing if they can hold to their ideals. But at the end of the day, most are driven by cruel curiosity; if a hero DOES persevere and overcome adversity, they’ll chuckle and move on, making a note to check back in a few decades. They don’t CARE about the goals of the overlords or the Chamber; they just love good stories. The night hag Jabra sells goods in both Droaam and the Immeasurable Market of Syrania. Her goods won’t necessarily bring misfortune to the buyer; among other things, she sells dreams she’s collected over the centuries. But SOME of her goods are certainly bound to bring tragedy to someone, if not necessarily the person who purchases them. And more than anything, her work as a merchant is a way to while away the immortal hours while she waits for someone interesting to cross her path—a story she can delight in following to its end.
  • Night hags wield power in Dal Quor, as measured by their ability to manipulate dreams. They have an understanding with the quori; remember, the primal night hags once served as ambassadors to all the great powers, and they can be persuasive when they choose. Night hags can smell the touch of a quori on a mortal’s dream, and they will thus avoid interfering with dreamers who play critical roles in the plans of the Dreaming Dark. Beyond this, Dal Quor is vast; night hags and quori generally do their best to stay out of each others’ way. With that said, there have been stories of friendships, rivalries, and feuds between specific quori and night hags; a particular tsucora and a child of Ghazra might take turns tormenting a particular mortal, each trying to craft the most terrifying dream.
  • Night hags have a particular affinity for dreams and Dal Quor. For a night hag, shaping a dream is like playing an instrument; it’s both art and a satisfying hobby. A night hag doesn’t HAVE to have some grand agenda in deciding to haunt a particular mortal, any more than a writer has some specific vendetta against the sheet of paper they select on which to write a story. On the other hand, they may well focus on people who draw their attention. In Droaam, Jabra has been known to buy peoples’ dreams. The simple fact is that she can haunt someone’s dreams whether they agree to it or not; but Jabra enjoys convincing a victim to agree to their torment.
  • Primal night hags are immortal and have existed since the dawn of time. If slain, they will reform in the demiplane known as the First Night. Ghazra’s brood can be killed, at which point they infect their killers with their nightmare curse. Each such generation grows weaker, and it’s possible that the CR 5 night hag of the Monster Manual is simply too far removed from the source to curse its killers… or it might be that they have only to enduring a single nightmare or a few nights to overcome the curse.
  • Primal night hags don’t require a heartstone to become ethereal. A heartstone is a focusing item that allows one of Ghazra’s brood to tap into this power, concentrating their weaker spirit.

With all that in mind, let’s consider a few specific questions.

The ECS says that Night Hags are neutral, but here you say they’re evil. Which is it?

Many ideas in the ECS have evolved over time. When I wrote that original section in the ECS, the intent was to emphasize that the night hags aren’t allied with the Lords of Dust and the overlords—that they are, ultimately, neutral. However, in retrospect, I feel that they should both be fiends and should have an evil alignment. They were born in Khyber, and on a personal level, they delight in tragedies and will unleash nightmares without remorse. We’ve called out that good people can do evil things and that evil people can do good; in the case of the night hags, they are evil beings who choose not to serve a greater good or greater evil.

The immortals of Eberron draw from a finite pool of energy and don’t reproduce. But Sora Kell has daughters, and there’s also hagblood characters. How’s this work?

Night hags can reproduce, but this doesn’t follow normal biological science and most never do. Essentially, what a night hag does in creating a child is much like how they create a nightmare; each of the Daughters of Sora Kell are, essentially, nightmares made real. It’s quite likely that the hag has to invest a certain amount of her own essence in her children, not unlike the story of Sora Ghazra. If so, Sora Kell is likely no longer as powerful as she once was, and this could explain why she’s been missing for so long.

Sora Ghazra’s children are created when a sliver of her spirit reshapes a mortal body. The weaker the are, the more mortal they are; the least of these hags might be able to have children in the normal way, though these children wouldn’t be night hags.

Night hags can trap mortal souls in soul bags. Why do they want mortal souls?

Trapping souls is hardly unheard of in Eberron. Sora Maenya isn’t a night hag, but she’s known for trapping the souls of her victims in their skulls and keeping them. She doesn’t DO anything with them; she just likes collecting them. Sora Teraza traps souls in books, cataloguing the life of the subject. This is the model for night hags. Some may bind captured souls into objects, keeping a collection of soul-bound dolls, for example. Others may weave the souls into acts of magic. For example…

What’s the origin of nightmares (the monsters) in Eberron? Do they have a connection to night hags?

Nightmares are fiends that protect their riders from fire and allow them to travel between the planes. The first nightmares were created by Sora Azhara, a primal night hag with a particular love of Fernia. She crafted the first nightmares by fusing literal nightmares with the ashes of the Demon Wastes and mortal souls. A few of her sisters admired her creations, delighting in their ability to carry mortals into dangerous places, and created nightmares of their own. Any creature capable of casting nightmare could potentially learn the ritual for creating a nightmare. This requires a bound mortal soul slain by nightmares; ashes from the Demon Waste; and a living equine creature, which serves as the physical framework. This is the origin of the tortured pegasus story—but the victim doesn’t have to be a pegasus. A creature who’s soul is bound into a nightmare can’t be raised from the dead by any means until the nightmare is destroyed; the soul is however preserved from Dolurrh while bound. Typically, the mortal spirit is unconscious and oblivious to the passage of time during this binding.

What does it mean that the primal night hags serve as ambassadors? If there were thirteen of them, did they have ties to specific planes?

“Ambassador” isn’t an official title. Night hags are capable of moving across planes, something that’s uncomfortable for most native immortals. Essentially, they spend a lot of time traveling—they are in part driven by curiosity—and they know people. The dragons and fiends of the Age of Demons found it useful to have a recognized neutral force, and the night hags enjoyed being a part of the story. This continues today. The night hag Jabra knows thousands of immortals through the time she’s spent at the Immeasurable Market. A random lesser night hag may know a number of quori—some friends, some rivals. Sora Azhara has a love of Fernia and is a regular guest at the parties of the efreet. But this is ultimately an informal role, more “I know a hag who knows a guy” than being officially appointed by the Progenitors or anything like that.

That’s all for now! Thank you to my Patreon supporters both for making these articles possible and for suggesting the topic; in my monthly call for questions, someone asked “Night Hags! Just Night Hags!… So here we are! If you want to have a chance to shape future topics and help insure that there are more articles, pitch in at my Patreon.

Also: I am continuing to work on Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold, and TONIGHT (Wednesday September 8th) I’m kicking off a new stream to playtest the material. It’s part of the Fugue State stream, which I play in with Colin Meloy and Chris Funk of the Decemberists, Charlie Chu of Oni Press, Han Duong, and Jennifer Kretchmer. It’s going to run for about six weeks and the first episode is TONIGHT, so if you want to see it kick off, drop by the Twogether Studios Twitch channel at 7:30 PM Pacific Time! This is a very casual stream—basically just our home game in action—but I’m sure it will be fun!

58 thoughts on “Dragonmarks: Night Hags and Nightmares

  1. This is absolutely amazing. Thank you, Keith!

    Where do dusk hags fall on this spectrum, are they more bound to the weavings of Dal Quor than their mothers?

    • I thought that that was not part of noble titles in Zilargo.
      It’s not a Zil custom. Dorius was appointed as a Viscount by the ruler of Galifar and chose to add the prefix to his Zil name.

      • If I’ve read my lore correctly, Zilargo was founded as a response to Malleon’s raids (DS: Zilargo pt 1) around ‐2’000 YK (ExE10). The Library, which Doran Alyre ir’Korran founded, predated Zilargo (DS: Gnomes of Zilargo pt. 1) so does that would mean that Doran survived into his 3rd millennia? Or is something in this Old Canon divering from Kanon?

        Found a passage that implied that he died centuries before the founding of Galifar (ECS242), still not a mean feat for a race with a life expectancy of 200!

        Love your work and m.o., keep it up! <3

        • First and foremost, it’s a case of trying to reconcile inconsistent canon. The ir’ prefix isn’t a Zil custom; it’s Wynarn. There’s no reason for a pre-Wynarn gnome to use it. If you take a look back at the GoZ Dragonshard or the Dolurrh’s Dawn article, I DON’T use it — I just call him Dorius Alyre Korran — because that’s logically his name. BUT, he’s listed in the ECS and the Player’s Guide to Eberron as ir’Korran—which only makes sense if he received that title from Galifar. So it’s a question of whether to prioritize the articles—which reflect my personal writing—or the sourcebooks; and given that people are more likely to know the sourcebooks, I try to acknowledge those.

          I think the most logical way to reconcile the to is to say that Dorius was granted the title posthumously in recognition of his work, and that the ir’ is added as an honorific. So he founded the Library and died long before Galifar, but was honored by Galifar.

  2. So I’m guessing Night Hags are powerful and old enough that Dal Quor being severed from the rest of the universe doesn’t impede their visits there?

    • It’s not that they’re powerful or old; it’s they have a direct, unique connection to it, just as humans didn’t stop dreaming when the connection was severed. It’s a unique exception that has persisted.

  3. Do night hags take any special interest in the points of interest of Dal Quor, such as the Riedran Sea, the Uul Dhakaan, or the Draconic Eidolon? What about more out-of-the-way dreams, such as the Flame-protected dreams of the Masvirik’uala, the god-crafting dreams of the kuo-toa, or the extra-extraplanar dreams of the kar’lassa? Surely, these plane-traveling night hags have noticed the properties of the kar’lassa?

    • Night hags are aware of all of these, but it’s like knowing a way around a city—part of knowing your way is knowing the places to avoid. They’re aware of all of these places, but following the same principle of avoiding causing trouble with the quori, they generally don’t pick fights with any powerful lucid dreamers. Night hags don’t have a grand agenda. There’s no reason for them to pick a fight with the Chot’uul (the guardians of the Uul Dhakaan) or the spirits of the Draconic Eidolon. They avoid anything shaped by the quori—IE the Riedran Sea—and if they’re smart they’ll avoid the Kuo-Toa, as they could potentially be bound just like quori. They’re aware of all of these places—and there may be a night hag that regularly visits the Uul Dhakaan and shares dreams of fresh noon with a Chot’uul monk—but they prefer to ply their art on non-lucid dreams.

  4. What treaties or negotiations could dragons and demons conduct, that they needed a “neutral force”? It always seemed to me that they were sworn enemies at the level of “If I see you, I’ll kill you”

    • Prisoner exchanges; the dragons learned how to bind lesser fiends even before the Silver Flame was used to bind the overlords themselves. Exchanges of knowledge; consider the story that Aureon bargained with the Shadow to learn the arts of magic. And consider that some overlords might enjoy bargaining and negotiating just for its own sake. Eldrantulku is the Oathbreaker; they HAVE to make bargains and create intrigues to express their core concept.

      • Do the Overlords or there representatives have enough loyalty to their underlings (or at least the ability to swallow enough of their pride to understand they need some of them) to engage in prisoner exchanges?

        • Do the Overlords or there representatives have enough loyalty to their underlings (or at least the ability to swallow enough of their pride to understand they need some of them) to engage in prisoner exchanges?

          The overlords? Not in the least. I can’t imagine an OVERLORD bargaining in this way… with the possible exception of Eldrantulku or Sul Khatesh, because intrigue is part of their portfolio. But no, I’d expect this sort of work to be handled by lieutenants. Mordakhesh might bargain with a night hag; the Rage of War doesn’t deal with such trivialities.

  5. If Night Hags have nothing to do with Thelanis, how are Night Hags related to the other hags (which are fey)?

    Also how did Sora Kell make 3 daughters of hags that weren’t fiends, but fey?

    • Night hags aren’t directly related to other hags. Beyond that, the concept that hags are fey—let alone tied to Thelanis—is a relatively new concept. In 3.5—when Eberron was initially written—night hags were outsiders and other hags were monstrous humanoids, not fey at all. In this canon article the Daughters are presented as half-fiends, as they were monstrous humanoids with a fiendish parent. Looking to the fey interpretation, I’ve described the Daughters as “native fey.” Reread the description of the process of creation, and consider that they have FATHERS. They are nightmares made real, cast through the lens of a likely mortal father. They aren’t fiends, embodying evil ideas; they are LIVING STORIES, which is to say, fey.

        • No. First of all, there are hags who are native fey and hags found in Thelanis. Second, hags aren’t limited to stories of tragedy or loss. Compate Baba Yaga, Jenny Greenteeth, and Black Annis—or, for that matter, Sora Maenya, Sora Teraza, and Sora Katra. They embody very different stories, and there’s many other stories hags can tell.

  6. Did night hags survive the turning of the Age in Dal Quor? Would night hags be able to provide information on the previous Age, and on the precursor quori?

    • Presumably the primal hags do know about all of the ages of Dal Quor. However, they are fiends who love secrets, and have no reason to share the truth with the quori. I would imagine that this information is a currency the primal hags use when bargaining with quori, and it’s not something they’d spend all at once.

      I’ll clarify up above, but Ghazra’s brood don’t retain the memories of their parent hag, so the lesser night hags don’t have any of this knowledge; Ghazra died in the Age of Dhakaan, so the oldest lesser night hag is no more than ten thousand years old.

      • Why can the quori not just wring out the information from the primal night hags by force and by mind-probing? The primal night hags are immortal, but so are the quori, and the quori have numbers at their disposal.

        • Maybe that’s what happened to Sora Kell! Kalaraq can use their Soul Binding ability to bind a creature they destroy into one of their eyes, so the Devourer of Dreams or another member of the Circle of Night could have imprisoned her in such a way and be trying to extract the information during the campaign.

        • The small number of truly high power quori who could do that are likely not willing to start a war with actual powerful creatures who can TOUCH them, a thing few of their enemies can.

          Also if you want to explore that, you’ve just provided a reason for Sora Kell being missing and encouraging her thralls and minions to fight the Dreaming Dark . . .

          • Matthew and Ben are both correct. It’s a story point you can explore if you choose to, and a very plausible explanation for Sora Kell’s disappearance.

  7. Night hags can go into the Ethereal Plane. What is there for them to do in Eberron’s Ethereal Plane? Is it empty?

    Do the planes of Eberron have their own Ethereal Plane?

  8. Would banderhobbs and soul larvae as creatures previous editions associate with night hags similarly be monstrous servants of night hags made from souls?

  9. What are the possible whereabouts of Sora Kell? Does she have anything to do with “the dream-lost Orb of Dol Azur,” mentioned in Exploring Eberron?

  10. Not long ago, you mentioned a Khyberian demiplane called the Covenant, thought to be the origin of night hags. Are the Covenant and the First Night simply interchangeable names for the same demiplane? If not, what’s the difference?

  11. Since the Sister came up, what was Greykell’s relation to them? Or was Katra just messing with her head?

    (Not that I wouldn’t prefer, say, find out in a novel… but the Guild doesn’t seem inclined to change that rule any time soon)

    Totally different note, but after years of meaning to, I finally read Son of Khyber. Finished the entire thing in less than a day. Really enjoyed it!

    • Since the Sister came up, what was Greykell’s relation to them? Or was Katra just messing with her head?
      That’s not a question I’m prepared to answer in a comment. I’ve considered doing some “Spoiler Alert” articles; if I do, I could discuss it there.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Son of Khyber!

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    This is exactly what I needed!

    Question: Do you see night hags (and possibly hags in general) practicing sympathetic, elementalist, or syberyan magic science? I would help me flavor their spellcasting.

    • I honestly think it would vary by hag. As planar travelers, the Elementalist path makes a great deal of sense for them; but also, sympathetic magic has a lot of good flavor for a hag, with tokens and dolls hanging around her dwelling.

  13. Is sleep paralysis something night hags are known to do? (Possibly with riding the chest of the person). Taking inspiration from their folklore origin, the night mare.

    • This is the basic idea of the Nightmare Haunting ability of the Night Hag. “While on the Ethereal Plane, the hag magically touches a sleeping humanoid on the Material Plane… As long as the contact persists, the target has dreadful visions.”

  14. Amazing read. Now you’ve got me wondering: if the night hags have such a strong connection to quori, and can even have rivalries with particular quori, do they have any particular feelings toward kalashtar, especially a kalashtar whose quori is one that narked off the hag in question millennia ago?

    • I don’t think night hags as a whole have an opinion about quori, but I think exploring the relationship between a specific night hag and the quori tied to a kalashtar line is a great idea.

    • This is mentioned in Dragon 368 and is the kind of thing that I wouldn’t worry too much about specific. She has the ability to collect dreams and put them in bottles; whoever buys the dream can experience it personally as a vision. It’s not supposed to have a negative effect on the person whose dream she collects—it’s not somehow stealing their memory—it’s just that it allows someone else to experience it. So she presumably has some sort of unique spell or ritual, or it’s just a unique gift she possesses that allows her to bottle the dream. As for what can be done with them, the main idea is purely that it’s a chance to experience someone else’s dream. Perhaps she has the dream of a long-dead king who dreamt about the location of his secret vault. Primarily, it’s a vector for information.

    • Oh, I invented some dream-bottles a few months ago!

      Jabra’s Bottled Dreams
      Each of these potions is filled with an iridescent, gently swirling plasm made of dreams Jabra has harvested, distilled, and mixed together expertly. To experience the result, the contents of a bottle must be drunk or poured into some other orifice in the head. If consumed while asleep, the sleeper experiences the dream’s effects for that long rest. If consumed while awake, it determines the effects of their next long rest, assuming they can sleep and dream. Only one bottled dream can be in effect at a time; if two or more are consumed, they will cancel out, only the most recent one will take hold, or the result will be some sort of nightmare.

      Draining nightmare – The sleeper spends the whole nightmare in agonizing pain. They lose all hit dice upon waking up, feeling even more weary than the night before. (Constitution save)

      Haunting nightmare – The sleeper can’t stop thinking about their nightmare upon waking up. Until their next long rest, they have disadvantage on ability checks using Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma. (Intelligence save)

      Guilty nightmare – The sleeper has a nightmare about something they plan to do that they know is wrong or wouldn’t want to be seen doing. While they next participate in that activity, they are frightened of anyone that catches them. (Charisma save)

      Restless nightmare – Night terrors plague the sleeper, who can’t get a good night’s sleep no matter what they do. They suffer 3d6 psychic damage and gain no benefit from the long rest. (Wisdom save)

      Rejuvinating dream – Drifting through a cloud of pure bliss, the sleeper finishes their rest feeling energized, with twice their level’s worth of hit dice. This doesn’t change the normal hit dice maximum for them; excess hit dice cannot be replenished once expended.

      Inspiring dream – The sleeper dreams of victory, the people they care about, and other uplifting things, and awakens full of determination. They gain inspiration upon waking up, and again after finishing each short rest, until the end of the day.

      Theraputic dream – The dream helps the sleeper to work through some mental affliction that has plagued them. Upon awakening, they find themself cured of any one instance of indefinite madness or similar condition, and have advantage on saving throws to resist such ailments for the next day.

      Productive dream – The sleeper has a dream about a problem that has been on their mind a lot recently, in which they come up with a potential solution to it, suggested by the DM, by the time they wake up.

      Prophetic dream – The sleeper dreams about the future. They recieve insights equivalant to a casting of *divination*.

      Bonded dream – The sleeper casts the non-nightmare version of the *dream* spell, appearing in the dream of another sleeping creature they have met to shape it and communicate.

      Mystical dream – The sleeper spends the dream preparing spells for the next morning. If they are a prepared spellcaster, they can prepare additional spells equal to their proficiency bonus upon completing the current long rest.

      Commercial dream – The sleeper visits Jabra’s shop in their dreams, and can purchase a new dream to gain the benefits of for their current slumber. Upon waking, they find whatever payment was agreed upon in the dream has mysteriously been exacted already, or, if the transaction involved a future favor, an invoice of that favor is found on a scroll tucked neatly under their head.

  15. Thanks for answering my question!
    You mention that the primal Night Hags form covens. Was that by choice or by design i.e. is it part of their identity as immortals? Kell often seems to be a wizard or otherwise a user of arcane magic. Would the other primal Night Hags each have their individual paths (with some possibly being artificers or bards or even fighters) or do they all lean into the arcane? Obviously not in terms of character levels for 5e (maybe for us holdouts who still play heavily modded versions of 3.5) but rather as their individual themes. Do they all have a favored plane? Honestly in the original description that’s how I understood them; each of them being an ambassador for Eberron’s fiends to a specific plane but this version of them being very well connected immortals who are somewhat trusted because they never seem to have a greater goal is much better.

    • You mention that the primal Night Hags form covens. Was that by choice or by design i.e. is it part of their identity as immortals?
      The implication of the story is that it’s by design. Personally, I’d think that each coven has a specialty, and that it’s like saying “We have the Weird Sisters, the Fates, the Furies, the Morrigna, and Sora Kell.” I’m not saying I’d use THOSE four covens, I’m just saying that’s the idea — that they came into existence with a particular bond to their trio. Remember, most immortals don’t have a lot of choice about the paths that they follow. I don’t have time now to actually come up with the identities of those four covens, but I think that is the answer to your second question; the different covens might have different flavors. With that said, keep in mind that the Daughters of Sora Kell are a coven, and they include a bard, a cleric, and a warrior; when it comes to hags, “coven” doesn’t have an innate connection to arcane magic.

  16. Do you think all Primal night hags carry/carried the Sora honorific?

    Do the lesser night hags of the Wastes recognize their shared heritage, or are Ghazra’s Brood too far removed from their origins to want to see her essence restored… or does each incarnation that learns of their origins think they alone should inherit Ghazra’s might…

    • Do you think all Primal night hags carry/carried the Sora honorific?
      I think that it’s a common custom, but it’s largely up to the individual; no one is going to tell a primal night hag what they can or can’t call themselves. Notably, Jabra doesn’t use it.

      Do the lesser night hags of the Wastes recognize their shared heritage…
      What I suggest above is that hags of Ghazra’s Brood retain some general memories but don’t have the full memories of their predecessor, which is one reason they’re less powerful. I’d imagine when Ghazra was killed, each hag she spawned had a quarter of her memories. When those hags died, their memories were divided among their spawn, so with each generation, they remember less and less; and yet, a CR 5 hag might hold one brilliant memory of the world in the first age. In general, I think hags of Ghazra’s Brood recognize one another as sisters, but two CR 5 hags meeting is like you meeting a distant cousin; sure, you share an ancestor somewhere up the family tree and know you have some things in common, but you’re not instant best friends.

      or are Ghazra’s Brood too far removed from their origins to want to see her essence restored… or does each incarnation that learns of their origins think they alone should inherit Ghazra’s might…

      I think most don’t care; some might not even inherit the memories of Ghazra. But I think you could definitely have a story about a Brood Hag who develops a ritual to consume the essence of others of her kind and goes on a murderous quest to become the new Sora Ghazra by eliminating and consuming her rivals.

      • Thanks!

        That is actually similar to a premise of a game I ran for years. The primary antagonist was a night hag calling herself The Fourth Daughter, she was attempting to undo all the Daughters of Sora Kell had worked towards. The hitch was that for whatever reason she was immune to Teraza’s sight, so the Daughters needed intermediaries to act on their behalf- the PCs!

  17. What’s going on with the Moon Reavers in the Demon Wastes who worship the night hags? Are they worshipping primal night hags, lesser night hags, or a particular coven or lineage of night hags?

  18. Hi Keith, this is very interesting!
    – what kind of relationship exists between hags and daelkyr, if any? Both are plainswalker creatures, both are powerful immortals playing with mortals in a way difficult to understand. Do hags understand daelkyr someway?
    – beside the origin of Nightmares, what is their role in the world today? Do they have any agenda?

    Little off topic: a friend of mine wants to order Phoenix. He asks me if it is possible to have your autograph on the copy. Is it possible someway?

    • what kind of relationship exists between hags and daelkyr, if any? Both are plainswalker creatures, both are powerful immortals playing with mortals in a way difficult to understand. Do hags understand daelkyr someway?

      Not at all, and if hags are smart, they will stay away from Daelkyr. Night hags are creatures of Eberron (well, technically Khyber). Daelkyr are fundamentally alien entities who enjoy transforming creatures of Eberron. NOBODY wants to hang out with the Daelkyr.

      beside the origin of Nightmares, what is their role in the world today? Do they have any agenda?
      Night hags largely view mortals as a form of entertainment. They typically have a cruel sense of humor, and they take joy in hand-crafting nightmares for people who catch their interest. Many of them do enjoy testing virtuous heroes and seeing if they can hold to their ideals. But at the end of the day, most are driven by cruel curiosity; if a hero DOES persevere and overcome adversity, they’ll chuckle and move on, making a note to check back in a few decades. They don’t CARE about the goals of the overlords or the Chamber; they just love good stories.”
      This IS their roale in the world. They aren’t interested in grand world-altering events; they enjoy watching specific stories unfold, and in being part of interesting stories. Again, this is why fiends and celestials are often willing to trust them as envoys; because they DON’T have a grand agenda beyond seeing tragic stories unfold.
      A friend of mine wants to order Phoenix. He asks me if it is possible to have your autograph on the copy. Is it possible someway?
      It’s not trivial. We don’t ship Phoenix from my house; it’s in a warehouse somewhere in the world. COntact me directly using the “Contact Me” button and I’ll see if there’s any options.

  19. Re-reading this article after getting the Ravenloft book, I think the “Shard of Sora Ghazra” thing would be a good origin for a Hexblood PC, especially one that’s also a Sorcerer.

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