The sun sat low in the sky ahead as the companions and their horses worked their way across a gently rolling landscape. All around, as far as the eye could see, knee high yellow grass shifted like waves. “We should find somewhere to camp.” Nimble said. “It’s getting late.”
“According to the map, there’s a way-stop of some sort nearby.” Rathgar replied. “Let’s see if we can’t find it. Given the wind, and the dry grass, I don’t think camping here is a great idea."
“Think that could be it?” Feris asked, pointing toward a wide stone building off to the south.
In the early darkness they approached the gate. As they did, the gate opened, and a scarlet clad woman holding a lantern stood in the doorway. “Please enter quickly.” Her whispered voice was barely distinguishable over the sound of the ever present wind. The companions led the horses through the gate, which was closed and barred behind them by several other scarlet clad women. Shawls and veils hid their faces from the nose up, yet the robes left their shoulders bare.
“Thank you, uh... “ Allianora began.
“We are the Alizario, and we keep this place. You will stay the night. In the morning you will be on your way.” It was not a question. “Until then, you are our guests, and will show you every hospitality. Leave your mounts, they will be taken care of. We will show you to your chambers where you cleanse yourself. Then you will come to dinner. Follow me.”
“And this is your chamber.”
“Thank you” Rathgar said, dropping his pack to the floor. The room wasn’t large, but it held a bed and table, upon which a lantern burned. A large copper tub full of steaming scented water sat in the middle of the floor. Flexing and twisting, he slipped awkwardly out of his chainmail shirt, dropping it next to his pack. The woman stood in the doorway, still holding the lantern. Rathgar sat on the edge of the bed, and began to unlace his boots. From this position, he could see her delicate, slipper clad feet.
“So... Every hospitality?”
“Yes.” She stepped into the room, closing the door behind her, and set her lamp down on the table. Slowly she unknotted the tie holding the robe closed, and allowed it to slip to the floor. “The veil stays on.”
“Hey, Rathgar” Nimble said as he pushed the door open, and froze. The woman straddling Rathgar’s prone form turned to the door. In her open mouth, clenched between her teeth, one of Rathgar’s eyes looked out. Nimble had a dagger ready to throw an eyeblink later, but his wrist and neck were gripped were gripped by sharp nailed hands. “That’s no way to treat a host” a feminine voice whispered in his ear.
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2+2* (M)
Attacks: 1 weapon/claw or special
Damage: by weapon or special
No. Appearing: 0(4d12)
Save As: C3
Treasure Type: F
XP Value: 35
The Alizario are an all female cult that has sold their souls to a cyclopian devil. For their souls, they gain everlasting youth and beauty, but they also give up their eyes, and must take the eyes of others for sacrifice. Their garb always includes some sort of veil to hide the dark sockets where their eyes once were.
In combat they will use weapons to defend themselves, but they prefer to use surprise and the paralytic poison their nails produce (as a ghoul). Anyone thus paralyzed will have one eye magically removed the next round, as long as the attacker takes no other action. This causes the victim to be at a -2 to all ranged attacks. Generally the Alizario are reluctant to kill their victims, as they want the mark of their patron to spread far and wide, but they will use the threat of death and/or the removal of the other eye to prevent their victims from retaliating.
Each cult will be lead by a 6HD Matriarch, who is capable of casting spells as a level 6 Shaman.
Image from Daria Endresen