|Alignment||Always neutral evil|
|First appearance||"Pox on the Planes" (1997) or Monster Manual II (1983)|
An altraloth is a yugoloth of any type (from lesser yugoloths such as mezzoloths to greater yugoloths such as ultroloths) that has been transformed into a unique being by a ritual known only to the night hags.
Altraloths are changed little, mentally, but their physical forms often change dramatically and they gain powers far in excess of the rest of their kind. After they have paid off their debt to the hags, they often rise to become the rulers of their kind.
The ritual of transformation
To begin the ritual, a cauldron is filled with water from the River Styx and lower planar soul larvae, and a fire is built underneath that must be kept continually burning throughout the ceremony (often, fire mephits are used). The yugoloth is sealed within it using wax derived from larva slime. The cauldron is magically warded and the hags chant arcane words for a full day for each alteration made; some of these chants are said to have taken a month or more to complete. They must willingly give a portion of their life force in order to empower the altraloth.
After the chanting and the giving of life, the water must be kept boiling for another 6-36 months while the yugoloth absorbs the magic; at the end of this time, the cauldron explodes violently, spraying caustic larva juice, amnesiac water, and razor-sharp shards of cauldron all around the area. Emerging from the wreckage is an altraloth, a unique champion of the night hags and the yugoloth race.
The ritual is not foolproof, and many things can go wrong during the process. Minor interruptions will merely add another day. If the temperature in the cauldron ever falls below boiling, the yugoloth will die and the night hag's expenditure of effort and their own life will be for nothing. Even if all goes according to plan, there is still a small chance of spontaneous abortion, ending in the same explosion but with the yugoloth dying.
The resulting altraloth is bound to its night hag creators for the duration of its contract. If it attacks its mistresses, it suffers wracking pain. If one of its mistresses dies for any reason before the contract is complete, the altraloth will also die, giving it strong incentive to protect its creators.
Known and rumored altraloths
- It is not known if the General of Gehenna is an altraloth or an unenhanced ultroloth.
- Anthraxus was once an ultroloth transformed by the hags to rid themselves of an order of paladins.
- Bubonix is believed to have once been an arcanaloth.
- Xengahra is a yugoloth whom the hags have shaped into a form resembling a solar.
- Charon was once a marraenoloth, and still resembles others of his kind.
- Typhus was once a mere mezzoloth, but now resembles a 12-foot-high mezzoloth with a hunched back and a limp.
- Taba's true form is unknown, because she is a master shapeshifter.
- Bonny, Ed. "Pox of the Planes." Dragon Annual #2. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1997.