Baba Yaga

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Greyhawk Deity
Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga01.jpg
Baba Yaga, as depicted in Dragon #83 (1984).
Title(s)
Home Plane
Power Level Quasi-deity
Gender Female
Class(es) Wizard 25/Illusionist 15/Druid 14
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio
Domains
Alias(es) Baba Jaga, Jaga Baba, Baba Roga
Superior

Baba Yaga is a cannibalistic hag in Slavic legend. She cooks children, causes storms, and traverses the country with Death at her side. Some say she is a spirit of the forest. Some say she protects the waters of life. She flies through the sky in a mortar and pestle, carrying a club that turns men to stone. She lives in a hut with chicken legs. She is most notable in the World of Greyhawk setting for being the "mother" of Iggwilv.

Description

Baba Yaga appears as a hideous, old, human-like woman, some five feet tall. She walks crouched over, and her limbs are almost skeletal. Her skin is grayish brown, and tattooed with magical runes. She has a protruding chin, a long nose covered in warts, and ice-cold black eyes framed by stringy white hair. Her fingers end in sharp iron claws, her stony teeth are filed to sharp points, and two large, tusk-like teeth protrude from her jaw.

Relationships

Baba Yaga is the foster mother of Iggwilv, originally known as Natasha the Dark, and by extension, the grandmother of Iuz and Drelnza. She has another foster daughter named Elena the Fair. Baba Yaga is also responsible for providing Kostchtchie the means to become a demon lord.

Realm

Baba Yaga's home is her hut, which wanders between planes of existence. However, she is closely associated with the land of Russia on the world of Earth.

Artifacts

Baba Yaga lives in a mobile hut which travels via a pair of massive chicken legs jutting from its bottom. The hut is far larger on the inside than its exterior size would indicate, due to the fact that it has been built around a tesseract.

Publishing history

Baba Yaga was first mentioned in the Dungeons & Dragons game in the 1979 Dungeon Master's Guide, where her hut appears as an artifact. Baba Yaga herself would later appear in Dragon #53 (1981) and in "The Dancing Hut," a 1984 adventure in Dragon magazine #83 (1984). A gamebook, Nightmare Realm of Baba Yaga appeared in 1986. In 1988, Baba Yaga had a brief cameo in Castle Greyhawk (page 60), where she is in pursuit of Professor Why. Baba Yaga's hut was once more described in 1993's Book of Artifacts. A full-length adventure module, The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, was released in 1995. In Dragon #290, author Paul Leach said, "the origin of Baba Yaga (who does not necessarily represent just one witch) is likely to be the Death Crone, a common figure in most pagan mythologies." Leach described the Death Crone in more detail in the same issue. Baba Yaga has since been mentioned in two articles in Dragon (2005 and 2006), and an adventure in Dungeon (2007).

Bibliography

  • Breault, Mike, and Jon Pickens. Castle Greyhawk. Lake Geneva: WI: TSR, 1988.
  • Cook, David. Book of Artifacts. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
  • Gygax, Gary. Dungeon Master's Guide. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1979.
  • Leach, Paul. "Red Sails Fell and Forlorn Bestiary: Monsters of Eastern Europe." Dragon #290. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.
  • -----. "Red Sails: Bright Sun, Mother Earth." Dragon #290. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.
  • Mona, Erik, ed. "Unsolved Mysteries of D&D." Dragon #359. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2006.
  • Nalle, David. "Larger Than Life." Dragon #53. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.

External link