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Baba Yaga (pronounced: /bɑːbɑː ˈjɑːgəba-ba YA-guh[8]) was an extraordinarily powerful mage[9] and archfey.[1][10] Some described her as the most powerful female mage ever known, a sorceress with a reputation for passing throughout the planes. In doing so, her magical hut also appeared elsewhere,[9][11][12] and was reported to have arrived on Faerûn.[11]

Did you come of your own free will, or at another's bidding?
— Baba Yaga, a question she typically asked visitors to her home.[3]

Description[]

The 5‑foot-tall (1.5‑meter) sorceress was said to be of godlike intelligence, but very physically ugly. She had a long warty nose, a skeletal frame, and thin white hair.[6][7] She had sharp, iron-like teeth and fingers that curved into claws. On occasion she had a rather plump frame. It was uncertain whether her changing frame was due to having recently eaten or simply on a whim of preference.[1]

Personality[]

She was known to have a fickle nature, being dangerously unpredictable, equally as likely to eat her worshipers as she was to aid them.[1] Politeness would not guarantee her favor, nor would rudeness ensure incurring her wrath.[3]

She was willing to offer people some of her secrets in return for another. The bargains she offered people were also far more dangerously worded than those of any fey.[13]

Possessions[]

Baba Yaga had several guardian animals over her life time, with the most prominent being cats. Some of these cats were mundane, while others were magical and intelligent. Beyond that she had guard dogs, wolves, and occasionally dire wolves. These were typically malnourished and lived either on her hut's porch or in its stables.[14] All of her servants, animal or otherwise, tended to be treated poorly.[1]

Within the stables of her hut she kept a group of magnificently well-bred horses[1] and various types of a magical livestock. Her stables sometimes housed pegasi, nightmares, and even intelligent horses capable of traveling freely between planes.[14]

Whenever traveling outside her hut, such as to chase after someone,[1] she used a large, magical flying mortar and pestle made of iron.[14][15] On occasion, the mortar resembled a cauldron. This mortar would hover close to the ground, while the pestle would be used to touch the ground and steer the vessel like a rudder. Finally, she carried a broomstick alongside her in order to sweep away any evidence of her travel as she moved.[14]

Realm[]

When not traveling around, she and her hut resided within the Feywild, in a swamp known as Murkendraw. Many types of hags were also known to inhabit this swamp.[13]

Relationships[]

Tasha and hut-5e

Baba Yaga (left), Tasha (middle), and a satyr guard (right).

Baba Yaga had three hag daughters named Skabatha, Bavlorna, and Endelyn.[5] She also helped to raise two humans, Kostchtchie and Tasha. The former went on to become very well known on Toril,[16][17] whilst the latter was mainly heard of on the world of Oerth and became a powerful archfey.[5][18] Kostchtchie became a "distinctly Faerûnian demon lord"[19] and had conflicts with Gwynharwyf.[20]

The powerful witch knew much about the deity Psilofyr (a deity worshiped by myconids of Toril[21][22]), but did not share her knowledge with others.[4]

Many sages and adventurers were known to have sought her out for her vast knowledge of magic.[1] Archfey respected her powers, but were very cautious. Her relationship with deities was similarly fickle,[3] though she tended to associate with those of an evil alignment, as well as those who were tricksters or mischief makers. She was also known to associate with devils.[1]

Worshipers[]

Some among the night hags, green hags, and annis hags were known to worship Baba Yaga.[23]

History[]

Baba Yaga once prophesied that the ruler of Mag Tureah, a region of the Feydark with multiple portals to Toril,[24] would be slain by his own son.[25]

Rumors & Legends[]

One legend stated that she had been outwitted by heroes on occasion, who shoved her into an oven or trapped her in a lake of fire. The legend went on to state that despite seemingly dying, she would always appear again no worse for wear. Because of this some believed that she was impervious to fire.[1]

Many noted that Baba Yaga was somehow related to the night hags, green hags, and annis hags.[6]

One folk tale claimed that Baba Yaga was so powerful that the very times of dawn, noon, and night were all subservient to her whims. Another rumor claimed that she had no legs and that her magical mortar and pestle were her only means of moving around.[1]

In the 14th century DR, Volo and Elminster stated that, according to reports, Baba Yaga's hut appeared near Rashemen, northeast Faerûn.[11]

Appendix[]

External Links[]

Appearances[]

Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Referenced only
Lost Laboratory of Kwalish
Adventures
Referenced only
The Wild Beyond the Witchlight

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Alana Abbott (November 2011). “Court of Stars: Baba Yaga, Mother of All Witches”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast) (196)., p. 3.
  2. Alana Abbott (November 2011). “Court of Stars: Baba Yaga, Mother of All Witches”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast) (196)., p. 1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Alana Abbott (November 2011). “Court of Stars: Baba Yaga, Mother of All Witches”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast) (196)., p. 2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jeff LaSala (February 2013). “Court of Stars: The Carrion King”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #420 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Christopher Perkins (September 2021). The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 215. ISBN 9780786967278.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Roger Moore (March 1984). “The Dancing Hut”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #83 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31–52.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lisa Smedman (March 1995). The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga. Edited by Skip Williams. (TSR, Inc.), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-0116-0.
  8. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 156. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  10. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  12. David "Zeb" Cook (December 1993). Book of Artifacts. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 978-1560766728.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Alana Abbott (November 2011). “Court of Stars: Baba Yaga, Mother of All Witches”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast) (196)., pp. 4–5.
  15. Jeremy Crawford (November 17, 2020). Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 978-0786967025.
  16. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Adam Lee, et al. (September 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 978-0-7869-6687-5.
  18. Gary Holian and Owen K.C. Stephens (October 2005). “Spellcraft: The Demonomicon of Iggwilv”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #336 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 76–84.
  19. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  20. James Jacobs (July 2006). “The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Kostchtchie: Prince of Wrath”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #345 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 20–33.
  21. Eric L. Boyd (November 1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. Edited by Jeff Quick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  22. Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  23. F. Wesley Schneider (July 2006). “The Ecology of the Annis”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #345 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 64–68.
  24. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  25. Jeff Dougan and Tim Eagon (February 2013). “Court of Stars: Thrumbolg, First Lord of Mag Tureah”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #420 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18–24.
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