Saturday, 28 January 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #28: Kallatu

 Two hexes south, one southeast of Alakran.


Yes, the statues in hexes #13 and #14 are the work of a creature whom we may treat as a medusa, Kallatu, She wanders the dunes hereabouts, wrapped in a white woolen desert robe with a peaked hood. Under the hood is a red bridal veil. Under the veil are her terrible long-lashed violet eyes.

Kallatu is one of the female monsters who inhabit the southeastern desert of Wahattu, descendants of the legendary Ekidna. These all join in the mission of the enclave of Zigmunus: to guard that haven for women, south of the desert, or to punish men for crimes and injustices against women.

Years ago, the abandoned village to the north whose name is overblown by the desert sands sent forth a man, a hero he thought himself, who had made a drunken oath to gaze upon the face of Kallatu's mother, and then rid the world of her. Mother, like daughter, had a curse and a weapon of unearthly beauty that turned all who desired it to stone. Unseen in voluminous robes, the hair of these creatures is a single braid and that braid is a mortiferous black serpent. 

Through guile and stratagem learned by long voyaging in the wide world, this hero ambushed Kallatu's mother, turned her own gaze against her, and chiseled off the head of the resulting statue as a trophy. He did not know of Kallatu, almost grown, who saw the whole scene from behind a dune.

The scene in the village is Kallatu's revenge on the man who killed her mother, on all the other men of the village who cheered on his murder and ogled her mother's head in lust. One woman, alas! saw Kallatu on her walk of vengeance, and desired her before she realized it. The medusa still brings, to that one statue, desert flowers of regret every winter and spring.

The other statues in the wilderness were "sculpted" by Kallatu and her forebears, draconian judgments passed on curious men trespassing too close to the sanctuary of Zigmunus. If a larger group of men than two or three is sighted, Kallatu goes in search of her desert allies, whom we will meet some time later this year, and alerts the forces of Zigmunus to the threat. Her own possessions, including her mother's head which can still paralyze if not petrify those who behold it with desire, are cached in secret, to the east near the Scarp.

No comments:

Post a Comment