Monday, September 11, 2017

Campaign Design - The Lords of Hell: Kalma


The Exiled One; The Maiden of Misfortune; Demon Mistress of Ghosts, Spirits, and Calamity

Alignment: Chaotic Evil.
Domains: Chaos, Curse, ExileGhost, HauntingSpirit.
Summon Monster: Kalma's clerics and favored souls can summon anarchic and fiendish creatures using summon monster spells.
Symbol: A ruby scepter.
Favored Weapon: "The ghostly touch" (open hand or incorporeal touch).

Kalma is a demonic spirit so malevolent that even the other Demon Lords cannot tolerate her, so she is exiled to the vast infernal swamps where she eternally roams, silently weaving about the land, spreading misfortune and ill luck to all who cross her path with only those seeking an audience with the maddened Lyßa for occasional company. While Lódur represents the fickle and unreliable nature of good fortune, Kalma is the cruel inevitability of bad luck and misery. She is the mistress of calamity - the bad turn that is just waiting around the corner for you that will ruin your life and kill your loved ones.

Kalma is always represented as an incorporeal shade who bears a single ghostly candle and is almost completely noiseless except when she wails horrifically to send her victims running in terror. She is bound to the vile, stinking bogs of the Hells by magic that is both powerful enough to anchor a Demon Lord and completely unknown to mortals. No tale tells of the making of this enchantment, or even who bound Kalma to this place. She is able to leave, but only to travel to other swamp lands - including the bogs and swamps of the Three Worlds, or to the sites of impending disasters, usually accompanied by a fright of ghosts where their dim candles in the dark of night is seen as a harbinger of evil fortune.

Although she is not explicitly described as Lyßa's guardian, given that Lyßa's solitary hut is in the middle of the Infernal swamp, she effectively serves as such, dissuading the other Demon Lords (and others) from consulting the Maiden of Sorrows too often in order to benefit from her madness-inspired oracular powers. There are many tales in which some desperate individual seeks an audience with Lyßa and must endure a harrowing journey through the shade and specter-filled swamps of the Hells, culminating with a dramatic appearance by Kalma. Needless to say, most of these tales end in woe. Kalma has very few worshipers - even incorporeal spirits often resent her even as they acknowledge her primacy, but those worshipers she does have are often fanatical - exactly as one would expect those who worship the very spirit of misery and catastrophe to be.

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