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Climate/Terrain:Any Ravenloft but Tepest
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Very (11-12)
Alignment:Chaotic good
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:0
Hit Dice:8
No. of Attacks:2
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:25%
Size:M (5-6' tall)
Morale:Champion (15-16)
XP Value:2,000

The bruja are melancholy, haglike creatures that, despite their frightening countenances, are in fact kind and helpful. Cursed with foreknowledge of their own deaths, these sad creatures work in modest ways to stem the tide of evil throughout the lands of Ravenloft.

Bruja look like wretched crones with long, ratty, black hair and gnarled faces. Their skin varies in color from chalky white to ash gray and their skin has the texture of a hard forest fungus. Warts and sores mar their flesh and rotten yellow teeth lilt their mouths. The eyes of a bruja are usually milky and dull, giving the appearance of blindness. They wear simple peasant dresses that are usually devoid of patterns and decorations. Although frail in appearance, bruja are extremely strong and quick.

The bruja speak no languages of their own but have learned those of the communities and peoples of Ravenloft. They are able to converse freely with any type of wild animal that dwells near their home.

Combat: All bruja have a Strength of 18/00, the ability to change self at will, and an innate magic resistance. They often use their ability to change self in order to collect information and to provide assistance to travelers without revealing their true nature. Bruja have infravision (60-foot range) and their powerful senses make them impossible to surprise. Further, their stealth results in a -3 penalty to the surprise roll of any opponents when in a forest. The tremendous tracking abilities of the bruja result in a 100% chance of picking up a trail that is up to 24 hours old. For each hour past that time the likelihood of success drops by 10%.

While bruja generally use their spells to avoid direct combat. they can make use of their talonlike fingernails to deliver a violent attack that inflicts 1d6 points of damage. They gain a +3 adjustment to their attack rolls and a +6 adjustment to damage rolls because of their extraordinary strength.

Bruja can cast the following spells at will: bless, change self, invisibility to undead, invisibility, know alignment, pass without trace, and speak with animals. Once per day the bruja can cast dispel evil, heal, remove curse, sunray and protection from evil, 10' radius.

Habitat/Society: Because of their reclusive nature very little is known about these pensive creatures. Some say there are only three and that they once formed a dark covey like the sisters of Tepest. As a punishment for peering into forbidden aspects of the future they were cursed with a vision of their own terrible deaths. This drove them apart and slowly filled them with a disconsolate compassion for all things mortal. Whether such tales are true, no one can say.

Whatever their origins, the bruja tend to live in small houses in remote areas far from large communities. At home a bruja will generally be found in the company of 1d8 woodland and domestic animals not exceeding an accumulated total of 20 Hit Dice. Bruja use woodland animals as spies to inform them of the comings and goings within the domain where they live.

While a bruja will attempt to conceal her true identity in most encounters with others, she is susceptible to the arrogance to which all hags are prone. She is also used to dealing primarily with animals who do her bidding without question. Any long exposure to people is likely to bring out an impulsive display of power that can result in the inadvertent compromising of her disguise.

Ecology: Bruja have ravenous appetites and devour their food with gluttonous abandon. While they particularly enjoy raw meat, a holdover from their tainted pasts, they have acquired a taste for the nuts and berries that they gather in the forest. Bruja sometimes feast upon the flesh of intelligent creatures, but only those who have wronged them.

Ravenloft Appendix III (2153)