An old auntie muffled in shawls, her blonde hair peeking out from under her headscarf, leans on a walking stick in the shape of a winged serpent, a ruby set in its forehead. On one arm her knitting basket overflows with balls of yarn, ragdolls, stuffed animals, sweets, nuts, and purses filled with gold coins. She appears human except her feet, clad in carpet slippers, are duck feet.
An arie’s headscarf is magical, allowing her to appear as any humanoid, though her favorite shape is a kindly old human crone, especially in winter. The illusion doesn’t always reach her feet, which are duck feet, and in any case, she leaves duck-shaped footprints. In summer, when she goes bathing, she prefers to appear as a beautiful young elven woman, but if she sheds her veil, she reveals her true form: a vouivre — a wyvern-like dragoness with a ruby in the center of her forehead. Like many dragons, the vouivre can breathe fire.
Knitting Basket or Bag of Wonders
An arie carries a basket or bag that is far larger inside than out. She uses it to hold her knitting and sewing supplies, as well as presents for good children or women who spin well. Usually these are ordinary homespun toys, balls of yarn, needles, and the like, but sometimes she produces minor magical treasures, such as needles that sew by themselves yarn or balls that never run out.
Stick of Storms & Vinegar
An arie’s walking stick, while usually used as a cane, is also a potent weapon, able to command the power of thunder, lightning, and acid. While she mostly uses it for mild rebukes for naughty children, she can unleash its true power if she ever needs it.
Snow & Hail
By merely shaking her chemise, an arie can release a snow flurry, and she can reach into her knitting bag and pull out snowballs or giant hailstones to hurl.
Aries are much concerned with spinning and weaving. Those aries observe doing well at these crafts are rewarded with wool, yarn, needles, and occasionally bags of gold whenever an arie decides to award a grand prize.
While an arie can fly on her own power, either in her vouivre form or riding her walking stick like a broomstick, she prefers a more comfortable and less showy ride, typically a pet donkey, which can fly when she rides it.
In midwinter, an arie emerges from her lair to bring presents, slipping down chimneys and through keyholes to deliver them to maids who spin well or children who leave treats for her donkey.
In midsummer, an arie takes the form of a beautiful young elven maid but must bathe in a sacred pool or spring in her vouivre form to renew her power. During her bath, she must remove her ruby from her forehead and leave it beside the pool. If it is stolen, she is left blind.
If a Cuca hag ever changes to a fata, she usually becomes an Arie, and vice versa.
5e D&D Stat Block:
Large fey, neutral good
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 102 (12d10 + 33)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19(+4) 12(+1) 16(+3) 13(+1) 14(+2) 16(+3)
Skills Insight +5, Persuasion +6, Perception +5
Damage Resistances Cold, Fire; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3
Hidden Draconic Form. The arie’s natural form is a Large-sized fey, though she resembles a young dragon, with scales, sharp teeth, and wings. When she casts the disguise self spell, she can make herself appear as a Medium-sized humanoid, though her duck-like feet often resist even magical concealment.
Innate Spellcasting. The arie’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). She can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
3/day each: acid arrow, disguise self (appears as a Medium humanoid), misty step, thunderwave
1/day each: fly (cast on pet donkey only), ice storm, lightning bolt
Knitting Basket. The arie carries a knitting basket that functions as a modified bag of holding, which she uses to carry gifts and knick-knacks. There is also a seemingly endless supply of perfectly cold, well-formed snowballs and fist-sized hailstones within, which she can pull out and throw at others, either in fun or as an attack. If the basket is taken away from the arie, its contents can be removed, but nothing else can be put inside. Once its contents are removed, it reverts to a mundane basket.
Multiattack. The arie makes three attacks: one with her bite and two with her claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Fire Breath (Recharge 5–6). The arie exhales fire in a 40-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 42 (12d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Designer Notes: Aunt Arie is the Christmas gift-bringer of the Franche-Comte region of France, a former ogress turned Christmas Auntie. Given her alter-ego as the Vouivre, a dragoness, and beautiful summer fey, she makes a good counterpart to the Brazilian cuca, who started out as a Portuguese dragon hag who never repented her evil ways, moving on to become the bogeyman of Brazil.
Creative Director: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Lore: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Statblock: Eugene Marshall
Ink: Bien Flores
Colors: Carly Sorge
Sensitivity Editor: Pamela Punzalan
Art Director: Aaron Acevedo
This creature is from the upcoming Book of Beasts. Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new monster as part of our Monster of the Week series!