A maiden in a white gown with a red sash wears a crown of green holly with red berries and seven blazing candles and bears a basket laden with saffron buns.
In winter, the Lussi Hag leads a wild hunt, the Lussiferda or oskorei, her hunters consisting of the hungry dead, fiends, trolls, unseelie fey, and anyone they can snatch up. Some abducted by the Lussiferda are found miles away, dazed and confused. Others have their entrails torn out and replaced with straw, their corpses kept as grisly dolls in the Lussi’s lair until next winter they cry, “Ga ga ga!” and become her horrific bird-beaked or beast-faced minions, the schnabelperchten. Some are never seen again. But a few are lucky enough to have lussikatter on them, the charm to transform Lussi into Lucia.
Saffron Buns, Devil’s Cats
Twisted S-shaped saffron buns known as lussikatter or dövelskatter — Lussi’s cats or devil’s cats — are made in midwinter as holiday cakes. Folklore says that fiends, fey, and the undead find them irresistible, but it is not a certain thing with homemade buns. What is certain is that the saffron buns brought by a Lucia do have these properties and more, able to sate even the hungriest devil, ghost, or troll.
Basket of Bounty
The panier basket borne by a Lucia never runs out of lussikatter while she holds it, but the buns are so nutritious as to feed any creature for a day, even fiends and the undead. A Lucia’s lussikatter will not satisfy every creature’s wants but will satisfy all those motivated by hunger.
Feast for Famine
A Lucia can sense hunger and will offer her saffron buns to one and all. She is especially drawn to those suffering starvation or famine.
The flames of a Lucia’s candle crown cannot be extinguished and their light will banish any darkness.
The most striking thing about a Lucia is her eyes, which can entrance anyone. She can also, disconcertingly, take them out of her head and grow new ones.
If a Soucriant hag ever becomes a fata, she usually becomes a Lucia, and vice versa.
5e D&D Stat Block:
Medium celestial, neutral good
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 52 (7d8 + 21)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14(+2) 15(+2) 16(+3) 12(+1) 12(+1) 15(+2)
Skills Insight +3, Persuasion +3
Damage Resistances Fire
Condition Immunities Charmed
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Celestial, Sylvan
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Illuminated Crown. The Lucia wears a crown of holly with seven everburning candles atop it. The seven candle flames look like regular fire, but they create no heat, cannot ignite or harm anything, and don’t use oxygen. The flames can be covered or hidden but not smothered or quenched. The candles shed bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet.
Lussikatter. As an Action, the Lucia can reach into a basket that she carries and produce a saffron bun known as a lussikatter. As long as she holds the basket, she can produce an endless amount of these buns. When eaten by any creature who can experience hunger, the bun provides enough nourishment to sustain a creature for one day. The buns lose their potency if they have not been consumed within an hour of being pulled from the basket.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) slashing damage.
Entrancing Eyes. The Lucia targets one humanoid or beast that she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the Lucia, it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed. The charmed creature regards the Lucia as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under the Lucia’s control, it takes her requests or actions in the most favorable way it can.
Each time the Lucia or her allies do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the Lucia dies, is on a different plane of existence from the target, or ends the effect as a bonus action. If a target’s saving throw is successful, the target is immune to the Lucia’s Entrancing Eyes for the next 24 hours. Once the effect ends, humanoids make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, they realize they have been charmed and may become hostile toward her, depending on what she asked of them.
The Lucia can have no more than one humanoid and up to three beasts charmed at a time.
Designer Notes: The Lucia has an interesting history, combining an Italian saint with the Scandinavian legends of Lussi, another name for Adam’s first wife, Lilith, the witch queen and mother of succubi. The folklore is a prime example of syncretization. Paralleling Lussi with the Afro-Caribbean soucriant came from the associations with fire and hunger, and also the Caribbean isle of Santa Lucia. The schnabelperchten are Austrian folklore, to be included in the full Book of Beasts.
Creative Director: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Lore: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Statblock: Eugene Marshall
Ink: Bien Flores
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!