Nagpa
Nagpa
species_nagpa.jpg
Biological information
Type Humanoid
Size Medium
Intelligence -
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin -
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Long ago, the Raven Queen cursed a cabal of thirteen powerful wizards for meddling in a ritual that would have helped avert a war between the gods. She stripped them of their beauty, turning them into scabrous, bird like monstrosities. The nagpas now plot as they ever did, but they now strive to bring about terrible, world-shaking calamities so they can pry secrets and power from the wreckage their conspiracies create.

The nagpas fear the Raven Queen and do their best to avoid her and her agents . When it's impossible to do so. they become cringing, fawning things , eager to please and thereby escape the cold gaze of the being who brought them so low. All of the original thirteen re main alive, thanks to their cunning and their willingness to do whatever is necessary to survive.

Looters of Civilization. The curse the Raven Queen placed on the nagpas restricts the ways in which they can acquire new lore and magical power, barring them from any source except for the ruins left behind from fallen civilizations and great calamities. For this reason, nagpas turn their efforts to bringing a bout such ends, so they can loot the libraries, plunder the vaults, and gather up secrets of arcane lore from the wreckage.

Puppet Masters. Nagpas work in the shadows, manipulating events to bring about ruin. As accomplished magic-users, they can bring to bear an array of spells to make agents of other creatures, influencing their decisions in subtle ways and pulling on strings to make them into unwitting accomplices in their own destruction. Nagpas show great patience in their plots and have several schemes working simultaneously, each at different stages of completion , so if one plan goes awry, they can shift their focus to another. Typically, nagpas only show their handiwork and emerge from the shadows when they can deliver a finishing blow and then revel in the grand devastation their plotting brought about.

Nagpas are cursed individuals, human or half-elf mages punished for affronting the Immortals in some way, usually through great acts of selfishness or hubris — The Voyage of the Princess Ark has one early issue in which it encounters an entire kingdom of nagpas, who were all cursed into their present state as a result of attempting to control a powerful being from the Sphere of Entropy during a civil war. In 4th edition, the nagpas were never humans, but were a servitor race of the primordials, created with "the cunning of devils and the beauty of nymphs", who realized they were fighting on the losing side and offered to betray their creators to the gods during the Dawn War, only to be caught out and punished for their treachery.

More variable details that are harder to pin down relate to how the curse works. For example, Top Ballista implies that nagpas can reproduce, whilst in other sources, they're described as sterile. The nagpas of the Vulture Peninsula are known to be cursed with immortality, incapable of dying from old age and reincarnating when slain through violence, and the nagpas of 4th edition share this trait, but other nagpas don't have this ability mentioned. The AD&D and 3e nagpas suffer from wanderlust and can sense whenever anyone within 100 miles is talking about them, but this isn't present in the Basic and 4e versions. The 4th edition version has a seemingly unique curse in that they crave wealth and bodily comforts, but can never sate those cravings.

All nagpas are cursed, and all of them hate this curse intensely. As a result, they are drawn to a lifestyle of nomadic wandering, searching for obscure for magical lore of all kinds in order to one day find the powerful magic - a Wish or greater magic - that can restore them to their original forms. They're extremely antisocial, and tend to be cynical and selfish, but most would rather avoid picking fights: even if they will come back afterwards, the disruption to their search often isn't worth it. The one exception is if they think someone has figured out their ancient secrets - nagpas are deeply ashamed of their state, and want to ensure that nobody ever finds out their origins. Even the nicest of nagpas, which admittedly isn't saying much, will resort to murder in order to cover up the truth about where they came from.

Nagpas are both shrewd and prudent, and they have no particular desire to risk their necks. They cast etherealness and retreat when only moderately wounded (reduced to 130 hp or fewer). If etherealness is squelched somehow, they try fly (or Paralysis/wall of fire, if they haven’t gotten to yet). If that’s squelched too, they keep fighting until they’re seriously wounded (reduced to 74 hp or fewer), then flee, casting witch bolt (at 4th level if possible, otherwise at 2nd or 1st), fireball, fire bolt (3d10 fire damage!) and, if truly desperate, suggestion to cover their retreat; and continuing to use Corruption to discourage their pursuers.

Once human, the vulture-headed nagpas were transformed into their pitiful current state by an ancient curse. These beings are selfish and reclusive, and do anything in their power to keep knowledge of their curse from spreading.

A nagpa resembles a human with the head of a vulture. Their bodies are naked and shriveled with skin like old parchment, and they smell potently of dust, bird droppings, and spoiled milk. Nagpas prefer long flowing robes, and most carry a bird-headed nagpa staff of their own creation. Nagpas do not require food or sleep (though they must meditate for eight hours to replenish their spells) and can potentially live forever.

Nagpas are self-centered and antisocial, but not overtly hostile. They rarely go out of their way to harm other beings without cause, and can even be helpful advisors on magical matters could one overlook their spiky personalities and offensive smell. Should their wrath be invoked by insult or the possibility that their curse become known, however, they seek out and destroy the offender without mercy.

Long ago, the nagpas were a sect of human sorcerers. Selfish in the extreme, the sorcerers saw themselves as above the gods themselves, and sought to steal a god’s power to fuel their own apotheosis. The god, whose exact identity is now known only to the nagpas, stripped them of their humanity and gave them forms befitting their ugly inner natures and cursed them with wanderlust that kept them from congregating ever again. Since then, the nagpas have wallowed in shame and self-pity, and go to whatever ends possible to keep the secret of their creation from spreading.

THE NAGPAS ONCE SERVED THE PR1MORDIALS but
betrayed their masters when the gods' victory was
imminent. In retribution , the primordials levied a
terrible curse on these creatures. Most nagpas lust
endlessly after gold, gems, and magic items, but none
can ever touch that which their hearts crave.

LORE
Arcana DC 19: When the primordials created the nagpas, they sought to give their new servants true sentience. In their battles against the gods, the primordials found that the elementals they com· manded were too limited in intellect and appearance to be ofany worth except as shock troops. The nagpas were thus created and bestowed with the cunning
ofdevils and the beauty ofnymphs. The scheming nagpas quickly showed their worth, wreaking havoc on the gods and their followers with ambush, seduction, and trickery.

As the Dawn War approached its end, the nag pas were clever enough to see that the primordia Is' defeat was inevitable. They struck a pact with the gods to betray their masters. Their treachery was discovered, though, and the primordials levied a horrid curse on their creations. The primordials transformed them into hideous creatures with an insatiable appetite for wealth and bodily comforts.

Nagpas are immortal, heightening the torment of their existence. When slain, they reincarnate within a few decades with all the memories oftheir past lives and deaths. Because nagpas hate the hideous appearance that the primordials bestowed on them, they destroy any mirrors that might reveal their faces.

ENCOUNTERS
With its combination ofmagical prowess and cunning charm, a nagpa recruits bandits, thieves, and other servants to obtain the wealth and comforts it desires. Nagpas are commonly served by trolls, ogres, and other dim and brutish creatures. A nagpa's natural arrogance leads it to treat humanoids in its service as little better than beasts. This behavior can work in an adventuring group's favor, for a nagpa's servants have little loyalty to the creature and tend to flee quickly if the fight goes bad.

Nagpas are known to work with and respect oni, employing them to oversee their brutish servants. Adventurers who eliminate a cult or a gang led by an oni might soon discover that the group was in fact led by a nagpa when the vengeful creature exacts punishment on them for their interference.

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