Excerpts Archive | 5/7/2010
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Koliada the Winter Witch
Dungeon Magazine Annual Excerpts

Dungeon Magazine Annual gathers a year’s worth of adventures published in Dungeon magazine into one easy-to-reference source. The adventures contained herein provide hundreds of hours of play, and each of them fits easily into a Dungeon Master's existing D&D campaign.

In addition to the compiled adventures, this book contains never-before-seen notes from the designers, developers, and editors that take you behind the curtain, offering a firsthand glimpse into the origin and evolution of each adventure.

In today's excerpt, we introduce the villainess from the adventure, Winter of the Witch. A member of the mysterious Winter Court, which is headed by the Prince of Frost, Koliada the Winter Witch is one of the least powerful archfey of that court. With so many similarities to the Prince of Frost, Koliada is obviously connected to him in some way. Stories about their connections are many and conflicting. Some claim that Koliada is the Prince’s sister or daughter, others say that she is his consort, and still others claim that she is more than one of these.

Koliada the Winter Witch

A cold winter wind blows from the Scourge Mountains, but its origins are not of this world. And with it come horrifying stories of a fey who walks the land. Cold, beautiful, and deadly, she turns every mortal she touches into a statue of ice, and she seems determined to cover the entire north in a blanket of frost.

It is the Winter of the Witch... and if the archfey Koliada is not stopped, it could be the world’s last.

(1.4 Mbs PDF)

Behind the Curtain: Origins of Koliada

When I was first assigned a fey-themed epic adventure, my first idea was to have Baba Yaga as the villain. This idea was influenced by the fact that I was making my way through the Hellboy trade paperbacks at the time, and Baba Yaga is an absolutely frightful baddy in those comics. That inclination was eventually tempered by the fact that I didn’t think I had room to do Baba Yaga justice, so I decided to make something new.

I wanted a name that was still connected to folklore, and in my research found a minor Slavic deity of winter named Koliada. I picked her because I like the name and because she is tangentially related to Christmas, which is my birthday. It’s true, sometimes designers make obscure or whimsical decisions, and naming the villain Koliada was mine. My apologies go out to the mythological Koliada. I’m sure you would never do the terrible things the archfey in the adventure is trying to accomplish.

—Stephen Radney-MacFarland

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