Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hollow Bride

Hollow Bride

To the untutored eye, a Hollow Bride will usually appear to be an ordinary woman wearing a floor-length dress, with her arms dangling limply at her sides.

In actuality, a Bride has no body and consists of nothing more than a pair of hands fixed at the wrist to the ends of the empty sleeves of an empty dress held erect by a floating head. The dress maintains its shape through the action of animated entrails dangling from the thing's neck and, occasionally, with the aid of corset-like boning sewn into the garment.

It is said that a Hollow Bride is the result of a strong-willed but vain woman being fatally bitten by a vargouille that is itself then slain before it's victim's transformation is complete. In such cases, the victim transforms physically into something like a vargouille, but--having not been "trained" to think and hunt as it was meant to--still clings pitifully to the belief that it yet lives.

Through sheer force of will and belief, such creatures are able to prevent some of the transformation and decay that ordinarily afflicts a freshly-created vargouille's body. The head and features remain remarkably lifelike, wings do not sprout but rather the head levitates at exactly the height the head appeared at in life--and, unlike the rest of the body--the creature's hands do not rot away. Instead, the bride keeps its disembodied hands in thrall so that they can comb its hair, hold a mirror to its undecayed face, and sew the most elabourate finery available onto what's left of its form.

Once convinced that it's managed to assemble a reasonable facsimile of its former self, the Bride will attempt to re-integrate itself into human society. Brides long to mix with the living and cannot refuse invitations to social gatherings of any kind.

When overcome with hunger, the Brides forget themselves, simlutaneously sending their hands scurrying across the floor towards their prey and sending their faces flying fang-first toward the target's neck. A few very patient Brides have learned to use the dangling and prehensile intestines concealed in their sleeves to move their hands in the air with enough dexterity to cast spells.

In combat, the Bride acts as three monsters--the Bride's head is like any other vargouille (except the lack of wings) and its hands are functionally identical to a matched set of crawling claws. Whether standard Romero rules vis a vis undead mind-body control apply is left to the DM's discretion.

Image credits:
drawing--Mike Mignola
, painting-peter paul rubens, film still-from Francis' Ford Coppola's Dracula
Yakov Smirnoff joke:
In Soviet Union, monster dresses like person for Halloween!


Rod said...

"A few very patient Brides have learned to use the dangling and prehensile intestines concealed in their sleeves to gesture in the air with enough dexterity to cast spells"

But, but -- they have HANDS!

Unknown said...

Good point--I rewrote it so it'd be less confusing.

E.G.Palmer said...

Well, that's pretty damn creepy.

Mike said...

Sounds like a doctor who villain.