Medium Fey, Chaotic Neutral
Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 65 (10d8 + 20)
Speed: 30 ft.
STR: 16 (+3)
DEX: 15 (+2)
CON: 14 (+2)
INT: 12 (+1)
WIS: 14 (+2)
CHA: 10 (+0)
Skills: Nature +3, Survival +4
Senses: passive Perception 12
Maul. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
Frostbite. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 90 ft., one creature. Hit: The target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Wild Shape. The Cailleach can use its action to polymorph into a Medium-sized winter wolf, or back into its true form. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
Magic Resistance. The Cailleach has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. The Cailleach's weapon attacks are magical.
Innate Spellcasting. The Cailleach's spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:
At will: fog cloud, minor illusion
1/day each: cone of cold, ice storm
Description: The origins of the Cailleach are not clear, but she is believed to have been around for a very long time. Some people believe that she predates the arrival of Christianity in Scotland and was worshiped as a pagan goddess. The name "Cailleach" is thought to derive from the Old Irish word "cailleach," which means "old woman" or "veiled one."
The Appearance of the Cailleach
The appearance of the Cailleach is often described as being a tall, wrinkled woman with long hair, a hooked nose, and a staff or rod in her hand. She is often depicted wearing a cloak made of animal hides, which gives her the appearance of a wild creature. Despite her fearsome appearance, she is said to be very wise and knowledgeable about the natural world.
The Powers of the Cailleach
The Cailleach is said to have a wide range of powers, including control over the weather, the seasons, and the land itself. She is also believed to have the ability to shape-shift into different forms, such as a bird or a deer, and to have the power to curse or bless those who cross her path. In addition, the Cailleach is said to be a powerful healer, able to cure illness and injury with a touch of her staff.
The Role of the Cailleach in Scottish Folklore
In Scottish folklore, the Cailleach plays a central role in the changing of the seasons. She is said to bring winter, with its snow and ice, and to retreat to the hills in spring, allowing the sun to warm the land and bring new growth. This cycle of life and death is said to repeat itself every year, with the Cailleach emerging from her hibernation to bring winter once again.
The Cailleach and the Land
The Cailleach is also closely associated with the land itself, and is said to be responsible for the creation of many of Scotland's natural wonders, including mountains, rivers, and lakes. She is said to have created the mountains by piling rocks on top of each other, and to have carved the rivers and lakes by striking the land with her staff. To this day, many of Scotland's natural wonders are still associated with the Cailleach, and are said to bear the marks of her handiwork.
The Cailleach in Modern Times
Despite her fearsome reputation, the Cailleach continues to be revered and respected in Scotland, and her image can still be found in art, literature, and popular culture. She is often depicted as a powerful, mysterious figure, and is sometimes seen as a symbol of Scotland's rugged, untamed landscape. Whether you believe in her powers or not, the Cailleach remains an intriguing and fascinating figure from Scottish folklore.