Wheather or not Mama Yami truly is a monster and not just a villainesque NPC is up to debate. What matters is that Mama Yami is unique, but she really does behave very much like a monster.
The original version of Mama Yami is what I present to you here, but it is not the only version. Current incarnation sees her as much friendlier servant and less of a mad witch. This is my favorite version of Mama Yami and the one I enjoyed the most role-playing.
For centuries, Mama Yami prowled the wilderness surrounding the village and everyone knew of her legend. She had power over the wilderness and an appetite for the tender meat of children. Any child that would find itself lost in the wild would get snatched and taken to Mama Yami’s hut, never to be seen again.
Heroes would arrive and offer their assistance to rid the village of this menace, but they too would never return. That is, until one hero managed to do the impossible.
After a heroic battle that left the party decimated, the hero vulnerable and alone, and Mama Yami partially blind, the hero tricked Mama Yami into believing she had much greater power than she actually did.
The hero threatened, successfully, Mama Yami into thinking she would destroy Mama Yami if she wouldn’t stop hunting the villagers, and they went their separate ways. The hero settled down in the village and retired her adventuring.
Mama Yami though, grudgingly stopped harassing the villagers and eating their children. At first, animals could be found maimed and torn apart, much worse than what she did before. But with time, even that settled and Mama Yami’s name disappeared into history and old folks’ tales.
But that was decades ago. The hero has aged and is no longer the spry young hero she was. Living her final days as the village elder, the children have all disappeared! It is clearly the work of Mama Yami, who has sensed the weakening power of the hero.
Mama Yami used to be feared and respected monster of the mountain. But that was nearly a century ago. Since then, she has been reduced into hunting animals to feed her hunger instead of what she craves.
At first, she was furious. But as time passed, Mama Yami became a vegetarian and found peace. Sort of. Mama Yami’s nature would not break this easily. Torn between her new way of living peacefully and the monster she once was, Mama Yami’s personality has been torn in two. Both she and the monster she was live in the same shell; one personality is kind and friendly to those she happens upon, but the other is cruel and hungry.
Both personalities exist at the same time; one does not go away while the other takes the wheel. Mama Yami argues frequently with herself; one voice is calm, like a kind grandmother, while the other is cruel and impulsive. Luckily, the calm personality is the one in control of her motor functions, while the cruel one argues and attempts to corrupt her calmer self.
This appears to the heroes as Mama Yami arguing with herself, speaking for both her personalities in turns. This may sound humorous to the heroes and their players and that is sort of the point. Mama Yami is a dangerous witch that has been severely reduced in stature by her madness, but that should make her unpredictable. The heroes should also hear frequent references to Mama Yami’s evil half wanting to cook and eat them and her other half casually disregarding it as either a joke or a silly notion.
Mama Yami is a witch and a powerful one at that. She’s been terrorizing the village for centuries or more, and her reputation precedes her in any nearby towns, villages or hamlets. Fighting her should be tough. But not impossible. After all, she is blind except for the third eye she has in the back of her head.
In my game of Scion, where I first used Mama Yami, she had particular affinity with winter and ice, and her powers reflected that. Her powers should reflect the area in which she lives, but she definitely has some powers to conjure forth fog or storms to hide her presence.
She is weakened though, such as her partial blindness. Her friendlier half holds a little back during the fight. The heroes may not notice, but if you feel Mama Yami gets killed or defeated too easily, it becomes apparent. The heroes return to the village victorious and with their loot. The village celebrates in their honour, and they get a chance to tend to their wounds. That is when Mama Yami strikes at the village. Her health is reduced, but most of her powers are enhanced. The heroes only killed one half; the vegan, friendlier half that held back.
This ability is a plot device which you can use in your game freely. If you feel that Mama Yami is definitely dead (head cut off, body burned, etc.) you can just skip this part.
So, you remember when I said something about all the children having gone missing? It was way up there at the beginning. Anyway, Mama Yami is a vegan now who doesn’t eat children, so what’s the deal? Did she kidnap all the village youth or was it someone else?
It definitely was Mama Yami who took those kids. In my Scion game, it was to pay for her internet and role-playing addiction and other orders from Amazon; she took those kids to sell them for money. That’s pretty much what she would be doing in this case. Some external need caused her to do the thing that she is good at to pay something she wanted or felt she needed.
Point is, the kids are either not at her place or they are about to be going somewhere else. But who was about to take the children? What has such power over Mama Yami that she would return to her ways of kidnapping? What terrors might await the heroes when they finally find those kids?
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This is my first time introducing a character of my own making to you guys. Tell me what you think. I tried to keep it neutral as to setting and system, but Mama Yami may not necessarily fit every game or genre. Tell me in the comments what you think I need to improve for future character introductions; backstories, writing less rambly, or anything you think I should include.
My patrons at Patreon also get the witch’s character sheet I made for Scion. I’ll do this for every Friday character I do in the future, but these sheets won’t be published on my website, they’re Patreon exclusive. If you’re interested in getting the character sheets I’ll post in the future, feel free to support me on Patreon!