Baba Yaga's Compound and Hut
Baba Yaga's compound is about a half-day's travel from the River of Fire in the Otherworld. It is marked by by a roughly circular 15-foot tall bone wall built of skulls, and with a padlocked gate made of tibias and femurs. Each section of wall is dominated by a tall bone post that is crowned by a skull (apparently belonging to former victims). The skulls are also guardians, as Plamen and Khurshid ibn Ali learned. When detecting intruders, they launch balls of fire and flaming rays from their eyes and mouth. The woods do not grow within 30 feet of the hut, and many trees just outside that range are obviously burned. One post remains empty, however, perhaps in expectation of the next skull. The compound also serves as a base of some sort to the three riders - Red, White, and Black, which mark the daily cycle in the Otherworld. When a rider completes his journey for the day, both he and his horse return to the compound, and sink beneath the locked gate (it is not clear where). Inside the compound is an open space marked by other guardians - a mobile oak tree and shrubs, Baba Yaga's cat Grumbler-Rumbler (actually a giant lynx), her dog Sharik (actually a dire wolf, chained to the front stoop of her hut, and, on occasion, a bear (this role seems to be currently filled by the bear shapechanger Vasya Toptygin). The hut, which usually stands in the middle of the compound, is a very curious structure. It stands on two giant chicken legs, which are capable of transporting the hut anywhere inside or outside the compound, and are able to run at great speeds (and even to cross into other Realms, apparently). Inside, the hut appears to be a normal, small peasant hut, with a stove and two small lofts. It is filled with little crocks, cloths, and other small objects, because the Crone seems to be a hoarder. Nevertheless, the hut is much larger on the inside than the outside. There is definitely a portal under the rug on the floor, which leads to several rooms that are invisible from the outside (they would be where the chicken legs are located, or even somewhere below). These rooms house various visitors that the Crone keeps, sometimes locked up, sometimes able to move around the hut (Vasilisa Priamovna and her prisoner Oniric Shadow stayed in these chambers). There is another portal inside the stove. Going through it burns anyone without resistance to fire, but being able to crawl through the opening leads that person to a stone hallway ending in three doors. Unfortunately, it seems to also be guarded by nezhit' that emerges out from under the stones, so it is not clear what lies behind the strong oak doors. Chonkorchuk learned about the dangers of going through this portal - it nearly cost him his life. He also detected other portals, located in the lofts, with his spirit sight. The true extent of the hut is unknown. There could be many other denizens and visitors living in the hut. Rodion-Raskel, Druvvaldis, and Khurshid ibn Ali disappeared somewhere in the hut, and have yet to reemerge. It is also known that Baba Yaga keeps a herd of horses somewhere nearby, though whether they are in the compound, in the surrounding woods, or, indeed, in the hut, is not known.