redcaps Species in Scarterra | World Anvil


Redcaps, based on Scottish folklore, have showed up in many RPGs and modern works of fiction so here is my take on Scarterran redcaps.   Redcaps are named for their fondness for dipping their caps in freshly spilled blood. Redcaps are roughly gnome-sized, but they are supernaturally strong and solid for their small size.   In old real world folklore, redcaps are all leathery skinned ugly men, but in Scarterra about half of them are leathery skinned ugly women since they reproduce in the same general manner that humans reproduce, rather than have redcaps asexually reproduce from spores or have a small number of redcap queens laying clutches of eggs. But I'm not going to go deep in the details. Redcaps have males and females in roughly equal numbers, and they make baby redcaps that way.   Redcaps tend to favor large bludgeoning weapons but they can also kill foes with their sharp teeth, and they are perfectly capable wielding almost any weapon they find. Redcaps can chew and eat almost anything and many have a taste for human or faerie flesh.   About 30% of redcaps have mild earth aspects, 20% mild fire aspects, 35% no elemental aspect, 15% all other possibilities. Redcaps have some fae magic, but it’s not their forte. They prefer to use brute force to solve their problems as opposed to using magic or abstract thought to solve problems though they certainly are clever enough to set up traps and ambushes.   Redcaps rarely opt to play politics. They usually form small bands of their own kind and follow and meanest and toughest redcap or occasionally the cleverest redcap. Redcap bands may act independently robbing and killing whomever they like or they will act as mercenaries hiring themselves to various Faerie lords and ladies that need unsubtle muscle.   Redcaps have short life spans compared to most other fae, tending to go through their Final Change somewhere between 450 and 550 years old. Most redcaps live lives of violence so they rarely survive to see their Final Change. Redcaps frequently but not always leave behind Remnants that are poisonous mushrooms. A redcap that dies violently will probably leave behind one large ugly mushroom while a redcap that lives long enough to go through his or her Final Change will often become a circle of mushrooms, often with mystical powers such as perpetually growing mushroom based reagents or even a portal between Fae Home and the Material Plane.   In real world folklore, dead redcaps leave behind a single large tooth when they die. Scarterran redcaps do this too. Such a tooth has some kind of magical properties that would make them valuable as reagents, but they are not so valuable that hunting redcaps would be a viable career path.     In the real world folklore, redcaps are destroyed by recitations of scripture or the brandishing of a crucifix, both of which cause them to burst into flames and leave behind a single tooth.   I probably don't want to go that far as to have redcaps bursting into spontaneous flame, but I'm thinking the redcaps weakened by symbolism of the Nine. Specifically, the Nine together. Simply brandishing Khemra or Mera based icons at them would have not have any effect. The Symbol of the Nine would cause them mild pain and but a full recitation of all nine names of the Nine in a row would cause modest physical injury.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Geographic Distribution

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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