Hannya Oni (Basic Lore)

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Hannya Oni

Hannya Oni (CR 13)

True Chaotic - Medium - Monstrous Humanoid
No matter how many or how few Gods you believe to exist, the truth of the matter is that spread across all possible realities there are Gods uncountable. Since Gods have a much higher order of perception than mere mortals, they have worked, over the eons, to form a structure, a Celestial Cascade, with the multitude of deities able to interact with one another and their worshipers in a way that allows the greatest harmony.
Perhaps not in your world, (or maybe it is!) a small portion of the Celestial Cascade became more highly organized than most, and became known as the Celestial Bureaucracy. The Celestial Bureaucracy is vast beyond reckoning, even though it is a small portion of the Cascade, and is probably the single largest Deific structure in existence. As a result, the servants and minions of the Celestial Bureaucracy can be found in almost every world, even ones that have never heard of the Bureaucracy, or even the Cascade!
These servants and minions are known as the Oni. They are a large collection of humanoid beings, empowered with Celestial might. And that is the end of their similarities. Oni come in all colors, with variable faces and features, variable numbers of limbs, and with widely varying degrees of autonomy and kindness. Some Oni are quite benevolent, while others would cause a Demon to cower in fear from their awfulness. It should be mentioned that Oni are not exactly evil, but they are also emphatically not good, and they are very very alien compared to most other creatures. It is rare indeed to meet an Oni who has your best interests in mind, and even if they do, Oni are remarkably changeable and fractious creatures, and are likely to turn on you in a heartbeat, purely on a whim.
The Hannya Oni is a populous branch of these strange Celestial creatures. They are tall, handsome creatures with skin of various shades and features with a definite otherworldly cast, leaning to staring eyes and in most cases, horns. Some Hannya Oni are loyal to the Celestial Bureaucracy and serve as erratic but capable bureaucrats. Many others have cast aside the strictures of the Cascade and are now free agents, doing as they will in whatever worlds they find themselves in. Hannya oni are among the most terrifying and cruel of the oni, with a strong sense of theatre and love of terrifying those things weaker than they are. Hannya Oni are marked by their wide, wild-staring eyes, even though their skin and features vary wildly, ranging from orc-like to sylph-like and with every variation of race in between. Hannya Oni are monstrous and animalistic in combat, with the unfortunate habit of rending their own flesh in battle to horrify and discommode opponents.
Despite their truly awful and cruel natures, Hannya Oni are beloved by deities and are masters of the Art Of Balance, and will be unpredictable at the best of times. In all cases, they have a wild and violent streak that makes them dangerous, so approach with care!