Dolls and Devils
French Resistance sent a bizarre tale to Allied Intelligence. A French doctor, a Vichy traitor, was collaborating with the Third Reich. Doctor Le F. had spent some years out of the. country after several scandals. On returning law enforcement was about to take him in for questioning in several disappearances when Germany began their invasion.
Dr. Le F. had conducted amazing experiments in the reduction of living things. Under the occupation he was sent to a secure facility near Vichy and set up with a well equipped and guarded lab. Spies in the Resistance reported he had a two stage process. The first stage would reduce a human being to 1-2 feet in height. The second stage could reduce them to six to 12 inches.
At great risk one of Le F's assistants escaped with lab notes, serum samples, and amazingly, a foot tall female subject designated Mini-Marie. In the course of their experiments the Nazis determined that the first stage of reduction often resulted in emotional issues and psychosis. Most of these subjects were kept confined or used for further research. A few could still follow orders and were used in surveillance. Some of these still became psychopaths later.
Subjects reduced to 12 inches or less became extremely passive, as if their brains became simpler. they would often sit still for long periods and most were mute. Their handlers soon. realized the tiny humans possessed a form of ESP and could work on their handler's thoughts (or anyone who knew the trick). They were adept at dispatching larger, clumsier humans with a poison needle. A number of mysterious deaths in the resistance immediately came to mind, as well as some Allied officials found dead.
Animals had a strong aversion to both types. even trained attack dogs were likely to balk from attacking a 'doll person.' They could not be made to track them. It was unknown whether this was a separate treatment or a side effect of the reduction serum.
Most personnel of both sexes found Mini-Marie enchanting. The tiny human had an innate and almost hypnotic charm. The assistant insisted that was the case with all the second stage subjects. In the case of the first stage subjects, the small people were gifted with an aura of menace, despite their shrunken stature and had no problems intimidating much larger individuals. Supposedly a Wehrmacht Colonel screamed at the sight of one practicing knife fighting.
The British and Americans decided against recreating the process, viewing it as inhuman and an atrocity. The information was not made available to the Soviets. A u-boat may have transported La F. to Japan in the last days of the war.
A Doll's small size lets it strike with surprise most of the time unless it is extraordinarily stupid or unlucky. First Stage subjects have a 4 in 6 chance of attacking by surprise if alone. Second Stage Subjects have a 5 in 6 chance of attacking by surprise if alone. The creatures typically use a poisoned needle that does does negligible damage (and might not even register if they strike with surprise). The poison does 3d6 damage, 1d6 with a save. Some dolls have used a drug that paralyzes on a failed save and leave their victims alive and aware for further torment. Some victims die of fear.
A Doll has almost no need of food and rink if it is not active. The smaller dolls remain comatose unless commanded by their handlers and can even survive several days in a closed container.
Some have speculated that the misshapen and demonic imps and familiars of folklore were humans who underwent earlier, and primitive versions of the process. More disturbing was Le F.'s claim a related process caused unrestrained growth. Le F. believed people experimented on might have given rise to the legends of giants and ogres.
A human given First Stage reduction receives a -4 to their Strength and Wisdom. A Second Stage subject receives an additional -4 to Strength (-8 total), and a +4 to Charisma. Both subjects use the same hit dice per level as reduction tends to make human tissue more resilient.
Level XP HD BHB ST
1 2,500 1 +1 14
2 5,000 2-1 +2 13
3 7,500 3-2 +3 12
4 10,000 5-4 +4 11
5 15,000 6-5 +5 10
First Stage Dolls are -2 to be hit with ranged attacks, and a -1 to be hit by melee attacks. Second Stage Dolls are -4 to be hit with ranged attacks, and a -2 to be hit by melee attacks. In addition many items such as furnishings provide full cover to Dolls.
Operatives have found the most effect way to deal with Second Stage Dolls is to attack their handlers. Once they are knocked out or killed, their tiny minions become passive and harmless. Usually handlers are within one hundred feet of a target. Killing a First Stage Doll's handler is disingenuous as the creature will fly into a murderous rage for 1d6 rounds attacking with a +4 to hit and doing 1d6+1 damage with their chosen weapon.