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Callisto, Nymph and cursed bear

  • Alias: None
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Nymph
  • Occupation: Follower of Artemis, Mother
  • Religion: Revered Artemis, the goddess of the hunt
  • Allies: Artemis, Zeus (romantic involvement)
  • Enemies: Hera, who transformed her into a bear
  • Abode/Base of Operations: Nymphs’ domains, forests, and later the stars as Ursa Major
  • Nationality: Greek mythology
  • Languages: Ancient Greek
  • Alignment: Varied due to circumstances, leaning toward Neutral Good
  • Affiliation(s): Follower of Artemis
  • Significant Others: Zeus (romantic involvement), mother of Arcas

In the enchanting tapestry of Greek mythology, Callisto’s story unfolds like a tale of innocence, love, and cosmic transformation. She is a nymph, believed by some to be the daughter of King Lycaon, but the details of her origin vary in the weave of time. A devoted follower of Artemis, Callisto’s life takes an unexpected twist when Zeus, the mighty ruler of the gods, sets his sights on her. Captivated by her beauty and charm, he disguises himself as Artemis to win her heart. In her trust, Callisto shares a moment of intimacy with Zeus, unaware of his true identity.

However, fate is not always kind, especially when gods are involved. As the truth of Callisto’s pregnancy comes to light, Artemis, the goddess she revered, expels her from their sisterhood. Callisto’s fall from grace is exacerbated by the wrath of Hera, Zeus’ wife, who transforms her into a bear. The once-free nymph finds herself trapped in a new form, isolated from her human world and companions.

In the solitude of her new existence as a bear, Callisto’s journey takes another twist. Hunted by her own son, who is unaware of her identity, she stands at the precipice of tragedy. But Zeus, her former lover and the father of her child, intervenes to save her. Placing her among the stars as the constellation Ursa Major, he gives her a second chance, albeit in a celestial form.

Despite her trials and transformation, Callisto’s legacy endures. Through her son Arcas, she becomes the bear-mother of the Arcadians, leaving an indelible mark on Greek mythology. Her story is one of passion, betrayal, and redemption, echoing across the cosmos as a reminder that even in the face of divine intervention, mortal hearts can find their place among the stars.

Titian (1559) has taken the moment when Callisto's pregnancy  is discovered (National Gallery of Scotland). Callisto
Titian (1559) has taken the moment when Callisto’s pregnancy  is discovered (National Gallery of Scotland).

Medium humanoid (nymph, shapechanger), neutral good

Armor Class 15 (natural armor) Hit Points 136 (16d8 + 64) Speed 30 ft.

18 (+4)12 (+1)18 (+4)14 (+2)16 (+3)20 (+5)

Saving Throws Wis +6, Cha +8 Skills Perception +6, Stealth +5 Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons Condition Immunities charmed

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16 Languages Common, Sylvan Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Shapechanger. Callisto can use her action to polymorph into a bear-humanoid hybrid or into a bear, or back into her true form. Her statistics, other than her size, are the same in each form. Any equipment she is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. She reverts to her true form if she dies.


Multiattack. In humanoid form, Callisto makes two attacks with her Longsword. In bear form, she makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.

Longsword (Humanoid Form). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage.

Bite (Bear Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Claws (Bear Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.

Charm Aura (Humanoid Form Only). Callisto exudes an enchanting aura in a 30-foot radius. Humanoid creatures within the aura must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed for 1 minute. A charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Bear Hug (Bear Form Only). Callisto grapples a Large or smaller creature she hits with her bite attack. The target is grappled (escape DC 16) and restrained until the grapple ends. Callisto can’t use this ability on another target while the grapple is active.

Legendary Actions

Callisto can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Callisto regains spent legendary actions at the start of her turn.

  • Change Shape (Costs 2 Actions). Callisto transforms into her humanoid or bear form.
  • Charm Ray (Costs 2 Actions). Callisto targets one creature she can see within 60 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by Callisto for 1 minute. The charmed target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
  • Bear Rush (Costs 3 Actions). Callisto moves up to her speed and makes a bite attack against a creature she passes within her reach.

Equipment Longsword, hide armor.

Notes This version of Callisto showcases her dual nature as both a nymph and a werebear. Her abilities and actions reflect her versatility in both humanoid and bear forms. The legendary actions give her additional options in combat, allowing her to change shape, charm enemies, or perform a charging bear attack. This design aims to capture the essence of Callisto’s mythological character while providing engaging gameplay mechanics.

Currently in the World

Callisto, once a vibrant nymph, stands in her transformed ursine form, her massive frame covered in dark fur, glistening under the dappled sunlight filtering through the ancient trees. Her eyes, once filled with curiosity and life, now hold a mixture of wisdom and sadness. The sleek fur coats her like a protective mantle, each strand seemingly attuned to the whispers of the forest. Her mighty paws, resembling hands in their dexterity, rest against the earth as she gazes pensively into the distance.

In the heart of the dense woodland, where the canopy forms a natural cathedral, Callisto finds solace amid the rustling leaves and chirping birds. A brook nearby trickles soothingly, its gentle sounds mingling with the forest’s symphony. Despite her mighty form, her presence exudes an air of gentleness, her somber mood not diminishing her innate grace. The sunlight intermittently bathes her figure, creating an interplay of light and shadow on her bear-like features.

A sense of melancholy clings to Callisto’s demeanor, an ever-present reminder of her past and the irreversible transformation that fate thrust upon her. Her eyes, though animalistic, retain a glimmer of sentience, as if reflecting the memories of her once-vibrant life. As a gentle breeze ruffles her fur, her ears perk up, attuned to every rustle and whisper of the forest, a testament to her instincts honed through years of life among the wild.

Currently, Callisto stands in quiet contemplation, her gaze fixed on the horizon where the treetops meet the sky. Her mood, a mixture of nostalgia and acceptance, is occasionally punctuated by a deep sigh that seems to emanate from the very depths of the forest itself.

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