Welcome to Friday also known as fight night where this week I wanted to put in a little encounter to occur during the days downtime before the next part of the adventure carries on. It should be no surprise that I love night time encounters but tonight’s one can be run during any time of the day – but night seems more thematic.
As the last of the suns rays disappeared from high above the mountains the farmers returned from their rice paddies and soon the few small huts had glowing golden warmth scattered from the windows.
“It sure is getting cold, unusual for this time of year” the middle aged woman said to her husband and daughter as they set the table – the other farmers were coming around for dinner tonight to celebrate the coming harvest. “I’d say its going to be an early season the way the wind blows from the hills up north”
“We should leave a bigger offering at the family shrine tomorrow, to ward of the spirits,” her husband said as he set down the last plate as a few of the farmers from the other houses walked through the front door. “They say when the wind blows cold from the hills that the spirits are restless.” he continued before he had a scornful glance get shot his way from his wife – but it was too late.
“What do you mean father?” the girl asked as she grabbed a pitcher of water and set it on the table with some clay cups.
The wife sighed as she retrieved a pot and set it down on a woven mat in the middle of the table. “Yes, we’d also like to know as we haven’t heard of a lot of the folklores from Shuimu” said one of the new farmers at the table.
The father sat back in his chair with a grin as he stood and grabbed a shield from the wall. “This was my ancestors shield, Many centuries ago he fought in a great battle in those hills where a dragon and the people of Shuimu fought some of the creatures of The Shadow – an army with Demons and all manner of creatures from the shadow lands – beyond the great mountains far to the north.” he began, taking a swig of rice win as he continued his tail. “My ancestor fought valiantly but unfortunately died in battle, so did many of our men and women from this land as they protected it from the cursed ones. There wasn’t time to bury them properly so they burried them amongst the hills each with a dragon scale placed upon them as they were covered by the soil.” He paused again looking amongst the faces of those around the table, “the following year a spring formed and the plants that grew from that spring were soo bountiful that the farms we work today were formed back then. When the cold wind blows from the hills they say that The Shadow is planning its revenge, that the demons and spirits that fought in that war walk the ground again when the wind is cold.” He said taking another drink from his cup.
“all superstition” said his wife shaking her head at the enthusiastic man across from her. “No spirit or demon will walk amongst those hills, but in the morning we can visit the ancestor’s shrine. Husband, wasn’t Cristine and her husband meant to come as well?” She asked looking out the window towards the third hut.
“yeah, I am sure they will be here soon. Old Hugh can’t ignore a feast.” Her husband said as he helped himself to the stew.
Just up the road the tangy and sickly sweet smells of meat was wafting from the farmers hut, the door lay open with two sets of legs laying out of it. Both sets of legs twitched and moved as the horrid creature on top chewed and clawed at the one underneath who was weakly trying to fight and push back at the rotating body on top. A few feet away a much stiller body of a man lay, the creature on top slowly getting up being drawn to the sound of merriment and warmth from the house further down the farms. Pushing past the now both dead creatures in the doorway it joined a mass of other shambling, shuffling dead creatures who mocked and imitated the living.
As the cold wind blew down from the hills the slow stench of death and rot from unnaturally preserved bodies began to mix with the hearty warm smells of stew, wine and cracking wood in a hearth.
Tonight the shadow touched dead followed the wind to add more creatures to their growing ranks.
Nice simple encounter, dead marching from the farms. Party has to stop the dead, foggy morning or clear night a preference. If you want to create it into a mini adventure/session then there would be a creature raising them from the grave, I’d beef up a ghast to CR5 (+1 additional proficiency bonus) and add appropriate amount or hp. Have a shadow taint affect on its bite too for good measure.
Thanks for joining me tonight and looking at tonights encounter inspired by an image in my old copy of Oriental Adventures (3e) DnD suppliment. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content, I may mix around the days and have the final write-up come out tomorrow instead of Sunday as I have a full on social calendar this weekend so don’t get too alarmed if the normal schedule os mixed around some! And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe