The Listless Village

The PCs come upon a small settlement no more than a day’s journey into bright Davokar. Recently and hastily built timber houses dot the clearing, most not fully completed and almost primitive in their construction. But something is wrong with the inhabitants. The adults are all listless, lethargic and apathetic in everything they do. They do only what they must to survive and even that without any enthusiasm. Food is bland and tasteless and not cooked enough. Washing of clothes and personal hygiene is severely lacking. Items that are broken aren’t repaired unless absolutely necessary and then only in the shoddiest manner possible. Some are even working the fields with their bare hands.

Among the villagers is also the travelling troubadour Blackhawk, as listless as everyone else, playing melancholic songs without any enthusiasm in front of a cold hearth (since there is no chopped wood to burn anymore). He would leave, but just can’t see the point. Tomorrow, maybe.

The village’s children, dirty and with torn clothing, are unaffected and implores the PCs to investigate, if they don’t do it on their own, saying their parents are neglecting both them and the village itself, with crops spoiling and the small stream clogging up. “We’ve tried, but it’s too heavy work for us.” This has been going on for at least a couple of weeks, possibly longer.


This problem is caused by a spirit that drains their wills while they sleep. Technically, the ritual drains Resolute, siphoning the villagers’ energies to strengthen the shield which keeps something worse at bay. This ritual, to link to the victim and drain the first point of Resolute, takes an hour the first time the spirit performs it and then 45 minutes per person each night to draw a point of Resolute (so far from everyone loses Resolute every night). The spirit must see the victim it drains and must be manifested while doing so. It siphons a set number of points each night, say 6 to 8, depending on if it has to create new links. This loss of Resolute can’t be recovered until the link to the spirit is severed.

One adult has succumbed and become catatonic, and others are close to joining in.

Exorcism doesn’t work, since the villagers aren’t possessed, nor does Sanctum, and Holy Smoke provides no clues. Sanctifying Rite only helps against the ravaging monster, if/when it appears (see below). Break Link works for one person at a time, who will perk up a bit immediately like a burden has been lifted off their shoulders, but the spirit will reestablish the link the next night.

The first night the PCs spend here, and every night after, the spirit will siphon from them too, with two of them losing a point of Resolute per night and dampening their mood. GM can require a Resolute roll to act actively in a turn or scene.


The situation can be solved by fighting the spirit, obviously, but if attacked it will first try to flee (but it stays within the clearing), so it can revert to spirit form, and then try to reason with the PCs and explain why it is sapping the villagers – it is keeping a ravaging beast at bay by using Resolute it drains to maintain a shield around the village. It is entirely possible the PCs will believe the spirit is lying, trying to save itself, and don’t discourage them further if they want the fight. Should they kill the spirit, the ravaging beast will manifest the next night as the shield fails.

Talking to the spirit, they can learn that the shield can be made permanent by sacrificing part of their souls to the spirit (technically a total of 50 points of Resolute, permanently, and the spirit can’t take these permanent points by force, it must be willingly given). The villagers need to be convinced to do this at all, but it is so outlandish that the check is made with an extra chance of failure. If the PCs say that they are willing to help too then that will help alleviate the villagers’ concerns and the check will be made as normal (they can, of course, lie to the villagers about their participation, which could have further repercussions). If the PCs arrange a meeting with the spirit and the village leaders (itself difficult, since the villagers won’t see the point in doing it) so it can explain the situation to them, then gain an extra chance to succeed (i.e. a normal roll if they would’ve rolled with an extra chance of failure otherwise).

Another possibility is persuading the villagers to abandon their settlement and return to Ambria. This is only feasible if the villagers, or at least the trio of leaders, believe their village to be truly threatened by the beast. This happens only if the leaders have met with the spirit and believe its tale but are not willing to sacrifice part of their souls.


A terrible, ravaging beast is bound and trapped underground in the area, by elves or witches long ago. It started to wake slowly when the settlers built their village and worked the land, but a benevolent spirit interceded as best it can on their behalf and make sure the beast stays trapped. It isn’t strong enough on its own, however, so it started siphoning strength of will from the hapless villagers. Should the shield in the area fail, the beast will manifest and explode from the ground to try and level the village and then continue to rampage in a random direction – possibly Ambria.

The villagers won’t be much help against the beast, but a couple of them have martial training and can help fight it. They’ll volunteer or just join the fight when it happens.


If the PCs save the village from the threat of the beast or identify the true problem and help the villagers to safety, then Blackhawk will compose a song in their honor. The villagers themselves can’t offer much as payment, but the PCs can always find shelter and a good meal with them.


The small village, barely a settlement (and without name), sits in a clearing in the woods with a stream running through it. The buildings are all on one side, apart from the combined barn, granary and stable, with the fields on the other. The village consists of small timber houses, a reinforced barn-granary-stable, a small and primitive watermill, a common room functioning as a town hall, a tiny shrine to Prios along with fruit trees and grain fields on the farming side of the stream.

Visitors can sleep in the loft of the combined barn/granary/stable, which is where Blackhawk retires in the evening.


The spirit spends its days in the mill, building up and maintaining the invisible shield around the village and its nights gathering energy, siphoning it from the villagers while moving about through the village. It is invisible during the daytime and at night it appears as a faint spectral shimmer when it manifests in order to affect the villagers. It is intelligent and can be communicated with.

Manner: Desperate

Race: Spirit

Resistance: Challenging

Traits: Alternative Damage (I), Invisibility (III), Manifestation (I), Spirit Form (II), Terrify (III)

Accurate: 10 (0)

Cunning: 9 (+1)

Discreet: 13 (-3)

Persuasive: 10 (0)

Quick: 7 (+3)

Resolute: 15 (-5)

Strong: 5 (+5)

Vigilant: 11 (-1)

Rituals: Black Sympathy (used as a variant with Alternative Damage to siphon Resolute from the villagers)

Weapons: Touch 3 (Alternative Damage, Resolute)

Armor: None

Defense: +3

Toughness: 10

Pain threshold: 3

Shadow: Transparent as clear water (corruption: 0)

Tactics: Uses Terrify to keep opponents away and drains Resolute by touch from one victim at a time.


A ravaging spirit monster that is trying to break through into the ordinary world from its underground prison, but the spirit’s shield prevents it from manifesting. It loosely resembles a massive, monstrous, elongated, six-legged Urorne when manifested.

Manner: Raving and rampaging

Race: Spirit

Resistance: Challenging

Traits: Manifestation (II), Natural Weapon (II), Rampage (II), Robust (II), Spirit Form (I), Sturdy (I), Tunneler (I)

Accurate: 13 (-3)

Cunning: 7 (+3)

Discreet: 5 (-5)

Persuasive: 10 (0)

Quick: 11 (-1)

Resolute: 10 (0)

Strong: 15 (-5)

Vigilant: 9 (+1)

Weapons: Rampage 7, Tusks 7

Armor: 4 (robust)

Defense: +1

Toughness: 23

Pain threshold: 8

Shadow: Pitch black with veins of deep purple (thoroughly corrupted)

Tactics: It manifests as soon as it can and will gore the closest enemy. If at least two are in line, it will rampage and try to trample them both.

Notes: To increase Resistance to Strong, change Rampage and Robust to level 3 as well as Spirit Form and Sturdy to level 2.


30 inhabitants in total, with 23 adults and 7 children (all under the age of 10), divided into 10 couples and 3 single-adult households, with the children split among these. All are Ambrian humans.

Apart from the ones detailed below, other villagers have stats as farmhands (Monster Codex p. 133) along with a couple of artisans (Monster Codex p. 137).


Town administrator, founder and funder of the settlement.

Manner: Normally optimistic and looks to the future with hope, but now quiet and introverted


Advisor to the administrator, formerly served in the Queen’s legation.

Manner: Normally serious and industrious, but now quiet and introverted


Elderly farmer who once served in Alberetor’s army and is also an advisor to the administrator

Manner: Normally quiet and introverted, and now still quiet and introverted

Race: Human (Ambrian)

Resistance: Weak

Accurate: 11 (-3)

Cunning: 10 (0)

Discreet: 7 (-3)

Persuasive: 5 (+5)

Quick: 9 (+1)

Resolute: 10 (0)

Strong: 15 (-5)

Vigilant: 13 (-3)

Abilities: Man-At-Arms (adept), Shield Fighter (adept)

Weapons: Sword 5

Armor: Chain mail 4

Defense: -1 (shield)

Toughness: 15

Pain threshold: 8

Shadow: Corroded iron (corruption: 3)

Tactics: Tries to draw strongest foe’s attention to himself.


Young hunter, daughter of Arno.

Manner: Normally chatty and intense, but now quiet and introverted

Race: Human (Ambrian)

Resistance: Weak

Accurate: 15 (-5)

Cunning: 11 (-1)

Discreet: 13 (-3)

Persuasive: 7 (+3)

Quick: 10 (0)

Resolute: 10 (0)

Strong: 5 (+5)

Vigilant: 9 (+1)

Abilities: Alchemy (novice), Marksman (novice), Trapper (novice)

Weapons: Longbow 5 (+1 to hit), Dagger 3

Armor: Leather armor 2

Defense: +2

Toughness: 10

Pain threshold: 5

Shadow: Vibrant copper (corruption: 0)

Tactics: Stays at the limits of her bow’s range and moves to keep distance with her enemies.