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Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook

Athenaeum Arcane:
Ghostly Rumors

INTRODUCTION
I love a good ghost story. Theres a
certain spine-chilling atmosphere, a sense
USING THE
of timeless tragedy, and an aura of mys- RUMORS
tery about them that I find seductive. I This PDF is intended solely for the
frequently try to work ghost stories into DM. Players who suspect that their DM
my gaming sessions, and the results are may have a copy of this PDF would do
usually memorable. best to close this file now and find some-
Athenaeum Arcane: Ghostly Rumors thing else to peruse.
has been designed to help DMs introduce The rumors in this PDF may be sprin-
ghost stories into their games. As spring- kled liberally in a campaign either as
boards to adventure or merely as back- written or modified by the DM. DMs
ground rumors that help make the cam- should always be prepared for the situa-
paign world feel more alive, these rumors tions, characters, and locations discussed
can be a valuable aid to hard pressed in any rumor to leap to the forefront of the
DMs. game session; you never know what bit of
About the Author information the players will grab and run
with.
Andrew Hind has been working as a
professional in the roleplaying industry When in any tavern, inn, coffeehouse,
since 2000. In that time, hes written for or similar establishment where men and
Wizards of the Coast, Pinnacle women gather, select a rumor (or two or
Entertainment, Mystic Eye Games, three) from this PDF and have each play-
Bastion Press, and many other gaming er make a Gather Information check and
companies. then check the roll against the chosen
rumor(s).
In addition to his roleplaying credits,
hes written extensively in mainstream These rumors work especially well if,
media, specializing in history and folk- after the Gather Information check is
lore. His work for Fate magazine and rolled, you give the PCs first the failed
Mysteries magazine, for example, help result (if they made their roll) and then,
lend an air of authenticity to the ghostly shortly after, give them the successful
rumors in this PDF. In fact, observant result. This adds some roleplaying oppor-
readers may recognize the real-world tunities and encourages the PCs to talk
hauntings that some of the entries are over the false rumor before discovering
based upon. the truth.
Each rumor follows the format:

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Rumor Heading (Gather Successful Gather Information


Information DC) Check: If the check succeeds this is what
Failed Gather Information Check: If the PCs hear. Again, this entry is intended
the check is failed this is what the PCs to be read aloud and gives the source of
hear. A section of this entry is to be read the rumor.
aloud to the players though many DMs Follow Up: If the PCs choose to
will choose to paraphrase the information investigate the rumor this information
(especially if any of it needs to be will help the DM to prepare for what
tweaked to better fit the campaign). This could happen.
entry also discloses the source of the
rumor.

THE RUMORS
theyre hamlet is haunted by the ghost of
THE RIVER WITCH a water hag who lives under the bridge.
(DC 10) Every year on the 12th day of the 12th
Failed Gather Information Check: month she takes the life of a farm beast,
A hag with skin as black as pitch stalks either a cow or pony. Every 12th year, she
the hills near Brungerly. She feeds on all claims a human life on her anniversary.
manner of creatures, but every year on the The rest of the time, they say she sleeps or
anniversary of the day in which the Abyss otherwise makes herself scarce.
spat her out and deposited her in our Source: Arthur Ingeld (Human Male,
world she always takes a human life. Wiz 1, 2 hp). Arthur is a mage and teach-
Source: Graystock (Dwarf Male Exp es in the villages one-room school house.
2, 5 hp), an old scruffy dwarf with thick A short, thin and authoritative man, he
graying beard. A herbalist by trade, he deals in facts and has no use for supersti-
spends most of his time alone in the tion and folklore. Illiterates such as
woods and doesnt have much time for Graystock are treated with contempt, as
town folk. Hes often drunker than a are those who blindly belief unsubstanti-
skunk from indulging too heavily in his ated rumor.
own moonshine. Following Up: All of the lives taken,
Successful Gather Information man or beast, are the result of rituals con-
Check: You been listening to Old Man ducted by the villagers of Brungerley
Graystock, I take it. That old coots been designed to appease the hag. While they
drinking too much of that swill he con- generally sacrifice their own stock, every
cocts in the shed out back of his property. twelve years they abduct a traveler or
Take a load off while I straighten things denizen of a nearby community. If
out for you. Folks in Brungerly claim pressed, no of the villagers can remember

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the last time the hag actually appeared, its founder, a old-time gent by the name of
and in truth there is no spirit (unless, of Johan Swords. The soil just wasnt worth a
course, you as the GM deem otherwise). damn, so after a while the settlers just up
The whole story is mere superstition, and left. Thats the long and short of it all.
though one with a bloody bent to it. Source: Valenso Bellaghy (Human
Male Ftr 2/Ari 1, 19 hp), the rotund and
GHOST TOWN OF jovial landholder who owns most of the
farms in the area. A former roadwarden
SWORDS (DC 10) and adventurer, hes more at home throw-
Failed Gather Information Check: ing them back in a bawdy tavern than
Hey mister, I wouldnt go up that road if among the courtiers of even a rural manor
I was you. It leads to the ghost town of such as his own. As a result, he takes every
Swords. You know why they calls it that, opportunity to engage in conversation with
mister? Its cause everyone in the village travelers. Hes never had the inclination to
was put to the sword. That means they was explore Swords and urges PCs not to as
all killed. The whole town is haunted now, well-that town represents peoples bro-
and no one dares go there. Cept me, cause ken dreams, and it aint right to add insult
I aint scared. Only, dont tell my Mom. to injury by plundering it. Suspicious
Shed be mad that I went up there by players may think hes hiding something.
myself. Hes not; Bellaghy has a strong moral core,
Source: Fish (halfling male Com 1, 1 thats all.
hp), a small child with a distinctive guppy- Follow Up: The village of Swords is
like look about him, hence his nickname, covered in a ghostly shroud, its farms and
which he loathes but cant shake. Fish is businesses silent and encroached upon by
surely a bard in the making; an entertain- the regenerating forest, but there are no
ing storyteller with enough conviction to ghosts to be found. Though the shells of
be believable. Characters who make a numerous buildings remain, collapsing
Sense Motive roll (opposed by Fishs Bluff under the combined assault of elements
+2 skill roll) will determine that hes lying and time, five buildings remain in surpris-
about having been there, but truthfully ingly good shape: the former general store,
believes the town to be haunted. a church, and three small cabins.
Successful Gather Information Exploring these buildings can be the
Check: Har, har, har! You believed that source of adventure, as they might now be
load of swill Fish fed you. Thing is, that inhabited by monstrous vermin and other
boy is a born storyteller with an overactive forms of low-level threats. But its possi-
imagination. I dont think he even knows if ble that their intrusion will disturb the dead
the things he says are real anymore. I reck- and that when they complete their explo-
on talking to him is like threshing corn. If ration the PCs will leave behind a real
you sift out all the chaff, a kernel of truth ghost town. A return visit to set things
remains. There is an abandoned village up right might be required.
yonder road a ways, but it was named after

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1,000gp reward for anyone who can lift


BLUE LADYS the curse.
GRIP OF THE DEEP Interestingly, a woman did in fact
drown in the bay years before, and her
(DC 12) body never recovered. Perhaps there is
Failed Gather Information Check: some connection after all?
On nights of the full moon, a beautiful
woman wearing a blue dress walks across
the water down in the bay. And you know
MOONSHINE
what? She dont even get the hems wet. TOWER (DC 12)
You know she died years ago, drowned Failed Gather Information Check:
right there, off that point. After shes seen, Moonlight seems to reflect off the rocks
no ship or boat can take to the water. Oars of that old tower, casting it in a pale blue
or sails, it dont matter.all matter of glow. Its so pretty and tranquil, a place
watercraft stop dead in the water. truly at peace. The gods have made it
Source: Caleb RigWalker (male sanctuary from the evils that lurk in the
Human Com 2, 5 hp), an embittered for- dark of night, and so we have nothing to
mer sailor who was once known for being fear from it.
the fastest rigger anyone had ever seen Source: Colin Crofter (Human Male
hereabouts. He now seeks solace for the Clr 2, 10 hp), a farmer and local agrarian
loss of his leg in the bottle and spends priest. Hes well meaning, but is not as
most of his time drunk or hung-over. worldly as he lets on and has little under-
Successful Gather Information standing of matters beyond farming. He
Check: Old Caleb has spent too much has no idea that his ignorance may get
time in that damned tavern to even think people dead, and would be aghast if that
straight anymore. Aye, its true enough should come about.
that the waters of the bay are dead calm Successful Gather Information
after the full moon, but there is no woman Check: Some people consider
in blue. Thats just an old legend. Pay it Moonshine Tower beautiful. I think oth-
no mind. erwise. Theres something oddly unset-
Source: Any dock hand, fisherman, or tling about it, almost as if it has hidden
sailor in town. itself away from civilization and resents
Follow Up: The blue lady is just a our intrusion. The last lord went off to
local legend, though the phenomenon war about 100 years ago and never
attributed to her is in fact real. No ship, returned. Or did he? Some believe his
whether sail-powered or rowed, can move spirit has returned to the only home he
within the bay on days after a full moon. ever knew and haunts the tower to this
Vessels entering the bay are ground to a day. All I know is that its bricked up for
sudden stop, unable to move. Its an obvi- good reason, and we should leave well
ous inconvenience, and hinders trade and enough alone.
fishing. As a result, the town will offer a

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Source: Helda Raven-eye (Female denial, poor dear. You see, the girls were
half-elf, Sor 3, 7 hp), an elderly woman like daughters to him. Im afraid hes
who somewhat shunned by her fellow vil- taken their deaths hard. You see, he was
lagers, both due to her command of able to get his own family out, but the
witchcraft and her unsettling raven-like mill girls were trapped in a second floor
eyes. Shes a wise woman, however, who room and didnt make it. Mr. Herron
sees much more with those eyes than blames himself, both for their deaths and
most could ever conceive. for their restlessness after death. Oh, dear
Follow Up: The tower has always me, the stories are very true. Those poor
held its ethereal blue pall under the light girls have returned from the grave.
of the moon, a feature deemed pleasing Source: Rosa [female human Com 1,
by the Varg family, werewolves all, when 1 hp], a portly and middle-aged woman
they built it centuries before. The last lord who lives across the way from where the
did indeed perish in war, but in some cul- old hotel stood. Rosa spends most of her
tures-the Vargs included-slain were- days making corn-husk dolls on her porch
wolves occasionally rise as vampires. which she sells to peddlers passing
Thats exactly what happened to the last through, and so she sees and hears an
Lord of Moonshine Tower, who has in awful lot of what goes on in town. A suc-
fact returned home as Helda suggests. cessful Sense Motive check [DC 12]
shows that shes holding back something.
GHOSTLY If prodded, and if shes convinced the
PCs are not allied to the local sheep-
MILLINERS herders, shell offer more.
(DC 15) The fire was awful suspicious, how it
went up so fast and all. And you know
Failed Gather Information Check:
something, I could have sworn I saw fig-
What kind o nonsense is this? Yell nae
ures lurking in the shadows around the
spread rumors about those poor lasses
building moments before hand. This is
who died in the flames, nor do we need
just hearsay, but I think some of the sheep
fairy tales o ghosts to keep em alive.
herders were behind it. They dont like
Twas a tragedy, sure nough, but the
farmers, like Mr. Herron, buying up and
lasses are dead and buried and at peace,
fencing in grazing land.
and thatll be the end of it.
Follow Up: The three milliners do
Source: Peter Herron [male human
indeed prowl the night, seeking out those
Com 4, 10 hp], a farmer and proprietor of
responsible for their deaths.
Herrons Inn, a business recently burned
Unfortunately, their presence is accompa-
to the ground. Three boarders, women
nied by spontaneous outbursts of fire that
working in the village woolen factory,
endangers innocents. Already, a haystack
perished in the fire.
has been burned down and the shingles of
Successful Gather Information a barn set aflame. Its just a matter of time
Check: Mr. Herron is in a state of before tragedy replays itself.

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Rosa is right. The local sheep-herders favorite trick being to masquerade as a


were responsible, if indirectly, for the fortune-teller and use his natural magical
deaths of the mill girls. They hired the abilities to fleece the vulnerable and
Donnelly Brothers, sheep-herders, nave.
rustlers, and thugs from a neighboring Successful Gather Information
town, to do their dirty work for them. As Check: Haunted? Hardly, watch
a result, even if the local ringleaders are Brandywine carefully. Its almost imper-
brought to justice, the ghosts will not find ceptible-a flick of the wrist here, a
rest. The Donnellys must be brought in whispered word there. Before you know
as well. it, another card player folds his hand and
flees, cursing the haunted table for his
THE ETERNAL misfortune. Theres no doubt in my mind
Brandywine is creating the ghostly phe-
POKER GAME nomenon with his magic.
(DC 15) Source: Priya Alyten (Female Elf, Ftr
Failed Gather Information Check: 4, Hp 34), watch sergeant. Despite being
The corner table is haunted, sure beautiful and blessed with the gentle
enough. Only the dregs and the curious grace of a cat, Priya is a skilled warrior
risk their luck playing cards at that table, and a streetsmart watchman. Shes as
for its said youre gold is the least youll steady and certain as sunrise, and while
lose. Some cardsharks have gone raving she rarely speaks, when she does her
mad after playing a hand there; they claim words carry real weight.
to feel desperate chills even with a blaz- Following Up: Brandywine is creat-
inh hearth just feet away, to hear the bois- ing ghostly phenomenon, using the
terous peal of spectral laughter coming tables notoriety as a means of attracting
from empty seats, and to smell a whiff of customers to his tavern. Its become
cigar smoke in the air even when none at almost a tourist attraction; many people
the table smoke. Its as if invisible gam- come just to sit at the table and perhaps
blers are playing right alongside you, or play a hand. Hes also formed an arrange-
so they say. ment with several local gamblers; for a
Source: Barnabas Brandywine (Male take of the winnings he creates his spooky
Halfling Sor 3, hp 9), they graying and illusions to unnerve those playing at the
ever-jovial bar-tender. Well liked for his table, causing them to lose their concen-
courteous ways and the efficient manner tration or even fold entirely.
in which he de-escalates the festering What Brandywine doesnt know is
resentments that tend to boil over when that not all of the supernatural activity can
alcohol is involved, most would be sur- be attributed to his spellcraft. The table
prised to hear of his shady past. He was really is haunted, and many people who
once a very successful con-artist, his pull up a chair are.

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The PCs Dont Pay: Sorry friends.


GHOSTLY LOVERS Everyone pays, no exceptions and no bar-
OF FIR LARRIG tering.
Source: Tunnit the Talemonger
(DC 15) (Human Male Brd 5th, 22 hp), a travel-
Failed Gather Information Check: ing charlatan and entertainer. Hes a born
Gather round and listen to a tale of eter- salesman, able to sell dirt to a dwarf, and
nal love, a tale so powerful it will move hes not above peddling fake or danger-
you to tears, even the most steadfast ous defective items.
dwarf, Id wager. Its a tale of tragic Successful Gather Information
ghosts unable to find peace, and pinpoints Check: That Tunnit is a huckster profit-
the gateway to the mythical Elven other- ing from the tragedy of my people. Im
realm where immense wealth awaits the afraid his map is wrong quiet inaccurate,
intrepid adventurer. Step right up, and and his story entirely misleading.no
have your ten gold ready. doubt due to ignorance on his part. Fir
The PCs Pay 10 Gold: Ten leagues Larrig is fifty leagues west, and does not
west from here is a natural stone pillar mark a gateway to the mythical Faerie-
called Fir Larrig, which means Where realm. Instead, its an entrance to the
the Rock Stands Out in Elvish. It was Underdark. Im afraid all one would find
here that a Seelie emerged from his there is death, not the treasure Tunnit
Faerie-realm domain to trade among the alludes to. The basis of his story is accu-
elves of our world. What he found was rate, more or less, though of course the
more valuable than any trade good: he other-worldly trader was a dark elf not a
found the love of a beautiful elven member of the Seelie.
princess. Her father refused to sanction Source: Ophirea Shem (Female Elf
the relationship, however, so the lovers Sor 6th, 14 hp), a virile young mage,
continued their romance in secret, steal- reputed to be the daughter of elven nobil-
ing kisses under the cover of darkness. ity. Extremely willful, she refused to
Eventually, the princess brothers found marry her chosen mate and fled to the
out. They killed the Seelie and threw his human lands. Shes actually the younger
body off a cliff. When the princess dis- sister of the princess alluded to in the tale.
covered what they had done, she fell into Following Up: Ophirea may be per-
a deep morose and flung herself off the suaded to guide the way to Fir Larrig,
cliff to be with her lover in death as they especially if the PCs intend to lay her sis-
couldnt be in life. Their spirits cursed the ter to rest. The ghostly lovers do indeed
area, causing the elves to abandon their haunt the area around Fir Larrig, but are
village and vow never to return. A grand not together as they wished. An examina-
tale, no? And absolutely true! Best of all, tion of the bones beneath the cliff reveal
for an additional ten gold Ill provide a only one set, that of an elven female; the
map with the directions to Fir Larrig dark elves retrieved her lovers body and
interred him in a vault in the Underdark.

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Their spirits are restless and lonely. She army was crushed in one of the cornfields
searches desperately for her lover, fright- just outside of town. You may scoff, but I
ening off those who might aid her, while believe Baron Fairfield was killed by the
he throws mortals from the cliff in specter known as the Cornfield Corpse.
vengeance for the perceived murder of his Legend has it that the ghost is that of a
beloved. If their spirits could somehow be peasant soldier who, with his dying
reunited, all would be well. breath, pledged to continue the battle
Save for the little matter of the until the hated nobility were killed.
unguarded entrance to the Underdark.. Source: Vlad Totten (Male Human,
Rgr 6, 34 hp), a grizzled old roadwarden
CORNFIELD CORPSE with silvered hair, drooping handle-bar
moustache, and a perpetual five-oclock
(DC 18) shadow. With more than four decades rid-
Failed Gather Information Check: ing these roads, hes seen it all and isnt
If yer talkin about that dandy with the easily swayed by tall-tales. And yet he
red lion plastered all over his cloak, then believes firmly in the existence of the
I reckon I did see yer Baron Fairfield. Cornfield Corpse.
Came through here a week or so back, if Following Up: As it turns out, Totten
I recall rightly. Didnt give us common has good reason for believing in the exis-
folk the time of day, cept when he was tence of the Cornfield Corpse. The soldier
tossin about orders. Missing, you say? (Wight, 30 hp) does indeed crawl forth
Cant say as wed miss im much, one from the soil every harvest season to
less too-right-for-his own-good-snob I plague the village. And while the corn-
say. My guess is the bandits done im in. field corpse does go out of its way to slay
Source: Yukos Falkenberg (Male nobles, in truth no one is safe from its
Half-Orc, Ftr 1/Exp 3, 21 hp), propri- depravations, especially those foolish
etor of the local inn and militia captain. A enough to enter the swaying sea of grain
large man, with broad shoulders, arms that surrounds the community.
that hang down almost to the knees, and a
simian brow, Yukos displays much of his THE HAUNTED
orc heritage. Still, hes a respected mem-
ber of the community, and like his neigh- MOORS (DC 18)
bors, has nothing but disdain for the Failed Gather Information Check:
nobility. Dont you be going up in those hills,
Successful Gather Information especially at night when the fog rolls in.
Check: Truth is, there are no bandits Theres evil in this there land, Ive seen it
hereabouts. Not any worthy of the name, with my own two eyes. A ghostly crea-
at any rate. The folks around here hate ture, as big as a horse with glowing red
people of noble birth, and always have. eyes, spewing smoke and fire from its
The village was a hotbed of rebel activity mouth. On nights like these when the fog
during the peasant risings, and a rebel is thick and low, it comes looking for

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fresh meat. Heed my words or youll be ries and frightening companion have so
next. Stay away! STAY AWAY I TELL far kept the townsfolk and interlopers at
YE! bay. Its only a matter of time before he
Source: Arrun Greenspeck (Human is discovered and has to take more drastic
Male Druid 5, 25 hp), a dark haired wild steps to preserve the hills.
eyed individual who mostly keeps to him-
self when found in town, which is very THE LADY OF
infrequent. Usually Arrun can be found
wandering the surrounding area, particu- THE MILL RUN
larity the main road into town. He makes
it a habit to warn travellers about the
(DC 20)
Failed Gather Information Check:
unnatural moors north of the town.
Stay away from the river, you hear? The
Successful Gather Information water runs fast and hard this time of year,
Check: Aint no truth bhind ol Arruns and if you fall in youre in a world of
words. The Moors aint haunted, nothing trouble. Weve lost too many folks to the
but a pack of wolves out for a hunt. They rivers temper already, and Im tired of
be looking to pick off stray sheep and pulling bodies out of drink. Do you have
stragglers from the herds. any idea what a body smells like after its
Source: Clef Broadbeard (Dwarf been in the water for a few days?
Male Ftr 1/Com 2, 20 hp), is the owner Source: Asa Hrothgar (Male Dwarf,
of the Notched Axe Inn and Tavern. In Rgr 2, Hp 17), a lumberman who swills
his earlier years Clef wanted to strike it booze and brawls with equal zeal. During
rich by adventuring but a pair of Ogres the winter he fells trees up river, then
ambushed his group during one of their shoots them down the swollen banks in
first excursions. The Ogres were eventu- spring, and finally cuts the logs into lum-
ally brought down, but not before the ber through the remainder of the year at
adventuring party had all been slain his mill at the base of the rapids. Asa is
except Clef. The first town Clef came to therefore extremely knowledgeable about
after that encounter was where he parked the river and its dangers, but hes never
his arse and now calls home. seen the ghost and therefore refuses to
Following Up: At night, when the fog entertain notions of its existence. In fact,
rolls in, creatures do indeed haunt the he grows agitated when it is mentioned.
moors. But the ghastly creatures are none Successful Gather Information
other than Arrun and his befriended wolf Check: At one time, Asa Hrothgars
Silvermane. Arrun has been using his mill was a going concern. It had five or
spells to make his companion appear sin- six hands, and was prosperous. Now
ister and evil in hopes of scaring away everyone refuses to work up there. Its
farmers and ranchers from the moors. haunted, you see. People began seeing the
The area is sacred to Arrun and doesnt smoky image of a lovely lady walking
want to see the lands used for feeding and along the river or sitting patiently on a
then toiled as farmland. His ghostly sto-

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rock alongside the rapids. In either case,


her gaze is always firmly rooted upriver,
THE SWAMP
and it never wavers. Its as if her heart, THINGS (DC 20)
her entire being, is focused on something Failed Gather Information Check:
beyond our vision. Soon after she You can find your own way to the ruins.
appeared, people began to drown mysteri- I can take you no farther, for it is unwise
ously in the river, even seasoned river- to go venture into the lizardmen ruins and
runners. Its a shame too, cause a lot of risk angering the ancient citys guardians.
folks made a good living off them mills. These spirits, the remains of former chief-
Source: Elda Willow (Human tains, are neither dead nor alive and are
Female, Com 2, Hp 4), a burly sod- not to be trifled with. Thyll drain your
busters wife whose course disposition blood and leave you a lifeless husk.
suits the rough frontier existence just fine. Source: Yarra (Half-Lizardman
She inhabits the farmstead nearest the Female, Rgr 5/Adpt 3, 41 hp), an expe-
river, and has seen more than her share of rienced guide and who remains attractive
strangeness hereabouts. Nevertheless, despite being weathered by years of expo-
Eldad love nothing more than for the sure to the elements. Her unusual ances-
hauntings to end so that her husband try is evident only in slight webbing
might once again seek work at the mill. between her fingers, angled eyes with
Following-Up: The ghost is that of a thin iris, and a ridge of coarse skin down
pretty young woman, though her beauty her spine. Yarra attempts to conceal her
is marred by a sadness that seems to ancestry, and her knowledge of lizardfolk
weigh upon her. She is awaiting the return ritual magic.
of the love of her earthly life, a logger Successful Gather Information
who met an untimely demise by drowning Check: Several explorers and treasure-
during the spring drive. Shes bound to seekers have gone missing near the old
haunt the river until they are reunited. She ruins of late, theres no doubt of it. Weve
is often accompanied by an unnatural even found wreckage of large skiffs, their
mist that seems to coil from the water like crews no where to be found. But whats
ghostly tendrils. These misty coils grap- odd is that people have been exploring the
ple men and drag them into the rivers area for years without much mishap. I
depths. Another phenomenon is a disem- myself have been to the city several times
bodied gurgling sound, that of the ghosts in my youth without any incidence. Why
lover as he drowned. Hearing this sound would the guardian spirits become active
causes characters to begin drowning now? And I wonder if it has anything to
themselves, their lungs filling with water. do with those strange boatmen weve has
comin in here. Shady characters, them.
Id peg them for smugglers or pirates.

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Source: Reinhold Rahbas (Human Source: Alanna Moray (Human


Male Rogue 4, 18 hp), proprietor of the Female, Exp 3, 9 hp), a lumpy middle-
Stilted Keg, a tavern in the swamps edge aged woman who runs the village mer-
community. Rahbas is a wiry and still cantile. Opinionated and blunt, shed love
spry old man who proudly displays his nothing better than to discredit the mayor
many adventuring scars as badges of hon- who has more often than not been her
our. Like most barkeeps he knows much sparing partner in the council meetings.
of what goes on, legitimate and other- Successful Gather Information
wise. Check: The baron sent a bum lot of sol-
Following Up: While many have diers and not the kind of men that is
come to believe the ruins are protected by required at a time such as this. Its only a
vampiric lizard men, in fact there are no few short months before the dead arise
guardian spirits standing watch over it. from their barrows and seek vengeance
The entire ruse was concocted by Yarra upon the living. Woe betide us if we are
herself, and is carried out with the assis- unprepared to meet them.
tance of a band of lizard men cutthroats. Source: Mayor Jalin Elzear Bonna
It seems that she discovered a rare and (Male Gnome, Sor 5, 20 hp), a little bull
highly magical breed of orchid that only of a man who has served as mayor on
grows within a specific temple complex three different occasions. Bonna is head-
inside the city. Yarra is smuggling some strong and has a habit of fear-mongering
of these orchids out of the swamp and as a means of getting himself re-elected,
using the proceeds from their sale to fund realizing that his temperament and expe-
a lizard man army, while the remainder rience as an adventurer make him an ideal
she hordes for use in as-yet unrealised rit- leader in time of crisis.
uals designed to restore the swamp to its Following Up: Mayor Bonna does on
rightful heirs-the lizard men. occasion resort to histrionics, but in this
case hes not exaggerating in the slightest.
THE BARROW The curse is very real, but unfortunately
Bonnas history of playing-up threats
LEGION WILL RISE makes preparing for the eventuality diffi-
(DC 22) cult. Many simply dont believe him and
Failed Gather Information Check: are therefore indifferent to the threat they
Our esteemed mayor is at it again, is he? face. Others are panicked and begin to act
There must be an election on the horizon, irrationally-fleeing the village, board-
and shame on him for using such deceit- ing up businesses, and hoarding supplies.
ful tactics. A ghostly army rising from the It may fall to the PCs to unite the com-
hills on the millennial anniversary of their munity and organize a defense. It might
deaths, indeed! I admit, it has a catchy also be cause to enter the barrows to fore-
ring to it, but does he think well swallow stall the curse.
that old myth? Shameful, truly shame-
ful.

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Athenaeum Arcane:
Ghostly Rumors

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