Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A Ghost: Hanna On-the-hill

Hanna On-the-hill (a ghost generated by noisms' table)

Olpek is the oldest man in the village. He has been making furniture and wooden toys for over sixty years. When he was eight years old, his grandfather told him about the terrible girl who lived on the hill past the Red Forest. Legend said she was a beautiful princess. After angering a necromancer by refusing his marriage proposal, she was cursed with eternal unlife and a terrible hunger. Bound to the hill where he proposed, Hanna feasts on flesh when she can get it, preserving her body and regenerating when she gets enough.

Unsuspecting travellers through the Red Forest often mistake the cabin on the hill for a welcome-house. Hanna On-the-hill, who lives there, resembles a beautiful young woman from a distance. Up close she is often a different story: her skin and flesh rotting, hair thick with matted blood and terrible black eyes.

She is free to roam all over the hill, but may not pass into the forest on the east or over the river to the west. Hanna On-the-hill is cunning and knows every inch of her small kingdom. She has a physical body, but no need for sleep or rest. After eating sufficient fresh dead human flesh she will briefly regenerate to her original appearance (takes about an hour). She will remain in this form until the next new moon, whenever that may be. During this time she will be less murderous than usual.

Hanna On-the-hill: AC12, saves and attacks as fifth level fighter. Hanna has no HP. She cannot be killed, only restrained or escaped. She cares nothing for treasures, and throws possessions from her kills in the river. Anyone searching downstream from her house may find valuable cast-offs.

Over the years she has learned some tricks from reading the remnants of scrolls and books of her prey. Hanna can freeze dead bodies to preserve the flesh (there is only so much she can physically consume at once) and can channel this into a freezing wave of cold that radiates twenty feet in front of her (three times per day, save versus magic or take d6 damage and a layer of frost builds up on surfaces, metal becomes impossible to hold; successful save halves damage and negates other effects).

There are long weeds that grow in a ring around the cabin, and Hanna can call on these once per day to restrain people (save versus magic or be held by inch thick flat ribbons of plantlife; successful STR check to break free). Finally, Hanna has perfected a polymorphing spell that changes someone to look like the necromancer who cursed her: anyone changed to this state will be subjected to Hanna's fury (+2 to her attacks). She can invoke this transformation once per day: the subject will change immediately. If they escape and live to the tell the tale they will slowly transform back (taking 12-CON modifier months to return fully to their original form).

Most of the time she does not need any of these "tricks" when haunting others. She has a Stealth of 5 and a Sneak Attack of 2. She has spent years carving bone daggers and blades to attack others with (d4 and d8 respectively). Hanna likes to toy with her prey, and is happy to jump out of long grass and slash at people before running away. Only if she has gone more than two months without feeding, or if she thinks that people are escaping will she simply attack and kill. She is almost silent: indeed she can only speak if she has fed recently and not lost her tongue to rotting. Her speech is slow and in an archaic dialect.

A successful hit on Hanna will merely nullify her attack (but if she won initiative and has already acted, tough luck). A hit that is over 20 will knock her back. A critical hit will knock her down, giving an opportunity for restraining her or running away.

The cabin has some basic wooden furniture, old but serviceable. A pile of bone blades in various states of creation are the only other features.

Treasure, found in the river, roll 2d6:
2: a defaced spellbook in a waterproof wrap; d4 fourth level spells, d6 third level spells, d8 second level spells, d10 first level spells. Owing to defacement, there is a 15% chance that a spell might have been corrupted...
3: a random fifth level spell in common language, on a scroll in a watertight case
4: a random first level spell in common language, on a scroll in a watertight case
5: a leather pouch containing 100+d100 silver pieces, all from three generations ago
6: 3+d20 silver pieces
7: Three silver pieces
8: 5+d10 silver pieces
9: 50+d20 silver pieces
10: d8 gold pieces
11: a bag containing the bones of a small dog, a vial of mercury and a piece of preserved human skin tattooed with arcane instructions; 2d10 gold pieces
12:  a pouch with 1+5d6 gold pieces; one of them is cursed, whoever has it will not regain HP through rest or magic as long as they have it in their possession

(references to system/skills/treasure are LotFP)

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