Thursday, 17 July 2014

Concept: Village of the Evil Scarecrows

My post inspired by the zoo is still surfacing (a small tech issue swallowed half of it earller and I didn't have the time then to replace it), but this morning we went for a drive through a village/town in the north of England (north-west coastal) that was having some kind of scarecrow festival.

Which was basically terrifying.

They were just everywhere. Not so much a concentration of them, but you would just suddenly see them. A bridal party grouping on a church lawn. Workmen scarecrows bending over to work on someone's garden. Dorothy and company off to see the Wizard (curiously, the Scarecrow was absent from the group). I kid you not, there was half a child scarecrow which looked like it was climbing out from the centre of a grassy central reservation.

Which leads me on to...

Logfast, Village of the Evil Scarecrows
The large hamlet of Logfast has grown up around much earlier, much older settlements. Settlements steeped in evil magic and dark forces. Long, long ago, a curse was placed on the area: so long as effigies and statues to false gods were not constructed, the village would be held safe. But, if the people ever entered into idolatory again they would pay a heavy price.

Alas, that the Cleric who laid this curse down was not more specific. Time passes, and one day, to celebrate the coming of spring, the town decides to make scarecrows and have a fun competition. Farmers build them to look like their rivals. Children make them to look like how they think of their teacher.

And then the village fool cuts himself spiking his offering into the ground. In the churchyard.


If adventurers pass through Logfast in spring they will find the villagers terrified. It seems that there are active and malicious scarecrows that are looking for townsfolk to hurt or kill, and dormant ones - but as soon as any hostile intent is focused on any scarecrow, they will respond.

Evil Scarecrow
Actually an evil sentience looking to take life out of the world. In and around Logfast there are hundreds of them now, lurking in and amongst the scarecrows. They are invisible, intangible, and need host structures to survive. The scarecrows are easy humanish things to motivate.
Evil Scarecrows have armour as leather, but are resistant to normal weapons: for cutting weapons they take half damage, and for blunt weapons they only take a single point of damage if the attack is successful. Arrows, bolts and slingshot do no damage. Fire, of course, is very damaging, but they are cunning and work together to minimise damage.
They appear in groups of 3d6, have 2HD, typically a d4 swiping attack and a lumbering three-quarters walking speed gait, plus for each Evil Scarecrow, roll d6:
1. Big Scarecrow - an extra HD
2. Mean Scarecrow - has found a sickle and knows how to use it (d6 damage)
3. Laughing Scarecrow - cackles and on first encountering a person, that person must Save vs Magic or be terrified for d3 turns
4. Fast Scarecrow - can run at 50% greater than normal walking speed and gets an extra attack 30% of the time
5. Brainy Scarecrow - can cast Shield, Sleep and one other first level spell as a Level 1 Magic-User
6. Roll for a total of two attributes, witb Big, Fast and Brainy stacking (e.g., two rolls for Big means 2HD extra)

The people of Logfast are simple folk and have no way to protect themselves really. If they are not helped the Evil Scarecrows will go on to kill them all and then start wandering in groups. There are over a hundred in total - destroying them all will end the curse, as will digging up the now-burned out but still somehow standing scarecrow in the churchyard (no-one has been in to the church grounds since the local priest was pulled apart by a pack of scarecrows).

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