Encounter: The Haunting of The Snug Harbor (EL 8)

The Haunting of The Snug Harbor

This location is the player’s first contact with the town of Onuago, and the beginning of The Horror of the Old Ones, an adventure coming soon from Unicorn Rampant publishing.

Inn features: The entire inn is lit by daylight filtering in through the windows by day and by the hearth and candles on the tables by night. All doors are simple wooden doors (hardness 5, HP: 10).

1) Snug Harbor Common Room

This inn is well taken care of, even in these times of trouble. The floors are swept and the mahogany wood of the bar is polished to a golden sheen. A bartender stands behind the bar, a middle aged man with flaming red hair, a shinny, bald pate, and a humongous sprouting beard that all but swallows his face, his dress nondescript aside from the multicolored suspender he wears. Above his bar hangs a massive great axe.

NPCs that are likely to be encountered here include: Mme. Babushka, Jax the Jaded, and the innkeeper Parvic Potbelly. By night there will also be 2-10 other patrons drowning their sorrows.

Services available here include a common meal of fish stew and bread taken with the other patrons for 3 copper, a single meal of grilled cod, potatoes and rice for 1 silver, ale for 1 silver a gallon or 4 copper a mug, wine for 2 silver a pitcher, stronger spirits for 10 gold a bottle, a bed in the common room upstairs for 2 silver and a private room with a double bed for 5 silver.

In addition, Mme Babushka’s services are available for 20 silver – including the 5 silver for a private room, though she may well try to get more from a wealthy-looking patron (appraise +6, sense motive +16).

If the party speaks about their boat, they are likely to attract the unwelcome attention of Jax, who desperately wants passage out of town.

2) The Haunted Room (EL 8)

This small room reeks of death. A ghastly, maggot-ridden corpse lies on the stained bed. There is a small table and a wardrobe.

As the door to the room is opened, a translucent figure dressed in dirty but nicely tailored servant’s clothes floats up from the head of the bead where it was moaning quietly to itself. It faces you and shouts “Leave me!” before unleashing a horrifying wail.

Examining the corpse’s clothes will reveal the insignia of the Baron of Stieglitz on the breast.

Creatures: This room is haunted by the ghost of Lux Cathcart the former butler of Baron Stieglitz. The ghost will try to frighten away anyone entering the room, and will defend itself if attacked.

Lux came to this inn still alive but mortally wounded. Several days ago he escaped form the Castle Stieglitz, stealing some jewelery and coming to Onuago where he intended to use the money from the jewelery to start a new life elsewhere with his sweetheart who lives in east Onuago.

Unfortunately, he was wounded by a zombie while escaping, and though able to swim to a boat and make his way to onuago, he became feverish and died shortly after arriving at the inn.

Now his spirit cannot rest until the letters and jewelry are delivered to his love in the east side of town.

Lux Cathcart, Butler and Restless Soul CR 8
neutral (chaotic) male human aristocrat 7
medium undead -ghost (incorporeal)
Init: Senses: darkvision 60 ft
Listen +2 Spot +2
Languages: common, wyndm

AC: 16 (+1 dex, +5 deflection) touch 16, flat-footed 15
HP: 53 (HD 7d12)
Resist: +4 turn resistance
Immune:undead immunities
Fort: +2 Ref: +2+1 Will: +5+2+1

MV: fly 30 ft (perfect)
Attack: incorporeal touch +6 (1d4 ability damage (any))
Attack Options: frightful moan, horrific appearance
Space / Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
Base Attack: +5 Grapple: +5

Abilities: Str:10 Dex:12 Con:- Int:14 Wis:13 Cha:20
SQ: undead traits, rejuvenation, +4 turn resistance
SA: manifestation, frightful moan, draining touch, horrific appearance
Feats: athletic, alertness , iron will, animal affinity
Skills: 60 sp appraise +10+2 = +12 bluff +10+5 = +15 diplomacy +10+5 = +15 disguise +5+5 = +10 handle animal +10+2+5 = +17, hide +8+1 = +9, listen +5+8+1 = +14, search +5+8+2 = +15, spot +5+8+1 = +14.

Draining Touch (Su): A ghost that hits a living target with its incorporeal touch attack drains 1d4 points from any one ability score it selects. On each such successful attack, the ghost heals 5 points of damage to itself. Against ethereal opponents, it adds its Strength modifier to attack rolls only. Against nonethereal opponents, it adds its Dexterity modifier to attack rolls only.

Frightful Moan (Su): A ghost can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a DC 18 Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic necromantic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by the same ghost’s moan for 24 hours.

Horrific Appearance (Su): Any living creature within 60 feet that views a ghost must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or immediately take 1d4 points of Strength damage, 1d4 points of Dexterity damage, and 1d4 points of Constitution damage. A creature that successfully saves against this effect cannot be affected by the same ghost’s horrific appearance for 24 hours.

Manifestation (Su): Every ghost has this ability. A ghost dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghost manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ghost can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghost can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. A manifested ghost always moves silently. A manifested ghost can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon (see Ghostly Equipment, below). A manifested ghost remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ghost can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghost’s incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

When a spellcasting ghost is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, its spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When a spellcasting ghost manifests, its spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. A manifested ghost’s touch spells don’t work on nonethereal targets.

A ghost has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. It is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.

Rejuvenation (Su): In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a ghost through simple combat: The “destroyed” spirit will often restore itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. A ghost that would otherwise be destroyed returns to its old haunts with a successful level check (1d20 + ghost’s HD) against DC 16. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a ghost for sure is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A ghost has +4 turn resistance.

Skills: Ghosts have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Search, and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.

Tactics: The ghost will unleash a frightening moan if the door to this room is opened. If characters do not flee, it will continue to moan. Characters have an opportunity to talk with it at this point, though it will require a adjustment form indifferent to friendly. If attacked it will use it’s horrific appearance and draining touch to slay it’s attackers.

If destroyed it will rejuvenate in 2d4 days unless its letters and jewelry are taken to its intended.

Treasure: In a velvet bag in his coat – a trinket for his intended – 2000 gp worth of jewelry. On the belt- just a few copper pieces in a purse and an ornate but dull dagger (it is a costume piece -1 to attack & damage) worth 50 gp.

Also, hidden under the pillow (DC 10 search check) are love letters between him and someone named Dusana. The letters indicate his intention to come to her with something that will let them start a new life together now that “the baron has gone”.

Development: The ghost cannot rest until the trinket is delivered to his intended, and will rejuvenate in 2d4 days.

Characters defeating the ghost will receive a +5 on gather information checks relating to the Castle Steiglitz after successfully completing this encounter due to gratitude from the inn’s patrons and excitment generated on the topic.

Finding Dusana, the ghost’s love, in east Onuago requires a DC 10 gather information check. The party must then travel through the east part of town to the edge of town near the north bank of the river where she lives in her partent’s home. She is friendly, then tearful and heartbroken at the news of Lux’s death. If the players deliver the jewelry to her she will accept if gratefully and announce her intention to leave the dying town. Before they leave she will offer them assistance finding things out about the town in the form of knowledgable people to talk to. This information will confer a +2 on gather information checks taken in the town of Onuago.

Ad Hoc XP Adjustment: If the players put the ghost to rest without defeating it give XP for a CR 8 encounter. If they defeat it and then put it to rest, give CR 8 + 10%, and if they just defeat it without putting it to rest, give only half XP for the encounter.

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