Three short of a mediocre film.
Also this is going to have to be a two-parter by necessity! Expect part two on Thursday, and then a pause on Dungeon Situational for a few months while I get a few other article ideas out into the world. Here are the first five examples of ghosts, hauntings, and other untethered spirits.
Here again I will be using rules for 5th edition D&D but should be easily adaptable for other systems.
Ivenda is a powerful manifestation, an angry spirit but trusting of strangers. Despite the ethereal appearance she is quite opaque, almost as if she were still alive and well, except her veins are clearly visible beneath skin and flesh, inky black channels flowing from a heart that seems to emanate shadow. Her rage is directed to her killer, and she asks assistance from any who stumble across her in finding the coward who slipped poison into her water. She possesses anyone willing to accept her, and will feed her host snippets of information wherever she can to aid in finding her killer.
What she does not know – despite having had the help of many investigators – her presence in a mortal body passes on the poison. A creature who accepts Ivenda’s possession loses 1d4-2 constitution points every 24 hours until Ivenda is forced from the body or until the host dies. The constitution points are recovered at a rate of 1d4-3 every 24 hours, or fully restored with a greater restoration spell.
Lay hands upon the greatsword that remains unblemished where all about it are rusted and bloodstained and meet the warrior who dwells within. Jionophus towers over the average mortal at eight foot tall, wielding a shadow of the blade in a single hand. He will act as a merciless tutor to any who presume to carry his old sword into combat, his hands wrap around those of his student, his will is forceful enough to override that of his student.
The haunted blade of Jionophus is a +1 weapon that requires attunement. When you kill a creature with a critical hit using the blade it becomes a +2 weapon. If you ever fall to 0 hit points in a combat where you have dealt no damage, your body becomes the property of Jionophus, who takes it and his sword back to the place where he once fell.
The stalking hunger, the meat so tough Yeenoghu himself spat him out. Once a gnoll warchief, the writhing black pit of rage he used as a soul now wanders the world, whispering in the ears of gnoll shamen and heretics, inciting them to higher acts of debauchery and violence. Hynogver waits patiently for the havoc to unravel, so that he can drag the victims into the abyss, hoping that his gifts will please the Lord of Beasts.
Hynogver’s presence in combat is intangible, a hovering force around the shoulders of pack leaders, perceptible only to those who can detect the undead or into the Border Ethereal. The haunted gnoll gains a charisma score of 17 if it was not already higher, a breath weapon that deals piercing damage to creatures in a 20ft cone (match the damage quantity of a dragon of equivalent CR). Creatures within 30 ft. of the haunted gnoll that are at or below 0 hit points fail a death saving throw at the start of it’s turn. Creatures who are protected from evil are immune to both the breath weapon and the death save effect.
To those who get lost in abandoned dwarven tunnels, there is always a helpful guide who shall lead you back to safety; the ancestors would rather the living not suffer the same fates. Most of them look like regular dwarves, visible just on the very edge of the lantern light, or at the brink of darkvision. They do not look incorporeal, but are silent, either staring and pointing in the right direction, or simply vanishing around a corner and expecting to be followed.
Not Coaleyes. Rumours abound about the Angler of the Lost, Ancestor to No One, who walks through the tunnels to goad the lost further and further from the light, across deep pits, beneath fragile ceilings, and into the dens of beasts, waiting to delight in the death of others. It is not known if they are numerous, or if only one wanders the network of tunnels, hateful and malevolent.
Is She Still Behind Me?
The first time you passed through the Border Etherial you were under the effects of the Blink spell, which not only spared your skin repeatedly but was also a surprising amount of fun. The second time you cast the spell started a bar fight, the third time… you saw her.
Was she pleading, reaching out to you in a desperate bid for help? Was she just reaching out to grab you, to hold you in the Realm Insubstantial to dwell there forever? She seemed impossible to decipher, but trying to talk to her in that alien place is like screaming underwater, you’re still not sure whether you want to reach out and take her hands, or shy from her clutching grasp. You may find out what she wants sooner rather than later, the last place you saw her was in a dark window, stood a few feet behind your reflection.