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Harrowing Haunts: Dead Man’s Tree

Caspar David Friedrich, Monk in the Snow (1908)“When a tree falls in the forest, who is there to witness its fall?” asked Thorvall the ranger through gritted teeth. A jolt of pain in his leg momentarily halted his philosophical musings. “Who else but thrice cursed me!”

Thorvall assessed the situation: it was bad, extremely bad. His ruined left leg was stuck under the dead weight of a rotted oak. He was lying on his belly in a bed of autumn leaves, and his prized axe was just out of reach. The axe would have made the job of freeing himself a whole lot easier, but at least he still had his dagger. That would get the job done.

Suddenly, he heard a rustling of leaves, the sound of something flying through the air, and pain. Horrible pain as something landed heavily on the fallen oak. The extra weight pressing on his ruined leg was excruciating.

“Tell me, meat,” a voice growled. “How does it feel to be prey?”

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Harrowing Haunts: The Haunted Hovel

St. Boniface cuts down Thor's Oak by Charles RobinsonThese haunts were inspired by Tom Allman’s Haunted Hovel and fit nicely into that scenario.


Sigard the Woodsman was a doting father. Ever since his wife was taken by the Black Death, his children have been his whole world. But, of course, this was before the brain mold…

He could hear them laughing inside their modest home, preparing for the evening meal. They took his wife. Faster and faster, he kicked the rotating grindstone.

He could hear them mocking him over the bustle of the dinner dishes. His axe, the tool of his trade, was now razor sharp. Sigard rose from the whetstone. It was time to silence the laughter.

The table was almost set for the evening meal when the door was flung open and father stepped inside. The laughter died on the children’s lips—they could see the madness in Sigard’s eyes…

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Harrowing Haunts: Soul-Weighted Anchor

anchorThe Laughing Dolphin is a popular inn not far from the harbor, and the innkeeper, Kolven, is a former sailor who said goodbye to the waves at the behest of his wife. Kolven recently acquired a rusted anchor for decoration, but he is unaware this particular anchor is haunted. It carries the souls of the men and women of the Blessed Wind, a ship swallowed by the waves when it was caught by hurricane winds on the open sea.

Kolven uses the anchor as an impromptu chandelier; two lanterns hang from its arms, providing an abundance of light after sunset. The anchor hangs from the roof of the inn by a stout rope…

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Harrowing Haunts: Dunes of Despair

dunes of despairNo desert dweller travels near the dunes of despair. Death itself stalks those dunes and you would be wise to follow in the caravan’s tracks.

The dunes of despair is a desert region riddled with quicksand. Over time, the quicksand has claimed the lives of many travelers, animals, and monsters. Their desperation fuels the haunt at the center of the quicksand.

The quicksand of the dunes is far better hidden than normal quicksand: it requires a DC 18 Survival check to notice the danger. (See Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook for details on quicksand.)

The patches of quicksand are also larger than normal, with a diameter up to 40 ft.

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