Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Lake that Hates

It is a lake, set in a thick and heavy forest. A forest filled with rotten ruins. Dotted with towns, many half empty. Yet the soil is fertile and the woods rich with wood. The waters are a mirror like grey, the lake deep and pure. The lakebed is home to countless caves, a few half above the water.  Many rivers feed from it, by means of the underwater caves. The waters hate you.

The waters are home to a demonic spirit, a shapeless being tied to the water. It hates. Again and again when it’s forest has been approached upon, it will call all those who have drank of it. It will call the fools to it’s waters. They will walk in and drown, of their own free will. The bottom of the lake and it’s caves are covered in corpses. Sometimes it makes these corpses crawl out of the waters and drag more people into them, kicking and screaming as the waxy and bloated faces of their mothers and brothers and daughters are all filled with hatred, cold and raw.

These corpses, are the Drowned. They are the spirit’s hands and eyes, as it’s power is limited beyond the scope of the waters. Their souls have been devoured, the void filled with the hatred of the Lake. When struck, their flesh bleeds not blood, but water.

They crawl from the water and enter the town, adorned in soaking rags. They seed the wells with the waters of the lake, silently abducting the unlucky in the dead of night. Anyone, especially children who enter those haunted waters risk never returning, as clammy hands wrap around limbs, and in a instant, pull. Dragged down into the water in a heartbeat, those waterlogged claws pry open the mouth, rotten feet and knees slamming into the lungs, forcing out air and letting in water. Struggle in vain, waste your breath, close your eyes, and soon death will come. 

Deaths by drowning and abduction, reports of corpses crawling out of the water at the dead of night, all leading to a town walking into the water, never to be seen again. 

And when that fails. When it encounters resistance or a threat that it’s Drowned cannot defeat, it’s shadow concentrates as Drowned gather, forming a soaking amalgamation of driftwood, rot, and marrow. They scream in the voices of your friends and family, begging you to join them, or scorning you with all their hatred.

They lumber after you, rotten limbs like clubs smashing the unwary into the ground, before dragging them into the reach of a dozen hungry maws. From the maws and the wounds comes water, twitching, lashing, hating streams and burst and whips of water.

The shadow of the Lake that Hates grows with every day. It’s touch corrupts water into a worthy vessel, spreading through lakes and water ways like a ancient virus. 

It cannot be allowed to reach the ocean snd the seven seas, no matter what.

The Drowned
HD/HP: 1d8
AC/Defense: As Leather
Movement: As Human, twice as fast as human.
Attacks: Grasp(1d6 + Grab), and any weapon they have grabbed.

Special Abilities: 
Takes half damage from fire.
What one perceives/knows, they all perceive/know.
+1d6 Damage to all melee attacks per Drowned that is next to them.
1d6 Plot Hooks of the Lake that Hates
1: The blacksmith’s daughter has gone missing. She was complaining about hearing wet thumps, below the floorboards of her room.

2: The crew of a ship that set sail down the river have all turned up dead, on the shores of the town. They all drowned, and yet are.. smiling. The town priest will pay handsomely if you figure out why.

3: Someone the party cares about has gone missing, and where last seen waking towards the lake.

4: One of the party members is having horrible nightmares of being drowned by the water logged corpses of the other party members. The farther away from a body of water they get, the worse the nightmares.

5: A wizard has gone mad after using the water for divinations. They  bounce between drinking nothing and allowing no one they see to drink, to attempting to drown as many people as possible. The mayor wants the party to deal with them.

6: The party awakes to find their campsite surrounded by wet footprints, the air smelling of wet rot. Something has been taken, and the footprints lead to the nearest water source.

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