Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Runequest Spirit: The Spirit of Lost in the Dark.

Lost in the Dark

In the most recent game session of Runequest, my group of heroes was escorting an Issaries merchant whose life was under threat by a pack of Baboons (the 6ft tall ones that talk). They had decided that they were going to travel throughout the night to get to Clearwine as quickly as possible. I already knew, as the GM, that the Baboons were not going to attack them on this trip. The Baboons had no idea that they had left and were traveling to Clearwine and by the time they did realize, they would not be able to catch up to the group. To make this journey more interesting I crafted a Spirit Encounter for the group to experience during the night's trip. 

One of the great things about Glorantha is that most things in that world have a solid spiritual connection. Disease in Glorantha is not caused by microscopic lifeforms, they are often caused by Spirits. When the wind blows it's not because of gases moving from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. It's because there are Wind Spirits that move to their own rules and myths. So I thought to myself - what if the reason why people become lost in the dar was also because of a spirit who plays upon the mind of the traveler, making them confused and making it difficult to recognize where they are traveling through. In Glorantha there are elemental Darkness spirits and much like any of the other Elemental spirits, there are various kinds that exist. So following that line of thought I used the rules in the Runequest Bestiary to create an unintelligent Elemental spirit for my players to contest against them. This encounter is a Thinking Problem more so than a Fight it Problem. 

Spirit of Lost in the Dark / The Wandering Darkness / Wayward Darkness

Traveling at night is stressful and often dangerous. When night replaces the day, darkness covers the land and the known world changes. Some places that seem pleasant in the light, turn into scary and uncomfortable places in the dark. The natural world can take on a frightening appearance and many creatures, both alive, dead, and spiritual use the cover of night to stalk the land for prey. Campfires and lamp lights only providing a margin of protection and comfort against what awaits in the dark. Traveling at night should be avoided because of the dangers that the darkness represents and veils from sight. 

Only Darkness creatures, such as Trolls, are afforded any comfort in darkness' presence. Trolls know and find comfort in Darkness having been born from it. Their gods exist in that darkness and trolls know darkness for all its shades and depths. So when humans become lost in the dark, trolls know that it isn't just because humans can't see through all the shades of darkness that exist and are confused by the dark beauty that Xentha paints the world in. They know that a Darkness spirit wanders the night making those who cannot see in the dark lose their way.

The spirit of Lost in the Dark is a type of unintelligent elemental spirit of darkness believed to have first appeared during the Great Darkness when Yelm's light chased the darkness and their children to the surface. This darkness spirit will follow any group it finds traveling in the dark, hovering in the air above them. The first sign that this spirit is following any traveler is that the night appears more murky, even during a full moon, and light sources will dim or even extinguish under its chilling influence - a common effect of Darkness Spirits. While traveling with this spirit above them, the travelers will become confused and confounded, finding navigating the dark path more difficult. The spirit will even use its few Spirit Magic Spells to further the traveler's misdirection and confusion. Often this spirit will lead travelers on to a path that leads to danger. It is believed that these spirits feed upon the fear and confusion generated by creatures lost in the dark, but others suggest that they are disordered spirits of darkness whose only purpose is to add disorder to the dark.

Type: Darkness Elemental Spirit
POW: 3D6+6; CHA: 3D6
Spirit Combat: POW x5
Move: 12 (fly)
Spirit Powers:
- Elemental Form
- Affect Environment: Darkness Aura makes the dark seem murkier and confusing within its 12 matter diameter. -30% to any form of navigation or perception check while within the affected area.
- Spirit Magic Spells: Befuddle, Conceal Item, Forget. 
- Darkness Elemental: Any fire, heat, or light source taken within this spirit (and weaker than it) is extinguished by its Darkness. Troll Darksense is not affected by a darkness elemental.

Hope you find this spirit useful. I might put a two-page adventure up on the Jonstown Compendium for this Darkness Spirit if time allows. I'll even make some illustrations so you can see what this spirit looks like with second sight.

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