Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Leaf Ghost

Since Halloween is coming, a spoopy post!

Sometimes, when someone dies a violent death in the forest, their soul gets trapped amongst all the dying leaves.  They become a leaf ghost, a peculiar form of spirit.  Their power to affect the world is limited - no possessions, no objects flung, no icy claws.  All they can do is move a small pile of leaves on the floor.  They seem like nothing more than a moving disturbance on the leafy ground, as if blown by a peculiar gust of wind, or perhaps an unseen small animal lifting leaves as it darts on the forest floor.  They are good at hiding, but are easily slain, a single blow is sufficient to dissipate them for good.

Leaf ghosts, unlike most spirits, do not last long, and will fade away in a few weeks or months.  To avoid this fate, they must be near dying living beings and leach energy from their death - sentient beings preferably.  They learn to lead predators, who follow the ripples in the leaves, to travelers the lost, so that they can feast upon the resulting violent deaths.  These deaths often result into more leaf ghosts, until an entire forest can become haunted and widely feared.

With each death, leaf ghosts become more potent and darker, eventually transforming into shadows, specters or the like.  They continue to prey on the unwary of course...

Scholars speculate that leaf ghosts are but a one type of an entire family of weak spirits all trying to lead folks to their doom.  Currents pulling people towards the deep.  Dusts ghosts spreading illness between houses, nothing more than dust bunnies.  Floating ghost lights, leading travelers deep into bogs.  Spark ghosts, floating embers on the wind, who can only exist outside flames for a few minutes, dreaming of killing fires...

A leaf ghost has a choice, of course.  It could not cause the death of others, and after a few week, dissipate, letting the soul to move on to whatever afterlife it deserves.  Or it could take the darker path...

Leaf Ghost
Speed 30 (as normal human)
Size small
HP 1   AC as leather
Advantage to stealth checks.

Inspired by a walk in a leafy park at night.