Sunday 10 September 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #238: Revolt of the Shadows

Eight hexes northwest, three north of Alakran.


The following misfortune is said to have happened to a group of cameleers attempting a short-cut from Eryptos to the Road of Flowers, on a hot afternoon in the month of sometime in the past generation. It would be altogether unfair to spring this event on a group of adventurers with no reason. Nonetheless, these people are always putting themselves in the way of curses, opening ancient tombs, raiding ancient treasures, offending the interests of powerful wizards, reading aloud the names of obscure gods without the proper obsequies, and so on.  

It starts with one person, as the afternoon lengthens. Someone will notice that their shadow is behaving strangely, perhaps a trick of the light -- raising its arm when the originator's arms are lowered, stooping when the originator stands, or the other way around. If the phenomenon is noted, the shadow leaps to attack, drawing shadow versions of whatever the character is carrying, and attacking from the prone position, striking upwards. The shadow is a perfect double of the character with all spells, actions, and abilities, and just the following limitations:

  • Its feet are glued to the character's feet, until the character jumps and takes both feet from the ground.
  • It can only move in a 90 degree arch between the character and the sun.
  • It has +2 hit point per level two hours from sunrise or sunset, -2 hit points per level between one and two hours from noon, and ceases to exist entirely in the two hours surrounding noon.
  • If the caster lies prone the shadow's hit points are halved.
  • It is damaged by light sources, 1d6 per 20' radius of light, but gets a DEX save against DC 13 to take half.
  • If anyone other than the shadow's caster attcks it, their own shadow rises up in rebellion.
  • If a shadow has 0 hit points or below, it is tamed and will rebel nevermore. 
  • If a shadow kills its caster, it also loses its life and becomes a mere absence of light.

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