Random Encounters10/13/2003

Monsters of the Moon

One thing often brings evil at each of its extremes: the moon. When it is full, the light shines on the supernatural, strengthening it and illuminating the crawling horrors for all to see. When it is new, the darkness invites the worst evils to cavort in the comforting blackness of the deep night that starts as soon as the sun sets.

What's a common person to do?

Now is the time for seasonal festivals that prominently feature the moon. As little girls and boys put carved moons on their doorsteps in a wishful effort to ward off ghouls, adults know that when the moon is out, or when it is gone altogether, no gourd will stop a ghost. That is why grown-ups hold festivals seeking to appease the moon and the gods who take the moon as their symbol, seeking to quell gods' capricious nature for another season.

This fall, nothing will help.

Every adventurer passes through an unassuming village or medium-sized town eventually. The next time they pass through on a moonlit or pitch black night is a night for the moon to show what it is really responsible for.

Moon Stalker

It waits patiently until it can fly unmolested through space and down to the unsuspecting people of the village of Dark Stone. There it will set in motion a plan that only its beastly mind could conceive. It's a creature with a name that suggests weakness and timidity, but the mooncalf also shares its name with the lunar body that is the source of its terrible evil -- and with that malevolence it will wreak a terrible cost this season.

Rat Pack

The village of Dark Stone has a problem with rats. Come the next full moon, the rats are the ones with the problem of Dark Stone villagers. These moonrats drink the moonlight as though it was an elixir of strength, and tonight they're using it to take over.

Panic by Moonlight

It hungers for a fresh wound and it finds it in the village of Dark Stone. Fresh from two terrible incidents, the villagers want desperately to find strength in each other in this troubled time. Unfortunately, the strength they find is the one behind a club swung from irrational hatred and fear. Emotions reach such high extremes that something must be behind it. In fact, a great fihyr is enjoying itself.

Mine, Mine, All Mine!

The discovery of an omen, a hastily-built monument in the center of town to boost everyone's morale, and the setting of the moon that has of late heralded so much horror leads to further problems. Everything seems quiet for the village of Dark Stone, but something taller than any building is on its way to the village, and it won't stop until everyone in the village is dead.

About the Author

Eric Haddock has held creative and technical writing jobs for large and small companies like Wizards of the Coast, Microsoft Games Studio, and Game Designer's Workshop, and he continues to freelance. Right now he's helping Wizards folks as an assistant producer of online media, which means he gets to insidiously sneak his favorite 3E word ("war pony") into the Wizards website without anyone being the wiser.... (Developer's note: I know about the pony)

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