House in the Shade
© 2005 - Randal Snyder
The following adventure can be used by any kind of gaming group, however was
intended for use by experienced characters.
Note: the maps provided here came from the
Wizards of the Coast, Map a Week archive. They are reproduced here as a
An evil entity has entered our dimension through a rift in the fabric of time
and has taken shelter in a small village a fair drive from any modern
conveniences. You may substitute any names or locations that you feel is
The year is 1919, only months from the end of the Great War (WW1).
Three days prior to the PCs arriving at Summitville, a shadow veil, an
unspeakably evil creature, crossed into the material realm through a junction
point at the sanitarium. It was able to break through into our dimension due to
the overpowering sadness that lingered in the old field hospital.
Initially, the Shadow Veil found the sanitarium satisfactory, but soon tired
of the empty building and attacked a mill worker that was returning from the pub
in Brownsburg, two kilometers northeast of Summitville. Having had a taste of
human flesh it sought out more prey, killing eight people in total.
Summitville is a small village north of London roughly one mile from any other
collection of buildings. Between this and other small hamlets are farm houses and other
During the war, Summitville was established as a hospital base and the
sanitarium was the center of attention. It is now used as a meeting house though
contractors have been visiting the facility to turn it into a manufacturing
Level 1: Originally used as the emergency rooms and triage, it was
later converted to offices, break rooms and a cafeteria. Only the basic
Level 2: This level continued to be used for surgeries long after the
majority of activities at the base ended in 1919. After the army decommissioned
the hospital, they left the operating tables in place. The storage rooms on the
top left of the floor plan had been used to stack the bodies before being
Basement: The basement was where they stored most of their medical
supplies and it also served as a bomb shelter. People who spent time in the
basement alone often told stories of hearing voices and sometimes seeing figures
moving down the maze like corridors. Rumors suggest that a nurse was raped and
brutally murdered by a traumatized recovering veteran in one of the storage
rooms. The rift in our dimension originated in the top right most storage room,
the same place where the nurse was murdered only months prior. That room smells
sweet, like bleach, and many of the stones are blasted clean. Characters
that touch any metal connected with the room will receive a harmless static zap.
Catacombs: This area had been blocked off, its door welded shut, but
the Shadow Veil was able to break the door free of its hinges. Though
incomplete, the catacombs were intended to expand the storage capabilities of
the hospital. In addition, munitions were housed there. The body of the Shadow
Veil's first victim will be found here.
Though small, this cemetery has been in use by the Summitville residents for
three generations. During the war, only civilians were buried there.
As concerns about security rose, the mostly military village had a new landmark.
The keep guards the main road into the town. At three stories, the keep has one
of the best views of the town and the main road entering the village.
The mill was built in 1902 after a fire burned down the original mill. It's
current owner is Robert Grist, a local farmer and supplier of processed grains
for the market. He employed five workers, three of whom lived at Lady Williams'
boarding house (the Haunted House)
The Haunted House
The Haunted House is where the entity has taken residence. Owned by Lady
Williams, it was handed down to her by her wealthy father and turned into a
boarding house. Several mill workers lived there as well as the elderly Lady and
On the map, the house is the one between the Sanitarium and Keep and north of
The Narrator needs to think about how his party might get wrapped up in this
little affair. If the party is made up of private investigators or law
enforcement, then they will get a call asking for help. Alternately,
universities and hospitals would have been contacted by local officials.
Otherwise, maybe a family member is one of the victims and the party member was
asked to check in on them or collect their belongings. Alternately you can have
there car break down on the other side of town.
You can start this adventure either at the beginning of the timeline or near
the end. The beginning timeline will allow the players to explore the town, meet
the town’s inhabitants, and so on. In the middle, the Shadow Veil begins its
rampage. Near the end, the military shows up to contain the situation.
Before the Shadow Veil…
Life in the village is very quiet with most of the activity coming from
the boarding house (haunted house) and the mill. During the evenings, the
boarding house was often a center of attention as the towns folk would sit
on the porch listening to the radio to news or music while sipping tea or
Day 1 – Shadow Veil arrives.
A freakishly strong thunderstorm rolls in dumping several inches of rain
and zapping several houses and trees with lightning. Passive Perception 18 –
The sanitarium has scorch marks on the corner. Further investigation shows
that each corner is scorched.
Day 3 – First victim disappears.
John Daily, just a few hundred yards north of Summitville, found three
sheep dead in their pen.
Harlow Murry, a local mill worker did not show up for work and did not seem
to have slept in his bed. His friends find out that he left the pub in
Brownsburg late the previous night. Browns burg is about one mile south west
Day 4 – Second and third victims disappear.
Sam Dagwood, a farmer south of Summitville, never arrived home after
dropping off a load of grains at the mill late that evening. His tractor is
found on the side of the road and had broken the trailer’s axel.
School girl, Sarah White, never arrived for dinner after leaving a friend’s
house just before dark.
Day 5 – Second and third victims found in woods.
The bodies of Sarah White and Sam Dagwood are found in the woods north
of town near John Daily’s farm. Only superficial wounds visible. Rumors of
vampires, poison gas, or plague begin to spread. Police begin investigation
and hold John Daily for questioning.
Day 6 – Victim four killed
Mrs. Mary Daily staggers naked through town and collapses dead. John
Daily released. Town evacuated for fear of contagion. Police set up
roadblocks, quarantine towns folk at a local school. Law enforcement
contacts other agencies for help including hospitals, military, and private
Day 7-12 – More animals found dead.
The Shadow Veil has taken residence in the boarding house and is
beginning to bring its victims back as mindless animated dead. Victims of
the Shadow Veil are reanimated and brought to the boarding house.
Belongings of a hunter found in the woods, body not found.
Day 13 – Military arrives
The military rolls in with large trucks and camps just outside of town,
but sends troops in for a scouting party. The scouts are armed with rifles,
pistols, and wear gas masks.
Confronting the Shadow Veil
The veil is a creature of dark energy whose purpose is to feed off of positive
energy. It is starving in this material world with few real sources of food.
People provide just enough nourishment for it to survive. The longer the Shadow
Veil is without proper feeding, the more violent it will become.
The veil appears as a dark shadow or cloud that is only vaguely transparent and
hovers slightly above the ground. It has no natural form, but often mimics the
shape of those it hunts. Thus if it is hunting a human, it will assume a
humanoid appearance. It can move up walls and across ceilings without any impact
on its movement. However, due to the nature of water, it cannot cross it, but it
can cross bridges or other solid surfaces that overhang water.
Shadow Veils are creatures tuned to the negative energy planes and are able to
drain a person’s life energy through touch and bypasses non-magical armor. A
character can try to resist the drain with a contest of Focus and Combat Rating.
In addition, they have the natural ability to reanimate their victims’ corpses.
Reanimated corpses are mindless and are unable to deviate from its given task
unless directed by it’s controller. The Shadow Veil is able to possess the
corpse and accomplish tasks as if it were using the corpse physical body, but
the veil’s mental attributes. The veil must touch the corpse in order to possess
it. While possessing a corpse, the Veil is able to do anything the corpse
originally could do including use weapons, open doors, etc. The Veil retains its
life draining ability while possessing a corpse. The Veil does not take any
damage while possessing a corpse.
Living creatures can be possessed also, but the Veil must touch the creature and
the Veil rolls a Focus contest against the target’s Willpower or Intellect,
which ever is higher.
A Shadow Veil takes instantaneous damage from non-magical weapons. Blessed or
magical weapons cause normal damage.
If the Veil is wounded beyond x3 SN or incapacitated, it will flee, seeking
easier prey. It may possess a corpse in order to prevent taking further damage.
If the Veil is knocked unconscious, it fades into oblivion and returns to it’s
native plane of existence.
Though intelligent, the Veil is unable to communicate in any way that humans can
rationally understand. Instead it sends subconscious messages in the form of
feelings. An Empathy test T# 12 will perceive the emotional message. If the
creature chooses to attack a character with emotions, the target must roll a
Focus test T# 12 or suffer from deep feelings of dread or confinement. This
attack causes 3d5+6 instantaneous damage. Characters that fail the Stun Roll are
panicked for the duration of the incapacitation. A result that causes
unconsciousness means the character fainted.
Shadow Veil Traits
Unarmed Combat 4 (8)