Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lurker in Light

Remember what I said a few weeks ago in the leprechaun entry, about not needing your fey to be totally Disney or totally eeeeeevil?  Yeah, well, forget all that.  Because these guys are absolute bastards, and I love them for it.

Like the jyoti, lurkers in light defy player expectations that light = good.  Unlike jyoti, they will torture you for the hell of it.  You know the classic Spielbergian motif of “the light that obscures”?  Yeah, now imagine the thing inside that light isn’t E.T., but Chucky.  Oh, and guess what?—they can summon air elementals!  How?  By multiple human sacrifice.

Worse yet, lurkers know that their pixie-like appearances give them a free pass, and they will use it.  (RPG Superstar winner Sam Zeitlin played this up in The Midnight Mirror.)  GMs, if you’ve ever wanted replicate the scene with the cute blue things that suddenly turn vicious in Galaxy Quest, this is your monster.  If a leprechaun is the kid who copied your notes in high school, the lurker in light is the prom queen who copied your term paper, burned your hard copy, deleted the file from your computer, then had you hauled up before the Academic Honor Committee on plagiarism charges (saying you tried to copy her), all with the a smile that says, “Who are they going to believe? Me, or…whatever you are?” 

(Somewhere in there she also probably also used a bucket of pig’s blood.  You get the idea.)

I haven’t even gotten to their hatred of all creatures that live in the dark.  Imagine coming across a pair of these guys ripping the organs out of a nailed-down, still-living darkmantle—and then having them drop everything to gleefully maul the party dwarf instead?

In short…man, aren’t these little guys fantastic?!? 

Fires are breaking out all over the Misty Forest.  The pixie stewards who would usually stop such blazes are found dead, their wings ripped off and their bodies horribly mutilated.  Equally disturbing are the piles of corpses—badgers, woodchucks, and other burrowing mammals, along with the odd goblin.  The culprits are a gang of lurkers in light.  They arrived in this world at daybreak and were horrified by nightfall.  They found fires an excellent way to ward off the dark, and now attempt to kill anyone (such as the pixies) who attempts to quench their flames or ruin their fun.

A wall made of brilliantly lit crystal panes can be played as if it were a musical instrument to unlock a secret door.  The curious may play three wrong notes without harm, but each wrong note after that summons a lurker in light (up to the room limit of five, though if one is killed another wrong note could replace it).  The lurkers are furious at being summoned, and immediately attempt to slay any creatures in the room to open a ritual gate back home.

The Everbright Chalice is an artifact whose mysteries have earned it its own knightly order, the Banner of the Bright Chalice, who have housed the glowing cup in a cragtop keep that doubles as a lighthouse.  Recently lurkers in light claiming to be envoys from the Plane of Air have asked to pay their respects and help tend the artifact.  The knights, much honored, assented.  (Though a religious order, the knights have few paladins in their ranks, so the lurkers’ evil natures went uninspected.) In time the lurkers asked to minister to the fetchling minority in city below; the knights assented to this request, too.  And that’s when the murders started…

The Great Beyond 58–59 & Pathfinder Bestiary 2 180

Given that lurkers first appeared in The Great Beyond, I’m wondering if we have occasional commenter Mr. Todd Stewart to thank for them.  Oh, I hope so.

Also note that, for you Golarion players, there are some tantalizing hints that lurkers in light may have some relation to the gnomes and their exile from the First World.


  1. Indeed, you can blame me for them. >:)

    I actually brainstormed those guys while sitting in the 'How to Write for Paizo' seminar at GenCon, the year before the Pathfinder Campaign Setting was released. At that time I hadn't actually written anything for them since the last issue of Dragon and Dungeon, and I pretty much went all fanboy on Wes Schneider asking how to get in on their new Pathfinder thing.

    It worked. And I ended up digging through those notes when I had to work up some new monsters for The Great Beyond. The original manuscript had even more bloody, violent antipathy towards gnomes. Suitably not fully explained. *chuckle*

  2. Love it! Thanks for the behind-the-curtain look.

    (And by sheer coincidence, you're about to get another name-drop today—the nightcrawler entry goes up in a few minutes.)