Thursday, June 25, 2015


Dark folk are probably the biggest question mark of the subterranean humanoid races—a people who have gotten almost no attention or explanation since their introduction in the original Fiend Folio.  (Thought at least the Shackled City Adventure Path gave them some love, as I recall.)  But Bestiary 4 gave us a fascinating peek at their society and cosmology, courtesy of the priestly dark callers and the otherworldly beings they both summon and venerate: the owbs.  Apparently the owb race’s scheming involves both dark folk and doppelgangers—an intriguing connection to say the least.  Even more fascinatingly, they have the ability to alter an infant dark folk’s destiny, transforming its type and thus its place in the dark folk caste system.  Clearly, these are outsiders with far-reaching plans and the ability to literally shape the course of dark folk society of generations.

After a string of disappointments, an owb begins taking out its rage on its hapless tributaries, warping even the most talented dark folk infants into dark creepers.  Finally, a cabal of dark stalkers decide they have had enough—the owb must die.  Able to contemplate deicide but not enact it, they arrange matters so that adventurers will do the job for them.

A young page realizes he is the only one at the castle who sees the newborn princess’s “godmother” for what she is: a malevolent owb who is sucking light and joy out of the infant girl.  Horrified and unable to convince the sleepwalkers around him of what he sees, he tracks down his heroes, a party of adventurers who recently had an audience in the castle.

Adventurers escape a winter fey’s lair (see Pathfinder Adventure Path #68: The Shackled Hut) and stumble from the Feyhome into the Deep Ways, the trails that lead through the Plane of Shadow.  There in the wintry forest path they are confronted by an owb wielding burning cold, attended by a henchwoman who looks exactly like one of the adventurers if all her color were washed away.  The owb and his servant (possibly a doppelganger disguised to unsettle the party, possibly something far more mysterious) attempt to kill the adventurers, particular if they approach too near a certain buried statue of a griffon.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 210

PS: The owb’s Curse of Darkness (Su) ability is really fun and evocative.  I’d totally advocate giving players who did a good job role-playing their light blindness and XP bump.

PPS: Headed back to the Berkshires (yes, third time, in like, six or seven weeks, for the Solid Sound Festival.  So the “Pard” entry may be late (I’ll spend most of tomorrow in the car), but if you’re there you should find me!  Looking out for the nerdy guy with the black or purple t-shirt is a good place to start.

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