The sheer numbers lost in pitched warfare justify a dozen approaches to a powerful persistent haunt based on mass graves, and as our heroes explore the lands of the Forsaken Frontier they’ll get to know its long-dead denizens when they brave one of the following locations. Both of these haunts are meant to be used against entire armies in conjunction with the Mass Combat rules.
JOIN THE DEAD CR 14
LE persistent haunt (1 hex of uneven ground)
Caster Level 14th
Notice Perception DC 29 (to notice the landscape shift into a series of corpses)
hp 63; trigger proximity; reset 1 day
Effect When this haunt is triggered, living creatures caught in the area must succeed on a DC 23 Will save or be held (as mass hold monster). Rather than freezing in place, held creatures collapse onto the ground like the dying soldiers that appear as the terrain around them. Held creatures may attempt a new saving throw each turn (as normal for hold person), but the spell effect ends for any affected creatures when the haunt is destroyed.
Destruction The haunt is permanently destroyed if a halt undead spell is cast at its center during a manifestation wherein no creatures failed the save against its spell effect.
The battle for Salamangka has been fought over and over again for generations. Once-mortal armies slaughtered one another for the right to live within the Shining City, or to keep a dangerous faction from claiming the magical location as a prize—this haunt replays one of those battles, inviting any who still live to simply lay down and die as the original warriors. Of course, undead remain immune to the effect, so wise commanders assign sentries to capture or kill any party of mortals that fall prey to the join the dead haunt.
MORTAL WOUNDS CR 11
NE haunt (1 hex of earth concealing the remains of dead soldiers)
Caster Level 11th
Notice Perception DC 25 (to hear the sounds of clashing infantry)
hp 22; trigger proximity; reset 1 day
Effect When this haunt is triggered translucent soldiers materialize within the area, joining together in pitched combat. The haunt’s soldiers receive lethal open wounds that are conferred to any living creature in the area as if by a mass inflict critical wounds spell (4d8+11, DC 22 Will halves).
Destruction The mortal wounds haunt is permanently destroyed if every corpse in the mass grave is properly interred and the area receives a consecrate or hallow spell.
A unique application of the haunt mechanic is to use the design’s story and spell effect to specifically help an ally fight off intruders. In this example, a group of undead soldiers receives assistance from those who were allies in life, but never fully made the transition beyond. Because the mortal wounds haunt injures the living and heals the undead, it’s ideal for setting behind a feigned retreat. The CR is increased by 1 to reflect this synergy.