Furtive Goblin’s setting, tentatively called the ITU universe, is, for the most part, rather low magic. There is a mean old hedge wizard that we’ve met and there are some fantastical beasts such as the Blood Wasps and the Zood. However there is one place that has known the stench of truly foul magics, though the truth of this horror is little known to outsiders. For, you see, it is not for the foul creeping rot that loggers and farmers stray from the Axebitten Woods, but for the Wood’s protectors.

A Wendigo, but close enough!

The Longfolk are whispered of like boogeymen among the homesteaders of the Reossos basin. Twice the height of a man, but with bodies disturbingly gaunt, distressingly stretched and clothed only in blue-grey ash, they haunt the forest beyond the Axebite, a massive cleft of wasteland that cuts deep through the woods. The men of the Reossos basin only catch glimpses of movement in the dense forests beyond the Axebite, for any that step beyond their border finds themselves pin-cushioned with arrows the size of javelins. In fact, anything crossing the border is unerringly shot down, be it man, beast, or bird. Even insects do not seem to escape the Longfolk’s notice, as they are pinned to the trees as though stuck by an expert lepidopterist.

Imagine this, but it is you.

Unbeknown to the men beyond the woods, the Longfolk take these measures to protect them. For in an era long forgotten, something arose within the woods. A foul corrupting essence. A metaphysical cancer that consumes, profanes, and drives mad all those who fall under its touch. Fruit rots from within, trees slough off their bark like decayed flesh, animals become ghastly cannibalistic beasts. The once peaceful Longfolk adapted, giving up culture, trade, and joy to combat the corruption. They took up mighty axes and strong bows, they hunted and they purge with fire. Their bodies became stained with the ash of the cleansing fires. Their bodies distorted, growing longer and longer, so that they may increase the reach of their axes and the draw of their bows. 

Probably what we’d be getting if it were not for the Longfolk
So how do we use the Longfolk for out own means?

Although they are, ultimately, our defenders, they are nonetheless as Furtive Goblin presents them, an antagonistic force. They do not communicate in a tongue we know and most often we only see them as a fleeting presence before a 4 foot long arrow flies through our chest. While I guess there is a possibility of a rogue Longfolk working as a race or a race-as-class, I feel they function better as a mysterious and dangerous obstacle more than as a PC resource.

The Longfolk

“In legend, the Longfolk slay indiscriminately, mutilate the corpses, and burn the remains.
In fact, the Longfolk kill cautiously, neutralize the corpses, and purify the remains with fire.”

HD: 5
Appearance: 10′ naked androgynous grey humanoid, extremely disproportionately long limbs, carrying a massive bow and a long hafted ax.
Wants: to protect the Axebite, shoot outsiders, burn/cleanse rot
Armour: as plate

Move: 1.5*normal
Morale: 12
Damage: see below.

Longfolk only take 1 damage per die from fire based attacks.

The Longfolk work in 3 attack patterns:

Ballista Bow: From a range of 120′ the Longfolk may fire massive arrows dealing 2d6 damage.

Long Axe: A wide, two-handed chopping arc dealing 1d10 damage and knocking target prone.
Cleansing Fire: The Longfolk are experts as creating incredibly hot burning fires, and given one round to prepare may create a firebomb acting as a 3rd level Magic-User’s Fire Ball.

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2 thoughts on “Within the Axebitten Woods

  1. I'm glad that my ideas translated well into writing, and that someone like you is able to make something so concise and cool out of it. Awesome post! I wouldn't want to mess with one of these folks, especially not in OSR.

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