Just visible from the trail, the moss-covered shingle roof of a dilapidated old building peaks over a stand of thickly growing trees filling a small dell. A thin wisp of smoke drifts from the building’s chimney, betraying the presence of inhabitants. Once the home of a charcoal burner, the current occupiers, the Ihalempi family, make a living as hunters and trappers. The family earns a little extra coin letting travellers sleeping their barn; some of the travellers never leave the farmstead again.
A thin path leads from the main trail through the copse, passed several overgrown charcoal piles to the house which stands amid a small kitchen garden. Sometimes young Issu Ihalempi lounges in the shade of a large oak tree at the head of the trail and invites travellers to rest overnight in the family barn.
The Ihalempi are well-used to travellers knocking at their door to either buy provisions or to ask for a place to sleep.The family comprises:
- Äijö Ihalempi (NE middle-aged male human ranger 2) is a skilled hunter who revels in the pain and the suffering of the animals he hunts. He is often away during the day checking his traps or hunting.
- Maalin Ihalempi (NE female human cleric [Braal] 1) appears to be nothing more than a kindly peasant woman. In fact, she enjoys preying on lone travellers. She has corrupted Äijö (who was always an unpleasant character) and is the guiding force behind’s the families activities.
- Issu Ihalempi (NE young male human) is barely a teenager, but already he is already emulating some of his father’s less civilised characteristics. A dreamer, he is also intelligent and Maalin will soon start inducting him into Braal’s priesthood. All she needs is a suitable sacrifice…
- Dorotea Ihalempi (CN young female human) is wild and capricious, but not evil. She knows travellers sometimes disappear from the barn, but hasn’t realised her parents’ depravity as yet.
- Lyyti Ihalempi (NE young female human) is a psychopath who enjoys catching and tormenting small creatures such as birds, rats and the like. Perceptive guests at the farmstead find a great many such skeletons scattered about the surrounds.
Outwardly, the family are pleasant and welcoming. They let large or obviously powerful groups pass without incident; lone travellers are their preferred prey.
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This NPC is part of The Daily NPC—a series of daily posts in March which each presents a flavoursome, detailed System Neutral NPC ready for use in virtually any GM’s campaign. This month’s theme is “Travellers on the Road”. Every member of Raging Swan Press’s Patreon campaign will get a free and exclusive compilation PDF in early April comprising all the NPCs released in March.
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