Andrew Larsen

Ghost Places are places that used to exist in Prax but which no longer do. Travelers who encounter a Ghost Place see and interact with the place the way it used to be at some earlier time, often, though not always, during the Godtime. A few examples of Ghost Places follow.

Ghost Camps

These are Praxian camps, out in the Praxian steppes and Wastes. Most commonly they represent a single family and its small herd, but larger camps have been reported. Some are very hospitable; Tecumseh Walks-Away spent a night of passion with a Praxian woman in a yurt and woke up the next morning on the ground; a very fertile impala cow grazed nearby, perhaps as a reward for the pleasure. But some are much more malevolent. Stories tell of camps where evil and even chaotic things were practiced, such as cannibalism, mutilation of herd beasts, and other abominations. The residents of Ghost Camps are fully tangible, and can be fought and killed like normal men, but some apparently normal men and women prove to be less than human creatures from the Great Darkness.

Ghost Ruins

There are a number of ruined cities in Prax, most notably Monkey Ruins, Hender’s Ruins, Winter Ruins, Sog, and Old, as well as the various ruins of Sleeping City Hills. Various Praxian legends claim that all of these have occasionally appeared to travelers as intact cities occupied by various inhabitants. In some cases, travelers have entered Ghost Ruins and found great treasures; in other cases they have encountered powerful beings such as the White Princess. The hunter Unegen Lost-His-Way entered Hender’s Ruins during the Sacred Time, spent a several days there feasting with others, and departed, only to discover that his young sons had grown to adulthood during his absence.

Battlefields and Graves

In some cases, travelers during the Sacred Time have reported being attacked by skeletal warriors riding on skeletal mounts. These seem to be remains of great khans and warriors who died on the steppes. A common story is a traveler who sees the body of a warrior perched atop a dead mount. Thinking it merely the funeral remains of a brave, the traveler approaches, only to see the corpses rise up and pursue them. Skeletal Riders do not appear to be chaotic, merely malevolent remnants of an earlier historical time. Skeletal Riders seem to be trapped at a particular place, probably an old battle site or place of cremation. The Eternal Battle is a massive example of a Ghost Place battlefield.

Ghostly Oases

Several stories tell of a mysterious oasis where no oasis is now known. They have been reported in several locations, including east of Dwarf Knoll, north of Monkey Ruins, and several points in the Wastes. The description of these oases are quite similar, a stand of date palms around a small lake filled with cranes, with stone buildings nearby, but shamans argue whether this is one place that somehow moves around or the remains of several oases that were destroyed in the Great Darkness. Several travelers have also reported a serpent suddenly erupting into life during the Sacred Times and washing away men and beasts.

Common Attributes of Ghost Places

Time in a Ghost Place flows differently than normal time, more or less at the GM’s discretion. Any given Ghost Place has a 35% chance of running faster than normal time, 35% chance of running slower, and a 30% chance of running normally. How much difference there is in the flow of time is up to the GM.

Ghost Places are most commonly found during the Sacred Time, but have been occasionally seen at other times, such as the anniversary of a great battle or on particular holy days. On rare occasions, Ghost Places appear during Daka Fal ceremonies, and there are a few examples of them being intentionally summoned, although this is rare and dangerous. Some Ghost Places are accompanied by warning signs such as unseasonably cold weather, storm clouds pushing in quickly, dust storms, and the like. Because Ghost Places are most common during the Sacred Time, Praxians tend to avoid travel during this two week period, to avoid the possibility of falling into such a hazard by accident.

By their nature Ghost Places are unpredictable. Even during the Sacred Time, they do not reliably appear. Some are present for only a few hours, while others last for days at a time. In most cases, those who enter a Ghost Ruin or a Ghost Oasis may only exit it when it is connected to the mundane world. Thus if one enters the Winter Palace when it appears at Winter Ruins, one must leave it before it disappears or else be trapped there until its next appearance. Given that time runs differently in the Ghost Place, those inside it may or may not realize that they are leaving long after they entered. It is also possible that those inside may exit into some point in the Godtime, perhaps falling into a Heroquest or simply meeting gods and spirits unexpectedly. In contrast, Ghost Camps and Battlefields usually just fade away, leaving these inside back in the mundane world.

Locations where Ghost Places tend to occur are also, by their basic nature, good places to contact ancestors and to begin Heroquests. Skill rolls necessary for these things gain modest bonuses when performed at such locations, even if no Ghost Place is currently manifesting.

Skeletal Riders

Ghost Battlefields are frequently occupied by Skeletal Riders. Riders are basically zombies, but with more skill and intelligence. Like zombies, they have enhanced STR and CON, but do not suffer from the sharply limited DEX. They cannot cast spells. They are normally hostile, but if the party includes shamans or members of the Rider’s tribe, they may communicate instead. The example given here is a Llama Rider, but Skeletal Riders may be of any tribe.

STR 16      Move8
CON 17      Hit Points17
SIZ 12      Magic Points1
INT 9 (fixed)     Armor2 or 3 pt armor
POW 1      
DEX 11       
CHA 2      


Weapon SR Att Damage Parry AP/HP
Long Spear 6 55% 1d8+1d4* 30% Hp 12
Lance 5 55% 1d8+5d6* -- Hp 12
Medium Shield -- -- -- 45% Ap 12

* Stone-tipped Praxian spears inflict slightly less damage than ones with bronze heads.

Remember that Llama Riders roll 1d10+10 for Hit Location.

Skeletal Llama Mount

STR 52      Move10
CON 24      Hit Points31
SIZ 40      Magic Points1
INT 4      Armor4 pt. hide
POW 1       
DEX 10       
CHA 2      


Weapon SR Att Damage
Kick 6 50% 1d8+5d6
Rear and Plunge 10 50% 2d8+5d6


Like all zombies, skeletal riders and their mounts must be hacked apart or have their heads destroyed. Impaling weapons do half damage and most missile weapons inflict only a single point of damage. They are immune to mind-influencing magics such as Demoralize or Befuddle, but they are particularly susceptible to Ignite and fire in general, which inflicts twice the normal damage.

Scenario Ideas

Daritai’s Camp

Players travelling during the Sacred Time lose their bearings during a dust storm (or an attack by Whirlvishes) and stumble across a small group of Praxian yurts. The campers are Sable Riders, and unusually friendly toward the strangers (which is to say, they don’t just try to fight them). The sept-khan introduces himself as Daritai Runs-and-Leaps, and he offers them shelter from the bad weather within his yurt. The khan has two wives and a concubine, while the other yurts belong to his brother and his two sons, all of whom also have wives and concubines. During their stay, however, the PCs increasingly get the feeling that things are wrong. Daritai and his sons seem to be assessing their fighting skills (perhaps through challenges to wrestle, to compare weapons, and so on), and their wives seem to be evaluating their bodies (what first seems like a sexual come-on starts to look more like an animal being judged for its meat). Eventually, the players either discover evidence of cannibalism (perhaps by looking into the cooking-pot) or are attacked by Daritai and his family. Anyone who leaves the boundary of the camp finds him or herself outside with no sign of the camp in evidence.

Skeletal Riders

A party travelling through the Wastes begins to experience odd weather. Clouds roll in and the temperature drops sharply. In the distance, they see what looks to be a Praxian funeral that has been left incomplete. A group of dead warriors are seated in their armor on their dead llama mounts. There are signs of a funeral pyre (ash in the wind, charred plants), but the bodies appear to be only partly burned. If the party approaches, the riders and mounts suddenly come to life; the llamas stand up and wheel around to charge the party. These are typical Skeletal Riders, one per PC. They simply attack, unless the party includes Llama Riders or a Daka Fal shaman, in which case they pull up and seek to communicate. Their leader is Adowaytai Laughing Bull, and they ask help seeking vengeance against those who killed them. Llama Riders will have heard a tale about Laughing Bull’s brave fight against a group of villainous Bison Riders (and some PCs may in fact be descended from him). They have been dead for centuries, but perhaps the Bison Riders are somewhere nearby, brought back by the Ghost Place. Alternatively, they ask help raiding a nearby clan descended from those Bison Riders.

Mryne’s Well

While travelling at night, the party encounters a small oasis surrounded with date palms and skullbushes. The oasis teems with life, particularly Praxian cranes, but also a few Eiritha beasts of different sorts. There are a number of low stone buildings nearby, in far better condition than the buildings at most oases. If anyone in the party is familiar with the geography of Prax, they are puzzled, because there is no oasis in this area. As they approach the oasis, they are greeted by a beautiful young woman who calls herself Mryne. If she (or the other dwellers at the oasis) are asked what oasis this is, they simply say that it is Mryne’s Well. They seem puzzled if the PCs insist that there shouldn’t be an oasis here; they say there’s always been water here. Mryne welcomes them, offers them food, water, shelter and healing, but then asks them for assistance. The oasis has been raided regularly by an enemy, and Mryne knows they will be attacked again very soon, and begs the PCs to seek out the enemy and defeat them.

Mryne was a water spirit, one of Camenura’s daughters. Her oasis was overrun and destroyed during the Great Darkness, and no longer exists. The players have encountered an echo of this lost oasis. If the GM just wants a simple fight, then the enemy is a band of broos or similar chaotics. For a more complex scenario, the enemy are trolls or dwarves, who are raiding the oasis for other reasons (the dwarves need palm oil or skullbush oil to help repair a broken machine; the trolls are lost and desperate for food). Perhaps the PCs can help negotiate a peaceful solution. Regardless, if they succeed in dealing with the problem, Mryne gifts one of them with a small skin of water that magically refills once a day—a great gift in parched Prax!

In most versions of this scenario, stopping the enemy cannot change the fate of Mryne’s Well; it was destroyed in the Godtime and the PCs are only seeing a shadow of past events. However, if the players are more powerful; then they actually stumble back into the Godtime. The challenges are bigger, but if they succeed, they will have prevented the destruction of the oasis, and when they return, Mryne’s Oasis will always have existed.