The year ends as it began; cold, grey, dark. People huddle inside near the fires and wrap themselves in thick coats and heavy blankets to guard against the chill that seems to creep in from everywhere. Outside, the first flakes of snow drift down from an uncaring, sunless sky in what will soon become a cataclysmic snowfall. Those of our loved ones who aren’t here with us right now, in this building, might just as well be dead, we’ve no way of knowing otherwise and no expectation that anyone out travelling on the roads will ever make it back home. In the distance a coyote or wolf… or perhaps something worse, calls out and is answered back from afar. We are alone in the world, poorly defended, poorly supplied, and a long winter stretches out before us. One which we may, or may not survive.
Then, outside, in the darkest of the dark amid drifts of new fallen snow, a sound. The distinct sound of a boot crunching in snow. And again. Approaching the door. Who can it be? No man should or could be out at this time of night in this kind of weather. You draw together, huddling into one another for security. You assure each other that everything will be alright even as you yourself fight back the images of terror and nightmare that blossom forth from your own mind.
Now another step, drawing closer. A hand upon the door. White light pouring through the cracks as the door slowly opens, shoving piles of snow back with it, and outside, in the moment or two it takes your eyes to adjust, a massive round figure framed in the doorway. Your mind races away, trying to make sense of it’s lumpen shape. How many arms? How many legs? Where is it’s head??!!
And suddenly, from within the beast belly, comes it’s call. A call that echos through the night, drops snow from the roof and is all the more terrible for the silence through which it travels: ”Ho! Ho! Ho?”
Yes, a little 3.0 Santa for you to use for your holiday themed RPG this year, courtesy of WotC. It should be fairly easy to modify for your particular edition / ruleset. Stay tuned for more grim tales of the Holiday Season over the next few days.
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