The Yellow Road

Ash Mantle

"When the last days were upon me, and the ugly trifles of existence began to drive me to madness like the small drops of water that torturers let fall ceaselessly upon one spot of their victims body, I loved the irradiate refuge of sleep. In my dreams I found a little of the beauty I had vainly sought in life, and wandered through old gardens and enchanted woods."​
HP Lovecraft​


The Yellow Road

It has long been said that all legends arise from truth, that historical contortions and temporal burdens displace this absolute truth into fragments, each bearing a degree of relevance yet concealing the whole.

From such shattered perceptions continues the progression of myth, ultimately gestating as traveller's tales and stories.

The Yellow Road is one such reality that would benefit from having its origins and purpose cast into the brilliance of truth.

The Yellow Road appears as a game-trail, a gash within fog-haunted redwood forest. The trail appears disused, yet recently tracked, as if carefully tended to.
The forest surrounding the Yellow Road usually manifests closely to civilisation, usually close to a village or town, though sometimes close to a large city or metropolis. The game-trail itself merges with the routes leading to and from the locale, enticing travellers to travel upon it.

It has been theorised following observation that the Yellow Road acts as a beacon of some sort, a lure dangling the worm before the fish; scenting the air around the game-trail with irresistable pheromones, as animals are irrevocably drawn to the game-trail immediately following the Yellow Road's appearance.

Those who look beyond this momentary cause for celebration talk of oddities and aberrance. Animals seem to display unusual, jarring movements within sight of the Yellow Road, a whip-crack bending of the neck, halting steps, and repetitive actions.

Those who listen beyond the background noise of the outer forest speak of weird piping and forlorn moans of pain and despondence that punctuate the weird silence of the Yellow Road.
Attentive listeners verbalise a constant susurration of whispers, a litany of secrets spoken and impersonal ramblings that pervades the piping and moans.

Yet what is stranger still is the complete desertion of some towns. Entire houses emptied with no signs of struggle and food still on plates.
The disappearance is not total, sometimes bodies are found upon the remnants of the Yellow Road, wearing no clothes yet oddly frozen, some appear to have disrobed with great haste. While other times, the bodies appear to have been dealt with great force, with massive depressions in chests, heads and extremities.

A rare few bodies are marked with unnatural sigils, symbols twisted into impossible shapes and faintly glowing yellow.
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Ash Mantle

The Yellow Road is overgrown with brambles and thick, twisting thorns during the day. These thorned vines reek of the iron tang of blood, yet no blood-spatter is visible along their length.

Curiously, a confused progression of small conical mounds, their facades covered in verdigris crosses the extent of the Yellow Road. Digging into these mounds yields lost wealth, but also the thick, cloying smell of something unidentifiable.

The Yellow Road is enveloped by an eerie fog at night - the brambles and thorns retreat, freeing the trail from detritus, almost as if afraid.

Mildrew from the fog stains the remaining vegetation, and if licked yields the unmistakable tang of blood.

The conical mounds become yawning maws at night. The earth along their sides peeling away like an open orange. Thick, thorned wooden cages are sunk into some mounds, their contents indistinguishable from the darkness, while others are defaced with the imprints of things clawing from the inside.


A dilapidated cabin squats within a small clearing adjacent to the Yellow Road like a menacing toad. Pushing open the hanging door brings forth the putrescence of long-rotting things and stagnant air.

Save for one room, the cabin is cluttered with well-worn detritus and the walls seem to bleed a viscous yellow, this fluid seems to have burnt impossible symbols from ceiling to floor.

Left unstained is a room with a curious-looking bath. Accentuating the sterility of the room is the smell of a conspicuous chemical.
The bath appears to be angled in a way that its door-facing end is tipped into the wooden floor while its other end is elevated.

A rusting chain descends from the ceiling and coils into the bath. Tugging on this length causes a grinding noise to reverberate from underneath the cabin.

Lifting the bath itself produces a deep humanoid-sized chute with clockwork gears wrapped about the opening.
Dropping a torch into the chute exposes a cavern of chopping blades at the very bottom.
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Ash Mantle

To its victims, it is said Mister Tall occupies the unfathomable recesses of the mind, the uncertain point where memories churn and decay. Mister Tall appears as a hazy afterthought to its victims.

Large fey, chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 189 (18d10 + 90)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 20 (+5) DEX 26 (+8) CON 20 (+5) INT 22 (+6) WIS 24 (+7) CHA 22 (+6)
Saving Throws Dex +14, Con +11, Cha +12
Skills Perception +13, Persuasion +12, Stealth +14
Damage Resistances necrotic, radiant
Damage Immunities cold, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is nonmagical
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Sylvan plus three more languages
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

Innate Spellcasting. Mister Tall's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 20). Mister Tall can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: confusion, levitate
3/day each: detect thoughts, feeblemind, shatter, telekinesis
1/day each: dimension door, phantasmal killer

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Mister Tall fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. Mister Tall has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Multiattack. Mister Tall makes two claw attacks and uses Dementing Touch.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack. +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 13 (1d10 + 8) slashing damage. The target is also grappled (escape DC 19). If the target is Medium or smaller, it is also restrained until this grapple ends. While grappling the target, Mister Tall has advantage on attack rolls against it and can 't use this attack against other targets. When Mister Tall moves, any Medium or smaller target it is grappling moves with it.

Dementing Touch. Melee Spell Attack. +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 22 (4d10) psychic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or be stunned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Visitation. At its first visitation, the target must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or dismiss Mister Tall as an optical illusion, becoming startled as the figure of Mister Tall looms over them, and become frightened for 1 round.

At its second visitation, Mister Tall effects visual and physical corruption within the surrounding inanimate objects about the victim, causing loud bursts of static, and weirdly sonorous and terrifying voices to sound around the victim, and rapidly oscillating orbs of light to chase victims. The target must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or become frightened for 1d4 rounds.

At its third visitation, Mister Tall physically enters the premises of the victim's home. Victims plagued by this visitation report being stared at by a large owl, or deer with overly large, completely black eyes. The target must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or barely audibly gasp that "it was no owl or deer", and become frightened and paralyzed for 1 minute.

At its fourth visitation, Mister Tall effects visual and physical corruption within the victim. The target must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or their faces distort into grotesque forms and their bodies become rigid and levitates in the air, becoming prone, frightened and exhausted for 1 minute.

Creatures who fail all saves become frightened to death, duplicating a phantasmal killer spell. A creature can repeat the saving throws at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.


Mister Tall can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Mister Tall regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Demented (Costs 2 Actions).
Mister Tall makes one attack with its claws and makes use of Dementing Touch.
Encounter of the Aberrant Kind (Costs 3 Actions). Mister Tall visits.
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The M'hael

First Post
I love this! it kinda makes me want to use it for a game like Tales from the Loop, where kids are investigating weird things, but a more horror/Grimm spin on it.

Ash Mantle

I love this! it kinda makes me want to use it for a game like Tales from the Loop, where kids are investigating weird things, but a more horror/Grimm spin on it.

Thanks heaps, bro, and awesome and glad that you loved this! :)
Tales from the Loop sounds pretty intriguing, do you basically play in a love-letter to 80s era horror movies and tv shows like IT, Stranger Things and the Lost Boys etc where you're kids and you're investigating the grotesque and weird? Also sounds deathly dangerous.

I've some other ideas that people might like that I'll post momentarily.

Ash Mantle

It is often said that fairy tales draw their inspiration from an uncommon source. To many, creativity manifested through parables and morality plays is imagination's greatest triumph. This act of imagination is at once both praised and reviled once the source of such inspiration is uncovered.

For fairy tales - true fairy tales - capable of precipitating and facilitating tremendously profound changes in individuals, and twisted by branching narrative and constricted through descriptions, encapsulate and frame the true reality of the world. And that is a world through which fear rules.


Dweller Upon The Crossroads. Locked inside the form of the Cheshire Cat is a nexus of portals and intertwining interdimensional pathways. The Cat has mastered these crossroads to an unprecedented degree.
Gleefully Mad. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." The Cheshire Cat has secured and sequestered his thoughts behind a unique abjuration.

Medium fey (shapechanger), chaotic neutral
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 104 (16d8 + 32)
Speed 35 ft., fly 90 ft.
STR 10 (+0) DEX 24 (+7) CON 14 (+2) INT 23 (+6) WIS 19 (+4) CHA 23 (+6)
Saving Throws Dex +12, Int +11, Cha +11
Skills Acrobatics +12, Deception +11, Perception +9, Persuasion +11, Stealth +12
Damage Resistances cold, fire, psychic
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is nonmagical
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned, prone
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages all
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)

Flyby. The Cat doesn’t provoke an opportunity attack when he flies out of an enemy’s reach.

Gleefully Mad. Creatures within 20 feet of The Cat have disadvantage on saving throws, as well as on attack rolls, against The Cat.

Incorporeal Movement. The Cat can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. He takes 5 (1d10) force damage if he ends his turn inside an object.

Innate Spellcasting. The Cat's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 19). The Cat can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: invisibility
3/day each: charm monster, fog cloud, haste, slow
1/day each: dream, locate creature, mislead, scrying

Magic Resistance. The Cat has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (2d4) slashing damage.

Change Shape. The Cat magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating equal to or less than his own, or back into his true form. He reverts to his true form if he dies. Any equipment he is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (the Cat's choice).
In a new form, the Cat retains his game statistics and ability to speak, but his AC, movement modes, Strength, Dexterity, and special senses are replaced by those of the new form, and he gains any statistics and capabilities (except class features, legendary actions, and lair actions) that the new form has but that he lacks.

Etherealness. The Cat enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, or vice versa. He is visible on the Material Plane while he is in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, yet he can't affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.

Grin. The Cat turns his magical grin toward one creature that he can see within 120 feet of him. That target must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw. Unless the target is incapacitated, it can avert its eyes to avoid the grin and to automatically succeed on the save. If the target does so, it can't see The Cat until the start of his next turn. If the target looks at him in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.
If the target fails the save, the target is charmed by The Cat until the start of The Cat's next turn. The Cat chooses how the charmed target uses its actions, reactions, and movement.

Teleport. The Cat magically teleports as a bonus action, along with any equipment he is wearing or carrying, up to 120 ft. to an unoccupied space he can see.

The M'hael

First Post
It's a Swedish RPG that takes place in "The 80's that never was", where there are these Hadron Colliders called Loops and some extra robotics technology from the same company. The weird things originate from the loops, and they may or may not be directly investigated. It is very similar to Stanger Things with the National Lab being the source of the weird things, but Tales from the Loop was actually released before Stranger Things. Like the 80's influence's it can be more horror or more silly, and your post made me want to explore the more horror side of it with more of a fairy tale spin on it. Encounter Role Play just started season two of their Tales from the Loop stream called Little Busters with some new cast members. I believe it is also being edited into podcast format too.

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