The scenario begins with the characters pot holing. There could be a number of reasons for this, e.g. a company team building event, a prior scenario whose clues lead here, or simply an adventure holiday. You can always start the PCs in the pot-hole and let them determine by themselves why they are there (after all, who knows the PCs motives better than the players.) For obvious reasons any PC with claustrophobia, or fear of the dark, will not be there. To avoid the players being left out, you may want to loan them NPCs to play, such as the guide or other member of the touring party. The scenario initially only requires one PC to be there. If you are combining this with another scenario and a PC has little to do, you may wish to run the first encounter on them alone, and let them go back and try to get the other PCs interested in investigating.|
The character's map will show a fork in the tunnel they are crawling down, one passage leading downwards, another carrying on over the top. Their route guides them downwards. However, the action of burrowers has opened another passage about ten yards before the fork, and it is this they are now crawling along. After following the tunnel for some way it opens out to a height where they can stand and continue onwards. This is not listed on the map. There appears to be a cavern ahead.
The character's helmet light gets broken and they are left in the dark in the cave. Then they realise that they can hear something moving. It is likely that they will freeze, fumble for a spare light, or attempt to back out the way they came. Attempting to back out, they hit something covered with coarse fur that blocks their way. If they freeze then the noises will get louder and it becomes apparent that whatever is in the cave is coming towards them. If they manage to get a new light out, then swinging it around, it shows an eyeless, earless, distorted face with jagged teeth just inches from their own. Characters who pass a Studies roll will recognise a Caverwight.
The next action is the same regardless. Something grabs their leg and bites into the muscle. Whatever it is isn't very strong, but it should alert the character to danger, if they were not already aware. The character has several escapes from this situation. The creatures are blind, but are still sensitive to light and dark, through their skins. If a bright light, like a flare, is set off, the creatures will retreat, shambling over one another pitifully as they try to retreat.
Bringing down one or more of the creatures in a fight is another possibility, as they may turn on the corpses, but it will be difficult. Alternatively, if there are two characters some of the wights may be distracted by the other character, leaving an escape route open the way the character has come from.
Once the character has got out, they will need to be taken to hospital. The injury is likely to scar, and is infected with scraps of carrion. The bite will be stitched, but the doctor's notes, if the character sees them will state specifically that the teeth marks were human.
If the PC tells the other characters about their encounter, the party may well go back to explore. Once in the caves, they discover a problem. In the dark it is difficult to tell where the new tunnel the character discovered is. If they do find it, there will be several signs that it is new. These tunnels are regularly flooded, but the side tunnel is dry and the rocks show sharper edges for they have been protected from the erosion by the water. It also has no vegetation of any description, while some of the other tunnels have algae and mosses. Once they start moving down it, the path will become familiar to the PC who has been this way before. Eventually they will reach the lair.
If the PCs look round the chamber, they will discover no exits or entrances. They also discover no Caverwights, though the four-toed, pad-footed prints in the dust on the floor show clearly that some were here. There are also a few strands of course white fur caught in cervices on the walls. If analysed, the hair tests as human, though it can be told by sight it is not. The only papers interested will be the fringe papers, though the mainstream press may run an article about a potholer being attacked by a mystery assailant.
However the PCs in the cave are left with a mystery. How did the Caverwights survive inside a sealed-in cave for so long without food, and where are they now? The cave is completely sealed except for the one tunnel the PCs came down, and given Caverwights' poor intelligence and keen sense of smell, it would have been expected for them to swarm through the tunnels after potholers. From here the scenario is left open ended for you to develop. However, here are some suggestions:
1. Co-incidence There is a Caverwight cave network near the pot-hole, and earth movements opened a new tunnel temporarily linking the two. Before the PCs returned the rocks fell across the entrance, sealing the cave network off. This is not a very satisfactory answer.
2. An Enemy If the Pc who was attacked has a significant supernatural enemy, they may have set this up. The PC does not have to be involved with the supernatural to any degree to make such an enemy. A journalist may have run an uncomplimentary article about the mage's friend, or a mage may simply decide that death by Caverwight is an ideal sacrifice, and chosen the PC as the victim. The mage teleported the creatures there, openeing (or creating) the new cave for the PC to stray into. When the ploy failed, natural caution made him return the creatures to where they came from.
3. Memories Under the earth memories of the past linger. The Caverwights were trapped in long ago when a flood covered the cave mouth with mud and sediment. Lacking the intelligenec to dig themselves out, the remained drifting around the cave, eating ech other when they died. A detailed check shows no sign of them, for the one remaining body long ago broke down into dust. The slow action of the flood loosened the sediment and opened the cave centuries later, where the PC strayed into it. As the first food to stray into the cave in many years, the ancient hunger that still lingered awakened, and for a time ghosts walked, and attcked the PC.
Alternatively, if the PC has a high Sixth Sense then they sensed what happened so long ago and, because they were already on edge, their sixth sense recreated in a series of violent flashbacks. The injuries they have suffered are psychosomatic, caused by their own extreme sensitivity to the past. It can take characters a great deal of time and research to work this one out.
GM's Notes Personally I prefer Ending 3. and it is the one I used when running the game. The character who had been in the cave developed an obsession with finding out what had happened, which worked well as in the other scenario I had combined this with he had very little to do. It was also the first time he discovered that putting all his AP into Sixth Sense could have a disadvantage.