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Hollowfolk

Repeated stories of false people who steal and consume the body parts of misbehaving children.

Sebbie with the scissors came running down the hall,
Something moved and caused a trip, so Sebbie took a fall.
With a sudden but expected snip, her fingers flew aside,
The creature came and ate them up, then tried to match her stride.
— Sebbie with the Scissors


Throughout Sondrana, exasperated parents tell their misbehaving children of the hollowfolk, evil beings who steal bodyparts from the young in an effort to become more "real". The details of these stories vary, but the core details remain common across centuries of retelling.

These stories serve a dual purpose. They can be readily amended to specifically reference a type of behaviour that an adult may wish to curtail and they act to deter children from interacting with strangers. If a child spies on others, the hollowfolk will take their eyes. If a child is dirty, the hollowfolk will take their skin.


Sebbie with the scissors gave an almighty shout,
She screamed and hollared as she fled to race the creature out.
It moved with haste to catch her up, glad its trap was sprung,
For when she turned to take a look, it gobbled up her tongue!
— Sebbie with the Scissors


Descriptions of the hollowfolk have common elements. They are almost always described as being of unnaturally slender build, seemingly constructed from artificial materials. They always move silently - even when feeding - and they never speak. The overarching aim of a hollowfolk appears to be to steal/consume flesh in order to metamorphise into a "real" person. This transformation process is never directly referred to, but unsavoury elements of society are sometimes described as what results.

Shouts of "hollowman" are common taunts from gangs of children, particularly towards the destitute or deformed.


Now silenced by the stalking thing, Sebbie wept and wept,
Trapped in the room by a locked door, along the floor she crept.
From 'neath a table Sebbie bided, stifling her cries,
But when she peeked from there in fear, Hollow Man took her eyes.
— Sebbie with the Scissors


While the stories seem to be just that - stories, there are occasional accounts of legitimate, unexplained harm. While rare, these stories do have a common element: children missing bodyparts with no clear memory of what ill befell them. Even those who believe that the hollowfolk may genuinely exist cannot agree on their origin. Are they a form of undead? Do they come from some dark and twisted part of the Feywild?

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Or are they an artificially created creature, sent from somewhere else?

Urvén Homebrew

Hollowfolk

Medium construct, neutral evil
Armor Class: 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 20hp (4d8)
Speed: 30ft Climb: 20ft

STR

13 +1

DEX

15 +2

CON

10 +0

INT

10 +0

WIS

12 +1

CHA

8 -1

Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses: darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 13
Languages: understands Common, but cannot speak
Challenge Rating: 1

Ambusher. In the first round of a combat, the hollowfolk has advantage on attack rolls against any creature it surprised.

Silent Movement. The hollowfolk makes no noise, having advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when not being observed directly.

Actions

Multiattack. The hollowfolk makes two claw attacks.

Claw. Melee weapon attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+2) slashing damage.


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Cover image: by Antonio López from Pixabay

Comments

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20 Jan, 2023 04:00

I love this. When I was looking through the entries, the name grabbed my attention and LO -- I found something about naughty little children?   COOL!! I have 13 of those in real life, though I'm sad to say none of them are naughty, and would avoid the attention of the hollowfolk. Well done, though -- fun read =)

JAIME BUCKLEY
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