Both Fortress Fairling and Summerfort have a significant monster presence a relatively short distance away; being a border outpost and border town, respectively, they have to deal with a number of threats that more civilized areas don’t.
The most common monsters in the area are gurunil and hollow men, though there are a few nests of vikors in the woods near Fortress Fairling. The goblin-like gurunil and bat-like vikors are presented in the Ingenium core book, but the hollow men are a new monster whose stats are presented below.
Sometimes when a person dies, his will to live is so strong that his spirit remains tethered to the corpse. Unlike a ghost, which remains in one area or attached to a particular object, a hollow man is able to draw enough magical energy to his body that he can rise again and move freely. This is a half-living state, however, and his body continues to rot away until nothing but a skeleton remains. The spirit possesses none of the memories or knowledge of the original being, and knows only a hunger that cannot be sated.
Hollow men prey on solitary travelers, preferring usually to hide in forests or caves. They appear gaunt, with their skin stretched thin over their bones, as if from starvation. If a hollow man hasn’t fed in at least a month, he will be little more than an animated skeleton with burning embers for eyes.
When a hollow man kills his prey, he will then devour it slowly over a period of days. A person eaten by a hollow man can never be resurrected. These creatures are always hungry, and if given the opportunity, will eat until they become so gorged and bloated that they can’t move. They then enter a torpor that lasts for several months or even years, and when they awaken, they will be a ravenous skeleton once again.
The only way to permanently kill a hollow man is to sever its head from its body and grind the bones to dust. If this isn’t done within three days of reducing a hollow man’s hit points to zero, he will rise again at full health and hunt down his attacker with unerring accuracy.
Physical Strength 3
Magical Aptitude 0
Hit Points: 4d10 + 40
Number Appearing: 1
The hollow man slashes his target with his long, clawlike fingernails, dealing 2d6 damage on a successful melee attack.