The Shadow Over Yuletide: Free Christams D&D Adventure

I based this One-Shot on a wonderful Episode of Supernatural and Polyfamous over on Twitter: You can read about the source material at As always the 3rd Most Important Person in Dungeons and Dragons should be credited with anything that may be slightly related to Tabletop Roleplaying Games or Battle Brownthings. Espeically AI Images – Rdubs


In the grim world of #Woodhauven, the players find themselves in the bleak, snow-covered town of Frostvale, during a time when the festive cheer is overshadowed by a series of chilling disappearances. The townsfolk whisper of an ancient evil, a demon known as the Anti-Santa, believed to be responsible for the abductions.

Setting and Atmosphere

  • Frostvale: A small, isolated town, blanketed in perpetual winter. The festive decorations seem out of place against the backdrop of fear and suspicion.
  • Atmosphere: A mix of despair and forced merriment. The snow muffles sound, creating an eerie silence, broken only by the occasional distant wail. The forced Merriment is required. Clues are ghostly apparitions of the victims, sharing fragmented memories.

Main Quest: The Vanishing

  • Objective: Investigate the disappearances and confront the Anti-Santa.
  • Clues: Players must gather information from fearful villagers, explore crime scenes, and delve into local lore. For each crime scene roll 1d8. On a result of 1 the players find a clue. It will require 3 clues for the players to find Anti-Santas workshop.

Encounters and Challenges

  • Victims’ Tales: Ghostly apparitions of the victims, sharing fragmented memories.
  • Suspicious Villagers: Not all townsfolk are what they seem. Some may hinder the investigation.
  • Traps and Red Herrings: Misleading clues planted by the Anti-Santa’s minions.

Flashbacks and Character Development

  • Haunted Past: Players should experience flashbacks of their own or the town’s dark history, revealing secrets and personal stakes.

Climactic Battle

  • Showdown with the Anti-Santa: A battle in a twisted, nightmarish version of Santa’s workshop, deep in the frozen woods. Anti-Santa’s corrupted elves are busy working on a redheaded doll in blue overalls.
  • Pagan Minions: The Anti-Santa is not alone; he is aided by corrupted elves and pagan spirits.

Moral Dilemmas and Choices

  • Sacrifice: Decide whether to sacrifice something dear for the greater good.
  • Traditions vs. Safety: Choose between preserving the town’s traditions or eradicating the pagan influence.


  • The Mourning Widow: A woman whose husband was the first to disappear.
  • The Skeptical Sheriff: A ranger or lawman who refuses to believe in the supernatural nature of the disappearances.
  • The Hermit Scholar: An outcast who knows much about the town’s dark past.

Supernatural Elements

  • Pagan Gods: Ancient deities, once revered, now feared. Were used to sacrifice offerings but now are having to find their own. Should be a level or two above Party
  • Cursed Objects: Artifacts tied to the town’s history that hold mysterious powers.

Tone and Themes

  • Grim and Hopeless: A sense of inevitable doom pervades the adventure.
  • Family and Loss: Exploring the impact of loss on individuals and the community.
  • The Cost of Secrets: The danger of buried truths and unspoken fears.

Rewards and Consequences

  • Varied Outcomes: The town’s fate changes based on player actions.
  • Personal Sacrifices: Players may gain powerful allies or incur personal losses.

Additional Elements

  • Fantasy Monsters: Creatures from folklore that have been twisted into darker versions.
  • Mysterious Disappearances: Each disappearance is a puzzle piece in a larger, sinister plot.
  • Dark Rituals: Uncover and disrupt rituals that fuel the Anti-Santa’s power.

Difficulty and Content Adjustment

  • Tailor challenges and encounters to suit the experience level and preferences of the players, ensuring a balance between despair and the potential for heroism in a grimdark world.

Suggested Encounter Table

  1. Souless Knife Ears aka Corrupted Elves 1 hd. Serrated knives, Leather Armor and Nets
  2. Wolves 2 hd 1-6
  3. Drunken Vigilantes 2-7 1hd. Various tools, no armor
  4. Deer 2-5
  5. Pagan Spirit -as Wight
  6. Pagan God Avatars 1-2 Lvl 4 Fighting Men

World Context: Woodhaven

Woodhaven is a realm shrouded in ancient mysteries and dark magic. It’s a land where the line between myth and reality is blurred, and where the supernatural is an accepted part of life. The forests of Woodhaven are notorious for being home to creatures of the night, including werewolves, wraiths, and other beings that defy explanation. The people of Woodhaven have learned to live with a constant sense of vigilance and fear, especially when venturing into the dense, grimdark forests that cover much of the land.

The Village of Frostvale

Frostvale is a remote village located deep within one of Woodhaven’s most ominous forests. This forest is known for its perpetual twilight, created by the thick canopy that blocks out most of the sunlight. The villagers are a hardy folk, used to the dangers that lurk in the shadows of the trees, but the recent disappearances have brought a new level of fear to their lives.

The Forest’s Menace

  • Werewolves: The forest around Frostvale is infamous for its werewolf packs. These creatures are not just beasts but cursed souls, some of whom might be villagers transformed under the full moon.
  • Other Creatures: The forest is also home to other malevolent entities – spectral figures that glide silently between the trees, unseen predators whose eyes glint in the darkness, and twisted fae creatures that lure travelers from the safety of the path.

The Curse of the Anti-Santa

The Anti-Santa, a being of ancient evil, is said to be a corrupted spirit that once represented the joy of the winter season. Now, it is a creature of nightmares, twisting the festive traditions into something dark and horrific. It is rumored that the Anti-Santa’s lair is hidden deep within the forest, in a place where the trees are oldest and the darkness is most profound.

The Villagers’ Plight

The villagers of Frostvale have always known that the forest demanded respect and caution, but the recent events have turned their world upside down. The disappearances have occurred during the time of year when the village is usually at its most joyful, casting a shadow over their Yuletide celebrations. The villagers are torn between holding onto their traditions and the growing realization that something must be done to confront the evil in their midst.

The Role of the Players

The players enter this story as outsiders to Frostvale, perhaps as seasoned monster hunters, wandering adventurers, or emissaries from a distant land. They will find a village gripped by fear, a forest filled with danger, and a mystery that ties the fate of Frostvale to the ancient, twisted magic of the Anti-Santa.

In this expanded setting, the players must navigate not only the mystery of the disappearances but also the treacherous terrain of the forest and its inhabitants. Their journey will take them into the heart of darkness, where they must confront the very essence of fear and despair that grips Woodhaven.

The Legend of the Anti-Santa and Krampus

In the lore of Woodhaven, the Anti-Santa was once a benevolent spirit, a counterpart to a Santa-like figure who brought joy and gifts during the Yuletide season. However, a dark transformation befell this entity, warping it into a malevolent force. This transformation is deeply intertwined with the legend of Krampus, a fearsome creature in Woodhaven folklore known for punishing the wicked.

The Twisted Pact

According to legend, the Anti-Santa entered into a sinister pact with Krampus. This alliance corrupted the Anti-Santa, turning him into a harbinger of punishment and fear, rather than joy and generosity. The Anti-Santa’s role became one of judgment and retribution, targeting those he deemed ‘naughty’ with cruel and unusual punishments.

The Night of the Wild Hunt

On the longest night of winter, the Anti-Santa, accompanied by Krampus and a horde of dark minions, rides through the skies of Woodhaven in a grotesque parody of a festive parade. This event, known as the Wild Hunt, is feared by all. It is said that on this night, the barrier between the mortal world and the realm of dark spirits is at its weakest, allowing the Anti-Santa and his entourage to roam freely.

The Ritual of Shadows

The Anti-Santa and Krampus are believed to perform a dark ritual on the eve of the Winter Solstice, seeking to extend their power and influence. This ritual involves the capture and sacrifice of those they have taken, their souls used to fuel the dark magic that sustains their existence.

The Marks of the Damned

Victims chosen by the Anti-Santa bear specific marks – a chilling sign of their impending doom. These marks are said to appear as frostbitten patterns on the skin, resembling twisted holly leaves or barbed chains. Those marked are fated to be taken by the Anti-Santa and Krampus on the night of the Wild Hunt.

The Krampusnacht

The night before the Wild Hunt is known as Krampusnacht. It is a time of dread and caution, where villagers lock themselves indoors, fearing the wrath of Krampus. It is said that Krampus roams the streets of Frostvale, seeking out the wicked and the corrupt, dragging them away into the night.

The Challenge for Players

Players in this module will not only have to confront the Anti-Santa but also deal with the terrifying presence of Krampus. They must uncover the secrets of the dark pact, find a way to break the curse, and save the souls of the taken. The players might also explore ways to turn the tide of the Wild Hunt, possibly even attempting to sever the bond between the Anti-Santa and Krampus.

The Werewolf Deception in Frostvale

The Truth Behind the Myth

In a shocking twist to the tale of the Anti-Santa and Krampus, it is revealed that the legend is a fabrication, a myth skillfully perpetuated by a powerful family of werewolves. This family, known as the Blackthorn clan, has resided in the shadows of Woodhaven’s forest for generations. They have used the legend of the Anti-Santa as a cover for their own sinister activities – a yearly hunt on the people of Frostvale.

The Blackthorn Clan

  • Ancient Lineage: The Blackthorn clan is one of the oldest and most feared werewolf bloodlines in Woodhaven. They are cunning, powerful, and deeply entrenched in the dark magic of the forest.
  • The Deception: By spreading and nurturing the myth of the Anti-Santa, the Blackthorns have created a climate of fear that allows them to hunt with impunity. The villagers’ belief in the supernatural threat keeps them from suspecting the true nature of their predators.

The Ritual of the Hunt

  • The Night of the Wild Hunt: The Blackthorns have twisted the legend to coincide with their own brutal tradition. On the longest night of winter, they transform and hunt humans, attributing their actions to the mythical Anti-Santa and his minions.
  • Marking the Prey: The Blackthorns choose their victims in advance, marking them with a special scent that only werewolves can detect. This ensures that their hunt is coordinated and that their chosen prey cannot easily escape.

The Role of the Players

Players are drawn into this dark tale as they initially investigate the legend of the Anti-Santa. As they delve deeper, they uncover clues that point to a more earthly, yet equally terrifying, truth. They must navigate a web of lies, confront the Blackthorn clan, and put an end to the yearly hunts.

Expanded Module Elements

  1. Investigation and Discovery: Players must gather evidence, interview villagers, and explore the forest to uncover the truth behind the legend.
  2. Confronting the Blackthorns: The players must find a way to infiltrate the clan or draw them out, leading to a series of dangerous encounters with the werewolves.
  3. Protecting Frostvale: As the truth comes to light, the players must rally the villagers to defend themselves against the werewolves and break free from the cycle of fear and predation.
  4. Ancient Relics and Curses: The players might seek out ancient relics or hidden knowledge in the forest that could help them in their fight against the werewolves.
  5. Moral Dilemmas: The players will face difficult choices, such as whether to reveal the terrifying truth to the villagers or how to deal with the Blackthorn clan – are they to be destroyed, or is there a chance for redemption?
  6. Final Showdown: A climactic battle against the Blackthorn clan during their hunt, potentially transforming the legend of the Anti-Santa into a symbol of victory and resilience for the people of Frostvale.
  7. Rewards and Consequences: Depending on how the players handle the situation, Frostvale could be liberated from its cycle of fear, or it could descend into chaos and violence.

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