If your world has some horrible forces alien to the human mind, this might be the result of meeting them. But we don't need Cthulhu for this. Even in a 'ordinary' war, some cannot bear the burden of things they have seen and maybe commited themselves. Also, some special monsters can drive you insane.
Why there are relatively many? Hm, good question. It may through the presence of these horrors. It may be a quirk of the world, that makes many who suffer horribly into the Lost. Maybe there is some spell or curse (possibly divine), that disrupts one's mind in this way.
If this happens from time to time, and adventurers are prime candidates, I can well imagine an adventurer's guild to be among the sponsors. Maybe someone wealthy hopes in curing of a close person. And the village can cover a part, if there is food in surplus. Go to Comment
In a fantasy world, there are so many things that can drive you mad ... you think napalm is bad? Have a dragon incinerate your village. You thing being violated in a back street is horrible? Have a demon do it. Family problems are already enough to unhinge a mind - now try and imagine knowing that one of the quarrelsome family members is possessed/a doppleganger, and find out which - they all behave irrationally already!
It does not take much to reduce one to a gibbering wreck!
5/5 Go to Comment
There are days where I would like a place like this. This could be a good place for a sometime mentor to dwell, and the PCs must come and go occasionally, getting to know the people and perhaps appreciating it.
They may even care if it were to somehow come under threat. Go to Comment
I really like the feel of the village, as a strong self sufficient community, with former disillusioned heros and knights, having seen the horrors of the world and retiring to a remote location.
Questions about the past are unwelcomed here...
The asylum is a really nice touch too. And I can definitely see the guild funding it.
I can also see this palce used as a horror location, with everybody in the normally peaceful asylum going homicidally insane, and the village overrun by homicidal maniacs after a demon incursion or other serious mis-happening, etc... this could be why the PCs are sent in. Find what went wrong, contain, sanitise... will they come out of it with their sanity intact?
5/5 i really like it.
PS:(the aptly named: "The Village" by M. Night Shyamalan might give an idea how the community would work, although i expect the demographic in your village will be different) Go to Comment
I like the idea that they have to find it and then take it to somebody: having braved a dungeon-full of monsters they then face the same creatures reanimated as they leave!
Consider locking it in a box which can only barely contain its power and sending it via a messenger on horseback to a victim. The messenger has a harrowing journey as he is beset by shadows and half-animated corpses. Upon delivery, the victim opens the box. While he is looking aghast at the beating heart, something unpleasant arrives, summoned by the heart, and kills him...Good for assassination purposes. Go to Comment
In my world, there is a large location after some kind of magical disaster, with a cemetery-gone-wild included. I know it horribly cliche, but... oh doesn't matter.
Now, if some hero ever manages to get into the center of that cemetery, what would he find? Some powerful undead creature? Or perhaps something more exotic? This item is one possible answer to this question. Although as an answer, it produces more questions than I know to answer.
Hmmm... assassin tool. Strange but possible. Makes an instant haunted mansion too. Go to Comment
It reminds me of the Heart of Lorkhan from the Elder Scrolls:
Lorkhan, the source of all instability, tricked the Gods into creating the world. As punishment, they tore out his heart and hid in the world. Later, the Dwemer found it, and used it to power their creations. Go to Comment
Cue the Indiana Jones theme, time to raid the Temple of Death to steal the Black Heart, the necromongers are worshiping it, and keep raising the corpses of dead villagers to serve as their shock troops and terror weapons. Go to Comment
For a futuristic grim gory setting. Probably powered by some kind of dilithium battery or something similarly awesome. Anyways, basicly a big drill sticking up from a hilt that you primarily use for skewering enemies painfully and drilling through armor.