Mona is a young woman, but she doesn’t look it. She’s only twenty-six, but she looks closer to forty. Her curly black hair is streaked with premature grey, and there are dark shadows under her eyes from a perpetual lack of sleep. Mona also has a permanent haunted look on her face.
Mona was a normal, happy child until the time she was six years old. Then she fell into an uncovered well and nearly drowned. She was pulled out and saved, but was forever changed. She began to have horrible nightmares. This might be expected, only the nightmares always seem to be on a common theme and feature the same people, none of whom Mona had ever met. That was bad enough. Then when she was eight, she had a different nightmare. This involved many people that she knew and loved dying of something. Desperately afraid, Mona told everyone she could get to listen about the dream. It reoccurred fourteen separate nights. Then it stopped, much to Mona’s relief. For a time, she just dismissed it as another of her terrible dreams.
Six months later, a plague devastated the area. The circumstances were identical to Mona’s dreams. There was widespread panic, and many dire whisperings of witchcraft. A local priest calmed the people down, saying that it was nothing more than a coincidence, that the people were misremembering Mona’s description of her dreams. After a time, even Mona believed it.
But her dreams only got worse. Not only did she have the dreams of people and places she had never seen, she began having dreams on a regular basis of people dying or being hurt. Floods. Fires. Accidents. Illness. And these dreams inevitably came true. Remembering what had happened the last time, Mona kept the dreams to herself. She did try to give vague warnings, and sometimes succeded. She lived with that for seven years. Then when she was fifteen, she began to have dreams of a murderer. She kept silent, hoping that this time, she would be wrong. She wasn’t. A killer began striking villagers. Her fear of the reaction she’d undoubtably get battled with her conscience. Then one night, she dreamed that a close friend of hers was killed. Unable to keep silent any longer, she told the village authorities about her dreams. Most of them just scoffed, but one who had been there when the plague had struck seven years earlier listened. The killer, a madman, was caught just as he was about to kill Mona’s friend. Her friend was saved, but Mona’s trouble got remarkably worse.
Instead of being grateful for helping to stop the killer, there were again dire mutterings of witchcraft. People began to avoid Mona. The priest who had saved her years before was called in.
Thinking the priest was someone she could trust, Mona told him all about her dreams. He listened to her for six hours, left the house she lived in with her parents, and declared to the waiting villagers that Mona was a demon that had to be destroyed. A riot started, and the villagers stormed the house. Mona’s father protected his wife and daughter, but was killed himself. The priest was also killed by the rampaging mob, although no one realized it until later. Mona and her mother fled and settled in a village a fair distance away. Things were tolerable after that, although Mona still had her nightmares. Then, driven mad by the events that had plagued her family, Mona’s mother set fire to their house. She believed that her daughter had died in the well when she was six, therefore the girl living with her had to be a demon or a changeling or both. Mona escaped. Her mother did not. Totally alone and afraid of what would happen if anyone found out about her dreams, Mona went on the run again. She had, however, learned the art of giving subtle and vague warnings, and managed to save some people from the terrible events she dreamed. At present, she is considered an oracle or seer of sorts, allbeit an eccentric one.
Mona’s dreams have never stopped. About half are prophetic, and the other half are of the strange people and place that she has never seen. She sees this as a curse. She can’t make a warning specific, lest someone figure out what she can do, and her vague warnings can’t save everyone. The last time she had a decent night’s sleep was when she was six years old. She has tried everything to try to be rid of the dreams short of killing herself. She has tried sleeping during the day and not sleeping at all. (That not only wrecked her health, but it made her prone to hallucinations, which were infinitely worse.) She had carefully approached sympathetic priests and friendly magicians. Everything that she could think of to break a curse she has tried. She is terribly afraid of people finding her out, because those that do either invariably want to kill her, or are entirely too interested and creepy to boot. She moves constantly, and never stays in one place long enough to get to know anyone very well.
Mona would make a good person to deliver a cryptic warning to the PCs. Her reputation as a half-mad oracle will only make her more creditable in this case.
Someone has figured out what Mona is capable of, and wants to use that to his or her advantage. Maybe they approach the PCs to find her, or they get mired in the plot on their own. It is not likely that Mona will seek help, as she is too frightened. Is the person seeking Mona trying to help her or use her? Will the PCs help that person or Mona?
Mona’s past may come back to haunt her in a literal sense. Someone who knew Mona before, knew what happened around and to her, has come into town and recognized her. If that person is afraid of her, they could very well start a hysterical witch hunt that the PCs cannot help but be involved in.
Someone who has the same type of dreams that Mona does has learned of her existance and would like to find her. While Mona is likely to be quite distrustful, it may be a comfort to know she’s not alone.
Mona has survived for years by not letting anyone close to her. But it is possible that she might fall in love with someone, maybe even a PC. This could lead to interesting complications, as she would inevitably dream of losing that person.
Mona has dreamed of something so terrible that she cannot hint about it in her usual vague manner. She might come to the PCs about it, to get them to stop whatever it is. She will probably try to be as vague as she can, and will not give complete information unless she is forced to.