Colorful Characters 22: Erol Gwindlin, and The Red Seamster

Bloody Sewing Needle
Sewing Needle art of unknown origins. Taken from Deceptology.

Not far from the human lands is a small elven village near the forest’s edge. It is a simple community of a few thousand elves. They are known for their fine bowers, and their mithril jewelry. They are also much more amicable and welcoming than elves are commonly known to be, and this has helped them to foster strong alliances with the nearby human folk. This elven village is a peaceful and happy place, where each year, one of those elves is killed. Murdered. It is a gruesome mystery which has renewed itself each fall for over a hundred years.

The bodies are left in a horrifying state. They are battered and smashed, always with skulls which have been caved-in by some monstrously heavy blow. It is a small mercy that the dead appear to have been killed quickly by this skull crushing blow. The mangling of their bodies happens after, and only those who see it must suffer. Limbs, digits, and facial features are removed at random. Skin is torn, and often completely stripped from the bodies. The remains are disassembled.

Then, sloppily, they are sewn back together again. Every body part haphazardly returned to its proper place, and fixed there with a needly and thread. The community has come to call the killer ‘The Red Seamster,’ for lack of a better name.

Investigators and adventurers have tried to discover the identity of this killer for a century. Countless monsters have been slain or driven away from the elven lands on suspicion of being responsible. Yet every year a new body is found, and the hunt for the killer begins again. Many have simply given up hope that the killer will ever be found. Others have become convinced that the killer cannot be found. That the dead are taken by a supernatural force which can never be stopped. It doesn’t matter. When summer ends and the air begins to chill, fear is universal within the village. Fear, and prayer.

None fears The Red Seamster more than a local tailor named Erol Gwindlin. He believes he’s had numerous close encounters with the killer. Each year he barely escapes becoming the Red Seamster’s victim, but he knows his luck cannot last. He knows what no one else will believe, even though he’s told them: The Red Seamster lives in Erol’s garden. In a hole in the ground. Each year he digs himself out, and buries himself again. Erol avoids his garden in the fall, for fear that The Red Seamster will emerge while he’s there.

What neither Erol Gwindlin, nor The Red Seamster knows is that the two of them share the same mind. Each year the changing of the leaves awakens the Red Seamster. He is unaware that time has passed since he was last awake. He skulks to Erol’s garden and digs up the heavy flail he keeps there. He shakes the dirt from it, and goes on the prowl. Looking for someone, anyone, to cut open. Looking for someone whose blood can warm his cold hands. Someone he can practice his needlework with.

The Red Seamster is a strange animal who lives in a strange world. He is only ever aware in the darkness of night, with the crimson leaves and the chill air. He doesn’t know anyone, but every day the world around him has changed. When he awakens he is driven by the desire to see what is inside those around them. To pull them apart and put them back together again.

The Red Seamster (CR 9)

XP: 6,400
Male Elven Barbarian 5 / Rogue 5 (Character 10)
CE humanoid
Init +5; Senses Perception +11(+2 for traps), Low Light Vision (When Raging: Darkvision 60ft., Scent)


AC 19, Flat Footed 16, Touch 15 [10 + Dex(5) + Armor(3) + Dodge(1)] (Cannot be caught flat footed) (+2 vs. Traps) (Cannot be Flanked)
hp 87 (5d12 + 5d8 + 30)
Fort +7 Ref +10 (+2 v. Traps) Will -3
(Reflex Save: If successfully saved for 1/2 damage, take no damage)


Speed 45ft
Melee +2 Heavy Flail + 13/8 (1d10 + 5 , 19-20/x2)
Sneak Attack +3d6
Vital Strike As an attack action, roll one additional weapon damage die at the highest BAB.


Str 16 (+3) Dex 21 (+5) Con 15 (+2) Int 11 (+0) Wis 3 (-4) Cha 10 (+0)
Base Atk +8/3; CMB +11; CMD 26
Feats Dodge, Extra Rage, Fleet, Vital Strike, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics (+17), Craft (Tailoring)(+13), Knowledge (Anatomy)(+10), Perception (+11)(+2 for traps), Sleight of Hand (+17), Stealth (+17)(Can stealth at full speed with no penalty)
Languages Elven, Common
Rage: 20 rounds/day; +4 STR, +4 CON, +2 Will Saves, -2 AC, +20 HP
–Rage Powers: Night Vision, Scent
–Rogue Talents: Fast Stealth, Stand up (As a free action)
Gear Studded Leather Armor, +2 Heavy Flail, skinning knife, hacksaw, small hatchet, pliers, scalpel, 8 thick needles, four spools of coarse thread

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