Castle Northfel is the ancient home of a forgotten Nobleman in the Points Of Light setting. The adventure starts as thus:
An old wounded man approaches the adventurers, who are traveling to the next town to offer their services. He mentions Northfel, a nearby village, about a days worth of travel from their location.
About half way there, the adventurers come to a camp of traveling merchants who them selves just arrived, one of the merchants is just finishing setting up a tent. A large campfire burns, surrounded by tents, scattered men, large sacks and beasts of burden. Noticing that you don’t seem ready to attack them, they seem content with your presence, one of them offers some freshly caught fish, from their recent bounty. Upon asking about Northfel, the men direct you to an old man, Balmar Hort. He looks like an elderly elf, and is an advisor to the caravan of merchants in their travels. He originates from Northfel, and knows the old story of the castle there, as it was told to him by his grandfather. The whole of the story is not known to him, but he knows of it well enough to know why no one in the village enters the castle. He invites the adventurers to stay the night, and continue their travels tomorrow, as they have an excess of a few cots.
The next day, the merchants are found packing before they travel to the town they were headed for. Balmar gives them directions, and the adventures make their way to Northfel, where they find all the villagers scattered about dead in small pools of their blood. As the adventurers look around, they notice the bodies start to move, and they rise, wielding varying sorts of farm tools, knives, and such as weapons. The villagers are all wounded and are clearly recently dead, and do not speak.
If one makes the proper checks, they will find that they are not in fact zombies, but rather, they are dead puppets, controlled by evil magics, and as suck, do not have aggro, and can not mark or be marked. They also show an endurance to pain that would not be present in the living.
Any adventurer who dies in battle, will have their corps puppeteered in a similar manner against their allies.
Once all the puppets are dead (again) a gaseous ooze of magic flows out of them, insinuating their ties to the puppet master is severed, and the adventurers are free to explore the village for riches and a place to rest if so desired, but the image of the looming castle beacons the adventurers to find the answer as to what happened to the villagers. the only entrance to the castle is a large open doorway in a stone wall, leading to a narrow front courtyard, where the door to the castle itself is visible. Exploring the courtyard will reveal little more than a small stash of gold a villager hid behind a rock in a rotten abandoned old horse stable, and an entrance to the kitchen, leading to a small gathering room that could have been accessed by the front door. from this room, the adventurers can hear gentle plucking on a lute.
The lute sounds are from a balcony…