So now I've got some idea what might be going on in the jungle I'm trying to come up with some encounters. This one is an attempt to do something a little different. The Idol
Without warning the lush foliage gives way to small clearing, dominated by a large stone statue about 15 feet tall. It appears to be of a man dressed in a style too ornate for the local natives but also unlike any civilised garb you have seen. From the proud and stern expression he might be a warrior or noble of his people. Above his head, or perhaps part of an elaborate headdress, is a skull. Gazing on the idol you feel a vague sense of unease...
Their unease is not imagination, the idol is inhabited by a malign and powerful spirit that feeds on the living. The native inhabitants hold the idol in fear and awe, never going near it by choice. As a result it is very, very hungry.
If the characters look more closely they notice a scattering of bones around the statue, over grown by plants. If examined these appear to be a completely random mix of creatures, both animal and humanoid. There are also strange glyphs on the sides of the statue and anyone with relevant skills can attempt to translate these. The language is difficult but they say something about an ancient city and how the statue is of the great leader, so that he may guard his people for eternity.
If anyone touches the idol (if they examine but don't say they avoid
touching it 2 in 6 chance each they do) there is a 3 in 6 chance per touch that the spirit pulls their consciousness into the statue. Their body immediately collapses in a heap on the ground, alive but unresponsive as if in a coma. The character's consciousness finds itself inside the stone at the point where contact was made, somehow able to see out at their own body and the other (probably very startled) characters.
Within a few rounds of entering the statue the character will become aware they are not alone. A presence is stirring in the heart of the stone, something evil, something that hungers! Allow the player to try what they will while building a sense of impending doom. The character has no ability to move but they can buy time by staying calm. Like a spider in a web the spirit will find the character more quickly if the character struggles. Use the calmness of the player to judge how their character is acting. A panicking character will be found in 3 rounds, a calm one in 6 and one deliberately attempting to hide in 10.
When the spirit reaches the consciousness it will attempt to devour it. Run this as a combat with the spirit having SKILL 8, STAMINA 8, medium claw and no armour. The character has their normal statistics, abilities and spells but not equipment, attacks being made as if with their usual weapon type and wearing no armour. When reduced to zero STAMINA the spirit is merely fended off and retreats to the heart of the statue where it regenerates at a rate of 1 point of STAMINA per turn. Once back to full strength it will resume the attack. The character on the other hand has no way to heal unless a priest themselves. In any case it will soon become clear all they are doing is fighting for time.
Some Priestly magic is effective against the spirit and can be invoked either on the unconscious body or by a trapped priest on themselves. Banish is the most effective, forcing the spirit from the statue where it is scattered to the winds if the priest is able to overcome it in the opposed roll. This immediately returns the character to their body. Ward breaks the spirit’s connection with the character if the opposed roll is won and likewise returns the consciousness to the body. Bless is also unusually powerful here, surrounding the consciousness in a soft glow that keeps the spirit away for the duration. Other priestly powers have their normal effect but only on the unconscious body.
The Wizard spell Banish Undead and the Necromancer spell Call of the Underworld work as normal against the idol spirit. Any magic that splits the statue also banishes the spirit and frees anyone trapped, but it is quite resistant to more than superficial damage. Magical fire immediately followed by magical cold has a 5 in 6 chance of causing the stone to break, as does an Explode spell (note this takes a long time to cast). Magical lightning or a Breach spell has a 3 in 6 chance of cracking it in two.
If no magic is available to defeat the spirit, or the players do not think of it, there are a couple of other options. Firstly other characters may choose to enter the stone by also touching it. The spirit has one attack per character within the statue so it is never outnumbered, but multiple attacks on it will succeed in driving it back more quickly. If the players seem to be struggling to find a solution the Director may decide that enough characters entering the stone and fighting it convince the spirit they are not worth the effort and all are released.
Another possibility if the characters have made friendly contact with the Pygmies is to seek their help. Their Shaman has the Ward priestly power and is aware it forces the spirit to give up its prize. The Shaman can be assumed to automatically succeed in the opposed roll for the Ward due to his familiarity with the spirit. Cue race against time to get the Shaman to the idol in time to save the character!