The Stranger

Set: The Cauldron base set

AliasesTom Willow

Age: Unknown

Power Source: Rune Magic

Birthplace: United States

Occupation: Unknown


Local man missing: shopkeeper Tom Willow was last seen two weeks ago on Bannock Road, entering the southern reaches of the forest. A search party is being organized this Saturday night.

- Excerpt from The Hartford Horn, 7 October 1917

Given my affinity for such things, it should come as no surprise that I have studied this Stranger more closely than any of my other allies. His countenance is haunted, though I cannot say whether he is the source of the haunting or its victim, and his eyes are far older than any man's should be. I can find no clear account of his origin, although the disappearance of a Hartford local ten years prior to The Stranger's first memories leaves me wondering: was he once a man, now corrupted by rune magic? Or did some witchwood find the body of Tom Willow and shape itself after his ghost? The mark on his heart suggests Dendron had a hand in his creation, and hangs a dark question over his future purpose.

- Nightmist, Strangers in the night #12

Fragments generously contributed by JT Call of Broomstick Monkey Games

Tom Willow was an unexceptional man from Hartford, Connecticut. The most exceptional thing about him was his death: a sorceress seared his heart with a runic curse, draining his life force to fuel her magic.

The second-most exceptional thing about Tom was where he died: a witchwood full of ancient power. The mark that stole his life was burned into the tree behind him, along with the last fragment of Tom's soul.

Over the next decade, that tree slowly shaped itself into Tom's form, patterning its rudimentary consciousness after his remaining memories. It believed it was Tom Willow. It found that the mark over its heart allowed it to channel runic magic.

It went forth to into the world to determine what kind of man Tom Willow had been, and what kind of man he would be.

The year was 1927.

Rune-carved promo: The ancient magical energies that the Stranger channels through his runes have taken a heavy toll on him. All magic must be fueled, and the Stranger refuses to draw power from any life force but his own. As he pays for each rune with fragments of his soul, less and less of Tom Willow remains, and the Stranger's form grows ever more corrupted and inhuman.

1929 promo: In the early years of the Stranger's existence, his understanding was limited. Around him flitted bright sources of energy, waiting to be called upon to bring his magic to life. The sting of his runes was borne by other souls. It was only years later that an ancient spirit showed him the consequences of his actions, and kept him from following the same path as his creator.

Wasteland Ronin promo: Some time after the Knight and his protege managed to return from their time travel misadventure to the Final Wasteland, the timeship which had brought them home reverted to its future self with the Stranger and his companions inside. Now their group must survive until they can find their own way back, while braving new, eerily familiar dangers in the wasteland. 

In the Corn promo (Halloween 2020): The Stranger had always possessed a fondness for crows, so the idea of decorating his wooden form and passing time with them in the fields was an alluring prospect. Even more so, the chance to terrify evildoers with his appearance alone, without any need for magic.

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