AUTHOR’S NOTE: This series looks at the various North American Cryptids as if they were real, tangible beings that have managed to elude scientific observation. Many of the creatures I will be featuring have appeared in other Savage Worlds products. Often times they have been altered and tweaked to fit that particular setting or to make them more interesting or challenging. My interpretation tries to stay closer to the available lore I could find on each. I hope you enjoy this series and like my interpretations of these wonderfully imaginative creatures!
NOTE#2: This write up uses the new Savage Worlds Adventure Edition.
The Nain Rouge or “Demon of the Strait” is a creature that has lurked in and around Detroit for centuries. Its name is French for red dwarf and is said to be a form of hobgoblin from Norman French folklore. Legend says that Detroit’s founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, was warned by a gypsy fortune teller that he needed to appease the Nain Rouge, but when he was confronted by the red hobgoblin, he struck it with a cane and cast it away. Soon after, a trail of horrible luck followed him wherever he went. Eventually, he was kicked out of power in Detroit and retreated to Louisiana before returning to France a few years later. He would go on to loose his entire fortune and die a poor man.
Sightings of the creature have continued all throughout Detroit’s history: The red dwarf was spotted walking the streets of Detroit several times in the spring of 1805, then on June 11 of the same year a fire ripped across the city, destroying much of it.
General William Hull, who surrendered Detroit to the British Army in 1813, swore he saw the little dwarf grinning at him during his trial, which eventually lead him to become the only officer in American history to be sentenced to death for military incompetence.
Two city utility workers reported seeing the red dwarf just days prior to the famous 1967 Detroit Riots.
Another sighting was just prior to a massive ice storm that hit the city in 1976.
And while no sighting was reported for either of the following, many believe that the ice storm of 1997, the worst in the cities history, and a massive blackout of the entire city in 2004 are both a result of the Nain Rouge. It is unclear if the Nain Rouge caused these events or was just the harbinger of these events. But many feel he brings the misfortune on as punishment for not paying tribute to him.
The city of Detroit has held the Marche du Nain Rouge, a parade and celebration every spring equinox since 2009. This has turned into a festival of the strange and become quite popular in the past few years. It is said this has help placate the Nain Rouge as it draws attention to him every year.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d10, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Intimidation d4, Notice d8, Stealth d4, Survival d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Harbinger of Ill Omen: Any time the Nain Rouge is sighted, bad things follow shortly thereafter.. This is more of a GM tool. The GM should use the Nain Rouge as a plot device for some larger dire event you want to incorporate into your game or as a way of “cursing” the players for some slight against the red dwarf.
Fear: The Nain Rouge has a very well known reputation of causing bad things to happen. Anyone initially seeing the Nain Rouge needs to make a fear check.
Bad Luck: Once per round, as a free action, the Nain Rouge can use the Lower Trait ability. Use the dwarf’s Spirit trait for the caster check.
Size -1: the Nain Rouge stand just under 4’ tall.
Darkvision: They suffer no darkness penalties and can see normally in total darkness.
While I did not make it official, I would recommend playing the Nain Rouge as a Wild Card.
Tell me what you think of this little bothersome little bugger!