This article contains spoilers for the following products: The Summer That Never Was


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This page contains spoilers for the following products: The Summer That Never Was.
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(as of 7108 IC)

Small town
73% humans, 6% half-elves, 4% halflings, 4% kitsune, 3% elves, 3% tengu, 2% nagaji, 5% others
Appointed governor
Source: The Summer That Never Was, pg(s). 69–79

As of 7223 IC, Willowshore is a ruined and haunted former logging village in the remote reaches of Shenmen, deep in the Specterwood forest.1


Monks of Sangpotshi led by Zhi Hui founded the Tan Sugi Monastery in 7020 IC and founded Willowshore nearby, first to support its construction and then to facilitate trade between the monks and the outside world, with the two connected by a long, winding trail known as the Pilgrim's Path.23 Zhi Hui died in 7054 IC, and amid the town's transition to logging and discord among the Sangpotshi monks, the monastery was effectively abandoned by 7060 IC.4

In 7062 IC, a group of loggers from Sze that included the son of Sze's leader Chou Mingxia5 attempted to harvest ancient sugi trees at the monastery's site, but returned to town as hostile undead. The townsfolk fended them off in a deadly battle later known as the Night of Broken Blades. The abandoned monastery was subsequently regarded as cursed and avoided,4 though many of the town's residents remained faithful to Sangpotshi.3

Shenmen eventually deployed lumber lords to the village to support Imperial Lung Wa's need for lumber, and set about making infrastructural improvements to grow it into a town, including bridges and a dam. However, with new settlers came divisions of class, unwanted aristocratic tourists, and forced seizures of the town's sustenance.4 Among its most renowned exports before the town's destruction were its fulus, which were coveted by adventurers.6

In 7108 IC, two years after the collapse of Lung Wa, the town's residents all died in their sleep and have haunted the ruins since.1


The town's last known nominal governor for Lung Wa was Heh Shan-Bao, though the empire largely ignored the town and its collapse had few effects save for its lumber lords' retreats to Sze.7

The eight practices

The people of Willowshore followed these eight bits of advice (primarily local superstitions) during the first several weeks of summer, known locally as the season of ghosts and a peak of supernatural activity in the Specterwood:8

  1. Do not call a ghost a ghost.
  2. Do not pat people on the head or shoulders.
  3. Avoid entering bodies of water when a ghost is nearby.
  4. Do not eat food that has two stick-like objects protruding from it.
  5. Do not lean against walls during the day.
  6. Do not whistle at night.
  7. Do not leave laundry out at night.
  8. If you hear someone call your name from behind you at night, do not turn around.


Willowshore lined both the northern and southern shores of the Ceiba River, known as the Northridge and Southbank, respectively. The town's residents often found themselves split into factions along the two banks, with the hilly northern region settled after the empire of Lung Wa claimed control, and the forested southern region composed of residents who worked on the monastery or were recruited by it to settle the town.4

The town was surrounded by hinterlands of the Specterwood forest and is near the Ceiba River's confluence with its distributary, the Duyue River, to the east, as well as the Dragonfly Creek to the south. A 20-mile trail connected the Tan Sugi Monastery, located to the northwest, to the town, while other roads connect Willowshore to the Moon Marsh wetland to the north; the village of Foxhollow three days' travel to the northeast and the Gossamer Mountains beyond; Karahai and the Sea of Ghosts to the east; and an apple tree-lined road leading to villages several days' journeys southward.9

The nearest major settlement is the city of Sze, to which the town's lumber lords departed after the collapse of Lung Wa.7

Recent events

Attempts to reclaim the site over the centuries since have failed, the most recent beginning in 7223 IC under the purview of the lumber baron Mago Kai, who has based his operation in the nearby fortress of Karahai.5


Paizo's Season of Ghosts Adventure Path is set in Willowshore, and The Summer That Never Was includes a major article on the town as of 7108 IC on pgs. 69–79.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.