"I fear, dear Marius, that either you or I have been led astray. The Legends of which you spoke claimed Showgull was a land of great Magick, perhaps even the very Wellspring of the first Magick, with a People whose blood runs with æthereal power. You know how serious I take my work, Marius: is this a jest to you? These are a barbarous People, who know little Writing and fewer Manners. They are hostile to the very Idea learned Magick. That anyone should call this a Nexus of magickal power is risible. No wonder so many Kingdoms have been eager to trade off this Place in their treaties."
- the wizard Abelard Selanius, Esq., letter to his colleague Marius Dubesque
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.