They awaken with the tilt of a ship on the open sea. Any glimpses they see of the water is an endless expanse of blue. They are chained at their wrists and ankles with the chain going through an eye hook in the floorboard and then connecting them to their bench mate. A stowed oar is resting in front of them ready to be deployed. Life as a galley slave can be hard.
An outlying village is actively searching the nearby city for mercenaries to help them protect their village.
Armed city guards came into the tavern quickly, and efficiently blocked all the exits. He announces to the chosen that they have just been inducted into the city guard and are hereby ordered to serve their city.
On the outskirts of a poor looking village is a large mausoleum that is well kept and richly deserted. It has a marble walkway and bricked windows with beautiful ironwork adorning it. For grave robbers the look of the outside tells of untold riches on the inside.
The ring he found in the entrails of the wolf that killed his father served him well. He would use it to avenge his fathers death. Those that sent him out to his death would pay.
Tommy the Thumb must have messed up. What did he miss? Who saw him? Was it a inner guild rivalry surfaced? Either way Tommy the Thumb must now dodge authority and his guild to get away safely.
In a village the characters hear rumors of a man that recently came through screaming of demon attacks and murderous insects.
A long forgotten and abandoned mine has been recently rediscovered by a local village.
A large explosion was heard 4 days ago coming from the foot of the nearby mountains. Ever since then no trade wagons have come through as they usually did.
When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.
To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.
It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.
The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.
It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.
GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).