An empire faded, forgotten and devoured by the earth itself. Memories lost, yet they linger, as if begging to be rediscovered.
The swamp can be such a hard and unforgiving place, and the tired and exhausted adventurers paddle their canoes under the many hanging branches of the swamp willow, the sweet smell mixing with the stale swamp air. Strange sounds startle and surprise them: A child is laughing, her innocent voice much like the trickle of a mountain stream or the chiming of some delightful bell. Small feet are running, and the cluttering of horses’ hooves follow. A mother is crying fearfully for her to stop; then she utters a long, desperate wail. Silence. Then a small voice tells mommy it is alright. She is a big girl now. She knows that she must stay out of the way of the couriers of the king.
Yet as the adventurers look around, there is no one but them to be seen under the canopy. No horseman. No child. No worried mother. There are only bugs, dark swamp water and the branches of the swamp willows, heavy with leaves, a cacophony of dark, lush verdancy.
Then later, as they ready their camp, struggling to ignite the moist wood they have gathered for the fireplace. New sounds: A council of kings, their voices dark, their mood somber. War has come; an ancient enemy amasses at the borders of their empire. The Emperor asks his kings to marshal their armies. To prepare for war.
And as the adventurers listen, seeing none but hearing these voices of ages bygone, they know that there is a traitor among the gathered kings. One of the kings will betray the alliance of old, and the empire will fall. Without understanding how or why, they know that deep in the swamp lays the skeleton of the Emperor, his armor pierced by a dozen blades.
Then: Ripples in the water followed by a distant song, eerie and weird – a slow falsetto.
Fireflies gather and the wind starts to blow, weak gusts of swamp air batters the frail flames of the campfire.
Then the Feyenthrall materialize: Hazy outlines of faintly glowing mist. At random ancient scenes will be seen in the mist, as if the adventurers were looking into a crystal orb or other scrying device.
The Feyenthrall are enigmatic creatures of lore. They feed on emotions and, as they drift through the swamp, they absorb the dreams of the dead and living alike. So it is that the adventurers might see the mating of a swamp lizard for one second, then, after several minutes or even hours of no visions, they might gaze upon the visage of the Emperor of old. The Feyenthrall are obsessed with him, the raw emotion surrounding his fall so vast as to keep them sated for decades, nay centuries! Go to Comment
How about a dragon how cheerfully rules over a kingdom; his people all know him for what he is, and dragons are looked upon as wise and benevolent creatures. Dragonslayers from other kingdoms coming to free it from 'tyranny' are likely to get beaten to death by peasants with cast iron skillets.