That night the PC's dreams are rife with turmoil, dreams of death and fire.
"Burn the witch!" The mob screams, pulsing from within with a hatred rarely seen in the world. No longer composed of individuals, but as one organism devoted entirely to hatred the bound her and beat her, tossing her back into the small boat she'd been trying to hide in. Filling it up to the gunnels with tinder and wood they kicked it out into the current, tossing torches onto it as they did.
Upon waking the PC notices that the locket, which was once in their pocket, is in their hand and seemingly coated in tears. The character, if motivated to try and part with it, will find themselves unable to, having become in the short time they've owned it, emotionally attached. They might have a few nights good honest sleep after this, but eventually the dreams will resume.
A faceless man, with a dark hood drawn over his head, is crying over a stream, though you can't see his face. The willows around him seem to be in mourning as well, even more than a willow is normally, the tree seems to slouch with a feeling of defeat. The man, still crying, rises out of the crouch he was in and hold out a necklace with some sort of silver pendant on the end, and then tosses it into the water whispering to something unseen, "For you, my darling, I'll never forget."
The PCs eventually make it to a town, to restock and the like, but as they're walking in they pass by a grisled old man, shackled to the wall. He seems to be within steps of Death's Gate, but as the PCs walk by he looks up, and locking his eyes upon the locket that the PC had unconciously put on, he started.
"Child, where did you get that? The trinket you wear round your neck, and the tears it carries in its heart?"
Seeing his sudden movement the guard starts, and suddenly his crossbow is pointed at the PCs, and the trigger is all but pulled.
"Calm yerself, Crombie. Just cause I killed you dear old man, and burnt his damn house to the ground for what he did to Ansonia when we was both kids, doesn't mean everything I do around you is out for your death."
As the PCs and the chained man, who eventually names himself as Abner, talk about the locket the story comes out about how it was his girl, his lovely Ansonia was burnt to death by the locals for fear that she was a murderer, demon-worshiper, and necromancer. Fueled by his hatred Abner proceeded on a campaign against the locals, killing and raiding, and was only recently caught by a group of adventurers. All he asks for from the PCs is that they give him the locket. Go to Comment
The young man was part of a bandit clan, but after getting caught trying to steal from the clan's leader his punishment was brutal and quick, though his death lingered. If the PC's are chasing this clan for some McGuffin or another, the fact that the boy is a week dead should be enough, but if they summon his spirit for information, it will tell them of its death and urge them to avenge it. Go to Comment
"As you make your way out of the forest, and the town on your map comes into view, you see the walls are painted in bright, sickly shades of red, green, and blue. The houses crouched outside the walls are clearly abandoned, and the city gate seems to have been battered down." Go to Comment
"As you walk through the seedier part of town, trying your best to ignore the piles of refuse you step over, you see a man on the side of the street. He's leaning against the way watching you, and as you look closer, you see that he has a knife sticking part-way out of the side of his head." Go to Comment
These Tribals and their stories, just today I heard one about a toad big enough to eat your leg. Preposterous I said, but they held that the story was the utmost truth.
-Journal Entry of Gima (Explorer and Naturalist)
These beasts look very much like your common garden toad, minus one very important fact, they're roughly the size of a large dog. Living in the bogs of the Hyrizi Jungle, they prey on anything that is both small enough to fit into their large mouths and stupid enough to come near them.
They're not fast creatures by any definition of the word and rely entirely upon their camouflage to get the jump on potential food. One part of this camouflage is their burrows, not much more than a hole in the ground that they can fit the entirety of their body in, which they wait in until something comes within striking range. They then bound out, using their powerful hind legs to propel themselves toward their food.
Now, while the meat of the toads and tadpoles is grisly and nearly tasteless, their eggs are viewed as a delicacy in many parts of the world. It is said that those eggs taste of heaven and will keep one going even to the gates of the Abyss. Of course, finding the fist-sized eggs isn't that easy, the toads will often hide them in thick rushes on the edge of fetid pools, but the reward is worth it, and the local villages will often fight over the most fetid and vile pools, for the chance to get as many of the eggs as possible Go to Comment
A vaguely humanoid shape of moxious green rises up from the water before you, seeming to pull the algae and slime from the surface to sonstitue its form. As the head forms, it turns toward you, the jellified jaws opning to spill forth a false tounge of ooze and putrid flesh.
Formed from bodies left to putrefy within muddy graves and stagant waters, skuz number among the most disgusting of all undead. Consisting of equal parts stagnant water, rotting vegetation, and liquefied corpse, skuz are consumed by a blind need for vengeance, seekin to inflict their horrible demise upon all living creatures. Making their home amid swamps, sewers, and stagnant areas of ronds and rivers, they awair live prey to drag into their revolting pools. Preferring solitary existences, multiple skuz rarely linger together, with newly created spawn oozing away to pollute their own territories.
In the Forgotten Realms, skuz are most common in the Swamp of Akhlaur, the Wast Swamp, the Farsea Marshes, the River Umber, and a few locations along the coast of the Easting Reach. Rumor has it that, several times a year, the remains of the dead god Moandr exudes one or more powerful skuz, pssibly the forms of long-dead victims slowly excreted by the profane corpse's decay.
Crocs on mainstreet
Or any other large semi-aquatic animal swimming in the flooded roads.
Dozus 11:07 pm: Here's a subplot: the expansion of the bog is invading the local temple's cemetary. The priests ask you to move the remains to a safer location, wherein they uncover...
A local fungus explodes if hit or fallen upon. If any conflict takes place between intelligent foes, both sides will use it to their advantage.
"Quite near there happened to be a mound of earth, at the highest part of which were gowing thickets of cornel and a dense cluster of spiky myrtle-stems. I went up there and tried to wrench the green growth from the ground to provide a leafy covering for our altar. There I was confronted by a horrible and astonishing miracle. For, from the first bush which I tried to break off... blood oozed in dark drops, fouling the earth with its spots... A piteous moan came from the base of the mound and I heard a human voice answering me: 'Why, Aeneas, must you rend a poor sufferer? I am buried here... for I am Polydorus. Here death overpowered me in a crop of piercing iron pointed spears. And so a crop of resembling javelins has grown over me..."Go to Comment
In a crowded marketplace, a man is standing on a soapbox, orating. Some of the crowd are cheering, some hissing, some standing around saying "I can't hear a bl**dy word he's saying". It's a hustings for an election. The PCs can either leave, or stay and listen. If they do the latter, then they can vote too, and they might get quite involved in the cheering. Depending on who wins they might get quite involved in the post-election brawl too...
There are numerous possibilities with this encounter: the PCs might end up talking to one of the nervous candidates before their speech, and offer encouragement and support. Of course this candidate may well turn out to be someone with outspokenly unorthodox views, and the crowd don't take kindly to s/his supporters. Or maybe the seemingly innocuous candidate turns out to be a complete racist, and the PCs wander off embarrassedly, pretending they weren't talking to this person five minutes ago.