I think the pens properties reflect the bird to a point. I think that the bird in the marsh would be a rare sight, but when seen it is the most obvious thing around. I picture it perfectly white, a stark contrast to the surrounding areas, and, when spotted, it sticks out like the darkness around it outlines it making it even more distinct. And no matter what the distance, it is always crystal clear to the vision, rain, fog, etc., do nothing to impare the sight.
It also has a charm of some sort. When spotted the person is almost froze in their place from awe or surprise at viewing the bird. Finally, the bird would depart breaking the spell and by then it is too late. So they are rare for their uniqueness and the difficulty of the hunt. Go to Comment
Perhaps also the way they are crafted has as much to do with their effectivness as the feather. A craftsman might only be able to use a knife made from an exotic steel or forged in an exotic manner or shape to cut the quill. Or only at certain times, like when the birds are getting ready to migrate. Their feathers may be getting stronger and more effective in the last few days before the migration, after that, they've migrated to who knows where and are no longer available. Go to Comment
Why now? Why didn't the spirits awake earlier?
What will they find? Lots of undead?
What happened to the boiling oil? (Actually that all seeped away into the ground of the catacombs)
History: why was the King persecuting the Lamezzites? Why did the priests have sympathy for them?
I thought there I'd written too much already, so these are just left as open questions. Go to Comment
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.