They are the menace of the borderlands, travelling with their herds paths they used for millenia, and razing any signs of civilization in the process. When the winter is especially harsh or the summer unusually dry, they descend upon the heartlands of kingdoms like a plague, more a natural disaster than an enemy.
Towering giants that stand well above 15 feet,these inhabitants of the great grasslands that border the most remote boundaries of the nation of Xhiklus,are an intimidating cross between humanoid and rhino. Their massive heads resemble those of a rhino,but they possess the hunched,hulking lower bodies of a humanoid being,and are endowed with the ability to fashion and use tools with their huge,three fingered hands. Often called ‘‘the Grey Monsters’’ by most people of the Hundreds,they are a force to be reckoned with.
When looking for an Orc substitute in a campaign, one should think about just a violent ethnic group of people. Huns, Goths, Visigoths, Franks, and Mongols, have all the same campaign effect of Orcs and other “monster races” that fight in large groups/ hordes. And it has the added bonus of people not being able take the moral high ground when they kill an intelligent being… because it is a people… not just a worthless Orc.
The mystery of fyre is one which has much occupyed my studies and the studies of men before me. ... I have concluded that fyre is the product of Fyre Antes.
Professor J Klewlise, "On the nature and origin of fyre" (1542)
The basis for many a bardic tale of courting and love, these beautiful small flowers symbolize new love to many.
A small weed that rarely grows big enough. Farmers like to remove it from their soil, finding little use for it. A secluded sect of monks living in the same region thinks differently, and bases an important ritual on this plant.
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.