A collection of 30 bardic tales you may hear sung in the local tavern or empresses' court, complete with bardic verse excerpts from all 30 tales themselves.
Many of these tales can also be used as quick plug in adventures for Gm's looking for a side quest. (And let the players exploits be turned into the song by a near by bard perhaps?)
Thirty Lovers, walking hand in hand in moonlit groves, cuddling, kissing, and doing other, more private, romantic things…
Courtly contessas, contributed and collaborated upon by Citadelians!
A parcel of pretty princesses
Inspired by # 16 on Cheka's 30 Lizard-man Gifts in-work and Coley's Chart of O' Bashing Death. A gift from the lizard-men. A pet crocodile, as loyal as a dog.
A great demon of death and destruction.
A great demon of death and destruction.
Swift and silent, she has a bow and powerful arrows.
At the foot of the World can be found both great treasure and danger! Adventure Awaits!
Beachcombing and coast-hugging, fantasy style. Animal, mineral, and vegetable. Sea-Junk. Flotsam and jetsam. Encounters and other oddities.
Think of any bizzare life-form, WHATEVER life-form that lives a not-so-standard way. Not the way common sense would expect it. Make it in some way logical or not, just forget the boring everyday logic.
Swords are deliverers of death to the living. This one offers something more to those already dead…
A place of majestic views, amazing life, and hidden treasures. The secrets that the jungle holds in its folds are both breath taking and soul taking. When traveling to Bone Island one must be wary, not of just the tribal inhabitants and exotic creatures, but the secrets that the gods forgot.
A slightly worn looking, and rather thin book. Its cover is red, but also holds some inset jewels, and the words “Eventful Evenings with Magic” written on the cover in gold leaf. While not a misnomer, it is interestingly deceptive.
The Port that Tea Built
"I can acquire the item you seek, for a price… No I assure you the presence of dark tainted evils will in no way impede my ability to recover this artifact for you, now let’s discuss the details…"
(A character for the Warhammer Fantasy rpg setting, but can be easily adapted to any fantasy setting.)
A beautiful warrior woman, with a sword and soul of ice.
Choke horrors are nightmarish creatures that give the most knowledgeable and adventurous pause. They are tall gangly bipedal creatures that have four whip like appendages instead of arms.
Tales grow in the telling and heroes grow in stature, even the tiniest can stand tall among their own.
As with many small towns Clarksdale has its share of secrets. Travellers that pass through are treated warmly, and are encouraged to stay for the upcoming celebration...
Remember Harold and his purple crayon?
Even the most despicable and evil Tyrant will be convinced they pale in comparison to this monstrosity.
Sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes it just happens. Whether to a PC or NPC, a curse is something nasty that changes their life significantly, and not for the better. You were warned.
Most steam engines require vast quantities of coal and water. Dr. Farthing’s Fabulous Engine requires only the water that it will turn into steam, or so the good doctor says…
A type of silk woven from tree saps
A dangerous romp across the Soviet Union in a race to rescue the eccentric Dr. Pegasus before he can complete his secret design.
A metal found deep in the bowels of the earth. It stays warm even after years away from the forge.
"Me? Oh, I’m no one of importance. Say, where are you folk heading? Really? Might I tag along for safety’s sake? I have business there…"
"You do not need to be a cleric to bring light into the world."
(a Mage follower of Isis, npc suitable for any fantasy campaign with gods of light.)
Nadia, a sixteen year-old noble lady, is put up to the challenge of surviving when her panpered lifestyle is abrubtly shattered.
Chaos and Law have reached a comprmise and stopped thier warring. This truce holds as long as the respecitve priests honors the other’s ways for one day of the year. Lawful preists must incite a large decadant celebration or carelessness and the chaotic priests must chaperone the event and keep the party from turning ugly while remaining out of involvement. Thus the warring of the gods has been kept in check for decades and all is well. At least untill the materials for the party come up missing two short weeks before the truce day…
You are the lovers rock
The rock that I cling to
You’re the one
The one I swim to in a storm
Like a lovers rock
- Sade "Lovers Rock"
Toltep walked slowly along the avenue, it would have been easier to swim along in the viaduct, but he had made it a point to not do the easy thing. All to often the easy path lead to ruin, and he had not survived so long by taking shortcuts, or the easy road. The market, what was above water, was abuzz with conversation. A large school of blood-crazed lurdi had been diverted into an ambush where the brave people had slaughtered the monsters. There was some worry, Toltep gathered, as a few had escaped.
The peaceful sounds of mid afternoon were brutaly interupted by the swears and jeers of a fight erupting on the edge of the market near an alleyway. Seeing three armored humans fighting a young boy, the fight seems a bit unfair. Not seeing anyone rushing to the aid of the elf and with no watch in sight, the elf doesn’t seem to have a chance. Cries of thief echo from the lips of the three humans.
This is the music played by the music box of Mordalin. It can be downloaded and comes in two mp3 versions: a repeatable version, and a non-repeatable version.
Sometimes locks need that extra sharp fingernail to twist the catch. Sometimes a thief might find himself locked in a prison with a wooden door. The Muzzled Mouse is a hideous little tool which helps one in such situations…
The sea is calm, the morning mists clear, the seagulls cry out, and land comes into view
A ambitious cook who uses steam technology and a love for all things edible to make the world a tastier place.
Port Reliance is a squalid little port town, a hive of pirates, murderers, thieves, brigands, and brawlers. The lowest of the low, the most desperate of sea-farers end up here sooner or later. Adventurers will fit right in.
To look at her she's five years old, and to her anger, she has been stuck at the age of five for the last forty-six years, unable to rule as Queen and doomed to a life of doll houses, dolls and cute girly toys and clothes, even though her mind is that of an adult woman.
She has everything: stunningly good looks, sharp brains and oodles of power: she's going to be a Queen. The only drawback is that she doesn't want to be a Queen.
A young Kumbra seeking knowledge from humans and fulfilling the unlikely roll of protector of a trade route.
A small village situated near a medium lake,with inhabitants and history that is more unique than one might expect. Suitable for any fantasy/low tech setting.
The eyes of the all seeing are never ending. The truth can only be revealed to those willing to bear the burden.
His eyes opened in disbelief, the battered spectacles rising slightly on his brow. To everyone around him, everything was normal. As it should be. To his eyes, the light was nearly unbearable. An aura of energy filled his vision completely. He knew what it was he saw, what the others could not. He knew he saw the impossible, and he wanted it all for himself.
A wet brown sack… FULL OF MAGGOTS!
The Blood Beast, while originally a construct, has surpassed its beginnings to assume a place of infamy.
What a strange world we live in…
Troile, Royal Astronomer and Numerologist
Something occured and those in the grand city went mad. Was it a curse, a prophecy, a spell gone wrong, or a magik item opened? Nobody allegedly knows. The city guard on the city walls, saw the madness and were apparently not touched. They tried to keep the crazy ones inside, by blocking the gates and sealing the entrances to the large city wall. The region’s leader, eventually sent the Army there to reinforce the city guards, to hold the mad ones in. Since the mad men are incredibly strong and immune to pain, if they escape it would be a plague upon the land. There is still hope that someday they could be restored (perhaps a royal heir or a royal household was in the city). Perhaps they are nearly immortal. The city guards who occasionally decend into the city to drop supplies and stop fires believe that to be true.
Now it is a small town, with its own walls, that rings the old grand city. Over the years, the army and guards, have created a town that supports them. They think themselves immune to the madness, yet their proximity to them, means they are only slightly odd… perhaps becoming mad. The crazed watch over the mad. A running joke is that someday, someone will man their walls to hold them in.
The adventurer rode into the golden-hued glade, looking around. If the tribesman he had 'persuaded' to help him hadn't been lying, it should be here. Ah, there it is, he thought. A small pool, with no inlet or outlet. Dismounting, he looked into the crystal-clear water. He could see goldfish swimming around, and beneath them the bottom was covered with golden statues of men and women, mostly nude but some with a kilt or loincloth.
“I'm rich,” he exulted. “That damn tribesman didn't die in vain!” He stripped off his clothes and armor, noting in passing that the ground was mounded, here and there, with weapons, armor, and other items, mostly rusted or rotted by time, and dove into the pool to begin gathering up his wealth.
Silence fell over the glade as the new statue settled onto the others littering the bottom.
"Hey, Hultz. What are you doing in here?"
"It's gonna move. I don't like it when it moves," the stableboy replied, sitting by the hearth with his arms wrapped around himself.
"What's going to move?"
"The Inn. I don't like it when it moves."
Five minutes later, he gets up and goes back outside.
"What was he talking about?" the newcomer asked a burly fighter.
"Go outside and take a look."
He goes over to the door and flings it wide. "See, it's all still ... Wait! Where did the town go!"
"Welcome to the Brotherhood of the Wild Geese." The fighter comes over with a mug of ale. "Here, you'll probably be needing this. I know I did, when it happened to me."
From that silent place fear flows in unseen waves, like white fog. The shadows are many, and the wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements. Through it's frowning walls and dark window openings there's a lantern of the spirit which none see by but those who bear it.
There lies a valley, far to the west, on the shores of The Great Northern Sea, that has a mist that is both blessing and curse. All those that breath the mist heal with remarkable speed, so fast that only the mightiest blow or the truest strike can fell the smallest beast. The warriors who settled this land became soilders of great renown, for not only were they impenetrable defenders, they were warriors whose aim and might were unsurpassed.
These people could exist on a world with mythical elves, as they are not another race… they are humans. They are an ethnic group that is far removed from “normal” human stock. They have many traits (physical and cultural) that make them very different. Given Lyran culture and ways, if the Lyrans “went away”, a few hundred years later people would think of Lyrans the same way as we think of Elves… some strange mythical peoples.
This is the tale of how Princess Amber liberated Vallermoore from it’s mad Queen.
In the small town of Silver Oak rests a towering Oak flush with silver metallic leaves that chime in the breeze, even during the heart of winter. Its story, and its secrets lie within this humble text...
A magical tree, suitable for any fantasy campaign.
The Malisso Cabinet is an ordinary piece of luxurious furniture, but one that might create a lot of trouble for its owner.
A unique order of monks suitable for any steam punk setting.
Trapped forever in the grip of the Sea of Jade, paralyzed by the Great Curse, the Fleet of Nazran has become a hellish prison of eternal torment, and the tomb of adventurers from across the Earth.
One of the toys of the ruler of the lost realm, the music box of Mordalin gives great powers at an even greater cost.
You’ll never eat in this town again.
A vast tome of knowlege that literally gives you the creeps…
She’s everywhere. And she won’t stop coming until she has the throne.
Summer riots are a fact of life in the Cities of The Peninsula. So are wild city dogs. Yet, this one seems different.
There are scummy dives, and then there is The Rotten Bastard.
“Swiftly, repent! The Saintmaker is coming!”
An alliance between bitterest foes in a desperate bid for their survival, thus was the beginning of the Shrew-Wars
What initially appears to be another trek through wintry mountain landscapes will be revealed as a true struggle for survival. For the mountain known as the Kiebral is an ancient evil, its secrets are countless and its power is immense. Can the PCs outwit a power from the dawn of time, or will they succumb and be trapped for all eternity?
Curiosity killed the cat…
Well it’s got to do something, but I’ll be damned if I know what
Despite his great power, this mage desperately wishes that he was just average, so people would stop trying to plant axes in his back.
There are hundreds if not thousands of liquors throughout all the lands, but few ever manage to stand out from the rest. The defining trait between a run of the mill booze and a rare and special spirit can often be a gimmick. This is what master brewer Donovan learned all too well.
There was He, and there was She. And She was shy of men at first, always being told to distrust them. But He taught Her what love is, and promised Her everything he could. And they lived in happiness, and their love was perfect, for the rest of their lives.
Treasure is both the bane and boon of gaming campaigns. The purpose of all this was to bring up some more obvious, but often overlooked, types of treasure. The focus too often is on gold, gems, and magic items when the fun could be enriched by recognizing some awkward, but just as valuable, alternate items. Don’t pass up that ornately carved throne gathering dust in the lair of ogres. Don’t pass up that odd colored flower that your character has never seen. Take it all with you. You never know what you might get for it.
The Jiangsi was the name of an undead being in Chinese folklore and mythology. Usually translated as zombie or vampire for Western palates, the Jiangsi was really neither. They appeared as simply risen, fresh corpses. They moved (peculiarly!) by hopping rather than walking, and sought out the living to suck the Qilife force from their victims.
Perhaps significantly more interesting than the Jiangsi itself, was the lore surrounding them. "Zombie wranglers", or "Corpse Herders", usually Daoist priests, were men tasked with delivering these undead beings back to their respective home towns. Tradition in China placed great importance and emphasis on the return of the dead to their homes and families, and thus the corpse herders came to be. By using magick words and talismans they would animate the dead, and by placing specially inscribed parchments of paper over the Jiangsi heads and faces, the corpse herders would be able to control the hopping corpses. Then like pied pipers, they would lead processions of subdued undead, across many miles, rhythmically chanting and ringing tiny bells.
Special inns were built across China to house these undead caravans, as the zombies could only travel by evening and night, the sun anathema to them. Rows of doors opening to barely a closet-space, lined the walls of these special establishments. Behind these doors, the corpses would be stored upright while the corpse herders rested in rooms.
The Jiangsi under the control of a corpse herder were quite harmless, merely hopping after him, silently and without complaint, for weeks and months. If however, the magicked parchment would somehow be removed from their faces, the creatures would immediately seek living humans to kill. Their thirst for Qi was unquenchable.
The job of a corpse herder was an interesting one to say the least.