A society or country has a unique method of correction. Criminals are imprisoned in a dungeon with two options: Serve their time, or try to escape. Those who manage to escape alive, their crimes are forgiven early.
The monarch used to have absolute powers until the disappearance of King Henry V. A "temporary" replacement was put on the throne to hold it until King Henry returned, and he would have only one vote on the governing council of nobles and no other powers except persuasion. More then 50 years have passed since then and everyone knows King Henry is almost certainly dead-but the nobles don't want to go back under the rule of an absolute monarch, so the kingship is only "temporary" until King Henry V returns to take back his throne.
The forests, the swamps, the lands lost to wilderness, fang, and willow. These lands are home to the creatures of wiing, tooth and claw. Some far more capable of fending off the hominids, others still, are less fortunate, falling prey to spears, arrows, and dogs. As the hominids encroach upon the sacred woodlands and miry bogs there are times that the thorns and vines are animated by the spirit of the land in order to fight. In this way the mysterious guardians are formed. In the shapes of wolves, bears, and many other greater and more terrible beasts, each with eyes of glowing emerald. Fiercely defending creatures of burrow and glade.
A Mimic in the rather unconventional form of a weapon, can be used as a weapon and grows more powerful over time. If introduced to the party early it could make an unexpected betrayal. Skittering around like a terrifying insect.
A group of Mages sought to create an Elixir of Fertility, to deal with the Curse of the Empty Cradle. After acquiring such things as the 'ahem' vigor of a war deity, and the 'ahem' blessing of a forest goddess, the mages almost created the cure. Instead, the vessel of Divine Virility was spilled, and instead of curing sterility, infused the ancient hill with life. The temple and alter rose, becoming a demonic force of life essence and the fecundity of nature.
freedom of speech is allowed in what is normally a dictatorship.
If someone is murdered, they can be brought fully back to life if raised within 5 minutes, after that they are Undead and will start decomposing at a normal rate.
The mage who invented teleportation knew nothing about the ten-dimensional cosmos, so was perplexed that the subjects sent through the portal arrived horribly scrambled, having been randomly rotated through several of the hidden six dimensions.
Perhaps the product of another universe or time, this vessel appears as an early Tall ship, but is made of iron from keel to spar. The sails are a battered canvas but are nearly indestructible, but in truth do little to move the ship - the ship is able to move even with no winds.
The ship is powered by life force, requiring regular sacrifices to ‘charge’. The victims are cast in front of the vessel as it moves, it’s razor sharp bow bisecting them. The ship may initially be missing key components and the ritual to power it would also require research by would-be users.
The ship has no built in weapons aside from the bow, which can easily cut even large wooden ships in twain.
A weapon of war created by an extinct race, this rat appears normal but is a simulacrum - beneath it’s mangy fur is a body of bronze. Commanded by words in a lost language, wherever it goes a virulent and lethal plague follows. The cure is similarly obscure.
A ruby of immense size, this stone was once the eye of a deity of war. When properly commanded by long lost rituals, the huge gem will rise into the sky, glowing brightly. Visible for miles, all who look upon it in its full radiance will be filled with intense homicidal rage.
The hammer of a war-god avatar, this massive weapon must be wielded by a giant or other supernaturally strong being. When struck against the ground, a massive seismic wave will propagate outward from the wielder subjecting all in its wake to a massive earthquake. This quake is strong enough to shatter castle walls.
It is traditional for two warlike countries to each give their first-born royal prince as a hostage to each other to prevent war. One of the princes has been murdered, and the PCs have a few days to rescue the prince in the other country to save him from being executed and a bloodthirsty war from breaking out.
Since the local baron's wife died, to keep himself happy it is Christmas ( or the equivalent festival in your game world) every day in his castle.
When a miracle is worked, when a God turns His attention to the mortal realm, the mortal realm is irrevocably changed by the Divine Presence. When this takes place through a living being, they become the Godmarked. Ever with one foot in life, and one foot in the realm beyond, they are emotionally and physically altered - always in a fashion that reflects the nature of the God that they have channeled - One who channels a God of the Winds may forever have a breeze lifting their hair, while a Goddess of Anger may blacken the skin and strengthen the body.
A certain country allows most civilians to carry weapons, but only if they are potentially deadly. Pepper sprays, stun guns/tasers, batons, and dart guns are banned. And if you kill someone and are not acquitted at trial, the punishment is to be hanged the day after you were found guilty. The message here is that if you want to go armed, you had better be prepared to risk killing someone and being executed unless it was clearly self defense.
When it comes to combat spells, again, only the highly dangerous can legally be cast with the same possible consequences if cast wrongly.
Many weapons buried with the dead are buried for a very good reason as they have had a potent curse placed on them making them dangerous or near-useless to the living.
This nocturnal creature resembles an over-sized bat, with the mouth of a star-nosed mole.
The Manabat can be as small as a normal bat, but can grow to a size larger than a human.
This creature is feared by wizards and other magic users, as it feeds of it victim's mana.
It will hide at day and hunt at night, swooping down on its prey, engulfing the magic user's face with its slimy tentacles, thereby sucking the mana from the victim. Depending on the size of the Manabat it can drain only a portion of the wizard's mana, which he will regain in a few hours, whereas the largest creatures will drain the wizard's mana permanently, rendering them ineffective as magic users.It will not harm them in any other way.
Manabats behave like normal bats and breeds in same way and numbers.
They can be tamed by a master trainer to attack on command.
Darklings are a kind of Halflings living in the sewer of medium to large cities.
Even though they smell badly and are quite dirty, Darklings are friendly and clever.
They try to limit the knowledge about their existence to only a small number of trustworthy persons, including player characters.
Darklings trade in information. Money, weapons and magical items have no value for them. This is why they hide beneath the sewer grates, listening to all that is said in the city above.
Often valuables is counted in coins, jewelry and magic items. Surprise your players by offering them cheese, wine, cloth and art as rewards and payment.
"...The people of the Dalaben Fens have a custom heretical to our superior Zodashan faith, in which they place their dead upon the grass roofs of their stilt-houses. It is said that they do this because they used to bury their dead before the great Judgement, in which their home became the swamp which it is today."-Sir Edrosh Metorva, "The Barbarian Lands of the East, Volume X."