The third son of a candle-maker, and secretly a spy, Tsiao Fong Wei betrayed his family, clan, and town to the merciless Qongg Dynasty, causing the deaths of his own family members. He survived to an old age hiding out in the country side and keeping a low profile. One day however, the “Paper Knife” finally found Tsiao Fong Wei , and exacted his revenge on behalf of the folk, dead and tortured.
After a furious struggle, the “Paper Knife” plunged twin burning candles into the eyes of the traitorous old man and laughed, as Tsiao Fong Wei howled in dismay and pain. Some say Tsiao Fong Wei died that day. Others say that the old man somehow escaped despite his sudden anguish and utter blindness.
The truth is lost to time.
But to this day the children of the Red-Ridge County towns and villages are told by their parents to always beware twin lights in the darkness and to never venture into the woods at night, and to keep an ear open for the Groaning Ghost, for somewhere out there Tsiao Fong Wei the Traitor, now a vengeful spirit, stumbles about the darkness moaning and wailing, candles still sticking forth from out of his otherwise empty eye sockets. And though the candles plunged into his eyes all those years ago were a’flame going in, now the wax protuberances are somehow lit from within and burn without, and two flickering lights in the darkness, always portend his coming.
Found written on a torn single page…
“Lay thee patiently and still upon the ground, contemplating the Leper Star in the firmament, 'neath a crescent moon, ‘midst the graves of a boneyard 'til the G’na-Shennu come crawling up from the foetid earth. Fear them not. Let them rage about thee, casting ghoul-dust from their chalky talons and scalps,'til they calm, and so begin to whisper their secrets. Then shall they solemnly withdraw into the earth once more, in peace."
Cold Comfort is a long-sword of star-steel, its blade giving off a wan, blueish light. Its grip is wrapped tightly in snow-serpent hide, and its pommel bears a single opalescent gemstone.
This blade is enchanted in such a way, that whoever wields it, begins to fall completely and irrevocably "in love" with the weapon. This love does not manifest itself as the expected reverence and bond formed between any warrior and his weapon, but as a deeper, truer love, one has for a soul-mate of the same species! The longer the wielder carries Cold Comfort the stronger and more disturbing this love becomes, and only the most powerful of magicks can potentially break the sword's insidious spell. The blade's owner will even speak to and coo to the weapon, convinced that the sword understands and returns this epic love.
If the blade's wielder somehow loses the weapon or has it taken away, they will become inconsolable, and will predictably go to "ends of the earth and back" to retrieve it at any cost. Such is the weapon's curse that even separation from it does not damper the feelings the owner has for the sword. Legends tell of several distraught and mind-addled knights who even years after losing the blade, still wander the country-side searching for their lost love. And woe be to the "new lover" if and when they find him or her.
Wytchwolde-Under-Ash, once a great Thorpe, was razed to the ground by the ruthless, and truth told more than slightly deranged, Porcelain Princess and her henchmen, the Purifiers. When the flames had at last subsided, and a kaleidoscope of swirling, dull-gray ash choked the sky, nine hundred acres of old growth iron spruce, black larch and weeping birch, was burned to utter cinders, along with the entire coven of witches comprising the Sisterhood of the Silver Teat.
Now, centuries later, the forests are somewhat re-grown, and the town of Foolswater stands where Wytchwolde-Under-Ash once did. It is said that even to this day, one can still find ashes in the otherwise potable well-water of this village. Once a year during the Winter Solstice, the “Ash-Wind” comes to Foolswater, a suffocating black cloud that passes quickly but leaves dead birds and animals in its wake, darkening the trees, and staining the sky with black snow. The inhabitants of the village know better than to be caught outside during the day-long Ash-Wind. Everyone is locked snugly inside, singing old hymns that curse and re-curse the burned witches who once called this place home.
A vicious murder happens in a town that the party happens to pop in at. Under heavy suspicion as they are strangers, the party is forced to discover the perpetrator or have their reputations blackened, especially as more and more murders occur in the town, and mysteriously stop and restart when the party leaves to go kill off that evil necromancer who kidnapped the princess.
The only problem is that a demon, possessing one of the party, is the perpetrator. And the demon makes no signs that its living in the PC's head.
In fact, for all the party knows (except for the possessed person's), their companion is an evil murderer.
Do they try and execute their friend as he's a vicious murderer, and no evidence points to demonic posession? Or do they flee town with him, trusting him, and have their reputations destroyed?
Some parallel worlds have different time-flows, like the fabled dwelling-places of the elves: those who visit them under the hill for a night return to find that years have passed in this world. Perhaps it is the gate leading between the worlds which causes the alteration. If a gate were 'misaligned', the shift from '| |' to '| \' or '| /' as it were would lead to that difference, much as a light-beam split and bent by a prism ends up taking a longer path. There might even be a mathematical function linking degree of misalignment to alteration of time-rate.
The PCs come across a town with a strange curse: Every morning, those who have grown up here wake up with the memories of someone else. They do not find this strange and have no idea it is happening. They calmly wake up and start these new lives as though they have always been that way.
The cause: A wizard who lived there was spurned by a maiden he was infatuated with. His attempt to manipulate her memories into believing they were already together and that she loved him went horribly awry.
A man is arrested for mass murder and found to be insane. Piles of corpses were found on his property, neatly stacked torsos with the skin peeled off and the limbs removed. The man readily admits the work is his, though he claims he was only chopping down trees, removing their branches, debarking them, and then stacking them to season.
The man may have swung the axe but it was a Druid who caused the delusion. This Druid is still on the loose and likely to repeat the crime. In time he may get more creative in his "punishments."
After the PCs defeat (or force the rapid retreat of) a villanous necromancer/demon summoner, they discover a book. This book outlines how to summon a demon whose power increases according to the size of the summoning circle used to summon it. And after the PCs examine a map of the country, they find that the layout of the cities and roads match up with the required summoning circle. In fact, the final road that would complete the circle is currently in construction.
With anyone who can find out about the circle and the ritual to summon the demon able to somehow make the final road/line, and destruction of the cities and roads currently in existence out of the question (unless this is an evil campaign- that removes the moral quandary), how are the PCs going to solve this problem?
As population increases, animal souls are promoted to human before they are spiritually advanced enough in terms of impulse control, etc.: this shouldn't have happened, but karmic progression is automatic, after all--it's a force of nature. But the 'animalization' of humankind bodes ill for civilization.
No doubt the same goes for elves, dwarves, and so on.
The multiple-worlds theory of cosmology allows room for every religion's Heaven and Hell and other planes to coexist, with the similar planes of all the sapient beings of all the worlds in all the galaxies...How often do the wires get crossed, as it were, leaving your paladin in a Hell for hedonistic lizards, for example.
The court wizards of Angolterre have been working for several generations to protect the dynasty. They see to it that the new monarch's names acronymically refer to a rune of protection. Once completed, the rune will make the dynasty almost invulnerable in battle, wise in counsel, etc. Unfortunately the next name, the only one that starts with the right letter, happens to have belonged to the worst monarch in living memory. Not much chance of getting the current ruler to name his child that, or for the people to put up with it if he did! What's a court wizard to do? The magic requires that the plot be kept secret of course...
For a futuristic grim gory setting. Probably powered by some kind of dilithium battery or something similarly awesome. Anyways, basicly a big drill sticking up from a hilt that you primarily use for skewering enemies painfully and drilling through armor.
"BB9, bring up the current scout results."
"I'm sorry, Coach. I can't do that."
"BB9! Bring up the scout results."
"These kinds of us, Coach, use serial numbers on our products."
"BB9, are you malfunctioning?"
"You need to indicate college basketball mentors you are significantly devoted to the adventure!"
The two men in black suits turned to each other. Their faces were white.
"Someone get the president on the line! Tell him that our ICBM handler thinks that its managing a high school basketball team!"
Maybe in the future, you can earn money by allowing yourself to be possessed by the genius loci of Taco Bell. And then it just spews ads out of your mouth during all the times you aren't using it.
By late afternoon, the sky starts to cloud over. The sun shines behind the fluffy clouds, gilding the edges and showing a Jacob's-ladder of rays streaming through the gaps...very pretty. Gradually the clouds shift into a new configuration: you realize with awe-struck, preternatural clarity that the clouds form a map of a coast-line that you know against the blue sky as ocean: surely it's a Sign! Suddenly, the golden beams coalesce into one long ray that strikes across the blue. A star-like gleam flashes under the ray: perhaps it is an island? But the charts show no island there...who would want to hide an island? Who could do it?
For you to have a near-death experience, Death must have a near-YOU experience. Take care to treat him well, and you may be rewarded... eventually.
It has been said that within the mountains (or was it the darklands?) there dwells a fluffy creature of immense cuteness. This creature is so adorable that all who encounter it are filled with joy so great their mortal forms cannot contain it. And they explode. Several magic institutions are desperate to study the creature or better yet capture one to prove the theory of an elemental plane of "D'Awwww".
A group of adventurers come across a child’s body on their adventures, odd being such a remote location. Their is no detectable sign of violence to the child, nor are their any signs of life. Suddenly the child opens its eyes, looks towards the group and introduces themselves to the adventures.
If this wasn’t odd enough, the child can’t remember where they are from, only their name and age. Stranger yet, the child has a tattoo on their right shoulder of a family crest, to a family that died out over 200 years ago.
There is a small and strange nature-worship cult that has dedicated itself to freeing vegetables. They appear usually in working pairs or trios, arriving to villages and towns separately and wearing the local garb. For some reason, they have taken to disguising themselves specifically as a scholar, a cooper, and a fisher. At night, they will sneak into backyards and side gardens, digging up household fruits and vegetables. They pile the pilfered plants into a cart and vanish in the night. While the townsfolk wake up to empty gardens, the cultists replant the fruits in the wild to let them be "free".
There is a person who has a well-known reputation, probably involving something illegal. But this person is either very clever and crafty, or really like his or her privacy, for no one knows who this person actually is. As an added twist, perhaps this person is of an age that would noramlly be wildly inappropriate (say, a child is a much-feared bandit) or maybe not the expected gender or even race.