What if some crazy wizard created an artifact that empowered rodents that touched it with one random supernatural power? Preferly right out of the pages of your favorite four-color. (But only one power!) This item does not convey any sort of intelligence boost.
Urbants-Creatures that move quickly around on their massive arms, and their "legs" dangle about from their torso, at about elbow length. They can move fairly quickly, but not as fast as an obese human, and can "jump" fairly high. Their "legs" are very powerful, and can kill with one blow. The bad thing is, Urbants cannot block attacks at their heads, which have relatively no neck, from the length of their legs being so short.
SeaClans: The six seaclans are Dolphin, Gull, Ray, Kraken, Shark, and SeaDragon. These totem animals serve as mascots rather than any deep symbol of the clan. These seafaring organizations are filled with land based saliors and fishermen. They ply the seas and deeper waterways. They function like guilds for ocean sailors
The clans have their own homeland. These people live on large floating rafts- human made islands, as well as vessels of all varieties docked to it. These wetfoots never set foot on land (or only do it for a few hours at most).
Rat Clan: This guild is nominally related to the seaclans. The Rats ply the rivers and marshes of the world, as well as do longshoreman work. The seaclans hold the self proclaimed "rat clan" in contempt and the officials see them as just a Guild of River saliors and longshoremen with a funny name. The Rats hold their title with pride and will take it out on anyone who gives them grief about it.
Khor are a monsterous and violent race. Within five years of being born, they grow to about half human size and are very, very inteligent. As they get older, they get larger... unfortunately they become less intelligent. After their adolecesence (about seven years), they grow to human size and are of a low human intelligence. As they age, they grow larger, slower, and stupider. Most of them end their lives 3 to 4 meters in height. Khor have been reported upto 10 meters tall, though those elder giant Khor do little but hit anything that disturbs them.
As they age they get larger, they don't seem to ever die of natural causes.
In some remote regions of the lands, voices of spirits and ghosts can be heard whispering in the wind, and wispy movements can be seen out of the corner of the eye.
Somewhere along the line, someone very powerful lost their marbles. Literally. Possessing a marble allows incredible clarity of thought about a particular related subject.
It is said by the village gray beards Of Breen, that the band of human exiles who founded their prosperous farming settelment almost a century ago,had to fight a long,savage struggle with the original inhabitants of the fertile valley;monstrous trolls that saw the new arrivals as meals, rather than as potential neighbours.After 5 long years, the humans with their superior steel weapons, drove the troll tribe into the bleak highlands and hills sourounding the valley.But as time passed, the old tale begun to become legend, rather than history and is regarded by most, as a mere story used by parents to frighten disobediant children.And yet the village leaders have always forbidden their people from wandering the hills....
The Water-Rift is a massive crater in the center of the desert, in the center of which sits a large, unfathomable machine that produces water. Thusly, it is a veritable paradise in the center of the burning desert, and a unique culture exists there.
The Earthblood Warrens are a series of caverns in which dwell men who live around the Earthblood Vein, a river of magma. They use the magma from the Earthblood Vein to warm and light their homes and cook their food. The Warrens are several miles long, stretching along the banks of the Earthblood Vein, and since nobody wants to walk that far, the Earthbloodmen capture large, magma-swimming serpents, which they train and ride.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.
In the middle of an unimportant combat with some bandits a burst of wild magic transforms all of the PCs and their opponents in to random animals and monsters. They retain their intelligence (though not, of course, the ability of speech). They can either carry on the combat in their new forms, panic, or otherwise react how they see best. After about an hour, they return, unharmed, to their normal form.
The characters are given the task of transporting a flask of highly volatile liquid a long distance. The flask cannot be shaken too much or it will explode. The adventure involves stormy sea-voyages, bumpy cart rides through densely populated towns and horseback combat. In short there are many opportunities for it to break and explode.
I once read a book about a group of people who discovered a hidden temple city in a mountain range, where the Incas-the ancient civilisation of Peru- had fled to when the spanish invaded. When this group found the burial chamber of one of the inca high priests, they unleashed a powerful curse upon them all...
The Californian Sea Otter, as a species, eats about 30 different types of food found throughout its range. Each individual otter, however, will only eat 3 or 4 of these foods - those it was fed by its mother as a child. It will not eat the others even if failure to do so means it would starve. Maybe other, possibly larger and more dangerous creatures and monsters, have similar habits.
Walking through the alleys of the docks district of town, you hear an old, mad beggar calling out for alms. He claims to be a god, cast out from heaven and stripped of his powers. The party passes, tossing a few coppers to him. In thanking them, the madman refers to incidents in their childhood or distant past which would have been all but impossible for him to know.
A continent is home to large, leathery flying beasts with a wingspan of over 70ft. Though shy, herbivorous and easily scared, it is possible that an enterprising person could domesticate them. They would be useless in war due to their timidity, but excellent if used for commercial air travel.
A dark necromancer has discovered a way of making the magical energy cost of resurrection less than the energy he can gain by draining their life force. Given a sufficient supply of mind-drained minions, ultimate power beckons.
King Addas loves charades, and has a troupe of mimes in his harem. To ensure that they can never cheat he has had their tongues cut out, which is why they always look so miserable and never open their mouths (the stump of a tongue is not a pleasant sight).
There are ruins, scattered about the world, and all are sealed with unbreakable locks.
When all of these locks suddenly open, what emerges?
The old pantheon is dead, starved to death from lack of worship. If a powerful mortal can create a cycle of Faith, he can become a New God, to some limiting point.
Also called "pale-yellow witch" by alchemists, this mineral is known to possess a peculiar attribute. When found, a Yupiorite will appear the palest yellow. Rather than crystalline in structure, Yupiorite occurs in weird, smooth, ovaline shapes, as if already carved by skilled hands to serve as ring or necklace ornaments. Yupiorite somehow detects and reacts to mood. When the wearer of the gem is content, calm, and happy, the stone will remain the palest yellow. As the person gets more excited, angry, or otherwise stimulated, the mineral will darken progressively to a dark corn-yellow in color. Why the gem reacts this way to sentient mood swings, is still debated by gemologists and alchemists alike.
It is said that the Elven Halls of Vala-Aluduwy are resplendent with wall-sized mirrors of pure Yupiorite, showing plainly and ironically, the emotions of everyone present, despite the Elven love of restraint and stoicism.
"Cave-grass" or "cave-pine" is a deep forest green in color, rare and often mistaken for other minerals, though otherwise mundane. Crystals form into tiny, ultra-thin, needle-like clusters by the hundreds of thousands, creating vast dark green bursts and structures, resembling evergreen conifers, if viewed by any sort of light. Despite its ephemeral shape, Aragdulose is only second to a diamond in hardness.
Dwarves are said to keep these mineral "trees" in their homes, putting them up during festive family holidays, leaving presents beneath them, for kin to open.