A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.
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.
A great treasure has been stolen from the Palace and taken to the nearby Temple to the Bitch-Goddess Atrath Klee. The King demands that the party go and retrieve it - the only snag is that the Temple is guarded by potent magic that will kill any male who steps inside. It's just as well that the King has a stash of Girdles of Gender Alteration for just this circumstance.
The small coastal town of Her-Desh has vanished - the bay where it once stood is now unspoiled countryside. Moreover, the locals claim to have never heard of the place. Perhaps the Priests of the local Temple can shed some light on the mystery...
While setting up camp for the night, the PC's are aproached by another group of adventurers who seem nice enough. The road is somewhat dangerous and the other group suggests camping together. The two bands split watches, one adventurer from each group watching at once. The night goes by without incident, the next day the PC's travel with the other group as they are going the same way.
The group consists of Hordel the ranger, who is skilled with the bow. Hordel is a quiet man who speaks little but appears quite skilled. Dremar is a barbarian who is a little excentric, he seems to be an excasive drinker and thiunk that battle is the solution to everything. He appears to be a stout and powerful fighter with his greataxe. Ferrin is the leader of the group, a rouge by trade. He is daft and witty, speaking with the PCs often and asking many questions. He fights with finesse with his rapier. Preminitat as a cleric but he will not say which god he worships. He uses his spells to empower and heal his party and fights with a club. He sticks close to Ferrin. Ferrin is a great talker and tells much of himself and his party, but asks even more about the history and capabilities of the PCs. He tells of some adventures his party has had, and they seem like an interesting group of mercenaries. Hordel is quite and has little interest in speaking with the PCs, he ignores most questions. He spends a lot of time with Dremar and sometimes Ferrin. Dremar seems to not care about any questions ansked to him, nor does he seem to know the answers. He seems battle hardened and is a simple man. Preminitat rarely starts conversations but will speak with the PCs. However, some of his accounts of the party's history seem to condradict those of Ferrin.
The Party spends another night and day with Ferrin's group. One of four things can happen on the third night.
1: While eating dinner around the fire, Ferrin gets into an argument with one of the PCs when he/she mentions the discepincies between Ferrin's stories and Preminitat's.
2: Hordel gets mad after repeated questioning about his life from the PCs.
3. Preminitat gets mad after repeated questioning from the PCs about what god he worships.
4: One of the PCs rejects the offer of a drink from Dremar and he takes it as an insult.
All of these scenarios result in a battle between the parties. If Ferrin's party is defeated and still lives he swears vengance. His party may then cross paths with the adventurers again.
On route from Geli to Nekrass the characters meet a peasant boy on the road. He's wandering in the direction from which they've just come. If this seems a little bit incongruous, they may wish to ask him a few questions. He's perfectly willing to talk: he's called Lamish and he's run away because he knows he is the heir to the throne of Geli and his parents didn't believe him. How far is his home? About five weeks walk from here. How much has he eaten? Nothing. Has he drunk? Only from the filthy roadside ditches. In short, it's a wonder he is still alive. And yet he seems perfectly healthy.
Is he a thief, waiting for travellers to trick? Is he lying because there's something more sinister under all of this? Is he telling the truth? And anyway, what should the characters do? Do you take him to Geli? Do you try to find his parents? Or leave him to make his own way?
You meet a large number of villagers, walking and weeping beside the coffin of an old bearded man (or adapt to your funeral customs). If asked properly, you learn about an old wizard, a wise man that long helped the tiny village to grow and prosper. Even after death he shows his favour: he gave most of his possesions to the poorer members of the community. All the villagers show him now respect this way. Why do you ask, are you adventurers? (As a last wish, he left a tiny case for the first group of adventurers that crosses the village).
Five men are herding fifteen horses down the road. They won't be very talkative, but are willing to sell a horse, or more horses if the heroes are interested. These men are horse thieves. They are already sought by regional militiamen. Anyone with a stolen horse (all are marked) may get into trouble. If found guilty, horse thieves face prison or even a hanging execution. Similar thefts have happened only a month before, and a reward is offered.
A nation was conquered and the conquerers took control and put themselves in all positions of authority. One major problem, the new rulers and the now peasant/ruled class speak entirely different languages.
In a small farming community, the only way to cross a river is to basically pole vault across. A small section of river has a small raft on a string to pull items across but for a person to cross they must use one of the many provided poles. Might be interesting seeing what the players do when they come across it. Villagers do it all the time so are skilled and can do it with ease.
What a narrow street! The bowed windows of the upper floors encroach on the view of the bowed windows opposite, making it all very dark and shady down here in your carriage. You feel it slow down and stop, and there are raised voices outside. Craning your neck out of the door you see a smug cartsman ahead, whose cart is blocking just enough of the narrow street to make your passage impossible. He appears to be waiting for you to move, but your driver is hurling abuse at him and your horses are getting restless...
"...the city was built on many levels, linked by stone bridges. But with the improvements in diet and corresponding increase in stature and strength of the populace, these bridges became too low, and the people would hit their heads. The bridges were eventually done away with in 1764, but the scars on the walls where they once jutted out remain, and in Low Bridge Street there is still one extant bridge, measuring about 6' high." - Chronicler Rasill, Mondopedia, Vol II (The Lands of Hyellia)
"...the Ilthian mountains. A craggie masse of rock rysing from the Ilth'n plaines. The waters whych springe from it are ful of godeness and fortyfie those who drynk them [+1 STR]. Alas the vyle beasts resydent in these hills also bathe in these waters, and in the doing gain great strength. Foes mortallie wounded have bene known to flee, onlie to return, revytalised houres later..." - Chronicler Eamusil, Mondopedia, Vol XV (The Lands of Sylmen)
The extra-planar citadel of Ansern is named after its mage-founder. Ansern discovered the means to traverse the planar gulfs and created the citadel as a haven for his disciples in the art of planar-exploration. The disciples of Ansern continue his work and explore the countless worlds opened up to them by the work of the mage. They are cataloguing everything they discover in preparation for the greatest volume ever written: the Mondopedia, a book detailing many of the worlds. But the countlessness of the planes means that their book will never be finished.
I know basilisks are immune to the gaze of other basilisks, but imagine if they weren't. Like the panda they would become ecologically unviable and endangered...
There are two large stones on the thinly wooded hillside above Tiringan. It is said that two basilisks surprised each other many years ago and fell in love at first sight. They also turned to stone at first sight. A local legend of star-crossed lizards: very moving.
There is a land far to the east that is a great, desolate, near-empty wasteland home only to barbarians, ghosts and monsters. Many nations launche expeditions to this land, seeking to find the rumored-at treasures and riches beyond it's outer fringe.