Every now and then a GM, diligent as he may be in his preparations, comes to an impasse. The PCs have strayed too far or into uncharted areas on his map. Now what?
This Codex is home to scrolls filling a common need, back-up plans and quick side-quests!
It is also an exercise in improvisation…
Every scroll will lead off with a visual scene, a simple description. Immediate things like “the smoldering remains of a campfire, a thin tendril of smoke still rising from the ashes” or “blood soaked bedding and a pair of new, clean boots at the foot of the bed”. Then, from the description it is up to you to explain what is happening. Details hidden from the first glance, what has transpired in the scene already and plot hook or minor side-quests are the object. Be descriptive!
(As usual, short & sweet description for the scene and all scrolls submitted for each scene should have a plot hook or two. Please
to each scroll to add a description, or
to submit a scene to be described by others.)
Additional Ideas (12)
It is a marker of
A. Something that happened here
B. Someone buried here
C. Distance to a town that no longer exists
D. A warning
E. A prophecy
"Save that for later"
"Burn the witch!" The mob screams, pulsing from within with a hatred rarely seen in the world. No longer composed of individuals, but as one organism devoted entirely to hatred the bound her and beat her, tossing her back into the small boat she'd been trying to hide in. Filling it up to the gunnels with tinder and wood they kicked it out into the current, tossing torches onto it as they did.
Upon waking the PC notices that the locket, which was once in their pocket, is in their hand and seemingly coated in tears. The character, if motivated to try and part with it, will find themselves unable to, having become in the short time they've owned it, emotionally attached. They might have a few nights good honest sleep after this, but eventually the dreams will resume.
A faceless man, with a dark hood drawn over his head, is crying over a stream, though you can't see his face. The willows around him seem to be in mourning as well, even more than a willow is normally, the tree seems to slouch with a feeling of defeat. The man, still crying, rises out of the crouch he was in and hold out a necklace with some sort of silver pendant on the end, and then tosses it into the water whispering to something unseen, "For you, my darling, I'll never forget."
The PCs eventually make it to a town, to restock and the like, but as they're walking in they pass by a grisled old man, shackled to the wall. He seems to be within steps of Death's Gate, but as the PCs walk by he looks up, and locking his eyes upon the locket that the PC had unconciously put on, he started.
"Child, where did you get that? The trinket you wear round your neck, and the tears it carries in its heart?"
Seeing his sudden movement the guard starts, and suddenly his crossbow is pointed at the PCs, and the trigger is all but pulled.
"Calm yerself, Crombie. Just cause I killed you dear old man, and burnt his damn house to the ground for what he did to Ansonia when we was both kids, doesn't mean everything I do around you is out for your death."
As the PCs and the chained man, who eventually names himself as Abner, talk about the locket the story comes out about how it was his girl, his lovely Ansonia was burnt to death by the locals for fear that she was a murderer, demon-worshiper, and necromancer. Fueled by his hatred Abner proceeded on a campaign against the locals, killing and raiding, and was only recently caught by a group of adventurers. All he asks for from the PCs is that they give him the locket.
As you walk through the streets, the city seems quieter, more solemn and stark. Old ladies close and bar their windows as you pass. Where are the flowers, ribbons, and fireworks, you wonderer as a child cracks the door to his home only to have it shut forcibly by his mother. What has befallen this town in the last 3 days while you were gone, weren't they just in the middle of a festival when you left. None of the decorations are up...
A two-piece cover for the cauldron is hidden in the brush nearby; its battered oaken face covered with ancient Druidic glyphs. Those digging in the salt that fills the cauldron will find the remains of several teenaged girls, each desiccated corpse clad in a bloodstained linen robe.
The party camping here was interrupted by one of the area's more powerful predators and ran for their lives, leaving their dangling pack of provisions behind.
"What is that heap... moving, or... you made a noise, and a flock of birds flies in panic. It is a dead deer, half-eaten, the flock settles on the trees around and waits until you leave. It is the same kind of bird, that you have seen, following. He is waiting on you."
Every now and again the heroes enter a 'different' area. This is one way to let them know how unsafe it can be. The birds are basically harmless, but the predators have some exotic features as well.