In the wilds near by, over the last year or so, there has been an increase in monsters. These monsters are new and odd, as animals seem to being combined. A Owl taking on mouse characteristics, a cow growing a long shaggy coat of grass upon its back, A bear, a tree, and a squirl seem to be combined into one fearsome and odd beast. Many of the animals are malformed in some way, twisted to an odd shape. The malady is spreading beyond the wilds, into the villages. The first case, a human with catlike fur, has occured.
The person has a beloved pet cat. They now both have the same fur.
Many have investigated. It is not a curse, nor an evil spell, according to all the tests. It is not a disease, as it can not be healed. It is beyond anyone’s understanding.
The characters are either hired or decide to look into it for personal reasons, the glory, the bounty, or for lack of anything better to do.
Upon apporaching the wilds, you will find terrible (and a few admusing monsters), plants that are animal like, and a small dungeon filled with alchemical traps.
What has actually happened is a crazed alchemist retreated back into the wilds. She perfected elements of her craft in an attempt to seize the kingdom. (Before that, the Alchemist sold goods in the nearby city, until they were embroiled in some “unpleasantness” and became bitter and desirous of revenge). She wished to make monsters to form an army. The first step to do so, was to create Chimera Oil. Over the years, she created a 30 gallon drum of the substance. While creating some mind control dust, there was a terrible explosion in her lair. She did not survive. Nor did the 30 gallon drum. It slowly began to leak. In a dribble at a time, it has slowly flowed out of the lair. It finally reached the soil outside and soaked into the ground. Then into the water table. From there, this substance has slowly infected the water table.. thus the plants.. and up the food chain. As the animals ingest more and more things contaminated, they eventually build up enough oil to trigger a morph.