A wagon lays overturned on the forest road, bodies savaged by tooth and claw lay strewn about it, their weapons clean of blood, seemingly unused.
A lone man runs from an unseen threat, deeper into the forest, away from the grisly scene in the road. He stumbles, his foot having caught on a root. He lands hard, his lungs feel like lead. Panting, he comes to his knees. Two eyes of emerald light meet his, a low growl emanates from the beast, and his death is swift.
An ashen grey willow with pale leaved tendils obscuring it's gnarled trunk. Sitting in the mire of great swamps, rare even in it's natural environment. The Banshee Willow's bark is known to have magical properties. Travelers beware, these trees seem to attract ghosts and other unsavory undead.
A hardy deep blue vine with needle-like thorns and bright orange flowers. If pricked by Widowthorn one should quickly seek the antidote or a natural remedy, the poison secreted by the thorns induces drowsiness and saps one's strength.
Clockworks & Psionics combined to create bipedal automatons that run on souls stolen from those close to death. The sick, the wounded, the weak. All gathered to power tireless soldiers with glowing gem-like hearts in their chests.
Coinlake sits perched between two sheer cliffs in the Stigrani range, and is difficult to find, much less approach. Four miles long and two across, the water is a vibrant cyan blue. The lake's shoreline is an unassuming beach of gray pebbles, and its mean depth is seventy feet. The rare times when the sun makes its way between the cliffs and shines over the the still water, one could see clearly the lake's rock-strewn bottom.
Strangely, no fish or aquatic life can be found here.
At night, a peculiar phenomena occurs. When the night sky is clear, the moon and stars are reflected in the lake's surface, but if one were to look at the surface from a high vantage point, the reflection does not match the firmament above!
Instead the water's surface reflects the night sky of some other distant world and seventeen shining golden moons besides, each ones shimmering upon the water like so many gold coins!
Legends whisper that Coinlake is not a lake at all, but a gate or nexus, to some distant alien world.
The mystery has long remained unsolved, and only recently has the Arch-Duke commissioned an expedition to uncover the secret of Coinlake once and for all. Among the team members are several scholars of the Nascent Academy, an astrologer from the Occultists Guild, and of course the PCs, acting as body guards.