The PC's ship happen upon a ramshackle vessel barely keeping above the waves. On board are a ridiculous number of refugees in very bad condition. There are too many on board to easily take on the PC's own ship. It is obvious that the next bit of bad weather will spell the end for the passengers. The PCs are now given the dilemma of what to do? If they pull overside, then the refugees will attempt, en masse, to board the PC's better ship, possibly overloading it, or upsetting their own vessel, causing many weakened persons to fall into the water. If the PCs ignore the vessel, then it could be a problem for characters such as priests & paladins who need to uphold good. To add to the problem, make the refugees a relatively unpopular, but not evil, people.
This encounter can be scaled appropriately - but it needs to happen on the high seas, so that the simple option of landing the ship is not available. Go to Comment
The PC's lookout sees smoke on the horison. If the PC's ship moves closer to investigate, they will see that it is medium-sized longship and that it is piled with burning brush. It appears to be a funeral ship - the body has alredy been consumed by flame, but there does appear to be some grave goods remaining.
If the PC's decide to try and salvage something, they have a few issues:
1. Ship is on fire :)
2. Moral issues - this is graverobbing.
3. If they are seen by another ship of the same group, they will be attacked without mercy. Go to Comment
The PC's are treated to a rare performance by mother nature - a Waterspout appears some distance away from the PC's vessel. Generally these are not as dangerous as land-based tornadoes, but then again, this may not be a natural waterspout... Go to Comment
A strange fog descends upon the ship, limiting visibility to just a few feet. Within the fog is an array of evil spirits who will then enter the ship and cause one or more misfortunes:
Effects of the Killing Fog...
1. A crew member or other NPC is possessed and become psychotic.
2. A crew member or other NPC disappears into the fog. Someone might hear a body fall into the water, but the encompassing fog makes rescue unlikely.
3. A shipboard animal - perhaps a pet, war dog, or other beast, undergoes a grotesque transformation, becoming demonic in visage and attacking.
4. A crewman or NPC is found dead, their skin a dreadfully pale white. Unless properly disposed of with funeral rites, they will come back to haunt the ship. Searching of the ship turns up nothing.
5. Incorporeal undead board the ship - perhaps as minor as poltergeists, or as deadly as wraiths.
6. All sources of fire are snuffed and refuse to light for many hours after the fog dissipates.
The ship encounters a massive school of fish - so many cod that the progress of the ship is impeded. Using nets, baskets or other devices, the ship can load up on as much fish as it cares to carry. Go to Comment
The old Matriarch in charge of the herd may be able to draw upon magics to help find water, navigate generally and to perhaps communicate over distances their already awesome abilites do not allow. The Elephant's graveyard may be a place the Matriarch would go to to commune with their ancestors.
Magics to help calm males in frenzy would be useful also and to counter that of any predator creatures. Perhaps they can sustain longer migrations then one would believe partly though the intercession of magic. Go to Comment
As the PCs travel the road, right after a bend they hear a sharp whistle and call: "Heeey, not so lazy, move your asses!" It is a large man that calls, and there are unwilling workers that listen. A small company, 10-15 men work on the road, push boulders aside, dig up roots from under the road, etc. The large man that shouted turns to you, smiles fast and mutters something under his breath, sounds like cursing some lazy worker. "Where does the road bring you from, travellers?" And does a little small-talk.
And what is really happening? A group of bandits is 'adapting' the road for shady purposes. The road will not be wider, but tighter, with enough cover around (and a few traps perhaps), and will become an ideal spot for ambushing travellers or entire caravans. The bandit leader wants them all to appear harmless. The 'lazy worker' he cursed was actually a guard that should give warning before any travellers come around (fallen asleep). Not surprisingly, the boss may decide for an ambush even now.