A group of Mages sought to create an Elixir of Fertility, to deal with the Curse of the Empty Cradle. After acquiring such things as the 'ahem' vigor of a war deity, and the 'ahem' blessing of a forest goddess, the mages almost created the cure. Instead, the vessel of Divine Virility was spilled, and instead of curing sterility, infused the ancient hill with life. The temple and alter rose, becoming a demonic force of life essence and the fecundity of nature.
freedom of speech is allowed in what is normally a dictatorship.
If someone is murdered, they can be brought fully back to life if raised within 5 minutes, after that they are Undead and will start decomposing at a normal rate.
The mage who invented teleportation knew nothing about the ten-dimensional cosmos, so was perplexed that the subjects sent through the portal arrived horribly scrambled, having been randomly rotated through several of the hidden six dimensions.
It is traditional for two warlike countries to each give their first-born royal prince as a hostage to each other to prevent war. One of the princes has been murdered, and the PCs have a few days to rescue the prince in the other country to save him from being executed and a bloodthirsty war from breaking out.
When a miracle is worked, when a God turns His attention to the mortal realm, the mortal realm is irrevocably changed by the Divine Presence. When this takes place through a living being, they become the Godmarked. Ever with one foot in life, and one foot in the realm beyond, they are emotionally and physically altered - always in a fashion that reflects the nature of the God that they have channeled - One who channels a God of the Winds may forever have a breeze lifting their hair, while a Goddess of Anger may blacken the skin and strengthen the body.
A certain country allows most civilians to carry weapons, but only if they are potentially deadly. Pepper sprays, stun guns/tasers, batons, and dart guns are banned. And if you kill someone and are not acquitted at trial, the punishment is to be hanged the day after you were found guilty. The message here is that if you want to go armed, you had better be prepared to risk killing someone and being executed unless it was clearly self defense.
When it comes to combat spells, again, only the highly dangerous can legally be cast with the same possible consequences if cast wrongly.
Many weapons buried with the dead are buried for a very good reason as they have had a potent curse placed on them making them dangerous or near-useless to the living.
A certain tribe in a valley believes that the soul remains trapped in the body after death and is aware of it. So they treat their dead as if they are alive, talking to them and keeping them at home. They are used to the stink and for some reason are also immune to the diseases that this practise causes but outsiders are not so lucky.
The Pcs discover an ancient, dusty oil lamp, somewhere in the bowels of a dungeon. Naturally they "rub it", and out pops a wizened, old djinn. So far so good. Then it speaks...
"Ah at last, at last I am free! Now grant me my wish!"
When the PCs explain that they are the ones that should be granted a wish, the malignant djinn explains to them that his particular oil-lamp has a curse placed upon it. Whomsoever releases the entity inside shall be geased to grant the djinn's wish to the best of their ability.
Groans ensue from the party. The djinn rubs his wrinkled hands, grins, and proceeds to name his wish. What could it be?
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.
The PCs are exploring the catacombs beneath a Colosseum-in-Rome type of structure, when they come across a foul-smelling, stagnant, ankle-deep with algae, public mass latrine. Countless urinals of marble, line this rather large chamber equally crafted of marble. Whatever system of plumbing once worked here, has not in many years. Old graffiti lines the stained,dirty walls, prominently bolded are such intellectual poetic musings as, "Urine For It Now", "I Pee Therefore It Comes" and "Now Urine Trouble".
A few moments after the PCs get to take in this unpleasant location, they hear the low rumbling of ancient plumbing and rather large Urine Elemental rises like a great, wet, wave of filth to attack them. The creature reeks and exudes noxious debilitating fumes, while its liquid strikes burn flesh like acid.
Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.
Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.
It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.
These rare, fist-sized spiders do not make webs, but rather excrete secretions which harden upon contact with air. These "droppings" resemble barley-sized spider eggs, or even lustrous pearls, once the slime coating them, dries up. In fact, dried Pearl Spider "drops" are indistinguishable from the marine varieties produced by mollusks, and hence of identical value on the open market!
Several centuries ago, they were studied by naturalists, and several observations were made. Firstly, was that these spiders "lay" these pearls for no apparent or discernible "natural" reason, and secondly, the naturalists had discovered that the more these spiders ate or were fed--and they were true omnivores--the larger the spider pearls came out.
A cottage industry began. Enterprising merchants hunted and collected these creatures across the lands, erecting spider-farms for the manufacture of Spider Pearls. It wasn't long before someone got the idea to force-feed the spiders, ala foie gras geese, and soon, the fattened spiders began pooping out pearls of great size! (relatively speaking). The regular pearl market came to disarray, and prices and value fluctuated wildly.
[b]Plothook[/b] The Mermen Mercantile Alliance hires the party to eradicate all terrestrial Pearl Spider Farms!
An army and navy who work in the same way as others except their rank titles are upside-down. So people start as full generals and those with the rank of private command armies.
A massive iron key - 2’ length, 20 lbs forged with demonic faces from the bones and horns of demon-lords. When used with a massive portal - carefully built according to documents found in powerful books of evil knowledge, it will open into the realm of demons and allow them to flood into the world. The applications of this item for villains are obvious. Mortals touching this item are subject to [Effects_of_Touching_Powerful_Evil_Artifacts]
In a deeply unsettled world, much of it anarchistic or ruled by murderous gangs, a group have adopted the armour, weapons and discipline of an army of the distant past.
As they are travelling along the road, the characters come upon a carriage under Goblin attack. They rush to the rescue and defeat the attackers, but the owners of the carriage, a man and a woman, are already dead. As they rummage through the corpses looking for gold and valuables they hear a noise coming from inside the carriage. Investigating, they find a young child hiding underneath one of the benches. What will they do with this orphan?
Strolen's Citadel is an actual place of learning in the world- what is it like?
"Ladies and Gentlemen of Worth, please come closer and have a look... " In a little stand with numerous maps, the human Advantos sells land-rights with a shining smile and jovial talk at bargain prices. He sells even squatter rights (first to settle is the owner). About 20% of the lands do not exist or belong to someone else. About 30% do not have even that value, or have other problems attached- swampy, cursed, haunted, Old Indian/Pet Cemetery (tm)... Be assured you will not see this man in the same city twice.