1-Canyon of the Blind
This canyon is inhabited by a tribe of people who have lost their sight, and have greatly improved senses of hearing and smell. They know every inch of their canyon. Staying in this canyon for too long will cause the eyesight of the PCs to start to blur, until it fades entirely. If the PCs are friendly and respectful to the blind canyon dwellers, then the canyon dwellers will be friendly and respectful right back. If the PCs treat the blindness of the canyon dwellers as an invitation to steal from them and/or hurt them, then a large number of canyon dwellers, too many for even the PCs to fight and win against, will chase them. If they catch them they will tie them up and keep them in the valley until their sight has gone. There should be a way for the PCs to get their sight back, but it will require a lengthy sub-quest. If the chased PCs get out of the canyon, the blind tribe will give up the chase.
2-Canyon of Nature
This canyon is beautiful and teaming with animal and plant life found nowhere else. There are several reasons for this; it might be a national park, in which case the PCs are likely to encounter rangers who enforce the park rules, or a royal hunting preserve, in which case the PCs are likely to encounter royal foresters who enforce the forest laws, or inhabited by elves who most likely will not be happy to meet intruders. How hostile or otherwise anyone they encounter is, is largely dependent on the behavior of the PCs. If they stay on the paths and don't hunt or damage things, they will most likely not face any trouble. If they poach, willfully destroy trees and plants and the like, then a fight, perhaps to the death, is very likely.
3-Canyon of the Dragons
This canyon is inhabited by a family of dragons (two fully grown ones and a number of far smaller dragonettes that are very young) and they live in the nearby caves in the canyon walls. The dragonettes have small hoards of gold and jewels in their caves and can be killed by the PCs, although it would not be an easy fight, but if they kill one or more of them it will not be long before the massive full sized dragons show up and do their best to kill and eat the PCs. Unlike the dragonettes, the full sized dragons can breath fire, cast potent magic spells, can speak and are so large that they can destroy a town by setting it on fire from end to end. If the full sized dragons encounter the PCs and the PCs have not stolen from the hoards and/or hurt/killed the dragonettes, then provided they are respectful the adult dragons will most likely let them pass though the canyon.
4-Canyon of the Military
This canyon has been taken over by the military, either as a military base, or because the country is at war with another one and the canyon is being guarded against invaders. Either way, the only way the PCs will be getting through this particular canyon is either with the approval of the military authorities or by disguising themselves as soldiers and managing to sneak through.
5-Canyon of the Small
This canyon has a sinister spell cast upon it, in that whoever enters it shrinks along with everything they are carrying, and stays small until they leave it. Normal insects are like giant insects, normal spiders are like giant ones, lizards are like dragons, and a single drop of rain can soak somebody. The spell only works on intelligent lifeforms and whilst a normal sized person could walk the canyon in an hour, it will take far longer shrunk. If a gold piece is found in the canyon, it will seem so large that it takes two PCs to carry it. Sadly, when the PCs get to the end of the canyon again, the gold piece will stay the same size.
6-Canyon of the Royal Dead
The canyon is one where the dead monarchs of the country that the PCs are in have their tombs-tombs that are likely to contain a lot of Funeral Gold Gold and Grave Silver. If the tombs are relatively recent then they are likely to be guarded, and it may be that unauthorized access into the canyon is punished with death. If the tombs are very old ones, first there are likely to be Barrow Wights, Bandage Beasts and the like, and also, most or all of the tombs will have already been robbed by those who passed through the canyon before the PCs got there. Perhaps the tombs are very old indeed and are this nation's Barrows of The First Men in which case there is treasure to be found if the PCs know how to get to it in the right way.
7-Canyon of the Gallows
Here, in the only pass in the mountains near a large city, is where the nearby city places the bodies of the hanged and also carries out it's executions, as a deterrent to visitors who might be considering committing crime in the city . Some bodies may be in gibbet cages, others just hanging from the neck. Some might be fresh or tarred corpses, others are bloated and decomposing or just piles of moldy bones upon the ground. As there have been executions taking place here for centuries, there are a large amount of dead bodies. Perhaps the PCs meet someone who was strung up alive in a cage, and offers them information if they release him or her. Or they find an important NPC who is about to be hanged, and have to free him or her and evade the City Guards that will surely be sent after them when the news gets back to the city.
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? Responses (6)-5
Update: This was meant to be a 30 but real life just got in the way too much. Out with it!!!
I liked where this was going, the visuals for the Canyon of the Gallows was interesting, and I find myself making up more details for it
This is a good thread of idea seeds. Each of these is a little plot, story or encounter and I enjoyed reading over them. I really liked the Canyon of the small idea and the Canyon of the Gallows.
4/5 High marks in usefullness and art, liked first one best
A good set of encounters.
Gallows canyon is great, and brought to mind how Conan came across Subatai in the original movie! :)
Canyon of the blind begs for an origin myth/tale.
Some good ones here!