I'm inviting anyone who has a short plot , set in some sort of wilderness, to post it here. These are to long for an idea seed, but to short for a normal submission. If you add a scroll, please state the setting (i.e. mountains, plains, forest), and the plot hook, and then the rest.
In the swampy badlands of the west, there stands a monolith from ancient times that emits a dull green glow at night. When the young daughter of a close friend of the PCs (or of one of the PCs themselves, if you want it to hit closer to home) disappears after being seen heading toward the monolith, the characters are drawn into a devilishly old secret.
When they arrive in the village that the girl lived in, they find grieving parents, and grimly determined villagers. Throughout the years, there have been numerous disappearances of this sort, each time it was a young girl, and each time they were never heard from again. The only reason that nothing was done before now, was that most people thought the tales to be simply a way to scare off children from going near the dangerous swamp. But now, with this most recent disappearance, the villagers are restless for revenge. They feel certain that someone, or something, is taking away these girls. So, the villagers, led by a few young, brash individuals, have decided to take things into their own hands. Their plan is to topple the monolith, and then go into the swamp to search for the missing child.
The monolith is actually a guide set up by an ancient civilization. It, when activated, leads the way through the devilish swamps, using only the safest ways known to it. But, though the magic is still active, the things knowledge of the swamp is outdated, it leads along ways that were once safe roads, but have since eroded into murky puddles. The way you activate the monolith is really quite simple, if you place both hands palm down on the surface of the rock, then the guide will appear, and start off through the swamp. The fact that all the children gone missing were girls is merely a very strange circumstance. They are neither compelled or forced to follow the guide, they are simply too curious fr their own good. The daughter that disappeared is most likely dead, either at the bottom of some bog, or at the hands of a foul beast.
The guide appears as a tall man, with an elk's skull for a head, and a body made of swirling green lights. In his gnarled hand is held a brightly shining lantern.
The Everfar Plains stretch out as far as the eyes can see, with only two things that rise more than two or three feet out of the rich soil. Those two things are: firstly, a stone statue of a hybrid cat and snake, apparently centuries old, and secondly, a grand throne, chiseled out of limestone in the shape of a giant hand, curved so as to afford the best possible seat.
As the party is traveling through the town of Spiritan, they observe a commotion coming from the town square, and people rushing toward it, gleeful smiles on their faces. The townsfolk are all heading toward the execution by hanging of a heretic. Graiban the Old, the local herbalist, started spouting things about a week ago, things that the church in town sees as blasphemous and rabble rousing ideas. Most put Graiban down as a old man gone horribly mad, but a few began to listen to his talk of a new and more powerful god. The public lynching of Graiban is supposed to quiet those followers by making an example of him as an enemy of the church.
Once Graiban stopped moving, the executioner cut him down, and the body was buried in a pauper's grave on the edge of the graveyard. If the party sticks around until night, then a few screams can be heard from the direction of the graveyard, and then silence. In the morning investigations reveal that the new grave is empty, and two young lovers lie over an old tree stump, their faces horribly scraped off. Bloody tracks lead away. off into the empty plains.
The new god that Graiban had begun preaching of, is named Tibr, an old, old god from a time that is forgotten by most. The cat-snake statue that lies in the plains is an idol to that malignant deity. One day, while out gathering herbs, Graiban found the throne and statue, and, being tired, sat down on the open palm. When he took the seat reserved, though he didn't know it, for the high priest of Tibr, his eyes were opened to all the tales that Tibr had had over a century to perfect. The tale of the creation of the world, by Tibr, of course. The tales of Tibr's great valor, and loving kindness. These tales, together with a little nudge from the forgotten god, swayed the allegiance that Graiden had to his church, and brought them around to the worship of Tibr. Graiden returned to town, and immediately began preaching of his new god.
To skip ahead a week, we will return to the current events. When Graiden died in the cause of his god, Tibr saw fit to raise him as a foul undead creature. Now, Graiden, or what was once Graiden, stalks the plains around the statue, always in search of more sacrifices.
Graiden is now little more than a shadow of his former self, gaunt skin is stretched too thin over dried bones. His head hangs to the side, looking more like a gross parody of a head, than the actual thing. There is a gaping hole in his chest, where he ripped out his unbeating heart to sacrifice to his master. His decay was sped up by the very foulness of his master, and as such, he looks as though he has been dead for a decade. In his claw-like, scabrous hand, he holds a rusty dagger, the tool used to kill the two in the graveyard.
3-Into the Forest
The small forest of Gri'nabalin is notorious for its old, old trees. Giant redwoods, and, not quite as old, ironwoods, growing in the shade of the taller trees. Many tourists and scholars would travel from across the lands to examine and conjecture about the great giants. The party gets involved, the everlasting search for fame and fortune.
Recently, there have been numerous reports about sightings of a mysterious creature. The descriptions are all pretty much the same, a long white worm, rustling through the undergrowth. Since the reports started coming, in the number of travelers to the forest has increased greatly.In addition to an increase in numbers of tourists and scholars, adventurers have been coming to try and capture or kill whatever the thing is.
The party will be met, while searching the forest, by several bands of others, usually with the same goal as themselves. Most of these bands will be , at the least, wary of consorting with rivals to the goal. The sightings are few and far between, the creature is assumed to be skittish of the larger numbers of people tramping through its forest.
The party will have pretty much the same results as everyone else, unless they go near the older, rockier part of the forest. None of the reported sightings came from that part of the forest. If they search the area, then they will find several dozen mildly concealed caves, all of differing sizes and shapes. These caves, if explored, reveal an underground network of tunnels, spread throughout the rocky part of the forest. The tunnels echo strangely with scratchings and odd hissings.
The creature sighted by all those people is a noxious thing, long a resident of the forest, and even longer of the tunnels beneath. It looks much like the worm it was said to be, save for the head. That particular facet of its anatomy is definitely insectoid. Mandibles jut out from a many-eyed head with stubby bristles above.
The beast was born below the old roots, and for years fed upon them, but when an earthquake uncovered one of the tunnels it had created, it found a new world to explore, and new creatures to feed upon.
Go do the Voodoo that You do so Well
The PC group is on a vessel headed for the ancient port-city of Talras, near a massive jungle. However, just a few hours before setting into port, the captain of the vessel and the crew surrounds your party, and demands their payment... now. I suppose you should've been tipped off by the poorly painted sign stating "not a pirate ship" they put in front of the ship at dock. Either way, you get into a brawl with the pirates, which becomes so fierce that even the navigators are caught up in the battle, and the ship crashes into the shoreline many miles away from Talras. Very few of the pirates survive, and those remaining are horribly wounded. The PC's can scavenge the pirate ship, in which case they'll probably find some sweet loot, but any PC's with character abilities like seeing into the future, or just with a very high intelect will see the need to leave the vicinity of the vessel. After a short period of time, a number of figures will stumble out of the jungle. Although human in shape and appearance, these creatures move like in a trance, their weapons scraping along the ground. They pick up the bodies of the pirates, as well as anything of military value. If the adventurers follow them, they will find a great jungle city, abandoned to the rain forest, and teeming with voodoo zombies! If they can infiltrate further into the city, they see the source of their woes: an ancient mummy of a princess from these lands. Hundreds of years ago, she plotted against the king of Talras, but lost miserably. As part of her punishment, the king ordered his royal torturers to flense away her skin, cut of her noce, and burn off her ears. She had always prided herself upon her beauty. Now, she has come back and plotted against Talras, turning every being who enters the jungle into voodoo zombies for a massive assault on Talras. Tha PC's know that they have to stop her... But how?
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? Responses (7)
Very good. Your submissions are improving.
A nice start indeed. You may want to throw an eye on the Random Encounters freetext and its submissions, especially on the "Walking Through the Forest when...". It has pretty much what you are looking for.
This is great for medieval RPGs, it's very useful
The only real criticism I have here is that the title is not an accurate description of this sub's contents. Four ideas does not make a 30. The plots themselves make nice side-quests, and I could see this submission becoming a rather useful collection with a little more input.