Here’s a collection of rumours and legends you can insert into your Monsters & Magic campaign as and when you want. Your players can find them on bits of bloodied parchment clutched in the hands of dead NPCs, scrawled on dungeon walls, or muttered about by shady characters or sung about by bards in taverns.
This is an approach I use a lot in my games. I usually have a dozen or so rumours prepared before I start play – I usually don’t detail any of the places or characters in them beyond the names given in the rumour text, but instead wait to see which ones pique my players’ interests, and then let the details come out in play. Think of them as tightly compressed scenario hooks, waiting for you and your players to unpack them in play.
Do you have any rumours or legends to add to the list? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Rumours and Legends”, and we’ll post them here!
Tall Tales and Dark Mutterings…
- The wizard Blackfear ruled over the isle of Maladorn for centuries using the deadly yet temptation-filled Periapt of All Men’s Desires. He excavated a great dungeon in which to hide his treasure and himself from harm, surrounded by fearsome traps and magical monsters. Maladorn is a wild land now, a land without a leader, yet adventurers still try their luck – and their lives – seeking the Periapt in the deadly Blackfear Dungeon.
- The Weirdwillow at the heart of Weirdwillow Forest is said to be riddled with tunnels filled with treasure. The problem is, the only known entrance is only 6 inches high, and the tunnels are the same!
- A wild-eyed old man claims to have seen swarms of rats leaving in their thousands through Koth’s Traitors’ Gate during the last full moon. When he looked closely, he saw they were carrying a tiny effigy of a galleon emblazoned with the sign of a falling star…
- Troglodytes have been seen probing the Shimmering around the Wizard City of Gramarye of late, apparently searching for one of their number who successfully made it through the magical shield. But that can’t be true – it would mean the ancient magics protecting the city were failing, or that there are troglodytes who are not evil-aligned!
- The Seven have been seen on Pinnacle Fane, and Regent Carnasia is threatening death to any who mention them.
- Zagzanaligorn the Firedrake has been seen over Withering Heath in the last month, setting fire to the Gallowgrass crop and toasting goblins. No one knows why he’s returned.
- Old Maparyl the Wild Sage is offering a year’s supply of parchment to anyone who can decipher the Oracle Stone he brought back from his recent expedition to Weirdwillow Caverns. Contact Rooster at the Slaver’s Lash any Silverday after sunset.
- Fazall the Unconquered has Fallen! The Bloodlord’s armies have been given free reign, and their wardogs will be here before sunset. Flee!
- There’s been no word from the Tower of Ebon Doom for three weeks, and there’s been talk of a strange green mist rising out of the Stirgemarsh which surrounds it. Could it be the Prophecy?
- The King’s soothsayers are saying last night’s unexpected eclipse was nothing to be worried about. But the Order of the Hairy Star has posted bans, and people are saying the Walker is abroad. Watch the skies!
- A strange old Dwimmermoor halfling in a silver chainmail hauberk approaches one of the PCs and gives them a small golden ring, looking fearfully over his shoulder. “You are the Son of the Sun (or Daughter of the Moon)!” he says in Elvish. “Keep the treasure of Mournhallow secret. Keep it safe!” He then heaves a huge sigh of relief, and disappears into the crowd.