20 Strange Discoveries in Remote Places
Today's post is about unexpected finds. Perhaps your group is scouting a new area of the world or finds themselves waking up in an unknown location not sure where they are or how they got there. Maybe they are remote border guards or are travelling through a foreign desert. Whatever the case, these are not the kinds of things people see every day, in fact quite the opposite is true. These are things that few people will ever see. Feel free to use them however you like. Happy gaming.
The ship finally pierces the mist and you see the island for the first time. On the beach, you observe what appear to be 7 giant skulls, each one as tall as a man. After you land on the beach and investigate, you discover the "skulls" are actually giant mushrooms carved to look like skulls by some talented sculpter.
You discover a small lake that is not marked on the map. It is oval-shaped, roughly 100 yards long, and 50 yards wide. Steam constantly rises from the water and there seems to be a small blue island near the middle. Once you get within 30 yards of the "island", you will realize that it is really the face of a frozen giant, the rest of him lies below the water.
You crest the hill and see a small valley to the right. Something like huge snowflakes litter the hillsides of the valley and also fill the valley floor. You quickly realize that you are looking at bones, thousands of bones. Getting closer you discover the bones are those of dragons of all different types. In the middle of the valley you find a bloody altar constructed from dragon skulls.
You are travelling when you notice signs of path. Investigating, you find a trail leading to a small mining camp with a log cabin and two tents near a cave. The camp is fairly well stocked, but there is no one to be found in either of the tents or in the cabin. There are no signs of a fight, but there are indications that the site was hastily abandoned by people taking only as much as they could carry.
You part the branches to see a 70' tall ziggurat built from dinosaur bones. Bejewelled skulls engraved with unknown runes decorate each of the steps at the four corners of the simple pyramid all the way to the top. In the top is a large hole that leads into the structure. As you climb up the steps, the runes on the skulls begin to glow as you pass them. You almost reach the top and can see into the hole. Inside are numerous red glowing eyes.
You find an 18" tall skeleton dressed in a green suit with a matching bowler hat. A small clay pot filled with what appears to be gold coins is next to the skeleton. After a closer look you discover the skeleton and the coins to be fake. Touching the body, the pot, or the clothes would set off a trap, but the ropes to spring it rotted away long ago.
You see the sun glinting off some metal in a fast moving and shallow stream with a rocky bottom. Getting closer you find strange materials and odd items scattered around in a 100 yard radius circle, as if some sort of small flying device exploded in midair here. Most of the parts have probably already been washed downstream and over the waterfall.
You spot a large tentacled monstrosity, not unlike a giant squid, perhaps 35 feet long. It is hanging limply from one of the lower branches on the sequoia tree. It appears dead. Its tentacles and eyeless, bulb-like head are a smokey black in color. A closer look reveals that where the squid's beak should be, enclosed by the tentacles, there is actually the head of a black dragon.
On the clifftops, you spot signs of what might be a settlement. Closer investigation reveals a previously unknown aaracokra village, but it is long dead. It appears that some kind of raiders attacked these aaracokra in the night, killing most of them in their beds. Oddly, nothing seems looted or destroyed in the small village.
You find a small knoll. The east side of the knoll is covered in small red and yellow spotted mushrooms. The west side of the knoll is covered in shattered hand mirrors and dead doves. At the top of the knoll is a one person wooden privy that smells like fresh baked bread, but cannot be opened by any means. The magical structure itself can sustain 200 hit points before it will disappear in a puff of smoke leaving a gaping hole that decidedly DOES NOT smell like fresh baked bread.
You discover a small rundown house on a prairie. One wall has been removed and 2/3 of the house has been completely gutted except for the roof and the outside shell. On the side of the house opposite the removed wall is a small porch and a door leading to the laboratory of a either a mad tinker or a technomancer.
A two-masted ship measuring about 45 feet long sits canted at the top of a 150 foot tall desert mesa. A closer approach shows that a large group of kobolds (there could be hundreds) is using the foundered ship for a bandit fortress. Winged kobolds alertly man the two lookout positions at the tops of the masts.
You hear movement in the brush ahead. Moving closer you see a 4 foot long by 3 foot wide cedar hope chest with ornately carved feet. It is trotting in a tight circle to the left, trailing behind it about 3 feet of rainbow striped suspender ending in a brass clip. If anyone touches the chest, then it will stop moving. If anyone opens the chest, then the trapped piece of suspender will fall to the ground. The cedar hope chest is completely empty.
You follow the crude map that the natives made for you before turning back to snake through the canyons in the badlands. You enter an area devoid of life. There are no birds nor insects, let alone animals. When night falls you are surrounded by wails and moans that endure until first light.
You find a marble and alabaster fountain that cascades a colorless, odorless liquid into a small catch basin. The liquid looks like water, tastes like grape juice, and is poisonous to all who do not manage DC 15 Constitution save. Those who make the save are healed of all non-magical damage.
Stuck askew in the top of a mountain pine tree is some sort of large barrel. Closer examination reveals the device to be a barrel submarine of Gnomish construction. Inside the upside-down vehicle is the skeleton of its former captain. There are no large bodies of water for 300 miles in any direction.
While breaking up camp and putting out the campfire, you notice some strange patterns in the dirt near the edge of the fire. Closer investigation reveals what looks like boot prints, if the boots were about half an inch long. More investigation reveals these prints were all over your camp as you slept; you'd better start checking for missing items.
You notice some cave openings high in the rocks. Moving closer you can see no sign that the caves are occupied. Inside the caves, a number of huge nests are being cultivated by someone. The nests contain an army of giant hornets which is currently dormant.
In a small glen in the ancient forest you come across a novel sight: an 8 lane land tortoise race track catering to the betters and speed junkies among the fey and young ents. The track is protected by gold dragonborn and owned by an adult gold dragon.
You find yourself in the middle of a long-forgotten ancient battlefield. Early examination of the area shows the battle must have been between earth elementals and giants. A closer study of the area will unearth shattered angelic weapons and armor, as well as angelic bones.
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