The Settled Lands: Rumors
Elminster wanted to know of any events that might be interesting to young adventurers. Although it's against my better judgment, I have included some of the rumors that have drifted my way. Use them at your own risk.
As long as I've got your attention, I want to remind you of your own home towns. Remember the people who will still be tending to their own gardens when you've gone off chasing your next big adventure. Remember the faces of their children and the singing at the taverns. Treat them with the respect they've earned.
A mage in Suzail crossed a gelatinous cube with an ochre jelly, which he domesticated and trained to clean streets. The plan worked for a few weeks until the cube developed an appetite for horses and had to be destroyed. When the mage attacked the jelly cube with a fireball, the creature disappeared.
Horses are still vanishing from the streets of Suzail, causing many to wonder if the jelly cube still exists. Did the fireball cause the jelly cube to become invisible? Or did the mage invent the story about the fireball to conceal a sinister motive for creating the jelly cube?
An explorer discovered the corpse of a giant golden carp on the bank of a pond south of the Thunder Peaks. A Thunderstone sage determined that the carp succumbed to a gill rot disease. Unless the pond is treated with an antidote - made from the shells of popper shrimp, which thrive in the Wyvernwater, as well as the irrigation canals in the village of Nesmyth - all of the carp will be dead by the end of the year. If the carp die, the sage fears that the red dragon who guards the pond will retaliate against the villages in the area.
A mushroom hunter from Minroe claims to have seen an earless medusa in a cave in the foothills of the Storm Horns. If the medusa can't hear, she won't be repelled by the shriekers that the Minroe citizens have stationed in their village. Minroe needs someone to track down the earless medusa and destroy her before she can reproduce.
Sembian farmers on the coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars have developed a strain of self-harvesting kelpie. The farmers supply the mature kelpies with boars and other edible game; in turn, the kelpies round up and destroy their immature brethren, leaving the corpses on the beach. Farmers process the kelpie corpses into mulch and sell it as fertilizer. The farmers are now teaching their kelpie aides to use sickles and knives to facilitate the harvests.
There is growing concern that the kelpie aides may be on the verge of a revolt; the kelpies are becoming more reluctant to cooperate with the harvests, preferring instead to practice with their weapons.
Shadowdale seers predict an early frost that will have devastating consequences for crops. A wizard says he can create an enchantment to delay the frost if someone gathers the components, which include a lichling's wing, a scale from a gargantuan amphisbaena, and a cup of body fluid from an ochre jelly.
A pride of manticores has appeared on the outskirts of northern Cormyr to reclaim a parcel of land they say was stolen from their ancestors. City records verify that a century ago about a dozen manticores were destroyed when Cormyr administrators annexed the property for commercial development.
The current administrators, however, have no intention of returning the property to the manticores. The manticores have warned the administrators that failure to comply will result in all-out war; the manticores claim ogres, trolls, and black dragons as allies.
Seventy years ago, the eight Gender brothers farmed 200 acres of plum trees on the eastern edge of Suzail. One summer evening, Tryss, the eldest Gender, attempted to poison the youngest brother, Ermyn, whom he suspected of embezzlement.
Ermyn retaliated with his sword. The remaining brothers chose sides and joined the battle. By morning, all eight were dead.
Today, the eight brothers occupy the farmhouse as ghosts. The ghosts squabble every night, their shouts and screams audible a mile away. The deteriorated plum trees are now home to thousands of bats, including a sizable number of sinisters. The bats are a nuisance to travelers, and they occasionally swoop through the city on their nightly hunts. Local farmers are reluctant to do anything about the bats, as they keep the area free of crop-destroying insects.
Still, more bats arrive every year, and some believe the growing population spells trouble. Where will the bats go when there are no longer enough insects to feed them? What if the plum trees begin to attract mobats and night hunters - or worse? If the bats feel threatened, how will the ghosts react?
Featherdale mage's ambitious but ill-conceived plan to create a network of underground irrigation canals literally fell through when his first tunnel collapsed, trapping the mage inside. The mage had enchanted a female ankheg to do the digging. It's suspected that the ankheg and mage survived for a day or two, taking shelter in a cavern at the tunnel's end. Both are now presumed dead. The mage's family has offered a sizable reward for the mage's body. As yet, no one has attempted to recover the body, deterred by rumors that the ankheg gave birth before she died.
Assault on Blessus
A group of evil druids are trying to convince a venerable green dragon living in a forest east of Harrowdale to allow them to turn it into a dracolich. The green dragon will agree if the druids unearth the remains of two of its children from a corn field outside of Blessus, a nearby elven village. The dragon wants to inter his children in the Sea of Fallen Stars, the final resting place of their mother. The druids are considering a number of ways to bring Blessus to its knees: storms of skull-sized hail, swarms of stag beetles, attacks from undead hill giants, or perhaps a combination of all three.
The various effects of Kaymendle's magic seem to be going haywire. The dog-cloud's accuracy seems to be failing, and the cloud is beginning to bark with great voice in the early morning hours. The citizens, demanding a peaceful night's rest, want Kaymendle to come back and repair the apparition.
In the Thunder Peaks, the farmers have reported bolts of electricity exploding with the force of fireballs. Not wishing to have their crops suffer any more losses, they're searching for the reclusive wizard as well.
Ankhegs have reported to be massing at the edge of the Desertsmouth Mountains, some 40 miles southeast of Daggerdale. Speculation persists that some mad wizard has discovered a way to lure the beasts, and is preparing an assault on Daggerdale.
Still other rumors claim that the area is an ancient mating ground that decreases gestation time, allowing the ankhegs to reproduce young in as little as two weeks. Such an increase in the population would be necessary to carry out a war, some believe, or for perhaps even darker tasks.
Daggerdale is offering a sizable reward for information on the ankhegs' activities.