Treasure chest of Mystara ideas

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------------------- My players: kindly keep out -------------------------


I have decided to create a treasure chest with loose ideas for campaigns in Mystara. The ideas are meant to add flavour and colour to adventures by adding details that give it that "extra touch" - that sense of believability.

The ideas include interesting encounters, local customs, taboos, superstitions, traps, organisations, quirks, adventure plots and more.

I will be posting more on an irregular basis and I encourage others to do the same. Compliments are welcome, of course, but let us try to keep actual discussions of any of the ideas in other threads


:-) Jesper


1. Ierendian druids do not make magical potions. Instead, they enchant fruits to have the same properties. The fruits are indistiguishable from normal fruit except that they detect as magical and do not rot.

2. Barbarian tribes in the mountain ranges of Norwold believe that when the immortal of winter, Furgion, walks the land in his tattered white cloak he leaves a blanket of snow everywhere. It lasts until his daughter Winnifree, the immortal of spring, comes searching for him each year.

3. The elven hunters and scouts of Alfheim wear cloaks made from living foilage that looks like green blankets of living leaves.

4. Someone has stolen a mountain giant's Tun of Ale (everful barrel of ale from Book of Marvelous Magic). Furious, he has blocked a mountain pass in the Altan Tepes with boulders and refuse to open it until someone restores his beloved barrel to him.

5. To solve a quest the characters are told to seek out an oracle - The Talking Stone - somewhere in the Dwarfgate mountains. Actually, the talking stone is just a Galeb Duhr.

6. A magical sword that mirrors the soul of the person wielding it and always has an extra bonus against creatures of the opposite alignment.

7. When Ilbadur the Archmage died centuries ago a new starsign of seven stars appeared in the sky. These seven stars form a pattern correlating to seven locations in the Known World. At each location is one of the keys to Ilbadur's tomb and wealth.

8. At some point in a magical maze there blows a strong wind. If the characters use a machine to reduce their own size to just one foot, the wind will take them to the next level of the dungeon.

9. The characters are told that "the secret of XX will come from the lips of Caywin" and that they can find him in a wild area of the Savage Coast. Actually, Caywin is not a man but a gigantic image of a man similar to the Nazca lines in Peru. Unless the characters in their search take to the air, they may never find him... A clue to the secret is burried at the mouth of the image.

10. The Rogue's Den is an inn onboard a permanently docked ship in the harbour of Specularum.

11. Athelstan the Rogue carries a bit of rope that he was once going to get hanged with in Kerendas with him as a good luck charm.

12. There are several bands of adventurers across the Known World who sometimes bump into one another when they go after the same dragon hoard or some such. Competition for money and fame is often quite fierce.

13. All the furniture of frost giants, including treasure chests, are gigantic in size. The characters are going to have to scale a ten foot high chest just to peek inside.

14. Dwarven miners from Rockhome have special helmets with oil lamps attached to the front of them.

15. A priest of Loki or some other mischievious immortal starts a rumour which leads to a gold rush.

16. In a ruin in the wilderness of Darokin the characters encounter a "grandfather plaque" (2nd E gargoyle) face on a door. The plaque promises them the riches behind the door, if they promise to use some of it to rebuild the ruin and give it a meaningful existence again.

17. In a temple in Thyatis the beating of a huge gong more than 50 feet in diameter signals the beginning of religious ceremonies. To beat the gong, 8 men have to push an enormous wooden pole hanging in chains from the celing.

18. A guild of cat burglars in Darokin use special pellet crossbows and little glass pellets with knock-out gas to incapacitate guards.

19. An area of the Heldanic Territories is often covered in scolding mist and weird groaning and hissing sounds can be heard. The locals believe a dragon lives there but it is actually just normal geyser activity.

20. Ancient rolls of parchment speak of a sheik in the Ylari desert who was the wealthiest of all. But his tomb does not contain gold or gems but a Decanter of Endless Water.

21. An Alphatian spy mistakes one of the characters for his contact and passes on sensitive information about the city's defences and military installations. The Thyatian counterintelligence mark the characters as spies and the Alphatians try to eliminate them to cover up their mistake.

22. A Karameikan knight wears spurs fashioned from the horns of a demon he once killed.

23. A Thyatian senator send the characters on a suicide mission because they are becomming too powerful and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

24. A young mage needs a rather special component for a spell: a leaf from a Vampire Rose coloured red from his own blood!

25. The characters end up in Thar's prison where there are no cells but metal cages hanging from the celing in huge metal chains instead.

26. A different treasure for the characters to find: A magical pentagram worth enough gold to suffice for the casting of high-level conjuration/summoning spells.

27. The characters find a map indicating that a treasure is burried on the banks of a river in Karameikos but when they arrive they see that a tavern has been built right on top of the spot!

28. A djinni in human guise hires a thief to break into the home of a Glantrian wizard and steal a bottle wherein his mate is trapped.

29. The characters encounter the fighter Adrerad who is depressed. He comes from a long line of famous adventurers and has trouble living up to the expectations and heroic name of his father and grandfather.

30. At an inn somewhere in Thyatis the characters come across Tiran the Mighty and his old mentor Ederim Dragon-Slayer. Tiran, an accomplished dragon-slayer himself, is acting like a rock star and mocks old Ederim, who has turned into a drunk. Angry, Ederim says he will train a new pupil, who will become even greater than Tiran. If the characters have shown him the least bit pity he will probably announce one of them as his new protegé!

31. A bridge across the Hillfollow river is shaped like a gigantic ogre of stone standing in the middle of the river with his arms spanning across it to the banks on either side.

32. Interesting spell components difficult to come by: a horn played over a dead warrior's grave, mold from a general's shroud, a battle standard carried into an ambush, a red dragon's tooth, an unopened blossom from a deadly plant, a tear cried in sorrow, hair from a live werewolf gathered at full moon, a lock of hair freely given by a hag, a rusty nail from a gallows, a diamond shattered by a titan, the reflection of an invisible stalker!

33. A student at the Great School of Magic could never remember the passwords for some of the doors in the school, so he wrote them down in the margin of his spellbook.

34. An orc shaman turns himself into a hawk and kills the carrier pidgeons carrying messages to and from Fort Hobart and/or Fort Nell.

35. A powerful Alphatian wizard's guarding golem is constructed as a barking, growling pitbull of steel!

36. Somewhere the characters have to pass a magical elven bridge made of enchanted moonlight.

37. Some tribes of elves use facial paint with magical properties (like in some of Elmore's cool pictures from 0E D&D).

38. The characters cast detect magic and discover a magical trap down a corridor. Unless the rogue is very careful he will probably trigger the mechanical trap right next to it, when he tries to disarm the glyph.

39. A villain making a dramatic escape in a hot air balloon.

40. The characters meet a wandering priest who is trying to raise enough money to build a new temple.

41. The local peasants who cannot afford clerical healing have a substantial knowledge of the beneficial properties of herbs.

42. The omelettes served at the Shady Dragon Inn are so big that the customers usually joke about them being made from dragons' eggs.

43. A PC rogue is poisoned and told he has 24 hours to do a certain job. If he does not, he won't get the anti-dote. So, he has 24 hours to do the job and prepare some way to get even with the people who poisoned him.

44. The characters are publicly "dared" by some other adventurers to perform a specific act to prove their courage.

45. If a character makes a pact with a devil the bargain is sealed with payment of "the Devil's Silver" - the devil presses a burning silver coin into the palm of the character, which leaves an unerasable mark.

46. If you steal from a thieves' guild you may have to stage your own death to get away with it. On the other hand, stealing an entire month's worth of illegal gambling profits...

47. On the road between Dolos and Nemiston the characters encounters a wandering monk who asks to join them. Actually, he is a spy working for a band of highwaymen and trying to asses their strengths and weaknesses.

48. A bountyhunter turns up a the inn the characters are staying at to arrest someone they have just met.

49. Two competing brewers in Soderfjord want the characters to help judge who manufactures the best brew in town.

50. Trying to cross the Helleck River near Hendry in Darokin the characters encounter a big brute of a man who demands money for allowing them to use "his crossing".

51. The characters pass an old crone sitting by a wayside shrine. She laughs madly and tries to make them give a donation. She warns them that bad things will happen, if they do not.

52. The characters encounter Bartolomeo - a Darokinian seller of snake oil and other bogus potions.

53. The halflings of the Five Shires are famous for brewing beer made from wheat, which gives it a very sweet fruity taste. They also excel at pies, pancakes and marmalades.

54. The Ylari serve small cups of bitter coffee along with cookies sweetened with rose petals. They also eat a lot of dates and figs and even make wine from dates.

55. In Ierendi it is a rite of passage into manhood to hunt the giant crabs that nest on the beaches of the islands. The meat of this dangerous creatures are a delicacy, which is used in soups and salads in taverns all over the realm.

56. Laspeera, a mermaid, is the diva of the inn "The Singing Mermaid" in Ierendi. She lives in a waterfilled cave, connected to the sea, beneath the inn and emerges every night from a pool in the middle of the taproom to sit on a small rock and sing for the guests.

57. Rockhome dwarves eat lots of pork because pigs are some of the only animals they raise as livestock. They brew a lot of different ale and beer and also produce many strong spirits.

58. Probably inspired from Oechala, the Minrothad merchants have taken to eating sushi and other types of raw fish.

59. The nomads of Ethengar ferment milk from yak oxen into a type of alcohol.

60. In Norwold and Helskir people eat everything from the sea but specialities include steaks of whale meat and soup from the fins of sharks.
Interesting brain-storm there Spellweaver. It's amazing how reading one sentence written by someone else can actually trigger a flood of ideas.

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

Originally posted by Hugin
Interesting brain-storm there Spellweaver. It's amazing how reading one sentence written by someone else can actually trigger a flood of ideas.

Thank you very much Hugin! :D I am glad if you could use some of it.

Here are another 20 ideas, inspired by various real-world cultures. Again, I am not sure they all fit with Mystara canon but use them as you see fit.

Enjoy!

:-) Jesper


61. The houses of the Northern Reaches all have beautiful carvings of dragons and snakes along the edges of the roofs.

62. The dragon headpost of the Northmen longships are used to signify warlike intentions and to ward off evil seamonsters and -spirits.

63. Mystara has much different architecture. Thyatian and Caurenzan architecture favours symmetry and lots of pillars, gardens and fountains. Ylari architecture favours white buildings with golden onion-shaped tops to reflect the sun.

64. Houses in the Northern Reaches are half buried in the ground and has only one entrance – a low door that leaves you vulnerable to attack coming in.

65. The hot climate in Ochalea has caused the people to build houses with Asian-style paper walls and floors of bamboo.

66. When a child is born in the Northern Reaches, a priest or a wise woman is usually present to make omens and predictions about the child’s future.

67. On the night of her wedding, maidens will help a Northman bride decorate her bed stand with flowers to bless the marriage with fertility.

68. Dead northmen are usually entombed with their most important belongings. Some jarls are burned on a funeral pyre in their longship on a river or by the coast.

69. The jarls of Soderfjord elect their War Leader by throwing a black arrow on the floor, one-by-one, at the feet of the candidate, they vote for.

70. When a child is born in the Empire of Thyatis, people thank the immortals by sacrificing animals at the temple. This is also a way of displaying wealth. People fear that disease or worse might strike the infant if a sacrifice is not made.

71. Thyatian children are often named after their grandparents or great-grandparents to honour them.

72. Soldiers who serve in the legions of Thyatis for more than 15 years are awarded their own little piece of land on the frontier somewhere. This is a reward for serving the empire but also ensures that an experienced militia can be raised with little notice or difficulty in the frontier borderlands.

73. When a wealthy man dies in the Thyatian Empire, the family will dress his body in rich clothes, spray it with expensive perfumes and parade it though the city on a bier covered with purple velvet, while a torch-carrying funeral party will chant and sing songs to praise the deceased’s accomplishments in life. Priests will walk in the front of the procession swinging censers of burning incense. At the temple the rich man’s body will be burned during a religious ceremony and the ashes entombed in an urn.

74. Poorer people in the Thyatian Empire are usually just burned at the temple while a priest chants and the relatives pray for the soul’s journey to the next world.

75. To bless a pregnant Ierendi woman, old women rub a holy ointment of fertility on her swollen stomach.

76. If two Traladaran men are courting the same woman and she is unable to choose between them, it is tradition to settle the matter with a knife duel, though not necessarily to the death.

77. People in Darokin believe that the dead have to pay two pieces of gold to be ferried across the River of Death. Therefore, people are always buried with a piece of gold placed atop each eyelid to pay the ferryman. To steal these pieces of gold will damn the soul to wander restlessly and is a most heinous crime.

78. Before actually trading, a dwarven merchant will usually make small talk and show one or two items of value to the other part and ask his opinion. This has several reasons; if the other merchant praises poor craftsmanship or fails to recognize flawed items, the dwarf will know he is either a fool or dishonest. If he speaks his true mind, the dwarf will respect him and trade fairly.

79. When an Ethengarian dies, the Spirit Horse will come for his soul to take it to his ancestors and his body is buried in the Sea of Grass, wrapped in black cloth. His most prized belongings are re-distributed amongst friends and family so that they may all have something to remember him by.

80. Ethengarians will react very strongly if they witness anyone being Raised from the dead. They regard this as cheating a man of his divine right to sit next to his ancestors.
Here is another batch of ideas. PLEASE - feel free to contribute with your own

81. King Ericall of Norwold is learning from barbarian tribes how to field units of mammoth-riding archers.

82. Ethengarians are excellent trackers and very few people can trespass on their territory without them knowing it.

83. A priestess of Odin with long black hair, simply called “Raven”.

84. A mad shaman seeks to throw the Atruaghin clans into war with each other or Darokin.

85. A withered, black, evil forest with a mind of its own attacks anyone who enters.

86. The Winter Wizard keeps his domain continuously covered in ice and snow.

87. An evil despot sits on a flying throne surrounded by his guards when he parades through the city.

88. Centuries ago, three longships carrying Ostland pirates were returning with slaves and gold, when a storm smashed their ships up onto a reef and they sank. The survivors swam ashore on a nearby tropical island and settled to live there. Several generations later, the descendants of the shipwrecked pirates have formed a colony of blonde barbarians riding domesticated dinosaurs and using stone tools and weapons.

89. The rogue Trylia Champion fights with a longsword in one hand and a stiletto in the other. When she goes bounty hunting, she uses a bola to catch her prey alive.

90. On the coast just north of Norrvik lives Juba the Merchant in a small coastal camp. He is an unshaved Ethengarian with oily slick hair, who prides himself on his ability to procure anything – if the price is right. He is incurably greedy and would sell his own mother or best friend for a nice gold ring. Juba has eyes and ears everywhere in the North and knows almost anything that is going on.

91. A character watches a fight in secret and sees how one man finished another man off with a “secret pass” with his rapier (regional feat found at the Lighthouse website).

92. A character loves to eat “tacos” – a speciality he learned to appreciate while on the Savage Coast.

93. A character, who is secretly in love with the diva of the opera in Darokin City.

94. An inn called the Adventurers’ Rest in Selenica is the base of the local Adventurers’ Guild and also a place many retired adventurers frequent to share the tales of their exploits.

95. The characters encounter a troupe of wandering thespians, which travel from village to village and put on plays.

96. If the party becomes heroes a playwright who wants the exclusive rights to write and produce a play based on their adventures might approach them?

97. Bards and minstrels might tell tales of the characters’ exploits in taverns and inns across the Known World.

98. There is always a line of beggars and poor people outside the temples in the major cities, hoping to get fed or cured of illnesses.

99. The scrupulous Glantrian wizard Alcanzar has imprisoned a djinni in a bottle. The djinni’s mate hires PC thieves to break into Alcanzar’s house and steal the bottle.

100. Because of their trade relations, Darokin always seems to sniff out the latest developments in fields of science, medicine and technology. This gives them an advantage over neighbouring nations.
Here's another one:

101. Loxie the Blue: Loxie (Loxana) is a furtune teller living in Pupami, Ierendi. She is called "The Blue" after the color of her hair - but she changes that color every now and then. And so the sign over her shop has changed: Loxie the Pink, Loxie the Olive-Green, Lavender Loxie, Polka-Dot Loxana etc.
For her fortune telling, Loxie uses a special tea she brews from seaweeds. She also uses such weeds to dye her hair. Since she is getting old, she doesn't dive by herself anymore to get the weeds. So she usually sends someone else to those deep and remote regions of Undersea, where her special weeds may be found.
And yet another:

102. Several rich, bored and decadent Thyatian ladies own a private Minotaur for their own pleasures.

103. The Three:
One morning, exactly three months after the end of the Wrath - three women appeared at three different places at the Known World:
G'wynaphaerr of Selinae, a young Shadow-Elf maiden, entered the City of the Stars and declared that the Shadow Elves will be punished for the destruction of the Canolbarth.
Irweg of Grauenberg, a wild looking peasant girl from the Western Freeholds, arrived to Freiburg and gave her prophesy: Heldann poured evil on the world - and will now have to drink its own poison.
Finally, and surprisingly, the third prophetess appeared at Minrothad City: Batja, an halfling from Open Island, stood at the city gates and exclaimed that Minrothad's neutrality in such a time is the greatest of evils.

The three were outlawed at once - and are on the run since then.
They don't know of each other's existence - but, on their flight, they shall meet.
104. A cat burglar who wanders from city to city to commit break-ins. His trusted companion is a small monkey that is trained to help him during his heists.

105. A clan of elves in Alfheim is so close to nature that their hair changes colour with the seasons: green in spring, golden blonde in the summer, chess nut brown in autumn and silvery white in the winter.
106. An old Wicca on the fringes of Darokin and the Broken Lands, is rumored to be able to contact ancestral spirits. She does this for a price, never of coin, often of a completed task. She charges a higher price, if the petitioner is not of Orc blood.

107. An oddly colored Ogre sits and talks to a gem in the ruins outside of Threshold in the Duchy. The gem is convincing the Ogre to pluck out an eye, and implant the gem in its' place. [Possible Eye of Arik reference, if you use the old B3 module] The gem is promising magical powers in exchange.

108. A legion of undead is marching on the border lands of Thyatis. They died in a long ago battle to thwart invading Hobgoblins. They have been raised by a mad wizard or demon, no one knows for sure. A small town has been razed, and the government has not had enough time for the red tape to be sorted and forces sent to investigate
109. Part of the treasure you uncover includes a treasure map out in the Sea of Dread, at the southern end of Minrothad. [Feel free to use the map I put together for my Pirates game last night. Ravens hang out on a dead tree just off the small gulf in the island. 50 paces south to the sinking stone, dig under the skeleton. Wrap an adventure around it.]

IMAGE(http://www.snotling.org/albums/Pirates-At-Sea/Pirates_Treasure.sized.jpg)
110. At the Great School of Magic there is a rumour of a great and terrible book in a secret compartment somewhere in the Great Library. Apparently, everyone who has ever found it and read it have died exactely a week later...
111. The Heldannic Knights wear a particular form of platemail. From the lower edge of their shoulderplates and their breastplates hangs litteraly dozens of small white fringes made from leather or cloth. Some of them look new and clean while other look worn and stained with the dirt and blood of the battlefield. All are worn with pride.
If you get close enough to a knight's armour you can see that words are scribbled on all of the fringes. They read some of the knights' mottos or codex such as: "Death is light as a feather, duty is heavy as a moutain", "There can be no greater glory than to die in battle", "Duty before all", "Death to the enemies of Vanya", "Who wills not war let war his portion be", "Glory lies under the shadows of Swords" etc. etc.
112. The barbarians in Norwold fear the "Valley of Death" where snow covers the frosen shapes of men and beasts all year round. Most who have ventured there have never returned and the few who have speak of snow that burns like a thousand fires. (It is a valley covered with Snowflake Lichen, a magical plant from the Frostburn Supplement, page 16-17).

113. Explorers who sail beyond Cape Alpha into the icy northern seas sometimes return claiming to have met a sailing iceberg populated by a clan of gnomes. The gnomes are generally eager to trade and have rich stores of whale fat, ivory and fur from seals and polar bears. The gnomes have lived on their iceberg for generations and can actually control which way it sails by using a number of large sails. A combination of magic and mechanics have allowed the gnomes to survive without having to revert to using bone and stone tools.

114. Dunkan Atkins is the leader of the House of Barney, a merchant house on the rise in Darokin. House Barney's speciality is an unusual commodity: mercenaries. They employ numerous companies of sell-swords that are in use all over the Know World, Isle of Dawn and Savage Coast. Many are employed in fighting the dirty unofficial skirmishes between Alphatia and Thyatis on the Isle of Dawn. Others are used by merchant houses and occasionally the governments of Glantri and Darokin to deal with the Broken Lands humaniod menace. And others yet find plenty of opportunities for blood and gold on the Savage Coasts. A mere ten years ago House Barney was virtually unheard of but now people suspect they might belong to the Great Houses in a few years if their bloody trade continues to expand at the present rate.

115. Herschel & Sons is the most respected arms manufacturing company in all of Darokin. They have branches in Darokin, Selenica, Corunglain and Athenos and their weapons are of the highest quality and craftsmanship.
116. Devoted priests of various immortals sometimes become "blessed" with special deformities. Priests of Ixion might have eyes that flare light fire. Shamans of Jamadaru become hidiously deformed. Priestesses of Valerias are blessed with unearthly beauty, etc. etc.
114. Dunkan Atkins is the leader of the House of Barney, a merchant house on the rise in Darokin. House Barney's speciality is an unusual commodity: mercenaries. They employ numerous companies of sell-swords <...>

Heheh! I like this one ... puts a new spin on the colloquial and quintessentially British phrase "having a barney with someone"

Mind you, I thought for a moment that the House of Barney had heraldry that included a certain dinosaure purpure rampant :D :D :D
Heheh! I like this one ... puts a new spin on the colloquial and quintessentially British phrase "having a barney with someone"

Mind you, I thought for a moment that the House of Barney had heraldry that included a certain dinosaure purpure rampant :D :D :D



For those non-native English speakers who are as confused as I was originally at this post, please read:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/13/messages/914.html

and

http://www.hitentertainment.com/barney/flash_mx/sites/player.asp

Just goes to show how deep trouble you can get into for trying to "sound English"

:-) Jesper
117. Additional Thyatian (or Milenian) festivals:
Anna Perenna
Nuwmont 1: This day celebrates the succession of the years. The day is celebrated by both men and women who engage in much revelry, dancing, and drinking as many cups of wine as the number of years they pray to live. Public prayers are also offered to ensure a prosperous coming year. It is an uninhibited day of frolic for most people.

Parentalia
Vatermont 13-21: It is a time to honor the manes, or spirits of the ancestors. All but the last day is for private commemoration of the dead, but for the whole temples are closed, magistrates do not wear their togas of office, and no marriages may be performed. Offerings are made to the dead, particularly to ancestors of one's own family.

Lupercalia
Vatermont 15: A celebration sacred to Faunus, the clerics sacrifice sacred cakes to obtain his goodwill. Afterwards, two young patricians are smeared with the sacred blood and the lupercii don the hides of the goats and run through the streets striking passersby with strips of the goats' skin to promote fertility. It is a festival of much revelry.

Paganalia
Thaumont 28: Festival of Sowing celebrated at the end of Thaumont. Cakes are offered on the hearths of the households. People pray to the agricultural spirits and immortals for the protection of the seeds against the birds, the ants, cold , rust, bad weather and ryegrass.

Floralia
Flaurmont 27- Yarthmont 2: The Floralia is the festival of flowers and spring. It begins with theatrical performances and climaxes with full-blown Ludi (games). The Floralia lasts for four days. Hares and goats are let loose in the Circus prior to the games (both notorious symbols of fertility, and especially associated with cultivated vegetation, as opposed to wild woodlands). Beans and legumes are thrown to the crowds at the Floralia, again symbols of fertility, and clothing of wild colors is worn.

Quinquatria
Yarthmont18 – 22: This popular festival is held in honour of the immortal Petra. The celebrations last for five days (the basis for the name of the festival). On the first day, sacrifices and oblations are offered, though no blood is spilled. The next three days were taken up mostly with gladiatorial displays and the other Ludi, and on the fifth and final day a solemn procession was held through the streets of the city. The scholars and pedagogues were also given a holiday at this time, and it was customary for them to offer up sacrifices to Petra. The school-masters also receive gifts from their pupils when they resume lessons at the end of the holiday; all of these gifts are accepted in the name of Petra. Throughout the festival plays are enacted and public discussion of the arts is openly encouraged. The festival is also associated with the opening of the campaign season; during this time the arms, horses and trumpets of the Army are ceremoniously purified at Thyatis City.

Lemuria
Klarmont 9, 11 and 13: The Lemuria is held on odd-numbered days because even-numbered days are considered unlucky. It is a festival designed to honor the Lemures, they are regarded as baleful spirits of the dead who died violent or otherwise untimely deaths.
At midnight, the Paterfamilias (head of the family) arises and dresses with no knots, buckles, or other constricting items on his person (thus he is barefoot). He makes the sign of the mano fico with his hands (a fist with the thumb placed between the index and middle fingers; a sign of good luck and fertility) and then washes his hands in pure water. He then walks through the house, spitting out nine black beans, being careful not to look behind him as the lemures accept the beans as a sort of ransom for the living members of the household. As he spits out each one, he says "With these beans I redeem me and mine."
Once all nine beans have been accepted by the lemures and the entire house walked through, the Paterfamilias then washes his hands again, clashes two vessels of bronze together, and nine times says "Ghosts of my fathers, be gone." ("Manes exite paternae.")
In addition, there are public ceremonies of a similar nature, designed to cleanse the State as a whole as the household is cleansed.

Rosaliae Signorum
Klarmont 15: A military festival, during which the standards of all of Thyatis' military units are decorated with wreaths of roses and paraded though the camp. This religious observance is also accompanied by a civil festival and carnival atmosphere.

Vinalia
Fyrmont 28: A festival that begins the winemaking season. It is a rowdy celebration, characterized by roving parties, and flowing wine.

Ceralia
Ambrymont 25-28: The harvest festival. It is not as rowdy as the Vinalia, but is just as loved. Many banquets are thrown, highlighting the bounties of the harvest. Many offerings are made to Terra during this festival.

Saturnalia
Kaldemont 21-28: A seven day festival and the most important festival of the year; it was held in honour of all immortals, particularly those that aid agriculture or protect families. Through the festival gifts are given to family and friends. During the main feast day of this festival, the masters of every household in Thyatis wait upon their domestic servents as a gesture of thanks and goodwill.
Cool!

:-) Jesper
The ideas include interesting encounters, local customs, taboos, superstitions, traps, organisations, quirks, adventure plots and more.

Great idea, Jesper! Here are a couple:

1. The Three Sisters: Long ago, during the time of Blackmoor, there were three elf maidens of great power. Somehow, all three gave in to their darker sides, and thereafter brought great sorrow. Finally, a band of elven heroes brought them to justice, but Ordana intervened, and asked the elven king not to execute them, but to consent to have Her place them in stasis, until such a time that they could be purged of their evil. Awestruck that an Immortal would make such a request, the king agreed. No one knows today who exactly the Three Sisters were, or where they might be located, but the story is still told among the elves.

2. The Maiden of Ansimont: Before the Great Merger, Darokin was a divided land, split into many warring kingdoms. One of the more powerful kingdoms, Almarand, had in its capital city of Ansimont a gilded statue of a beautiful maiden. No one knew who she was supposed to be, but the sculptor, upon giving it to the king, said that Almarand would endure so long as the maiden remained within Ansimont's walls. Centuries later, a master thief stole the maiden - no one knows how - and it reappeared in one of Darokin City's market squares. Shortly thereafter, Almarand fell to its enemies - an event that some people still attribute to the theft of the maiden. The statue remains in Darokin City to this day, resting atop a beautiful fountain. A ceremonial guard, tasked with the sole duty of watching the maiden, is always present. Interestingly, some people say Almarand will rise again if the maiden is ever returned to Ansimont.

3. The Shunned Cabin: DM Note - this scenario, borrowed from an HPL story, works best with a smaller, lower-level party, and with good use of imagery. While the PCs are wandering through a remote corner of whatever country they are in, they are hit by an unusally fierce storm, which forces them to seek shelter. They come across a large, dilapidated cabin (which no one in any nearby villages mentioned to them). The house is still inhabited, and the resident - an older man in old, patched clothing who speaks with an odd, rustic accent (scholars with regional knowledge will note that he speaks a dialect that supposedly died out at least two centuries ago) - happily lets them in, remarking that few people pass by his house nowadays. PCs will note a modest collection of old books on various topics in the house, simple furniture, as well as cured meat hanging from the ceiling - nothing altogether unusual. The conversation is easygoing (PCs should oblige - they are sheltering in the man's house, after all, and the man seems lonely), and the man will tell them all about the surrounding lands (some of this information will later turn out to be outdated). Eventually the man talks about how much he likes the pictures in his books, since he has trouble reading. He shows one well-thumbed book to the PCs, a wildly inaccurate account of the "Savage Peoples of Atruaghin" is full of disturbing images of cannibalism. The man talks excitedly about how those pictures made him enjoy hunting more, but "t'weren't quite satisfyin'". He then talks about how some legends claim that the hunter acquires the strength of the animal he eats, and he muses about what strength a hunter might gain if he ate another man. At this point, the PCs should notice a shift in the wind, a bolt of lightning, a smell, or some other cue, that brings their surroundings to their attention. The meat doesn't smell or look right, and upon closer inspection looks disturbingly familiar (a joint of meat is really a human thigh, etc.) It's up to the PCs whether they fight (the man is very strong - equivalent to an ogre in strength and toughness - and armed with a well used cleaver) or run.

Geoff
That last one is really awesome. Creepy, but perfect for really scaring the players. :evillaugh
121. The Black Spires Mining Consortium (see Gaz 8, page 53) run mines all over the mountains and some of them run very deep. If the miners were to come across the civilization of the Deep Glaurants (same, p. 65) they would need to hire brave adventures to deal with the threat.

122. The PCs come across a strange wizard who rides a tames Seergar (see Gaz 8, page 67). If paid well, he might say where he got it and how he trained it.

123. For a special party for important people in Shireton, a very famous cook intends to make a difficult dish, the main part of which is Seergar meat. He hires a group of adventures to procure the rare meat. Of course, finding a Seergar is their problem...

124. A hin in Tothmeer hires a group of adventurers to go to Orlin Isle (see Gaz 8, page 51) and retrieve what he belives to be a pirate treasure left behind by one of his ancestors. He has only a rough idea of where it is supposed to be burried. When the adventurers get there, they find out that a hin pirate lord has built himself a nice halfling hole there. They will have to find some way of entering the home unseen to search for the treasure.