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PCs traveling in the Ironcrags of Midgard may discover all manner of rumors. Are they true or false? Decide for yourself as you plan adventures for your players!
A region of imposing mountains and forest-filled valleys, the Ironcrags are home to hard-working dwarves and humans who are as prone to gossip as anyone else.
Masked elves have been spotted amid the ruined elven towers and quiet meadows of ancient Liadmura. Unfortunately, the dwarves of the cantons haven’t been able to catch any of them. It’s probably because they’re ghosts or illusions.
True? A new secret society of elves from the Arbonesse known as the Wings of Dawn has infiltrated Liadmura in search of ancient artifacts and forgotten high elf magic. The elves are likely to flee when engaged by a party of adventurers, leaving illusions in their wake to cover their escape. But if an elf or elfmarked is with the PCs, they might seek their help instead. A typical Wings of Dawn member has the statistics of an infiltrator (see Tome of Beasts 3).
False? The “masked elves” are a swarm of thrippers (see Tome of Beasts 3) wearing robes and masks to conceal their insectoid bodies. The thrippers are hunting fey within Liadmura’s glades and forests, and a group of desperate pixies or dryads might contact the PCs to fend off or destroy the swarm chasing them.
Martili Vordrashi, Marshalling Master of Tijino, is a noted lady’s man and spends time with an alluring dwarven woman with night-dark braids. Someone’s sister’s friend’s cousin said she caught a whiff of the woman’s perfume and swore it stank of brimstone. Some are saying that she is a fiend in disguise.
True? The lady with Martili is an erinyes devil named Naervia who has disguised herself using a hat of disguise. Naervia is an emissary of the Cult of Mammon. She made a deal with Martili for the cult’s infernal protection in exchange for a supply of gold and precious gems. Naervia would love to seduce Martili and take his soul, but the dwarf is too wily to be caught so easily. If the PCs discover Martili’s involvement in the cult, he may try to silence them before they can leak the information.
False? This rumor is being spread by Martili’s rivals, who would love to see the Marshalling Master fall down a mine shaft. The woman is Tishla Goldhammer, a cleric of Lada whose perfume smells like alpine flowers and honey. Tishla is a gentle soul, and while she tried to ignore the rumors at first, they begin to grate on her. If the rumors persist, Martili may enlist the PCs’ help in locating the source of the rumors to crush them.
The dwarves of Bundhausen have found the fossilized remains of a jotun embedded in the mountains southeast of the canton! The skeleton’s bones are said to be coated in the purest adamantine.
True? The skeleton does indeed exist, but it lies at the bottom of a steep ravine, shrouded in gloom and filled with various monstrous creatures, including cloakers, mineral oozes (see Tome of Beasts 2), and obelerics (see Tome of Beasts 3). The miners who discovered the bones request the PCs’ aid in securing the site, which involves cleaning out the ravine’s inhabitants.
False? There’s no skeleton. Some bored miners wanted to see who they could fool. Unfortunately, they fooled around and found out. Fenja, a jotun (see Tome of Beasts 1) from Jotunheim, heard the rumors and believes the bones belong to her long-lost sister, Menja. Fenja travels with her entourage of frost giants and ogres to the Ironcrags to reclaim the bones, destroying anything in their path until she reaches the borders of Bundhausen.
A flame dragon was seen flying above Hammerfell. An enormous diamond or transparent crystal as large as an adult dwarf was clutched in its talons. No one knows the dragon’s name, but it disappeared above the mountains north of the canton.
True? The adult flame dragon (see Tome of Beasts 1), Kaelsraxil, discovered an enormous chunk of crystal lodged in a nearby mountainside and took a fancy to it. The crystal is, in fact, a young crystalline monolith (see Tome of Beasts 2) that has only grown to Medium size so far. It has yet to develop any lair actions, attacks, or psionic abilities except for its telepathy and at-will psionic traits. Kaelsraxil does not know the crystal is alive and intends to use it as the centerpiece of his new lair.
False? The rumor was started by a drunk dwarf named Blonraed, trying to impress a buddy. Unbeknownst to Blonraed, the rumor spread like wildfire throughout the Ironcrags. Now, he is being approached by various dragon slayers and treasure hunters and he sends them on increasingly wild goose chases to cover his lie. He’s also drawing the attention of a few unsavory sorts inclined to take their annoyance out on the dwarf once they realize the rumor is false. He’s in pretty deep at this point . . . Blonraed might do something drastic to weasel out of consequences.
A giant bat, as big as an ogre, was seen flying about Grisal last night. Everyone’s saying that vampires have finally infiltrated the canton!
True? Vampires have been secretly infiltrating Grisal for several months, lairing in caves and ruined outposts along the canton’s borders. The vampires plan to convert key members of Grisal’s leadership into vampire spawns or enslave them to their will to bring to open the canton’s borders to invasion by the nearby Grand Duchy of Morgau.
False? The giant bat is actually a catonoctrix (see Tome of Beasts 3) that chose Grisal as its hunting grounds after leaving its lair in the Western Wastes. Shortly after the rumor spreads, the cantonoctrix begins attacking lone travelers around Grisal, leaving some of them alive but missing key fragments of their memories.
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