file000313992053Everything has meaning some say, and in a world of suspicion and magic and portents that come true, these curious signs must assume great importance to some; particularly to those that have little else to grasp onto except toil and woe.  Here are fifty such beliefs, customs and warning signs from the gods, together with their randomly generated, somewhat obscure meanings or consequences. Use these to have NPCs warn PCs of the true meaning of seemingly mundane occurrences, as tenuous introductions to adventures, side-treks or leads, or simply have them as yet another bit of color that proves, without doubt, what idiots peasants really are.

Perhaps there are even certain naughty people who invent such things purely to achieve their own ends, or even those wicked enough to take advantage of the portent for their own foul needs.

And if you can come up with an adventure using one of these dubious portents, bravo, please share a brief synopsis with us, we’d love to hear about it…

Occurrence/Portent

26.    Stone eggs have been found at the crossroads just outside the village for the past week…
27.    A two-headed eel the size of a horse has just been dragged from the river…
28.    Half a dozen frozen fingers have been found at the village boundary stone…
29.    A fox wearing human clothing was seen dancing in Noxey Meadows yesterday at dusk…
30.    Scores of pairs of gloves have been found at the threshold of families with unwed daughters…
31.    Half a dozen gravestones have swapped places overnight…
32.    A hay cart driven by the dead crossed over the village ford at dawn, and since then, no beast will cross it…
33.    Human-looking fungi has grown overnight on the church lich gate…
34.    Mandrake has been found in the cribs of all babies in the village…
35.    Twenty-nine magpies have just been seen in the Great Oak in the village…
36.    Molehills have been found on the graves of a dozen goodwives, who were at one time all accused of witchcraft…
37.    A black one-eyed peacock was seen following the local nuns as they set off on a pilgrimage this morning…
38.    A talking pig has taken over the local mill…
39.    Upside-down-hung pairs of scissors have appeared on the lintels of houses belonging to members of the same family…
40.    A goodwife in her eightieth year went up to bed last night and vanished on the way upstairs…
41.    A storm that shed ochre rain filled with snails and tears passed overhead during the night…
42.    A swan was seen leading baby pigs into the local river and drowning them…
43.    Gardeners at the local manor house have been digging up teeth all morning…
44.    Washing has vanished from the homes of several goodwives…
45.    A goblin has been seen dancing on top of the church steeple at sunrise…
46.    A weasel chasing a bear wearing a top hat passed through the village a short while ago…
47.    Red daffodils have sprung up on the village green…
48.    A woman wearing a wedding dress and carrying a baby pig went into the church at dawn and hasn’t been seen since…
49.    A whistling ram has been seen by travelers approaching the village over the moors…
50.    The apples in a tree in the vicarage garden are all black…

True Meaning

Your Whispering Homunculus26.    …shepherd’s warning.
27.    …prudently, let the man who wears facial hair remove it at once or risk bringing death and misery upon us all.
28.    …the dead shall rise this night. Let your doors and windows be barred, and heed no nightly noises.
29.    …distrust all strange women from afar for they may be the annis come to take your babe.
30.    …an immediate tithe to the church of half the coin you own is the only sure way to prevent damnation.
31.      …let those who wear green have it torn from them to prevent the green hanged man from visiting each unwed woman in the village this night.
32.    …let us pray that the Geese of Donrin do not follow, for if they do, we are all doomed!
33.    …quite obviously the Great Worm has woken! Who will save us?!
34.    …the dead will knock upon your door this night. Leave for them what coin you can spare outside upon your doorstep, or they may seek to enter and take something more valuable to you.
35.    …the Ashen Hen will clearly soon be calling, alas!
36.    …we have all naturally decided to leave before dusk taking all our valuables, this place is cursed and doomed!
37.    …a clear sign that strangers bring plague—touch them and heed them not! Even a glance from their eyes, if met, can bring fiery death!
38.    …the only cure is to drink ourselves into oblivion and hope the coming devils will ignore our insensible flesh!
39.    …giants are sure to follow. Let us make ready to defend ourselves in any way we can. Perhaps we could offer the giants a sacrifice—not anyone local, of course.
40.    …obviously only the sacrifice of an outsider can save us from the storm of woe that is consequently heading toward us even now.
41.    …unless every mole in the village boundary is caught and killed this day, the world will swallow us all in a bite of fire and gnashing teeth!
42.    …the sky is sure to fall before dawn! Take to the hills and seek shelter in the caves!
43.    …let us look to outsiders who are known to be wise to find a way to stop the coming terror!
44.    …someone is sure to die an unexpected and bizarre death this day.
45.    …clearly, someone is sure to explode this day, what other conclusion could be possible?
46.    …break the coming foul enchantments and cast aside your foppery and gems and jewellery—cast them into the depths of the world along with those who do not willingly give up their sinful excesses!
47.    …let those with sin sing their hymns for twelve nights and days in recompense for their weak flesh or face fiery badness!
48.    …it would be prudent to let those who are strangers into your homes for the night to bless them!
49.    …clearly an indication that all things are about to cease. Let us give thanks in an orgy of happiness and excess for the time we have had.
50.    …a clear sign of coming woe from Barg the Terrible, Herald of Unpleasant Things.

For more of Pett’s perilous puns and collected oddities from Your Whispering Homunculus, check out More Whispering Homunculus.

<<PREVIOUSLY

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This