1. A battered and bruised man is talking to some soldiers outside their guard post. The man is a former soldier himself, and he has been attacked and robbed of everything he owns. He is seeking help from his former colleagues, for he now has no money to eat or get a place to sleep. His former comrades look more than willing to help, giving him some money to start with so that he can get a meal. Moreover, they promise to help him find his attackers after their shift, and help recover everything that was taken – and, by the sounds of it, probably more. The ex-soldier’s muggers may be lucky to escape with their lives.
2. A big, burly, yet inexperienced-looking, barbarian is getting a tattoo done on one of his arms inside a tattoo parlor, as is a young composer. The composer is getting a tattoo of musical notes, and is flinching and yelping with the pain, to the barbarian’s amusement. The barbarian is boasting about how he is going to immortalize his victory over his rival with his tattoo. He plans to challenge the rival to a duel in front of many witnesses so that everyone will know just how great and powerful a warrior the barbarian is. Said rival doesn’t even know that he is a rival to the barbarian, or who the barbarian is, and the composer appears a little disturbed by the barbarian’s bloodthirsty descriptions of what he is going to do.
3. A bizarrely deformed individual runs out of a weaver’s shop screaming. The weaver had been experimenting with a mage on some new magic-imbued clothes, clothes that would actually change the wearer’s appearance, but the experiment has gone badly wrong. The change to the wearer of the clothing was meant to be illusionary and to enhance their appearance. In this case, the effect has been physical, polymorphing the unwitting customer, and rather than being an enhanced appearance, the polymorphing has transformed the victim into a deformed version of their original self. The effect might be reversible, but the victim has also gone insane, which is why they have run off. If they are not found and the effects reversed soon, the mental and physical damage will probably be permanent.
4. A brutal-looking man dressed in the black leather armour, mask and whip that is worn as the uniform of a notorious, but legal, group of slavers is standing outside an exotic restaurant famed for its unusual dishes, shouting at the owner. The slaver seems to be claiming that the owner of the restaurant purchased a shipment of slaves from him, but hasn’t paid his bill. The restaurateur is adamantly denying that he has bought any slaves, and that this is a case of mistaken identity. The owner is looking around worriedly as a crowd of onlookers starts to gather. If he has been purchasing slaves, it looks like it might hurt his business, especially as the slaver is suggesting that perhaps, as the restaurateur no longer has the slaves, he has served them up to customers as his exotic dishes.
5. A burly dwarf, almost as wide as he is tall, and clad in expensive-looking rune-inscribed metal armor, although he has no helm, is seated at a table in a tavern and drinking heavily. The scarred wooden table in front of him already has many empty metal flagons scattered on it, and he crashes another freshly-drained one to the table as he is watched, adding to the extensive scarring. The dwarf is bawling out dwarven drinking songs, which few can understand, and more than a few of the patrons look annoyed with his behavior, as does the tavern’s owner. The dwarf is not only tipping heavily, he also looks rather dangerous, and his armor and face bear the signs of extensive conflict, threads of white running through his beard suggesting scars beneath, scars of battles in which the dwarf was clearly victorious. Given this, none of the other patrons, and certainly none of the staff, want to annoy him and possibly risk him turning violent.
6. A clearly deranged man is ranting about an invisible monster that is after him. The man is paranoid, but has genuine enemies, and has been driven over the edge by a travelling fair that is exhibiting an invisible monster. The monster being shown at the fair is actually a fake; there is no monster present at all, and the apparent interaction of the invisible creature with its environment is being done through trickery. The man believes that the monster is real, has escaped and is following him. He is being followed by an invisible creature that has been sent to kill him but it has nothing to do with the fair.
7. A crash is heard as a figure dressed in tight-fitting black leather armour falls from an upper window of an elegant stone library, four floors above the ground. The figure, presumably a thief, landed on the stone flags below and is unmoving in a gradually spreading pool of blood. The fall caused the thief to drop a leather satchel, from which a number of books have spilled, some landing in the thief’s blood. Onlookers are picking the books up, ignoring the perhaps dead body, assuming that the books are valuable. Once the theft is discovered, it seems likely that representatives of the library will want the books back, and they may not ask nicely.
8. A crowd has assembled at the edge of a moat to watch a juggler perform. Unusually, the juggler is standing on a small raft which is floating on the water of the moat. This uncertain surface is making the juggler’s act more compelling, especially as he is only juggling dangerous objects, usually knives but occasionally flaming brands. The juggler appears very skilled, for he never once seems to falter or show the slightest indication that he is going to drop one of the items. Unknown to the audience, the juggler has a secret. He has mental powers that allow him to know where an object is going to be fractionally ahead of times, which is why he is never faltering. These powers also allow him to scan the minds of those watching, and he is dredging secrets and valuable knowledge from the crowd.
9. A crowd starts gathering as a single house shakes and starts to crumble. The process is slow enough that the residents of the house have enough time to flee from the property before it collapses. Nothing else in the area is affected, suggesting that either the building was deliberately targeted or someone in it caused the collapse through something they were doing, which is why the crowd is gathering to stop and watch. Afterwards, the building has completely gone and there is a sinkhole where it once stood.
10. A customer at a baker’s suddenly screams in shock. The customer, by the looks of it a maid purchasing bread for her household, is screaming because she has just seen a rat chew its way out of a fresh loaf of bread. The baker herself looks shocked as well, and apologises, but the maid is already leaving, followed by the rest of the customers from the shop. By the looks of it, once this story goes around, the baker will be lucky to stay in business. This is the intended aim; the rat and the 4 loaf of bread it was in were planted in the shop by a rival baker. Unable to compete on quality, this competitor has decided to sabotage his rival instead.
11. A dark-winged shape suddenly swoops down out of the sky and lands on the roof of a nearby inn. When those nearby realise how large the shape is, they quickly make themselves scarce, a few of the more nervous screaming as they do. Although the winged creature is not truly large, being only a large bat, it is large enough that most are unwilling to tangle with it. The bat was being kept in a menagerie belonging to a wealthy and influential private collector. The collector will want the bat safely retrieving and returning to his zoo. Should the bat be killed instead, its former owner has enough power to make life in the city unpleasant for whoever killed his pet. They will perhaps not stoop to outright murder, but making it hard to get served by local businesses and low levels of harassment are likely.
12. A dirty young child of indeterminate sex and no more than 10 years old, dressed in a tattered and dirty once-white shift, is sitting and crying on a stone slab by the side of the road. The child is being ignored by the passers-by, who seem totally indifferent to its problems. If the characters speak to the child, they claim that their mother has gone missing and asks for the characters’ help in finding her. The child last saw the missing parent down a nearby alley. Apparently, the mother entered the alley but never came out, and when the child looked for her, she had disappeared. If the child is followed into the alley, a group of thugs with clubs block the exit and launch an ambush on the characters. If the ambush is successful, the thugs beat the characters unconscious and steal everything of value that they have. If the thugs are beaten off, the child has already disappeared.
13. A drayman is leading a horse-drawn wagon down the street and stopping at every building. In each case, he speaks to one of the residents, who hand him a small pouch in return. Oddly, no actual property appears to be changing hands, even though the drayman’s wagon contains sacks and barrels. The drayman is not actually selling anything to the residents, although if questioned he will say the money is a deposit for a future delivery. Instead, he is collecting payments as part of a protection racket that is going on in the neighborhood.
14. A drover has stopped his wagon on the street to unload a delivery of food at a fine-looking house. The wagon is stopped outside a large wooden gate and the drover is looking at the gate which bears a strange, glowing symbol. The drover appears uncertain as to whether or not it is safe to open, or even touch, the gate to complete his delivery. His indecision is not helped by how the horse pulling his wagon is reacting to the mark. The horse seems to be uneasy about being so close to the symbol, and is restlessly tossing its head, possibly on the verge of bolting.
15. A felt maker with a hideous scar distorting half of his face, which pulls his mouth up at one corner and his eye down, is entering a saddlers with the intention of negotiating a sale of his services to the saddler. Exiting the saddler is a chancellor as the saddler is a supplier of saddles for the city’s guards and they have been negotiating the next delivery. This is the real reason the felt maker is visiting the saddler; although he can actually do the job, and to a good standard, he is actually a spy who is seeking out information on the city’s defense forces, and the scar is fake. The saddler is one of several suppliers the spy plans to pay a call on.
16. A grizzled veteran mercenary dressed in well-worn leather armor but lacking a weapon is standing by the side of a canal lock, peering gloomily into the water. The mercenary, after many years of battle fighting for one side or another, has little to show for it. The years have also led him to see little difference between the sides he 5 has thought for, despite what they might profess. This has instilled a deep gloom in him, and this manifests in him always seeing the gloomy side of any conversation, forecasting doom as the outcome of any matter discussed with him. Talking to the mercenary for too long can easily depress his listeners.
17. A group of hooded individuals, their faces hidden from sight, are hurrying down the steps of a house with a struggling bundle. The bundle is about the size of a person, and is a large burlap sack that has been tied shut. The hooded beings are cultists, and they urgently need a sacrifice for their latest ceremony, which is why they are being so overt. Inside the bundle is a young woman who has been kidnapped from her home; the ritual that the cultists intend to use her for involves flogging her to death with barbed whips.
18. A group of wererats suddenly boil up out of the sewers and attack a single person in the street for no immediately apparent reason, and there is not actually a genuine reason as the man is an innocent shopkeeper. The leader of the wererats has contracted a strange fever of the brain and has become extremely paranoid as a result. He is seeing conspiracies where none exist. The shopkeeper is being attacked because the leader of the wererats believed that the man was plotting against him and his pack when in actuality the shopkeeper didn’t actually know the wererats existed and would never have dared to attempt anything against them if he knew. Unless someone intervenes, the shopkeeper will be quickly torn to shreds and the wererats will disappear as quickly as they appeared.
19. A grubby-looking and down on his luck gnome is being supported by a sailor. The gnome looks extremely drunk and certainly incapable of standing by himself. The reason for the gnome’s drunken state is that he has been exiled from his homeland, never to be allowed to return. The sailor is supposedly taking the gnome to his lodging, which they are currently outside, but when the latter comes to his senses again, he will find that he has been press-ganged to serve on a sailing ship, doing minor repairs.
20. A hooded figure in black comes rushing out of a physician’s shop to the sound of someone shouting “Stop thief!” as they do. Neither thief nor physician’s is truly what it seems. The physician’s is actually a front, the entrance to the tower of a very paranoid mage. The tower is not visible, for it is located in another dimension out of phase with the normal world. There is a gate to the tower inside the physician’s shop in a back room that is not visited by customers, for the physician actually practices. The thief knew about this hidden access and got into the mage’s tower, stealing some valuable magic before leaving again.
21. A horse is being ridden by an elegantly- dressed man down a street. The rider, a noble, is galloping at high speed and is yelling at any pedestrians in the street to get out of his way. A raggedly dressed small child is in the way and does not look as if they will be able to get out of the path of the horse in time unless someone comes to their aid. If the nobleman is stopped or interfered with, he will arrogantly refuse to answer any questions and will instead demand that any who stop him release his horse immediately or face the consequences. The noble has no genuine reason for his behavior; he is simply riding his horse fast because he can. Should his horse hit the child, the nobleman will continue on his way unconcerned.
22. A junction of one of the city’s major roads with another has been closed off by a huge guard presence. There are almost 50 guardsmen being led by two lieutenants that are blocking all four of the access points to the junction, with wooden barriers erected to stop traffic from proceeding. All traffic, foot, horse and wagon, is being turned away, causing a huge snarl that is already affecting other routes in the area. Beyond the barricades, it looks as if the road has collapsed and, indeed, that is the 6 story they will give if questioned. This is not the truth of the matter, though, or at least not the complete truth. A huge worm caused the collapse, before burrowing down again, and the guards are worried that it may return before forces capable of dealing with such a creature arrive.
23. A lady of the evening is actually leaving a client she visited the previous night, a wealthy shipwright who owns a boatyard. She has a very worried expression on her face because she saw a thief stealing from the shipwright whilst she was there. Although the thief did not harm her at the time, and was mostly covered up, she would be able to identify him again if she saw his face. Given the value of the items stolen, and the punishment this would entail, the woman’s testimony could seriously harm the thief if she were ever to identify him. The thief warned her to tell no-one, and she is as a result scared for her life, and may seek out help. Especially as, if she doesn’t identify the thief, she may be accused of the theft. In both cases things could end very badly for the woman.
24. A large, dangerous-looking man wearing chainmail armour who has the mien of an experienced fighter is standing outside of a home and shouting at the, unseen, occupants of the house. The man is denouncing those in the house as being heretics. The occupants of the home, assuming they are even in, are not responding at all to their accuser’s statements, the house remaining dark and silent. Finally, having failed to generate any response, the fighter affixes a scroll detailing his accusations, visible to all who pass the house, to the locked iron gate that blocks entrance to the property.
25. A large number of small spiders can be seen climbing the wall of a nearby inn. The spiders are rather oddly acting together as a swarm, something that is uncommon. They appear to be heading towards an open window on an upper floor of the inn. The spiders are actually acting under the control of a murderer. Individually, the spiders are not much of a threat, but combined their venom becomes far more dangerous. The murderer uses the spider swarm as an unusual way of killing people. Perhaps with no greater motivation than as a source of fun.
26. A local official, an aedile, is inside a merchant’s shop. The merchant, an embosser who works with fine silver, creating embossed silver tableware that is popular with the local wealthy classes, has recently been robbed. The shop’s stock is valuable, so there is always a guard on the premises, but the guard was easily disabled by the robbers. The aedile has, as part of his job, the responsibility for maintaining public order and is taking down all the details, but the official does not hold out much hope for the recovery of the stolen goods. The embosser will be ruined if he doesn’t get his stock back, and is willing to pay a percentage finder’s fee of the stock’s value to anyone who can recover it.
27. A mage can be seen surreptitiously following an elf into a nearby house. The mage is very inexperienced and a summoning he attempted to perform went badly wrong. He is, as a result, possessed by the creature he summoned, and is no longer acting of his own free will. The mage is following the elf because the creature possessing him plans to use the elf as a blood sacrifice in an evil ritual intended to bring more of the same type of creature possessing the mage into the world, without having to go through the trouble of dealing with summoners, but by creating a gate.
28. A man is escorting his clearly frightened family out of their house. The family members are babbling about a plague of giant rats that seems to have bubbled up out of the sewers into the cellar of the house. It’s not clear how many giant rats are present, as it wouldn’t take much to scare this ordinary family, but it’s a problem that the man wants dealing with. His wife and children are too frightened to go back into their home as long as the rats are present, and he may be willing to pay 7 someone to deal with the problem promptly, before living away from home costs too much money, which it will do if a proper official response to the problem is waited for.
29. A man is standing in the street selling what he claims is a tame giant beetle, one that is currently lying next to him but is attached by a chain leash. The beetle is actually anything but subdued or tame; it is only temporarily pacified and, when this pacification wears off, it will attempt to escape and attack anything and anyone in the vicinity. Its seller knows this, and knows how long the pacification will last. He intends to have sold the beetle to an unsuspecting mark long before the pacification wears off. If he hasn’t done so, he will leave the beetle shortly before it stirs itself and make himself scarce.
30. A man wearing some strange clothing that looks nothing like regular attire for anyone in the city is talking to the proprietor of a tavern. The man, who is actually an illusionist, is claiming to be a time traveler. He is demanding money from the tavern keeper, in exchange for which the illusionist will tell the woman some details of what happens to her, and the city, in the future. The illusionist is using magic to back up his claims and is putting on a display that is very convincing for someone unfamiliar with his magic, showing the tavern keeper in later life, supposedly from a recording the spellcaster has made but in actuality an illusion.
31. A market has been set up on the corners of a major intersection. The market has not been there for long, nor will it remain for more than a few days. All the stalls are selling the same thing and there are many, many customers thronging them, with the potential for a riot. The item being sold is a rare beetle species, one that is usually only available a couple at a time. The beetles have an unusual property, as they can stop the person they are administered to, when ground into a powder and mixed into an elixir, from dying from potentially fatal injuries. Normally extremely expensive, the price has sharply dropped. The beetles are not true examples of their species, though, as they have been changed from their true form by a spell cast by an opportunistic mage.
32. A merchant who is heavily cloaked with a hood obscuring much of his face is trying to sell drinks from a mobile stand outside an academy and a passing tinker stops to buy a flagon. The hood hides a brand on the merchant’s forehead, which states “HERETIC”; the merchant was found guilty of heresy for views and beliefs that are not accepted by the mainstream members of his religion. He was too outspoken and paid the penalty for this. Those who are branded in such a way are forbidden to do business in the city, which is why the merchant’s face is mostly covered.
33. A middle-aged woman wearing flowing, brightly-colored robes and a lot of cheap brass jewelry is curled up in a fetal position in the middle of one the major roads. The woman is so tightly curled up her face cannot be seen, and she seems to be making only whimpering noises. The woman is a fortune-teller who, although she may mainly make money by telling false fortunes to the gullible, does have some natural skill. The problem with this is that she cannot control the true visions she sees, and she has seen something terrible coming, threatening her at the very least and perhaps the city, so terrible that she is trying to block out the vision.
34. A monk is talking to a bladesmith in a museum in front of a display of weapons. The monk follows a path of reaching enlightenment through the use of music and works as an agent for a bardic college, as do many of his order, as both college and order are strongly associated. The monk is one of the lower-ranked members of the order and he has been sent out to commission the creation of a number of new weapons for the college. These weapons are intended to be of a specific type, and the monk is showing the exhibit to the bladesmith to help illustrate what he is 8 looking to have fashioned.
35. An aged male gnome dressed in religious finery is a powerful cleric of the god of chaos, a Knight of Chaos and the headmaster of the religious school that trains new knights of the god. He is visiting a bellfounder to see where the custom bell dedicated to his god that he ordered is, as it has not arrived at the school yet and has already been paid for. The bellfounder claims that the bell was dispatched several weeks ago and should certainly have arrived by now. The headmaster may wish to hire the characters to find out where the bell went, whether it did get lost on the journey, in which case he will want it recovering from the thieves, or whether the bellfounder is lying, in which case the gnome wants his money back.
36. An angry dwarf is being dragged from a house, presumably his, by a small group of soldiers. The dwarf is seriously worked up and is promising mayhem on the soldiers if they do not release him immediately, something that is clearly not helping with his current situation. Several soldiers are already nursing injuries. The dwarf is under arrest for being an agent saboteur for an enemy nation, but he is no such thing. This is all due to a misunderstanding and mistakes on the part of the soldiers’ commanders. There is a dwarf who has an arrest warrant on him for being a saboteur, but it’s a different dwarf with a similar name. Even though the soldiers have a drawing of the dwarf they need to arrest, one short, bearded guy does not look that much different to another in their eyes, and the injuries suffered by the soldiers are not helping matters.
37. An attractive female exits a tailor’s shop, wearing some recently purchased very provocative clothing. She acts seductively friendly to any reasonably attractive male that she sees, especially those who look like they are travelers, and, should they prove receptive, is willing to make an assignation outside the city that evening. If whoever the woman speaks to is not that willing to meet, she will still try and find out as much about them as possible; where they are from, where they are staying and when they are leaving. The woman actually works for a bandit group that operates on the roads outside of the town, and she is scouting for marks. Those who agree to an assignation will be attacked, unless they are too dangerous, in which case she will simply not show. Should she find out enough about other groups and individuals, they may well be attacked when they leave.
38. An eccentric mage is constructing a tiny arena in which insects of different types will fight each other. The various insects will have tiny weapons and armor affixed to them and be magically under the control of the mage, or those he designates as operators. The mage is building the arena on a wharf. He plans to get people to pay to fight the miniature battles and thinks that the passing trade from ships will result in a steady stream of customers. The arena does not take up much space and is inside a small warehouse. Most of the room is taken up by seats for spectators; illusion magic will display the battles on a much larger scale above the arena itself.
39. An Inquisitor and a patrol of guards is dragging a paper maker in chains from his shop. The paper maker, a member of the Guild of Scriveners, is telling the inquisitor he is not guilty of what he is being accused of, the creation and distribution of heretical pamphlets that accuse the primary local religion of various underhand and unethical dealings. The paper maker is telling the truth; although the paper used in the pamphlets comes from his shop, and all the evidence appears to lead back to him, it is another member of his guild that is guilty. The paper maker is in fact a loyal worshipper and has been set up as the fall guy to prevent the true perpetrator from being caught.
40. A paladin-knight out of armor but wearing a tabard bearing the symbol of 9 his deity is gazing in rapt fascination at a selection of magic weapons that have been displayed for sale in an exclusive and expensive-looking arcane weaponsmith’s shop. Little does the paladin know but the proprietor of the business, although having some small skill at creating magic weapons, is not a master of his art and many of his weapons are flawed or substandard. The weaponsmith does not use magic to enhance the appearance of his weapons, for that could be easily detected by those with the right skills. Instead, the smith uses hypnosis to convince potential purchasers to buy goods and convince them that the weapons are of a better quality and manufacture than they actually are.
41. A parade of brightly-dressed wanderers, who oddly all appear to be asleep and sleepwalking, is marching through the city’s slum. The wanderers are not truly asleep, but they are in a trance state. They have come to the city in search of aid, as the trance state is not normal. The wanderers are regularly affected by this trance, which appears to be either a disease or a curse, and, when affected, will all form into a column and walk for several miles by a route and to a destination that is not of their choosing. The wanderers are desperate to find a cure for this disease or curse, but they are shunned under normal circumstances by the people who live in the city, and they will not aid the wanderers. Some of the city-dwellers are even taking advantage of the trance to throw items at the wanderers, and there have been various injuries as a result.
42. A ragged-looking man in studded leather armor and helm which is extensively patched and repaired is kneeling inside a pagoda set in a garden. The man looks as if he might be a fighter, and he has a scabbard on his belt but no weapon inside it. The man looks hollow-cheeked, as if he hasn’t eaten for a while, and the armor would appear to have been self-maintained due to inability to get new gear. The pagoda looks to be a shrine to some sort of deity of fighters. The fighter is down on his luck and hasn’t had a decent paying job in some time. He’s had to pawn his sword and his armor will be next, but it is in poor enough shape that he won’t get much for it. The man is praying for divine help with his plight.
43. A rakshasa is lurking outside a sturdy- looking storehouse with stout walls, but the creature cannot be seen without using appropriate magic, as it is currently ethereal. The rakshasa is scouting the storehouse and any defences that it might possess, especially magical ones, for later infiltration. The creature has an interest in a number of items, all of them magical but of types generally unknown in the area, that have been placed in the building by accident, and wishes to retrieve them. The rakshasa does not wish to be observed and will react violently, but preferably surreptitiously, if it realises that its presence has been detected.
44. A richly-decorated palanquin is being carried down the street by eight men in matching uniforms. All of the men are identical enough in height and appearance that they could be siblings, perhaps even identical ones. Seeing eight individuals so identical appears rather odd. One of the curtains of the palanquin is slightly open, revealing a beautiful woman lounging on cushions inside. However, none of this is as it appears. The woman is a powerful illusionist, both aged and of plain appearance. The palanquin is made from plane wood and the fabrics are simply but comfortable. The eight bearers, although of roughly the same height, are widely different in appearance. The illusionist simply uses her magic to create the appearance of extreme affluence, rather than waste money on it.
45. A roughly dressed man who smells of tar and salt water has the appearance of a stevedore is approaching people in the street, choosing those who look as if they may be new to the area, and have money. The man is a stevedore who also offers his services as a guide to the docks. He is 10 looking for a certain class of people who are looking for a certain type of entertainment in the area of the docks. The stevedore makes some extra money by guiding these people to the types of entertainment that they are looking for.
46. A scruffy and dirty beggar wearing an eye patch over one eye is begging on the side of the street, unsuccessfully as most of the people are wandering past without paying him any attention. The beggar is not what he seems, as he actually runs a vast criminal organization, primarily trading in and using knowledge. Knowledge of any type is valuable to him, for blackmail, leverage, infiltration or simply selling it to the highest bidder. The beggar is just a disguise he is currently using, and he uses different ones. A few people who actually give money to the beggar are actually contacts giving information, and the indifference of most passers-by allows him to gather nuggets of conversation from their unguarded conversations.
47. A scruffy and disreputable-looking individual is standing by the side of the street, haranguing those passing-by at the top of her voice. Some of the passers-by ignore her, some stop and stare and a few shout insults back. The woman is in actuality neither crazy nor obstreperous; instead, she is actually a distraction. Whilst the attention of those passing by is focused on the shouting ruffian, they do not see her colleagues moving amongst the pedestrians. These colleagues are using the distraction to relieve more than a few of those distracted of some of their valuables.
48. A seller of magic items of minimal value, such as barely magical potions and charms, has just been robbed by a gang of thugs of his money and much of his stock. What the thugs didn’t steal, they broke. The merchant tried to stop the gang from robbing him, and this proved to be a mistake on his part. The merchant is now on the floor, a bloodied and battered mess, and the thugs are standing around kicking him. The merchant already looks much the worse for wear and, if the gang is not stopped from their continued attack on him, they will soon seriously injure or perhaps even kill him. Even if stopped, the man now lacks any money to pay for healing services, or any of the minor items he had that might have helped, unless what was stolen from him is recovered from the gang.
49. A seller of sweetmeats is besides the remnants of his stall, almost in tears over the remains. His stall was destroyed when several crates fell off the overpass onto it, nearly hitting him as well. All of his stock has been destroyed in the accident. Without the stock to sell, he will be unable to buy new ingredients to make any more, which means he will not be able to sell anything, nor can he even afford to have the stall repaired. Without stock or a stall to sell from, the merchant will be unable to support his family, and they will be made homeless in a matter of days.
50. A sergeant of the guard and six troopers have stopped a woman who has just left a moneychanger’s shop. The sergeant is accusing the woman of being a thief, which she actually is, and of robbing the moneychanger’s, which she hasn’t. The thief was doing business with the moneychanger and has received payment for stealing money from a rival shop in order to discredit the rival and drive business to the moneychanger. Neither the thief nor the moneychanger are happy about her being stopped. Both are concerned that, if the thief is searched, the guards may find evidence connecting the two to each other and the actual crime.
51. A seriously annoyed dwarf is loudly accosting a centaur outside a small, fortified building run by the city’s military. According to the dwarf, the centaur owes him money for specialist arms and armor that the dwarf crafted at the centaur’s request. The dwarf is shouting that the centaur has not paid for what he ordered, and that the dwarf has come to collect what is due. The argument is escalating and becoming very 11 loud and potentially violent, with the dwarf insisting that the centaur owes him money and the centaur claiming that the dwarf has got the wrong individual. The dwarf’s counterargument is that he might get centaurs confused, but that he can easily recognize that the equipment that the centaur is wearing is what he smithed.
52. A solemn procession for the local merchant’s guild is proceeding down the street. This is a regular event, held once per month, and its primary intention is to make it obvious to all just how much power the guild has. One of the guild masters, unbeknownst to the others, was recently infected with lycanthropy after being bitten by a wererat. She involuntarily transforms into were-form for the first time during the procession. The new wererat lacks any self-control and lashes out at all within reach. This causes a great deal of disruption to the ceremony and results in many of the attendees and spectators fleeing in panic from the attacking wererat. It is possible that there will be a few more people infected with lycanthropy following this.
53. A strong wind blows several pieces of paper around, swirling them from out of an alley and around the legs of passing pedestrians. The pieces of paper appear to have come loose from the board to which they were pinned, going by the slight tears in each corner, where presumably a nail or pin held them in place. On reading the papers, they all appear to be proclamations that all non-human races are to be detained on sight, due to a recent rise in tensions and strife in town. Perhaps the proclamations were torn down, rather than simply having come loose.
54. A tall, muscular man with pointed ears, a beardless face and fine features which give evidence of elven blood stands in the mouth of a dead end of the main street. He is dressed in green leather with a rune-carved staff. The man is an elven half-blood, the only surviving heir to a distant elven kingdom. All of the full-blooded elves in the line to the throne are now dead. The half-elf never knew his elven father and was raised by his human mother, so he does not know of his true heritage. His mother, a former adventurer, did not know of his father’s social standing, as they only met once briefly after a battle in which they both fought. With his mother not knowing the full truth about his father, she therefore could not tell her son about him, only that he was a mighty warrior mage. The son has emulated his father in an attempt to become the same and may perhaps even have surpassed him. The elven king is greatly aged now, and when he dies, his kingdom may well be plunged into chaos.
55. At an intersection, a scruffy-looking woman suddenly falls to the ground and starts convulsing in what looks like extreme agony, green froth bubbling from her mouth. A small crowd quickly gathers around the woman, most appearing to be concerned except for one brutal-looking half-orc in chainmail. The half-orc is looking at the presumably dying woman with what is possibly satisfaction. The reason that the half-orc is watching with satisfaction as the woman dies in agony is that he works as an enforcer for the local thieves’ guild and has served sentence of death by poison on the woman, who was a thief operating outside of the guild.
56. At the junction where a street meets with a smaller side road, a female pilgrim dressed in brown robes fastened with a rope belt suddenly starts screaming and tearing at her clothing. She is suffering from an infestation of flesh grubs and, unless treated, she will soon die from them. The woman is unlikely to survive more traumatic methods of treatment, such as burning or cutting the grubs out. The flesh grubs pose a hazard to others nearby, especially those who try to help, who may also become infested. The flesh grubs were deliberately planted in the pilgrim’s clothing in order to kill her, and to do so painfully.
57. A thud from somewhere above is revealed to be someone jumping from one building to another across an alley leading off from the main street. This first person is quickly followed by several more individuals. They are all jumping from building to building across the rooftops, and across the smaller streets in impressive displays of skill. It cannot be easily determined simply by watching whether the first person is leading the rest or being pursued by them. In truth, the first individual is being pursued; they are a wanderer and travel from city to city being pursued by those following. This may be a game, or it may be a hunt.
58. At the intersection of a major throughway and a smaller side road, a bard is playing a tune on a mandolin and singing about the giants of prehistory. There is a hat on the ground in front of the bard and there is an assortment of copper and silver coins in it. The bard’s performance has drawn a small crowd, as he clearly has talent. The bard is not what they seem, not human but actually a titan shape changed into the form of a human, and appropriate magic will detect this. It seems the titan is watching the passersby very carefully, perhaps looking for something or someone specific, and the choice of song is probably not random.
59. At the intersection of two of the major streets, people suddenly start shouting out in fear and alarm, slapping at their clothing and stamping on the ground. Many small, but potentially deadly, scorpions have suddenly appeared from somewhere, although no-one seems to know whether that came out of the ground or literally just appeared. The scorpions are small, but their poison is potentially deadly. Those individuals who have scorpions on them run the risk of one or more stings penetrating their clothing, and injuries or deaths are highly likely if something isn’t done.
60. A watch sergeant and six common watchmen are standing on guard by a notice board at an intersection. A man dressed in the clothes of an official is reading a proclamation out loud from a scroll in his hand. Once the official finishes reading the proclamation, he fastens it to the notice board, removing another scroll that was already there. Given how carefully the guards are watching the onlookers, and how ready they appear to be for a fight, if such be needed, it seems that this proclamation is less than popular. The proclamation is announcing a new tax, a minor one but one that will disproportionately affect the less wealthy.
61. A well-dressed gentleman in immaculate and expensive-looking attire is stood in the street surveying the local shops. He is attended by a larger man with the look of an experienced brawler. The shopkeepers in the area are keeping out of sight of the gentleman if they can or greeting him obsequiously if they cannot. The gentleman is not what he seems; he is using his position and appearance, which are genuine, as cover for running a protection racket and the local shopkeepers are paying him money every week. He never personally gets his hands dirty, instead sending around thugs, and not his personal bodyguard, to deal with those who fall behind on their payments. Although the payments are not as bad as they could be, the shopkeepers live in a state of fear.
62. A woman, although she is dressed in the robes of a pilgrim, is no such thing. Instead, the woman likes playing pranks and jokes on people, and this is just connected her latest prank. These jokes are not always appreciated, or even found funny, by the victims of them, so the woman considers a disguise to be an essential part of her kit. The woman is about to play a prank on the residents of the house she is standing outside, one which makes use of her current dress. In the guise of a pilgrim, she is going to claim that the house is connected to one of the holy people of her religion, and that it is going to become an important pilgrimage site, with many pilgrims visiting it every week.
63. A woman on the street suddenly gasps, 13 first in shock as she gazes down at her body, and then in pain. The shock and the pain both have the same cause, as the woman has gone into labor. The pain is expected but the shock is not. The woman had forgotten that she was pregnant, as well as many more things related to the pregnancy. She doesn’t remember how she got pregnant, or who – or, perhaps, what – is the father. The woman can remember who she is and where she lives but there are many blank spots from the past nine months and her pregnancy, and its effects are totally missing from memories she retains. The labor will not go well and if someone doesn’t assist, the pregnant woman may well die, and any clues as to the origin of her child – which may, at the GM’s choice, be unnatural in origin – will be lost with her.
64. A wooden pole across stretches across a small side street and two guards in uniform are standing by it. They are telling any who want to enter the street that they have to pay a toll to do so, even those who live or work on it, thanks to a new ordinance. The guards lift the pole up to allow access by those who pay, but many are either unable or unwilling to. Several people who have been refused access are yelling at the guards, telling them what they are doing is shameful, but the guards are responding with the story that it is a new ordinance and that they are not responsible. However, the guards are actually nothing of the sort, being simply con artists who have faked guard uniforms and are milking the traffic for as much as they can before they disappear.
65. Entering a nearby home is a dairyman, carrying a couple of covered pales of what is presumably milk. Presumably, because the dairyman, although have a wagon parked outside with milk on board, is strangely wearing leather armour and carrying a sheathed sword. This seems to be far too much to be wearing simply to deliver some milk, and is odd for any type of dairyman. The reason is that the man has only just arrived in town and there have been problems with bandits on the road outside; he is returning home with some milk for his family before heading off to do his rounds.
66. Hiding out in a partially burned building is a ranger who now looks rather the worse for wear, the city not being an ideal place for her to survive. The ranger is in hiding because she was framed for multiple murders and is now wanted by the local authorities who have a kill on sight order. The order originally came from the man who did commit the murders but tracking this down will be difficult. The woman was unable to escape from the city and is now eking out an existence in the building, accompanied only by a feral cat. Even though the ranger is highly skilled, she has lost much of her equipment if tracked down she will either have to fight, killing some innocent guards in the process, or die. Her only real option is to somehow find the true murderer.
67. In a courtyard surrounded by buildings a fire is burning. The billowing cloud of smoke has a strange yellow tinge to it and it smells rather odd. A woman stands by the fire, throwing tightly wrapped bales of something unidentifiable onto it. The woman has been accused of a crime and is destroying items that she believes can be used against her. She will be evasive if asked what it is she is burning and say that it is simply rubbish.
68. In a grove, one dwarf is kneeling in front of another. The standing dwarf, who is clearly older, is a baron in a nearby dwarven realm. The kneeling dwarf is a messenger, and the baron is dispatching him back to the dwarven realm with an important message regarding some recent arrangements that have been made with a similarly local elven nation. The message is spoken, rather than written, for neither the dwarves nor the elves wish its contents to fall into the wrong hands, and the messenger has been told it would be preferable for him to die with honor rather than risking what he knows falling into the wrong hands.
69. Inside a gilder’s, a disreputable-looking man and a woman dressed as a ranger are both speaking to the owner. As the gilder works with precious metals a lot, he is looking into hiring some security. The ranger has some obvious skill at arms, although working in a city is an unusual job for such. However, she is short on funds at the moment and needs the work. The man is less obvious, but he has some connections to and familiarity with the underside of the city, so could help prevent any robberies from taking place with foreknowledge. This assumes that the rake is acting honestly and isn’t planning to arrange to rob the shop.
70. Inside an accoutrement maker a man is browsing through the various military clothing and accessories on sale. The man is engaging the shop owner in conversation about the various items for sale, giving the impression that he plans to buy something. This is not in fact the case; the man is actually a follower of the Trickster God and is planning on pulling a prank in honour of his deity, either on the shopkeeper on using him as an unwitting accomplice. The Trickster is a malicious rather than mischievous deity, and victims of the pranks his followers pull sometimes do not survive the experience.
71. Inside a teahouse, a gnome is pestering the staff, wanting to know where they get their tea from, what specific blends are available, how it the tea and blends are made and on and on, prying into every aspect of the tea’s manufacture, blending and brewing. It looks as if the staff are trying to be polite and helpful, as the gnome is clearly wealthy and his clothing suggests he may be potentially more dangerous than he looks. However, they are also getting a bit irritated by the gnome’s constant questioning. They would probably like him to leave or actually buy something, or perhaps get interrupted by another customer.
72. In the middle of the street, drawing a lot of attention, is a cultist in a hooded black robe. The robe is marked with reddish- brown stains and the cultist’s hood is down, revealing his face. He has a wicked- looking obsidian knife in one hand and is carving symbols into his face with a sharp with it to honor his brutal and strange god. Blood is pouring from the freshly made wounds and numerous scars on his face indicate that the cultist has done this before. As he carves with his knife, the disfigured man is shouting homilies is praise of his god and is urging passers- by to join in with his worship. None appear to be interested in taking him up on his offer.
73. One of the walls of a tower belonging to an order of knights has collapsed and a team of workers were repairing it. The repairs have been stopped for now, and the area is being guarded by two knights. Behind them, the reason for the repairs being stopped is visible. Part of a skeleton can be seen within the collapsed wall. The skeleton appears to have been walled up inside the wall in a space only a few inches larger than it. It appears, from scratches on the removed stones, that whoever it was was alive when this was done, a punishment sometimes reserved for traitors. There as an unpleasant feeling in the area as well, as if the spirit of the dead person has lingered.
74. One person in the street suddenly starts laughing uncontrollably, then the people next to them start laughing as well. The laughing is spreading from person to person, almost as if it was contagious in some way. Those afflicted do not actually look amused, but panicked, and they cannot stop laughing, even as they start spraying blood from their mouths with every laugh. The constant laughing is taking a toll on those suffering from it, and several collapse to the street with blood pouring from their mouths. Those unaffected by the laughing fit are beginning to back away in fear from the afflicted; when one shouts out “Plague!” the backing away becomes a 15 stampede and several people are knocked down by those fleeing and trampled on. There are both affected and unaffected who are now desperately in need of help.
75. Outside a dwarven blockhouse two groups of dwarves are finishing off a wedding ceremony with a celebration in honour of the God of Alcohol. The two groups are telling riddles to each other, but their excessive drunkenness is making asking and answering the questions difficult, as the questioners often forget the riddle partway through and those trying to answer are doing no better. Even when an answer is given, both parties frequently can’t work out if it is the correct answer. They are calling on passers-by to judge the contest and determine who is answering riddles correctly. Those passing are avoiding doing so because, although the competition is currently being held in high spirits, similar contests in the past have turned ugly when outsiders have actually decided that one group has won.
76. Outside a convent to the goddess of the arts a female mage in robes and a male fighter in light armour are singing and dancing with each other in the street. Their behaviour may initially appear to be bizarre, but both are followers of the goddess and this is actually a form of worship some of her followers practice. Both are clearly enjoying themselves and are asking any passersby if they wish to join in as well. Most people are not interested, but a handful have stopped and some look as if they may start to participate.
77. Outside an almoner’s a ranger, who is a Knight of the Realm and a royal Master of the Woodlands, is negotiating with a pawnbroker, one who has a generally unknown sideline as a fence. The ranger has been directed to the pawnbroker by the almoner herself. Part of the ranger’s duties include collecting food from the woodlands for the poor which the almoner then distributes. Lately, some of the food, as well as other items for distribution to the poor, has been going missing. The pawnbroker, in her other capacity as a fence, is believed to know something about this, and the ranger knight is negotiating a deal by which the pawnbroker helps with the matter.
78. Outside a rectory stands a bawd, which seems an odd place for him to tout for business. The bawd was once a contender to the throne of a distant nation, but failed in his attempt to seize control of the country, and has since fallen on hard times. A passing citizen was once of the bawd’s followers back in his homeland and has never lost faith in him. The citizen still believes in the pretender’s divine right to rule their home nation. Both are speaking; the bawd may appreciate that he still has loyal followers, but he is concerned that if attention is drawn to him, assassins sent from his homeland may be as well.
79. Outside a Spartan-looking house, a shaven headed woman in a long blue robe is tending a minimalistic garden. The garden is mostly sand and gravel but has a few plants in pots, which have been carefully placed in specific places on the gravel. The monk is using a rake to shape the sand and gravel into patterns around the plants.
80. Outside a sturdy-looking stone building, a treasure house with thick walls and narrow slit windows covered by iron bars, there is a dog chained to a stone post. The dog, a scarred, huge black mastiff with a spiked collar and a torn ear has enough chain to allow it the freedom to road the grounds within the iron railings surrounding the building. The mastiff eyes anyone who gets too close to the treasure house he is guarding, uttering a low, rumbling growl and baring his teeth to warn them away. Anyone wishing access to the building must ring a bell outside the main gate and wait for a guard to shorten the mastiff’s chain and escort the visitor to the entrance.
81. Outside a tavern, a filthy and foul-smelling street urchin, a boy of no more than 8 years old, is being spoken to by a well-dressed elf. The elf is promis16 ing to get the boy food, clean clothes and a place to stay, if he just comes with the elf. He claims that he works for a charitable institution that rescues children from the street in order to give them a better life and prospects for the future. The elf is suspiciously well-dressed for his stated profession; in truth, what he actually does is steal children and sell them.
82. Outside a tavern, a middle-aged noblewoman falls from her madly galloping horse. The woman lands on the street with a fair amount of force and suffers a few injuries as a result. If questioned, the noblewoman says she doesn’t know what has got into her steed; she has been riding the mare for years and is an experienced rider. If the woman wasn’t, she would have suffered far more damage in the fall. Her horse has been ensorcelled by a mage in an attempt to kill the noblewoman. The mage was employed by the woman’s husband, who wants to replace her with his much younger mistress.
83. Outside a workhouse stands a set of gallows that has long been used to execute criminals. A bound man, his head covered by a black sack that is tied around his neck, is kneeling next to the gallows. His clothing is torn, and his body bears the signs of a vicious beating. A sign hanging around his neck bears the word “TRAITOR”. The soon to be executed man is pleading with those he cannot see, insisting that he is innocent of the crime. This is true, for the man has been framed by the true traitor, but his entreaties and pleas for help are being ignored. The traitor lured his victim to where the former planned to commit his crime, and when the innocent man was discovered there, guards misunderstood his intention.
84. Outside of an inn a young paladin is sitting on the ground with her head in her hands and a drink nest to her. A passing halfling has stopped to see if the paladin needs assistance. The paladin, who is still quite inexperienced, is having a crisis of faith, a very early time for such. She was recently on an expedition which resulted in all of her fellows dying, except her, who escaped without even a scratch. The halfling is much older and more experienced and is giving the paladin advice that such things do happen, and it isn’t due to the paladin’s lack of faith.
85. Part of the street has collapsed, taking the front of a home with it, and a sinkhole has formed. This has happened comparatively recently, in the past day or so, but long enough ago that the area has been fenced off and guards posted to prevent anyone accidentally, or intentionally, falling into the hole. Repairs have not been started yet because the sinkhole revealed what appears to be an ancient tomb, one present long before the city was built. The tomb is going to be investigated first by those qualified to deal with such matters, then it will be sealed off again. Unknown to anyone, one of the tomb’s occupants has already escaped. The creature was not dead, but in magical stasis, and was a guardian of the tomb. It possesses the ability to shapeshift and has killed one of the guards who was stationed at the sinkhole, taking his place.