More Missing Children
Even with the “ogress” eliminted, children from the villages in the area continue to go missing. The following rumours are circulating among the various villages:
Biqeira: A pack of rabid hyenas living to the east of the temple (west of Biqeira) is dragging them away in the middle of the night.
Burdein: A criosphinx in the woods to the west is to blame. He is holding them for ransom a number of thousands of gold pieces equal to the age (in years) of the child.
Gimmeza: A gynosphinx living in a temple to the east is simply bored. She has captured the children as a sort of “experiment.” She wishes to see how the villagers respond. Should anyone come for the children, she will release each one for the cost of a riddle answered. If a riddle is answered wrongly, the child will die.
Juhaynah: A convocation of hieracosphinxes living in the foothills to the south has been capturing the children to eat them. If this is true, there is not much hope many (if any) that the children are still alive.
Nafisha: A psychopathic killer in Niklah is to blame.
Niklah: A psychopathic killer in Nafisha is to blame.
Taufig: An androsphinx living in the plains to the north is to blame. It is retribution for the farmers of the village extending their field into what the sphinx believes to be his territory. He is holding the children ransom and will release each child he’s kidnapped in exchange for a magic item.
Approaching Bugbear Tribe
Hearing about the possible wealth contained within the temple, a nomadic tribe of bugbears is heading from the south toward temple, looting and pillaging along the way.
Forgotten Tomb of Ata-Kneph
A mining crew working in the foothills to the south stumbled across the long forgotten tomb of Ata-Kneph, unintentionally disturbing it. Ata-Kneph was a cruel man and strong wizard who promised to return from death and enslave the living. Undead have begun emerging from the tomb, and it appears Ata-Kneph’s vow is coming to fruition.
Battle of the Elementals
During a battle between the wizards Odion and Bebti, Odion summoned a djinni and Bebti summoned an efreet. Each of the elementals struck down the opposing wizard, killing them. The djinni and efreet then became locked in a battle that has lasted for nearly two weeks... with no signs of ending anytime soon. They have left a wake of destruction behind them, and continue to wreak havoc throughout the area.
Lapis Medallion Treasure Map
The characters discover a lapis, pie-shaped medallion covered with strange markings. Once translated (through read/comprehend languages), it is revealed the medallion one of four parts of a sort of “treasure map,” providing directions to a King’s tomb.
Ogre of Anubis
Azeneth’s younger brother Nekh-rumah was away when the PCs went to the temple to deal with Azeneth. Nekh-rumah, like his sister, was rumored to be cannibalizing the children. Other whispers purport the siblings were also romantically involved. Nekh-rumah will send bounty hunters in search of the persons that killed his sister and deliver them so he can dispense his justice. The only option the PCs may have is re-visiting the temple in order to deal Nekh-rumah. Nekh-rumah is a few years younger than Azeneth, and not naturally as strong as a magic-user. However, he supposedly possess an artifact known as the Amulet of Thoth which is said to maximize a magic user’s powers, as well as provide them the ability to negate all magic used against them.
River of Blood
The Olufemi river has been flowing with red, as if the blood of hundreds has been spilled. Some say it’s an ancient prophecy coming to pass. Others say it’s a sign from an angry god. Still others believe something unnatural is happening upriver. Whatever the cause, it must be evil, and the world will most likely be a better place with that kind of evil eliminated.
The PCs cross paths with a man named Oseye. He claims to have the power to see the future, though most of the locals think he is nothing more than a crackpot. He tells the PCs they will come across a golden frog and a curse will fall upon them. Shortly after, the PCs will come across a small, unadorned wooden box in the road. If the box is opened, a small gold frog idol will be found inside, and all the PCs who fail a saving throw (vs. spells) will immediately feel slightly “unhinged.” If they pass the box (and leave it unopened), it will continue to appear before them in the road until they do open it. If they take the box but leave it closed, the character carrying it must make a saving throw vs. spells every 3 turns until that character fails the saving throw and opens the box (revealing the frog). If the PCs return to seek out Oseye, he will point them to a location frequented by bandits. There is no curse; this is a trick (low-level illusion) used by Oseye to send wealthy adventurers into the hands of awaiting bandits. The bandits’ den is located near their ambush point.
Cult of Rtlzsithoth
A scribe enlists the aid of the PCs to escort him safely to the coastal city of Hieracon to the north; he says he has recently gained employment with the large temple there. In truth, he is in possession of an artifact that will be used in a ritual to enlist the powers of a being from another dimension in an attempt to enslave the peoples of the city, and eventually the world. Along the route to Hieracon, the party will be joined by a trader headed to Hieracon. He recognizes the scribe as a member of a strange cult from that city and will quietly let the PCs on to what he knows.
Plague of Ostrakine
A local outbreak of disease begins to claim hundreds of lives in the city of Ostrakine, but the disease seems to only infecting the poorest members of the city. Secretly, this is actually the work of the city’s largest trade guild, attempting to “better” the city.