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Quick Plot Hooks #1

The Quick Plot Hooks series started as a fun thought experiment - how to develop interesting but reasonable encounters using two types of creatures from randomly determined Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium entries.

Mul from Terrors Beyond Tyr
Mul by Baxa
Belgoi & Mul: In a stretch of sandy wastes, a Belgoi and a Mul glare at each other over a freshly-slain lizard in the merciless heat. Occasionally, one feints an attack at the other, each hoping to catch their rival off guard. Neither is willing to give up the life-saving meal they stand over. Nor are they particularly talkative if questioned, as their throats are parched and their attentions focused on each other. However, both claim to have made the kill and are not about to back down.

Cistern Fiend & Dune Trader: A minor merchant house has been contracted to transport a special cargo to a remote location, and the house is looking to hire-on extra guards to protect the caravan. The cargo is a newly-spawned cistern fiend, meant to guard and purify the local water source. Complications, however, are bound to arise: * The cistern fiend is being transported in an especially large water barrel mounted on a wagon, making it hard to disguise and an obvious target for raiders. As the journey continues, it grows increasingly hard to protect the cargo from bands of raiders seeking to take the water for themselves. * A number of slaves are brought along on the journey, meant to be sacrificed (gutted and bled into the water barrel) as necessary to feed the creature. It eventually turns out that there are not nearly enough slaves to continue the pace of feeding, however, and soon the guards begin to eye each other and the traders warily. * The caravan had planned to stop at an oasis along the route to resupply, but the oasis is found to be dried up once there, and the caravan’s water supply begins to grow dangerously low. The caravan master grows concerned, and becomes willing to pay extra to keep the guard from stealing water from the barrel.

Sun Drake & Tohr-Kreen: The mantis noble Kat’gul has been picking around the foothills of the Ringing Mountains for several days. If approached, he claims to have located the empty lair of a sun drake and that he is now searching for a reasonable approach up the mountain. The tohr-kreen also claims to be willing to split any treasure recovered with those who help him find a route up to the lair, as he only really wants any art objects.

Wood Golem & Tul’k: A band of tul’ks have been sighted in the foothills of the Ringing Mountains near Tyr and the locals are up in arms. Newly arrived, the tul’ks are suspected of a recent rash of attacks by the locals, as the victims have all been bludgeoned or crushed to death by something large, solid, and powerful. A berserk wood golem is in fact to blame, having wandered over the mountains from the Forest Ridge several weeks ago. For their part, the tul’ks would be willing to help dispose of the rampaging wood golem if it meant being allowed to live in the area without harassment.

Air Elemental Beast & Crystal Spider: An air elemental beast has been using the crystalline webs of a crystal spider to strain out some of its offending bits of dirt and sand, much like a bear rubbing up against a favorite tree to scratch itself. This has been leaving the crystal spider quite enraged, as the air elemental beast kicks up windstorms and otherwise chases off the spider’s prey, making whoever may come around a target for the starving spider.

Sun Paraelemental & Dust Glider: A small ecosystem has developed on a tiny, rocky crag in the Sea of Silt, where a slain beasthead giant lies slumped over the rocks, slowly decomposing. Dust gulls pick at the giant corpse, while dust gliders swoop in to snatch at the slowest or least attentive gulls. Meanwhile, a sun paraelemental blazes away overhead, happy that the giant it killed has now become a trap for more of these “disgusting fleshy beings”. A careful search of the giant’s remains might reveal its bag of “treasures”, which include seven severed silt runner heads, a number of shiny (but worthless) stones, and the giant’s favorite “dagger” - a psionically enhanced bone longsword.

Cilops & B’rohg: A cilops tracks a lone b’rohg through a region of rocky badlands. If the b’rohg is aware of the cilops shadowing it, she gives no indication. The b’rohg was recently separated from her band and is now lost, but certain that they can be found in the area. Perhaps the cilops is simply hungry and following potential prey, or perhaps slavers travel alongside it, intent on capturing the b’rohg for the arenas of the city-states.