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Quick Plot Hooks #2

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.

Athasian Wraith
Athasian Wraith by Baxa

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.

Cha’thrang & Athasian Wraith: A lone elf stumbles through the wastes, pursued by a trine of especially large cha’thrangs. The elf is in fact a shambling elven corpse, animated by the Athasian wraith Chikelu Saro-Wiwa. Rather than hunting the elf, the cha’thrangs are following it because they associate the elf with finding good prey.

The wraith’s motivations are unknown to those few who are aware of him: some whisper he is still fighting a long-forgotten war, some say he is just another raider.

Chikelu served in the armies of Lalali-Puy (then known as Inenek, Aarakocra Scourge) during the Cleansing Wars. Still completely dedicated to the cause, Chikelu is sickened by Lalali-Puy’s disregard for the aarakocra infesting the Tablelands and has continued to purge them on his own. This scheme of using cha’thrangs to do his dirty work is simply the latest in a long list of plots to slaughter aarakocra.

Renegade Halfling & Kaisharga: Once, long ago, Dokala was a young halfling girl living in a village in the Ringing Mountains. When she came of age, she set out to see more of the world. No more than a few days travel from the tree line, however, she was captured by slavers and eventually sold to a noble in Ur Draxa. There, it was discovered that Dokala was very gifted in the Way (psionics) and received training. In time, though she was still a slave, she had become a well-regarded adviser to the nobleman - now a powerful templar of Borys. Finding Dokala’s services indispensable, the nobleman decided that the only way to assure control of her was to have her raised as a kaisharga.

Several centuries later, Ur Draxa was destroyed by the Cerulean Storm and her slave-master was killed, freeing Dokala at last. She returned to the Forest Ridge to search out her tribe, but found that they had been driven out of the Forest Ridge as ‘renegades’. When she finally located them, she discovered that her tribemates were barely surviving in the foothills of the Ringing Mountains. Dokala set up a lair in a nearby ruin and began using her psionics and ability to create and control undead to keep the stronger predators away from her people without tipping them off to her presence.

For their part, the halfling tribe knows that there is a ruin nearby and that it is haunted by undead, but believe that they have been lucky that the undead seem to keep the area’s fiercest predators away but never but never hassle the tribe themselves. They would be horrified to know that an undead former member of their tribe had been lurking nearby and protecting them for so long.

Ssurrans & Zhackals: Local traders and passing caravans claim that a large pack of zhackals have moved into the area, preying on small or poorly defended groups. Even more troubling is the rumor that a small tribe of ssurrans have begun to follow the zhackals, consuming the remains of those the zhackals have fed upon.

Tareks & Antloids: A seemingly abandoned antloid mound stands deep within the wastes. Antloid warrens usually contain a water source in their deepest tunnels, but some of the tunnels in this warren have begun to collapse (about 1/3 of the tunnels will experience a local cave-in if subjected to climbing, area-effect spells, etc).

A group of wandering tareks are exploring the antloid warren, led by an earth cleric who believes antloids to be sacred creatures, as they live within the Earth. The tareks might be willing to converse or even trade with those they encounter, as they do not plan to claim the tunnels as their own - they are only looking for a water source and some shade to wait out the heat of the day.

The same cannot be said of a small group of displaced antloids (including a young queen), who arrive soon after any investigating parties. The antloids intend to recolonize the abandoned warren and consider anyone else in the warren to be hostile intruders.