|PORTALS TO A BETTER, DEAD WORLD (Cara Neir)|
So, he's obviously infested with some sort of flesh-eating worm or parasite - apparently not deadly enough to kill him outright. (The players should soon after run the risk of becoming infested with the same parasites!)
More worrying are the large centipedes (carrion crawlers?) writhing from the darkness on either side. Are they poisonous? (I recall that in early editions of D&D giant centipede poison was save-or-die, and that carrion crawlers had paralyzing antennae/tentacles.)
Why haven't they devoured the prisoner yet, though? How has he kept them away? (Will he share the secret with the players if freed?)
Why was the prisoner manacled to the wall in the first place? Common criminal? Political agitator? Practitioner of forbidden arts?
|THE PLAGUE OF A COMING AGE (October Falls)|
Why does his head glow? In ancient and medieval iconography, a glow about the head meant the subject was a saint. Is this man a saint? (of what god?) Or, is he Enlightened? What arts and talents does he possess?
My imagination places a burrow within the roots of the bending tree. Does the man live in the burrow, like a hermit or sage of old?
What would he say to the players? Would he tell of the plague of the coming age?
Alright, time for the BOSS BATTLE:
It looks like he is doing something very bad. Are the souls being used to summon or feed some extradimensional horror?
What will he do when the players arrive? Return the souls to their crumbling skeletons, creating an animate army of undead warriors? Send the souls to harm the players directly, as a wailing torrent of chilling malice? Use his arcane magics to toss broken spears and splintered bone in a hail of pointy death? Complete a summoning ritual, and bring forth from the extradimensional void a world-ending menace?
(My eye is drawn to a single sword in the foreground, which has avoided both notching and rust. Is it magical? Is it powerful? What would it accomplish in the hands of a player?)
How would YOU use any/all of these monsters, encounters, and scenes in your game, Reader?
(Let me know how it goes if you do!)