d50 More Rumors for WasabiBurger

A table of rumors and seeds made for WasabiBurger’s Pyrrhion setting involving a number of diverse city-states along the winding River Esmeralda. 

 

  1. The Valtameri Navy’s control over the River Esmerelda has recently been challenged by strange craft from across the sea that appear to be able to travel under the water. The masters of the city would pay handsomely for the capture of one.
  2. The craftspeople of Valtameri are buoyed by long honed tradition, but this has stifled creative innovation. There are niches to be exploited by those willing to apply strange ideas from exotic lands and cut through the bureaucracy.
  3. The banks of the River Esmerelda are riddled with catfish holes and it is a frequent pastime of the lower classes to noodle for them. Some say the river was named for an ancient princess who turned herself into a great catfish to escape an unwanted marriage. Sightings of a particularly massive specimen has led credence to this myth.
  4. The local boys have long had a game to convince each other to climb to the top of a nearby barrow and cut their initials into the old oak there. This stopped when recently a boy was found hung among its branches and runes in a dead tongue scrawled across their chest.
  5. The Valtameri are secretly funding the uprisings in the Raekavin region in an attempt to disrupt their monopoly  and reduce the cost of timber. There are opportunities for those willing to secret weapons and supplies to the villages.
  6. A wizard claims that the Ziggurats of the Karkea steal power from leylines for the Druids. They believe appropriately placed totems along the Esmerelda can disrupt and rechannel that power. 
  7. Klenia & Sodren have begun to set up great waterwheels over their stretch of the River, each powering mining operations on either side. Either seeks for the disruption of the other. Valtameri agents, conversely, worry that the ramped up mining may change the course of the river. 
  8. Pyrrhion’s greatest thief’s final heist involved stealing The Sapphire of the Source, a gem of immense size, from an Old Empire temple at the Esmerelda’s headwaters. The gem, the thief, and the temple have not been seen for a generation. 
  9. Crumbling watchtowers skirt the ancient borders of a lost kingdom. Many have been long looted, but some contain long forgotten treasure. At least one antiquarian would pay well for an accurate map of this ancient border.
  10. The River of Dust is a dry riverbed, an ancient tributary of the Esmerelda,  whose mountain spring source was destroyed in a volcanic eruption long ago. There are merchants who wish to convert the riverbed into a road to the far east, but its nights are haunted by ghost ships which sail upon evaporated waters. 
  11. The Golem attacks on Karkea began around the same time the nomadic clans moved into the Raekavin region. The few clansmen who have been successfully questioned refuse to claim any connection, but they do appear to have flown from something in their ancestral routes.
  12. The Getterlung Consortium knows that quality water is needed for quality beer, but this stretch of the Esmeralda is terribly polluted. They are looking for a fresh spring to pull from. The Karkeans however fiercely oppose this.
  13. A scholar of the Old Empire recently reactivated an automaton. It has the innocence of a six year old and the firepower of a small army.
  14. One of the nomadic clans has taken to raiding border villages, but they only take items that are red in color. It is unknown if there is some cult significance to this as none of the raiders have yet been captured alive.
  15. A grove within Raekavin’s territory contains a hidden library that can only be found by those who stumble into it at a time for need. Its many books are blank unless one can ask the right questions. Its hooded librarian fears the coming of Raekavin’s axes but refuses to leave.
  16. One of the Matriarch’s many daughters has been courting a high ranking member of the Consortium. There are individuals with vested interest both in the success and the failure of this romance.
  17. The steam calliope announces the arrival of the Last Free Circus, a small fleet of paddleboats that tour up and down the Esmerelda. Admission is not free, but the Circus considers themselves an independent nation and any who board their floating carnival are not beholden to the Laws of the Land.
  18. A blight has shown up in several places that only the Druids appear to be able to heal. A rabble rouser is claiming it was they who spread the blight in the first place.
  19. Illicit tolls pop up regularly on the river, something none of the city-states abide by. It keeps happening, however, because there is no unified effort against it.
  20. Mushrooms of many sorts are considered a delicacy throughout Pyrrhion. Heavily robed and silent figures who live beyond the tombs of the old kings are known to trade some of the best for extraordinary sums in Valtemeri. The same figures are a common sight in the Getterlung slave markets.
  21. Up until recently the uprisings in Raekavin have been disorganized and sporadic, but they’ve become increasingly targeted and effective lately. There are whisperings of a charismatic leader who calls themselves Crown Fire. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_lumberjack_jargon
  22. There is a great stone bridge that connects Klenia & Sodren but it is heavily guarded on either end. A tavern called The Broken Brothers sits in the middle of it and is considered the one safe neutral ground.
  23. The Hierophant of Karkea keeps a secret garden whose iridescent flowers bloom only under the light of the full moon. The most potent curatives (and poisons) are found here.
  24. There is rumor that far to the north there is a passage through the mountains to the exotic lands of the West. A Valtemeri merchant prince attempted to establish a route in recent years but was never heard from again. He bore a charm which he claimed to be the origin of his great wealth.
  25. The swamp villages surrounding Getterlung are being terrorized by a giant beast— long fangs, spotted like a leopard, claws that can slice through solid wooden doors, and the size of a carriage.
  26. Raekavini lumberjacks are always on the lookout for something to boost their stamina and strength. An alchemist claims to have a draught made of fresh elk velvet that is just the thing, but it must be collected without harming the hyper-aggressive bull-elks.
  27. The long abandoned cottage of an infamous witch, untouched by the superstitious locals, has begun to light up again at night. Some think it is merely squatters, but why are the lights green and magenta? 
  28. A cobbler has been making a killing among the social elite with their flowered felt valenki boots, however they seem to be producing them at an inhuman pace. Their rivals wish to steal their secrets or otherwise put a stop to them.
  29. Supposedly a once great river pirate hid away their great wealth behind a waterfall near the Esmerelda’s headwaters. The region is home to many scores of waterfalls and terrible rapids besides.
  30. The Raekavini take their horses very seriously. When a minor lord spent a fortune on a thoroughbred only to have it and the gold go missing in the night, they are willing to lay lives down to get back either.
  31. Annual runs of eel migrate down the Esmerelda to the sea for spawning. They make up no small part of the diet of both the peasantry and the local wildlife. This year’s run, however, was dangerously small causing a minor famine and increased aggression in the riverside predators. 
  32. A stone stairway is all that is left of a Old Empire era fortification, standing alone in the wilderness. The superstitious locals say any who climb them vanish. A haggard old man has stumbled out of nowhere, claiming to have just moments before been a boy who climbed them on a dare.
  33. Tremors have been threatening Klenia & Sodren mining operations. Miners claim that prior to each tremor they can hear a terrible howling noise and the sounds of distant thrashing. 
  34. The scion of a powerful house was cursed with a sleeping sickness for some petty slight. A famed hero attempted to wake them with a kiss, however they are both now asleep.
  35. A great fire flew across and lit the sky causing a great uproar some years ago, but most have since moved on. Prospectors have just discovered a metal of strange hues and properties in the fireball’s flightpath.
  36. A burning desert to the far east has been a natural border to the realms beyond for untold generations, but a wizard claims to have invented a means to cross them and just requires some fortune seeker to test it out.
  37. An “Adventurer’s Guild” has been established in Valtameri, which has attracted many high paying jobs. Some who seek to join the Guild, however, are never seen again and those who have survived its initiations come back subtly changed.
  38. Junkers regularly trawl the Esmerelda outside of Getterslung, fishing up scrap and bodies for their own profit but also cleaning the river of many pollutants before it gets downstream. It is a dirty and thankless job…until one fished up a fist sized gold nugget.
  39. Counterfeit coins are a serious issue in the region as there is little consistency between city-states. Valtameri brokers and exchangers use enchanted spectacles which allow them to determine the value of coinage based on their gold content. A pair of these would be an invaluable tool in the right hands. 
  40. There is no Thieves’ Guild in Pyrrhion as any attempt to form a union is quickly crushed by the Matriarch. Though she allows just about anything in Getterlung, for a take, she keeps an active force of disruptors to quell any activity that might call her authority into question.
  41. Religion and spirituality is an individual affair through much of Pyrrhion, with some small popular shrines and minor gods popular in the cities. The closest thing to a universal deity is the Esmerelda herself. Prayers are often floated on paper boats down the river and it is considered extremely unlucky to sink one.
  42. Bosun’s Cant is the strange shouting/whistling code used by riverships to communicate news up and down the river. Urgent messages move the fastest when carried like this, but disruptions or false gossip are not unknown.
  43. Though real wizardry is known, charlatans and snakeoil are still common. One in particular has been driving their wagon throughout the region as of late, proclaiming to have discovered a miraculous balm from an Old Empire ruin. Though usually a dud, strange minor miracles have followed in their wake. 
  44. Gourmet Sausages out of Getterlung have seen a rise in popularity, pairing amazingly with the city’s famed brews. However the screams coming from the slaughterhouse are decidedly less pig-like these days. 
  45. Some years ago a woman of Sodren proclaimed to have given birth to a Child of Prophecy. Shortly thereafter a woman of Klenia proclaimed the same thing. Minor but aggressive cults have grown up around these two. A third child was secreted away from the warring city-states in the night.
  46. Two of the golems that have been attacking Karkea stopped in the middle of a field and began to dance together. Their dance slowly created a complex pattern in the flattened wheat, a pattern that wizards are still attempting to identify. The golems deactivated and crumbled to dust at the end of their waltz.
  47. A young person of indeterminate age and gender showed up on a street corner one day and began to play their lute. They have played nonstop without rest or sustenance for two weeks now. They have neither spoken nor repeated any song as of yet. 
  48. A powerful flood recently raced down the Esmerelda causing mass havoc. However, in the aftermath, strange bones and fossils have been found in the washed away and exposed embankments. 
  49. To avoid outright war over various squabbles, the city states hold regular competitions. Nominally these are for bragging rights, but massive bets and policy decisions have resulted from the results of these games.
  50. Individuals in the Karkean Warrior Caste go through a ritualistic hunt when a youth transitions to adulthood. Their place within their society is determined by the results of this hunt. Some unscrupulous families have been known to hire mercenaries to rig hunts and provide big game for their young scions.

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