Like any small community, a borderland fort is often rife with rumours. Whether its folk swap stories about various adventurers passing through, the dalliances of prominent individuals or the depredations of nearby humanoids news—both true and false—circulates wherever people gather.
Use the table below, to determine the minor rumours the party hears while at the borderland fort. (Obviously, some of the rumours might require minor adjustment to better fit with your locale).
- Strange things are going on at the chapel. A hooded figure has been seen entering the building late at night. (The priest is having an affair with a married women).
- The fire at the blacksmith’s last month was not accidental. Had it not been for his apprentice’s quick thinking, the whole building would have gone up in flames.
- Bandits have once again been seen in the fort’s vicinity. Rumour has it the Captain of the Guard is preparing an expedition to put them to the sword.
- The fort’s lord is expecting a high-ranking guest in the next few days. He has already despatched a patrol to meet his guest and preparations to receive a person of note have kept the servants busy for the last week. Speculation runs rampant as to exactly who is coming to visit.
- Someone has stolen an entire pig carcass from the kitchens. When the thief is found, there will be hell to pay.
- The Company of the Cloven Shield—an adventuring band of minor repute—visited the fort last month. They had a map of the surrounding wilderness and one of them—while deep in his cups—boasted the map showed the site of a lost treasure. The company haven’t been seen since they left the fort three weeks ago. Most people think they have perished.
- The castle is haunted. A couple of years ago, an evil necromancer was burned at the stake in the courtyard. With his dying screams, he cursed all those present to never rest easily in the grave. Since then, several graves have been disturbed and the corpses removed (or did they escape under their own power?)
- The well providing drinking water for the fort is old—far older than the fort itself. Writings attributed to the original settlers of the area speak of caverns accessible from the well shaft. However, no such access now exists; one of the previous lords had the whole well re-bricked blocking any such entrances.
- Strange tracks have been found by hunters in the surrounding area. Judging by the size of the tracks, whatever made them was roughly the size of a horse, and—worryingly—it has claws!
- The tavern is infested with bedbugs—I wouldn’t stay there if I were you!
This article appears in 20 Things #20: Fort on the Borderlands.
Get the PDF
For more free content, check out our Free Resources page.
If you’d like to support Raging Swan Press, please join our Patreon campaign. Pledge what you want. Cancel when you want. Get cheap books. Even a $1 pledge is epic and helps us pay our freelancers a decent rate!