10 Standing Stones

Standing stones are a staple of most wilderness areas. Risen centuries or millennia ago by ancient druids, dread cultists or other unknown hands they are instinctively seen as places of worship.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

 

Of course, not all standing stones need be plain, unadorned stones. Use the table below, to determine the details of the standing stones discovered by the party.

  1. A lone stone stands atop a high hill. Visible from miles away, it is a renown local landmark. Weathered by countless rainstorms, any carvings have long since been worn away. Local legends whisper that if the stone should fall, doom will soon come to the surrounding land.
  2. Old beyond measure this stone has toppled over and now lies hidden amid long grass. Behind it lie the remains of a campfire and other signs of camp. Half-scratched graffiti mar the stone.
  3. Fully 20 ft. high this slender stone is of a type not found locally. At its zenith, the deep carving of an eagle its wings outstretched looks to the east. Incongruously, on the western side, the stylised image of a badger decorates the stone’s base.
  4. Two stones stand opposite one another on either side of the trail. Vines and creepers snake up both stones and hang down from their tops created a curtain of sorts through which those using the trail must pass.
  5. The shattered stumps of six stones stand in a rough semi-circle in the midst of a clearing. Each stone was huge—easily 6 ft. in diameter. Of the rest of the stones, there is no sign.
  6. This stone stands crazily at an angle. Investigation reveals the cause; someone has dug a hole at the stone’s base and this has caused it to partially topple over. A detailed search of the loose earth in the hole reveals shattered bone and ashes.
  7. This stone has clearly—at least partially—been formed by magic. The bottom portion of the stone is unremarkable, but the top has been carved to represent a huge eagle with outstretched wings. The eagle’s wingspan is easily 15 ft. and the carving is tremendously detailed.
  8. A standing stone dominates a small island in a lake. A hidden (submerged) causeway leads to the island. Bizarrely, the standing stone itself has been almost completely surrounded by a huge, but unlit—bonfire.
  9. Ancient, ornate carvings cover this stone positioned so that two times a year the light of the full moon bathes it from a certain angle. When the moonlight does so, the shadow of the carvings resolves itself into a different cryptic, but prophetic, message.
  10. A tight ring of eight standing stones has been co-opted into forming part of a huge wooden hall. The hall uses the standing stones as part of its walls—in between the stones the walls are of cut and dressed tree trunks. The hut’s roof is thatched and smoke wends out of a hole in the roof’s centre.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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