20 Discarded or Lost Things to Find in a Sewer

Sewers are designed to carrying away civilisation’s detritus and leavings. Thus, explorers are likely to find many things—most utterly without value—in the sewer. Sometimes, though, explorers come across items of value (or interest) unintentionally lost amid the muck.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use the table below, to determine what items the PCs find amid the sewer’s filth:

  1. Incongruously, a fine red cloak with a fox fur collar has been carefully folded and wedged into a small niche in the wall. Its hem is dirty, but otherwise it is in good repair (and worth 3 gp).
  2. A small niche in the wall holds a small parcel wrapped in sailcloth. The parcel contains three torches, flint and steel and a dagger. The sailcloth has protected the objects from the environment; they are all dry and in good condition.
  3. The tip of a rusting, bent dagger is wedged between two bricks comprising the sewer wall. The dagger has clearly been here for some considerable time.
  4. A partially sunken sack floats amongst the effluent, in the centre of the channel. The sack still holds 3 sp and 1 gp wrapped in its sodden, noisome folds.
  5. A shuttered lantern, with about one hour’s fuel left inside, stands wedged against the wall on the opposite walkway. Its shutter is closed; only a faint glow radiates from the lantern.
  6. A long wooden rake is lent against one wall. Its well-worn handle is wrapped with leather strips.
  7. A pile of fresh bricks stands neatly stacked next to a section of crumbled wall. A trowel, chisels and other mason’s equipment sits nearby ready for use.
  8. An empty wine flask hangs by a leather strap from a protruding brick in the wall. When the PCs arrive, a rat has climbed the wall and is sniffing at the pouch. When it sees the PCs, it leaps down and flees.
  9. A slimy short sword—its tip stained with dried blood—lies on the floor.
  10. A bloody, sodden bandage hangs off the edge of the walkway.
  11. A haphazard pile of items pulled from the sewer—including sodden, ragged clothes, bits of wood and other things—blocks the walkway. A rake leans against the wall, nearby.
  12. The mouldering skeleton of a long reptile—a constrictor snake— lies stretched out on the walkway. A spear has been driven through its skull, pinning it to the ground.
  13. A tiny burial cairn comprising bricks pulled from the wall partially blocks the walkway. Explorers taking the cairn apart discover the corpse of a monstrous rat buried within.
  14. Incongruously, a pile of neatly folded clothing perches next to the noisome sewerage channel. It looks for all the world like someone has gone swimming! The clothes comprise fine black trousers, a silk shirt and a short cape along with a pair of knee-high gentleman’s boots.
  15. A 10-foot-long pole with a curved hook on one end lies discarded on the floor. The inner surface of the hook is worn, suggesting it has seen much use.
  16. A small, leafless tree branch lies entangled amid the effluent. Perceptive PCs notice the glimmer of silver from around the wood—a small silver necklace (worth 50 gp) is entwined around the branch. While retrieving the necklace, a careless PC could tumble into the sewer.
  17. A small sodden pouch lies on the floor in the shadows. The pouch contains 5 gp and a crude map of the surrounding tunnels showing two exits to the streets above.
  18. A small bundle of possessions lies on the floor. Splatters of blood decorate the surrounding brickwork. The possessions comprise a small sack, a change of (dirty) clothes and a bedroll along with some scraps of mouldering food.
  19. A rope dangles down from a spike hammered into the ceiling over the sewer channel. The spike pierces the ceiling near the underside of a steel trap door. The rope reaches down to just above the current “water” level.
  20. A 12-foot-long, three-foot wide raft—comprising two doors nailed together is tied to a shard of stone protruding from the side of the walkway. The raft is sturdy enough—unless more than 200 lbs. is piled on top. However, there are no paddles evident.

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This article appears in 20 Things #13: Noisome Sewer. For more free 20 Things lists, check out our Free Resources page.

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3 thoughts on “20 Discarded or Lost Things to Find in a Sewer

  1. 17. cont. On investigation, there aren’t any exits, but a perceptive PC suddenly notes that if the map is turned over, it matches a different section of the sewer and shows two circular trapdoors under the filthy water.

  2. After reading the first three entries, I felt this should’ve been called, “Things to Find in a Niche Market”…