A variety of odd items to find in the footlockers of salty dogs throughout your campaign.
- The scrimshawed tooth of a kraken. The blood-red carvings slowly change over time.
- A bit of sail cloth from the sailor’s first ship with a few strange, old coins tucked inside.
- An eyepatch with a bit of gore still stuck to the inside.
- A music box that plays a naughty sailor’s tune (with lyrics!)
- A black spot given to the sailor by her former crewmates, signaling her days were numbered.
- A ship in a bottle that appears harried by waves in a tiny, stormy sea.
- A bundle of explicit love letters to a variety of different people, only a handful of which describe someone who resembles the sailor.
- A flask filled with the tears of the mermaid the sailor swore to return to but never did.
- A shrunken head picked up at the sailor’s last port of call. It looks a bit like you…
- A map that, when touched with bare skin, deals 1 HP worth of damage. The map will always show a route to the location of the injured person until it touches the bare skin of another individual.
Many of the items above suggest the possibility of further adventure. Here are three potential hooks to inspire future sessions.
- The Cloth-Wrapped Coins – Along with the coins, players find the sailor’s diary explaining a shipwreck, a cursed treasure, and the specific means by which he was instructed to spread these coins throughout the land to rid himself of the curse. Now down to his last three coins, he knew his burden would finally end. The first character touches the coins has dreams every night of a lost civilization of snake folk sacrificing early humanoids to some glowing horror in the sky. The victims’ blood was collected and used to forge hundreds of red coins. The character must place one of the coins on the tongue of a humanoid she killed, or she will continue to be haunted by these dark dreams. Until all the coins are placed, the character must pass a DC 12 constitution check every morning or suffer one level of exhaustion. What happens once all the coins are placed? Probably something not so great.
- The Ship in the Bottle – Though this item appears to be little more than a novelty cooked up by a bored enchanter, closer inspection reveals the ship is outfitted with a full complement of sailors struggling to keep the ship afloat. If the bottle is opened near a body of water large enough to support the ship, a flash of light and impossibly loud peal of thunder explode from the bottle as the ship returns to its original size, ending the curse upon them. If the bottle is opened in, say, a bathtub…maybe it’s time for the player to roll up a new character. Regardless, whether the rescued sailors are thankful for their release or just simply happy for the opportunity to return to their life of piracy on the high seas is up to you.
- The Shrunken Head – At first inspection, this shrunken head appears to be of some tanned humanoid with dark hair, though its features gradually shift until it is a tiny, desiccated replica of the head of the person who possesses it. The head will whisper in a low voice only audible to the character it resembles, warning of all the most likely ways the character will die within the next 24 hours. Over the course of the next month, the head will begin to sprout a miniature body resembling the character’s own, including a small copy of all their mundane equipment. At the end of that month, the creature will spring to life and attempt to escape somewhere it can grow to full size without being discovered. Once it is a full-sized copy of the character, the creature will set off into the world to fulfill the character’s greatest secret desire without concern for the consequences.