A Magical Medieval City Guide (3.5e Other)/Appendix V-A
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The local village church asks the PCs to escort their cleric, who is delivering an important sealed message. Divergent Hook One: Manorial clergy attempt to steal message as it contains incriminating evidence of his financial misdeeds. Divergent Hook Two: Manorial clergy attempts to steal message as it contains conspiratorial content.
PC's eldest brother has been demoted due his serious lack of wisdom. PCs must "escort" him to a monastery where he will pursue a life dedicated to the local god. PC's father has hinted PC will become inheritor if he succeeds. Divergent Hook One: Brother's ne'er-do-well friend attempts to rescue him. Divergent Hook Two: Brother enters order and surprisingly, works his way up in the ranks. He remembers what was done to him.
Someone (or something) keeps murdering the village blacksmith at his forge, and there's no sign of wrongdoing. Two dead blacksmiths this year, and no one will even think of going near the forge anymore. Things are breaking down, and the lord is frantic. Divergent Hook One: The manor has recently acquired a new source of ore. The ore turns out to have a strange material in it, which upon forging creates an invisible toxic cloud that kills the forger. Divergent Hook Two: Ore is actually being poisoned by the head miner, whom the lord taxed heavily while running the old mine.
The local wizard-miser has been absent for over six months and is assumed dead. PCs are sent to acquire the best beast owed to the lord. Miser was a spellcaster of some power, and the lord's servants are too fearful to enter his locked home. Divergent Hook One: Miser is not really "dead" per se. Divergent Hook Two: Miser's extra dimensional family has arrived for mourning. They're actually quite polite and provide the beast right away, if not attacked. Divergent Hook Three: House is actually empty and acquiring the beast is easy. But best beast is actually the local miser, who miscast a polymorph self and has been living as a large pig in the enclosed back yard. The "pig" tries to communicate by writing ‘help me' in different languages with his snout.
Church trouble. Local clergyman starts drinking heavily, and his social services suffer. Peasants ask the PC lords to investigate or find them a new priest. Divergent Hook One: Upon talking to the priest, the PCs discover that he is questioning his faith and has lost all his powers. Divergent Hook Two: Upon talking with priest's superiors, they send a replacement. Divergent Hook Three: The original clergyman drunkenly swears revenge and allies himself with a neighboring lord, who is none too friendly with the PC lords.
PC lords entertain one of the King's justices on their manor. There is an attempt upon his life while under the PC lord's protection. Divergent Hook One: The attempt fails, and PCs must determine the culprit. Divergent Hook Two: The attempt succeeds, and PCs must protect themselves from the king's wrath. Divergent Hook Three: King's main wizardly counsel hated the dead justice and conspired to have him killed. Wizard says he has magical proof the PCs are the killers.
A well-dressed man, apparently a merchant, approaches the PCs. The man informs them the city is a very dangerous place, and they would do well to hire him for protection. Divergent Hook One: If refused, the merchant extorts an upstanding member of the craft guild into accusing the PC's mage of improper use of magic in the city. Divergent Hook Two: If hired by the PCs, the man takes the money, tells craft guild member he's found out who's behind the extortion. Craftsman then publicly accuses PC party based upon his information. Divergent Hook Three: Upon accusation, the merchant offers to vouch for the PC party in exchange for their services.
City council A hires the PC party to demolish the new dam built upstream by a rival city. City council A says members from the rival city council have been trying to buy local grain mills, but no one will sell. They claim city council B is trying to kill the business. Divergent Hook One: Rival city council offers PC party twice as much gp as original city to guard the dam and rival city council wizard offers PC wizard a powerful spell.
A border lord hires the PC to chevauchee into the neighboring kingdom, specifically the lord whose land abuts his and who has recently departed to see his king. Divergent Hook One: Unknown to the border lord, his enemy has hired a group of adventures to protect his land while he makes a trip to his king. Divergent Hook Two: Border lord offers land as opposed to coin for the service.
PC cleric is called back to his ordination church. Divergent Hook One: PC cleric is sent to arrange a lord's alienation plan for the church. Divergent Hook Two: Lord is so impressed by PC cleric, that he says he'll only bestow the land if the PC cleric agrees to run it. Divergent Hook Three: Difficulties arise. Lord's lord doesn't want the land to go into alienation.
PCs are hired as mercenaries to protect a ship laden with expensive cargo traveling to a neighboring kingdom. Divergent Hook One: Upon docking, the ship hits the pier, and a fight ensues between the sailors and dockworkers about whose fault it is. Divergent Hook Two: If the PCs engage in combat, they will be prosecuted for rowdiness. If they use weapons, harsher penalties will apply. Divergent Hook Three: Local patriciate sees the PCs and likes their style. He offers to stand for them at trial if they perform him a favor.
PCs find a lost relic in an evil temple. Divergent Hook One: The church of the PC's cleric asks for the relic. Divergent Hook Two: Another temple learns of the discovery and claims the relic as theirs. PCs are drawn into a jurisdictional battle between the two churches.