Eight Random Weird Dockside Encounters

I was about to write up an article about the weird, quasi-Venician city of Tyros Ashem in the upcoming Paragon Blade setting, but we’ve also got the weird quasi-Venician city of Eversink in Swords of the Serpentine, and the less-Venician-but-even-weirder city of Drakkenhall in 13th Age (doge? No, no, Dragon), which triggered two thoughts in me.

  • I can totally justify a trip to Venice as necessary research
  • An article of random weird dockside encounters for a quasi-Venician city is something that could be used profitably by many Pelgrane readers.


  1. There’s something in the canal. Local opinion is divided on whether it’s a very large pig, a small hippopotamus, or some sort of supernatural monster, maybe even a vengeful river-spirit. Someone needs to wade in there and drive the monster out.
  2. Suspected burglars turn out to be dreamlarks, using a magical narcotic to enter the dreams of the wealthy and loot minor trinkets from beyond the wall of sleep. They’re careful not to take too much, for fear of offending the dream god – but one of them just got murdered, and their pouch of dreamsand is missing…
  3. A large sailing ship arrived at the harbour six weeks ago. The ship signalled that they had an outbreak of sickness aboard, and were ordered to drop anchor and wait out at sea for a 40-day quarantine. Now the quarantine period has elapsed, and the ship’s not moving. She’s just sitting there, bobbing up and down with the waves. But the watch have seen lights, and movement aboard. Someone needs to go out and investigate the aftermath of the plague…
  4. A traveller from an antique land offers to sell a god. He claims that he found the statue of a god on a shunned island in a distant ocean, and that only the people of that island worshipped the deity; for this, they were ostracised by their neighbours. Now, they’re all dead, and the god’s without worshippers. Anyone want to take in a stray god?
  5. A ship’s anchor gets caught on some obstacle – then a gust of wind tears it free. When the anchor’s hauled up, the sailors find a giant green-skinned hand clutching the rope. Was some monster of the depths trying to capture the ship – or call for help? And why’s the hand still twitching?
  6. A woman begs for help. She claims to be a selkie-woman whose skin has been stolen – not by some fisherman or sailor, but by a wealthy noblewoman. Investigating, the heroes discover that the noblewoman’s doing a Batman – socialite by day, vengeful crime-fighting sea mammal by night. The selkie just wants her skin back so she can swim off home, and isn’t at all civic-minded.
  7. Rumours spread that a visiting fortune teller is infallible – whatever she predicts come true. Investigating discovers that the fortune teller, and many of those whose fates she predicted, are part of the same troupe of out-of-work actors and it’s all a hoax – but then she foretells the doom of the city. What’s going on? Are the actors trying to spread panic? To cover their escape? Or does the fortune-teller have genuine power?
  8. Thieves break into a seemingly abandoned warehouse, and discover a dragon slumbering in a huge crate. Did someone steal the dragon? Did it pay to be shipped here? And what happens when it takes up?

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