25 Desert Travel Adventure Seeds

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We have even more adventure seeds for you today to get your creative juices flowing! Rather than focus on an urban environment or specific race, this time we look at what you may experience in the desert or the towns and villages that sparsely populate it.

Unlike my previous entries in this series, I’m not assuming too much other than that these take place in a desert, and that there are some parts of it that people avoid for one reason or another. Other than that it’s standard fare, with any specifics mentioned in the seeds themselves. Without further ado, here they are!

  1. You’ve heard whispers throughout the small town you’re taking refuge in of “jumping mirages” out in the desert that take on the form of your deepest fears and chase after you.
  2. A series of large shadows have been seen moving slowly across the desert, yet there hasn’t been a single cloud in the sky.
  3. People say that the rolling sands, a patch of desert where the sands move like waves of water and pull people under, guards a long lost treasure or kingdom.
  4. A business-minded bugbear has found and developed a lush oasis, including trees and other flora that are thriving against all odds. He charges a good sum to travelers to indulge in the luxury of the oasis, included overnight lodging and provisions.
  5. A keen-eyed villager has noticed that the same merchant has come into town looking for mercenaries to escort him across the desert for the third time in 2 weeks. The only problem is his destination is over a month away, and while he looks fine he doesn’t have his other hired hands with him.
  6. Rumors about a buried “City of Gold” have resurfaced ever since a large gilded scorpion has been seen patrolling a patch of land a few miles south of town. No one has dared to get too close considering the scorpion stands a good 10 feet tall.
  7. An awful and dissonant chorus of sounds can be heard throughout the desert at night. Those who have ventured towards the source claim they see a parade of skeletons with old, battered, and ancient instruments marching aimlessly.
  8. A project to construct “roads” from the large towns to the central city has been halted following the disappearance of the vizier after he came into contact with a relic uncovered during construction.
  9. A strange rock formation sticks out of the sands, offering shelter for those caught in a sandstorm. Upon closer inspection, large claw marks cover the outside of the “entrance” of the rock formation.
  10. A falcon swoops down at something in the distance multiple times before returning high in the sky. As it passes over the group, it drops an amulet with an inscription in an ancient language.
  11. Flaming geysers have started erupting along a well traveled part of the desert, and lizards of all types and sizes have been seen migrating to the area.
  12. A dwarven smith has brought his trade to the desert and has been able to create high quality glass products like no one has ever seen! The other glass makers are growing jealous and have been losing almost all of their business.
  13. A famous explorer has been going around telling everyone about the treasure he’s found in some uncovered ruins, flaunting gold and riches! Anyone who pays attention can see that all of the coins were minted recently, but still it’s unknown how he came into this wealth.
  14. Bodies of travelers have been found ripped to shreds across the desert, with little clues as to what attacked them. Nearby are usually decent sized divots that are unusual for the area, that lead to complex tunnel systems.
  15. Scorpionfolk, creatures built like a centaur except with scorpion instead of horse bodies, have been raiding villages and travelers, taking prisoners with them. Only yesterday a handful of those taken returned, and seem to have no memory of the incident at all.
  16. A “farmer” in the desert has said that a lifetime of work has finally come to fruition, advertising riding lizards as big as a horse and less likely to die in the heat. The lizards appear to be overgrown iguanas by all accounts.
  17. Excavators have uncovered a strange looking orb that burns the flesh of all who touch it. However, one young child appears to be able to handle it without any adverse effects.
  18. Children from a small desert town have started to go missing, and just earlier today they found a sandstone golem that looked just like one of the children.
  19. Storms have started rolling across the desert bringing an unprecedented amount of rain. While many saw this as a good thing at first, buildings have started to sink into the ground and the storms are only getting stronger.
  20. A humanoid figure lies face down in the sand a few hundred feet away from the group. Upon closer inspection, they appear to have died from drowning or asphyxiation.
  21. A cloaked rider on a horse rides off in the distance. A few moments later, a herd of winged snakes can be seen chasing after them.
  22. In an old tent set up in the middle of a desert town, an old man offers to tell the fortunes of any who pass. In truth he is cursed to die each day and is performing a ritual to pass off his death to those who visit so he may continue to live.
  23. A large, dragon-sized creature has been seen flying about in the distance. Anyone who reports it to the guard have gone missing and the leader of the town has not acknowledged any of the claims.
  24. After entering a town that was supposed to offer respite on the way to their destination, those who stop here notice that it appears to be empty. The only clues are crude carvings of snakes into almost every surface, and the occasional small snake moving about.
  25. After a particularly hot string of days, people in the desert notice that the sun actually appears significantly closer, and large bursts of fire appear to be headed for them!

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