Friday, September 8, 2023

D20x5 Places of Pilgrimage

This post is dedicated to theisticgilthoniel, whose birthday is today.

Click the button below for your place of pilgrimage:

Special thanks to Spwack for the generator generator here:

D20This place of pilgrimage is
1a glittering blue oasis.
2a verdant valley, its slopes carved into steps which have long since become draped in roots.
3in a hollow at the base of a gigantic tree.
4the epicenter of broad chalk lines streaked across the landscape in a tangled, abstract petroglyph.
5a soggy island nestled in a fork of a sacred river.
6a boulder which would be unassuming save for the offerings and written prayers tied all about it.
7a butte on which stands a great oak split in two by lightning, the charred scar at its trunk still evident where it diverges.
8a series of shrines on top of pillar-like outcrops poking out of the surf, connected by bridges that get ricketier the further out you go.
9a river grotto where the wind whistles and the water whispers.
10a crystal-clear cenote, teams of labourers hauling pilgrims up and down it in baskets.
11a courtyard within a ruined mud-brick fort, the bricks of one of its walls torn down and made into a road.
12in a narrow pass between two horn-like hills.
13on the edge of a smoking volcanic lake.
14a red hillock where splinters of fossilized bone curve out like grasping claws.
15a still and subtle grove.
16a grand and gilded temple that’s changed sects so often over the centuries that deep grooves have been worn into the floor by dragged idols.
17a ring of standing stones, the original designs which once covered them illegible beneath accumulated ages of graffiti.
18a wave-whipped seaside cliff, where mist sprays up in pillars to the clouds.
19a pale and treacherous mountaintop.
20a slab of white marble jutting from a field of heather.
D20This place is a place of pilgrimage because
1it’s said that beneath it sleeps a gentle god who taught humanity of the arts of healing.
2a great sage meditated there and received enlightenment.
3true oracles dream of it when they realize their gift.
4it lies at the intersection of vital ley lines.
5it was the spot where a faithful hound miraculously stood vigil over the body of its master for weeks without eating or sleeping.
6it’s where a hero was assumed bodily into the heavens.
7a devastating plague was first successfully cured there.
8a talking albino calf gave a sermon there.
9a portal to the celestial realms once opened there.
10an army which aligned itself with infernal powers was defeated there.
11the incorruptible remains of a martyr are interred there.
12a holy text was penned there.
13a new star was born in the heavens above it.
14a terrible divine punishment was lifted there.
15of the many poems a theologically-inclined poet wrote about it.
16it rains colourful feathers there every so often.
17a traveling king disbursed an enormous amount of charity there.
18a tyrannical wizard's magic failed them there.
19a deified emperor declared it so, to increase revenues from toll roads.
20it’s said that a clever saint tricked a host of demons back to hell there.
D20A power rumoured to be held by this place of pilgrimage is
1that the anguished and the mad may have peace of mind so long as they sleep within its sight.
2that children conceived near it will grow up strong and virtuous.
3that monsters struggle to trespass on its ground.
4that those who perform the proper rites there receive inspired visions.
5that prayers made there resound the loudest in the heavens.
6that old aches and scars will disappear from the bodies of those who visit it.
7that it allows visitors to hear the voices of dead loved ones.
8that entrance to a better afterlife is assured to visitors.
9that even the worst storms and other disasters will touch its site only softly.
10that visitors there will receive a personal guardian angel.
11that lies told there smell foul, while true words smell sweet.
12that those whose remains are brought there or who visited while living are forever-after protected from necromancy.
13that it allows visitors to share in the joy of ascended souls.
14that it grants visitors the ability to see the hand of the divine in all things.
15that it alleviates the wear and weariness of age.
16that blades sharpened there retain its blessed ability to cut evil, and only evil.
17that fortunes told there are the most accurate, and least vague or misleading.
18that the righteous will find themselves tireless and energized here.
19that abluting oneself there will wash away curses and bad luck.
20that it's a metaphysical vantage point from which the greater mechanisms of the cosmos may be glimpsed.
D20Pilgrims that might be met along the road to this place include
1ascetics leaving bloody footprints, scourging their soles on a forced march.
2a pair of philosophers bickering about the nature of the Good. They’ll offer their illuminated books to anyone who can resolve their dispute.
3a goatherd ranting to his flock (and anyone else he passes) that he is the messiah come again.
4a mendicant dispensing aphorisms for donations of bread and coin.
5a pregnant mother convinced her coming child is divine, accompanied by her bitter elder children who turned out to be not so blessedly conceived.
6repentant fugitives fleeing to sanctuary and redemption.
7a bent and worn knight going to renew the vows they first swore so long ago, along with the fellow travellers they’re warding.
8a nomadic monk walking a circuit between several holy sites, making sure they’re in proper condition, and being shown the proper veneration.
9the second-in-line heir to a noble house, advancing their study of religion in advance of being nepotistically appointed to a high position in the priesthood.
10wretched crusaders returning from campaign, wounds only just now knitting into scars.
11a hunched figure, wreathed in an ashen cloak: a fallen angel, pondering the mystery of holiness for a path back into heaven’s grace.
12an eccentric inventor certain that the place's blessing is the key to getting their newest and most exciting invention into working order.
13an advanced clockwork automaton curious as to whether it has a soul.
14a hierodule being carried along in a perfumed palanquin by her admirers.
15a disgraced general who has forsaken the path of violence to learn the ways of peace.
16a gaggle of orphans working as pack-mules.
17a warrior-scholar-renunciant living in ditches and perfecting his swordsmanship as a mirror for the perfection of his soul.
18a band of mummers putting on passion plays.
19a long-moustached bureaucrat with a cabinet full of scrolls on his back, taking a census of all gods at the behest of his emperor, in case one of them can provide a particular desired miracle.
20a close-knit clutch of lepers with clanging bells, risking the cruelty of the world beyond their colony in hope of a cure.
D20This place of pilgrimage is being taken advantage of by
1touts hawking false relics.
2bandits preying on traffic.
3a cult recruiting from pilgrims undergoing a crisis of faith.
4the local baron, who has recently begun extorting money from visitors.
5a heresiarch seeking to subvert the place into their power.
6a venal priest peddling blessings for hand over fistful of silver.
7a petty spirit falsely claiming to be the place’s guardian to extort sacrifices.
8a narco-alchemist siphoning off its beatific energy and converting that into a drug.
9a squad of zealots trying to monopolize the place, certain that no one else is devoted enough to deserve it.
10a disguised spymaster attempting to recruit informants who will provide them with secrets from far and wide.
11a crazed abbot who gets pilgrims to join his nearby abbey, then performs bizarre experiments on them once they're trapped within its walls.
12a vicious hierophant drumming up support for a holy war.
13a wicked genie adept at twisting even wishes of goodwill to hurt the wish-maker.
14a clan of horse thieves.
15a damned specter holding the souls of its victims hostage until it too is saved from hell's talons.
16farmers getting a free workforce by convincing pilgrims that labouring near the site will grant forgiveness for their sins.
17a party of iniquitous adventurers making up threats along the road then demanding payment and adulation for pretending to remove these fake threats.
18a doppelganger who comes by periodically to pick out the pilgrims with the best identities to kill and replace.
19a pair of invisible imps attempting to outdo each other in merciless mischief.
20a gang of slavers counting on people thinking a few pilgrims disappear for reasons other than them.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good one for that kind of Pariah-esque proto-neolithic kind of setting we were discussing in the interview where you linked this.