What’s That Flickering Light In the Distance?

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Series: RPGaDay 2019
This post is part 4 of 31 in a series of posts for #RPGaDay2019. Click here to see the previous post.

RPG A Day 2019

It’s day four of #RPGaDAY, and today’s prompt is SHARE, but I couldn’t think of anything. So I decided to go with one of the alternate prompts from the creator’s site: LIGHT.

Below you’ll find a random table of 2d20 ways to answer the question “What’s that flickering light in the distance?” Great for moments when your party decides to travel by night through the deep dark woods.

RollThat flickering light is...
2...a traveling cobbler, bearing a lantern on the end of a staff. This simple old man will sell you a pair of slippers or fine traveling boots, but he is only interested in a strange currency -- the secrets of mothers, or the dreams of a stone, or the pages of a book written by no one.
3...the single yellow eye of a cyclopean beast, reflecting in the dark. The beast never draws close, galloping away when anyone approaches. Those who follow find themselves becoming increasingly thirsty.
4...a swarm of fairies performing a ritual dance to celebrate the fruiting of their mother tree. Their glittering wings flash in the dark like tiny gems, but they won't take kindly to having their dance interrupted.
5...a cluster of seven luminescent mushrooms, pulsing softly with pale blue light in a rocky hollow. The mushrooms are just one outlying part of a huge underground fungal body. If the mushrooms are plucked, there is a wail and a rumble from somewhere deep within the earth.
6...a procession of orange-robed pilgrims, bearing candles and smoldering bundles of herbs. Their faces are completely wrapped in gauze, but they seem to know where they are going. The aromatic smoke from their incense hangs thickly in the air.
7...a young flying jellyfish, flashing with blue ripples that start at the top of its dome, and radiate down into its long tendrils. Separated from its herd, it floats lazily along the air. It is intensely curious about other creatures, and bobs towards them to investigate. One can barely make out others flashing far in the distance -- will they be as friendly?
8...the dying remains of a campfire. An infant's rattle, made of shell and poplar, lies smoldering within the embers, and scuffed footprints in the sand suggest a recent skirmish. There are cart tracks leading east.
9...a single translucent gourd hanging from a vine, throbbing with reddish light. Some strange shadow writhes within the gourd, growing at an alarming pace.
10...a stone obelisk, taller than a human, engraved with runes. For some reason, one of the runes at the top has begun to glow, flicking on and off in a very regular pattern.
11...a dancer, nearly nude, leaping and twirling through the air almost as if gravity has forgotten to hold onto them. Their body twists and rolls through the air, luminescent tattoos flashing in the dark. The more one watches, the harder it seems to be to look away.
12...a cart bearing four sellswords, pulled by two old donkeys. The light shines down on them from a lantern on a pole. Three of them are asleep in a pile in the cart's back, while one acts as driver and lookout, broadsword balanced across their lap.
13...a corked glass jar, abandoned in the wilderness. It is covered in dust and mud, but an reddish light flickers from within. What might the jar contain?
14...a bush covered in beautiful, glowing pink berries. They shed a soft light that brightens and dims at random, and the air around the bush smells sweetly. The berries look mouthwateringly delicious -- so much so, one might miss the cluster of bones under the bush's foliage in the dark.
15...a very paranoid goblin, holding a torch, and dragging a very large, very full bag full of treasures. Goblets and bangles and gems risk spilling out. If approached, the goblin keeps glancing at the wicked dagger on its belt, uncertain whether to drop its torch or let go of the bag in order to unsheath it.
16...a giant snail, the size of an elephant, creeping along in the darkness. The light comes from glowing moss that grows in the spiral crevices of its shell.
17...a ranger clad in furs and wielding a long spear. Beside them stalks their animal companion, a jaguar. Both the ranger's and the companion's eyes glow yellow in the dark. They seem reluctant to be disturbed, disappearing into the dark if approached.
18...a wood and rope swing, hanging from the branch of an ancient tree. A child's ghost swings back and forth on the tree, glowing faintly. The ghost will not stop swinging, but if spoken to, it's gaze focuses on one member of the party, never wavering even as it swings forth and back. The ghost's head will even turn all the way around if the focus of its attention walks behind it.
19...an ancient magical ward, guarding a fountain. The ward manifests as a dome of purple and silver swirling light. A fox, unconscious or dead, lies just within the ward, faint wisps of smoke rising off the fur.
20...a circle on the ground, made of glowing footprints. Some of the footprints step over one another, as if some creature jogged in a circle for several laps. There is no sign of the runner, but the air smells faintly of burnt ozone.
21...a corpse, slumped against a tree or wall, wearing the rotting clothing of a courtier. Insects and rodents have chewed at the flesh, revealing a golden molar at the back of the jaw, which glows with a soft yellow light.
22...a luminescent fog that drifts low to the ground. Where it touches, insect life squirms out of every nook and cranny, slithering and skittering up from the ground. The bugs twitch spasmodically, then die. The fog is spreading.
23...a corpse, tied to a tree, and pierced with three glowing arrows in its gut. The corpse seems fresh, and the archer may not be far off.
24...jubilant merrymakers staggering along carrying candles and lanterns and torches, and sloshing with mugs and casks full of alcohol. They are nearly incoherent with joy, and it is difficult to discern just what they're celebrating -- but they're very insistent that anyone they meet join them in their revelry.
25...tiny wispy seedpods, floating gently on the breeze. They glow a faint lime green, seeking bodies of water in which to root.
26...a smoldering crater, full of hot, shattered rock, the remains of a star that fell only hours ago. The ground within the crater is glassified.
27...a strange stag, with tiny points of white light glimmering at the points of its antlers. The mighty beast stands proudly on a ridge, it's eyes full of a strangely human intelligence; it darts away if approached.
28...a wolf in distress. Something strange is devouring the wolf from the inside, and it snaps and gnaws at itself, whimpering. Where its teeth tear flesh, blood glows like molten iron, and there is a hot smell in the air. If not helped soon, the animal will die.
29...a knight in black armor, riding a giant ram. The knight has no weapon or shield, holding only an iron lantern. Three sets of brass bands encircle the ram's horns. The knight never speaks, but the ram does, its voice a whispering hiss.
30...a very tall skinny woman with bony limbs and a very long nose, wearing a dirty grey dress and round spectacles. She walks along bent at the waist, holding a candle, her nose nearly touching the ground as she searches for something, muttering constantly to herself.
31...an odd boar, with six eyes, and a lizard-like tail. A glowing green marking stripes down from its eyes to its tail on each side of its body. The boar smells like pine sap.
32...an adventuring party, limping home from a failed dungeon delve. They are battered and bruised, with recently-bandaged wounds. A very unhappy dwarf leads them. The light comes from a floating runestone that glows brightly over the dwarf's head.
33...a doorframe, standing in the middle of nowhere. There is a sign on a pole beside the door, with a painted emblem of a stag's head surrounded by a fan of knives. A circle of light illuminates the wooden door, but there is no discernible source for the light. What lies through the door?
34...a pool of murky brackish water. Slimy lilypads float on the surface, and tiny glowing frogs leap from pad to pad. The longer one watches, the more apparent it becomes that there is a strange pattern to their leaping.
35...a figure seated on a throne of twisting, tangling roots. The roots weave over and through the figure's body, completely covering them, until only the shape is discernible. The figure's mouth is a wide O, and inside it, a small pebble glows with reddish light.
36...a jester, slumped against a tree or wall, with their hands tied above their head. They have been beaten badly, their colorful outfit torn and bloodied, and they are unconscious. A half a dozen odd glowing slugs inch across their body, lapping at their bloody abrasions.
37...an oak staff, standing upright in the ground. Its head is a rough iron ring, bound to the wood with wraps of wire. There is a throbbing energy in the air, difficult to source, but rumbling so deep it feels like it comes from within the observer's body. A tiny spark of light gutters and pulses in the center of the ring.
38...a giant snake, coiling and constricting around a hog. Bands of color on its body flash in sequence with light, starting at the head and working their way to the snake's tail. The hog squeals and grunts, and bones begin to snap beneath the snake's constricting power.
39...a trio of elven hunters, who have painted ritual markings on themselves in luminescent paint. Two older hunters lead a young one; they are engaged in a coming-of-age ritual hunt for a rare bear.
40...a commoner, stumbling in the dark. Something that looks like a glass porthole with a brass frame has latched itself onto the commoner's face with sharp metal hooks. The commoner's face is not visible through the glass -- instead, there is a foggy, glowing light within. The commoner's muffled screams can be heard, and they struggle to remove the thing from their face, clawing at it ineffectually with their fingers.

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