From my folder of half-conceived plot hooks:
a diviner has a dream, and is terrified. All he does is repeat “The mountains are coming!”
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Reminds me of another idea I saw somewhere: the humans and the elves have an agreement that the elves own the wild woods and the humans own the adjacent territory, but the elves have been, for centuries, engaging in aggressive reforestation, invading the human lands in a way that’s too slow for mortals to notice.
And any hint “coming mountains” means? Does not give much inspiration to me this way.
“The mountains are coming!” = The primal Goliath druids and shamans of the mountain clans have riled up their brethren in an attempt to take back the valleys below from the humans and their divine and arcane intrusions into the natural world?
Perhaps they are mountains… OF MADNESS??
Why not a subterranean race (i.e. drow, derro, etc) attempting to ignite a dormant volcano? Look at Yosemite Park & Old Faithful!
Perhaps an anti-druidic cult is attempting to destroy a revered geiser somewhere, and the resulting ignition will create a mountain where there was none before.
Throw a few Fire Giants in for good measure. . .
I like grendelwolf’s idea, but i think it is bigger than that.
A cloud of funguslike, space-traveling creatures from a nightmare dimension are invading the solar system. They are going to rain the planet with spores, which will cause the whole planet to erupt in huge volcanoes which will destroy whatever was there before.
At the top of each of these new mountains, a single space fungus will land and build his evil castle, from which will slowly grow a black poisonous mold which will eventually coat the world. It will eventually look just like the fungus creatures’ home world.
I think there was a plotline in Star Control that was kind of like this.
@baf: “The trees are coming! …..eventually.”
The trees are coming! Bad luck for Macbeth (played by Kevin Sorbo.)
This actually happened to my grandfather when he was on a tour bus in Italy. The tour guide announced, “The Appeninis are following us.”
It might be pretty spooky if the party showed up in a town to do kind of a standard adventure–or maybe a comically minor adventure, like clearing dire rats out of a city sewer system, or being bodyguards for the mayor, or teaching combat skills to a local baronet’s daughter, or counting turnips for a local farmer–and a few things seemed a little off. Regular people seemed kind of distracted and confused, and they meet this village idiot type who keeps chewing on his hand and saying stuff like, “The mountains are coming! The mountains are coming!” Then over the course of the adventure you could subtly suggest that the mountains _were_ in fact getting closer. How would you do this? From the one time I was a (VERY SPOOKY) DM I learned that it’s super tricky to subtly suggest things to your players. Maybe at the beginning of the adventure you make a big deal out of the gorgeous view of distant blue mountains out of the window of the room of the inn they’re staying in. Maybe the baronet’s daughter wants you to help her with her landscape painting project, and you notice her perspective is off in the painting she started a week ago. Maybe there’s a delicious valley the PCs are planning to picnic in that kind of doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Of course, the PCs might decide to believe the village idiot and use surveying tools to track the distance of the mountains on a daily basis. At any rate, the spookiness would lie in the PCs suddenly realizing that the guy was right and that the mountains ARE coming.
I think it could be kind of fun to leave this unexplained; it’s just another sign that things are off in the village, and there are other signs that have more immediate consequences that you can deal with. Or it could be a sign of the apocalypse: “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low,” after all, and what if a hymn like that was playing in the temple? The PCs would have to propitiate a god or slay a midgard serpent. OR what if the mountains coming is a sign of a long-prophesied mass hysteria that has finally fallen on the village. As a result of some ancient curse, or because some terrifying lich or demon is casting a spell on them, they know that once they see the mountains coming they will no longer be able to trust the evidence of their senses, and they’ll go mad and/or have to submit entirely to the whims of this scary, unpredictable spellcaster. It affects crazy people first, and maybe artists and outcasts like the PCs. You know, like Cthulu.
This reminds me of a mountain chain in my campaign world called “The New Mountains” because they sprang into existence rather suddenly about 50 years ago. For a few months there were some earthquakes and the like and then, BAM, in a matter of days, these mountains erupted from the earth, destroying everything that lay under them.
I’m totally going to include a diviner in my campaign world who screamed “The mountains are coming!” mere days before this catastrophe occured!
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