So often we think of adventurers wandering vast swathes of unclaimed lands. They find somewhere to set their bedrolls, maybe a tent, and set watches for the night. If they are reasonable survivalists they might forage for berries or root vegetables, perhaps hunt some game or set snares.
Only, how much land is truly unclaimed?
Has the land long been home to a tribe of nomadic ogres? Is there a hill giant homestead? Is there a village some miles away where the local earl may not appreciate people poaching on the land? Perhaps the patch of berries the adventurer’s found is a food source a local farmer relies on to feed his family.
This blog series provides encounters for your PCs, and an opportunity for them to consider is uncharted land really uncharted?
Still Waters Run Deep
The PCs have been travelling through a remote area for a time. The trees are tall and the underbrush is thick. Seemingly out of nowhere the flora clears to reveal a lake. The water is crisp and clear. Lush plants grow at its banks. The lake doesn’t appear on any maps, and none of the locals have mentioned it.
Those who taste it find the water cool and refreshing. Any who have fishing supplies on hand find the lake plentiful.
The lake is home to a territorial sturgeon. Those who venture too close to the water’s edge, especially to fish, are at risk of being attacked.
Not interested in a prehistoric fish? Switch it out for Nel, the Temptress of the Tarn. This fey creature is available in 5e NPCs: Woodfolk & Wanderers.