Princes of the Apocalypse
These seeds are great for using as a character’s backstory, but if you already have an origin in mind for your character, you can talk with your DM about coming up with a new Hook, or work one of the existing Hooks below into your own story.
Each Hook gives your character a goal to accomplish in the setting, and rewards them with Inspiration for making progress toward that goal. Many of the Hooks will also give your character inside information that will prove useful in their travels (this information is hidden until you inform your DM which Hook you’ll be taking).
Hooks are sometimes listed with a suggested class or background, though with a little tweaking, any Hook can work for almost any character. Two players cannot have the same Hook.
Best Served Cold
Bard or Entertainer background
You swore vengeance against a half-elf minstrel calling himself Windharrow. Perhaps he humiliated you during a performance; otherwise, he may have insulted or even robbed you. You gain Inspiration once for tracking the nefarious minstrel to the dungeon he’s hiding in, and again for capturing or defeating him.
You’ve heard from a reliable source that a group of cruel bandits are planning a raid on a passing caravan, and you have taken it upon yourself to stop them! Perhaps you know one of the merchants personally, or you simply consider it your duty. You gain Inspiration once for stopping the raid, and again if you can find and defeat the bandit’s leader.
Secret of Scarlet Moon
A few of the other druids in your circle (or simply druid allies of yours) have become wary of the Circle of the Scarlet Moon; supposedly, they are able to call upon dangerous ritual magic unknown to other druids. Your task is to infiltrate the Scarlet Moon, and discover the truth behind their rites. You gain Inspiration for discovering the nature of their rites, and again for ending whatever purpose they served.
Dark Omens – Mavieth
Druid or Ranger
You’ve seen the signs that few others can: nature is out of balance. Unless something is done to calm the four elements of wind, water, fire, and air, terrible disaster will erupt upon this world. You gain Inspiration for each element you restore the balance to.
Defeat the Skyriders
Vicious raiders mounted on hippogriffs have laid waste to several small hamlets and merchant caravans, perhaps even one that you were a member of. You’ve vowed to take to the sky and seek justice—or revenge. You gain Inspiration when you find the raiders’ hideout and drive them out. You also gain Inspiration for claiming a flying mount (these can be accomplished in either order).
The Belabranta family has called upon your talents to bring home their wayward daughter, Savra. Perhaps you are a member of the family—she could be your cousin or sister. Otherwise, you are merely a friend of the family, trusted to make the long and possibly dangerous journey to find her, and to return her discreetly, lest her absence feed the rumor mills in the city of Waterdeep. You gain Inspiration for convincing Savra to return home, and again when you ensure that no one will follow her back to Waterdeep.
Fugitive – [warlock]
You are on the trail of a ruthless murderer and arsonist. He delights in sowing misery, with fire as his weapon. You have given up much to gain the training, power, and gear to be able to defeat him, perhaps even pledging yourself to an Otherwordly Patron, if you’re a warlock. You gain Inspiration once for finding the dungeon the killer hides in, and again for capturing or defeating him.
Many come into the adventuring life by wealthy upbringing or good fortune, but you worked long and hard to afford the adventuring gear you own. For the last year or two, you worked on a farm run by a human couple, Bero and Nerise Gladham. They were like a second family to you. Now that your new career has begun, you thought to pay their home a visit and thank them in person, only to find them both missing, and their valuables stolen. You gain Inspiration when you defeat their kidnappers, and again when you rescue your benefactors.
Madmen at Haunted Keep
You’ve heard rumors of a great number of unsavory types assembling in an old ruin nearby. Perhaps you ran afoul of them and only barely escaped with your life, or perhaps you were once one of them, but have turned over a new leaf and now desire to bring your fellow brigands to justice. You gain Inspiration when you enter the ruin for the first time, and again again when you clear it of villainy.
Months ago, you were robbed by a sinister mage with power over earth and mud. At the time, you were powerless to defeat him, and so handed over your valuables… some of your traveling companions tried to resist though, and paid a great price. It’s taken you some time to recoup your losses and afford new gear, but you’re ready to set things right. You gain Inspiration when you find the dungeon in which the Mud Sorcerer hides, and again when you defeat him.
Time and again, your slumber has been interrupted by dreams of a male medusa wielding a war pick made from a single piece of heavy iron. In this vision (perhaps sent by your deity), he stands atop the Sumber hills and looks over the Dessarin Valley, watching great fissures open up in the earth. You know not what his goals are, but he must be stopped. You gain Inspiration for entering the dungeon in which he hides, and again when you defeat him.
Recover Your Sword
any melee combatant
You were apprenticed to a master blacksmith in Waterdeep, and for months, you’ve been helping your master perfect his greatest work: a jeweled sword carved from dragonbone. The very day he finished, you went out (perhaps to purchase some celebratory food and drink to commemorate the occcasion) and returned to find him dead, and the sword gone. You gain Inspiration when you capture or defeat your master’s killer, and again when you reclaim the sword.
Seeking Revenge – Garrek
Arsonists burned down something important to you: perhaps your house, the temple or abbey where you served, or the forest you called home. You must stop them, if not for yourself, then to ensure they will harm no one else. You gain Inspiration for defeating the fire mage who caused you such grief, but you doubt it was just a mindless crime… you gain Inspiration again when you find and defeat the one who ordered the fire in the first place.
Settle a Score
A roadside disagreement led to a duel between you and a pair of men in strange-looking gargoyle masks made of stone. Their tempers ran hot; perhaps you started the fight, or maybe they did… but you were about to win before three more men showed up—two of them in stony armor, and the third with his very skin made of stone. The lot of them beat you up and left you for dead; only through sheer chance did you regain consciousness hours later and drag yourself to a town. You gain Inspiration for defeating the two men in stone armor, and again when you defeat the man with stone skin.
You used to captain a modest vessel, crewed by dozens… until that dark day just a few months ago when it met with a tragic end. A storm hit out of nowhere, and as your crew bravely tried to save the ship, you saw a man out in the waters, laughing maniacally at your misfortune and introducing himself as Shatterkeel, master of the evil waters. You don’t know how or why, but he must have summoned that weather. Most of your crew drowned because of it. You gain Inspiration for finding the dungeon where Shatterkeel is hiding, and again when you defeat him.
Barbarian or Outlander background
You have spent some time in the Dessarin Valley, and occasionally your services will be called upon as a wilderness guide. A few months back, a group of odd pilgrims enlisted your help to find and reoccupy a ruined monastery, though as time has gone by, you find yourself wondering if you perhaps made the wrong choice by helping them… you’ve heard rumors that they share the monastery with a lich! They offered to make you a part of their order, so you may be able to use that to investigate their goals. You gain Inspiration when you successfully join the order, and again if you find the lich (and survive).
Your research has turned up a a piece of an ancient map, easily thousands of years old, but magically preserved. It shows the location of an entrance to a forgotten dwarven stronghold beneath the Sumber Hills, known as Tyar-Besil. The map is incomplete however; you suspect that there should be at least two entrances, but your map only has one. You gain Inspiration when you find the entrance on your map, and again each time you find a new entrance.
Sighting a Myth
Bard, Wizard, or Sage background
A colleague of yours was recently traveling in the Dessarin Valley, and returned with astounding news: they sighted a creature long thought to be extinct. You scoffed, writing it off as wild imagination, but after hearing the story of the sighting for the fiftieth time, you’ve decided to travel to Red Larch and prove once and for all that there is no such creature here. You gain Inspiration for successfully discovering (and traveling to) the creature’s supposed whereabouts, and again when you either find the creature or prove it was all a hoax.
For a brief time, you joined a group of mages specializing in fire magic, hoping to advance your own magical talents. That is, until it became clear that the group was only interested in destruction. Now you want to put a stop to them, if only to keep them from giving people like you a bad name. You gain inspiration for clearing out their hideout, and again for taking out their leader.