This is a quick glance at a location that came to me this morning, something I might put to use in a story or game in the future. It’s deliberately scant, intended to spark more ideas and let me fill in the details later, without committing it too firmly to any one setting or story. I’ve written it such that I can replace any backstory I establish here without altering the physical location. Maybe you’ll also find it useful or inspiring.
A small tower rises over a dell, perpetually shrouded in mist which wafts up from below. Built atop arches sunk into the slopes around it, empty space below its first story, the tower’s top floor peeks just above the trees which wreathe the surrounding hills. Geothermal pools steam at the bottom of the dell, the source of the tower’s mists. Several were long-ago modified for bathers, with ancient handrails emplaced beside algae-slicked steps. The mists rising from these pools—and the pools’ waters—are said to be health-some and restorative. They once drew people from miles around, though the road to this tower and dell is now abandoned and badly overgrown.
This tower was built by Peng the Mighty, known posthumously as Peng the Unprepared. They built here to harness it as a place of power, and to preserve their good health. There are many rumors as to why Peng died or disappeared, and why no one goes to the dell anymore, but every rumor agrees that Peng suffered from a terminal lack of due diligence… whether in hiring overly greedy and amoral mercenaries, or summoning up that which they could not put down.
Potential hooks include: the special qualities of the dell’s waters, some relic of Peng’s, other knowledge of the location’s potential, people or creatures who’ve decided to make the tower their own.