Some secrets are better left unknown. The following is a list of twenty terrible, dangerous secrets. When the keepers of these secrets learn that you know them, they will do anything in their power to snuff their secrets out with you.
You can use the list like a d20 table, or just pick a secret you like.
1. Healing potions are an ancient creation of the fallen Dark God of Injury. Every potion drank removes an injury by transferring it to the Dark God, and little by little, returning Her power such that She may one day return. The Potionmasters’ Guild knows this and they’re not keen on the bad press for their best selling product.
2. A hidden community of clockworks at the bottom of the ocean is assembling a great weapon in secret with the hope of one day claiming the ocean as their own.
3. Flies are always watching, always listening. They eavesdrop on conversations and record the memories in their maggots’ DNA. Collecting information has been their great purpose throughout history. Like maggots feed on flesh, adult flies feed on information. But the flies are driven to be unknown observers. If people knew flies were listening in on them, it would change the content of their conversations making the information impure. The flies cannot allow this. The flies will not allow this.
4. A plague devastates a prince’s people. By the magic of an ancient ritual, the plague will end when the prince chooses to be faithful to his wife. The plague continues.
5. The dwarfs have spent centuries digging fault lines under every major surface city which they will soon be capable of opening to massive destructive effect.
6. A monarch is a changeling who stole the identity of the proper monarch. The nobility know this and allow it because the changeling is far more likeable than the real monarch. But the monarch’s power is based on bloodline, and if the people knew, they would revolt.
7. An oligarch in possesses a wand that, once per month, can turn an intelligent soul into gold. He uses it every chance he can get.
8. A Cardinal of the Cult of the New God is a cambion whose soul is bound for Hell no matter what he does. He is a true believer and generally a good man but will do anything to prevent this secret from coming out.
9. Several villages were recently razed, apparently by wild beastmen. In truth, it was a sect within the military who worship the God of Slaughter.
10. A large fishing company has doubled its profits by catching and selling a hard-to-catch species of delicious shark – after discovering the sharks are easily attracted to children thrown in the water.
11. The Dentistry Guild has discovered a painless technique for dentistry magic, but they suppress it because pain-free treatment is NOT what any of them got into dentistry for.
12. The Spell to End the World is six words long. A cabal of undead sorcerers is dedicated to erasing any vestige of this spell permanently. You accidentally learned one of the words.
13. An athlete who has inspired a generation and spawned a little industry of sportswear gets his strength by eating souls.
14. There is a portal to another world that is far nicer than yours, inhabited by a society much more advanced than yours. They hate the people of your world and don’t want their existence known to your people.
15. The Witch-King who ruled the fallen kingdom Gog was recently reborn as a young halfling girl who retains all of the Witch-King’s memories including ancient magics. She is plotting in secret to regain her kingdom.
16. You learned the identity of an accomplished assassin of the Black Hand. Anonymity is the key to her career, and she knows that you know.
17. There is a song with a catchy tune that has spread in popularity over the past couple of years. It is frequently requested from bards, and stays in the listeners’ heads for weeks. The melody sweetens the listeners’ souls, making them tastier for demons in the afterlife. Demons wish to keep this knowledge a secret to keep the sweetened souls flowing.
18. There is a horrific, narcissistic dragon who lives in the Shield Mountains of the Northern Reach. Among its many tics and obsessions, it despises and is embarrassed by its birth name, all record of which has almost been scrubbed from the Urth. By accident, you have learned its embarrassing true name.
19. Just as gods are empowered by their followers’ belief and worship, old gods can fade away when they are forgotten. After centuries of obscurity, the Lucky Lady of Autumn, represented as a fiddling cricket for reasons long since forgotten, wants nothing more than to die. Much to her displeasure, you learned of her existence, prolonging it.
20. The Matriarch of the Cult of the New God had a vision that those who upheld the virtues of the Four Truths of the Cult were blessed in the afterlife by having their souls annihilated rather than returning to the Underworld. Per the vision, this is a blessing as the horrors coming for Urth are so awful that it is better to not exist than to be born into them. The leadership of the Cult is unsure if this is a true vision, but they absolutely will not allow this story to be known by the general populace.