Located in a rocky mountain range, The Floating Mountain is the top few hundred feet of a mountain summit, sheared off its base and magically suspended in mid-air about 100 feet above. Long ago, a wizard created this curiosity as a unique tower, which he designed to be inaccessible to thieves and pillagers. This wizard has been dead for centuries, but the Floating Mountain abides, tempting scholars and adventurers alike with its secrets. For some reason, no dragon has ever taken this place as an abode ó perhaps because they find it cramped.
While passing through a dank, overgrown part of the woodland, a traveler comes upon the Mushroom Forest without warning. Occupying about one square mile, it is exactly what it sounds like ó a patch of huge, 40 to 80 foot tall mushrooms. Coming in several varieties, some of these mushrooms resemble their normal-sized cousins, while others seem to be of a type that no one has ever seen elsewhere. Some are poisonous, others edible. A few shed toxic spores, so that bumping them can be somewhat dangerous. Other than the complete lack of trees beneath the mushroom canopy, the forest here seems fairly normal, with ferns and low underbrush covering the ground. Animals wander through just as they do elsewhere (taking care to avoid the poisonous mushrooms), although understandably there are fewer birds.
As you round a bend along this wide, energetic river, the burbling and splashing of the water suddenly resolves to sound undeniably like voices talking with one another (in many tongues, for those who are multi-lingual). Most of the time, what they say is incomprehensible babble, but every so often the water might splash just so, or whatever else causes the effect, and one of the voices says something understandable. Even when the words are recognizable, often it is simply nonsense or something inconsequential, like nursery rhymes.
Once in a while, however, they seem to speak directly to a listener, saying something that makes perfect sense to that individual. They will not use the personís name, but the individual so addressed gets the feeling that someone has just turned in the middle of a conversation and directed a remark to them. Interestingly, when this happens, the voices always speak in the personís native language.
No one is sure what causes this effect, but natives of the region tell stories about a splendid city that once stood over the river at that place, which vanished into the waters for reasons unknown. Of course, there are also many tales of river fairies, the waters foretelling fates or crying warnings, and so forth. Sages, tourists, and the superstitious sometimes stop near here for a time, hoping to unravel the mystery, although the curious tend to be driven off eventually because of the generically spooky nature of the phenomenon. Due to all the traffic, there is a fairly extensive, comfortable camping area in the vicinity, which usually has at least one other person or group inhabiting it.
All the desert peoples know of the place where an enormous funnel of sand whirls eternally. The longer-lived peoples have stories that recall a time before it existed (perhaps two thousand years), but none know for certain why it is. Each race has their own name for it, and many have legends of how it came to be. Some of the more popular are that the sandstorm guards the borders of an Efreeti city, or that a wizardís tower lies within, or that an ancient, great warrior-king lies in state, shielded by the gods until the time comes for him to rise again and lead his people to glory. Some consider it a holy place, while others believe it to be evil (maybe it guards Irem? ;) ).