Land of the Basilisk

So this week I am on holiday in Basel, Switzerland. Now I don’t know which way around it went but either the basilisk is named after Basel or Basel is named after the monster.

This is a city that celebrates its monsters even the Munster (cathedral) has the basilisk front and centre.

The basilisk is just to the left of the main entrance.

In the town centre is a hole in the pavement and a plaque that says that if you look down and the basilisk sees you. Its sight will kill you. Which begs the question of where is the health and safety there then? I do wonder if my travel insurance would pay out, probably not if I had put myself in danger by looking for the basilisk.

Basel sits on a geological fault line and is prone to earthquakes. It is easy to imagine why the city could have grown up with the belief that there was a subterranean monster living under it.

Now I do like putting inspirations together and I woke up this morning with the outline of a Christmas adventure. Imagine a peaceful holiday scene in a provincial town. The townsfolk gather in the market place to sing songs of thanksgiving by candle light.

Then the ground starts to heave and convulse (rolling moving manoeuvres to remain standing) as masonry starts to fall from buildings (fall/crush attack table from 40′ up).

Panic ensues and people scatter just as the central temple beside the square explodes in a hail of stone and fire. As the dust clears, where the temple once stood is now a dragon slowly flexing its wings and most of its length still hidden in a great hole in the ground from which it emerged.

I am picturing a red scaled dragon wreathed in smoke and flame.

Your gift to the characters if of course instant hero status if they save the town and a bucket of experience if that is the way you roll.

Basel’s Basilisk


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