Periodically, I'll see an article on-line that seems like it is a good inspiration for a module, or a short adventure, or at least the introduction of one...
http://locklip.com/7-foot-tall-hellhoun ... astery-uk/
Townspeople are plagued by a pack of demonic black hounds. Over the last eight moon cycles, they've killed half the local farmers' livestock and three townspeople thus far. The town priest, Father Armbruster, claims it is punishment by the good gods because they've been forsaken. Others say they foretell the coming of Leptoris, a seldom-mentioned ancient god of the underworld. Whatever the reason for their existence, you have been hired to track the pack down and destroy it.
On the darkest and foggiest of nights, a long, sorrowful howling can sometimes be heard across the moors. The townspeople suggest that as a good place to start...
Father Armbruster was sent to replace the former priest, Father Bedard, who died unexpectedly during one of his walks through the moor. Unfortunately, none of the acolytes had been properly trained to take over his position, a tradition that had taken place for almost 500 years, and so the church had sent a young priest to take his place. While not exactly thriving, for years the little town has lead a comfortable life without much strife or struggle. People were starting to think they didn't need to continue praying to the old gods, that they are taking care of themselves just fine. The death of Father Bedard, coupled with his replacement by a non-local, seemed to be all that was necessary to convince people to stop attending weekly services and, more importantly, to greatly reduce their patronage.
Faced with a dwindling congregation and with no strong personal influences over the locals, Father Armbruster seemed desperate for a way to drive the people back to church. He just wanted some way of scaring them a little, some way of putting the fear of the gods back into them. One evening, a stranger with a great hound appeared at the Father's door, begging a meal and a place to sleep. Over a dinner involving many drinks and a brief tour of the church and its local relics, the issue of his church troubles came up. The stranger offered a suggestion and a deal was made.
The stranger gave his hound to Father Armbruster. It was well-trained and he showed the Father how to control it. He could use the hound to scare the townfolk. Sure, it might eat a chicken or lamb here and there, but it was a good dog and wouldn't hurt anyone. All he would take in exchange, oddly enough, was an object. Among the collection of church "relics" the Father had shown the stranger was a piece of broken bone with a hole roughly bored into it. The man now asked for the piece of bone. Father Armbruster couldn't think of any historical reference to it from a religious perspective and, having never received the oral history of the community from Father Bedard, had no idea of its value. He gave the bone to the stranger.
At first, Father Armbruster had things under control. He let the hound out once or twice a moon cycle, just to scare a few folks here and there. He was counting on the rumors he helped spread to convince them to return to his services. But his control only lasted a short while and one night the hound didn't return. That was when the howling started. The next time it was seen, it was accompanied by another. A few months later, there were three...
Type: Dire Hound
Number Appearing: 2d6
Number In Lair: 3d4
Lair Nearby: 10%
Treasure Type: nil
Align: Neutral Evil
Dire hounds are a cross between the largest of wolfhounds and dire wolves, something that can only be accomplished with the aid of magic. They appear to be hounds, in many respects, except they always have charcoal black fur and burning red eyes. They are also much larger than a normal hound, averaging 42 inches in height at the shoulder and weighing over 120lbs. The dire hound's low howl can carry for miles and, during the light of a full moon, can be used to call other dire hounds from the netherworld to join its pack. When this occurs, there is a 15% chance that 1d3 dire hounds will join up with the pack.
Dire hounds are often used by followers of Leptoris.
Pipes of the Hound
The Pipes of the Hound is comprised of seven pieces of bone. Each piece of bone is of a different size than the others and each bone has one lone hole roughly bored into it. With a single piece of bone pipe, one can control a single dog or wolf. When two to six pieces of bone pipe of different sizes are assembled together, that control expands to two additional animals for each additional piece of bone (up to a maximum of 13 dogs or wolves). When fully assembled and played, the Pipes give the owner control over any dog or wolf within hearing distance. Though a complete set of the Pipes of the Hound has not been seen in recorded history, several partial sets are rumoured to be in existence. If a set of pipes is assembled and contains more than one bone of the same size, all dogs and wolves within hearing distance will immediately turn on the person playing them.