5E Needed: ideas for a plot hook - Out of the Abyss [spoilers possible]

Boendal2

Villager
Hi,

I'm currently DMing "Out of the Abyss" for 4 players. They just escaped Velkynvelve and are now travelling through the underdark. Now I bought a small puzzle on amazon which I want to give to my players during the next sessions, probably after a non-hostile random encounter. Inside I could paste a very small paper with max. 4-5 words on it (or up to four papers with max. 1 word on them). Sadly I cannot really think of a satisfying plot hook or connection to the main story. It would be really cool if it contains a secret message linked to some characters they meet or events that unfold during the first part of the adventure (maybe in Gracklstugh or Blindgenstone)!? I have some ideas, but none is really satisfying so far. Maybe it contains a codeword to a secret passage entering Gracklstugh (... a tunnel used by Derros... but that would probably would make Gracklstugh really really dangerous.... I don't think the Duergar would take an intrusion lightly)!?

Maybe some players or DMs who read/played OotA can help me out? Any creative ideas are welcome!

Note: I don't really want to start another big side quest, as we meet only every 14 days and there are enough caves and side stories in OotA (+ homebrew content) anyways. Worst case it only will be a magic "compass" of the underdark (N-E-S-W is inscribed anyways), which upon opening reveals a illusionary 3D-map of the underdark, granting a +5 on navigation.... but I would really like to put a secret message in it as well....


For anyone interested, here are my campaign notes: [CAMPAIGN] Out of the Abyss – New GM [SPOILERS]

Thanks for all help and answers in advance
 

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