fascinating and horrible ideas for fantasy TTRPGs

The Manticore’s Mane

The party enters what looks like a normal, somewhat sedate, bar. Before they can order at the bar or a table, they are approached by two extremely happy men with close cropped hair in crisp white shirts. 

“Obrien!” they exclaim. “We did not realize you had arrived. Please, no need to trouble yourself with the riff raff down here! We have a private room upstairs with all the ale and wine prepared.”

When these men acknowledge Obrien’s companions, they will call one “Murphy.”

If the party does not wish to follow them upstairs, the men will return in a few minutes with more men in white shirts. They will try to remain peaceful until the party joins them upstairs. But if the party refuses, they will eventually decide that the ritual may take place here and they will bring all the men in white shirts down. 

If the party goes upstairs, they will find a room full of men in white shirts, celebrating. They will happily welcome the newcomers. They will give them ale. If the party asks about the cask of wine in the corner, they will say not until after the words have been spoken. 

If the party talks to the men, they will each say, somewhat robotically or prepared:

  • We have awaited the arrival of obrien patiently lo these many years
  • We are ready for the journey
  • I am a vessel of peace for the realm ahead

Eventually, Obrien and Murphy and the party will be ushered to the front of the room and Obrien directed to a dais and book there. “it is time to speak the words.”

Some men open the cask and begin putting a glass of wine for each party member and man in attendance.

The book is titled, The Journey Ahead: Obrien’s Counsel and Guidance. When Obrien opens the book, they read:

My children, we have gathered here on this ___ to cheer ourselves for the journey ahead. We know it will be dark and dangerous. We have prepared our bodies and minds faithfully according to the will of the Lich of the After Realm. We now drink from the cup of sleep to take our bodies from this plane to the next!

If the player reads the entire thing, the crowd will cheer. 

If the players do not drink, the crowd will become restless and confront them and they’ll have to escape ten cultists. 

If they fake it somehow, they’ll notice some cultists drink and collapse in pain. Then, if they do not drink, the crowd will confront them. 

If they drink, they have to make a poison saving throw. 

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