As the party walks through town, a woman is sprinting up and down the streets shouting, “Hurry! Someone, anyone, save us from the updogs! They’re coming to get us!”
Other townsfolk scoff and yell at the woman, “No one’s falling for that terrible joke Pauline, give it up!”
The woman sees the party and begs, “Please, you must help us, the updogs will be here today if they are not stopped.”
DMs Note: If the party tries to make jokes “hur hur, what’s updog,” the woman becomes infuriated and shouts that “while that may be extremely funny, this is no time for jokes!” Some other potential names (Instagram handles in parenthesis): Helga Dunfound (@nika_ljubec), Fei Knews (@mdonati), or Agatha Casstie (@morgantriesinsta). Thanks to @citomnia for Pauline Rieviera!
Once the party decides to learn more about updogs, they come to a startling conclusion. Pauline Reviera says, “at the edge of town, there is a chasm that recently tore open, splitting our fields in half. No one cared much at first, but I kept my eye on it and today black smoke and fiery embers began spilling out. I looked deep into the chasm and glowing red eyes looked back, it was these doglike creatures scampering up, looking for a way to get out. I didn’t know what else to call them, so I’ve called them updogs, but no one is taking it seriously!“
With a Nature or Insight check, the party can deduce that what the woman described is actually a pack of Hell Hounds. While the cause of the chasm is unknown, Pauline seems to be the only one who has seen it.
If the party offers to help her, she will point the party in the right direction and sprint away yelling, “the updogs are coming, the updogs are coming!”
Step On A Crack (or Hole)
Venturing toward the chasm itself, the party sees the embers Pauline was talking about, and they look like they’re intensifying. Peering into the chasm reveals that the Hell Hounds are getting close, but not quite close enough to leap out of the hole. Lava and core elements are leaking from the chasm, rising higher and higher by the minute. The Hell Hounds will soon be able to leap from the crack (or crater), unleashing terror upon the townsfolk.
There appear to be 8 Hell Hounds that the party can see, and once initiated, two more will appear from the rising lava every three rounds until the lava and/or hole are sealed off.
If the party examines the hole itself, they will find a sort of hole within the hole, that seems to be spawning or releasing the Hell Hounds.
A few ideas of what could be spawning the hot dogs:
- Some sort of demon being kicked out of the Nine Hells because he has too many dogs and based on the Hell Owners Association, he is permitted to only have two. In this case he may please with the party when only 2 Hell Hounds remain to let them all god and he will close the hole.
- A fire elemental looking for a dog park for his molten mongrels
- Asmodeus himself seeking to expend his territory and this town seemed like the perfect place to turn into a hellscape
- A fire toad/beetle/spider/snake that got hold of a portal wand of some sort and is wildly opening portals to the Nine Hells (or some Fire Plane / lava location)
- A Fire Giant sat in this dormant volcano (that no one knew existed) and unleashed his dogs after recent mining came just a bit too close to putting a pick in his butt. He seeks revenge on the town and its inhabitants.
However you’d like to cause the commotion, the party must determine how to deal with these crag canines.
If proof is brought back that the party had to successfully fend off Hell Hounds and close the chasm, the town will be horrified that they did not believe Pauline initially. They will reward the party with their famous lager, Midnight Ride, which gives the consumer +20 ft. speed for the next hour.
If no proof is given, the townsfolk will assume that Pauline is crazy and go about their business as usual. Pauline will thank the party and offer them future assistance should they need it. She only has 20cp she could give the party if they push it.