As the party walks through a town, they hear a commotion in a nearby auction house. Entering the building, there is an extremely lively auction taking place with at least a hundred townsfolk from all social statuses, races, and backgrounds crammed in to stake claim to the possessions being auctioned off.
At the front of the dwelling on stage is a Kenku (name of Jaysen Lee Morrow) in a suit, auctioning off a non-descript rock that appears to have some etchings in it.
If the party seems very into the auction itself, consider rolling on this d8 table to let them join in on the fun. If the party is not interested in the auction, you can still use this list as background noise as the encounter continues.
The following items can be auctioned off, with each going for whatever value the DM sees fair in an auction house:
- Amulet of Inanimate Object Communication: Allows the wearer to engage in riveting conversations with inanimate objects, like rocks and broomsticks. The objects can only speak to the past and cannot assist in making decisions, they only provide information.
- Jar of Misplaced Sentences: When opened, this jar releases jumbled words and sentences that never quite make sense.
- Bag of Endless Itchy Socks: A bottomless bag that produces nothing but itchy socks when reached into.
- Wand of Awkward Compliments: This wand forces the user to deliver cringe-worthy and awkward compliments to anyone it’s pointed at.
- Earmuffs of Selective Hearing: Equipping these earmuffs allows the wearer to hear only what they want to hear.
- Potion of Temporary Invisibility to Snails: When consumed, this potion makes the drinker invisible, but only to snails.
- Mirror of Exaggerated Reflections: When you look into this mirror, your reflection exaggerates your features in comical and outlandish ways.
- Gauntlets of Incredibly Dramatic Gestures: Wearing these gauntlets compels the user to make overly dramatic hand movements while speaking.
As the party scans the crowd, they see one individual vigorously bidding on items. He stands out because he is wearing bulky, golden armor that shimmers and has a low hum resonating from the spiked pauldrons. He appears to be missing a helmet to the set, otherwise every piece matches perfectly. Outside of his armor, his appearance gives off a villainous vibe.
If the party gets closer, and assesses the hum, they hear ancient whispers coming from the suit of armor. Whispers of the scary things like “kill, kill, kill,” or “strike them down,” or whatever else the DM comes up with. The man’s name is Morgar Thundergiff and should be playing up as extremely Chaotic Evil.
Using Detect Magic, or similar insight, the armor appears to be enchanted with some form of Necromantic magic.
DMs Note: The armor itself is enchanted and haunted by hundreds of evil spirits that once lived in the town. They were a part of some ritualistic unaliving ceremony in an attempt to unlock a portal to the Nine Hells, but were unsuccessful, instead accidentally locking their souls in this armor. When the reigning king or mayor found out about the cult, he had the armor spread across the Realm in order to prevent the souls from reconnecting, with the knowledge that if the suit became complete again, that the souls would unleash and wreak havoc in any town that stood in their way.
Biddy, Biddy, Bum
Through conversations with other townsfolk, maybe some sort of foresight, the party can learn the above. They could also find out from the auctioneer during a break if that fits better with your overall story.
Regardless, a golden helmet is coming up to the auction block soon, so the party must devise a plan to prevent the suit from being completed. Here are a few different options of how this could play out:
Option 1: Outbid
The party can attempt to outbid Morgar, though this will likely cause him to become enraged, taking on the Champion stat block and fighting the party inside the auction house.
Option 2: Let the armor complete
If the party wants to unleash chaos for the fun of it, let them! With the highest bid, Morgar marches up to the podium, places the helmet on his head and begins hovering in midair. Golden beams of light shoot out from the armor and Morgar’s eyes turn white. “People of [town name], behold the splendor of our might. Kneel before our power and you shall be spaaaaaared.” The light fades, Morgar crumples to the floor unconscious, and five wraiths appear behind him.
The townspeople clear out of the auction house, leaving the party and the Kenku auctioneer with the wraiths. The rest of the spirits form a spiral in the top of the auction house, howling with ghostly echoes as the wraiths begin to launch their attack on the party. Roll for initiative.
If the party defeats the wraiths, the remaining spirits will dissipate. Morgar regains consciousness and apologizes to the party, offering them the armor. He did not realize the unspeakable evil that would be unleashed and the more pieces of armor he collected, the less control he had over what he did. The party can determine what they’d like to do with Morgar.
Option 3: Illusion / Stealth
The party could likely steal the golden helmet, though that will likely trigger suspicion from the Kenku and the crowd, along with anger from Morgar. He will track the party down and fights them with the Champion stat block.
Similar, the party could use illusion magic to make Morgar think he is getting the real thing, but once he realizes it’s a ruse will hunt the party down.
Option 4: Take Out Morgar
The party can opt to take out Morgar in several different ways. He is fixated on the golden helmet that is coming up, but through distractions, seduction, or murderrrr, the party may be able to pull Morgar away from the auction. They will need to determine what to do with his armor so he never unleashes the evil inside, but we’re sure your party will be creative.
As a reward, the Kenku will offer the party any of the items that were up for auction, or he will go into the back and present them with a rare artifact, map, or something else that fits into the campaign (consider your players wishlist!).
If the party opts to take the golden armor itself, it has the stats of Ring Mail (gold being less sturdy than typical plate armor).