This encounter starts with a member of the party inheriting a puzzle box either as a reward from a previous side quest or passed down from a relative/friend. The puzzle itself is completely up to the DM, but it should be decently difficult. Once the puzzle is unlocked, the below encounter is in play.
As the party finishes the puzzle, somewhere outside (nearest patch of grass), a cow grazes. At first glance it appears to be a standard cow, but something about the cow draws the party closer. Each member will need to make a DC20 Wisdom Save otherwise it becomes Charmed by the cow and walk up to it.
The cow communicates telepathically, with dead shark eyes, and is constantly chewing. If anyone in the party approaches, he greets them. “Hello fleshy meatbags, I wish you good morrow. My Realmly form is known as Sir Loin, but I am not of this place.”
If the party asks any questions they will learn the following:
- Sir Loin is the embodiment of evil, and was a chaotic evil n’er-do-well when he lived on earth
- He is from the Nine Hells and was summoned when they resolved the puzzle
- Soon he will be joined by his fellow Bovinobites to escort them into their beefy abyss
- Their goal is to bring about the apocalypse by eradicating all cows, ultimately leading to a life without red meat, which is no life worth living (according to Sir Loin)
- Every Bovinobite was once a human that solved the puzzle
As Sir Loin continues his telepathic communication, he also reveals that he is simply attempting to sate the bloodlust of the other Bovinobites so he can return to his human form. If the party can trick or defeat the cowmrades, he can regain his previous life and save the Realm from a world without beef.
Moments later, a hellish portal opens behind Sir Loin and three more Bovinobites emerge. Sir Loin ceases communicating with the party and pretends to be a regular cow again, slowly ambling away with the puzzle box, leaving the party to deal with the fiendish cattle.
Defeating The Bovinobites
The Bovinobites will ask the party to assist them in rounding up the cattle in the nearby area to increase the Bovinobite population, otherwise they will attempt to capture the party and take them to the Nine Hells. Make it clear that assisting the Bovinobites will be frowned upon by the town and definitely aligns to the evil side of the spectrum.
Each of the three Bovinobites that arrived have their own weaknesses, but are all highly difficult to destroy. The DM can determine whether or not to launch an assault with all three at the same time or go one by one.
We uh, don’t really have a good ending for this one, so maybe you can help us out! Let us know what a satisfying ending to the encounter would be in the comments below.
- Sir Loin is able to use his hooves to undo the puzzle and banish the Bovinobites for all eternity, restoring his own corporeal form
- If the Bovinobites win, the party is turned into cow fiends themselves until they can pass the puzzle box off on someone else