As the party makes its way through [insert town here] they hear a scream coming from inside a two-story warehouse. Exploring further, they find a warehouse foreman amongst a maze of boxes, frustrated and cursing up a storm.
Fistos Macadamian, Entreprenuer
The man is Fistos Macadamian, a forest gnome druid and owner of a storage facility used by adventurers whose inventories get too full. He has been working on a new invention that will help make his operation more efficient and less dangerous, but is still working out the kinks. After a box full of every weapon an adventurer had ever come across and never used fell and nearly killed one of his workers, he vowed to find a better way.
He’s calling the invention the “lifter of things,” but he’s not tied to the name. If interested, he’s willing to show it to the party.
As Fistos walks the party to the invention he keeps going on and on about the incredible technology behind the machine and thinks they’ll be blown away by it.
The Lifter of Things
The contraption is actually fairly impressive. It appears to look like a modern-day forklift with four wheels along the bottom, a makeshift platform for the driver to stand on, a shoddy steering wheel, and a horrifying lifting device with a sword loosely strapped to each side with long strands of leather.
Thicker than normal, the wheels make an awful squeaking noise as the move and there are strange non-mechanical noises coming from the base of the lift. There is a larger-looking box at the base and an investigation check will show that there is a little door on one end.
If asked, Fistos will gloss over it, noting it’s the motor, but a high insight or investigation check will reveal that there appear to be animalistic noises coming from the wheels and the box.
Fistos gets on the forklift to demonstrate and yells a few words, seemingly speaking the machine to life. He drives the machine recklessly through the warehouse, arriving at a stack of boxes and making a few swift kicks to raise and lower the lift. Each kick seems to make the box squeal, but the lift goes up shakily and the swords dangerously slot in below the box.
As Fistos begins to lower the box off the racks, the lift suddenly drops, with the box shattering and millions of ball bearings spreading throughout the warehouse. You see the inside of the box has the insignia of the Biggle Brothers, owners of Biggle’s Balls.
Jumping off the lift, Fistos curses again, but the wheels and box on the lift explode open, revealing several rats (from the wheels), and a badger (from the box). Each of the animals hiss at Fistos, who hisses back, clearly unhappy with the group of them.
As you watch this take place, more hissing can be heard throughout the warehouse and more badgers and rats emerge from amongst the boxes.
“Well don’t just stand there, help me get these beasts under control. My machine must work!”
The party has made the horrible realization that Fistos is using the animals to make his contraption work. At this point the party has two options:
- Stand back and let Fistos get obliterated by the wild animals he’s been using for his work
- Help Fistos get the animals under control and go back into their respective machines
The total roster of animals will look something like this (adjustable to the party’s level):
- 10-20 rats
- 5 badgers
- 4 lizards
- 3 giant weasels
- 1 monkey
- 1 ox
If the party tries to reason with the animals, they will request that Fistos let them form a union, get weekends off, and fair pay for the work he has them doing.
If the party sides with Fistos, they will have to create and promote the marketing materials for the Lifter of Things, otherwise, Fistos will blackmail them, holding the murder of innocent animals over their heads. I mean, they could also kill Fistos at this point and as long as no one sees they wouldn’t face any repercussions.
Regardless, if they investigate the warehouse further they can find the blueprint for the machine, along with some books on which animals are best for heavy lifting.