As the party nears [town name here], they hear screams. Heading in that direction, they find a dainty half-orc female standing over what appears to be a puddle of blue goop with various articles of clothing in it.
A crowd is gathering around it, with other townsfolk scratching their heads and gazing upon the goop in confusion. If the party inquires as to what has happened, a decrepit older half-orc will answer. He is aged to the point of needing glasses and a cane, and his scars indicate that he may have been a warrior in earlier years. Introducing himself as Brud Beryl, he informs the party that this is the fourth instance of “puddling” in the last 30-odd days.
Brud has a theory, but can’t prove it. Yet. He invites the party to his home, a little ramshackle two-story dwelling toward the center of town.
Bringing out a giant tome, Brud opens it to the third page (the other pages are blank) and begins to explain the timeline of events he has seen so far. In his retirement, he has taken to being a town gossip and finding trends and patterns amongst the townsfolk.
The latest “puddler” was Gary Dungscraper and, while tragic, he fits the pattern Brud has noticed. The pattern so far:
- A blue dot appears on an individual
- The dot replicates over time
- No other notable ailments for those who get the dots
- Some days later, the individual spontaneously explodes into the blue goop
Brud then asks the party if they would be willing to assist in exploring the root cause of the puddling. He notes that you should talk to the town doctor, Screebus Mac, to learn more from a biological perspective.
What’s The Pud, Bud
If the party interacts with anyone along the way to Screebus’ office, each will have a different ridiculous version of the events they’ve seen.
- He was standing there and then, like a maul through a melon, was everywhere
- I don’t know, they just blue up!
- I mistook it for a magic trick and tasted it thinking it was jam…it was not (this individual will likely have 8 blue dots on their cheek)
Arriving at the office of Screebus, the middle-aged female gnome is toiling over several flasks of the blue goop, each marked with a number representing which case of puddling occurred.
Screebus has never seen anything like this, but from a deeper look, she senses that the blue dots follow some sort of mathematical pattern. She’s unsure, but in two instances she saw a pattern. In one case over three days it was 2 dots, 3 dots, and 5 dots, they exploded seven days later. In the other, it was 21 dots, 34 dots, and 55 dots over three days. They exploded two days later.
If your party is of the highest intellect (sarcasm), they can likely deduce that it is the Fibonacci sequence. If they say “Fibonacci” out loud, Screebus will screech and say that’s the name of the local baker, Fibonacci Grambopuli. Screebus determines that Fibonacci must be behind the puddlings.
Before they leave, Screebus will let them know she thinks she’s cracked an antidote and to give her half a day to finish it up.
A Baker’s Does In
Finding the baker is no problem, after all, they have a giant sign on their bakery that says “Fibonacci’s Gnocchis, Puddings and Pie.” The hulking Ogre turned professional baker is in the process of rolling out dough when the party walks in.
“Oh hi, want a pie,” he asks in a monotone voice. At this point, there are several ways the encounter can go. Some things to note about the results of interactions.
- If accused of murder/poisoning, Fibonacci will deny it and say he knows nothing of what happened to those individuals, though their insides did have a nice resemblance to a jam he once made.
- If questioned about his involvement, he will ask for the names of the individuals (he only knows of one), and will mention that 3 of them bought his latest berry preserve which is perfect as a pie filling or a bread topper, though the locals don’t seem to be too keen on it so far.
- If attacked, he will take on his Ogre stat block, with an additional attack of Rolling Pin which is essentially just a repurposed Greatclub.
- If the party returned to Brud, he will give a backstory about Fibonacci, saying that he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and would never intentionally hurt anyone. In fact, he’s well-known and well-loved, winning several regional baking championships with his pies.
No idea how your party will roll with this one, so some general closings.
- If they kill Fibonacci, the townsfolk will be horrified and chase them out of town unless they have compelling evidence that the ogre was in fact responsible for the puddlings and did so with malicious intent
- If they discuss with Fibonacci and determine it was all an accident, Screebus will return with the antidote and everyone can work together to see who else has bought the preserves
- If the party never puts it all together, Brud will come along and ask if they’ve found anything. If not, he’ll say thanks for trying and one more person will explode on their way out
I’m sure there are better endings, so let us know below!