Players must help the wight clothier Michael Korpse fetch spider silk so that he can continue creating his zombie-friendly fashion. Along the way, players will need to navigate treacherous web-filled terrain, sneak past giant spiders, and fend off disgruntled undead.
The party sees a boutique in the marketplace called “Pretty Fly Wight Guys.” Every now and then, an undead will stumble into the shop, dressed in tattered clothes and decorated with bones and chains (typical zombie attire). When the undead comes back out after a few minutes, however, they are looking sharply dressed and professional, smiling confidently for, perhaps, the first time since their death.
If players enter the shop, they can meet the proprietor. Michael Korpse will explain more about his clothing line’s mission and the supply chain issues.
- Michael Korpse – A wight who, a decade earlier, threw down his battle axe and decided to pursue a different profession other than terrorizing villages and robbing travelers. He ended up attending a high-end fashion school, and he now runs “Pretty Fly Wight Guys”, a specialty clothing shop that specializes in professional, high-class clothing for undead clientele.
Supply and Demand
When the party enters the shop, Michael Korpse, the owner, will welcome them with a warm smile while also looking a little confused (unless there is an undead in the party, in which case, Michael will turn his attention entirely to that player). Regardless, it’s important (as DM) to play this character very warm and friendly: a personality that’s in direct contrast to his pale skin, exposed bones, and intimidating red eyes.
The shop is decorated with an assortment of fancy suits, slacks, and jackets. Everything is very trendy, although the “wight” inspiration can be seen in small choices: silver buttons in the shape of tasteful skulls, faint stitching that resembles minimalist skeletal forms like ribcages on the breasts of dress shirts, etc. If asked, he will explain that his goal is not to disguise the undead but, rather, bring out the beauty of death.
He hopes that, by giving the undead style and confidence, he can help his kin function better in society and successfully pursue their dreams.
“The living tend to fear us,” Michael says with a sigh, “Fear can be good in some contexts, but it makes it really tough for zombies to get good honest jobs. With no other options available, they resort to being terrors and thieves because that’s the role the world expects them to fill. Well, no more!”
“I’ve opened this shop, in part, to inspire my undead brothers and sisters to also become clothiers or bakers or lawyers or whatever else they desire. My clothes are simply meant to equip them with an image that impresses and empowers.”
“Trouble is,” he continues, “business has been going so well that I’m running out of raw materials. Zombie skin can be very clammy and sensitive, you see, and it requires a special material to really make clothing that both looks good and feels good.”
If the party offers to help, Michael Korpse explains that the large cave spiders in the area produce some of the softest, yet most durable, webbing that can be spun into comfortable silk. He agrees to accompany the players to help guide them into the subterranean tunnels, as well as collect the best samples of web; he only asks that the players offer protection.
A Sticky Situation
Michael Korpse will carry a backpack as well as a special blade that we can use to slice through webbing and gather what he needs. Although Michael is able to find a cavern pretty easily, he confesses that he’s not good at navigating and is unfamiliar with the layout of the tunnels.
As the players descend deeper into the dark cavern, they spot more and more evidence of spider activity, including wrapped carcasses and some light webbing (Michael notes that this webbing is to contaminated and/or weak, and that the party must descend further.
Eventually, the tunnel opens into a large cavern filled with a plentiful supply of webbing as well as sleeping giant spiders. Michael whispers that it would be best to avoid battle, because killing these creatures would mean losing them as a source for spider silk in the future. As the party moves into the room to the center (where the purest, most sparkly spider web resides), they will need to roll Dex checks to determine whether they can weave through the web without getting caught; if they do get stuck, strength checks are required to break free, but too much movement will awaken the sleeping spiders.
If battle is triggered, the players can simply try to keep the creatures occupied while Michael Korpse gathers what he needs; they can do this by creating distractions through web vibrations, fending the insects away with fire, etc.
Once the web is gathered, the party can make their escape, ascending the cave back to the entrance.
A Brush with Death
Just as the party reaches the entrance hall, one of the wrapped up bodies of a previous spider victim begins to wobble and moan. The players might try to investigate but, even if they don’t, the cocoon will slice open as a zombie, wielding a rusted blade appears.
Suddenly, two more zombies stumble out from the shadows, creeping toward Michael Korpse. Another wight, dressed in armor and wielding a frightening blade, appears now, snarling at the party.
“That’s as far as you go, Michael,” he wheezes, brandishing his weapon.
Michael doesn’t recognize the creature, but the wight explains that he is just one of many undead who have been wronged by Michael’s business.
“You and your clothing have promised new lives for my men,” he wheezes angrily. “They are dropping their swords by the dozen and picking up paintbrushes and smithing hammers instead. At this rate, I won’t have a big enough crew to do any more pillaging. You must be stopped!”
The wight and his team of zombies will attack the party. The player can choose to defeat them in battle, or, if they can roll high enough persuasion checks, they can help the angry wight figure out his own dream job and encourage him to lay down his sword.
If the party succeeds in escorting Michael Korpse safely back to his shop, along with a plentiful supply of spider silk in tow, the wight-turned-fashionista can reward the players with one of the following:
- Necrotic Weave – Michael Korpse can make alternations to the players’ clothing, providing them resistance to either poison or necrotic damage (individual players can decide what would be most beneficial for their individual character).
- Wight Weapons – Michael can offer the players a variety of old weapons, armor, or accessories used during his raiding days (or maybe used by other zombies who exchanged these items for their new suits). Currently, these items are covered in dust and sitting neglected in the corner of his closet, concealed behind much finer, fancier clothing.