As the party walks through [town name here] they see a column smoke of in the distance and hear a commotion. If they investigate, they will find the town blacksmith’s shop is on fire. A cat-like figure lumbers back into the smoke, attempting to gather whatever is salvageable. The structure cracks and begins to collapse, just as the tabaxi emerges from the flames, throwing some tools on the ground out of their now burnt hands.
The local halfling fire brigade continues their work of attempting to put out the blaze, leveraging their druids to summon some water elementals. The hefty and heavily-armored blacksmith looks on, horrified, and notices the party staring.
“I…I can’t believe it, all of my friends are dead, I wasn’t able to save them!” The chubby tabaxi coughs and sits, a little woozy from smoke inhalation. “I was forging some plate mail and the forge was so warm I must have just curled up and fallen asleep. Next thing I know, there was fire everywhere.” He apologizes for his manners and introduces himself as Fluffshree McChonkerton. He puts his head in his hands. The smoke begins to drift, some straight into the air, some out to the neighboring [forest, marsh, swampland]. Fluffshree touches a few of his now singed whiskers, grimacing slightly.
As the halflings leave, they high five each other for a job well done. Leaving the scene, something begins to stir from the rubble. If the party gets closer, several smoke mephits emerge from what remains of the building and hover in the air, each with a shape somewhat resembling the tools of blacksmithing. They do not seem hostile, and float over to Fluffshree. He looks up and cries out in surprise, “…can it be? My friends? Did you make it?” He begins naming them off one by one, “Hammer?! Anvil?! Punches?! How can this be? Wait….but where’s Tongs?”
The mephits raise a smoky hand, and point toward the smoke drifting into the neighboring [forest, marsh, swampland]. If the party asks what is happening, Fluffshree McChonkerton.
“Oh, sorry, these are the friends I was talking about! I don’t know if it’s from the spellcasting that was being used, but it seems like they’ve melted down and taken the form of mephits. Tongs was the key member of the group, but still seems to be missing, can you help us look for him?”
Mephits Are Registered Weapons
If the party elects to help the tabaxi blacksmith, they can spend a few moments inspecting the fire to see if there are any signs of what caused the blaze, where Tongs might be, or if anything remains in the scorched. There will be some clues that confirm:
- Tongs is not in the building and did in fact follow the smoke that trailed out of town
- The fire was not the fault of Fluffshree, but was in fact set by some other creature, as noted by an incendiary device remnants, which is covered in some moss and a hint of mushrooms
- One salvageable items is a framed painting of what appears to be Fluffshree surrounded by his blacksmithing “friends”
As the party trails the smoke with Fluffshree and the mephits, Fluffshree is chatting with the mephits, getting no audible response but somehow understanding their silent answers. “They say all I need to do is find a necromancer to bind their souls back to their bodies once we rebuild and they’ll be back to normal.” If the party knows of any necromancer or has the “Bind Soul” ability, they can offer that up as something they’ll take care of when they get back.
The smoke is easy to follow and will end deep into the [forest, marsh, swampland]. Charging ahead of the party, the mephits stop near a clearing and turn to the party. “Oh, Tongs must be in there!” Fluffshree shouts. He stumbles ahead and shrieks.
In the middle of the clearing are a band of Myconids, sitting around a hookah, filled with smoke and what seems to be a face resembling tongs inside the base. Fluffshree hisses, “They’ve got Tongs!”
The party can add their investigatory work here if they’d like and tell Fluffshree that the Myconids likely set his shop ablaze as well, or they can leave that out.
Fluffshree charges in with his mephits as the surprised Myconids launch into defensive positions. Roll for initiative.
Pick Your Sporing Partners
As the party enters the fray with Fluffshree, his primary goal is to retrieve the hookah to return Tongs unharmed. Not knowing that, the Myconids will not protect the hookah and focus more on combat and protecting the Myconid Circle of Spores Druid in their group. If at any point Fluffshree is able to get the hookah, he can flee and the party can leave as well. It is currently sitting amongst the Myconid adults and the Deathcap.
The Myconids will attempt to give chase, but will likely become bored and stop before existing the forest.
Myconid party breakdown:
Note the Myconid Druid has “Gust of Wind,” and if he hits any of the mephits with two blasts, they will vanish into the air, causing Fluffshree incredible emotional damage.
From here, it’s up to the party and the DM how combat progresses. It is a large battle to keep track of, but with an objective that isn’t “kill everyone” the party may come up with some creative solutions.
Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust
Once combat is resolved, Fluffshree and the party will head back to town with whatever mephits remain in their company. If all are still there, Fluffshree will be elated and go about planning for the rebuild of his shop as well as how he will get all the mephits back into their blacksmithing forms.
As long as you have saved everyone including the mephit in the hookah, Fluffshree will reward the party with the Suit of Chonkening.
This oversized suit of armor fits to the exact size of whoever dons it, but gives them a hefty appearance. The wearer gains an AC of 22, but their move speed is reduced to 5. The suit weighs 100 lb. in total and will disintegrate after 5 wears due to the fire damage that was inflicted and its general rusty nature.
If the party was unable to save the mephits, Fluffshree will be inconsolable and will go lay on the rubble, pawing at the ashes and sobbing uncontrollably.