As the party traipses through town, they hear a loud rumble coming from down the street. Rushing to the sound, they will find the bones of a crumbled cathedral to [enter god here]. People are frantically running about and dodging falling debris still pouring out of the place of worship. Flying out of the rubble is a posse of Flumphs, who were “purely there to learn more about the ways of the people.”
Their noodly eyes and body parts float out of view, each one more apologetic than the last as they leave. “We’ll definitely help pay for this!” As they drift further out of the town, the flumphs glow blue in sadness and shame, a clear sign that they truly meant no harm.
Emerging from the rubble and dusting himself off is Father Gentrick Caldoon. Caldoon, spends time with the parishioners trying to calm them and assure them that it will be okay. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it, but [god] works in mysterious ways.”
As he finishes his sentence, Caldoon looks up to see the party. He scurries over and begins pleading with them. His calm demeanor drops and he explains that he has no idea how they will pay for the ceiling. Not only that, the head of the church is expected to arrive next week and they will be excommunicated if their ceiling doesn’t pass the “elegance test”.
He explains that the party needs to go find Mickels and Jello (short for Jellarnathan), who are the only two that can get the job done on time and to the standard of the church. They live out past the abandoned kobold hot yoga studio, about a day’s walk.
A Woman Paints With Her Brains
As the party ventures out of town, they’ll face any standard random encounters required at the table, but will come upon the abandoned yoga studio late in the day, denoted by a sign “[insert studio name here]” (tell us your best Kobold Yoga Studio name in the comments below!)
The dilapidated building seems quiet but stretches for what seems like miles to the east and west, meaning the shortest route is through. Passing through, the party will not encounter anything but will find trace evidence of something living in the studio.
Finally getting to a small hut amongst the trees, the party sees a giant Loxodon and a female halfling arguing about something. The nature of their argument is unimportant, but they will quiet down as the party arrives.
The female halfling identifies herself as Mickels, and her large female associate is Jello. When asked to come back to help with the ceiling collapse, Mickels scoffs and say, “for Father Caldoon? That guy is a quack, besides, we’re retired.” Jello scoffs and storms off into the hut. Mickels brow furrows for a moment, then she straightens up and tells the party that she’s sorry for the trouble, but they won’t do it. The party is welcome to stay overnight, but Mickels and Jello won’t be leaving with them in the morning.
Overnight, Mickels will tell the party about their retirement. They had been realm-renowned painters and constructors, but after an accident left Jello with minimal use of her arms, making painting the high spots almost impossible. Mickels is afraid of heights, so there’s no way she’d get up on a ladder. Taking their earnings from their great career, they retired to the woods, though Jello is less than pleased by this.
As the fire dies and everyone goes off to bed, Jello emerges. She does not speak, but if anyone in the party has telepathy, or is open to such things, Jello either passes along a message or meets one of the party in a dream that evening. Jello recounts the terrible accident that ended her career. While they were working on a ceiling in [town name], the individual holding the ladder she was on exploded into a blue puddle, causing the ladder to lose its balance, and putting Jello into a free fall. She tried to catch her fall, but in the process tore all the muscles in her shoulders, leaving her arms permanently atrophied. Jello will go with the party in the morning, and will do her best to bring Mickels as well.
When The Morning Comes
Packing their things, as promised Jello comes along with the party. Mickels has yet to emerge from her room. The party heads off with Jello in tow, who remains silent. As they get back to the kobold yoga studio, insults begin to fill the air from a demonic voice. Emerging from the shadows is a Paeliyron, a “bloated fiend has a massive paunch that hangs far below its waist” (5e stats from DMDave).
The devil continues insulting the party, the stench and sweat of thousands of kobolds oozing out of its skin. Popping up throughout (if desired) are sweat clouds of kobolds, with roughly the same stat blocks as a standard kobold.
During the battle, Jello will take severe damage, leaving her unable to continue with the party. Mickels returns as the battle concludes and she and Jello have as sappy or ridiculous of a conversation as the DM would like. The result is Mickels agreeing to “one last job,” after which the two will retire however and wherever Jello wants.
The party leaves the Kobold Yoga Studio with Mickels, and heads back to town.
My Ceiling Isn’t The Best, But It’s Up There!
Getting back to the cathedral, Father Caldoon rushes up to the party noting that the head of the church will be there later that day and they must hurry! He notes Jello is not with the party and mumbles a quick prayer as he scurries off.
Entering the rubble, Mickels gasps. She notes the ceiling (or where the ceiling should be) is 30 ft high, just out of her range. She will need the party to figure out how to get her ~10 feet higher so she can do her work.
Once she is high enough, she will need to stay at that height for 30 seconds. She begins to mumble, wave one hand, and rubs bits of a broken gem in her free hand. As she does so, the pieces of rubble begin to tremble and float up, slowly locking in place and recreating the ceiling that was once there. Straining harder, a slight glow emerging from her hands, the new ceiling begins to have ornate etchings sculpted into the stone, dust clouding down causing all the other onlookers to cough.
As the dust settles, Caldoon emerges and says, “Mickels, you’ve done it again.” He thanks her and the party for their assistance and continues milling about in preparation for their visitor.
Mickels is grateful to the party for their assistance and before she leaves offers to teach one of the party as an apprentice (spend a week with Mickels) or will offer a one-time scroll for Greater Sign of Ceiling (more details below). Father Caldoon will also offer the party a Necklace of Prayer Beads if they leave the area quickly (as they still reek of the Paeliyron.
DM’s flavor of how to resolve the Mickels and Jello storyline, or you can keep them around as recurring characters. More on the Greater Sign of Ceiling below!
Spell: Greater Sign of Ceiling
This is a 6th-level wizard or sorcerer spell, or can be used one time if using a scroll.
A more potent form of the lesser sign of ceiling, this spell allows the caster to create a mostly unbreakable ceiling with intricately sculpted features in the classic bas-relief style.
While pointing at the target, you trace the lines of a complicated sigil that visually appears where it is to create a ceiling. The sigil glows with latent magical energy.
You create a ceiling of up to 50×50 feet with a prominent magical sigil that bars entry and prevents creatures from crashing through. A ceiling created by this spell can be broken only by breaking (add 10 to the normal break DC) or by the use of dispel magic. If the ceiling is forced to break by any means (magical or physical), the sign of ceiling deals 1d10 points of damage per caster level (maximum 10d10) in a 30-foot radius.
A ceiling must be a horizontal plane and must be at least 10 feet or higher. At the very least the ceiling must be attached to elements that reach to the ground on all four sides.