As the party approaches [insert town here] they wander past a trash dump. They notice the smell first, but then notice that there are workers that appear to be rolling around in the trash and kneeling into it. Nothing for the party to be concerned about.
Getting into town, the scent of the dump emanates from the building and from the townsfolk. It is so bad that half of them have taken to using various tools to plug their noses.
Walking further through town, the see a gentleman on a soap box, seemingly preaching at passersby. He is covered head to toe in tattered rags, shoes made of discarded papers, and other various garbage items he likely found in the town dump. He identifies himself as Brother Detritus and begins to preach.
As he is finishing his brief sermon, a brick flies at him from out of nowhere, striking him in the head and crumpling him into a heap. He stands and smiles in the direction of the thrown brick, blood trickling down from his forehead. “Do not fear brothers, the Great Littering is upon us. Is your soul prepared?”
Several members of the crowd jump him and begin to beat him up. “Take your trash and go back to the dump, freak!” As the townsfolk narrow in on the man, trash heaps from the surrounding area appear to rise from slumber and lay into the attackers. Closer inspection reveals these trash heaps are other individuals (probably from the same religion).
The party is welcome to join one side of the fight or the other. Each group has 5-10 individuals with stat blocks similar to bandits and bandit thugs.
Where Have You Bin
Depending on the side the party joins, they will learn of the next information from a different lens. Essentially, the party has arrived on a special day for a local cult in town identified as the “Great Littering.” The cult is meeting at the town dump at midnight for their final act in service to their god Procyon.
From the cult: They cannot wait to be reunited with Trash Father, who offers eternal life through the acts of service of those who do not squander what others discard. They are headed to the dump this evening where High Priest Basura will begin the reuniting process.
From the town: They cannot wait for this whole thing to be over and may try to sabotage the activity. The townsfolk have a small mob that will be gathering in the town square in the evening to disrupt and kill the cultists. “They have become a plague to our way of life and must be stopped and exiled!”
Each side asks you to attend either as muscle to put a stop to the gathering or as a protector to ensure the ritual is completed. How the party chooses will determine how the next parts play out.
Cold, Hard, Trash
With the cult
If you follow the cult and vow to protect them during their ritual, Brother Detritus will give each member of the party a Hunk of Junk (essentially Armor of Vulnerability) to resist bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The armor is constructed of various pieces of garbage, strung together with twine and other discarded bits. The Hunk of Junk does reduce stealth by -2 due to the incredible stench it gives off.
Detritus will tell the party that there are three key steps to the ritual. First is the cleansing, where they will essentially clean the area of debris to reach the ground in a space that is roughly 30×30 feet. The first wave of townsfolk will come during this time, and you must prevent them from snatching any of the cultists or killing any of the cultists.
“We do not wish violence on the ignorant. They know not why they are angered and after tonight, it will be of no consequence.”
The second phase is drawing their incantation circle. Within the 30×30 foot space, they will begin working on a circle to welcome Trash Father into this plane. The circle is drawn with a 15 foot radius, and again, the party must stave off another wave of townsfolk (bandit and thug stat blocks).
With the circle complete, the final part of the process can begin. Opening the circle takes four rounds and requires total concentration from four of the cultists and Detritus, all placed around the circle. With each hit they take, a cultist will have to make a concentration saving throw of 10+ to continue with the ritual. Breaking the chain adds another round.
If they are successful, move on the “The Great Littering Begins.”
With the townsfolk
The townsfolk are furious and want to put a stop to the ritual at all costs. They have gathered a small mob of men and woman at the center of town and are preparing a full assault of the cultists. Their mindset is not to kill the cultists, but they won’t feel too badly if that happens. Their ultimate goal is to interrupt and boot out the cultists so they never return. If the party side with the townsfolk, they will be awarded Rings of Acid Resistance, “because no one knows how gross fighting a trash cult might be.”
Arriving at the dump, the party will see the cultists working through the steps noted above in three phases. They will also see the statue of Trash Father, a raccoon holding bulbs of garlic and onions, with a slight smile on his face. As the number of cultists reduce, they begin to work more frantically and faster, reducing the number of rounds it will take to complete the ceremony. DM’s flavor of how fast that ends up being.
One or two of the townsfolk will help with the fight, but the others will lose their nerve once the smell washes over them.
If the townsfolk are successful in defeating the cultists, Brother Detritus in his final breath will spill his own blood in the center of the circle, bringing The Great Littering to its beginning. He will lose his life in the process, but the ritual will be complete.
The Great Littering Begins
As the ritual completes, the ground begins to shake, and the center of the dump caves in on itself. Red-orange light bursts through the opening, and a shadowy figure claws its way out of the hole. It crushes a praying cultist with a giant paw and its glowing red eyes gaze upon those surrounding it. Brother Detritus proclaims “TRASH FATHER HAS RISEN, LET THE GREAT LITTERING BEGIN!” A paw reaches out, snatching Detritus and chucking him into its gaping maw. As he fades into the gullet of Trash Father, Detritus cries out, “from rubbish we were born and to rubbish we shall return.”
The glow fades and a giant raccoon is revealed. It screeches as its stomach begins to glow. Trash Father takes on the stat block and actions roughly of an Abonimable Yeti, keeping the Fear of Fire, but changing Chilling Gaze to Gaze of the Father, swapping out cold damage with acid damage.
When Trash Father is reduced to half health, it triggers the following reaction. What neither the cultists nor the townsfolk realize is that Trash Father is actually Trash Mother. The glow in her belly grows brighter and a blinding rainbow of light bursts out of her belly, exploding out in a confetti cannon of trash, sending her spawn screeching through the air in little acid balls. The 10-20 spawn take on the Acid Shambler stat block and are intended to be annoyances while the party attempts to finish taking down Trash Mother.
Hopefully, throughout this the party will realize they are surrounded by trash and they are capable of setting the entire dump on fire quite easily. If not, the battle will continue to rage on.
If the party is not doing well, they are welcome to leave the fight and the town, but who would want to do that?!
Once Trash Mother is defeated, the remaining cultists will bury themselves in trash to hide from the townsfolk. Having witnessed what you all just witnessed, the townsfolk are horrified and have no intention of doing more damage to the cult. With Detritus dead, they expect it will fall apart anyway.
As a reward for your assistance, the townsfolk allow you to rummage around in the dump (or the body) to find anything useful. If the party chooses to do so they can find items on their wishlist, or a Junk In The Trunk, the classic Chest of Holding from 3.5e.
On the body of Trash Mother, they can take two teeth, similar to Teeth of Dahlver-Nar, and will need to roll to determine the effects of the teeth taken.