As the party travels across the country, they come across a farm where they hear a farmer yelling. “Gab durnit, git back in that pen Thea!” They see an elderly halfling slapping an Intellect Devourer back into a fenced-in area that holds several dozen additional Intellect Devourers.
He shuts the pen and turns to the party. “Sorry about that, these brain-doggies can be a big pain in the keister.” The halfling introduces himself as Conrad “Rutabaga” Koars. “My friends call me Rutie.” The halfling wears a thick hat, dusty overalls, and oversized, untied boots. If Detect Magic is used, or if Rutie explains, his hat is attuned with a Ring of Mind Shielding (or DMs flavor) to prevent the Intellect Devourers from taking over his mind and body.
“I’ve fixed this pen more times than I can count but they keep getting out! I’m still missing about ten of em, but can’t leave the farm as I’ve got some customers coming by soon. Any chance you could help me out? I’ll make it worth yer while.”
He offers them a Potion of Brain Blast. “I make it myself right here on the ranch. We just plop these rochnon into a machine, shake em up real good and their sweats drip down into the vial. Freshest Brain Blast on this side of the realm.”
If the party agrees, the rancher points in a direction and says “last I seen ‘em they were headed that way. Thanks again for gettin’ ‘em back. The leader of the group is likely Mooana, she’s been pretty keen on escapin’. Best ya put these on too.”
Rutie tosses the party some hats, similar to his with metal plating around the edges. “You can still communicate with em, but they won’t be able to take over your minds. Safe travels!”
The Town Of Ay-Duhhh
Following the directions given to them, the party finds themselves on a dirt road outside the town of Ayduhh. A sign reads, “Welcome to Ayduhh, voted dumbest town in the Realm 18 years running.” The Intellect Devourer tracks continue along the dirt road into town, where the party sees a crowd gathered around several individuals participating in a slap fight. The slaps are sloppy, and look almost like the individuals participating have never slapped someone before.
“Pssst,” whispers someone from an alleyway. “You people, come over here.” A human man is waving his arms attempting to get the parties attention. “Shhh, don’t let them hear.”
DMs Note: This is where you can add whatever dumbness you want to this encounter. Whatever will make the party laugh, groan, or otherwise roll their eyes is fair game. The biggest thing to keep in mind is these people are extremely dumb, so play into that as much as possible. If any questions are asked, they should respond with “what’s that? what do you mean?” or “I don’t understand.” The party will need to explain their questions and thoughts in the ELI5 style to get any point or question to come across. Main points below:
- The brain doggies came and people started being weird
- The brain doggies disappeared but when they did, many people didn’t show up for their jobs
- They can’t be sure, but it seems the people absent from their jobs are the ones in a slap fight
- The bean counter hasn’t been in in a few days and that is throwing chaos into the bean rationing system
- It’s almost like some of the townsfolk got dumber
- The individual is not much help outside of these bits of information
The party should be able to surmise that the individuals associated in the slap fight have been taken over by the Intellect Devourers. If they seem unsure, you can give them another clue by having the individual say “one of them kept saying their name was Mooana.”
She’s A Braniac, Braaaaainiac
If the party parts the crowd to approach the slapfighting and calls out for Mooana, the individuals will stop and look at the party.
DMs Note: The Intellect Devourers are essentially drunk in these bodies as the townsfolk have INT 1 and the typical individual that gets taken over must have INT 3 or higher. They’ll slur their words and appear intoxicated.
A couple of different ways this could play out:
- If the party has a “protection from good and evil“ spell, they can likely dispel the Intellect Devourers from the bodies, but the Intellect Devourers will return hostile and attempt to attack the party, fighting until the death.
- If the party decides to fight the Intellect Devourers outright, they will stay inside the bodies and take on bandit stat blocks. With Intellect Devourers, “If the host body drops to 0 hit points, the intellect devourer must leave it,” so the party can beat up on the townsfolk to get the Intellect Devourers out. The Intellect Devourers will likely be willing to talk at this point. They will have to find a way to resuscitate the individuals though, typically done by restoring the brain, but these folks are so dumb no brain is essentially the same as their previous brain.
- The party can potentially reason with Mooana and the other Intellect Devourers. They were tired of the stress of being so smart and the town of Ayduhh brought them some release from that. They’ve been calling their hosts GINtellect, almost like an alcohol for Intellect Devourers, dumbing them down so they slur their words, stumble around, and overall act ridiculous. Mooana will note that Rutie has been turning them into Head Cheese and selling to the rich elite of [nearby town]. “If we are going to die anyway, we were going to have some fun first,” or some such sentiment. If the party opts to broker a deal where the Intellect Devourers are free to roam and NOT be turned into Head Cheese, they will return to the ranch and go back in the pen.
Depending on what the party has done, there are likely two outcomes.
If they help the Intellect Devourers, they will need to discuss the new terms with Rutie when they get back. He’s open to the suggestion and agrees to only switch to selling Brain Blast if the party is persuasive. As promised he will also give them each a Potion of Brain Blast, a neon green potion that swirls when held. It is a straightforward potion that grants +4 INT to the consumer for 1 hour.
If they defeat the Intellect Devourers and return empty-handed, Rutie will be upset and take their hats back (you could also have Rutie sic a few of the penned Intellect Devourers on the party if you’d like). He’ll also yell at them to get off his property as he weeps at the fence.
It’s also possible that if the Intellect Devourers are brought back, Rutie may convince the party to let him keep making his head cheese. If so he will give them Potions of Brain Blast as well as 200gp to put their conscience at ease.
Lots of weirdness and personal zazz you can add to this one, so go wild!