These are the DM notes to Richard Ellwood’s fuckingfantasticallyawesome Kitchens of Paunchswell adventure. He sent them to me last year because I could not shut up about said fuckingfantasticallyawesome sessions. Table consisted of Trevor, Marcel and myself. I just wanted to share these notes for all their zany brilliance.
Notes are after the jump:
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HAVE THE PARTY “ACCIDENTALLY” INTERCEPT THIS LETTER EN ROUTE TO THE CITY:

THE MESSAGE:

Dear Prevalitar, Renound Wizard of Justice and Humility,

To begin with, Sir, let me introduce myself: I am Antediluvian, the
Lore-Master of Bygonian. For thirty years now, I have been laboring
to discover a method of undoing the cruel tyrrany that all this land
finds itself under. As I’m sure you’re painfully aware, this dynasty
has produced one oppressive lord after another, and our current tyrant,
this so-called King Stout Oleaginous the Substansial, is the most
terrible dictator the world has ever beheld for a thousand years.

Knowing you, Prevailitar, to be a man deeply appreciative of the
ideals of justice and chivilary, I chose you as the sole recipient of
the news of the most amazing discovary of my illustrious scholarly
career:

I have at last unearthed a secret so profound, so fraught with the
potential of ultimate power, that the very notion of it makes my hands
shake as I write these lines.

This great secret I wish to offer to you because I believe that you,
and your small party of followers, are just the men to usurp the
throne and seize control–to at last see this land ruled by High
Ideals, compassion, and supreme justice. I am myself an old man now,
and cannot take on this challenge, but I’m sure you and your people
have the strength to acquire this power…and to wield it.

Meet me tonight at the Roasted Yunklefish Inn and I will give you and
your party the full details–as far as I have uncovered them. Since
we have never met in person and do not know what you or any of your
people look like, paint a red “X” on the palm of your hand as a sign
that I might use to recognize you. I will sit in the back of the
Inn’s common room, and place two spoons upon my table crossing each
other in the shape of an “X”: that is the sign you might use to
recognize me.

Finally, and above all, to NOT let this letter fall into the wrong
hands. I advise you to destroy it immediately for if a man of evil
intent were to discover my secret, we may indeed acquire a new king,
but one of such unstoppable strength of power that the land will be
cast into slavery and misery for a millenia.

Wishing True Freedom,
Yours,
Antediluvian the Lore-Master of Bygonian

ONCE THE PLAYERS MEET ANTEDILUVIAN (HINT TO THEM THAT THEY SHOULD POSE AS PREVAILITAR & PARTY, IF THEY DON’T FIGURE OUT TO DO THAT ON THEIR OWN), HAVE HIM RELAY THE FOLLOWING BACK-HISTORY:

Some two thousand years ago, a wizard named Cataclismo the Venomator
lived in this country. Catlaclismo was both wise and powerful, and
altogether evil. Through the use of his cunning arts, and his lust
for unlimited power over others, he dared to do battle with one of the
Gods. For he knew that if he won, he would be able to take from him
his enchanted scepter–the very thing that gave him his Godly powers.
For many months they battled, and it was not until Cataclismo’s doom
seemed neigh at hand that he made an astonishing discovery. He
learned that the God had had the Enchanted Sceptor surgically
implanted into his body–exactly for the purpose of disabling its
theft. Upon learning this, Cataclismo hatched and executed a bold
plan: through the use of a simple teleportation spell, he teleported
himself inside the God’s body. His plan was to both sieze the
scepter and tear open his flesh simultaneously. But whether because of
the close proximity of so powerful a magical object or because he
miscalculated the spell, I do not know. But regardless of the reason,
his plan did not have exactly the intended effect. He successfully
got hold of the scepter, but found that his mind merged with that of
the God’s, and that he couldn’t separate again. The two, now of one
body, fought a mental battle of wills for many years, while they
lurched together across countries, cities, and kingdoms, now one in
mental control, now the other. Their appearance was that of a
deformed madman, and they were feared and hated by all they met, for
magical combustons constantly erupted in their vicinity, and where
ever they went they left a trail of destruction. Many knights tried
to destroy the creature, but the enchanted scepter gave them
immortality, and they could not be killed. And such frequent attacks
only increased their mutilated appearance. Finally, they disappeared
out of all knowledge and were forgotten.

Few but the most learned lore-masters remember this history
now-a-days, but I have had reason to make an earnest study of the
subject. For, you see, I have found them. Yes, the creature lives
still, these two-thousand years later. Although, perhaps, not alive
in the ordinary sense. 

Not long after they disappeared, their minds, in constant struggle for
dominance over the other, began to weaken from the sheer exhaustion.
At last, neither could withstand the fight any longer and they both
died. But consider carefully my words when I say they “died”–for it
was their minds only that perished. The body, now mangled
beyond all earthly description, could not die and will forever be
kept alive by the influence of the enchanted sceptor, buried deep
within the pulp-like flesh.

Without a mind, the undead thing continued to roam through the
wilderness until it chanced upon the hut of a simple peasant named
Gorth on the edge of the Wild. Though horrorified at first, Gorth
soon learned that the creature was receptive to all suggestions and
commands. Not only that, but it had the ability to perform any
magical feat asked of it with the power and strength of a God. Gorth
quickly acquired the lust for dominance over others that always come
to those who are tempted with the opportunity of omnipotence.

He hid the creature deep within a nearby cavern and chained it there,
telling nobody his secret. He then commanded the creature to create
for him a mighty army and lofty apartments for himself. There is
little need to tell you of the many hundreds of battles that ensued
other than that they were bloody and they were brief. With unlimited
power, neither king nor warlord could stand in his way. Soon, all the
people in the known world bowed before him or died. He called himself
Gorth the Gargantuan.

Though now relishing in ultimate power, Gorth was a fool. His mind
was as weak as the uneducated peasant that he was. He accidently let
slip one drunken evening in his herim the facts of his source of
power. The women that heard were crafty, and they hated him. And one
among them was a powerful and beautiful sorceress, driven to conceal
her identity in order to save herself from slaughter, and forced to
submit herself to his voracious sexual appetite.

Later that night, she snuck away from Gorth’s Pleasure Domes and found
the cavern that held the creature. She was at first tempted to issue
her own commands, but through her wisdom and supreme goodness, she
knew that she too would become corrupted, and yet more people would
suffer. So, she attempted to destroy it. Needless to say, nothing
she tried could kill it. Finally, in despair, leaning exhausted
against a stone wall, an idea came to her. She commanded the creature
to build around itself a fortress made of three concentric cylindrical
vaults, each inside the other, that would stand until the end of time.

To pass through each vault, she arranged that three separate and
obscure conditions must be met. Then, she had inscribed on the wall
of each vault the instructions of what each condition was in a wholly
ancient language known only to the closest disciples of her God, Beau
Monde, Goddess of Compassion and Peace, knowing that only he who knew
this language would have the moral stamina to withstand the
temptations of corruption that would be tested once the inner vault of
the fortress was passed.

So, after a time Gorth’s army faded and disappeared, and it was not
long before another man fancying himself king rose up and conquered
Gorth’s domain, and so time wore on, and things settled down to a
regular pattern of wars and kings as they always do in this terrible
fudal system that we live in.

Now, it so happens that I am close disciple of Beau Monde, and I
know the language written on the vaults of the fortress. When I
discovered it, I worked many weeks in that cavern carefully
translating every last mark until I understood it all, and understood
the condition that must be met to pass through the first vault. The
next condition…well…I won’t be able to learn what it is until I
can get to the second vault.

This is where I ask you, Prevailitar, for aid. The first condition is
something that my weak body was not designed for.

Seek out…

Lord-High Boilburn, Royal Hash Slinger and Master Cook of King Stout
Oleaginous the Substansial, Chief Baker and Oven-Stoker of the
Subtranien Underbelly Fires at Pomade, and Supreme Fry-Warden of the
Mighty Kitchens of Paunchswell.

He carries (under his ultra-red leather chef’s hat)…

A Diamond-Studded Shaker of pure, powdered Fear, extracted and
condensed from King Stout’s prisoners using his diabolical Terror-
Wrench Machine kept far below the Underbelly Fires at Pomade, beyond
the Kitchens of Paunchswell.

To pass through the vault…

Mix one part Fear with two parts oregano and one part black pepper.
Crush into a liquid using Lord-High Boilburn’s Blender of Matter
Strangulation. Finally, add one drop, and one drop ONLY of this
liquid to the roasted flesh of a Burri-Tor with its organs removed.
You ought to be able to find plenty of Burri-Tors in the Mammoth
Store Chambers of Eternal Chill within the Paunchswell complex.
Consume this meal, and you will be able to pass through this first
vault unharmed.

But be warned…

Lord-High Boilburn keeps as his prized slaves, seven herbaceous
brothers, robbed by Boilburn himself from their cradles from the
distant Island of Aroma–a land whose chefs possess the ancient
secrets of True Distinctive Flavor. It is said that one whiff of the
humblest loaf of bread baked by the lowest pleblean families in Aroma
will drive a man to madness by his lust for the sweet, tangy flavor.
But these seven Aromean brothers were no ordinary plebs, but the sons
of none other than Spicemaster Sagebrush-the-Elder, ruling governor
of Aroma and supreme Patriarch of Taste.

Each brother carries with him at all times a golden, sharp-edged
spatula which he is able to wield with deadly accuracy. They are
immune to the firey heat of the hottest furnaces of Paunchswell, and
each brandish an assemblage of death-dealing spices which they are
able to hurl at their victims mercilessly.