Shortly after the adventurers arrive in the Shlyappa zwerc enclave, they are approached by lysyy the hat merchant [tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday!] and offered one free masterwork chapeau. These are not magical in any way, but are perfect for enchanting (reducing the construction cost for a hat wondrous item by 250 gold). The zwerc is extremely friendly, perhaps overly so—PCs that make a DC 23 Sense Motive check sense he’s testing the party, gauging their measure and intent.
The adventurers are free to wander Shlyappa searching for traces of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. and their nefarious doings. A DC 20 Diplomacy check turns up rumors in the local tavern (the Ale Stone), but these only confirm that other non-zwerc, non-dwarf travelers have been through the enclave in the past month. Each day the PCs get a Perception check (DC 25 – 3 per previous check) to notice that lysyy is stalking them, continuing to evaluate their trustworthiness for 1d4 days before finally confronting the party.
A few months ago lysyy began to get the feeling that someone was tampering with his stockpile of hats, some of which are rarities that are truly legendary in their esteem and grandeur—even the very thought of losing any of the most treasured chapeaus in his collection sends the zwerc into a fit. Since the PCs are clearly adventurers of fine moral character or potent ability, the merchant offers them a total of 1,000 gold and one magical hat of their choice should they learn what’s going on in his warehouse (a buffering cap, hat of disguise, or helm of comprehend languages and read magic).
Read the following when the PCs are brought to lysyy’s hat stockpile:
The many-hatted zwerc toddles off through the caves and tunnels of Shlyappa, keeping up a good enough pace that you are a tad hard pressed to keep up. With a wave of his hand one of the sealing caves opens, and you immediately are taken aback by the pungent odor of leather within. Everburning torches hanging along the walls inside flicker on to illuminate the stockpile, and you are astounded by the sheer number of different pieces of headwear in this cavern. There are hats for horses, chapeaus for giants, peacock feathered-helmets, draconic scales carefully carved into crowns, pieces of amber road aglow in the bands of bowlers, fedoras made of angel feathers—of the tens of thousands of hats here, you are certain that there has to be something to fit your tastes.
A DC 17 Survival check finds piles of hats moved deliberately in certain spots, displaced by a creature taller than a zwerc. In the center of the disturbed chapeaus the PCs find a few pebbles of Shlyappa ore and a DC 15 Perception check notices granite dust as well (a type of stone that only appears in a few specific tunnels in the zwerc enclave). Adventurers that succeed the check to “find tracks” gain a +5 circumstance bonus to the DC 23 Perception check to notice a secret sealing cave in the northwest corner; this leads to a main tunnel of the demiplane. Only a detect secret doors spell cast by a dwarf locates this hidden sealing cave with magic.
When the party finds this secret sealing tunnel they are attacked by the northwesternmost pile of stone—it is actually a disguised earthen mimic left there by the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. that were hiding their contraband here! lysyy is overwhelmingly pleased with the PCs and rewards them, and after a night in the Ale Stone, he shares with them his suspicions of ignis the stoneshaper, his spurned paramour. She broke things off with the hat merchant a few months ago and has been strangely aloof ever since, with both him and the rest of the zwerc enclave.
A DC 17 Wisdom (Insight) check figures out that lysyy is judging the adventurers.
A DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check to gather information in the Ale Stone tavern turns up the rumors of other travelers.
A Wisdom (Perception) check (DC 19 – 3 per previous check) notices lysyy stalking after the party making his final evaluations.
A DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check finds the displaces piles of hats (and grants a +5 bonus to the check to find the secret sealing cave).
A DC 15 Intelligence (Investigate) check finds the bits of granite dust.
A DC 16 Intelligence (Investigate) or Wisdom (Perception) check finds the hidden sealing cave.
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