Adventure Hook – He Was Playing the Flute

There’s a pleasant song in the midday air unlike any you’ve heard before, and a small crowd has gathered at the center of town in awe of the masterful bard’s performance. The playing stops, but instead of the applause one would expect, there’s a shrill silence, followed by a commotion as the crowd retreats in a panic. You and your party approach the bard to discover a dog. He was playing the flute.


That’s what it looks like, anyhow. None in the party managed to catch sight of the dog performing. He stands on a small platform in the town square next to a simple silver flute. As the group approaches, the dog wags his tail excitedly and paws at the air. Anyone trained in a natural discipline recognizes this gesture: he has been a good boy and he wants a treat.

Almost all of the crowd has dispersed. A few individuals remain, thoroughly shaken and unresponsive. They speak in halting sentences about needing to get home before dark, though it is still several hours before nightfall. A detect spell will identify a great deal of evil in the vicinity and a curse on the crowd who witnessed the performance. If dispelled, the crowd members have no recollection of the past half-hour, and will become hostile against anyone who attempts to jog their memory.

If a party member gives the good boy a treat, he will begin an encore performance: sitting on his hind legs, lifting the flute with his front paws, and opening his perfectly blue eyes. Anyone who can both see and hear the dog during the performance must pass a very difficult save to avoid being cursed. A cursed player sees a vision of an inky black horizon steadily approaching the town from all sides. When the sky is fully black, 3d6 Imps led by a fiendpact warlock begin to ransack the town, and the dog runs to greet them.


Continuing the story: If the party manages to avoid the warlock’s curse, they should be able to fend off the assault. Otherwise, the warlock will succeed in retrieving a holy tome from the town temple to the god of light. The curse over the party and townspeople will naturally lift after 12 hours. If Remove Curse is used on the dog, he will no longer be under the thrall of the warlock and instead will choose to follow the group, though he will lose all musical proficiency.

Perhaps someone who saw the performance will run into the group with the dog. They might say: “I think I had a dream about that dog. He was playing the flute.”


He Was Playing The Flute engraving by the brothers Dalziel, fetched from Old Book Illustrations. New tricks inspired by Philip Reed at gamemaster.guide.

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