Click image to download this free TTRPG battlemap of The Ringed City, then keep scrolling for the detailed adventure prompt written for it. 🙂
There is a city that exists between the planes of existence, and it is—in a way—an amalgamation of all of them. In this city, portals to one plane or another pop up all over the place; in doorways, in teapots (but only on Sundays), and even on the undersides of shoes. The latter can make walking quite difficult.
Regardless of this city’s problem with portals, within it is a district reserved entirely for hats. But, perhaps, not the hats that you’d expect. The hats in this district are alive, and they wear their hosts. They have little mouths, which they talk to each other with in posh accents (it is considered rude to use their host’s mouths).
The hats are, in fact, known for being very formal and proper. They also don’t allow other species to enter their district, for they’re a rather exclusive lot.
Now, while visiting this—rather unusual—city, you are approached by a red pointed wizard’s hat named Alavastrum, who wears a mousy old human with a grey beard. He runs a small and rather eclectic magic store outside of the District of Hats, and he’s employed you to recover a spy he sent to there who hasn’t returned. He’ll describe him to you, so you know how to recognize him. He also says that if the spy’s going to be anywhere, he should be in a particular plaza.
If you ask Alavastrum about why he sent the spy, he’ll mumble almost incoherently, waving his host’s hands as he wanders about his store and saying that it’s top secret information that is highly confidential and he couldn’t possible tell you, no.
Before you set off, the wizard hat will cast an illusion over you; giving you a hat to suit your personality that will appear to speak when you are speaking, whilst looking like your own mouth isn’t moving. Like this, Alavastrum explains, you will appear to be a hat and so allowed into their district.
Once you get inside the district, you will find the spy in a small community hall unguarded; simply tied to a chair in the middle of the room. If you release him, once you emerge with the spy you will realize it was a trap, for there will be a rather large, ape-looking demon being worn by small bola hat on one side of its head. The bola hat will smack its host’s fists together, saying ‘gotcha, thought you’d come for your little spy!’.
The bola hat is surrounded by guard hats, and they will all try to apprehend you. If you remove or kill any of the hats, their hosts—now free—will be incredibly confused and disoriented; further adding to the chaos of the encounter.
If you get back to Alavastrum, the spy will rip off his illusory hat and tell the wizard that his suspicions were correct and his hatfriend was having an affair. Alavastum will sadden, slumping over his host’s head like he’s taken a punch to the band, saying ‘oh…’.
Then a wide brimmed racing hat wearing a small woman will angrily arrive at the entrance to the magic store, accusing Alavastrum that she knew he was behind all this!
Alavastrum will straighten and accuse her of cheating on him with the small bola hat. The racing hat will reply ‘I’m sorry, he may be half your size but he is twice the hat than you’ll ever be’.
Alavastrum will agitatedly pay you, shoo away his hatfriend, shut the door to his store then go weep loudly somewhere within it.
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