7. Where can the heroic motivation be most effectively redeemed?
Be the PCs first:
Place: Stefano's Tower, fifth floor, a few minutes later
Liliana's inspired theory about aranea shrinking mimics to eat them and absorb more shapechanging abilities is enough to enrage Orsini who still aches from the personal damage a doppelganger inflicted upon his life. He leads the heroes forward to the fifth and final floor of the tower to destroy the Perpetual Shrinking Potion Fountain and defeat the evil magical monstrosities!
Be the GM next:
Story Cube: puzzle piece
On the fifth floor there are [roll d8] four aranea [whew!] feeding miniature mimics to one large bloated spider monster while dragging full-sized mimics stuck in webbing into the fountain. The bloated aranea has the magical image of young Stefano hovering above it while it tries to reassemble its parts to become a complete human rather than a spider-human hybrid.
Be the PCs once more:
Orsini leads the attack, but he is blocked from the bloated aranea by others who defend it with their lives. As one of the monsters falls, Guglio heads for the Shrinking Potion Fountain which he promptly smashes with his hammer! But, as the tower returns to its normal physical size, Guglio [fails DEX save] gets drenched by the fountain's run-off and is shrunk! Orsini and Ysabel never lose their footing, and they get the advantage on the aranea, killing the remaining creatures, but not their leader, who escapes to the roof. Orsini follows...
8. Where does the final showdown between the heroes and the enemy take place in relation to the results of Question 7?
Be the GM first:
Story Cube: crying
Encounter: enemy nears completion of its goals
Place: Stefano's Tower, the roof, same time
The bloated aranea stands on the roof, struggling to put itself together. It actually weeps and tries to convince Orsini that, once it had tasted Stefano's leftover magical essence and experienced the mage's love for Elda, all the spider-monster wanted was to become human. It pleads with Orsini to let it complete its ultimate transformation and attain its dream of humanity.
Be the PCs next:
Orsini, embittered by his deep hatred for shapechanging monsters [advantage], is not swayed by the aranea's pretend pathos and attacks before the lying monster can. After exchanging several blows, Orsini [using his new Shove Away maneuver] fiercely strikes the aranea and forces it over the side of the tower.
The aranea plummets to its death. Stefano's excess magic dissipates harmlessly in the air above the hideous beast's corpse.
9. Where does the world stand after the results of Questions 7 and 8?
Be the GM first:
Story Cube: key
From the top of the tower, the Northern Wilds that stretch beyond can be seen from a vantage that few have ever enjoyed. The tower will now be an integral part of Avanti's defense and an important location for the further exploration of the wildlands of Vitalia.
Be the PCs next:
• Guglio will have to be brought back to Avanti to be unshrunk. The nature of the perpetual potion fountain may have more lasting effects than an ordinary potion, so he's out of the game for now.
• Liliana will take Guglio's place in the group as a trickster rogue.
• Don Pantaloni will learn a new spell or two from the tower's library.
• The mimic in the library that is in love with Ponzetti is the only surviving monster in the tower. It will now be known as Mimi, the group's pet!
• Ridiculous XP - unless I did something wrong, they're at Level 3 already...must double-check...