012 - Room: The Temple of the River Goddess - Kitchen
The kitchen is the scene of a chaotic battle. Nothing can be heard from outside, but when the door is opened, the sounds of loud arguing, the clang of pots and pans, and periodic sounds of outrage and fists slammed down on chopping blocks and cutting boards will explode outward. For indeed, five of the cooks from the history of the temple have been brought forth to manifest as ghostly forms in the present, and they do not agree (at all) on how things should be done in their kitchen.
Chef Samwell - A halfling chef, is bound and determined to add more salt to the soup, an ingredient that he feels it is lacking. He has been trying to reach it, but Chefs Edwina and Skyathel are blocking him to the extent that he is actually attempting to throw handfuls of loose salt in the direction of the simmering soup, to no avail.
Chef Aurelia - A human chef, wants to butter the tops of the fresh bread loaves, but Chefs Yesgrim and Samwell feel that this unnecessary and keep alternately whisking the loaves away or upsetting her pot of melted butter onto the tiled floor.
Chef Edwina - A female half-orc chef, demands that the finger sandwiches be cut into triangles, which all four other chefs regard as just this side of barbarism.
Chef Yesgrim - A human chef, is enraged that the dwindling supply of leafy greens is being used as a garnish for the roast, rather than being made into a salad. Chef Skyathel is sympathetic to his cause but busy with other matters, but Chefs Edwina and Samwell strongly feel that the meat will take center stage, and no one is going to be looking for salad when there's meat dishes to be supped upon.
Chef Skyathdel - An elven chef, strongly feels that several of the meat dishes need to be sauced with a rich wine sauce. Chefs Edwina and Chef Aurelia stand firmly opposed -- Edwina claiming that the result would be far too lofty a dish for a humble temple dining hall, and Aurelia insisting that the quality of the meat is high enough that it need not be masked by other flavors.
None of the above motivations are initially obvious to the party, who are instead overwhelmed by the chefs' ghostly voices shouting over one another, and can only guess at the motivations that lead to such a row.
Easy Empathy - Can determine that the warring chefs are not truly enemies, so much as passionate professionals who cannot agree.
Medium Empathy - Can get a somewhat clear picture of one or two of the chef's desires.
Hard Empathy - sense of all of the chef's desires becomes clear.
Easy Cooking - All of the food being prepared is good, and none of the points of contention would result in a ruined meal, they are all just matters of taste and preference. (Except possibly cutting the sandwiches into triangles -- but while few civilized people would choose to eat theirs that way, it turns out it's easier for half-orcs to navigate the sandwiches past their tusks using the sharper angles of the triangular cut. Who knew?)
Entering the room may be unwise. For each minute spent in the room, roll a d12 on the following table.
1 - A pot, pan, or knife thrown by one of the chefs at another chef will accidentally strike the party member instead, doing a small amount of real damage.
2-3 - A pot, pan, or knife thrown by one of the chefs will narrowly miss the party member's head.
4-5 - A thrown vegetable, roll, or spice jar goes flying past the party member's head.
6 - The party member will slip on spilled butter, lard, or oil, requiring a medium agility check to remain on their feet.
7-8 - One of the chefs attempts to intimidate them, considering the cook's ghostly aspect, this may result in the party member becoming cowed, and suffering a penalty on skill checks for a while.
9 - A bowl of soup, gravy, flour, or eggs is upended over the head of the party member.
10 - Trying to prove their point, one of the chefs will grab a vegetable, chunk of bread, piece of meat, or ladle-full of soup and attempt to force it into the party member's mouth. In addition to the obvious mess this might cause, the party member should make a constitution save or spend a minute choking/coughing.
11 - One of the chefs will become so enraged by the non-compliance of the party member that they will fire them (without pay!), and demand they leave the kitchen at once on threat of being black-balled by all the kitchens in the city. If the party member complains that they don't work there, the chef will snidely reply "and you never will!"
12 - One of the chefs will grab a ghostly cookbook and shove it into the party member's hands, where it will manifest as a physical book. They will then order them to read one of the recipes within to prove their point of view. The cookbook is that of a master chef, worth about 5 gold coins, and will henceforth grant a small bonus to cooking checks for its holder if they take the time to reference it while cooking. (This result should only occur once, if rolled again, treat as a roll of 6.)
Nothing prevents the party from just walking away from this one and leaving the chefs to fight it out. As soon as they close the door the sounds will be cut off, and if they return later, the battle will still be ongoing as if the party had never left.
Each chef can be dispersed in one of two ways, 1 - with attacks that damage incorporeal creatures (in which case the attacked chef will fight back with a knife or cleaver), or 2 - by satisfying their individual demand by making an easy cooking check and salting the soup, buttering the loaves, cutting the sandwiches into triangles, making a salad, or putting a wine sauce on a meat dish. Failing the check results in a ruined dish, which will cause all the chefs to stop in shock and stare at the party member that failed for a moment, before they resume their arguing. (Anyone who fails one of these checks loses the needed credibility to attempt to be a head chef; see below)
If, in the end, only one chef remains, they will heave a sigh of relief at having disposed of the "idiots", and will reward the party with a special food of their making. Samwell will give each party member a sealed jar of hearty chicken soup, which will act as a basic healing potion. Aurelia will give a whole loaf of bread, which will always be complete again in the morning if even one slice is kept overnight. Edwina gives the party a set of eight ham and cucumber sandwich wedges, which will give a one hour boost to strength when eaten. Yesgrim will give the party member a sealed jar with eight servings of his special salad dressing, which when used as a sauce on any dish will purify it of poisons or diseases. Finally, if Skyathdel is the lone remaining chef, he will give each party member a small sachet of his special seasoning blend, which will grant a large bonus to any single cooking check.
If all chefs are dispersed, the kitchen will become quiet and manageable, and the party can potentially find (medium appraise check) and take away 5 gold pieces worth of master-crafted cooking tools, good for sale or a small bonus on cooking checks.
Finally, if multiple chefs are still present, a difficult diplomacy check can convince the remaining chefs to let a party member who makes a difficult cooking check the head chef for the day. If the party can achieve this, under the new head chef's direction, the collective chefs can prepare a selection of special foodstuffs equivalent to the remaining chefs' special food rewards put together.