Charley and Anice Grover are a human couple who desire a child. As the Dewdrop Man’s power began to wane, other powers were able to sneak into Fletcher’s Perch. One such power came disguised as Rufus, the Grover couple’s long-lost dog. Rufus slunk into town and returned to the couple, but then, that night, in their dreams, they dreamt of a strange, eldritch being that appeared to them as Rufus but with star fields for eyes. It told them that it had chosen them to bear its avatar, a child that would be bound at birth to serve the being and enable its return to the material plane. In exchange, the couple would be granted great luck and the privilege to raise its avatar into adulthood. The couple agreed.
Immediately, the couple began to experience incredible luck. Life just kept breaking their way. (Note: In rolls, the Grovers always have Advantage and anyone acting against them has Disadvantage; Rufus is unaffected by their luck). About a month after the strange dream, Anice, who had been barren, learned she was pregnant.
At first, Anice and Charley rejoiced. Life was good and they were going to have a child, but then, Rufus came into their dreams again. In the dream, he told them the story of the Unchained Stars and how they will, with their child’s aid, plummet to earth, destroying the unfaithful. They were to set up an altar to the Unchained Stars and begin to worship the entity so that they could raise their child doing the same.
Anice and Charley have begun to regret their hasty decision to accept the deal they made, but do not know what to do. When they refused to create the altar, they were plagued with terrible nightmares and illness. They cannot speak of their discontent; Rufus is always watching.
Charley has a plan, though. From Rufus, he’s learned Dr. Caitlyn Pierce’s secret. He hopes he can coax or force her to help free Anice and Charley from Rufus’ influence.
What’s Going On?
Two people made a bad deal and now they want to back out. Their child is destined to serve and receive power from the Unchained Stars. Charley has not yet approached Dr. Pierce for help, but will do so soon. He’s blackmailed her into serving on-call his secret fight club for a night and hopes to take advantage of the evening to get her suspicious of Rufus.
The Unchained Stars has taken over Rufus, their dog, and is using the beast to watch and communicate with the couple. It cannot take over a sentient creature, though, at its current strength. It can inflict luckiness and unluckiness, as well as nightmares and disease.
This is also an opportunity to introduce an eldritch monster into the campaign, possibly with a small cult hoping to bring the being into the material plane. You need not use the Unchained Stars, but can use whatever old power is present in your campaign.
What Can the Players Do?
Unless the players are a very high level, finding a way into the Far Realms to fight the Unchained Stars is unlikely. However, the Unchained Stars are currently bound and weak.
The players can remove its current earthly avatar: Rufus [stats]. This is a difficult fight because Rufus can redirect damage into Charley, who begins any combat as one of his tethers.
Anice and Charley are both commoners. Also, while Anice is pregnant, increase her AC to 16 (she is protected by the same invisible haze protecting Rufus; the haze is visible to Truesight or similar abilities).
Even if Rufus is killed, Anice’s child will have a tie to the Great Old One. If Rufus dies, the child will grow up an Aberrant Mind Sorcerer with dreams of the Unchained Stars’ temples.
The players can also decide against helping the Grover couple in favor of helping Dr. Pierce get free of their blackmail or make the Grover couple forget her secret. As one who helped bind the Unchained Stars in the first place, though, Dr. Pierce will want to eliminate Rufus or use him to strike back against the cosmic entity.