Our most recent Tyranny of Mundanity session began with a narrative element, the gods counciling over what to do about the party’s activities:
In a room with no windows or doors, high in the main spire of Vardor’s temple, five beings sit around a table with 6 chairs, two of them human, one an elf woman, one a minotaur, and one a dark, spidery monstrosity of a drow. There are no lights in the room, but the table is illuminated by the soft, chromatic glow emanating from each of the solemn beings seated there.
The robed, wizened man with a subtly shifting color of aura speaks.
“Lolith, I have asked you to join this council to warn you that Lamila and her companions are approaching the crystal deposits.” Disgruntled sounds greet the odd elvish name, she who has prayed to each of them on occasion, who has been almost more of a nuisance lately than she was centuries before when they each first met her. “I’m telling you this, because their behavior can be unpredictable and they are likely to make the area dangerous for your teams. I suggest keeping the cabal benched for a week or so until they move on.”
The spidery woman smiles saying “very well.”
“How long are you going to allow these outlaws free rein?” the other human, young and powerful, interrupts her. “They flout your magic ban and now interfere in a controlled territory with your permission.”
“They do nothing with my permission, only my forgiveness.”
“What’s the difference?” the minotaur grunts impatiently.
“The difference, Margon, is that if I gave your generals, for example, permission to use magic, they would use it publicly in an open display of governmental inequity and the people would justly clamor for access to magic. We would have no choice but to raise the ban. These have my forgiveness, for now, and as a result they use magic sparingly, cautiously, believing my enforcers cannot find them. Their paltry spells do not expand the womb, the real threat is widespread usage.”
“But why the forgiveness, Hilbrent?” the elf questions. “Does Lamila really merit such favoritism? Or are you still thinking like a mortal?”
“Fair, fair. I am the youngest of us, and I admit that my personal relationship with Lamila is why I know her well enough to trust her with this, but she is the only person in the world who has dared to seek another solution than the ban to the problem of rampant magic. When I presented the problem, even you, Brimahil, wisest and most knowledgeable of us all, did not question its root or my solution. They are now pursuing a lost story of what may be the true source of magic. It may be nothing, but I am willing to offer a little slack for the chance to find something that could change everything.”
I love the idea of including more narrative in the campaign. The players loved it and the exposition really gave them a frame of reference on what is going on behind the scenes.