The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 3 – Undeath? Redeath?

So Adam and Ian don’t feel like they play enough D&D. To rectify this, they started playing a text-based adventure with a couple of friends, still using the 5th edition framework. We thought it would be fun to clean up the transcripts of this adventure and start publishing it in weekly chapters here on the site. Let us know what you think, and please share around! If you missed Chapter 1, check it out here!

Disclaimer: This is the transcript of a text-based D&D game played over a period of 6 months. Bad language included. Picture based dice rolls/media omitted. Names changed to preserve anonymity. Goblin based violence frequent. You have been warned.

Bronan: I belt it after him “Constance, you need your dinner or you’ll be hungry later”

DM: Constance, your forehead feels cold

Faustus: I shake my head and follow.

Faustus: But with more caution and less running.

DM: Oh and hey Constance…

DM: Wisdom saving throw

Constance: Oh no.

Constance: Nat. Fucking. One.

DM: Wow

DM: As you start running towards the tomb, you start uncontrollably laughing in a Hyena like manner, constantly, barely able to draw breath (disadvantage on stealth buddy)

Constance: Hahahahhahahahahahheeeeeehhheeeee

Bronan: Constance, it’s OK Bro, let’s hug it out! I yell

Constance: Am I still able to control everything else?

DM: Yup, but you can’t speak or stop laughing like that

DM: As you climb the steps, ahead of you is a stone arch, and then nothing but darkness

Constance: I pause momentarily, fearful of the darkness. Pull out my tinderbox and a torch and light it.

Faustus: I also light a torch

‪Bronan: If Bronan has caught up, he enfolds Constance in a bear hug

‪Bronan: It’s OK Little man, the dogmen won’t hurt you know

‪Bronan: Now*

DM: Your torches illuminate a square room. In the centre, a staircase descends at the back wall is some sort of shrine, and below it a pile of…something. the walls reflect back your torchlight, they appear to be bronze, and covered in intricate carvings

Constance: I hold my torch up to the carvings, trying to make them out.

DM: Investigation please

DM: As you do this the sound of your incessant, hysterical laughter echoes

DM: There are also torches on each wall

Constance: 6

DM: Laughing so hard you can barely focus your eyes. Some sort of hunt? Some sort of dogman?

‪Bronan: Can I see what the pool of something is?

‪Bronan: /Pile

DM: As you move towards it you can see it is a pile of bones and rags beneath the shrine

DM: The shrine appears to have some sort go small statue in it

‪Bronan: I light a torch and peer closer at the statue

‪Bronan: Hey guys, there is some sort of statue here

DM: It appears to be some sort of uber-gnoll, holding a flail. It looks muscular and its face is more savage than the gnolls you have seen. You can roll religion for me if you like

‪Bronan: I’ll give it a shot

‪Bronan: 16-1, 15

DM: This was in a comic you read once Bronan! The Demon Yeenoghu, mightiest of hunters!

‪Bronan: Was it Grognak and the cave of the gnoll demon?

DM: It was

DM: And above the shrine, another ankh, very large

Bronan: Hey, boys, I’ve read about this, if you pick it up, then millions of gnolls appear and kidnap your lady friend

‪Bronan: Constance, isn’t that like your necklace?

Constance: It is. This fucking hahahahhahaha thing seems to be fucking everywhere.

DM: You just about manage to get the words out, laughing so hard the amulet bounces around on your chest

‪Bronan: You seem to be taking this grief thing hard, did you see what was on the walls?

Constance: A hunt or some shit. I can’t see. It’s dark as shit in here.

DM: There are some torches in sconces along each wall

DM: Unlit

Constance: Oh yeah. Bunch of torches and shit too.

‪Bronan: So, we have a God of the hunt, hunting pictures and a pile of rags… Let me get some light in here for you my friend*lights unlight torches*

DM: As you light the torches the tableau unfolds across the walls. Gnolls, following a robed man with an Ankh atop his staff

DM: All of these bowing to Yeenoghu, as he hunts men and mighty beasts

DM: A stone slab by the staircase  says “seekers of the hunt, Ptolnus awaits”

Constance: Let’s head in deeper gents. I’ve got a hankering for some vengeance. Grab that statue Bronan. It might be worth something.

DM: All of this is punctuated by manic laughter

DM: And whenever Constance is not talking, he is laughing

Faustus: And also Faustus was there. He’s just been on the phone for the last hour and is about to be again.

DM: Faustus doing anything in his phone break? Aracana check on the amulet, religion on the idol, history on Ptolnos, perceptions on the tunnel?

Faustus: Let’s go with arcana on the amulet. Is it doing anything new?

DM: Just making Constance laugh constantly in a debilitating and irritating way, and now glowing very very faintly

Faustus: Ok. And do we know if the extra laughs are echos or others? What happens if I cover her mouth?

DM: He keeps laughing, but it is muffled. It is coming from his mouth but sounds slightly strange, higher pitched than it was

Faustus: Weird

Constance: Dude! Not ok!

DM: It sounds as if Constance is trying his very best to imitate the laugh of Jamsi and the other gnolls

Constance: Consent. Learn about it.

Faustus: I can’t hear her over the laughing

DM: So faustus are you rolling arcana?

DM: Or are you guys descending the stairs

Faustus: 8

DM: Laughing amulet? Who knows. Not something you’ve encountered

DM: Probably the laughing is a curse, rather than its main purpose

Constance: I try to take it off

Constance: My jaw is starting to hurt

Bronan: Hey, before I lift the statue Faustus, could you check it? That comicbook makes me edgy

Faustus: Check it for history?

DM: The amulet easily slips off your neck and you stop laughing. Your forehead no longer feels cold, and the amulet stops glowing

Constance: That’s better.

DM: Statue looks like a hench gnoll holding a flail, made of copper

Faustus: Shizzle

Constance: Well shit boys. This looks terrifying.

DM: About 12 inches tall

Faustus: 15 on a history check

Constance: Can I do a religion check to see if any of this shit points to something I know about?

DM: Yes

Constance: Religion is wis right?

Constance: If so. 5.

DM: Faustus- historically, Yeenoghu has never been worshipped much in this land. Gnolls normally stick to the deep desert where few people tread. Yeenoghu has never been a particular power here. But Ptonos’ ascension to infamy was shrouded in rumours of extreme violence- a gnoll demon patron would explain some of the stories about Ptonus and the cannibalism, torture, people hunting etc

DM: But this was all hundreds of years ago…

DM: Constance, you aren’t sure about this. The ankh was the symbol of Ptonos, but it isn’t the symbol of any God you know…

DM: Back to the east, in the great city of Cormyr, many gods are worshipped. But nobody worships demons, at least not openly!

Bronan: Ok guys, I’m gonna lift the statue, if I don’t make it, make sure sir dribbles is looked after, he really likes cheese, beer and belly rubs

Constance: Well balls. I repeat myself. Grab that statue and let’s head below. I’m pretty sure demons aren’t real.

‪Bronan: I take sir dribbles out of my loincloth, do that weird dog kiss thing that people do, and put him down

‪Bronan: And I lift the statue

DM: As soon as it raises off the shrine, the torches gutter and then flare up but then return to normal

Bronan: Huh, must’ve been some wind, let’s go ey? I draw my axe

Constance: Onward.

Bronan: I scoop up sir dribbles after he finishes his business and put him in his home, then walk onward

‪Bronan: Hey, guys did I ever tell you about this tribe game we used to play? Ring of fire, we should do that after we finish this up, all we need is a barrel of pitch, some dancing girls and three barrels of ale

DM: The stairs are steep and continue down a long way, but eventually open into a single chamber. With your torches you can see the whole room

DM: Thus walls and ceiling are black stone slabs, and the floor is white marble. A sarcophagus stands in the centre of the room

DM: Embedded in its chest, a ruby the size of a fist- the stone of Ptonos

Constance: Is this what we came here for guys?

DM: It is, this is what the robed man asked you to fetch him

Constance: I feel like I’ve had enough cursed magical shit for one day. And Bronan risked himself by picking up that statue. Faustus you’re up.

DM: You are to retrieve the stone and return it to Al’Shash

Bronan: It’s OK, I don’t want him to get hurt

‪Bronan: I’ll tip open the chest using my axe

DM: Bad description on my part sorry it is a sarcophagus in the shape of a man, in whose chest a ruby is embedded

Bronan: Ah no problem, in that case, I take the sarcophagus lid off so we can see inside and take the ruby off without standing over it

Faustus: Arcana check on the sarcophagus and stone?

DM: Faustus, roll check please

Faustus: 15

DM: Bronan, you strain to pull free the heavy sarcophagus lid and lay it down

‪Bronan: Athletics?

DM: Ruby is clearly magically hewn, and has an internal slight light to is but the sarcophagus looks like regular stone

DM: Nah bronan, so strong! It is an effort but you manage

DM: As bronan pulls the lid away and lays it down, you see the interior of the sarcophagus-

Bronan: He does a reverse deadlift with perfect form to lower it

DM: Hahaha

Bronan: Before I try to pry off the ruby, is there anything in the casket?

DM: Yes

DM: It is vertical so you can all see

DM: There is a mummified corpse in immaculate gold robes, a oak staff with an ankh of ivory on its end, two red vials, two scrolls, and a leather pouch full of coins

DM: A voice emanates from the ether around you- “Ptonos will teach the hunt”

Bronan: Always with the scary voice, why wizards have to do this? Are they afraid Bronan will turn them into squishy jelly?

‪Bronan: Bronan grumbles as he prises off the ruby (or try to)

DM: Strength check for that

DM: The ruby pops out of its socket after you judiciously apply your beefy muscle, and you catch it Bronan

DM: At which point the back wall explodes and four gnoll mummies stagger out!

DM: The ethereal voice says “Ptonos will show you the hunt”

Bronan: Which one is nearest one of my companions?

DM: They are all equidistant in a line. Faustus and Constance are just behind you

DM: They start to shambles forward, all of them laughing a rattling, dry, wheezing laugh

Bronan: Ok cool,I throw my torch at the one in front of me and if that’s not my full turn, attack

‪Bronan: Or did I put the torch down?

‪Bronan: Gonna scroll up a sec

DM: Um, depends. You can just chuck it vaguely at it as a bonus action, but if you want to Aragorn vs ringwraiths try and flame the dude that’s an attack

‪Bronan: I figured Bronan probably wouldn’t know mummies before so would throw it vaguely at them as a distraction so they can hit the beers

Constance: I throw the amulet back on and shout “Ptonus Ptonus vesi vesi” and all the words that I remember in gnoll.

Constance: Completely nonsensical.

DM: Okay, Bronan you start the combat, make your attack

DM: Constance the gnolls seem unaffected by your words

Bronan: I got a 7, goddamn you wizards

DM: Bronan’s axe descends, but the faltering shuffle of the half mummified half skeletonised gnoll is not so easy to predict!

DM: Constance?

DM: Or Faustus, we won’t proceed with the gnoll skeletons until you have both gone so no worries

Faustus: Ok I’ll go. I break to the right and sweep at the leg on the far right gnoll in the line with my sword…

Faustus: 18 to hit

DM: Hits!

Faustus: 9 slashing

DM: You slice it’s femur in two and it slams to the ground, then turns at you from the marble floor and laughs with its dead voice

DM: Constance?

DM: Oh by the way Constance you need to make wisdom save as you put that amulet back on. Your forehead feels cold again and the ankh has started to glow ever so slightly

Constance: Wisdom save is 6 + 2

DM: You start laughing, your voice joining in dissonant chorus with the unread gnolls

Constance: Constance begins visibly shaking and screams “FUCKING MAGIC CUNTS IVE HAHAHAHHAHAAAAADD ENOUGH OF YOUR SHIIIIIIIIT”. And dives at the one Bronan missed slamming her fists into into rib cage relentlessly.

Constance: So two unarmed strikes cause I’m a monk and shit

DM: Nice

DM: Roll for each?

Constance: 14 + 5 = 19. 7 + 5 = 12

DM: Both fists hit

DM: Roll damage and tell me damage type please

Constance: 12 bludgeoning total.

DM: The gnolls ribcage implodes with the first hit, it’s skull with the second, and it drops to the dust

DM: With that, it’s the gnolls turn…

DM: The gnoll skeleton on the ground with one leg tries to bite Faustus but he nimbly steps aside

DM: The other two gnoll skeletons attacks Constance and Bronan, with a 15 and a 18 to hit respectively

DM: You each take 3 piercing damage from their bites!

Constance: Accursed wizardry!

‪Bronan: Ow

‪Bronan: Next turn, Bronan flies into a rage and attacks the mummy that hit Constance

DM: Superb, roll for attack and damage

‪Bronan: I rolled a 10 to hit, I’d it hits, 13 slashing damage

DM: It does. You cut down the skeleton currently gnawing on Constance

DM: it’s bones come apart and it loses all semblance of movement and false life

DM: Constance, your turn

Faustus: I think I was 2nd?

DM: Cool, Faustus go!

Faustus: I bring my sword down on the head of the gnoll I cut down before. 20 to hit, 10 damage.

Faustus: Slashing

DM: Oh wow

DM: Yeah it’s skull crumples and the eerie blue light in its eyes sputters out

DM: Constance? One gnoll skeleton left

Constance: With my shortsword in my left hand I swipe at the remaining gnolls legs (first).

Constance: 11 to hit

Constance: 6 piercing if it does.

DM: Yup, the previously uninjured  gnoll takes a slash to the thigh and staggers, thick concealed blood and dust spewing out

Constance: Constance spins and uppercuts him in the face.

Constance: Ugh. 8 to hit.

DM: The gnoll bats aside Constance’s arm and lunges for her face, snapping its jaws

DM: And gets a 7. Damn.

DM: Brona

Bronan: Bronan is yelling “bad dogmen, no hurt friends” and swings at the gnoll attacking constance

‪Bronan: 18 to hit, 17 slashing

DM: 17 slashing?! Yeah bronan bisects the final gnoll

Faustus: Oof that’s a hefty fucking hit! Love me some rage damage.

Bronan: Yeah, when I’m raging I get plus 5 to dam, using a d12 for the great axe 🙂

Constance: Damnit Bronan I wanted to punch him to death!

Constance: Undeath?

Constance: Redeath?

Bronan: Bronan is bleeding a bit now, he slowly regains his composure and turns to constance, “I am sorry Constance, do you want me to hold one while you hit it?”

Faustus: How are you both doing for health?

DM: The final gnoll is dust and you are now alone in the silent tomb. The ethereal voice of Ptonos speaks no more, and you get a feeling of power fading at the edge of your perception. In the sarcophagus, the mummified Ptonos withers


Come back next Monday for Chapter 4 of The Cursed Tomb!


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