The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 4 – Double Hmm

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.

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

‪Bronan: I’m on 9/14

Constance: 7/10

Faustus: I’ll use lay on hands to heal Bronan for 3 and Constance for 2

Constance: Yay

Faustus: I only have 5 to give out at level 1!

DM: Awesome

Faustus: Anything else going on in the tomb? No other doors other than where we came in? Where did the gnolls come in from?

‪Bronan: Noice, “thank you Faustus”

Faustus: Faustus nods

DM: They came from alcoves in the back wall- the back wall broke down when Ptonos spoke

DM: There are two scrolls and two potions and a staff in the sarcophagus, and Bronan has the ruby you were sent for

‪Bronan: “should we take the dead bros stuff?”

DM: Constance, you put on the amulet on the fight I believe? You are still laughing

Constance: Awesome.

Constance: Can I inspect those potions to see if I identify what they are?

DM: Arcana please, one roll for each thing in the sarcophagus any of you check out

Constance: Not medicine for potions?

Faustus: I’ll take a look at the scrolls

Faustus: 14 arcana

Faustus: Wasn’t there also some gold?

DM: Constance, are all potions medicine? All you know is red magic potions

DM: Yes a small leather pouch. It has 30 gold pieces in it

Faustus: 10 g each?

DM: 14 arcana on the scrolls, one is a Sleep scroll, one is a scroll of Charm Person

Constance: 13 arcana on potions.

Faustus: Cool. I’d also like to use divine sense after Constance has checked out the potions

DM: What’s divine sense do Faustus?

Constance: P.s. Fair point

DM: Constance, one potion appears to be a standard potion of healing. The other, almost indistinguishable, is a potent poison

‪Bronan: While you’re looking, Bronan is just taking a couple of swigs of axe ale

Faustus: 60ft around me I can know the location of any celestial, fiend or undead and know the type. Also the presence of any consecrated or desecrated place or object.

Faustus: Oh if there is a thing and it’s in cover I’m not sure I can

Faustus: Says if it isn’t behind total cover.

Faustus: So do I still sense it but not know where it is?

DM: You sense an unread presence in the sarcophagus fading away to nothingness, and the statue in Bronan’s bag seems to be consecrated (but not in a divine way…)

Constance: I pocket those vials.

Constance: We should go deeper comrades, it seems as though this may be a well of wealth, also I want to punch the magic bastard who did this.

Faustus: Was that the hunt?

Faustus: Oh I was under the impression that this was the whole tomb

Constance: Well presumably there is at least a room that they burst from

Bronan: I think it was alcoves covered by brickwork

Faustus: Yeah

DM: This seems to be the only room…

Faustus: Can we check the walls to see if we are sure?

DM: Yup. Roll

DM: Investigation I guess?

Faustus: 17

‪Bronan: I got a 6 on investigation (assuming others told me that we should look for doors) otherwise Bronan is playing with Sir dribbles

‪Bronan: Bronan is not good at investigation

Constance: Should we grab that staff too my dudes? Might be worth taking back for further study?

‪Bronan: Sounds good, though the laughing was a bit off-putting

DM: Faustus, one of the flagstones is fake. Wood painted to look like flagstones

DM: Constance, previously removing that amulet stopped the laughing remember

DM: But for now, laughing laughing laughing

Faustus: My friends, this may be a trick wall.

Faustus: I push it with the tip of my sword

DM: It swings back easily, opening onto a very narrow very cramped rock tunnel

Constance: I take off this stupid amulet.

Faustus: I hold my torch toward the tunnel

DM: It moves off for at least thirty feet and then widens out into some sort of chamber

DM: You can only travel down here single file, so if you are moving down you need to tell me marching order

DM: And is one of you carrying Ptonos’s staff?

Faustus: My friends, we may already have what we came here for. Do we wish to venture further into the tomb?

Constance: There is something evil here. It must be removed. Plus, fortune favours the bold.

DM: Your job was to retrieve the stone, which matches the description of the one Bronan has acquired. You were promised 30 gold each from the robed man in Al’Shash

Constance: I grab the staff

DM: Constance, you can tell it is very powerful, but it is so far beyond you you have no idea what it will do

DM: Were you to try and use it that is

Constance: I throw it up in my hands doing a few twirls and shit, trying to get a feel for the weight. “Oh I can’t wait to smash something with this”

DM: For the moment it acts as a basic quarterstaff, but the damage is magical. It’s more in depth powers would require extensive research or great power to ascertain

Constance: Lovely.

Constance: Into the darkness gentlemen? What say you?

Faustus: Can I take a closer look at the stone before we go?

DM: You are standing in Ptonos’s tomb, with the gem, the staff, and a consecrated Yeenogu statue. Outside, potentially a gnoll camp, and at least three days travel through desert and rib gulch back to Al’shash. Deeper, some sort of chamber…

DM: Yup, arcana or history or religion check Faustus depending on what you are trying to ascertain, or just investigation if you want general feeling of it

Faustus: I know that it is magical in some way, but I want to see if that magic is to change its appearance or anything like that.

Faustus: That’s an 11 on arcana

DM: Change the appearance of the stone?

DM: You identify it as a spell gem, but an incredibly powerful one. You know spell gems store a single spell in them. This is an incredibly rare, large stone, and so probably an incredibly rare, powerful spell is stored inside it

Faustus: Like there any magic on it to make something else appear like what we are looking for.

Faustus: Hmm.

DM: And you are right…It is not what it appears to be

Faustus: Double hmmm

DM: It is not some ornate gem or minor artefact

DM: This is an incredibly powerful spell gem

Faustus: Well this might not even be what we are looking for, and also may be a WMD that we are just handing over to a guy for not much gold.

DM: (worth a lot more than 90 gold probably…)

Faustus: So fuck it. Let’s go in further.

DM: Okay who is first, second, third

Constance: Dibs on second

Faustus: I’ll go first, torch in front, sword drawn.

Faustus: Slowly and keeping an eye out for traps and whatnot

DM: Guess Bronan is guarding the rear by elimination

DM: Faustus, check for traps please

Bronan: Guess so!

Faustus: What am I adding?

DM: Perception I think?

Faustus: Ok 16

Faustus: I keep forgetting we have a barbarian to take point

DM: Trap! There is a pressure stone linked to a big stick covered in spikes hidden by the ceiling, but you easily spot it. You saw one just like it in a tomb you raided once beneath the sewers of Cormyr

DM: You can avoid it easily knowing it is there

‪Bronan: Do you want me to shimmy past and go first?

Faustus: I think it depends on who is more kitted out to take damage and the like. My ac is 16, but yours should be pretty boss with unarmoured defense right?

Faustus: Our hp will be relatively the same at this point.

DM: having avoided the trap, you emerge into a large round chamber 60ft across, 30 ft high. It is hewn from red stone. Your torches illuminate it fully

Faustus: Well never mind then!

DM: To the left, a small tree covered in blood red flowers grows against the wall. To the right, a small pool of stagnant looking water. At the back wall, a 25ft statue of Yeenoghu, identical to the small idol you took from upstairs, but with large topaz eyes

Constance: Can I inspect that tree and see if it is similar to that grass from before and see if I can determine anything else about it?

DM: And in the centre, muttering by a small campfire and sat on a stone, a muscular one armed gnoll with a meat cleaver, an ankh amulet, and a hyena sat his feet

DM: Constance, nature roll from the entrance to see what you can tell from a distance unless you are walking up to it

Constance: 13. Not walking up to it.

DM: “Yeenogu siunauksen , metsästäjät” says the gnoll, smiling. He holds out a leg of something roasted to you and smiles

DM: The tree looks to be the same colour as the grass above, and similarly looks very very dry

Bronan: “look, the dogman has a dog, if he becomes our pet it would kinda be like that bard tale, dogception”

‪Bronan: Or if he becomes sir dribbles’s pet, it would be better!

‪Bronan: Can I tell what the meat is offering is by sight/smell?

DM: Seems to be venison

DM: Or antelope

Faustus: Dogs all the way down

DM: Something of that ilk

‪Bronan: “Where did he get that from?”

‪Bronan: Bronan takes out a cup, pours some axe ale in it, and offers it to the gnoll

DM: The chill drinks gratefully, mutters something and touches its amulet and then smiles again and speaks in common

DM: “welcome hunters, Yeenoghu’s blessing upon you”

Constance: Uhhhhh. Hi?

Constance: Nice amulet.

Bronan: Hi, you’re not going to try and bite me are you?

DM: Thank you hunters. You must be great hunters if mighty Ptonos summoned you to this shrine! Tell me, what great beasts have you hunted? I once hunted one of the great purple worms of the desert, a mile long he was!

DM: I don’t bite other hunters, and neither will my friend kulmahammas here (he gestures at the hyena who is sprawled at his feet)

‪Bronan: I gesture to my bearskin cloak and loincloth

‪Bronan: I once hunted 2 bears as part of a vision quest, armed with only a bottle opener, had to use the other bears hide for loincloths because I got a bit carried away

DM: (if that is true, fine, if not roll deception)

Constance: What are you doing here?

DM: I tend the shrine to the great Yeenoghu, and give his blessing to worthy hunters

DM: Barbarian, a bear is a mighty foe, two is incredible! I am glad to call you hunter

‪Bronan: (it’s true, gonna eventually take bear totem)

Faustus: “I hunt down my own enemies with righteous fury.” And I pull out of my armour a necklace of teeth. I imagine that’s all he can see from there.

DM: Great. Also true? What kind of teeth?

Faustus: The teeth of other dragonborn. Specifically other chromatic ones but I don’t think they’d appear different.

Faustus: And yes true.

DM: Dragonborn? Jeeze

DM: Paladin, a foe is a worthy thing to hunt, clever and canny and fierce! I am glad to call you hunter

DM: What if you, monk? I see your staff bears the sigil of Ptonos, you must be a true disciple. Tell me of your greatest hunt

Constance: I only hunt down the unrighteous. But take no trophies, as I find such things unnecessary.

DM: An example, friend! Was your toughest hunt a human, a dwarf? A fighter, a wizard? Let me take your measure!

Constance: A gnoll. I glare at him. Not breaking eye contact.

DM: (true?)

Constance: Well we just killed three and four undead ones. So true.

DM: He smiles at you and laughs. “Loyalty to kin or God or race is nothing to me, I care only for the hunt. I am glad to call you hunter”

DM: The gnoll raises himself to his feet and gestures to the tree, the pond, and the statue

DM: “Ptonos has sent you to me. He was a great Hunter of men, in his day. Prove yourselves to me, and you may drink from the pond of swift feet, eat from the tree of blood, and receive Yeenogu’s blessing

DM: I have waited here many years for some like you to come. To prove yourself, bring me a trophy worthy of Yeenogu! I brought him the tooth of the purple worm that took my arm, that one tooth taller than any man! Bring me something like this, and you will receive the blessing of the hunt

DM: The old gnoll bows to you each in turn, then sits back down and eats some antelope leg

‪Bronan: Hmm, maybe we should look for some prey, unless the corpses of the tomb guardians will suffice?

Faustus: I wouldn’t have thought so…

Constance: Before we continue. What is your name?

DM: ” You can call me hunter”

Constance: Well hunter, what does this do? *pulls out amulet*

DM: You can now see next to him on the ground is a worn spear, sharpened to a razor edge and dagger point, it’s haft polished.

DM: Hunter smiles

DM: Ptonos is wise, you have an amulet! Well. It allows you to use some of his power. That is a simple one given to initiates. It will allow you to cast a cantrip of his, as a sign of his blessing

Constance: Oh. Well all its done so far is make me laugh my ass off

DM: Oh the laughing? Hahaha

DM: Keep it on for an hour and eventually the laughing dies down until it only happens when you cast the spell

DM: Come back to me when you have killed a great beast, young hunters! The desert is wide, and beyond that there are many forests and seas and mountains, and Mich to hunt!

DM: He looks thoughtful

Faustus: Very well. Until we meet again hunter.

DM: “if you were to bring me a purple worm tooth, why, then I would know for sure you are as great as I! But that is too much to ask of such initiates, yes, too much to ask…”

DM: He laughs and pats his hyena’s head and goes back to eating his antelope

Constance: I turn to Faustus and say in Draconic “this guy is giving me the creeps, let’s get out of here”

Faustus: Faustus looks vaguely surprised that you can speak draconic, nods, and turns to leave.

DM: Assuming bronan is cool with that, you can retrace your steps (dodging traps) up to the first room of the tomb

‪Bronan: Bronan pours more ale in the gnoll’s cup and the says “we’ll be back”

‪Bronan: And yeah, them follows the other guys

DM: As you reach the top level of the tomb and look out into the night, you know your immediate task will be to retrace your steps to Al’shash and meet the secretive trader. It will take you at least five days of travel

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 5 of The Cursed Tomb!

 

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Dungeon Master’s Guide

Player’s Handbook

Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

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