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.
DM: You think Aaracokra bandits. You’ve heard rumours of a group called the Blessed Wind who have been assigned blame to all sorts of shady stuff, west and east of the obsidian shard wall
DM: Ambush tactics, resource preservation, it all fits
DM: You’ve been here a while, but not found any trade foods or food or water…just corpses and broken arrows
DM: What are you up to?
Faustus: Well if we bury the corpses, no interesting shit on closer inspection?
DM: They appear to be simple traders
DM: Until you move them
DM: Under their robes, each is wearing lightweight leather armour, with many loops for throwing knives and clever weapons (all empty now)
Faustus: Oh dip!
Constance: So there’s no evidence that there was anything in the cart when it was burned?
Faustus: Any symbols or whatnot that may identify them?
DM: Faustus, investigation
DM: Constance, investigation
DM: Bronan, cold beer!
DM: Hmm. You investigate the still smoking ruins…There are a lot of twisted metal bars, as if this cart held…a cage?
Constance: Well these aren’t just traders
DM: Faustus, you check them out and find, under tight leather bracers, on each man an identical scorpion tattoo on the left wrist
Bronan: Hey guys. Breakfast is ready (I bring them breakfast and ale)
Bronan: What are you guys looking at, want Bronans help?
Faustus: I sip my ale while I try to remember anything about the scorpion tattoo
Faustus: This was no random ambush on some traders
DM: Hiiiiiistory check, with advantage due to a crisp cold ale
DM: (that won’t happen every time)
Faustus: Nat 20
DM: Oh come on
Faustus: Sorry bud
Faustus: If it helps, there is absolutely no way this will last
DM: This is a lesser dragonmark, a symbol of one of the great crime houses of the city of Cormyra, the nearest large city to the east. They mark their henchmen thus, and the tattoos normally impart abilities. The size and placement (small, hidden) indicates low ranking members. These men were from the House of Endless Sun.
Constance: Regardless of their standing in life. They deserve to be respected in death. Let’s bury them.
Bronan: If it’ll make you happy 🙂
Bronan: Are there shovels in the wreckage?
DM: Burnt wood and metal bars
DM: Sand is soft though
Bronan: Bronan uses rope to tie a board to a bar. Improv shovel
Faustus: And after – we don’t really have any location to head to with leads other than somewhere to find more out about the gem, get a lead on some big monsters, get some new gear?
Bronan: And starts shifting sand
DM: Al’shash is the trading town you got this mission from, five days east
DM: Cormyra is the big city, maybe a week’s travel from Al’shash (but big roads, normally no issues)
DM: There are scholars in Cormyra who might be able to help with the gem/finding monsters? Similar for gear
Constance: Are there any tracks indicating which way the cart (and the not-trades) came?
Bronan: After Bronan has dug a reasonable size mass grave, he turns to constance, you know, normally we just cover body with rocks to stop birds and animals
DM: It came from the west, the deep desert, where nobody goes…
Constance: That seems like a good idea Bronan.
Bronan: Are there rocks? Or is it a cart rubble cairns situation?
DM: Cart rubble or sand
Constance: Maybe both.
Constance: Cart rubble then sand. Make shift gravestones with planks from cart?
DM: But yes, if you don’t want to return to Al’shash it would take you maybe ten days to reach Cormyra straight through
Bronan: Ok, I shore up the sides with a bit of rubble, pile of rubble on top, then put sand on top
Constance: As we bury them I mutter a few words.
DM: You have all been doing this kind of low level guarding, tomb raiding, retrieval jobs for a few months together
Bronan: Gaddam, beat me to it!
Faustus: We set on not going back to the guy who gave us the job then?
Bronan: Bronan not care, Bronan has axe, friends, and Sir dribbles, might need to get some ale soon though
Constance: Hmm. We could, then what? He gives us shit all for this job?
Constance: Let’s head back and see if we can find out anything more about our employer
Faustus: Yeah we could do that first. If no reason to give it to him then we don’t have to.
Bronan: Sounds good
Bronan: Bronan dissembles his shovel to regain his rope
DM: So heading back to Al’shash?
DM: That’s a day to Rib Gulch, then four more to the town
DM: Any travel arrangements beyond walking, camping at night?
DM: As you are sorting travel arrangements and making plans the earth starts to rumble
DM: What do you do?!
Bronan: The earth Bro is angry!
Faustus: Haha did you roll for that or are you pretending to be surprised?
DM: Rolled for it
Bronan: Bronan tries to pick up Constance and run to the hills, running for their lives
Faustus: Good stuff
Constance: Hahahaha. Is there anything solid nearby?
DM: Well, of the two hills one of them was slightly rocky?
Bronan: That’ll be the one
Faustus: Boot it to there.
Constance: WE HAVE TO GET TO HIGHER GROUND!
DM: As you arrive panting at the tops of the hill, below you…the ground churns
DM: And seems to collapse on itself partially under the grave you dug
Constance: Well that was a waste of digging.
DM: Then below each camel…
Bronan: Dear God, it’s sandworms
Bronan: Do I see anything that I could throw a javelin at?
Faustus: Hold on
Faustus: Are they attacking us?
Faustus: Is the ground immediately below us doing anything?
DM: The ground below you is still
Faustus: Let’s… hold off for now?
DM: Bronan can you roll a nature check
Faustus: No point attacking if they are distracted by their meal that isn’t us
Bronan: Sure, one sec
Bronan: Welp, I got a natty 1
DM: Bronan, it’s a big worm! Waaaah, two big worms!
Bronan: Can I use Faustus’s dice?
Bronan: Worm!! Must protect friends
DM: Faustus has asked you to maybe not attack it straight away
Faustus: Yeah I put a hand on his javelin. “Hold on my friend”
Bronan: You must run, the worms will kill us all
Bronan: I hold them off
Faustus: “Let us see what they do. Running will surely draw them to us”
Faustus: “Quiet now. No movements”
Bronan: Ok, but promise me, you run if they attack
DM: Each worm is about 80ft long
Faustus: I promise.
DM: And perhaps 5-10ft wide
Faustus: I pick up Sir Dribbles
Faustus: In case we need to run. I realise that read like I was planning to throw him.
Bronan: It’s OK man. He was in my loincloth though…
DM: They have almost finished with the camels now
Bronan: He’s like a handbag dog,
Faustus: Well. Then I don’t. I thought he was on the ground.
Bronan: And before it gets weird, my loincloth has pouches
Bronan: I hand him to you anyway
Bronan: “take him to safety”
Faustus: Everyone quiet, but be ready to run.
DM: You are all standing quietly?
DM: They finish the camels circle the remnants of the wagon, then go underground
DM: You can’t feel anything below you
DM: After a minute, you still can’t. Everything seems still
Faustus: Let’s give it a decent stretch of time…
Faustus: An hour of not moving? No rumbling in the distance, disturbed sand etc?
Bronan: Sir dribbles snorts, a snot bubble threatening to burst, before retreating into his snout
DM: An hour?
DM: Yeah after an hour you don’t detect any movement or feel any rumbling
Faustus: What do you guys think? Safe to move back towards Rib Gulch?
Constance: I think so. So much for a respectful burial
Faustus: Well we tried.
Faustus: Circle of life. They’re worm food now. Just very big worms.
Bronan: Let’s get out of here before they come back
DM: Okay guys
DM: It will take you five days, but you can make it back to Al’shash without incident after that. The walking is hard on the shifting sands after you pass rib gulch, but you see no more worms
Bronan: Cool, I’m guessing sir dribbles returns to his pouch along the journey
Faustus: Yeah I gave him back as soon as we were clear
Bronan: Cool, I guess I don’t use my drum until we’re well clear of the desert
Faustus: Haha yeah
DM: Well Al’shash is a wee town, two main streets. One inn, The Harbour
Faustus: Any shops or whatnot?
DM: A small guard station, one larger house (the mayor’s) and a few dozen other buildings- traders, houses
DM: Two general traders, one blacksmith, one stables
Faustus: Any of the traders selling shields?
Constance: To the inn? See if anyone knows anything about our employer?
DM: All the stuff in PhB basic equipment list is available for listed price
DM: At Albo’s Discount Hardware Store
Faustus: Cool. I go in, ask for a fine shield and lay down 10 gp
Faustus: Are we worrying about rations and the like?
Faustus: Scratch that. I should have started with one and I just didn’t realise.
Faustus: So I’ve had a shield on my back the whole time.
Faustus: Pobodys nerfect
Constance: Can I get a couple of flasks of oil. A set of manacles (Jamsi will not happen again). And a hunting trap.
Constance: Which is a total of 72 gp
DM: Yeah yeah
DM: All good
DM: Don’t stress rations unless planning an epic desert trek
Constance: Also, hypothetically. If I were to coat the darts I have in this potent poison we found. 1. Would they remain poisoned till use, 2. Would that expend all this poison.
DM: Yes and yes
Constance: I do that.
DM: Dunes in every direction from the town, one road leaving- to the east
DM: An oasis in the centre with Palm trees and a pool of water
DM: Your contact was set to at a table in the back of the inn, the Harbour, last time you saw him
DM: After visiting the shops it is maybe noon now
DM: That is baller
DM: You guys heading to the pub? Or want to look for another trader etc?
DM: You notice more guards in town than last time. There are no town walls, but a couple of guards at the end of each road, and a couple patrolling. All have scimitars, leather armour, and white turbans. They wear the blue gloves of the Al’shash guard
Come back next Monday for Chapter 7 of The Cursed Tomb!
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