The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 6 – A Waste of Digging

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

Faustus: Well.

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!

Constance: 13

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

Faustus: 18

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.

Faustus: Interesting

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 🙂

Faustus: Sure.

‪Bronan: Are there shovels in the wreckage?

DM: Nope

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?

DM: Superb

‪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?

‪Bronan: Cart*

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

DM: Grand

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: Great

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: Shit

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: Yeah

Faustus: Boot it to there.

Constance: WE HAVE TO GET TO HIGHER GROUND!

DM: Right

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: They are not attacking you, but two purple worms burst from the ground and start eating the camels, one at a time

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.

DM: Hahaha

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

Faustus: Cool.

‪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

Faustus: Yup

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: Ha

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: Yeah

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: Wait

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

Faustus: Grande.

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: Cool

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

Faustus: Remembering my shield, it’s holy symbol looks like this: 

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!

 

Fancy supporting the site? You can pick up all of the 5th edition D&D books from Wizards of the Coast using our Amazon links below, and we’ll get a cut with no extra cost to you!

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Player’s Handbook

Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Starter Set

 

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