The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 15 – An Attempt at Being Respectful

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. If you missed Chapter 14, find it here!

 

DM: I am Windblade Fún

Constance: Wind blade Fun?

DM: We will eat what you offer, and promise peace for now

Constance: I think I’ve been to that theme park

DM: If you were to untie us

DM: These are windknives Ret and Tolouse

Bronan: Bronan goes back to the pan, and starts cooking enough for the birdmen, he chills some more ale, and breaks off some cheese for Sir dribbles

Faustus: (Can someone who is not in a gym do some sort of trustworthiness check?)

Constance: Insight to see if he harbours ill will

DM: Sure

Constance: 11

DM: He seems sad more than angry

DM: Clearly very unhappy with how this night has gone, but you don’t think he will attack you unprovoked

DM: (and you have all their weapons)

‪Bronan: When the food is ready, I take it to them and cut their bonds

Constance: I want your word windblade. That we have a truce, will share a meal and talk. Nothing more.

Bronan: My axe is on my back

DM: You have my word. It seems we have much to discuss

‪Bronan: Bronan frees and feeds them

‪Bronan: Not literally, but he does prompt Faustus and Constance to eat and keep up their strength

Constance: Over food we recant how we came to be here. Leaving out the part about Melbos and Toma and Faisal for now.

DM: So what do you say about how you decided to come back out to the desert? Deception roll

Constance: That we took it upon ourselves to find out what had happened to what we thought were traders out here, that it might have something to do with the mayor.

Constance: Unnatural 20

DM: Okay

DM: Fun looks worried.

DM: You mentioned we might have another enemy, dragonborn?

Faustus: There are others in Al’Shash who want you gone from this area. When we were trying to find out more about who may be responsible for the attacks we saw, we met these people. We know little else of them, but they pointed us in your direction and gave us supplies. With a clear intention for us to kill you. Possibly die in the process too.

DM: Smugglers. Or something less savoury

Faustus: Perhaps

DM: With blessed wind gone, the passage around the Wyrms teeth is open

DM: And then to the west sea.

DM: A longer route, but one with far less risk of wyrm attack

Faustus: (Faustus has basically decided that these guys are at least less shady than the others… I felt a discussion would be meta gaming)

DM: You have acted with honour.

DM: I believe our conflict is due to the lies of others rather than either of our wills, and I tire of dancing to another beasts tune

Faustus: I believe I feel the same.

Bronan: So, What now?

‪Bronan: Bronan still have ale, we go to windbladfuns camp and have ale?

DM: I believe you should meet our elder, and the girl

DM: Will you carry our fallen brothers on your cart? We three shall scour for sign of wyrm from the sky. I will send one of the boys on to rouse the camp

Faustus: Yes of course. It is the least we can do after this misunderstanding. Can you ensure our safety with your brethren if we ensure our peaceful intent?

DM: He laughs

DM: You have my word.

DM: We have much to discuss, and fighting should be for foes, not friends!

Faustus: Faustus nods approvingly.

Constance: Excellent. I’m glad we could come to such an understanding

‪Bronan: Bronan wraps the bodies up in the tarp and slings then on his shoulder and lowers them gently into the cart

DM: Cool

DM: Fun reckons it is about three days by cart to the Blessed Wind camp

DM: You happy to set off?

Constance: Yup

‪Bronan: When they are in the air and obviously out of listening range, I ask Faustus and Constance “what about Melbos, Melbos-elder not elder or Toma or Faisal not friends? Bronan confused”

Constance: I think we keep the details of that to ourselves just now Bronan.

Bronan: Also, what we do with this? *pulls out gem*

Faustus: Bronan if they were enslaving people, they may not have been our friends.

Constance: But just now we don’t know who friend and who not friend

Constance: Damnit now I’m talking like him

Bronan: Melbos slaver? Know he had scorpion fights but where slave come from? Scarf-mayor slaver

DM: You can do an insight check to see what your understanding of this all is

Bronan: Hmm dangerous place to be surrounded by friend-or-notfriend, you two stay close, Bronan protect

‪Bronan: Ok

‪Bronan: Ooooh maybe not. That’s a 12

DM: You think the mayor wants to wipe out the Blessed Wind so he can control the mountains and the desert and the path to the sea

DM: To do this, he wanted a tiefling sorceror girl (and maybe hired a Cormyra Criminal house to get her) and wanted that spell gem

DM: Melbos wants to expand his criminal activities to the red plains- which you don’t know what they are, but all you’ve heard about is scorpion fights and thieving and some extortion. No slavery or murder yet mentioned

DM: Blessed Wind seem to be extorting merchants a bit, but they see it as tax for using their holy lands

Constance: (Oh wait, did we pick up those scorpions?)

DM: You did

Constance: Niiice

Faustus: They did offer us boys and girls too. Which may have been adult prostitutes… or not.

DM: Yeah

DM: So shaaaaaady guys

DM: But mayor is up to something much higher levek

DM: Melbos was happy for you to totally wipe out what now appears to be a whole tribe, not a gnat of bandits

DM: But

DM: Did he know that?

‪Bronan: Mmmmm, Melbos is tough one, we could make him make friends with tribe, or we could crush. If we get rid of Scarf-mayor, Melbos be next mayor Bronan think.

‪Bronan: Toma and Faisal help us, took us to Melbos who help us

‪Bronan: Maybe they confused about birdmen

‪Bronan: Maybe birdmen heard of Melbos and could tell us?

DM: You have three days of travel under the aaracokras protection. They frequently direct you to skirt areas where they see potential hazards

DM: Are you to anything over these here days? want to ask Fun anything else before arrival?

Constance: I’d like to talk to him about the structure of their society.

DM: Master water finder leads council of elders. Elders command their family groups. Windknives obey windblades and guard the people

DM: Wind caller looks after temple with his own windblades and windknives

Constance: Hmm. So you wield some influence?

DM: I am top windblade of my family. My elder will listen to me. One of best warriors of blessed wind

Constance: My concern is obviously that others in your community might not be as understanding of our *ahem* transgressions as you have been

DM: Life on the Wyrm’s teeth is brutal.

DM: We have both made mistakes

DM: You have my word, if they decide you were at fault then I have enough sway that you will not be killed. Banished past the obsidian ridge and forbidden from our lands, perhaps. But not fed to the wyrms

Constance: I apologise again for your friends. Their deaths lay heavy on my conscience

DM: It is a burden not on you, but on those who sent you with ears full of lies about my people

Constance: I find a moment when they are not by us to ask Bronan and Faustus whether we should return their weapons to them

Faustus: Yeah I think so.

‪Bronan: Bronan think it best

‪Bronan: They cut Bronan, but that cause Bronan busy with net thrower, they not try again

DM: When you do so they are grateful

DM: And ask for their dead brothers swords to be placed by them for their death ritual

Constance: We do that

‪Bronan: In the three days, I continue to cook and care for the others

‪Bronan: Make sure the fire is warm at night so they don’t catch a cold

DM: Cool

DM: Lunchtime on the third day they lead you up a steep ravine. The going is tough on your camels

DM: After hours of winding you reach a guard post and a gate  of living vines, thicker than your arm, woven across the passage. Fun and the others land and walk with you, through the gate, nodding to the guards

DM: You arrive at the home of the Blessed wind

DM: It appears to be a small village of yurts. One larger structure, a communal hall, is north of the others. A temple like building made of stone is the only stone structure, south of the tents. All is enclosed in this nice shady ravine with only the one entrance

DM: And there are numerous trees growing from cracks in the ravine wall, and even better, a small oasis at the bottom of a little waterfall! The first flowing water you’ve seen in the desert

DM: Welcome to Sweetwater, fun says

DM: Aaracokra children are running around. There are maybe 60 people in total, your think?

DM: Wait here, I’ll gather the elders in the common hall. Be respectful.

DM: He leaves his two juniors with you and walks away

DM: The children are quickly taken inside of their huts, until the only people on the streets are a few heavily armed aaracokra. They eye you up, and look worried

DM: So whatcha going guys?

Faustus: Ret, are the people here afraid of us?

DM: He nods.

DM: We don’t get many outsiders

DM: And outsiders with two windknive corpses is bad news

DM: He shrugs. Worry not, Faustus. We know you are perhaps a help to our people

Faustus: Thank you. I hope so.

Constance: Ret. what’s that stone structure there? It looks different than the other buildings?

DM: The windcallers temple

DM: In great need, we may call the wind to keep us safe. But this is a dangerous path

Constance: How so?

DM: He clicks his tongue, which by this point you know is equivalent of a smile

DM: The wind is wild, sister Constance! To control the wind…well…few ever manage to keep it controlled for long!

DM: After half an hour Fun emerges from the communal hall and beckons you in

DM: Before you, three august aaracokra with magnificent plumage and impressive robes. Fun introduces them

DM: Water finder, matriarch of the village, Wind caller, holy man of the village, Windsword, protector of the village”

DM: He whispers to you ‘they forsake their names for these offices- their lives are for the tribe’

Bronan: (wow guys, kinda like us!)

Faustus: (Haha kinda!)

Faustus: Faustus bows in an attempt at being respectful

Constance: Constance follows suit

DM: An aarocokra child brings you all a drink, and the elders and fun as well

DM: They drink

Faustus: Seeing them drink, I drink too.

Constance: I also drink

DM: Bronan, you too?

Bronan: Bronan does the same ritual as before, kneel offer ale cups

‪Bronan: When the child approaches I swap cups with the child

DM: Cool

DM: The elders accept your gift of ale

DM: The water finder speaks

DM: You have come to us at a time of great trouble, under a dark cloud. The human mayor seeks our ore, our land, our secret paths. He has killed many and will kill more

DM: The smugglers and bandits wish us gone by fair means or foul

DM: And we harbour a fugitive, a prodigal child afraid of her powers, beset on all sides

DM: Into this walk you three. You, who earn our windblades trust even as you kill his brothers. You, who crossed the desert to answer your curiosity

DM: What is it you want, adventurers?

Constance: Answers to the many questions that have arisen.

DM: Ask, we shall answer. We do not need the fog of deceit in this trying time

Constance: Why is the mayor so interested in this girl?

DM: She is a sorceress of unmatched power. She could destroy towns, cities, if she were ever unshackled. Even now she can do terrible things

DM: The mayor wants her to use her powers to his own end. Violence. Destruction. “progress”. He will stamp out any in his way. With this girl, he would try and tame the desert

Constance: “Unshackled”?

DM: For now, she wears bracers that constrain her abilities. We offered to remove them but she believes she cannot control her power well enough yet

DM: Her sorcery is wild, untamed

DM: If the mayor gets any leverage over her, or charms her, or breaks her will…well. men we can fight. Men, the desert can fight. But this girl?

Constance: Hmm. Fair.

Constance: Why does the mayor covet these lands so much?

DM: Cormyra controls all north, east, and south of al’shash

DM: The only territory free for untaxed trade is the desert. And there are metals, gems, tombs, towns, across the red plain

DM: The wyrm’s themselves have bellies full of precious jewels!

DM: And if you could tame the desert, the the wild ports to the west sea would be yours to trade with, the best oath in all cormyra. Money, power, influence.

DM: All if would require is the slaughtering of a dozen tribes of different beings, a few hundred wyrms, and an iron will

‪Bronan: Hmm, Bronan not conqueror, not like Scarf-mayor. what of smugglers, water finder elder, would peace be possible? Are smugglers in dust town good people or badmen?

DM: The smugglers? Low level pimps and thieves. As long as they stay south of Ptonos’s tomb, we have no quarrel with them

Bronan: You let them move through other desert?

‪Bronan: They not slavers?

DM: Not that we have seen. But certainly if we saw them in our part of the desert, or if they start slaving/killing wyrms or anything like that, we would be forced to take action

Constance: What if Ptolnus? Why is his tomb allowed to stand? And why are his followers allowed to move freely?

DM: Followers? Less than a dozen starved gnolls, and the Hunter. The gnolls we will kill if they become a nuisance. The Hunter is a force best left alone. He has not left the tomb in many many years

Bronan: Men can slave worms? How? They like horses?

DM: And the tomb harms none except those who seek its treasure. How would you destroy such a place? It is on our borders. Trouble to destroy, and our people are smart enough to let it lie

Bronan: Worm we saw big and hungry

DM: I meant slaving or killing worms, I’m sorry bronan if I misspoke

DM: Although there was that man from the wild port who rode a wyrm! Blue Magnus!

DM: She clicks her tongue

‪Bronan: Ok, Bronan curious, bet worm make fast horse

DM: There was a man to set the world right

Constance: So what has stopped the mayor acting till now?

DM: Be careful on that path bronan

Bronan: (yeeeerrrsss dune…..)

DM: Well. He needs forces, presumably.

DM: Right now he is weak, but each day another mercenary joins him. He has at least one wizard

‪Bronan: *Harump* of course, worm big, Bronan need to think first

DM: If he convinces the guard or the smugglers to join him then he might stand a chance, but we have the windblades, and the wind, and the wyrms

Constance: AND MY AXE

Constance: HAHAHAHHAHA

Bronan: Hmm maybe we get smugglers and guard to help blessed wind, that help?

Constance: (I don’t actually say that)

Bronan: Axe, Constance want axe?

‪Bronan: Bronan thinks he hears something, reaches for a hand axe attached to his pack, shakes his head and lowers his hand)

DM: We have no interest in aligning with the smugglers or guard, and no need

DM: We do not seek to expand

DM: If you want the smugglers to live, tell them to stay south of Ptonos, respect the worms, and carry no slaves. Else we will kill them

DM: If you want the guards to live, don’t let Mayor Skroll poison their minds with his lies and lead them here. If he does, we will kill them

DM: The only worry is the mayor. He sought the girl, he will certainly be seeking other ways to destroy us in one fell swoop without risking battle

‪Bronan: Can we speak to girl, see if she want home, help her?

DM: Of course. Fun, bring in Melody

DM: Fun leaves and returns shortly with a girl, perhaps 14 years old? She is a red skinned tiefling wearing peasant clothes. She has black stubby horns and yellow eyes. On her wrists, black bracers bearing many runes

DM: Hello, she says

DM: The elders bow their heads respectfully. She takes a seat next to Fun, who seems protective of her

DM: Fun says you might be able to help us?

Constance: How so?

DM: By stopping the mayor

Constance: And when you say “us” to whom do you refer

DM: The blessed wind won’t ask you this

DM: BUT I’M NOT BLESSED WIND!

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 16 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

Starter Set

 

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