The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 17 – Straw Lice

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 16, find it here!

 

DM: Well. This appears to be you sitting down to a war council. How you proceed is up to. you have the tsunami gem. You know the location of the sorcerous girl. And you believe you know the mayor’s plan

Bronan: (plot twist, he’s the mage and he’ll use his bacteria laden hands to cast biological warfare tsunami)

‪Bronan: Bronan plan simple, hit with axe, maybe use net thrower, or smoke bomb

‪Bronan: Mainly the beers

‪Bronan: And Faustus friends use ninja skill to throw javelin and smack with godsword

‪Bronan: Constance friend use gnollstick and fist to beat Scarf-mayor

Faustus: Paladin-Ninja dual class.

Bronan: (for the guy in chainmail, you are the silent killer!)

Faustus: Exactly like diabetes

DM: And shit, chainmail!? Disadvantage in stealth rolls from now I’m pretty sure!

Faustus: I was doing them last time in the canyon bit. Can’t remember if it did earlier.

Bronan: (mayor better hope he has his insulin handy amiright? Also Constance can lay out some status effects, we could paint the mayor across the room like a pollock)

‪Bronan: Canyon is the only stealthing?

Faustus: That appears to be correct!

DM: Fair enough fair enough!

Faustus: Only stealth I seem to have done anyway

‪Bronan: I feel that it’s probably fair to give Bronan disadvantage on stealth too, he does have a pug in his loincloth pouch

‪Bronan: But we all know Bronan doesn’t really actively sneak, he just shuts up for a bit

Constance: Yeah. Chain mail is heavy armour. Disadvantage in stealth rolls

‪Bronan: Don’t think we should use gem, might harm town

‪Bronan: (also, the scorpion bodies, can we milk some venom from them?)

DM: You can try!

DM: 3 bodies, so 3 potential vial, roll 3 survival checks

‪Bronan: Awesome

‪Bronan: It started out so well…21, 7 and a natty 1

DM: You get one vial

DM: Get cocky

DM: And on the third one prick yourself with the stinger

DM: Make a constitution save please

Faustus: Haha

‪Bronan: It’s a 6

DM: You feel froth forming at the corner of your mouth

DM: And you feel woozy

DM: And the world starts to spin

‪Bronan: Bronan sit down, not feel good

‪Bronan: Bring Bronan bucket!

DM: It was a tiny sting so you feel alright after a few minutes. But feels like after you drink a batch of funny ale!

‪Bronan: Hmm, if we find more scorpion, Bronan have idea to make strong ale

‪Bronan: But for now, which friend want vial of tail juice? Bronan not really want, probably end up stinging self with it or throwing it in Scarf-mayors eyes

Constance: So. What do we know?

Bronan: Scarf-mayor is wizard or has wizard, want to flood bird people to open smuggling route

‪Bronan: Melbos not like mayor, want birdmen dead

‪Bronan: Guard only drink 2 ale when on duty

‪Bronan: Also, Scarf-mayor has friends who try to cage melody for the DRM from sand pirate bay, maybe Scarf-mayor want it to unleash torrent of water to get rid of free bird people so he can take their ore money

DM: That’s a pretty solid summary

Constance: So we head to Cormyra for now? Then what? Enlist help somehow?

Five factions known-

 

Mayor = bad

Melbos = shady (at best)

Blessed Wind = good

Sand Pirates = risky

Cormyra = ?”

DM: And within cormyra at least a few large criminal syndicates as well as the sheik (sultan? king? Emperor? You aren’t sure)

Faustus: We could go scope out Cormya to see what’s going down?

Constance: Sounds like the best plan we have

‪Bronan: Fair enough, to cormyra-town!

DM: Superb

DM: The main road to fringes should take six days walking, or there is a mail wagon that goes every dawn from the centre of town you can jump on for 6 gold pieces each that will be guarded and make the journey in three days

Bronan: Bronan only have 5 gold, have ale and portable ram though

Faustus: I have 25 so if we want to do that I can sub you.

DM: Are you going to try catching it from the centre of town. Or on the road outside of town

Bronan: Thank you friend Faustus, you need door smash down, enemy smash down or ale, Bronan always there. Bronan pay back as soon as can

‪Bronan: If we go to centre town, more chance Melbos or Scarf-mayor find us

DM: So heading for the main road to try and intersect the mail cart?

Bronan: (Bronan is not really adverse to seeing the mayor, but doesn’t want to meet Melbos as he wants to smash the mayor but don’t want to let down Melbos, so I’m happy either way)

DM: (melbos doesn’t like the mayor!)

Bronan: (yeah but bronan said he would smash birdmen, and only smashed 2)

‪Bronan: Fah, it Friday, Bronan feel want to live life, centre of town it is

DM: So you guys are heading to the centre of town to try and catch the dawn mail cart…

‪Bronan: Unless anyone says otherwise 🙂

Constance: Yeah as long as we have the cash!

Constance: I only have about 8 gold

Bronan: Think it was 6, and Faustus agreed to covet the extra 1 for Bronan so we should be good

‪Bronan: Also, I have a literal barrel of ale, I’m sure for drinks they would be willing to give us a reduction in price

Constance: Where is this fucking mail cart. We’ve been waiting forever

DM: It’s been a bit busy, if only we were playing a text rpg whose whole point was the lack of pressure on participants

DM: But lo! In the centre of town, the mail cart sets up. The driver is an old man, with one snaggle tooth, an unkempt beard, but a pristine red uniform and black cap

DM: 18 gold to Cormyra, folks! Well, let’s call it fifteen and a few mugs of ale en route?

DM: The only other person waiting in line is a middle ages woman with a hemp sack, who looks very concerned when you arrive, and mutters something about being in a rush

‪Bronan: Bronan looks at the snaggletooth, looks at Constance and Faustus and then hands over his 5gp

‪Bronan: Bronan helps the lady with her bag after doing the whole lift the beer keg inside thing

DM: My name’s Chep, says the driver. We got six days o’ ridin on some lovely sand roads and then the hardstone line straight to cormyra itself!

DM: She politely declines your offer

DM: And holds her bag very close, between her knees

Constance: I too hand over my five gold and utter the common saying of my people. “Cheers drive”

DM: Anything else folks? Chep adjusts his crotch and spits on the sand. Never did like al’shash, not enough taverns or whores

Faustus: I hand over my gold and nod.

Bronan: Chep know good story? Want to hear good ghost story?

DM: I’d love to hear one, once we set off. I’ll trade you,a story for a story! If you each tell me a good story,I’ll tell you the tale of Greenbeard’s Glaive

DM: The mail coach is simple enough, a basic canopy over a standard coach, four horses pulling. Chep has a crossbow loaded on the seat next to him, and the four passengers can fit easily in the seats behind

Bronan: Sound good to me. Lady inside, you maybe cover ears, Bronan tell ghost story from Sir dribbles

DM: It is very early and so as you leave Al’shash square and hit the road, you do so unwatched

DM: It’s six days on the road of trading occasional stories. What are yours:

‪Bronan: Ok, do you want it in Bronan speech? Outline of plot with some in character bits for effect?

DM: Second seems good

DM: Constance and faustus, get thinking! Also, what are all your passive perceptions, and are any of you doing anything out of the ordinary over the six days?

Bronan: My passive is 13

‪Bronan: “so chep, you may want to have an ale for this one..” and I proceed to set up a tale of a guy who used to see things in the corner of his eye, movement, glimpses of some far away movement when he saw his reflection in the Lake, mirror etc

‪Bronan: Then one day he sit staring at Lake for whole day, watching and looking for the movement

‪Bronan: And he saw figure in distance, moving closer

‪Bronan: Closer

‪Bronan: Basically when it got closer the person saw….

DM: Oh shit

DM: So what happened?

‪Bronan: Flying behind him. Arm raising up (Bronan reaches around behind the driver)

‪Bronan: Until it right behind, suddenly it speak, but creature had no mouth, it speak in his mind, it say “tag, your it” and it grabbed his shoulder(Bronan will grab the drivers shoulder)

‪Bronan: (if Bronan makes him jump he’ll give a good natured laugh and say) seriously though, we did find his body impaled on top of 70ft tree

Faustus: (Phone is dying so will just insert mine now for whenever makes sense, also has to be quick!) Faustus tells the tale of a particularly difficult blue half dragon that he hunted down and killed. Days in a forest, covered in mud, trapped him and killed him eventually. (Phone dead!)

DM: Performance checks for every story please. Bronan, loved it

DM: Faustus, did you have to escape on a horse called choppa?

‪Bronan: Awww shit, I got a 4

‪Bronan: Goddamnit, really got to remember I’m not a bard

DM: Bronan, your story is amazing

DM: Everyone is entranced

DM: But when you do the prank end and grab the Chep, he is so enthralled he yelps and steers the mail coach off the road. Your mumbled coda regarding finding the man in the tree is perhaps lost in the confusion and chaos this causes

Bronan: I take sir dribbles out and say “sir dribbles, your stories almost got us into trouble again” *snort bark*

DM: In return for Bronan’s tale, Chep tells a story- now, a paladin told me this. I met him in a bar, he was drinking and drinking and scratching and scratching at his crotch. So I asks him his story. It’s a short tale of a paladin who falls in love with a girl in a red dress who stands every day atop a hill he sees far away across a mighty river. Finally he crosses the river, battling the elements, monsters, and actual elementals.when he finally arrives to profess his love he climbs the hill but she is…misshapen. he gets closer and closer, and arrives with his dented armour and bloodied sword to find a scarecrow in a red dress.

DM: I ask him if that’s what drove him to drink, and he says yes, nothing gets rid of straw lice

DM: (chep slaps the wagon)

Bronan: Lol

Constance: Constance tells the story of a monk, chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy, despite being completely unfit for the role on the surface. He was fat and clumsy. But the master saw potential. Training alongside five others of skill and talent far surpassing his, he was never their equal. Until through a variety of unlikely circumstances, he finds himself the only one able to defend their monastery, and the village where his adoptive father runs a noodle shop, from an evil monk out for revenge. Turns out that he was so fat, the evil monk cannot beat him. He beats the shit out of him with his fatness and saves the monastery.

DM: Ha

DM: Performance check Constance

DM: Solid stuff

Constance: 18.

Constance: (I’m hoping you all got that reference)

‪Bronan: (yup, glad of end to end encryption, Disney don’t play!)

DM: Ha, yes. Your story is greatly appreciated by the crowd. Even the mysterious quiet woman with her hemp sack (which never leaves her side) smiles

Constance: Also my passive perception is 12

DM: Thanks.And in fact, when Chep says “a story must pay for a story” the women speaks up

DM: It is evening, and you are around a fire away from the road. It’s dark, and she takes off her cloak to show expensive and intricate robes

DM: She put down her hemp sack in front of the fire and breathes deep

DM: I…Was a wizard. (she casts a minor illusion of a duck to illustrate her power, producing a small wand from her robes). Many years ago I travelled the land with two friends, a cleric and a sorceror, seeking adventure and fortune. After a decade of slaying monsters and righting wrongs, we heard tell of an artefact. The artefact in this very bag. We fought our way through undead monstrosities to find it. The cleric died deep in the underdark, alone and abandoned. They had left me for dead in the stow slave pits. When finally I escaped I tracked them, and I found her. The sorceror had abandons her to a hungry illithid, and fled with the artefact

DM: I found him. Dead. He had foolishly tried to use the artefact himself, without commiting. a half done job is no good, no good at all.

DM: And so now I must bear the death of my friends and carry this burden, too powerful to use, or destroy, without being used or destroyed oneself

DM: She leans back, looking sad

DM: What kind of story were that? Chep says. No whoores, no booze, no monsters. Just sad shit!

‪Bronan: Bronan pats her on shoulder, gives her ale

‪Bronan: Sir dribbles want to say he sorry for your loss (I plop sir dribbles on her lap like a therapy dog)

DM: She seems to appreciate the ale and dog

Bronan: Bronan curious about artifact, and people who live under ground. Where do they get hops needed for beer?

DM: She smiles. They use mushrooms to make beer, bronan

Bronan: Mushroom make beer? That crazy talk…mushroom ketchup and Bronan on board, but beer? So they mush mushroom add yeast and water?

DM: She shrugs. Something like that! It’s not very tasty

Bronan: Bronan think they spend too much time out of sun, they go crazy

DM: I once saw a slave brew mushroom beer so potent it sent the guards blind. That’s actually how I escaped!

Bronan: Bronan ponders this for a bit, then says “Bronan find mushroom and try”

‪Bronan: (so far, scorpion whiskey and mushroom beer are on his to do list. Along with riding a sand worm)

DM: (that is a fucking tight to do list)

DM: The lady introduced herself as Moira but the way. You can Amor history checks or perception on her if you fancy

‪Bronan: Yup imma do both

‪Bronan: Being the bastion of intelligence

‪Bronan: 3 on history,

‪Bronan: 22 on perception

DM: None of it ringing any bells

Constance: A wizard you say? Where did you study?

DM: I studied in a land you may not have heard of. East and east and east and east again, a few thousand miles of open sea. I come from the sword coast

DM: Bronan, perception wise

DM: She seems hard as oak. Proper tough stuff. Maybe older than she appears/holds herself. a few scars on her hands, one on her neck. Robes are opulent but also cut in a way she could move fast if necessary. Wand looked magic as fuck, and so does a ring she is wearing

Constance: Indeed I have not heard of this place friend moira. Did your compatriots travel from there also?

DM: Aye. And from there I left, seeking a way destroy this…artefact.

DM: The mayor of al’shash claimed an expertise in the destruction of artefacts, but I fear even here there is no hope

‪Bronan: You try hitting it with axe? Or melt it in vat of molten iron, then making it into axe?

DM: She laughs

DM: You three remind me of my youth, and my friends

DM: Thank you for listening to my story

DM: You are on your final night before Cormyra, outside a nondescript market town making camp: desert has given way to verdant plains. Inyhe distance, occasionally large beasts can be heard grazing

DM: Faustus tells his story, in return for the tale of greenbeards glaive

DM: Performance from faustus for that. Meantime, any questions for Moira or Chep?

Bronan: Moira will you keep in touch? Bronan and Sir dribbles want to make sure you OK and tell you about our journey

Constance: Upon hearing moira mention the mayor I perk up.

Constance: The mayor!?

DM: I will be in Cormyra for some months bronan, I wish to consult their archives. After that, I am afraid I don’t know where I’ll be! But I would be happy if the fates set us on the same paths again

DM: Yes constance?

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 18 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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