The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 18: …Is That in Character?

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 17, find it here!

 

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?

Constance: We too have had some dealings with the mayor and found his “expertise” in arcane matters wanting.

DM: Aha

DM: Did it perhaps end with him attempting to acquire some destructive knowledge or power from you? I don’t like the cut of his jib

‪Bronan: Mmm-hmmm (Bronan rearranges his loincloth)

DM: Well, I hope you didn’t give him what he seeks

DM: His agents watching us depart makes me think not

DM: Chep has listened to all of this and seems very happy to be part of current intrigue.

‪Bronan: We watched? Thought it too early

DM: You didn’t see? Second storey window of the house with the white door, and the ‘sleeping’ beggar child in the alley by Albo’s

‪Bronan: Scarf-mayor a nasty little peeping skoll

Constance: I wait until Chep goes to pee or something

DM: Okay, he wanders off to check the horses occasionally

Constance: I lean in and whisper to Moira, “I think our paths have crossed for a reason, we must find a way to talk in private, and soon”

DM: She looks pensive. Why not now? Bronan, offer Chep another ale and he will be asleep shortly

‪Bronan: (bowchickawowow)

DM: So is that what you do?

Constance: Yeah, wait till he sleeps and get her attention and wander off a bit. Out of earshot of him

‪Bronan: Yup, it would be out of character for Bronan not to give people ale

DM: All of you wandering off?

Faustus: 17

DM: Faustus, as you tell your tale Chep seems very enthralled by its action packed nature

DM: Hoo boy! That sure was a goodun. I’ll tell you folks the tale of Greenbeard’s glaive tomorrow on the ride to town, I’m tireder than a Fox in a cathouse

DM: Chep heads off to sleep. You are alone with Moira, who mumbles some words and gestures at Chet.

DM: He won’t hear us now, she says

Constance: Legend.

Constance: So this powerful artefact which you carry. The mayor asked you to bring it, or you offered to?

DM: I’ve been here a while, looking for a way to destroy it. I heard rumours among some…unsavoury types in Cormyra that this Mayor Skrell was interested in examining artefacts linked to evocation magic. I asked around and in Cormyra, nobody has even heard of him

Constance: Wait, what? None in Cormyra know of the mayor?

DM: None of the academics I asked, or the rumours I gathered

Constance: That seems a little strange given Al’shashs proximity to the city

‪Bronan: Maybe Scarf-mayor wears scarf name, maybe skrell not mayor name

‪Bronan: That way when he not wash hand it not matter people know him to be skrell cause his name is actually frank

DM: I’m sure the bureaucracy know of him, or the nobility

DM: I was asking scholars of theoretical magics and a few old adventurers in bars. My connections here do not go deep

DM: But al’shash, despite its proximity, is a backwater. Nobody in Cormyra cares for the desert- their attention is north to the great mountains, or east to the sea

Constance: Allow me to cut to the chase. We too have come across a powerful artefact, at the behest of the mayor, though we did not know that it was him at the time.

Constance: Bronan, show her.

‪Bronan: I pull the gem out of the loincloth pouch

DM: She stares at it for a long time, and then sighs

DM: Where did you get this? Do you know what he wanted?

Constance: We took it, from a distant tomb. And we begin to believe that we know.

DM: Well. At a glance I can see it is trouble. I’ve trouble enough in my life. So what is your plan, adventurers? High tailing it to Cormyra and away?

Constance: In fact we were hoping to find some who could help us stop the mayor from his destruction.

DM: She presses her fingers against temples

DM: A treacherous path

Constance: Perhaps, but I have heard that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Or heh, good women.

DM: Too true. My fear is in what help you can find from cormyra. The sultan is…not predictable

DM: And there are many who would take that gem for their own

Constance: Oh really? How so?

Constance: The same could be said for whatever is in that bag.

DM: His mood waxes and wanes with the tides, they say

DM: She smiles

DM: Well, as to that, I am not so helpless

DM: And aside from you three none know of it

Constance: Four.

Constance: *gestures towards chep*

DM: Chep is asleep, and I cast a spell of silence around him

DM: Ah. I told the story you mean? Chep knows no details

Constance: Yes but you mentioned the contents whilst he was awake (no?)

Constance: Fair.

Constance: What do you intend to do with it?

DM: Even you only know it is powerful. And, I can hide if I need to

DM: (with which, her appearance changes to that of a well armoured orc warrior for a few seconds)

DM: I intend to destroy it. That gem- you could use the spell, ridding it of its potential, if you could find somewhere you deemed safe

DM: But my fear is that the mayor will not stop with these two failings. His wizard is…incompetent but potentially potent

DM: The sultan may fail you. My only counsel is to trust in yourselves, and do not disclose this gem to anyone you do not fully trust. It could wreak much destruction

Constance: You met his wizard?

Constance: We had assumed that he had one at his side, but were unable to confirm it.

DM: Yes. I showed them my ring of fire breath and I asked if it was as potent as I feared. Ii didn’t trust him with the real truth

DM: He seemed young, and brash. Too wrapped in his own devices to take notice of an old woman in travelling robes

DM: When it became clear the mayor was not the person I needed, I took my leave.

Constance: Fair.

Constance: If you would rather not get involved with this, as you have suggested, could you at least introduce us to someone in Cormyra that would? Or at least that could give us more information.

DM: Of course

DM: The Sand Spire is the best adventurers tavern in Cormyra. It sits on the south bridge over Cormyra river

‪Bronan: Moira friend, Bronan want to thank you, you seem helpful and nice. Hope sir dribbles help with loss of friend. He very wise. Bronan not know how he can help moira. But know that if Bronan can, he will

DM: The sultan holds public office once a week, but for this, seek his Chamberlain Xo. Tell him I sent you, and he will hopefully expedite the process.

DM: Thank you Bronan. I’m sure our oaths will cross again, but for now I must seek knowledge. Seek me out when you have solved this mayor problem and perhaps we can work on an adventure of our own!

‪Bronan: Yes, Bronan have dream that maybe moira can help with. *wistfully looks into fire* Bronan want to ride desert worm like horse, feel wind in hair

DM: Her eyes widen

‪Bronan: But other adventure fine too:)

DM: I once saw a horse eaten whole by a purple worm, Bronan. That sounds spectacular, but go careful!

‪Bronan: Bronan wait until stronger and faster, until can run like cheetah and jump like jackrabbit

‪Bronan: Hey Constance, you want Moira friend to look at stick?

Constance: What this? It’s just a stick Bronan

‪Bronan: Hmm it glow when you hit birdmen

‪Bronan: The beers doesn’t do that, thought it odd

‪Bronan: Oh well, fancy ale or snack? Bronan cook?

DM: Moirs politely does not do an arcana check on your staff

DM: And accepts an ale from bronan

DM: Any other questions for Moira guys?

‪Bronan: Not from me!

Faustus: Nope I’m good.

Constance: Not that I can think of

DM: The next morning as you approach Cormyra, Chep finally tells you the tale of Greenbeard’s glaive

DM: Greenbeard was a mighty warrior, whose mission in life was to defeat the greatest and largest monsters

DM: Always with him his glaive, a mighty tool wrought of black steel and worked with fine magics

‪Bronan: Nice, good weapon good to have!

DM: He once fought a dinosaur, deep in an ancient volcano. He warred with a clan of bullettes. he crushed a roper, plucked a roc, and even wrestled dragons

DM: So I know of him because he came to the desert

DM: To hunt the purple wyrm!

DM: Thrice he hunted, thrice he succeeded. Three worms, 70ft, 80ft, 90ft

DM: But then he heard of a worm bigger than all others. Over 100ft of muscle and hate, the great wyrm. So Greenbeard took his glaive and he went to the deepest south desert, where the red grass ends and the sand turns black

DM: And was never seen again

DM: But! I heard from the desert nomads, every now and then on a full moon there is a gleam from the south- moonlight shining off Greenbeard’s glaive, stuck as it is in the hide of the great wyrm!

DM: As Chep finishes his tale, above you to the north Cormyra comes into view. The city stands on a rocky plateau above the grasslands, a mess of spires and towers and great halls. At the base of the plateau, slums and traders. And at the south of the plateau the falls, the great river cormyra leaving its source and wending its way towards you

DM: As you wend your way up the steep path to the city, Moira hops off. Good luck gang! Remember, I’ll be in the archives for a few weeks if you need me. Be careful!

DM: Chep drops you off in a dusty plaza in the centre of town. Need directions folks? A good pub, the sultan’s palace, a nice inn?

‪Bronan: All of them, a place to get some work, and a bring your own beer food place

DM: The Sand Spire on the south bridge or Old Whitaker’s for pubs (and both are inns), Sultan’s palace is the giant building made of marble by the waterfall,  Abed’s Falafel Tavern allows bring your own beer, and for work you can always try the Mercantile Square

DM: You folks take care now, I have to go deliver some mail!

Constance: I’d like to try and follow Chep. To make sure he’s on the level

‪Bronan: Bronan not really good at hide, want me to come with? Or meet later?

‪Bronan: If Constance wants backup, I’ll go with, otherwise to mercantile square to work as a day labourer in demolition (I have my own portable ram)

DM: So Constance is spending at least part of the day following Chep, and bronan wants to make some quick going at the mercantile square- Faustus, what’s your day plan? Are you all meeting back here at a certain time?

Faustus: Just wander round an scope out the place I think.

DM: Alright. Constance, stealth check for me. Faustus, investigation. Bronan, strength to see how much you can smash in a day?

Constance: 9

Faustus: 10

DM: You spend a few hours shadowing Chep as he sends his way across the city, finally making it to a warehouse with ‘Cormyra Mail’ writ over the door. Just before taking his cart into the warehouse, Chep sees you and waves and smiles

‪Bronan: 9:(

DM: Faustus you spend your time wandering the city. You quickly identify the Mercantile Square, the sultans palace, and some points of interest- a temple to some sort of moon God, a guardhouse and jail, and some sort of magic college

‪Bronan: But, using the ram gives me +4 so maybe 13?

DM: Bronan you get hired for the afternoon as a wrecker. You smash all afternoon, wrecking an old house much faster than your co-workers. After a few hours you are tired, but the house is just rubble. The foreman pays you 5 gold, and a skin of honey mead for helping him finish the job a day early

DM: You all meet back in the square where you were dropped off in the early evening. What would you like to do?

DM: Faustus, you also noticed not many beggars, this upper city seems pretty affluent. Quite a lot of military uniforms around actually

DM: Where to, adventurers! (staying in this square a few people have tried to sell you dates and figs)

Constance: I reckon we head to that Sand Spire inn for some food and a bed.

DM: Great. The sand spire sits on the south bridge, a wide granite bridge crossing the cormyra river, whose source sits below the sultans palace. Just beyond the bridge, you can make out the falls

DM: When you arrive its clear this is a pub frequented by travellers and many strange types. The innkeeper leans across the bar and smiles at you- he is jaundiced and fat, but beneath the fat you see bulging muscles. He has thinning hair and an unkempt beard, but is smiling happily

DM: Welcome folks. I be Burliman, keeper o the sand spire. Bed, drink, food, good company? We have all that and more, and all for a reasonable rate

‪Bronan: Greetings Burliman, how much for room and board?

DM: 1 gold gets you a week, 2 gold gets you a week and stew once a day. Ale is a silver piece per cup, and no drinking outside ale in the pub! (he gestures at your keg) unless you pay a gold surcharge, or fill it up at least a gold’s worthm then you can do what you like

DM: Also, if you fight, you pay for damages. If you don’t want to pay, we get the city guard to slap you in irons. Not that that will be a problem I’m sure!

DM: So three rooms? Three rooms and stew?

Constance: A room and stew for me!

Bronan: Bronan pay for week and stew for Faustus and Constance and room for bronan

DM: That’ll be five gold

Constance: There’s no need for that Bronan! Save your money for some of this gentlemans fine ale

DM: He hands you three keys and two bowls and points at a big cauldron in the centre of the room

DM: There are currently a few young women playing dice at a back table, a few tables of dusty men drinking, and in a shadowy corner, absolutely still, a figure in a cloak sat perfectly still over a mug of ale, face hidden, hands gloved

Constance: I would like to go play dice with the women

DM: Sure, how do you approach them?

Constance: “Hello ladies! May I join your game? It has been some time since I played!”

‪Bronan: ( if Constance paid for her own roo. And board. Imma get myself some soup so still have 1gp in the pocket)

DM: That works bronan

DM: The ladies say, oh, you play knuckle dice? Superb, a fourth player is always welcome. Join us please. We are Honesty, Faith, and Virtue

Constance: What a happy coincidence! I am Constance

DM: Welcome constance

DM: Knuckle dice is a simple game, you know it Constance. You can happily play for as long as you wish. If you are really trying to win make an Int check. Otherwise no worries

DM: Any questions or chat for the ladies?

DM: Bronan, faustus, what are you up to?

Constance: Ugh. 6 on int

DM: They let you win a round out of pity, eventually

Constance: During the game I chat with them idly. Where are you from do you come here often etc etc

DM: They are all from Krym, a city many hundreds of miles north. They have travelled here to petition the sultan over some grazing rights, as they are sheep farmers

DM: Simply passing through, and heard the sand spire had a great view of the famous falls of Cormyra!

DM: And yourself?

Constance: Alshash to the south. Have you heard of it?

DM: I’m afraid not, says honesty, Faith also seems clueless

DM: Virtue says, isn’t that a desert town? I once knew a man from al’shash, he was full of tall tales about birdmen and dogmen and giant snakeys

Constance: I call Bronan over.

‪Bronan: Yes constance Friend?

Constance: Tell these fine ladies the tales of the dog men and worms.

Bronan: Sneaky dogmen. Once Bronan have to train dogmen, but dogman bit Bronan here (shows bite mark) then we find hunter dogman which kill giant purple worm.

‪Bronan: One day Bronan ride worm across desert

‪Bronan: I give the barman my last gold and take a mug of ale from my barrel

‪Bronan: Did dice lady know that dogmen like to laugh? Always laughing but horrible to house train

Faustus: Faustus is drinking quietly at the bar and scoping out the place.

DM: Grand. Perception faustus? Performance/charisma bronan?

‪Bronan: 19!

DM: The ladies are all very impressed with bronan, and buy contance and bronan a mug of mead each

DM: And invite bronan to join them in a five wayvgame of knuckle dice

‪Bronan: Woop woop 5way

DM: …is that in character?

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 19 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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