The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 21 – This Escalates Things

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 20, find it here!

 

DM: Its a new day in Cormyra! The inn is bustling (you get free breakfast stew). What’s the plan gang?

Constance: I’d like to see if we can poke around in this shop with the green slime gentlemen. It seems like it might be interesting.

DM: Sure thing. You can figure out which shop it was pretty easy by basic triangulation/common sense

DM: It’s a small shop called Mij’s Tonics & Tinctures

Constance: I’d like to see if my comrades agree first.

DM: Sure

DM: I mean you can see it from the pub window

Faustus: I agree.

‪Bronan: Sure, green not poop goop

DM: Okay. Mij’s Tonics & tinctures has a single door, couple of Windows full of potion bottles and decanters and whatnot

DM: Through the window you can see an old woman examining bottles and a very skinny tall dragonborn with glasses behind the counter mixing liquids and sniffing them

Faustus: Colour and gender?

DM: Black and female (note, dragonborn colours do not correspond to alignments, Faustus would know this)

Constance: (Faustus. That’s fucking racist and sexist)

Faustus: (I guess?)

DM: (depends why he was asking…)

DM: But yes, black female dragonborn, very tall and skinny. Pouring liquids, wearing an apron

Faustus: (Literally only asking for how I was planning to introduce myself)

Faustus: Shall we go in?

Constance: Let’s

DM: Creak

DM: Tinkle of small bell

DM: She looks up

DM: Greetings! Welcome to Mij’s!

Faustus: Greetings sister, how are you this day? (Guess what would have been different if it was a male dragonborn!)

DM: Very well, brother, very well. Peace be on your clan. Are you folks after something in particular, or just browsing? I have half off of everything in the side alcove

DM: Are you new in the city? I thought I knew all of the dragonborn in town!

Faustus: Yes, we have only recently arrived. My name is Faustus, am I to presume you are Mij?

DM: That is correct

DM: You have the look of adventurers! Seeking fortune in great cormyra?

Faustus: We seek fortune wherever we can find it! What can you tell me of your wares?

DM: Perfumes, healing tinctures, magical potions ranging from the minor to the superlative! (she gestures at a big locked cabinet behind her). All crafted by my own hand in this very shop

Faustus: (Does the cabinet look like it is leaking?)

DM: Nope

DM: But there is a door at the back of the shop and you are presumably about 1 level above where any issue would be

Faustus: (Cool)

‪Bronan: Smell weird in here

Faustus: I’m afraid we are not here to shop Mij, at least not for the time being, perhaps later.

Faustus: The barkeep of the local tavern tasked us with clearing out some vermin in the basement of his establishment. In doing so, we found a mysterious green substance that appeared to have affected one of the rodents. It seems like this toxin was leaking down through the earth, roughly from beneath your shop. Is there any chance of any damaged items in here or in a storage room that may be responsible? Of course I’m not suggesting any ill intent on your part sister, merely an unfortunate accident.

‪Bronan: Bronan is just sniffing bottles

DM: Shit, she says

DM: Shit shit shit

DM: Come with me

DM: She unlocks the door behind the counter and heads downstairs

Faustus: I follow

‪Bronan: Bronan hastily re-stoppers a bottle and follows

Constance: I traipse behind also

DM: You enter a small cellar full of vats barrels and bottles, and a workbench

DM: She immediately heads to the back corner and starts rolling away barrels until one is left

DM: It is a keg of black iron, covered in sigils and runes

DM: From its bottom corner a viscid green puddle has formed

DM: Oooooh shit, she says

‪Bronan: Hmm, big barrel. You making green, magic fire whiskey?

Constance: What’s going on there? Looks dangerous!

DM: Yup

DM: This is bad

DM: That there is concentrated fire lizard venom

DM: Cursed Imohen! It’s not.  Well. Not totally legal. I was just storing it for a friend

DM: Please

Faustus: That doesn’t sound good.

DM: Please you can’t tell anyone about this. I need to seal it and get rid of it before…Well. before it does what fire lizard venom does

Constance: Which friend? And why is it illegal?

Faustus: (Can I generally tell if she is lying as well?)

DM: My friend Imohen

DM: Faustus,perception i guess?

Faustus: 15

DM: It’s illegal because it can leech through almost anything, can cause monstrous changes in a creature, and if treated wrong will explode, with terrible force

‪Bronan: Why would imohen want this?

DM: She…She didn’t say. I didn’t ask. I owed her a favour, a big favour, from a long time ago

Faustus: And do I think she’s on the up and up?

Faustus: (First dragonborn Faustus has seen in a long time, longer still since seeing one that wasn’t evil that he was hunting)

DM: Faustus, she seems nerdy and legit

Faustus: We may need to talk to your friend, but we certainly have no intention of involving the authorities. How can we stop this leak and secure the venom?

DM: Hmm. I can defuse it with some essence of bullwrath, I have some somewhere. And I should be able to contain it and put a temporary seal on the cask. But I need to get rid of it! Please, could you find Imohen and see if she will take it away?

Constance: Out of curiosity, what is this normally used for?

DM: She looks uneasy

DM: Demolition, she says

DM: Though I have heard its more…mutational properties can be used in extreme healing rituals

Constance: Is that what Imohen does?

DM: Imohen…imohen works for one of the criminal houses. I don’t even know which one. Endless stars? Coming Night? Serpent’s hoof?

DM: I don’t know what she does, I just know I owed her a favour and she said she was in trouble and needed help

Constance: Hmm. Me and my friends must talk a moment.

Faustus: Why did you owe her a favour, if you don’t mind me asking?

DM: She saved my life, when I first came to the city. Stopped a group of youths who were beating me with sticks

Faustus: Ok. While you get your defusing agent and seal this up, my colleagues and I will confer.

DM: Okay

DM: Confer away!

Constance: This could be an in for us with some potential allies. The Crime Houses.

Constance: If nothing else we have some leverage as we know she is doing some illegal shit

Faustus: I want to help my kin here, so I’m in for finding out what is going on and how we can get the barrel out of here.

Constance: I agree.

Constance: But I feel we should approach this Imohen with the view of favours for favours

Faustus: If that is how you wish to proceed I’ll support it.

Faustus: (Shall we pause here until we get a response from Bronan? Seems like it should be a full group decision!)

DM: (Sure)

DM: (I’m out for the rest of evening anyway)

‪Bronan: (Me too soon) Bronan not really care much for law, maybe the crime men are the scorpion men working with Scarf-mayor, maybe goo is for dipping wizard in to make super powerful, maybe it just for making boom fireworks at party. Bronan not know, find out more and then see

DM: Mij says the best place to find Imohen is the pink lily, the roughest bar in cormyra. She would never go there, it’s too dangerous for her tastes! It’s at the west side of the plateau, with a patio that extends out over the cliffs

Faustus: And is Imohen of our kin?

DM: She shakes her head

DM: Imohen is a dwarf, black hair, normally in dark clothing. She has a scar along her jaw

Constance: Hmmm. Let us help, we will talk with your friend and see if we can get this dangerous substance off your hands

‪Bronan: Hmm Bronan help, want to get some more gold, not know when constance and Faustus friends have birthdays, but we might be away from shops for a while and Bronan not want to miss birthdays of friends

‪Bronan: But Bronan can smash house for money after

‪Bronan: (seriously though, did we just miss our opportunity to become ninja turtles and kill splinter?)

DM: (sorry for slowness on this lads, been a bit busy. Will continue Tuesday afternoon, until then I’m a bit hectic!)

DM: High in desert canyons, a birdman and a devil-horned girl draw mandalas in the sand. South and south again, a great stirring passes below the red grasses as something huge moves below the sands. In Al’shash, the mayor wraps cloth around his face and steps through a secret door. In Cormyra, three adventurers arrive outside the Pink Lily, a dive bar, looking for Imohen, with news of a potentially explosive problem

‪Bronan: Hmm bar look dirty, friends probably should not touch floor or table tops! We ask bar person for Imohen?

DM: Bartender looks at you for a long moment then nods her head to the back of the room

DM: It is daytime, the only people around are a bunch of scarred leathered folks drinking quietly

‪Bronan: (I might let Constance or Faustus take over with imohen, however) hey bar tender, you have drinking challenge here?

Constance: Wait. Did we ask the bartender directly for the dwarf?

DM: I thought bronan just did

DM: Sorry if I misread that

‪Bronan: Sure why not, Bronan is as subtle as a punch to the face

‪Bronan: Or he would have said it loud enough for someone to hear

DM: Bartender leans forward and smiles at you. Not many teeth. Challenge anyone you want to whatever you like. The only rule here is don’t break the furniture, or you have to deal with me

‪Bronan: Ok. Bronan not break furniture, maybe have drinking later

DM: She spits in a glass and wipes it with a rag

DM: This isn’t a library. You want to stay, you have to buy something. Ale, mead, or rum

‪Bronan: What library? Bronan have own cup, maybe ale?

Constance: Mead for Constance please friend!

DM: She pours you mead and ale, its two coppers each

‪Bronan: *Slurp* (I look around the bar) we find friend of mij?

DM: There is a dwarf in the corner in black studded leather

Constance: *sip* indeed Bronan. I say barkeep! We are looking for a dwarf!

‪Bronan: (Bronan heads over and sits down opposite the dwarf)

‪Bronan: Good morning

Faustus: Faustus follows

DM: Hello

DM: Can I be helpin you folks? Waddya want?

Constance: Does this one have a scar?

DM: She does, along her jaw

Constance: Morning friend, would you be Imohen by any chance?

DM: She downs her drink and draws a knife and starts picking her fingernails with it

DM: How did you hear that name…friend:

Constance: Through a mutual acquaintance, I believe you know Mij?

DM: She stops dead and leans in

DM: Speak your piece. But do it quietly

Constance: I raise a quizzical eyebrow

‪Bronan: Green goop need to go

Faustus: We found a leaking green substance in the sewers underneath your friend’s shop. When we went to go and investigate, she showed us the barrel of a potentially volatile agent that needs to be neutralised and removed. Naturally, we have no intention of involving any authorities. I am merely looking out for my kin and do no wish any harm or ill will to come her way.

DM: I see

DM: Well. This escalates things

DM: I think the safest thing to do would be to smuggle it out of the city and detonate it somewhere discrete. You would have my thanks and 60 gold if you did so

Faustus: Can you provide any assistance in sneaking it out? Given its questionable legality, we wouldn’t want to be caught with it. Once outside the city we can take it a safe distance from there.

DM: She winces

DM: Okay

DM: South gate, a guard called Bronwin. Night shift

Constance: Do we know how far it is from Mij’s shop to the south gate?

DM: It’s maybe 20 minutes through the city

DM: Long enough for a …skills challenge!

Constance: Hahahaha. You wank

DM: That is if you agree to the terms, 60 gold.

‪Bronan: It 60 gold each right?

DM: She shakes her head

DM: A gold piece each for the news, if you leave now. Elsewise, 60 gold total between you when it’s been safely done

DM: What say you, happy to give it a try? If not, you have my thanks and I’ll arrange someone else to deal with it. But I’d rather minimise the number of people knowing about that barrel

DM: Get Mij to give you a handcart and a…sheet or something? Look this has all escalated. I’d owe you a favour as well as the gold

DM: A fight breaks out at the far end of the bar, a goliath and four halflings smashing through tables as they yell about cards

Constance: What did you even need it for Imohen?

DM: That’s…

DM: That’s really not important

DM: What’s important is that it discretely leaves the city and nobody finds out about it

DM: So you have three options. Help me and be rewarded. Walk away with a gold piece each and your silence. Or spread word of this, and confrontation will ensue.

DM: She sits back and plays with her knife

‪Bronan: Hmm Bronan not sure what friends think but know Faustusfriend want to help mij, so happy to move it out of town if that best.

‪Bronan: (also is the barrel we saw small enough to go into the ale barrel I have in my room?)

DM: (no its about twice the size)

Faustus: I’m happy to try and help as much as possible, we just need to be careful.

Constance: I agree.

Faustus: (Can we tell if she’s being sincere at all? Like trying to trap us or anything?)

DM: Insight check!

Faustus: 15

DM: She…She seems pretty legit

DM: Clearly shifty

DM: But that could be just because it’s a super illegal barrel o fun

Faustus: But I don’t think she’s trying to fuck us?

DM: You don’t think so

Faustus: Ok

DM: I mean she is clearly a criminal, and up to no good. But you aren’t sensing any malice.

‪Bronan: Rules of cormyra-town not Bronan concern, if Faustus and Constance want, Bronan help, tribe is about caring about tribe

Constance: Yeah let’s do this thing

Faustus: And as long as we don’t get caught we are ultimately making sure this harmful substance doesn’t do any more damage like it did to the rats.

DM: So, I’m going to make this a skills challenge

Constance: Huzzah!

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 22 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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