The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 28 – Tip-Top Plan Dragonface

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 27, find it here!

 

DM: You reach the top of the ramp and there are a few gnomes scrubbing the decks, a minotaur standing watch, and the elf Varratim is sat on a barrel pouring out glasses of rum- he gestures for you to join him

DM: Come come come along friends , a little rum and a little talk with Varratim, Lord of the naga’s heart!

‪Bronan: (this is what happens when you let the alcoholic idiot be the face of the party! He would however Die before letting you come to significant harm)

‪Bronan: Hallo varratim, nice boat, little ones keep it clean, which is good listeria lurks everywhere you know!

Constance: Varratim, whats with the flying snake?

DM: What, my little Belochik? He is my pal!

DM: Now

DM: What do you want, my strange new friends, and how might we…contractors help facilitate? Hahaha

Constance: Before we get to that, I meant to ask, did you mention you were from Cormyra?

DM: Did I? Well. Maybe I did. But Cormyra is a far off place, with no waves, no great ocean, no little fishes! Cormyra is dry

Constance: yes, we have been there. Do you know it?

DM: I know it

Constance: had any dealings with Cormyras mayor?

DM: The sultan?

Faustus: (Mayor is the other place)

Constance: (aww crap thats al-shash)

Constance: (who did we meet in Cormyra again? Im looking for mutual acquaintances here)

Faustus: (Imohen? Did she tell us about them?)

Constance: (yes her! good shout)

Constance: i dont suppose you know a dwarf named Imohen?

DM: A dwarf named imohen?

DM: No

Constance: well never mind then

DM: Tell me. You passed through the desert

Constance: 😕

DM: Safely? No troubles?

Constance: Nothing we couldn’t handle

DM: (it was Melody and the birdmen who recommended maybe approaching the pirates)

Constance: (yeah I forget things)

Constance: what kind of work is it that you do Varratim?

DM: Me? He looks around the deck and down at himself

DM: I’m…I’m a pirate

DM: Did you not get that?

Constance: I mean yeah thats apparent, but I’ve never met a pirate before!

Constance: I have no idea what that entails

DM: Oh! Well!

DM: Piracy on the high seas! We steal goods from nasty traders, we smuggle goods prohibited by the evil overlords of the world, we kill people and take their things!

Faustus: (Really sounds like the crew is about to break into a shanty)

DM: Much sea shantying, grog drinking, and violence

DM: (the gnome deckswabbers look like they are going to break into an oompa loompa style song about piracy, but as they start the first note Varratim waves them away)

DM: So you have come to a pirate town, across a daaaaangerous desert

DM: Are you seeking adventure on the high seas? Illegal goods? The tastiest ruuuuuum? Shelter from the nasty Cormyrans? How can Varratim sort you out

‪Bronan: (pirate life sounds awesome…)

‪Bronan: Errm smash badman?

Constance: We were advised to seek aid from you by a girl named Melody, do you know her?

DM: He whistles sharply and the snake flies away, back towards the bar

DM: He leans forward and squints at you, Constance

DM: Melody, melody, a beautiful song. Where is she? She is alive? We lost the pursuit in the Red wastes

Constance: Pursuit?

DM: Of her kidnappers!

Constance: ah

DM: Where is melody?

Constance: yes she is alive, however, the fewer people know where she is the better

DM: Well, forgive me if I don’t think that is your choice, stranger. Melody is one of us, under the protection of Fort Last, and by extension the Naga’s heart

DM: And you will tell me where she is or I will flense the skin from your flesh and feed it to  the dogs!

DM: All of the gnomes have stopped working and drawn long knives

‪Bronan: (Bronan is practically squirming to say, but at the threat to constance, his eyes go hard and flat)

Constance: *throws hands up* whoa whoa whoa, there is no need for all of this, we too seek to protect melody

DM: Then tell me where she is

DM: On the docks you hear a howl

DM: And another. And another

Constance: distrust between those who seek to do the same only helps our enemies

DM: A kind of strange hooting yell

DM: Well then show me your trust, giant halfling!

‪Bronan: (is it dogmen?)

DM: It’s the owlbears! At least a dozen on the dock, and maybe twenty pirates with them

DM: Varratim lowers his axe and seems to be trying to calm himself

‪Bronan: One of Bronans hands reaches for his axe, the other to his groin, near where the doomstone is

‪Bronan: Constance, Bronan not comfortable here

Faustus: (Got an idea to keep it quiet if we want?)

Constance: Calm Bronan, everything is fine. Varratin, I’m not certain that you understand how far this reaches, Melody and by extension you and I and everyone here, is in grave danger from powerful enemies. I believe that you, like us want to protect melody, but if you were to be captured by those enemies, then through nefarious means forced to divulge her location, could you live with that?

Constance: (im aiming for some sweet persuasion here FYI)

DM: Then roll for it!

Faustus: (Got for it! I have back up if it doesn’t work)

Constance: ugh, 8

DM: If you wish melody to be safe and home, then the way to achiiiiiieve that is to tell me, Varratim, and I will cut down any man or beast in my way.

Faustus: (Gonna tell him slyly)

DM: Pontifico will support me. I will bathe in their blood and drink rum from their skulls

DM: So enough riddles, halfling. Where is melody? What is it you know?

Constance: (holding for faustus idea)

Constance: (Faustus’s?)

DM: (yeah same, varratim was just addressing you)

Faustus: Faustus touches his cowboy hat towards Varratim and sends a message (which I believe he can reply to in a whisper only I can hear?) “You understand friend, that we fear that nefarious ears are everywhere. Melody is with the Blessed Wind, our allies. She is both safe and feels safe there, and indicated that if we were to come here we may find aid in stopping those who pursue her and wish to abuse her powers. We come to you seeking that aid, but the birdmen are her friends and she is safe there.”

Constance: (tip top plan dragonface)

DM: Varratim whistles a low whistle, and the gnomes sheath their knives, and the owlbears and pirates wander off.

DM: My cabin, he says, and gestures to the back of the boat

Faustus: (Also I’ve lost all my messages from my old phone, so I don’t know how many times a day I can use that)

Constance: we follow and I give faustus a knowing nod

Faustus: Faustus nods back. “Bronan, I’ll explain later”.

Constance: (just looked back and it lets you cast Message at will, message is a cantrip anyway)

Faustus: (Ah grand)

DM: Varratims cabin is full of charts and maps and trinkets, shrunken heads, broken swords

DM: So. Melody is safe with the aaracokra. They rescued her from those…men?

Faustus: Faustus sends a message to Bronan saying “your birthday present is proving very useful”.

DM: A succinct summary of the situation would be appreciated, gentle people. Varratim pours you all some spiced rum and clears off some chairs. I’m sorry, I suppose, but you understand this is an…emotional situation

‪Bronan: Aaaaaahhh voice in mind!!

Constance: I guess we give a succinct summary of the situation

DM: Ha. Okay. Holding anything back?

Faustus: Yes. We came across signs of a caravan having been attacked by the aaracokra, and were unfortunately misled into thinking the Blessed Wind were up to no good. But once we met them it became clear that they were merely protecting their land from the criminals known as the rising sun (is that right? I can’t check), and were particularly aggrieved that they appeared to be slavers. They liberated Melody, and she seemed very appreciative of that.

Faustus: Haha apparently not!

Constance: yeah i mean we can miss out the stuff about imohen and mij

Faustus: What is your connection with Melody friend? You seem very invested in her wellbeing.

DM: She is of Fort Last. We take care of our own. And Pontifico was planning on teaching her storm magic. Pontifico’s storm magic is all that keeps the fort from destruction. Melody is our hope, our future. A beloved child. Any citizen of Fort Last would bleed for that girl. As Captain, I am responsible for her safety

DM: Who hired these…slavers? Why Melody? For her power, you think?

Constance: we believe so

Faustus: (Did the Mayor hire them?)

DM: (Yes)

DM: Who, and why? Does Melody not wish to return to us?

DM: He looks crestfallen

Constance: i think for now she is unable to, the risk to her, and by extension others would be too great

DM: But she sent you to us, wants us to aid you?

DM: Describe her to me, so I know you have met the girl

Constance: (balls)

‪Bronan: She pretty

Faustus: (Did she not want to, or was it not safe?) We believe that the Mayor of Al’Shash is attempting to take control of the region, and wishes to use Melody as a means of doing that.

Faustus: (Can someone search the chat for details of her?)

Constance: on it

DM: (i mean, I’m not going to make you roll for that. You remember she was a tiefling, etc)

Faustus: Ah. Then we describe her.

‪Bronan: She had red skin, yellow eyes. Small black horns

DM: Varratim nods

DM: So. You seek our aid, in…resolving this?

Constance: yes

DM: And the Mayor of Al’shash is responsible?

‪Bronan: Dirty Scarf-mayor is badman, varratim help us smash

DM: I will cut off his fingers and maroon him on an island for all time.

DM: Well

DM: Right. I am with you. Pontifico will…aid us. What do you wish to do? Destroy the town, salt the earth? That may provoke cormyra, unless we leave no trace

DM: We could kidnap the Mayor, and hope his replacement is less efficacious?

DM: But if you think the rot goes all the way down, I’m happy to raze the town to the ground

Constance: these are all good ideas, however, who is Pontifico?

DM: Pontifico is our storm mage, master of the runed owlbears. He protects us from seeking ships and forces with mighty dust storms, and calms the sea and earth when it threatens to destroy us

DM: Behind varratim a man appears, wizened and old

DM: Ahm gyuod at invisibility spylls too!

DM: Varratim pours him a cup of rum

DM: Varratim raises his glass in a toast

DM: To the death of the Mayor!

DM: Whatever you need, we will hopefully be able to provide. Do you have a plan?

Constance: our plan has stretched as far as recruiting as much aid as possible

Constance: which is what brought us to you

DM: Well. You have succeeded in that phase. And now you must decide the course, and we will fill the sails with righteous fury and follow you to bring back our girl and keep our lands safe!

Constance: (what time is it?)

DM: Midday

Constance: Varratim, do you have details of what sort of forces you could field?

DM: Hmm.

DM: To leave Fort Last safe?

DM: Myself, 20 of my best men and…(he glances at Pontifico who holds up three fingers) three owlbears? We can travel overland like that

Constance: hmm, Faustus, any numbers on how many of the Blessed Wind we could get involved?

DM: Alternatively, Pontifico could teleport 8 of us with more secrecy, so the three of you, myself, and four more of our choosing, if we decide to be more…surgical

‪Bronan: Don’t forget sir dribbles

DM: Pontifico smiles and nods ‘Nay worrues about your doyg’

Constance: a surgical approach may prove more sensible

Constance: we want as little collateral damage as possible, it seems as though the guards of the town have little to do with this if anything

DM: Varratim shrugs. Clearly you have not yet decided your plan. Would you like some time to think, and we can reconvene this evening? Either way I will need to spend the day preparing my men

‪Bronan: Bronan think, it us, and then bring owlbear l, everyone know owlbear kill people for nature gods

‪Bronan: Then next mayor not wear scarfs and do bad things

‪Bronan: But maybe we talk tonight?

Faustus: Sounds good.

DM: Okay. You are taken back to the Mussel’s lament and given three rooms linked by a small seating area, and provided with food and ale

DM: So now it’s up to you, make your plan!

DM: (or do whatever else you want)

Constance: So option 1. Cowboy this and go in with 20+ guys and owlbears, taking the town by force. This risks Cormyra getting wind of things and some sort of retribution. Also, would result in higher likelihood of collateral damage. However, it does play to our personal strengths.Option 2. Get teleported in stealthy like and try to get to the mayor. Ideally, we could get him alive. To ensure that we find out the reasons behind whats going on, as well as have him as a potential bargaining chip should Cormyra have something to say. However, we dont really know where he would be.

‪Bronan: Why not go back, then lure mayor to farm house, wizard teleport us back to naga boat and then we have Scarf-mayor surrounded by cowmen, little ones with knives and bearowls

Constance: oh, so you think we can lure the mayor to somewhere secluded and bring him way back here?

Constance: thats not a bad plan bronan

‪Bronan: It how you hunt predators, lure them with easy prey, then tribe there to kill

‪Bronan: Unless you Bronan, Bronan kill bear with spoon

Faustus: So how would that work? We send a message to him that we have the stone? He won’t come alone.

‪Bronan: If Bronan keep gem and wait in Hut with wizard, friends can say he has stone and not want to come into town without lieing because Bronan not want to run into Melbos

Constance: im almost certain that we no longer have his trust, he would not come alone. However, it could potentially get him away from any innocent bystanders

‪Bronan: We can grab and run, like egg stealers

‪Bronan: And if we do it right, we get Melbos to come looking for his cart just after, then maybe mayors friends and Melboses friends kill each other over wagon

Constance: (General Bronan)

‪Bronan: Bronan not take whole credit, sir dribbles help

Constance: ok, i like this.

Constance: We get word to both the mayor and melbos that we have what they are looking for, get them all to turn up in the same place, see what happens. Then we turn up with us three plus pontifico and Verratim and maybe two others, then in the chaos we smash and grab the mayor and get back here.

‪Bronan: And we tell them the other has got wind of deal and wants it for themselves?

‪Bronan: Bad men always greedy enough to fight rather than share

DM: (in going to take a back seat, let me know when you have decided on a plan to take to Varratim)

‪Bronan: Faustus, what you think?

Faustus: I agree with the stealthy approach, and inciting them all against each other may work too.

‪Bronan: Looks like we’re agreed 🙂

 

Come back next Monday for Chapter 29 of The Cursed Tomb!

 

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Dungeon Master’s Guide

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Monster Manual

Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

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