The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 36 – Are We at Church?

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 35, find it here!


DM: The dead elf who had been collapsed at the side of the pool is behind you faustus, and he claws at your head

DM: 19 to hit

DM: An unholy light shines in its eyes as it lurches forward, slamming into you

DM: (does that hit?)

Constance: (I had a feeling that was going to happen but didn’t want to meta game!)

Faustus: That hits yeah. Even with my shield out but I’m going to say it wasn’t out.

DM: You take five bludgeoning damage. You guys can now take your turns (first come first served)

Constance: let me fuck this bitch up

Faustus: I draw my sword and shield and strike back.

DM: Bronan, in your head the voice is laughing and uttering a strange mantra

‪Bronan: What happening I hear rustling and gasp of Faustus

‪Bronan: Are we at church? Who chanting?

Faustus: The dead elf is attacking us Bronan, we can’t hear any chanting!

Faustus: 15 to hit the elf

DM: That hits!

Faustus: It’s going to be a divine smite too. Is this undead?

DM: Yes

Faustus: Cool. 3d8 + my strength then!

Faustus: 24 damage. 14 of which was radiant, 10 slashing.

‪Bronan: Fuuuuuuck

DM: (jesus)

Faustus: Was a good roll!

DM: You slash into the dessicated elf, your sword gleaming with the holy light of bahamut

DM: The light fills the elf, who explodes in a burst of radiance into a cloud of grey ash

DM: Bronan, you hear Constance’s voice

DM: “Bronan, zombies have attacked! They are all around you, you must strike now to save me!”

Faustus: (Oh shit!)

‪Bronan: Zombies?!? Bronan save you, run constance, run (I stripped off before going swimming so I’m guessing no axe or loincloth) I go into a (blind) rage and leap to restrain the nearest noise in a grapple

‪Bronan: It’s weird and awkward

DM: Ha. Alright. Strength roll. Constance, strength save

‪Bronan: Strength athletics? Or just strength?

DM: Strength

Constance: (strength or dex for me?)

DM: Strength!

‪Bronan: I got 17

Constance: 15-1

Constance: 14

Constance: da,

Constance: damn

Constance: if it had been dex it would have been 19

DM: Constance you are restrained


DM: You hear a zombie growling in your arms bronan

‪Bronan: run constance run, Bronan have zombie

DM: And Constance saying “yes yes, quick, kill it!”


‪Bronan: I’m guessing I can try to headbutt the growling?

DM: Growl growl growl

DM: Yup, unarmed attack

Bronan: So no proficiency bonus and 1 point of damage on a hit?

DM: 1+str

‪Bronan: Holy shit

‪Bronan: Unnatural 20

‪Bronan: So that’s a 4 bludgeoning

Constance: “oof!”

DM: Ha. Okay. Constance it’s your turn

Faustus: Hold on that all happened too quick for me to use protection!

DM: Ha

DM: Also pretty sure you have advantage on attack if you are grappling him Bronan

DM: What would protection do

‪Bronan: But disadvantage for not being able to see surely?

Faustus: Give disadvantage

DM: Okay, second roll!

‪Bronan: The second one is a 9

DM: + anything?

‪Bronan: 9 total to hit, don’t think I have multi attack yet, so just gonna yell “Faustus, help constance run or help Bronan kill, this zombie have weird protection”

DM: Constance manages to snap her head around and absorb most of the damage

DM: Constance, your turn

Constance: “FAUSTUS, HELP!”

Constance: and try to wriggle free

Constance: (using dex if thats cool?)

DM: Yeah Dex against bronan’s strength roll

Constance: 18

‪Bronan: 13

Constance: and then use my movement to back away from bronan

‪Bronan: Do I need to roll for opportunity attack?

Constance: no!

Constance: because I use disengage as a bonus action, using a ki point

Constance: step of this wind bitch

Constance: the wind

DM: Hahaha

DM: Okay


‪Bronan: Good, I don’t want to hurt you, but demon possession bro

‪Bronan: Hahaha


DM: Faustus’s turn

Faustus: Faustus tips his hat towards Bronan and casts message “Bronan my friend, I know not what trickery the unholy item from the pool has cast on you, but you are attacking us, your companions. There was only one zombie, and I have felled it. Stop, and we can figure out what is happening”

DM: (Shit. That’s good)

DM: Bronan, you hear faustus’s message

Constance: (Yeah fuck that was good)

‪Bronan: Faustus? Faustus where is everyone? Bronan confused, constance say protect her and kill zombie… If it you, really you, put cup of ale in Bronan hand *holds out hand and drop rage*

Faustus: Do I get another action?

DM: Sure, if bronan isn’t fighting then we are out of initiative

Faustus: OK yeah I put a cup of ale into his hand, and message again “Constance never said that. I fear someone is playing tricks on you. Listen only to my voice, and only if I grip your shoulder as I say it. I am using your kind birthday gift to me to speak to you” (and as I do this I grip his shoulder).

Constance: Faustus, what in the nine hells is going on?

Faustus: I think that the unholy item is bewitching Bronan somehow. He can’t see us, and for some reason is not hearing us either.

Constance: We must destroy it.

Constance: Perhaps you should ask Bronan to open it? As he seems to have already felt the touch of its foul curse

Faustus: (Does the box look damaged or opened at all?)

DM: Undamaged and unopened

Faustus: That may be best, but we must be careful we don’t bring further harm to him.

Constance: True.

Constance: (Can I inspect the box without touching it to see if I notice anything?)

Bronan: I drink the ale

Faustus: I grip Bronan’s shoulder “Bronan remain calm. We are investigating the box to see if we can help you and figure out how to remove this curse upon you”

‪Bronan: Bronan happy to open box (I’m about to start a rousing game of pathfinder so may be slow to respond for a bit

‪Bronan: “thanks Faustus, say sorry to whoever I grabbed, can you pass me loincloth? Bit of a breeze around my grundle”

DM: You hear Constance’s voice say “no, bronan, faustus is bewitched! You need to get angry and break free!”

‪Bronan: Constance if that you saying Faustus bad, you fill ale cup and Bronan drink, if not then you bad voice

DM: The voice says “shit.”

Faustus: I grip his shoulder “Constance didn’t say anything Bronan. Is there a voice pretending to be her? Here is your loin cloth my friend. Here, I will bring over Sir Dribbles too” and I bring him over.

Constance: (Can I inspect the box without touching it to see if I notice anything?)

DM: Yup!

Constance: Investigation?

DM: Yeah

Constance: Nat 20!

Constance: Woot

DM: The chest is sealed at four points, one of which you notice is trapped with some sort of seal

DM: An explosive rune

DM: If you break it, it’ll explode. Should be able to shimmy it off with a knife or similar though

Constance: Bronan. Faustus. Get back. I’m going to try to disarm this chest, but I fear that it’s magics might be destructive.

Constance: If I can bypass them wonderful, if not then I will be able to get out of the way somewhat quickly

Faustus: I grip Bronan’s shoulder “follow me my friend” and move us both clear.

DM: You flip the catch off easily

DM: You can take this with you an apply it on a door or a window or similar…

DM: The lid slowly springs open

Constance: Nice!

DM: Inside, three things. A small skull shaped gem of a mottled black and red material, a potion of blue liquid, and a scroll case

Constance: It’s safe! (I shout)

DM: As the lid opens, bronan, you feel a presence leaving your mind

DM: And your sight returns

‪Bronan: (Nice) ah hi guys. Bronan can see!

Faustus: Is there still a voice in your mind speaking to you? What did it say?

‪Bronan: Bad voice gone. I think, constance, you need me kill zombies?

Constance: I never said that Bronan.

Constance: It seems you have been taken advantage of.

Bronan: Bronan sorry, had bad voice and couldn’t see, heard zombies, noone hurt?

Constance: I think we’re fine.

Constance: Now what to do about these “items”

‪Bronan: Hmm? Oh they weird, skull probably bad

Constance: Faustus, thoughts on these?

Faustus: I agree with Bronan (I can’t do divine sense again today). Let me have a look (arcana check?)

DM: Sure, one for the skull, one for the potion? scroll is closed in its case

Faustus: 16 and non natural 20.

DM: That is a Lich’s phylactery, and a potion of water breathing

DM: Scroll you don’t know

DM: So presumably this was a lich defeated somehow, and his phylactey was hidden below this oasis

Constance: Do we know how to destroy one?

Constance: sorry

Constance: (that was supposed to be in brackets but i got excited)

‪Bronan: (can I make a check to see if/what I know about liches? I have material for if it fails)

DM: Yup, history check from bronan, aracana check from Constance

Constance: Uhhhhh. 5

‪Bronan: I also got a 5 – liches, they the female slug thing that drink blood when in swamp lake, right?

DM: Bronan, dead right

Constance: I reckon we smash it. Smashing things is a sure fire way to get rid of them right?

‪Bronan: Maybe someone write message in paper box?

‪Bronan: (gestures to scroll case)

‪Bronan: I open the case when I’m sure it’s dry

DM: The scroll case?

‪Bronan: Yup

‪Bronan: Blind again?

DM: Inside is a roll of parchment

DM: Nope

‪Bronan: (and so die my darebrobarian dreams…for now)

‪Bronan: (lift with your thighs, not your eyes)

DM: Inside is a poem about a wizard called Ptonos- the same wizard whose tomb you robbed at the beginning!

DM: Proclaimimg his wonderousness, and warning not to disturb this artefact

Faustus: I would like the whole poem please.


” Ptonos Lord of magic deep Awaken from his silent sleep

Bring light to those who dwell in dark

Know him by his burning mark

Ptonos Lord of magic strong Make mortal coil last everlong

His knowledge and his treasure hid

A box, no seams, no hinge, no lid

Ptonos Lord of magics grand Fear no beast or man or band

Four secrets scattered neath the grass

The desert king of rib gulch pass

Ptonos, be lenient, let us live! Ptonos, we serve you, let us live!

Ptonos, we beg you, let us live!

‪Bronan: Nice!

‪Bronan: Words on paper, Faustus, you person of words? Constance want?

Constance: uhhhh, this certainly doesn’t look good.

Constance: (I assume that I read this aloud, after being handed it by Bronan)

DM: Sure! Faustus, you are pretty sure the water is safe with this artefact now removed. The skull gem almost seems to be staring at you

Constance: smash it?

Constance: (that was a question directed at the other two, in character, not a suggestion that this is what Constance is doing)

DM: (ha)

Faustus: If we smash it do we release a lich?

Constance: I have no idea.

Constance: (out of character i totally do)

DM: Bronan and Constance both rolled and aren’t sure

DM: Faustus, you can roll. History to see if you remember a historical example or Arcana to see if you know about this kind of necromancy

Faustus: 15 for history.

DM: You remember three stories- the Archlich Grell, whose phylactery was cast into the fires of a volcanic island. The Lich Queen Verrimon, whose phylactery was destroyed in a great ritual of a hundred druids. Finally, the Lich Malabrot, whose phylactery was destroyed by the great ice dragon Vimi

DM: So by your memory, it takes immense power to destroy a lich’s phylactery

DM: And perhaps different rituals and powers are needed depending on the nature of said phylactery

DM: You’ve never heard of someone just smashing one, but hey

‪Bronan: Normally liches die if you put fire stick on them or salt


Come back next Monday for Chapter 37 of The Cursed Tomb!

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