The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 40 – Tom, Dick or Drow

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 39, find it here!


Faustus: My friends, thank you. I am lucky to have you as allies.

Constance: All for one!

‪Bronan: And all for breakfast?

Faustus: Faustus laughs heartily with some effort, still strained from his wounds.

DM: In the light of day, you are acutely aware you slept on a battlefield. All a bit… gooey. Lots of flies already

Constance: So I poked around a little before passing out last night.

‪Bronan: Breakfast done, shall we move the bodies? Sir dribbles needs a clean litterbox

Constance: There is a barred door to the gold in the airship

Constance: Hold

Constance: Not gold

Constance: Well maybe gold

DM: Now it is day you can make out the ship better. it is slightly listed to one side away from you, so you can’t see the deck. You can make out a single mast, but no sails. An anchor line runs off the front by the prow into the sand. And of course the ten foot hole in the bottom of the hold you have seen

‪Bronan: (wish we had some gnome wizards now!)

Constance: So gentlemen. Let’s assume all this gold is behind that door. We have two questions to answer before we go breaking any doors down.

Constance: Question 1: how do we get that much currency out of here?

Constance: And more importantly question 2. What do we do with it?

‪Bronan: Fly ship?

‪Bronan: Bronan and Besh drag gold to pirate town, buy small tavern as investment, called Simply the Besh

‪Bronan: ?

Faustus: Besh is OK right?

Faustus: Also, very good work.

Constance: I mean yes that is a thing we could do Bronan. But what of Melbos? Al’shash

Constance: Also, I’m not certain this ship is repairable

DM: Besh okay

DM: Lots of engine parts in that hold but…you’d have to do some investigation

DM: You’ve only really looked inside at night

DM: But it is day now! What would you like to do?

Constance: Another poke about I suppose

DM: In the hold?

DM: Investigation rolls! Or history, or nature for how long it’s been here/what’s been around. Or arcana for what magic is happening. Basically say what you’d like to do

DM: Or for a poke about, investigation!

Constance: 8 on investigation *sigh*

Faustus: We all doing it?

DM: Doing whatever you like, you tell me!

DM: Constance, heaps of gnoll blood, sand, and smashed crates. Lots of cogs and springs and wires lying about

Constance: I say that

Faustus: I too will investigate

Faustus: 17

DM: Lot of sand

Constance: (Shiiiit monks get boss as fuck at 5th level)

DM: Lot of gnoll blood

DM: Lot of…machine parts that have come out of these crates

DM: Not the engine

‪Bronan: Bronan will stand around holding a battering ram waiting for his buddies to tell him what to hit

‪Bronan: Should we try to explore the rest of ship? Bronan break doors?

Constance: yes perhaps thats a good idea

‪Bronan: Ok. Smash smash, can you or Faustus help?

Constance: whoa whoa, not smashing doors yet, id like to get a better of the state of this ship. If we can’t get it flying all we will do by breaking that door down is invite any tom, dick or drow to come in and pilfer as much as they like!

‪Bronan: Bronan not think we have too much to worry about, drop not like sunshine and not a lot of people named Tom and drow, but ok, you should ask sir dribbles about ship, he used to drive flying by machine with wings, he said it was called a biplane

‪Bronan: (so no engine in the break we have in the hold, just spare parts, how big is this thing? Would it be easy to climb in deck and poke around from the top down rather than bottom up?

‪Bronan: Also, no signs of other bodies around the areas/original crew?)

DM: Deck is maybe twenty foot up, you could maybe climb the anchor chain?

DM: No bodies down here…lots of blood. Gnolls might have eaten anyone down here

Constance: I’ll have a go at climbing up the chain to see what I can see.

DM: Sure, athletics check olease

Constance: 18

DM: You can shimmy up the chain

Constance: To the deck?

DM: Yup. The deck has about a dozen lightly charred skeletons

DM: A wheel, and a deckhouse

Constance: Can I give one of the skeletons a general poke with my stick to make sure it’s inanimate.

DM: Sure!

DM: Investigation?

DM: Or nature

Constance: 5 for investigation

DM: Skeletons!


‪Bronan: Oooh ooh skeletons, Bronan hear bard tale about skeletons living in a dark house, Bronan want to see

‪Bronan: I got a 16 to shimmy up the chain

‪Bronan: Athletics that is

DM: Bronan and Constance are now on the deck

DM: Surrounded by skeletons

‪Bronan: Faustus, want me to hoist you up? It’s cool up here!

Faustus: Yup!

Constance: I’ll help.

Faustus: Got a Nat 20

DM: Yeah, in whatever cool way you like you are up to the deck

Faustus: 1080° kick flip I think.

DM: So there are maybe twenty skeletons. Leather remnants and sun bleached clothes cover some of them. The deck itself is about six inches deep in sand (presumably from that big storm a couple days back)

Constance: Hahahaha.

DM: Faustus dramatically joins you on deck. The three of you are on the foredeck, by the anchor chain. There are two masts, and a deckhouse at the back (windows obscured by sand)

Constance: I’m going to go over and try to clear a window to peer in.

DM: Peeeeerception

Constance: 4 😞

DM: Dark inside, bright outside

‪Bronan: Oooh that’s the dark dark house where the skeletons live (I try the door, is it locked?)

DM: It’s not

DM: Swings open in your hand as soon as you turn the handle

‪Bronan: What’s inside?

‪Bronan: (sorry if this ends up being a bad decision!)

DM: A wheel, a lot of buttons and ropes and bells

DM: A skeleton cracked in half

‪Bronan: (Is there any writing around the buttons or levers?)  guys there is a load of smart people things in here

Faustus: I go in and help investigate.

DM: Bronan, investigate with advantage

‪Bronan: Oh God, int is my dump stat, buckle up boys

‪Bronan: I got a natty 20, -1 is 19

‪Bronan: Wizards dice roller is helping today!

Constance: im going to stay out on deck and keep a watch out, looking out towards the horizon etc

‪Bronan: (let’s aquilla the shit out of this ship)

DM: (solid reference)

‪Bronan: (it was such a good show, so many unanswered questions about that ship!)

‪Bronan: (Do I find a child’s diary with instructions on what the levers do?)

DM: No

DM: You remember issue 412 of Grognak the barbarian, where he fights the illithids over the monster zoo on the airship

DM: And then flies away

DM: You reckon you know the basic controls. Assuming all ropes etc were in order, you know how to power this bad boy up, how to open the cargo hold doors, etc etc

DM: (we did a very drunken one shot where an illithid had turned a monastery into a monster zoo, and tried to escape on an airship)

Constance: (I died)

‪Bronan: (thats pretty badass!)

‪Bronan: Errm Bronan remember levers, we can open doors if we need. We keep exploring hold of ship? We should bury the skeletons at some point too, away from dead dogmen

Constance: before we go about that. where do we take this?

Constance: this much gold anywhere is going to raise a bunch of question

Faustus: Man I wish we had a bag of holding.

Constance: if we go to the blessed wind, they might help us

Constance: the sand pirates cant be trusted around this much currency

Constance: assuming that there is indeed currency

‪Bronan: Maybe we find treasure first and decide? Maybe bag of hold things in ship. Faustus, don’t all bags hold things?

Constance: fair

‪Bronan: Treasure could be anything, could be child’s laughter

Constance: i hope not

Bronan: Bronan hope it’s beer, or gold beer *Slurp from axe flask*

Faustus: Valid point.

‪Bronan: (explore and then pick the safest place -probably our pockets?)

Constance: (I hesitate to ask where the pockets are in that loincloth)

‪Bronan: (some mysteries are better left unsolved)

‪Bronan: So, hatch to see treasure?

DM: Hatch is easily opened

DM: Onto a hold with two skeletons, and about fifty crates…

‪Bronan: What’s in the nearest crate?

DM: You crack the lid- spools of fine silk cloth

DM: About 45 of the crates look like this- fine trade goods

DM: 5 at the back are secured with heavy leather ties, padlocks, and iron bands at their seams

DM: The hold smells if dust and a faint hint of…bone. More skeletons, all lying still

Constance: Everything clear on deck?

DM: Deck seems clear, except the fifteen or so skeletons, and a few inches of sand

DM: So in total perhaps twenty skeletons, five locked chests, forty five chests of trade goods

‪Bronan: Bronan think skeletons need burying or burning quickly to help souls rest.

‪Bronan: (you keep saying my they’re still, and all I can think of is adding “…for now…”)

Faustus: Agreed

DM: Sure what would you like to do?

‪Bronan: Burn skeletons? We can’t really bury them but could we build em a pyre or should we save the wood for repairs?

Constance: I have some oil I believe

DM: How much? Twenty skeletons…

Constance: One flask

‪Bronan: Bones burn. Right? Dried ones?

DM: Nature check!

Constance: (actually very difficult to get rid of human remains, requires a very high heat for a sustained period of time. Even crematoriums require several hours at >200 degrees celcius)

DM: (does Constance know that…)

Constance: (uhhhh maybe?)

‪Bronan: (my character uses his nappies for ac, suspend reality!)

Constance: i am proficient in medicine

‪Bronan: 17 on survival

DM: Could burn them, would take a lot of wood. But they are pretty dry…

DM: Depends on your goal. Destroy bodies? Venerate bodies? Give good funeral, or ensure safety from skellingtons?

DM: If the latter, break them up and chuck them off the ship seems like it might work to you

Constance: i wouldn’t do that

Constance: i mean if we were going to it would be “give good funeral”

‪Bronan: (Yeah, but salt and burn the fuckers too,  I’ve seen supernatural)

Constance: (fuck i love supernatural)

‪Bronan: Its difficult to do something with them without it being a mass grave kinda deal, but we could at least lay them out on the sand and say some words?

DM: It is mid morning now, and the sun is beating down on you relentlessly. Bronan thinks the ship seems in okay repair (sails are lowered and stowed). You have no idea what happened to the crew or what made that hole in the bottom of the ship. You also haven’t yet located the engine

Faustus: Shall we look for that?

DM: Sure. You have time, and easily enough find a hatch in the hold leading down the way. It appears unlocked

DM: In the dim dusty light of the hold, it is utterly silent in the oppressive heat. You’ve got 39 closed crates of presumed trade goods, 5 with banded iron edges and locks. And a hatch going downward

‪Bronan: Bronan is going to be moving skeletons off the shop first in prep for burial rites

Constance: At this point if the coast looks clear from the deck, I’m starting to wonder what’s going on. Gonna go in and get the deets

‪Bronan: Then will rejoin the others

Constance: Is there any evidence of gnolls in the hold?

DM: Investigation!

Constance: Balls. 9

DM: Nothing you can see…they seem to have avoided the upper ship

DM: So bronan is moving skeletons off the ship? Constance looking for gnoll sign? Faustus?

Faustus: Listen at that hatch

DM: Peeeeerception

Faustus: Welp. 8.

Constance: (all the rolls have sucked recently, we are obviously on a cooler)

DM: You hear the shifting sands outside, and what sounds like Bronan chatting (one sided) to a skeleton


Come back next Monday for Chapter 41 of The Cursed Tomb!

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Dungeon Master’s Guide

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Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

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