The Cursed Tomb: Chapter 41 – Maelstrom

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 40, find it here!


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

‪Bronan: As I’m moving bodies, I’ll keep an eye out for some keys in case they have a set

DM: Aha!

DM: Investigation!

‪Bronan: (I also want to look for any other shinys that may be on their remains, especially a shiny snorlax card)

‪Bronan: I got 11

DM: You find a sealed letter on the man in the cabin, assorted daggers etc, about thirty gold pieces

DM: And a six keys. 2 are the same, the others assorted

‪Bronan: I’ll show the party those when I’m done body clearing 🙂

DM: So yeah, bronan has cleared the skeletons- where are they all now?

DM: Constance and faustus thoroughly check the hold, now staring at a hatch that seems to lead…down

Constance: down the hold?

DM: You open the heavy hatch to inky blackness below

DM: Stillness

DM: Heat

DM: A steep metal ringed staircase descends into the darkness

‪Bronan: I would’ve put the skellys off the ship to the side, away from the gnolls

DM: Sure sure

‪Bronan: I’ll light a torch and see what we can see

DM: Perceptiooooooooon

‪Bronan: 18 total

DM: It’s the engine room! Three skeletons lie utterly still, dressed in overalls. Tools lay scattered around them, chisels and hammers. Emerging from the floor, a dome of blue crystal covered in runes sits. A tube with a horn at the end protrudes from one wall. The other walls have: a racy elf calendar; a complex poster with a picture of a blue runed orb; a heavily edited and overlapping shift timetable

DM: I mean. It must be the engine?

‪Bronan: Bronan is going to go with what he knows, and start flicking through the calendar

DM: Great

DM: Give me a perception, with disadvantage if Bronan fancies elves

‪Bronan: Errm I dunno, I kinda figure he’s into most things, Bro tribe rules is any hole’s a goal

‪Bronan: Got a 16, and a 15, so 15, Bronan wise, Bronan strong, Bronan look at nudes all day long

DM: As you are scanning the pictures, you realise this calendar is on the wrong day! It’s set to about…150 days ago

‪Bronan: (after a long time of looking at the pictures) I think date wrong it’s [insert correct date] not [correct date-150 days] right?  also Bronan have keys, we open boxes? Search mechanic skeletons?

‪Bronan: I search the skeletons in the engine room then put them with the others

DM: Investigation check

DM: You find nothing of note those skeletons, and can haul them to where you store the others

DM: You are left on a ship free of skeletons, full of mysteries

‪Bronan: Can I try some of the keys on the locked crates? (unless people want to leave me be?)

Constance: Ok. So situation. We are in the engine room. Big blue runed ball thing. Calendar marked to 150 days ago. Complex poster. Shift time table. Big horn tube thing.  We have a bunch of keys. Right?

DM: Yup

Constance: Ok. I want to go check out the poster and kind of compare it to the big blue orb thingy.

DM: Sure, arcana check for me please

Constance: Ugh. Five

DM: This is a big fuckin magic ball, eh

Constance: well shiz

DM: Uh huh

‪Bronan: (I really want Bronan to have a go just in case, would that be cool? He technically has 2 rituals and a proud shamanic tradition)

DM: (but of course)

‪Bronan: Nope, I got a 3

Constance: ha

Constance: Faustus! You know about complex magicks right?

‪Bronan: I think there are tiny wizards inside, maybe they hungry?

‪Bronan: (Bronan needs a brocade loincloth)

Constance: (oh yeah, ill use inspiration to give Faustus advantage on his Intelligence and Charisma rolls for tomorrow)

‪DM: Constance and bronan are in the hold. faustus is in the engine room. none of you seem to know what you are doing, and I think it’s early afternoon

‪Bronan: I’ll make lunch for people while sir dribbles browses the smut

DM: Passive perception checks

DM: Puhlease

‪Bronan: My passive is 14

Constance: Mine is 12

Faustus: 10

DM: Bronan, you hear a noise from outside somewhere. Not on the ship, somewhere below on the sands nearby. It sounds like a dry piece of wood being snapped

‪Bronan: Errm Bronan think Besh got loose, we should go check

‪Bronan: (and then he goes and looks outside)

DM: You very quickly realise what the sound is

‪Bronan: (please not skeletons)

DM: It was the sound of Besh’s neck snapping as a desert lion killed her. There are at least fifteen of them. Five clustered around Besh, five crunching the skeleton bones, and another five nervously sniffing the gnoll remains

DM: Your supplies and food and water are being pawed at vigorously

‪Bronan: (oh crap, that’s worse)

‪Bronan: Sir dribbles begins Barking at the large cats and seems to be going into pug rage, Bronan realises this and follows suit, raging and trying to charge at the nearest lion yelling bad kitties kill Besh, Bronan smaaaassssh

DM: (the lions are on the desert floor, you are fifteen foot up on the ships deck

‪Bronan: (yup, gonna jump it)

Faustus: Fuck!

Bronan: I should have enough movement to get to em

‪Bronan: (I hope!)

DM: Yeah, from 15ft up? Acrobatics check please

DM: And you can have a surprise round (I’m certainly surprised) of attacks then we will do initiative

‪Bronan: 18 total

‪Bronan: (Bronan has been chatting to Besh every day, they’re friends so he wants to get revenge)

DM: Okay, no damage from the flying leap. straight at the five munching on beau/your supplies?

‪Bronan: Yup. Getting all up in them pussycats

‪Bronan: I’m gonna give these cats some beers, and by that I mean smash them with the crushed beerkeg that is my axe, 22 to hit

DM: That hits the first lion

‪Bronan: 14 slashing

‪Bronan: And that’s my turn:) they’re going to nibble me next I guess

DM: All roll initiative

Faustus: Hahaha

Faustus: Right, I got a 2 for initiative.

‪Bronan: 20 #dicerolleroffire

Constance: 10 for initiative

DM: Bronan I need your roll with mods, apparently…

DM: I’m guessing it will be 3 though, in which case it is your turn again!

‪Bronan: My dex is +2

DM: So, to paint a picture. Bronan stands raging over a wounded lion, his axe bloodied, roaring with rage

DM: And fifteen lions roar back

DM: You can go first bronan

‪Bronan: (oh fiddlesticks, 15 lions may just be enough to action economy me down)

Constance: Action economy?

DM: (i mean…action economy?! There are fifteen of them. they are fucking lions man. You have made your choice…)

‪Bronan: (number of actions like attacks per turn, I thought there was 5, but happy to lie in this bed, Bronan smash)

‪Bronan: I try to smash the wounded lion to death

‪Bronan: 15 to hit

DM: Great, that hits

‪Bronan: My ac is 15 btw

DM: (i just checked, I said fifteen. Also thanks for AC, that will speed things

‪Bronan: 16 damage for that little kitty

‪Bronan: It’s cool, Bronan would’ve jumped in anyway

‪Bronan: He a big dumdum

DM: That first lion, the one who had killed Besh, lies slain on the sand

DM: And the rest pounce

DM: The four nearest, three hit you, total of 17 slashing damage

‪Bronan: Ok, is it halved already or want me to halve it?

DM: You half it please

‪Bronan: Cool 🙂

Constance: (Oh good)

DM: Next pack of five try to pounce on you

DM: So they Sprint forward one at a time with claws bared

DM: All five hit you

DM: So

DM: 30 slashing

DM: And make a strength saving throw

‪Bronan: Highest was 25 (natty 20)

DM: You get any below 13?

‪Bronan: Ooh I rolled once with advantage,  got a 13 and a 25, I’ll make 4 more rolls

‪Bronan: (rolls for 4 more anyway!)

‪Bronan: Lowest (given advantage) was an 18

DM: Wow

DM: Okay

‪Bronan: If you want to speed it up, my strength save is a plus 5

DM: As you bat away these pouncing lions you keep to your feet, despite the hideous raking of their claws

DM: And the final five pounce

DM: Four succeed in clawing you (so four str saves again please)

DM: 23 slashing damage

Constance: Meanwhile, in the engine room. “Faustus, do you know where Bronan has got to? And where is that calendar?”

‪Bronan: Got a 12 for one of them, next lowest was a 15

DM: Bronan you are on the floor

DM: Take another 10 piercing as one tries to bit your face off

DM: And now, Constance…

‪Bronan: Cool (current hp is 18 for you at home)

‪Bronan: (13 rather)

Constance: Right. 1. Have I realised that bronan is in trouble?

Constance: 2. How far is he from me?

DM: Yeah this has been possibly the loudest 12 seconds one could imagine

Constance: Oh shit. K.

DM: Bronan, screaming in rage at Besh’s demise, leapt from the ship and attacked and killed a lion. 14 other lions are now circling him, pouncing, roaring. It’s a fucking maelstrom of lions

DM: So you guys I’ll say are on the deck, fifteen feet up

DM: Looking down on a storm of claws and violence

Constance: I’m basically trying to work out if I can get in, grab bronan and get back out in one turn.

‪Bronan: (can I request that for my tombstone? “he died in a fucking maelstrom of lions)

DM: Hahaha

DM: Constance- you could leap down and reach him (with an acrobatics check), and drag him out. But you’d be taking heaps of opportunity attacks on the way out, and need to presumably climb up the ship again (another acrobatics/athletics check). Chuck him a rope and pull?

DM: Just try and picture in your head 14 lions against this beast of a barbarian, fifteen feet below you. How do you extricate him/save the day?

Constance: Would I though! Cause I have a plan!

DM: Feel free

DM: Lions are hungry, and you are a tall halfling

Constance: Ok. I leap down and grab bronan.

Constance: (Tall-ling is the preferred term you fucking racist)

‪Bronan: (if not I’m gonna animal handling these fuckers to make me the alpha and cruise with a pack of lion minions)

DM: Acrobatics check, it’s a fifteen foot drop

Constance: 19 on acrobatics

DM: Okay you flip onto the sand, into the pack, and are next to bronan. a lion is currently gnawing on him and dozens others batting in with their claws

DM: What exactly are you doing?!


Come back next Monday for Chapter 42, the penultimate part of 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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