Tomb of Annihilation (TFTPB) – Chapter Six

This week, we are welcomed to the jungle.  That sounds quite familiar.  I fear the jungle.  Too many damn bugs.  Hi everybody, this is Kent, and I am your introductory host before we get to what you came for.  Does anybody even read these intros?  I learned that there is such a thing as a “Used dinosaur lot” and what a Hadrosaur is, and they are also called Hadrosaurids.  They are these duck-billed dinosaurs.  See, you are learning things today.  Anyway, all of this is just in the first paragraph, and I know that you are thinking, this fucking clown just read the first paragraph and built the intro around that.  That isn’t true because I can tell you that Xilix casts Grease, and we are not talking about the awful musical, so there!  Hmmm, that gives me an idea for this week’s music video.

I freaking love this group.  I highly recommend giving these guys a chance. I found them yesterday while listening to Havana.  How the hell I managed to get to these guys from that is a big mystery.  I really liked Banjo Odyssey by them as well.

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Tomb of Annihilation

Chapter 6 – Welcome to the Jungle

 

Upon reaching the docks the party learned that Jobal had provided less a boat, and more three canoes tied together.  Tempest, being a former pirate, insisted that she could steer anything that floats on water, so the party gave her command as they tied the supply canoes to the lead canoe.  Not having complete faith in Tempest’s abilities, Compassion went to the used dinosaur lot and purchased an aquatic duckbilled Hadrosaur, which the party secured to the lead canoe to help pull them along.  Compassion named the Hadrosaur “Ducky.”

The first few days of travel were relatively uneventful.  While on watch one evening, Ethyl found that a male Hadrosaur had infiltrated the camp and was in the middle of performing a mating dance for Ducky.  Ethyl decided that it was none of her business to intervene and left the love birds to their devices.

While looking to set up camp on another day, the party saw a group of Aarakocra (bird-men) flying high above them.  Upon getting their attention, the group learned that they were a scouting party from Kir Saval City, home of the bird men.  Upon hearing they were scouts, the party explained that they were on their way to investigate the recently destroyed Camp Righteous, and asked if the Aarakocra scouts had any idea what may have attacked the camp.  Per the bird-men, the Order of the Gauntlet soldiers who established the camp had set it up directly in between a goblin camp to the north, and a horde of undead to the south. Learning nothing else, the party thanked the bird-men for their time and proceeded to set up camp for the evening.

Prior to turning in for the night, Xilix proceeded to summon a new familiar.  This one turned out to be a celestial nighthawk that he named “Gryff II.” Xilix then sent the familiar out to monitor for threats while the party rested.  It was a good thing Xilix did so, as early that morning Gryff II returned and woke the party. Gryff II told Xilix that undead ghouls were headed straight for the camp, and that they looked hungry.

As the ghouls burst into the camp, Xilix cast Grease, causing two of the six monstrosities to slip and fall.  Seeing that Xilix had only managed to incapacitate two of the undead, Hertz held up his holy symbol and announced that he, “would take care of this.”  Hertz then called upon the power of Talos to Turn Undead.  Unfortunately, Hertz quickly learned that something in the swamp was blocking his holy power over the undead and/or making the undead more powerful.  Unable to turn the hungry ghouls, combat ensued.

After a fierce battle, the party had killed most of the ghouls and driven the rest away, however, the party was not without their own casualties.  During the fight the strongest ghoul got his claws through Compassion’s armor and tore out a significant chunk of Compassion’s flesh, causing him to fall unconscious and begin bleeding to death.  As Hertz was engaged with two enemies at the time, it did not appear that healing magic would be forthcoming.

Seeing his compatriot dying on the ground, Xilix yelled, “Gryff II, come to me,” and he proceeded to throw a healing kit into the air, which Gryff II grabbed in his claws as he flew by.  Then, against all reason, logic, and peer-reviewed medical research, Gryff II landed on Compassion’s chest, pulled out a roll of bandages, and used his claws to begin stitching up the wound.  

The party cheered as Gryff II stabilized Compassion’s wound.  However, that elation soon turned to horror as the ghoul that had incapacitated Compassion grabbed Gryff II and ate him.  At the end of the fight Hertz was able to magically heal Compassion’s physical wounds, but he was unable to fix Xilix’s mental wounds from losing yet another familiar.  After a 6-hour long crying session, Xilix composed himself long enough to summon yet another familiar. Xilix again summoned a celestial nighthawk which he named “Gryff III.”  Upon being so named, the familiar looked directly at the camera and gulped hard.

After another day of travel the party reached Camp Righteous, which consisted of tent housing and a wooden temple.  Not a soul was to be found amongst the camp, which had been looted of all valuables, however, dried blood stains were plentiful.  This led the party to believe that one of two things happened:

  1. The goblins to the north raided the camp, took everyone hostage after a protracted battle, and stole anything of worth; or
  2. The zombies to the south raided the camp, ate or turned everyone into a zombie, and after the zombies left the camp the goblins came in to raid at their leisure.

In an attempt to obtain the answers they needed, Hertz cast Augury and prayed to Talos.  Specifically, Hertz asked Talos if they would find prisoners taken from Camp Righteous at the northern goblin camp.  Talos responded that they would not. Hertz was then forced to inform Compassion that his Order of the Gauntlet brethren were likely either zombies or zombie food.

Not being strong enough to either assault a goblin camp or a zombie horde alone, the party concluded that the best course of action was to continue their travels to Camp Vengeance and report in.  Before leaving, however, they decided to check out the wooden temple. As they entered they quickly found out it was a death trap.

Down the hallway were two floor traps.  The first floor trap would send out numerous scythe blades whenever various plates were triggered.  The second floor trap would send out pillaring jets of flame from the ground whenever the wrong ground stone was trod upon.  Seeing the devious traps laid out before them, Tempest and Ethyl looked at each other, said “screw that,” and they each casted Levitate on themselves.  They then proceeded to float the party members across the floor traps.

Upon crossing the trapped floors, the party found themselves before a puzzle door.  After a few failed attempts to solve the puzzle, Compassion asked Hertz to provide Talos’s guidance.  Once the blessing was placed upon Compassion, he went into his pack and pulled out a crowbar. Compassion then proceeded to use his divinely enhanced strength to pull the magically sealed puzzle door entirely off its hinges.  

Having used might to overpower the intelligence test, the party entered the room beyond and found themselves standing before a spiral staircase.  Forgetting that they were in a deathtrap dungeon, Tempest began walking up the steps. Upon hitting the fifth step, Tempest was blown the hell up.  As the smoke cleared, Tempest’s unconscious body landed at the base of the stairway. Rather than look for clues to assist in determining which stairs were safe, as Hertz healed Tempest, Ethyl went from stair to stair and used Mage Hand to set off every trap.  By the end it became questionable whether the stairs would remain standing under their own power.

Upon reaching the top of the stairs, Ethyl saw a magnificent sight (to her at least), a copper jug with 12 corks sticking out from the sides.  From her years of study in the underdark, Ethyl believed that this was one of the mystical Alchemy Jugs.  What Ethyl knew, and didn’t share with the party, was that upon pulling a cork some form of liquid would spill out.  Most importantly for the party’s purposes, the Jug could magically provide enough water each day to keep the entire party from dying of thirst.  Most important for Ethyl’s purposes, the Jug could also provide an endless supply of mayonnaise.  Without saying a word, Ethyl went over to the jug and pulled out the cork corresponding to the mayonnaise, and proceeded to take a mayonnaise bath.  Disgusted, the rest of the party left the room and started heading for the temple entrance.

Tired, frustrated, and disgusted with Ethyl, the party emerged from the temple . . . to find a goblin raiding party waiting for them.  Not wanting to fight, Compassion offered their chief a shiny gem worth 10 gold pieces to leave. When the chief instead demanded the Alchemy Jug, Compassion pulled out a second gem and told the chief that they could accept the two gems or Hertz, who was now pulsing with lighting, could blow them all up on the spot.  The chief happily accepted the gems.

With the goblins gone, most of the party set up camp while Ethyl continued to eat/bathe in mayonnaise.  When the sun rose the next morning, the party awoke refreshed and excited to finish their trip to Camp Vengeance after their annoying trip to trap-land.  However, upon arriving at the Camp Righteous docks the party quickly learned that their canoes, and the supplies they had been entrusted with, were gone.

 

Where did the canoes go and how many humanoids are going to have to die in retaliation?  Find out next time on Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium!

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Okay, I can’t be that big of a dick.  Here’s Guns N’ Roses.

But when I think of Welcome, I think of a movie from the 90’s, Welcome to the Dollhouse.  One of those underrated films.  Sorry for all the videos this week.


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