Tomb of Annihilation (TFTPB) – Chapter Two

It’s me, it’s me, it’s that K E N T.  I gotta say, my favorite line of this week’s blog is: “Subsequently, Ilana and the others met up with Alexa, Dimebag, and a pile of dead elves.”  How does that not tantalize you?  Speaking of tantalizing, I was watching a model dance to this song earlier in the night and now the damn song is stuck in my head.  Skip to 2:28 to get to the actual song.  You’re welcome.  Send all hate mail to somebody who cares.

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Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium

Dark Sun Campaign – Chapter 2

 

Having sustained mild to moderate wounds at the hands of the gith, and needing to wait for the female Jua Dai to awaken, the adventurers decided to take a long rest.  During the rest Ilana decided to molest the magical fruit, at which point she learned that they were fruits of invisibility.

As Ilana finished her magical studies, the female elf awoken screaming, “where is Fanan, my beloved.”  Ilana immediately cast charm person on the elf to ensure they would be the best of friends.  At this point the elf was calmly informed that Jengi was Gith-chow.  

After the screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth subsided, the female elf introduced herself as Jengi.  As the conversation proceeded, the adventurers learned that Jengi was the daughter of the Jura Dai chief, Tuga Dai. They also learned many of the things they had been informed of up to this point; 1) slavers from Nibenay had been taking Jura Dai elves as slaves to be sold in Nibenay; 2) the Jura Dai had been doing a number of things to hinder Nibenay (the city state, not the sorcerer king) in the hopes Nibenay (the sorcerer king) would free the slaves as opposed to simply destroying the entire tribe (the annoyance v. actual threat matrix); and 3) they kidnapped the druid and poisoned the oasis to punish Cromlin for allowing Nibenay troops to water there and as part of their continuing campaign to free their brethren.  During their conversation the adventurers revealed their “interest” in the druid.

Despite the fact Jengi was actively hostile to everyone that didn’t have her under a charm spell, the adventurers decided to treat her as a traveling companion rather than a valuable captive.  Upon reaching the Jura Dai fort deep within the Black Spine Mountains, they were rewarded for their trust by having Jengi run ahead and yell, “guards, guards, intruders are here to take the druid, do not let them enter the fort!”  The watchtower guards then appeared, arrows drawn and pointed at the adventurers.

Not wanting to have to assault an elven keep, Dimebag and Alexa headed back down the trail.  Coraanu and Pane-Pan chose to hide in the woods.  Ilana, confused at how her new bestie could act like this (despite not having recast charm person), decided to confront the guards.  What occurred next was a vigorous back and forth between three parties.  Ilana would tell the guards that they saved the princess and that they should be allowed in to see the chief.  The head guard would then say, “you have a point,” at which point Jengi would say, “yes they saved me, but I’m ordering you to kill them, so do it.”  Then Ilana would begin her argument again.

Eventually, Chief Tuga Dai grew weary of this pointless conversation and appeared on the keep walls with his head psionicist.  Demanding to know who was appearing before the great Tuga Dai, both Ilana and Uk’Chataa introduced themselves.  Tuga Dai allowed them to enter the fort but warned them that death by 300 arrows would be swift if they said or did the wrong thing.

Confident in his defiling powers, and in the powers of his chief psionicist, Tuga Dai and the psionicist met alone with Ilana and Uk’Chataa in his private tower.  The two could feel the psionicist probing their minds, and they freely granted access.  They told the great chief that they were thankful for the freedom they were granted when the Jura Dai elves attacked the slave caravan days ago.  They also offered their services in helping free the Jura Dai elves that had been taken into slavery.  The two were also upfront about the fact that Cromlin had hired them to rescue the druid, but that they had no real loyalty to Cromlin and House Shom.  In fact, Ilana offered her services in helping the elves destroy Cromlin.  Tuga looked at her as if she was crazy as completely destroying the village would likely result in drawing the full force of the military power of both the Shadow King and House Shom, virtually ensuring the complete destruction of the elf tribe.

At the completion of conversation Tuga Dai left to confer with his psionicist.  Upon returning, he explained that the psionicist had learned that the adventurers were to rescue the druid, return him to the oasis, and then hire on to a merchant caravan heading to Nibenay.  Tuga explained that 50 Jura Dai elves had been taken as slaves offered the following deal:  He would release the druid into their custody, they would return to Cromlin and say they rescued the druid from the elves, and they would then hire on to the caravan and travel to Nibenay.  Then adventurers would then have six months to rescue half of the enslaved elves.  Doing so would earn them the eternal friendship of the Jura Dai elves, failing to do so would result in enmity and painful death.  The adventurers accepted.

Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, a Jura Dai hunting party was returning from a rather poor hunt.  The demoralized party soon ran into the retreating Alexa and Dimebag, at which point, seeing intruders in Jura Dia territory, they attacked.  Many elven kneecaps and torsos were axed that day.

Subsequently, Ilana and the others met up with Alexa, Dimebag, and a pile of dead elves.  Uk’Chataa then proceeded to “prepare” the meat, and Dimebag (whose battle axe had broken in the fight) crafted a shiny new bone dagger.  From there the entire party plus T’klick’chik the druid had an uneventuful trip to the oasis, where the adventurers guarded the druid as he cast many neuralize poison spells to remove the methelinoc from the water.  After completing the task, T’klick’chik pulled the adventurers aside and told them that the caravan they would soon be guarding would spend an intire day and night watering the mekillots at the oasis.  He hoped they would agree to a nature spirit reading on that evening as the spirits apparently had a lot to say.  The adventurers agreed; even Ilana who normally doesn’t take no guff from no punk ass nature spirits.

Upon returning to Cromlin the adventurers accepted their reward, and then spent the evening drinking (Alexa), sleeping with and then robbing some drunk dude (Ilana), and having a pimped out leather jacket with bone embroidery made (Dimebag).

The next morning the adventurers reported for duty with the caravan master, Capt. Gen’erik.  During the day patrol the elves were run around the caravan’s perimeter at a moderate distance, while the shorties (Alexa and Dimebag) were to take the far perimeter while riding on crodlu.  The bugs would stay in the wagon during the day and patrol the perimeter at night.

The first day’s trip back to the oasis was uneventful, as was the day spent guarding the caravan as the mekillots watered.  That evening, T’klick’chik gathered the adventurers around to hear what the spirits had to say.

First, Dimebag was told that to fulfill his focus, he must “find the tower of light that protected men when the silt was blue.”

Ilana was informed that, “the mad spirit of the stream wishes to speak with you.”  A likely reference to the possessed elf-hating water source at the clan reservation.  Ilana told the druid to inform the stream that, “she will come see him when she is damn good and ready.”

Pane-Pan, to his surprise, was told that “the spirit of Far-Misc is waiting for you at the Temple of the Sky Serpent.”

From there, the druid turned to Alexa and noted that, while the spirits see great promise in her, she should stop trying to surpass the greatest half-giant barbarian and instead focus her sights on surpassing the greatest halfling barbarian; namely, Nok Thal, the halfling barbarian warlord that raised such a mighty army Hamanu himself was forced to finally enter the fight to stop the uprising.  To start her journey, Alexa was advised to first seek Nok’s tomb.

This led the druid to turn to Coraanu and informed him that, “the spirits note that you have magical potential within you.  However, they would see you properly trained so that you do not turn to the vile depravity that is defiling magic.”  Coraanu was directed to seek out one of the spirit’s greatest champions, a man known only as, “The Mountain.”  [DM’s note:  “The Mountain” was a former player’s 4e Warden character from approximately 2009]  Coraanu was informed that The Mountain had returned to his guarded land in Cresent Forest north-west of Nibenay.  He was also informed that The Mountain’s guarded lands included Nok’s Tomb.

Finally, the druid addressed Uk’Chataa-Hookeri, letting him know that, “Mutami is with the one who silenced the Stealers of Songs.”  Had Coraanu’s player been in attendance that night I’m sure this would have led to much emotional roleplaying and stuff.

As the reading came to an end, the adventurers returned to the caravan duties.  The next morning, about two hours after leaving the oasis, Alexa, holding on for dear life to her crodlu mount, saw in the distance raiders heading straight for the caravan.  Expertly swinging the mount around, she arrived in time to warn the caravan and set up defenses.  

While the raiders put up somewhat of a fight, for the most part they were slaughtered by the adventurers and crossbow wielding caravan staff.  As the last raider sought to flee, Alexa mercifully lowered her blood axes; however, the captain yelled to Dimebag that the raiders were likely from the “Silt Saviors” slave tribe, and that if they captured the former slave turned raider they could torture him for the location of the Silt Savior’s slave tribe and sell the information to slavers.  Being a dwarf of low to no moral character, Dimebag set off on his crodlu to capture the raider.

Expertly piloting the animal, Dimebag was able to wrangle in the raider; however, realizing that he was about to put all of his friends and family in jeopardy, the slave-turned-raider bit his tongue off.  Dimebag attempted to save the raider’s life (so that he could be tortured later), but the raider soon bled to death.

The remainder of the trip to Nibenay was uneventful, and, per their word, the caravan master bribed the templar gate guards to ensure that the adventurers would not be searched.  What new adventures await them in the city-state of the Shadow King?  


You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website where we have the archives as well as other content such as horror movie reviews, wrestling blogs, podcasts, and some other material.  We’re on Facebook, on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ superkent92 or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Hell, you can subscribe via RSS.  Facebook and the website are probably the best bets.  Thank you.

Tomb of Annihilation (TFTPB) – Chapter One

Welcome back friends, this is Kent.  What a big surprise last week, right?  That kinda came out of nowhere.  New beginnings are good and I’m very excited.  So far I have seen a Dudehammer and Poxmark Poe which makes me want to watch Con Air, so I think we are on the right track.  As I’m not involved, I am strictly an outside observer, I will say that I straight up don’t trust Xilix.  Never trust a name that has two non-consecutive X’s in it.  These are rules to live by.  In honor of Poe, I bring you one of my favorite under the radar songs of the 90’s….by Poe.

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Tomb of Annihilation

Chapter 1 – Death Curses and Dinosaurs

 

As is tradition, four low level adventurers with no prior association, Hertz Cunningham, cleric of Talos, Young Tempest, pirate monk, Xilix Andethia, amnesiac wizard, and Ethelwynn Devir of Mantol-Derith, sorceress of pie, all arrived at the mansion’s gates at the exact same time.  The four had been directed by their various patrons to meet with former adventurer Syndra Sylvane at her palatial estate.  After engaging in forced and awkward pleasantries and introductions, the four entered the compound.

Knocking on the door to Syndra’s mansion, they noticed that the estate, while nice, was very quiet.  The door was soon opened by Syndra’s man-servant Claud, who ushered the group into the dinning room.  Sitting at the head of the table was someone who appeared to be dressed in Harry Potter Death Eater Cosplay, basically just a robe and metal mask.  It was most unnerving.

The creepy figure, who introduced herself (himself? itself?) as Syndra, invited the group to sit and eat lunch while they discussed business.  Claud was apparently a very good cook and the group happily ate their free meal, with Ethel eating triple portions of everything.

Syndra explained that she was dressed in such a creepy manner because she was recently afflicted with the “Death Curse,” a malady that appears to have been spreading across the globe.  In explaining how the curse worked, Syndra noted that during her days as an adventurer she had been slain and clerical magic was used to resurrect her good as new.  Unfortunately, the death curse, which appears to have first manifested within the past few weeks, specifically targets individuals who previously died and were resurrected through magical means.

The bodies of those who were previously revived through magical means, and were now subject to the death curse, were now beginning to necrotize and fall apart until the individual was no more.  Basically, Syndra had super‑leprosy.  Upon hearing this Hertz, Tempest, and Xilix lost their appetites, while Ethel cleaned their plates for them.

Syndra explained that she did not have much time left, and she gathered the adventurers together in the hopes that they could discover the source of, and destroy, the death curse.  Why she entrusted a group of low-level adventurers who had never worked together with this task was not explained.  She conveyed her belief that the cause of the curse was a magical artifact known as the “Soulmonger,” and that said artifact was likely hidden somewhere in the land of Chult.  Obviously hesitant to undertake such a dangerous mission, the group quickly changed their positions on the matter when Syndra offered them each a magical item from her vast treasure hoard should they succeed in breaking the curse and saving her life.

With the greedy adventurers prepared to risk their lives for profit, Syndra and Claud prepared a teleportation spell which sent the six of them to Port Ninzaro, one of the few bastions of civilization in Chult.  After the teleportation dizziness wore off, and Ethel finished puking up lunch, the group found themselves in a vibrant port city that was totally not just fantasy Brazil (spoiler: it’s totally just fantasy Brazil, please put that mental image in your head so I don’t need to spend time describing the the city’s details).

Before the group could even begin to consider how to proceed, Xilix saw some awesome flowers that he had not previously studied (or that were studied prior to his being an amnesiac).  As Syndra was explaining to the group that she would be staying at a nearby tavern and that she looked forward to receiving regular reports of their progress, Xilix paid her no mind and went over to the flower bush, cutting one off for study.  It was at this point that Xilix realized that there was an angry shopkeeper standing over him, holding the club he had named “Shoplifter’s Demise.”  Xilix quickly apologized and paid the shopkeeper 1 gold for the flower, about 10 times its actual value.

As the four conversed with the now much more affable shopkeeper, the camera panned over to a tiefling (basically half-human, half-demon) warrior who had been intently watching the motley crew ever since they teleported onto the docks.  The voiceover explained that this man’s identification code was “Compassion,” and that he was wandering knight in training.  A montage then played of Compassion’s previous training exploits, including saving puppies from being eaten by wolves, saving puppies from a burning building, saving puppies from an evil wizard, and killing puppies that had been possessed by a legion of demons intent on using demon dogs to assault the heavenly stronghold of the god of cats.  Basically, Compassion’s trainers had decided that his training had become a bit too puppy focused, and they decided to send him to Chult where it was exceptionally unlikely that his adventures would involve puppies, or even full‑grown dogs.

The voiceover also explained that Compassion was looking for the gold half-dragon quartermaster Zindar.  By some stroke of coincidence, both Hertz and Ethel had been told that if they ever found themselves in Port Ninzaro they too should look up Zindar.  As such, we he saw that the shopkeeper had directed the crew to Zindar’s location, Compassion shadowed their movements in the port.

Upon seeing the motley group approach Zindar, Compassion came out of the shadows to join their conversation.  The group did not find this strange at all and acted as if Compassion had been with them all along.  While not in anyway helpful in sharing information about the death curse, Zindar was able to inform the group about individuals looking to hire adventurers for work, specifically, Pockmark Poe and Alister Boll.  Zindar informed them that Poe was in a rundown hut in the “old city.”

While on their way to the old city Compassion, now a full-fledged and accredited member of the party, because reasons, asked if they could stop off at an armorer’s stand so he could purchase some splint mail.  Unfortunately, the party was quick to learn that all metal armor in Port Ninzaro had a 300 percent markup because GOD FORBID ANYONE NOT PLAY A DEX-BASED CHARACTER.  Instead, the only thing they got of use from the armorer was knowledge about the political structure of the city, namely, that Port Ninzaro is basically run by a handful powerful merchant princes (and princesses).  His merchant princess boss, Aquenieffa, might be able to offer the group a discount if they spoke with her.

Unable to purchase reasonably priced armor, the group continued to old town and easily found Poe’s hut.  Entering the run-down and rather creepy hut, they soon found that Pockmark Poe truly lived up to his name.  They also found that he must be rich, as he was attended by a number of scantily clad average to slightly above average looking women (and one man) fanning him and feeding him grapes.  The group explained that they were looking for work and Poe immediately sprung up.  He began to tell the group that he wanted them to enter a dinosaur racing competition . . . at which point everyone enthusiastically accepted.  When asked if they wanted to hear more or if they wanted to know what they would be paid, Hertz replied, “fine, whatever, just hurry up, we have dinosaurs to race.”  Poe explained that he had paid their entrance fees and gave them their competition tickets.  He then told them that the purse would be gold and a trinket known as the oracle eye.  The group was to win the race and bring him the eye, the winnings would be theirs to keep.

With a few hours prior to the race, the group decided to head to the House of Repose where Tempest had been directed by his faction, the Harpers, to meet with a contact.  Upon arriving at the tavern Hertz pulled out his lute, got on the empty stage without asking, and began to play his latest hymn to Talos, “The Storm in Our Hearts.”  Hertz was convinced he had at least 20 new converts by song’s end.

Meanwhile, Xilix, realizing he knew nothing about riding, much less racing, dinosaurs, decided to “make friends” with a group of patrons dressed in green who appeared that they might know a thing or two about dino-racing.  Unfortunately, Xilix lacks certain social traits such as “personality” and “not being an annoying elf,” and quickly put himself in a position where he was about to get his butt kicked.  Luckily, Compassion was nearby and quickly ushered Xilix the hell out of the tavern.

As Hertz was entertaining and Xilix was offending, Tempest was meeting with his contact, Sagi, master of the Body Beast Drinking Style of unarmed combat.  While Sagi was very entertaining, he was also very unintelligible.  By the end of the conversation, Tempest was pretty sure she learned that 1) the oracle eye was a smaller piece of the broken up Amulet of Dreamers; and 2) fellow Harper Urissa wants the eye.  For the time, Tempest decided to keep this info to herself considering they had already been hired to deliver the eye to Pockmark Poe, and only an idiot would betray an obviously rich and somewhat-powerful underworld boss.

Nearing race time, the inexperienced and completely unprepared dino-racers headed for check in.  Upon being assigned their individual racing velociraptors, the group headed to the starting line where, surprise, surprise, the green dressed men from the House of Repose where their competition.  Each racer was then provided with a staff that could be used to beat the other competitors.

As the starting bell was about to ring, Ethel turned to one of the opposing racers and said something so insulting and utterly emasculating that the opponent immediately withdrew from the race in shame (his body was found later that evening after hanging himself from the tree outside his children’s’ bedroom window).

Knowing himself to be an average rider at best, Hertz decided to play a support role.  He started his helping by using his quarterstaff to slap Tempest’s dino on the rear end in the hopes that it would go “super extra fast.”  To his surprise, it worked, and Tempest’s dino ran out far ahead of the competition.  Unfortunately, as Tempest was a former pirate with no real land-based mount riding skills, she was unable to control the beast, which decided to run off in the wrong direction, negating any benefit from the increase in speed.  Xilix tried to use his “medicinal herbs” to inspire his mount to go faster , however, the herbs only served to nauseate the beast and cause vertigo, resulting in the dinosaur running into the stands and injuring five bystanders.

After a good 30 seconds of trying to regain control of her mount, Tempest was ready to race for the finish line, that was, until, one of the opponents came flying by and knocked her off of the mount with his staff.  Upset that a man would dare lay his hand on a fellow female party member, Ethyl attempted to cast a spell to hinder the green rider’s dino.  Unfortunately, the spell backfired, resulting Ethyl being teleported off of her dino and onto the opponent’s dinosaur.  In the resulting confusion, a massive 5 dino-pileup occurred, taking out the majority of the competition.

It was at this time that Hertz noticed that Compassion had been ignoring any of the fun parts of the race and was instead racing straight for the finish line.  Never one to miss an opportunity to exalt in the glory of Talos, Hertz pulled out his lute and began singing about how Compassion was inspired by the divine righteousness of Talos to embrace the power of the storm and to gust through to the finish like the wind.  New converts by end of race – at least 16!

As Compassion crossed the finish line he dismounted and waived to the crowd.  He then walked forward, ready to except the prize money and the Oracle Eye.  Unfortunately, it was at this point that Compassion learned that he had only won round one.  In the next round, he, and any friends he so chose, would enter the gladiatorial area and face its champion, Bro Dudehammer, and his pet dinosaurs, Snuggles and Baron Von StudDino, in hand to claw to tooth competition.

Upon finding out that winning the Eye would take more than winning the dino race, Tempest came up with a plan.  It was then that he informed the group that he wanted the eye to give to his friend Urissa, who would pay them money for it.  Hertz was particularly against this as they already had a contract, and betraying a man named Poxmark Poe would likely result in future assassination attempts and not getting invited to all the best parties in Chult.  After five minutes of debate that went nowhere, the group agreed that whoever got the knockout blow on Dudehammer would get to decide what to do with the Oracle Eye.

As the group entered the area and set up a tight-knit formation, they were explicitly told not to kill Bro Dudehammer or his pets; nonlethal damage only please.  As the war horn sounded, Ethyl responded to this directive by casting a firebolt spell directly at Baron Von StudDino’s face.  The resulting explosion burned off at least half of the dinosaur’s face, with the good Baron falling to the ground, apparently dead.

Enraged at the harm done to his brother, Snuggles ran past the front line and bit deeply into Ethyl’s side, chomping off at least five years’ worth of fat accumulation in one bite.  Ethyl fell to the ground and it was obvious she was bleeding to death.  Seeing an ally in trouble, Hertz went over and prayed to Talos to stop Ethyl’s bleeding, stabilizing her condition.  Xilix, thinking he was next on Snuggles’ dinner place, also shot a firebolt off at the dino, resulting in yet another charred and possibly dying dinosaur.

Meanwhile, aggrieved at the possible loss of one of his best friends, Dudehammer knelt down next to Baron to see if he was alive.  By the grace of the gods he was!  Baron was going to be ok!  Seeing the joy in Dudehammer’s eyes, along with the fact he was distracted tending to his dino, Tempest also broke ranks, ran to Dudehammer, and began kicking him in the head repeatedly like Dudehammer owed Tempest money.  Soon after the referee had to call the match in favor of the adventurers.

Compassion simply stood in the middle of the ring shaking his head in disbelief at the group’s utter lack of strategy and cohesion.  Meanwhile, boos loud enough to be heard all throughout Chult rained down on the group, expressing their displeasure with the group’s lack of sportsmanship or adherence to the code of the gladiator.

The group strode out of the arena as the boos continued to ring in their ears.

Had they truly won the competition, would they finally get the Oracle Eye, and would Tempest really be fool enough to betray Poxmark Poe?  Find out in Chapter Two of the Plunderbund’s new campaign, Tomb of Annihilation!


You can find us at the actual 9 Deuce website where we have the archives as well as other content such as horror movie reviews, wrestling blogs, podcasts, and some other material.  We’re on Facebook, on Twitter @official9deuce, or Tumblr @ superkent92 or Instagram at Official9Deuce .  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question or a comment at kent@9deuce.com.  Hell, you can subscribe via RSS.  Facebook and the website are probably the best bets.  Thank you.