After all the hullabaloo and straight , cold, hard, murder frenzy from the previous game, the party decides it's time to take a nap. The PC's drag all their empty spellslots and laid-off hands to the front entryway for the longest of rests.
While going there, they understandably debate the Meepo situation. On one hand, the kobolds will probably kill him because kobolds are going to be kobolds, on the other hand...
They decide to keep Meepo with them for a while. At the entryway, the party sprinkles out the caltrops they recovered from the hallway where they took their stand against the goblins. Meepo sleeps in the trap door, snuggling with a dead rat, and 🌱 makes some goodberries for the party to snack on once they wake up.
The next morning, the party suddenly feels as though they gained some level 2 spells and whatnot due to all the dead goblin XP they acquired. Nothing like waking up after a good massacre! Zanzibar casts identify on the rusted key, which happens to store a one-use spell of knock, which infuriates Zanzibar since he chose knock as one of his spells to go into his spellbook solely to use on that one damned door that almost killed him. He's seething!
A key that opens locked doors? Bullshit! He never saw it coming!
The party then finds a locked door, and Zanzibar does not use the magical key on it. Instead, he makes Meepo use Yusdrayl's key on the door, which works! They enter a room with three cracked, crystal orbs and one glowing orb that plays jingly music.
They tell Meepo to touch the jingle-jangle orb.
Meepo tries, but he can't get near it, and then he promptly flees like hell out of the room and cowers like a bitch near the entrance. The party retrieves their lost Meepo, asking him what he saw, to which he only says, "Something alive that shouldn't want to!"
Valour steps forth and places a hand on the orb, and his mind is wracked with visions of a grotesque nightmare that rakes his sanity, spilling out his mania and roaring at his soul. He sees glimmers of a shape, a mouth, an eye—then nothing.
Before the party can ask what's wrong, Valour takes his sword and shatters the orb. All he can muster to tell them is that he saw a sin against nature that he hopes to never see again.
The party moves on, finding a room with a marbled demon statue in it. An inscription on the statue shows a riddle,
We come at night without being fetched;
We disappear by day without being stolen;
What are we?
"Shadows?" says Zanzibar.
"Racoons! Um, no, Possums!" says 🌱.
Upon the word "stars," the door opens. The party tells Meepo to stay in the room in case the door closes on them so that he can repeat the password, and they venture forth, opening another door to a room with a spiked pit trap.
Before they can analyze the area, a flittering, winged demon creature zips past them, shouting "You broke the binding! My watch over the demon priest is over!"
The party promptly chases the bastard down and rips it in half because hell naw they ain't letting no demons flutter free in this spookey sewer castle.
Valour gives a javelin to Meepo and tells him, "If any other monsters come through this door, you attack, okay?" Meepo is ecstatic and tells Valour he can do it!
The party leaps over the spike pit and finds a tomb with a sarcophagus in it. All kinds of spooky spookiness hints that there is something super duper dangerous in that sarcophagus, so they open it up and a mummified troll pops out!
🌱 transforms into a fucking nightmare of an athlete's foot fungus monster using his new circle of spores abilities, and he decks the troll while the rest of the party eradicate it with magic missiles and a divine smite that hits the troll as hard as all three billy goats gruffs combined.
They loot the sarcophagus and find some shit. Mostly cleric scrolls. This also infuriates Zanzibar. The party leaves, regrouping with Meepo, who instantly loses his shit when he sees 🌱 looking like a Captain Planet villain.
Valour calms Meepo down, then agrees with the others that they need to find the kobolds and see how pissed off they are since Zanzibar's charm person ability has worn off by now.
Fortunately for them, the kobolds are all dead!
Valour stumbles across the kobold living quarters and finds them all slaughtered with a few dead goblins scattered around as well. He shuffles Meepo off to guard a hallway so that the kobold doesn't seen his dead peers, and the party combs the dead for any signs of what happened.
Valour finds a kobold cowering in the corner of a store room, and true to the party's suspicions, the kobold tells them about a goblin raid. "It's all your fault!" the kobold spits at them, "The goblins weren't so aggressive until you showed up!"
Valour decides that now is a good time to tell Meepo the truth about the other kobolds, and when he does, Meepo hugs him!
The party is confused.
"They're all dead! Those bastards who picked on Meepo are dead! Yahoo!" Meepo shouts, running around all of the dead bodies and flipping them off. He talks smack to the kobolds who tormented him for losing the dragon, and he moons Yusdrayl.
In the heat of Meepo's loud merrymaking, Valour says, "Hey Meepo, you need to see this."
Meepo runs into a room that Valour is pointing at and is met with the brooding scowl of the survivor kobold.
Meepo panics and throws his javelin at the kobold! He hits the kobold, but it charges, swinging at Meepo. Zanzibar uses his portent voodoo ability to cause the kobold to miss, and just as Meepo is ready to take another swipe, 🌱 crushes the other kobold to death with a chilling touch.
"MEEPO HAS FELT THE BLOODLUST OF BATTLE!" Meepo says, holding his javelin high.
Valour makes a mental note to pray really hard to Tyr later that night regarding the pint-sized hellion he may have just created.
The party regroups and sets off to find the goblins again, but this time they go through kobold territory, coming back up to the hallway they retreated from before. 🌱 sees a goblin hiding in the corner near a door, so he runs up to it. The goblin tries to open the door, but 🌱 blocks it and clubs the goblin on the head with his shanaynay.
"Well there must have been something important behind this door," 🌱 probably thinks, so he opens it.
And look! It's Calcyrx the white dragon hiding behind that door!
🌱 closes the door.
"Meepo!" 🌱 says to the kobold. "Open this door."
Meepo runs to the door and throws it open, his arms wide open! Calcyrx is back! Meepo has reclaimed the white dragon that Meepo lost—
Calcyrx immediately attacks, chasing Meepo into a corner and dropping him to 0 hit points with a bite. Valour closes in to keep Calcyrx in melee while 🌱 and Zanzibar set up ranged support, but as they do so, the door at the end of the hallway opens up, revealing a small band of goblins and hobgoblins ready to pour in!
🌱 casts moonbeam at the door's entrance, and a goblin is vaporized as it tries to step through. The hobgoblin captain, Durnn, gear gives a command, and the goblins disappear from the doorway to find another route to the party. As the goblins do so, a robed goblin scampers after them, a nefarious grin on its face.
"It's a spellcaster goblin!" Valour shouts. "I know because it wears robes!"
With the goblins away for a few rounds, the PC's focus on Calcyrx. The dragon breathes ice cold breath all over Valour, who grits through it and keeps the dragon in a corner. Zanzibar brings Meepo back to his feet by feeding him a goodberry, and Calcyrx drops the kobold again with another bite.
Zanzibar realizes that if he keeps bringing Meepo back to 1 HP, Calcyrx will keep spending her attacks on him! For once, Zanzibar's not angry at a revelation!
At that time though, Zanzibar lands a fatal barrage of magic missiles into the dragon, annihilating it. The party then preps for the goblins. 🌱 and Valour position themselves in front of two doors, and 🌱 wildshapes back into his mushroom terror-beast. As they hear the goblins line up on the other side of the door, Valour and 🌱 kick the doors open and start eliminating the goblins before the goblins realize they're on the defensive.
🌱 fills his doorway with spores, and Valour hacks goblins to pieces, eventually closing in on the hobgoblin lieutenants and slaughtering them. 🌱 thunderwaves the hobgoblins near him, throwing Captain Durnn into the wall. At this time, the hooded, sinister goblin from before wanders up behind the captain, places its hand on the captain's chest, then stabs him with a palmed dagger.
A goblin traitor!?!?
The goblin throws off its cloak only to reveal the goblin was McSneakle in a disguise!?!?
The party celebrates that McSneakle's player finally logged onto Roll20 halfway through the game session!
McSneakle says that while the party was off wasting time, he was infiltrating the goblins with Minion and inciting them to attack the kobolds, killing both factions and freeing up their loot! Speaking of loot, the party takes all of the goblins' loot, and McSneakle almost dies by taking 7 poison damage from a trap on Captain Durnn's locked chest.
The party then backtracks to the demon door near the demon statue, and McSneakle uses the magical, rusted key to deactivate its shield, possibly thinking "Hrm, a knock spell is probably the most sensible thing to enchant a key with! I hope Zanzibar didn't prepare knock for the day since aaaaah shit, don't look at me all mad!"
They open the door and find an altar with a whistle and a flask of orange liquid on it. Minion snatches up the loot, and oh, wait... are those caskets over there yeah those are caskets over there KABOOM skeletons pop out but the party kills them.
The party discovers that the flask is a potion of resist fire, and the whistle can turn a dead body into a zombie by blowing on it.
Guess which item McSneakle keeps?
If you said "both of them," you win nothing! Because McSneakle also stole your prize!
The party then regroups and takes a tunnel that goes even deeper beneath the temple, emerging in a massive underground cavern with creepy shrubbery and an even creepier giant tree that reaches into the air like a dead hand.
The tree is tended by three others, who address the party. Their leader, a robe-clad druid man named 🍎 (Fruit Emoji), or "Fruitmog," as the goblins referred to him, holds his arms open in greeting. He welcomes the party, hoping they will lend their aid in ushering in "a new generation of chaos!"
🌱 isn't all that sure about 🍎's chaos generation, since there are many paths in nature, but that path is kind of a dick. 🍎 puts his hand against the tree, saying that "The Gulthias tree is a conduit for the dead here. It's taking the souls and sending them to the Child..."
🍎's attendants, a man wielding a long, slender sword and a woman sporting a lute acknowledge his claim, and Valour realizes that the woman is the "MC" who gave Elisin the letter that summoned the phase spider.
Oh, he doesn't like that lady!
🌱 tells the other druid that trees aren't for siphoning souls. They're for siphoning nutrients and water and photo-ing some synthesis, and that what 🍎 is doing is bad, and that 🌱 has his own Gulthias tree seed that he will grow and nurture and raise and instill positive vegetation morals so that it will grow up to not be such a dick.
"So be it," 🍎 says. "MC Sneaker, Sir Steffan o' Valor, arm yourselves!"
A fight breaks out, and 🍎 uses a wand of entangle to cause vines to sprout out of the ground, trapping Minion and McSneakle. 🌱 charges into the fight as a mushroom monster, and MC Sneaker pelts him with a magic missile from the sick beats she drops with her lute. 🌱 drops a thunderwave on 🍎 and MC Sneaker that hurls them away, but as Zanzibar tries to pelt MC with his own magic missile, she casts shield and put shim back in "angry mode."
Geez, Zanzibar, what wizard spells do you like?
Stefan calls forth his pet giant frog, Henchman, which attacks and drops Meepo because Meepo is... just doing his best. Stefan then takes his magic sword and breaks Valour's sword to pieces, but Zanzibar drops Stefan with some magic missiles. Valour takes up Stefan's sword and wades into the fight, beating 🍎 with it.
McSneakle and Minion finally break free. McSneakle does a cool tumble roll that nobody sees because he min-maxed stealth, and he kills MC Sneaker with a crossbow bolt. Zanzibar then finishes off 🍎 with magic missile, and the brawl is over.
Valour examines the new sword, realizing that it's an enchanted sword, Shatterspike. The sword does extra damage to objects! Valour eyes the corrupted tree, then hits it with his sword until it's destroyed.
As he does so, images of the tree's roots snaking through Kinchasa hit the party. Flashing screams fill the air, and they stare in horror as they see the souls of the dead drifting out over the ocean. They are heading to "the new child of Guga," the Gulthias tree rumbles as it dies. "To fuel its birth in the land of Chult... in the cradle at the Tomb of Annihilation..."
The cavern goes quiet, and the fleeting nightmare hallucination of a gestating beast floats in everyone's head. It's the same vexation that Valour saw in the orb earlier. They squint, and the hallucination passes, leaving them only with gnawing anxiety that they must now be the tools in a great, cosmic abortion.
It's time to leave...