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BQ-12: Between a Croc and a Hard Place

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

The party takes their canoe just around the river bend like Pocahontas in that movie called Pocahontas which was about Pocahontas, a Native American named Pocahontas.

At dusk, the adventurers see a Chultan native clad in a loin cloth. He's cleaning a knife at a clearing in the river, and as the party plans how to engage this stranger to prevent a lot of dumb shit from happening, Dur-Dur-Dur mistakes the man for his buddy, Steven, because he's got the smallest eyes of all the characters I draw.

Dur-Dur-Dur shouts "STEEEEVEN!"

The stranger isn't Steven.

Not-Steven runs off with a grimace on his face.

"Dur-Dur-Dur I don't think that was your friend Steven." 🌱 says.

"He does that. He's just like that sometimes," Dur-Dur-Dur says. "He's probably going to give us a good dinner tonight."

"Does he normally... fight you?" 🌱 says.

"Not really, but this is the jungle. The rules out here are a liiittle bit different!"

Eku leans in towards Valour and speaks, "That Chultan had a scale-pattern design painted on his face; the scales of justice; the symbol of Tyr; and the mark of the Heretic, Ras Nsi."

The party paddles around the bend in the river and sees a marvelous campsite! There's a clearing with tents, fences, and most striking of all, a massive stone statue of a spreadeagled man holding up a crocodile like some weird-o Banjo Kazooie effigy.

Oh, and about six Chultan cannibal natives with the mark of the Heretic painted on their faces are standing around a campfire in front of the structure, roasting the corpse of a zombie, and eating some of its zombie flesh! The cannibals see the PC's.

Dur-Dur-Dur claps his hands, "It looks like they're having a barbecue!" And he runs towards the Chultans and their zombie meal.

The cannibals start getting real shifty-like at the strange orc, but Valour steps up and displays his shield, which bears the scales of Tyr.

Valour rolls a bitchin' 26 on his persuasion roll with the cannibals! The cannibals look at his shield, fully understanding that he carries their symbol. After a brief huddle where they speak in Chulanese, they slink away from the campfire, gesture to the roasting zombie, then disappear into the jungle.

"Those were Ras Nsi's followers," Eku tells the party, spitting. "Fallen men, heinous in act. They even devour the undead!"

"I thought you wanted to rid the jungle of evil?" Valor says. "Why let them go?"

"I wanted to see how the militants of Ras Nsi would react to your shield," Eku says, taking note.

Zanzibar gets a funny feeling in his funnimus-feelingus, then steps in front of Valour. "I know you are a good warrior and righteous. What happens if we get into a fight with other followers of your god, Tyr?"

Valour shakes his head. "These people are not followers of my Tyr. Tyr is not just a name. These men were abandoned by my god for a reason."

They explore the abandoned camp, digging up nothing but mildewed tents, burnt out housing, and a feisty snake that tries to bite Valour until he kills it 8 times over with a damage roll. Valour gives the snake carcass to 🌱 because... sure!

After examining the statue of the man holding up the crocodile, Zanzibar goes up to Eku. "Hey Eku, do you know the story about this thing?"

Eku closes her eyes and begins to cite the Chultan fable of Man and Crocodile which is full of Aesop/Everyman allegory:

Valour decides to enter the structure, which has an opening between its legs where its butthole would be. He immediately triggers a trap in the butthole where the floor beneath him opens and drops him 20 feet for some ouchie fall damage. Valour crawls out of the pit and instantly triggers four swinging-blade traps that chop him up something fierce, dealing 1d8 slashing damage per blade! As Valour starts to recover, Dur-Dur-Dur jumps the gap made by the pit trap and lands next to Valour.


The swinging-blade trap resets, and it chops both of them up pretty nastily.

Valour drops to zero hit points, and Eku heals him up with some cure wounds, scolding them for being too brash.

"Hrm... well, I think this place is trapped!" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Like I said, everything's rigged in Chult!"

Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur eat goodberries and drink some potions of healing to regain their lost hit points.

Valour hops past the blade traps and pulls himself onto a ledge, discovering that the floor on the ledge is covered in a 4 x 4 square grid, which shouldn't be dangerous for him and Dur-Dur-Dur, right? After all, it's just shapes! Nothing too dangerous? There have literally been two traps alerady... but three traps is just silly!

Valour throws a rope across the pit behind him towards 🌱, Zanzibar, and Eku so that they can shimmy over the pit and not trigger the swinging blades. He then takes out Shatterspike and uses it to annihilate the two closest swinging blade traps.

Anger issues, man...

While Valour is de-trapping the trap house by beating the tar out of the swinging blade traps, Dur-Dur-Dur decides to see what's so special about this pressure-plate-shaped grid pattern on the floor that can't possibly be a third trap!

Ah shit, so magical fire blazing out the walls and igniting every sumbitch standing near the grid for 4d10 damage is a thing in Chult as well.

After more healing due to Valour rolling a natural 1 on his Dexterity save and Dur-Dur-Dur not being able to stay put, Zanzibar gets tired of the whole step-on-stuff-and-get-hurt routine, so he casts spider climb on Eku.

Dur-Dur-Dur is PISSED that Zanzibar could have done this the whole time and saved them a lot of issues.

Eku walks along the ceiling and peaks over another ledge in the room with the grid on the floor. Apparently there is a door on the other side with the same checkered grid pattern, and she notices that one of the squares on the door is glowing.

Valour steps on the floor square that matches the glowing one on the door, and no traps trigger! Then another square on the door begins to glow. Eku calls out which squares are glowing, and Dur-Dur-Dur and Valour manage to cross the grid floor and climb up to the door with the glowing grid on it by stepping on the matching pattern.


The party starts examining the door for traps, because JUST ASSUME THIS PLACE HAS LIKE 12 DAMN THINGS THAT WANT TO POP OUT AND KILL YOU! And Eku notices that the door is storing a glyph of warding with thunderwave in it. Zanzibar points out that thunderwave has a tendency to knock people backwards... into the grid-floor room that activates magic fire.

Nobody touches the damn door!

"Hey Eku, do yo know what's happening?" Valour says, stumped.

Eku meditates on the floor for a bit, then speaks slowly, reciting from the tale of Man and Crocidile, "Man and Crocodile made a deal to travel the world... 'You must carry me on your back across my realm...'"

Valour shimmies across the rope and lands near Zanzibar, takes a deep breath, then says, "Zanzibar... hop on my back."

They piggyback it across the tiled floor, and no demonfire voodoo pops out of the walls and cooks them when they accidentally step on the wrong tile.

🌱 wildshapes into a snapfire lizard and hops on Dur-Dur-Dur's back. They're also not setting off traps!

That's smart!

You're smart!

The PC's approach the door and believe that they must touch the squares on the door in the exact pattern that they used on the floor. Dur-Dur-Dur and 🌱 say they're going to touch the squares, and the Dungeon Master asks which ones of them are touching which squares.

Today the players learned that when the DM asks specific details about an action, those details matter!

Dur-Dur-Dur touches the bottom two squares, and 🌱 touches the top two squares... THE DOOR OPENS!


The door reveals a large chamber with a pedestal and wraparound stairs. At the top of the stairs is a fancy ceramic jug with all these spouts and corks poking out of them. Zanzibar casts detect magic and realizes that several of the steps are trapped with glyphs of warding and he is not about fucking with traps 5 through 9!

🌱 gives the middle finger to the stair trap and crawls up the wall with Dur-Dur-Dur on his back. They then get to the ceiling, and Dur-Dur-Dur reaches down to snatch up the jug.

Hooray! Treasure!

Everyone runs outside the murder-anus and obliterates the living shit out of some battiri goblins that were stalking them, befriends a fledgling axebeak bird, then finds out that the jug is an alchemy jug (🌱 is quite intrigued), which is a never-ending supply of liquids ranging from salt water, mayonnaise, beer


The alchemy jug can also make wine as well if


The party uses their new magical item that was protected by ancient traps to get shitfaced and camp for the night, readying themselves for a trip to Yellyark in the morning!

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