After the most recent victory the PC's shout, "We're fucking this place up!"
"Well, Eku is fucking this place up," the Dungeon Master says.
"Eku is a part of we!" 🌱 says.
Speaking of plural pronouns and a PC who defies most gender/racial/Player's Handbook/why-do-you-exist? establishments, 🌱 is feeling a little weirded out now that he's now dealing with a possessive pronoun.
"So, guys, you know how there was that dragon?" 🌱 says.
"It's a dur-dursaur!" Dur-Dur-Dur complains, rolling his mustache.
🌱 continues, "So these ghost ladies, one of their kids... kind of possessed me. Or I possessed it. But now this kid ghost is waiting inside of me waiting to emerge. I don't know if it's a parasite or what. There's a ghost inside of me. Is that cool or what!"
Dur-dur-dur puts a hand on 🌱's shoulder. "There's a ghost inside all of us. That's the point."
Valour ain't a big fan of ghosts or undead in general, so he uses his divine sense and sees that 🌱 is glowing with undead energy. He then creeps up behind 🌱 and uses turn the unholy, but 🌱 makes the save, and everyone shits their pants a little as childish laughter echoes out from inside of him.
The party gives up on trying to figure out 🌱's ghost problem because THERE'S TREASURE TO SNATCH UP! They loot the slain black dragon, and Dur-Dur-Dur tries to carve a bone off of it to use as a handle for his weapon, but this "dinosaur" is really weird and he can't quite figure it out.
The PC's decide their best option is to not spend a lot of time carving up the dragon since there are dangerous random encounters around here.
The PC's spend time carving up the dragon, but they're all terrible at it. Fortunately Zanzibar somehow has some skill with vivisecting dragons, so he hacks the dragon's head off and the PC's chuck it onto Eku's back as a trophy. The PC's start sawing off a wing, but surprise! Two trolls and a bulbous, nasty, venomous pustule troll come creeping out of the marsh to play with the PC's for a bit.
Zanzibar uses the wand of entangle to throw a net of vines over the marsh, but none of the trolls get stuck. The venom troll lumbers up, and Stevorn punches it in the gut, spewing noxious gas all over the area. Fortunately, Stevorn is an animated tin can, so he doesn't get hurt from that.
Minion and Dur-Dur-Dur try to engage from afar, but they're rolling Lilac's dice, so they miss. Lilac misses too. The trolls advance, and Eku intercepts one, kicking it to the ground with those +5 feet of hers.
The party is still low on gas from the fight with the dragon mom, so Valour runs up to Dur-Dur-Dur and lays on some hands for 15 hit points. Zanzibar finds some magic missiles in his pocket and sprays the trolls with them, but the venom troll bypasses Stevorn and gets hit with an attack of opportunity, which sprays poison out onto Eku and hurts her.
The venom troll then tears his stomach open and billows poison all over Eku, hitting her for a massive amount of damage and poisoning her for 1 minute. The PC's are not happy that their bronto-girl is being splattered with nasty goopy voodoo doodoo.
Stevorn seeks vengeance on the venom troll and swings at him, critically missing terribly. He lets out R2-D2 disappointment beeps due to his shame. Dur-Dur-Dur, feeling energized after his paladin massage, lumbers into the fray and wails into one of the trolls with his weapon.
At this point, the PC's realize that the trolls are healing! They can't do that! Only Stevorn can do that! Unfair! Figment! Objection!
🌱 gets his moonbeam into the fray and drops the radiant moonlight onto the trolls, then hypes up his quarterstaff with a shillelagh. One of the regular trolls starts hacking into Eku, and her chunk of dinosaur HP starts to drop substantially.
Lilac manages to hit something for once, then hides so well near the wall of the temple that the PC's forget she's there. Like they usually do!
A troll drops Minion to 0 hit points and mans up against Dur-Dur-Dur, who deflects his attacks with his mighty Constitution armor. Valour finds a potion of superior healing from the dragon hoard and shoves it into Eku's face, gassing the brontosaurus up to a healthier HP total so that she isn't so sick. Valour then casts sanctuary on her to get the bad guys to hit somebody else instead.
Yada yada yada Zanzibar casts magic missiles.
The venom troll can't bring himself to hurt Eku. She's just too pitiful. So he chooses Valour instead, but Valour is decked head to toe in armor class, so no contact is made. Stevorn, however, gives the venom troll an uppercut that, if it were on the Pit level of Mortal Kombat, would have been an instant drop into the spikes. The venom troll is dead! And Stevorn marches towards the next troll with hate in its gears and gears in its... torso.
🌱 puts a stop to some of these trolls' regeneration by using chill touch, and Lilac bursts out of hiding to keep missing with her attacks. Eku saunters up to the troll that's fighting Dur-Dur-Dur and Stevorn and smashes it with her foot.
One troll is left, so Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur close in with Stevorn to curbstomp the hell out of it. Lilac starts painting or something. Dur-Dur-Dur finishes the final monster with his +1 yklwa, shouting "Bite this!" as it crumples to a heap.
Valour uses his last lay on hands points to cure Eku of her poison, and the PC's snatch up Minion's unconscious body. At this point, they decide that Lilac needs to leave because she's just soaking up their XP, but they word their feelings very nicely:
"Unfortunately, it looks like we will be here longer than expected. We think you'll be better off somewhere else. Please tell the men from Camp Vengeance that we will be a couple of days later than usual."
Before she leaves, Lilac helps Dur-Dur-Dur cut out a chunk of dragon bone so that he can have a nice handle for his weapon. Dur-Dur-Dur gives Lilac a crude drawing of what his dad looks like just in case she finds him.
The party hoists up the remaining treasure, wades through a pile of dimetrodons that are eyeballing them curiously, then GTFO's before someone else is made to roll on the random encounter chart.
Later that night, the PC's set up one hell of a campsite. 🌱 flings caltrops into the grass, Eku blocks off one area of the camp, and Stevorn goes full murder-bot patrol. Dur-Dur-Dur preps dinner while Valour sprays Raid all over to keep the bugs at bay.
Zanzibar analyses the items they looted, finding a nice smorgasbord of treasures, such as a robe of useful items which he keeps, a mithral breastplate which Minion wears, a circlet of blasting which 🌱 dons, and a potion of water breathing that Valour takes, as well as over 1,000 gp in gemstores and over 1,000 gp in loose change.
At this point the party realizes that, after all the adventuring they've done since leaving Port Nyanzaru, they finally found some goddamned money. No magic condiment jugs. No robot remote controls. No Diablo III waypoints. Just good old fashioned cash!
Valour and 🌱 level up to level 5! Hooray!
That night, Valour is plagued by a witchy nightmare again. Gosh-darned witches! Why can't he have a ghost in his head like normal PC's? Dur-Dur-Dur talks to Stevorn while keeping watch but suddenly the PC's are awoken by the sound of screaming people who sound like they inconspicuously stepped on some caltrops.
It turns out that a lost adventuring party, led by a dwarf magician named Loghorn, stumbled across the PC's during the night. Dur-Dur-Dur introduces them to the party, "This here is Loghead, he says he's from Fort Beluarian... if he's not lying!"
Remember several episodes ago when Dur-Dur-Dur let it be blatantly known that he doesn't trust dwarves? Well, those kind of shenanigans are going down.
Valour approaches the dwarf after talking with his own party. He tells Loghorn that he'll have to cast zone of truth on him, ask some questions, and then determine if they'll let the lost adventurers camp alongside them for the night.
"About time a dwarf told the truth!" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts from the back of the camp.
Valour speaks, "We don't know you. You can stay with us for the night, but we'll have to make sure you're not lying to us."
Loghorn allows Valour to cast zone of truth on his area.
"Mister Loghead," Dur-Dur-Dur begins. "True or false: are your 'people' trying to reclaim the Wyrmheart Mine?"
Loghorn shakes his head. "No, I'm not from here—"
"Are dragons real!?" Dur-Dur-Dur says, getting into the dwarf's face.
"Yes," Loghorn says.
"Oh this ain't gonna work. I know they can't be trusted!" Dur-Dur-Dur storms off, grumbling at Leghorn's insistence that dragons are real. Dur-Dur-Dur writes about these issues in his journal while sitting next to the gigantic severed dragon head.
"I am an employee of the Temple of Moradin," Loghorn explains to Valour, relieved that the orc is gone. "Moradin is a dwarven god: master of smiths, stonework, and archaeology. My team set out into the jungle from Fort Beluarian, which is under the command of the Flaming Fists."
Valour knows that the Flaming Fists are a mercenary group that operates out of Baldur's Gate, which may or may not be his hometown. 🌱 decides to speak to Eku about this stranger since the man is a magic user.
"We have been lost for six days," Loghorn explains. "We set out a few weeks ago, but we ran into the undead, and we were unequipped. We obtained this exploration permit from the Flaming Fists." He shows them a signed permit from the Flaming Fists at Fort Beluarian.
Eku speaks to 🌱, "The Flaming Fists are not from here. They have already plundered the ruins of Mezro. They are Baldur's Gate's hirelings trying to lay claim to Chult."
The PC's are iffy about trusting a Flaming Fist detachment, but Loghorn insists that he isn't from the Flaming Fists. He merely bought one of their permits. He's entering Chult with a detachment of Moradin supplicants to study the archaeology of the ruins, not pillage them.
Valour asks if the dwarf or his people have a heavy weapon for Dur-Dur-Dur since the orc needs a weapon to take advantage of his great weapon mastery. The dwarf says that all he has is this fist-sized gold nugget.
Dur-Dur-Dur says, "That's not what we asked for!"
Dur-Dur-Dur takes the nugget.
Valour gives the troupe 10 days worth of rations and feeds them around the campfire. Loghorn gives Valour a sigil of Moradin with Loghorn's name inscribed on it in dwarf runes. Before Valour sleeps, he uses his newfound power to conjour a celestial warhorse. He then goes over to 🌱 and tries to speak to the ghost inside of him.
"What are your intentions?" Valour asks.
"I don't know," the ghost child speaks from within 🌱
Loghorn's adventuring party starts freaking the hell out! 🌱 decides he is done having a ghost child in his soil and offers his beetle as an alternate host. "How about this bug!?"
"I don't know. I like it in here," the ghost says. "It's weird!"
"This is kind of a fucked up thing to do," Valour says, eyeballing another one of his adventuring companions. "But if you have to possess someone's brain, try this one!" Valour points at Minion. "You see how he's staring, vacantly, in more than one direction? He's lost one brain cell per great fiend he's destroyed!"
The party convinces the ghost to leave the body of their druid friend and enter the body of their frog buddy who could really use a day off right about now. The ghost enters into Minion's body, which causes his eyes to straighten up, like he just got smarter.
"Head... feel funny..." Minion says.
"Okay now let's just go to sleep and figure out what to do tomorrow, " Dur-Dur-Dur says.
🌱 shakes his head. "Just how many times do we decide to go to sleep?"
They all go to bed! But Valour's head is filled with visions of cackling laughter, and an old crone woman swatting at him from the shadows.
The next day, the party bids adieu to Loghorn and his explorers, and they set off in the light rain to finally deal with this fucking witch who they've been meaning to kill for the last three sessions.
They instead choose to explore Mauratal again since it's so close, this time looking to examine the ziggurat and the marshy, overgrown gardens in front of it.
They creep slowly through the gardens, taking note of a moss-covered fountain and several patches of overgrowth. 🌱 causes the algae in the fountain to bloom a bit, then the party marches onward towards the ziggurat.
They approach the giant tower and bump into an invisible barrier. Zanzibar's owl flies up and can't find an end to the barrier. It covers the whole tower! Zanzibar casts detect magic and realizes that the barrier will only part if a certain key-like item is being carried.
But what if...
Zanzibar chooses instead to test fate, and he pulls a window patch off of his robe of useful items, then places it on the barrier. A window emerges, tries to take hold into the barrier, but the windows shatters to splinters and sends out a bright pulse of energy through the barrier.
🌱 feels the ground begin to rumble. "I think we should leave because this is scary as hell!"
Everyone freaks out! Valour hops onto his magic horse that's been with him the whole time since this morning and gallops away, while everyone else runs as fast as they possibly can. Stevorn grabs Zanzibar in his strong, sturdy, regenerative arms.
Everyone lets loose one collective bowel movement as the rumbling grows more extreme, then three dinosaur zombies arise from the ground: a roaring, gnashing tyrannosaurus accompanied by two toxic, bulbous brontosauruses!
The PC's get ready to flee—
Nah fuck that the PC's run in guns blazing!
(Actually they just want the XP)
Zanzibar casts dragon's breath on his owl familiar, Minion hides under a rock, the tyrannosaurus zombie pukes up a humanoid zombie as it tears itself free from the ground, and 🌱 conjures a storm cloud to strike the tyrannosaurus with lightning.
Valour throws up his holy symbol of Tyr and casts turn the unholy, which causes the tyrannosaurus and the puke-zombie to flee in fear from the righteousness within him. He takes charge of the fight, commanding the other PC's to curbstomp one of the brontosaurus zombies while he engages the other one.
"I don't take combat tips from the man who rides into a dead brontosaurus!" Zanzibar says.
"I'm not riding in. The horse is charging on its own!" Valour retorts.
Zanzibar magic missiles his assigned brontosaurus zombie, and the cowering tyrannosaurus pukes up another human zombie and runs away some more. The brontosaurus zombie that the majority of the PC's are engaging lets loose a massive cone of poison breath, which drops Minion to zero hit points and takes a massive chunk out of Eku's hit point pool.
One of the tyrannosaurus' humanoid zombies walks up to Valour, but it bounces off his massive armor class. Dur-Dur-Dur slips behind the brontosaurus zombie to dodge its cone breath attack and starts chopping it up, then Valour bitchslaps the zombie near him and casts sanctuary on himself because an AC that's under 20 is just child's play in Paladin School.
Eku feels the portents within her, and she kicks the undead brontosaurus in its undead, really tall face. Meanwhie, the extra brontosaurus zombie closes in on Valour, engaging him in one-on-one combat.
Well, so the brontosaurus zombie thinks!
Valliur's warhorse charges the brontosaurus zombie coming near its master! But it fails to hurt it because 1) it's a horse, and 2) that's an undead brontosaurus. Zanzibar meanwhile finger-guns out more magic missiles at his brontosaurus zombie while the tyrannosaurus keeps running away and pooping out little human zombies.
But the disaster strikes. The brontosaurus zombie that the majority of the PC's are fighting lets out another spray of poisonous gas, which hurts Eku and cascades over Minion's unconscious body, killing the bullywug warrior and ending his adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
Now everyone is furious!
Dur-Dur-Dur tosses his shield away and carves out chunks of the zombie brontosaurus with his yklwa, and Valour brings Shatterspike in an arc towards his own foe and slams it with a powerful wrathful smite, which causes the zombie to become frightened as well as doing an Eku's foot's worth of damage!
Speaking of Eku, she takes another portent from Zanzibar and uses it to slam her tail into the brontosaurus zombie's face, meanwhile the brontosaurus zombie nearest to Valour unleashes a spray of poison that annihilates his summoned warhorse and leaves him with less hit points than he would like.
Stevorn gives his brontosaurus zombie the ol' one-two, but its undead fortitude keeps it from falling below 1 hit point!
🌱 realizes that his magic storm cloud isn't going to work, and the only way to destroy this dinosaur is with the radiant magic power of the moon! He parts the storm, then brings a brilliant, dazzling moonbeam onto the weakened brontosaurus, annihilating its unnatural existence and sending it back to the hells that spawned it!
The party then convenes on the remaining brontosaurus zombie, with Valour leading the assault by slamming it with another divine smite. The zombie retaliates, breathing poisonous gas all over Valour, Eku, and Dur-Dur-Dur. The battle of attrition continues, with magic missiles and yklwas and moonbeams and feet piling down on the brontosaurus zombie. Zanzibar's owl even gets a hit in, laying down scorching fire on the monster from above.
🌱 eventually lures his moonbeam over to the brontosaurus, opening up the light of nature again to eradicate the zombie and send it with its undead brethren to the foul hells! Or at least to a stinky doo-doo plane...
The PC's stand their ground, putting Stevorn and Eku up front while the tyrannosaurus zombie (now with a horde of humanoid undead) roars forward and tears a massive chunk of hit points out of Stevorn, then swings its tail and swats Zanzibar's owl from existence. And the tyrannosaurus is still puking up zombie humans!
The PC's lay into the tyrannosaurus, and Valour manages to cast sanctuary on Eku to keep her from being targeted by the dinosaur's attacks, which unfortunately funnels all of the damage onto Stevorn.The shield guardian is ambushed by mobs of ground zombies, and the tyrannosaurus keeps biting chunks of metal off of him.
In the midst of the fight, 🌱 uses the circlet of blasting and manages to score two laser-hot fire beams right into the tyrannosaurus' head. Little zombies soar around the battlefield, closing in on the casters, but Valour and Dur-Dur-Dur form a sortie to swat away the encroaching militia.
Before Stevorn can be dropped by the tyrannosaurus, it uses a stored invisibility spell to disappear and hide. The tyrannosaurus tries sniffing out the disappeared tin can, swipes around for a bit, but finds nothing.
As the tyrannosaurus advances on the PC's who just finished killing off the ground zombies, Stevorn pops out of invisibility and double-taps the tyrannosaurus with two swings of his fists, punching it to smithereens.
Before the Dungeon Master can roll up any more bullshit, the PC's grab Minion's corpse and run like hell out of Mauratal, leaving the ruin and its dangers to its own, terrible fate!
... Though fuck it, they're probably coming back here next session too! Why prioritize chasing a witch down anyways?