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BQ-23: Axe and Ally

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

"Let's head back to town so that we can get my new axe!" Dur-Dur-Dur says after a long ramble about Qelong and the proper way to pronounce it, which he is now super keen on since he's wearing the headband of intellect.

"We need to sleep, right?” the party member who is a mushroom says. “That’s… what y’all do, right?”

"I don't want to sleep here!" Valour says, not liking the spooky tree place.

🌱 ignores Valour and decides to cast plant growth under the tree for eight hours, so he’s not going anywhere.

Zanzibar, in his wizened age, realizes that the necromancy book he ripped from the dead corpse of Kotaki has one heck of a curse placed on it, which will then extend the curse on anyone who prepares a spell from it.

Well shit!

🌱 realizes that with his last spell slot being used on plant growth, his ability to keep Morels alive is no longer available, so he tells the zombie to start digging his own grave since he's probably going to die again. Dur-Dur-Dur gives Morels a shovel because... of course he has one, and Dur-Dur-Dur walks away sobbing. Valour is eager to help the undead dig his own grave.

While casting his spell, 🌱 hears his name being called from somewhere near the entrance, and a faint image of a waving hand flutters on the outskirts of his vision. “I think I saw a ghost!” 🌱 says. “I'm going crazy!”

Valour freaks out after hearing about a ghost because his body is his own and he respects it, thank you very much.

Dur-Dur-Dur takes out a greataxe and runs at the ghost because yes.

But instead of a ghost, the party’s old teammate, Argus, pops out from within the tunnel and raises his hands.

Remember Argus?

The… the half orc? Right? He was a half orc?

He was in that first episode of this show until he wasn’t! And he liked boats! And he wanted to stay on the boat until the boat was going somewhere dangerous! Then he wasn’t on the boat anymore! Well, um... now he’s under the tree! Under the tree! Darling it’s mulchy, down where it’s Chulty, take it from me!

"That's not a ghost, that's a pirate! Kill it!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, not knowing who Argus is since he didn't show up until season 2.

"Maybe that's Morels' brother!" 🌱 says, without any excuse whatsoever for not knowing who Argus is.

"What's your last name?" Dur-Dur-Dur says, questioning the half-orc.

"... Fargus," Argus says.

Dur-Dur-Dur cautiously accepts this answer. "That's a strange name. My name is Dudgur Druggan Drabagg, but you can call me Dur-Dur-Dur."

Argus shakes his hand.

Dur-Dur-Dur pulls him in for a massive bear hug. "We don't shake hands here, we hug!"

They don’t.

"Let me ask you a question, Mr Fargus..." Dur-Dur-Dur says.

"Don't call me Mr. Fargus, that's my father's name,” Argus says.

"Speaking of fathers... have you seen an orc that looks like me but kind of like this person's age?" Dur-Dur-Dur says, then points to Zanzibar.

"I'm twenty four!" Zanzibar shouts over his cursed book of the dead.

The party explains their situation to Argus, who then tells them that he has been tailing them since they last left Chult. He has been in with a gang of pirates, but now isn’t with them anymore due to his own reasons thank-you-very-much.

Everyone eventually decides to sleep beneath the tree. "You know, Morels is the first zombie I've ever really known. I'll hang out with him until he dies,” Valour says.

"Don't sleep next to his grave." 🌱 warns.

"Is Morels dead?" Argus asks.

"You know how fossils are rocks that used to be bones? He's like that, but with fungus. It's not like necromantic zombies, but like magic mushrooms!" 🌱 says.

"That explanation helps me sleep at night," Valour the paladin says.

Argus takes a step back.

"Morels isn’t contagious yet," 🌱 says.

Argus takes a step back again.

Everyone takes a nap under the dead tree and wakes up the next morning.

"Are we heading to Port Nyanzaru?" Argus asks the party.

"Yes," the party says.

Another day passes.

The party begins boating down the river because boats make Argus feel like he is in his natural habitat, and they come across a patch of dimetrodons sunning themselves and cruising in the river, blocking their boating path.

More like dimetro-don'ts!

Dur-Dur-Dur uses his newfound intellect to scream violently at the dinosaurs, "You better get out of my way before I hit you with this axe right here!"

The dimetrodons are scared and are quickly dimetro-gone!

Another day passes and the weather is super rainy. Argus peers into the thick rain and notices that someone is tailing their boat from the riverbank. He looks to Zanzibar, "I'm not sure if you have a message system with each other, but we are certainly being tailed along the bank."

Zanzibar casts message to Valour, Azaka, and 🌱, then readies his crossbow.

The party pulls their boats up to the bank, searching for the mystery person who is tailing them.

"Oh, now you show up to a fight?" Lilac says, calling to them from a place up in the branches. One of her arms is missing now.

"We told you to tell the people from Camp Vengeance that we would be delayed." Valour says.

"Delayed yes, but you didn't show up at all!" Lilac shouts back.

Dur-Dur-Dur then tries giving Lilac a severed tree branch, which 🌱 causes lilacs to grow on it with druidcraft. You know, to replace her severed arm! That’s going to end well, right?

Lilac scoffs, "Many from Camp Vengeance died in the woods. A shame you couldn't have helped!" She then leaves the party and disappears.

The next day, the party keeps heading upriver until they find a pair of eblis along the banks. The large, stork-like birds leer leerishly at the party from their little reed shacks.

Valour reminds the party that Papzotl, one of the nine trickster gods, is an eblis, and that he is shrewd and conniving, which are two words that Dur-Dur-Dur now understands.

Speaking of shrewd and conniving, Dur-Dur-Dur remembers that, according to his list of conspiracies, eblis birds are the reincarnation of evil kidnappers and criminals, so he charges at them and shouts, "WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY DADDY!?"

“Intruder!” The birds shout in common.

Dur-Dur-Dur and Valour and Azaka just barge into the birds and beat them with a barrage of axes, magic swords, and tiger claws until nothing is left but feathers and tonight’s dinner.

Dur-Dur-Dur then loots the eblis’ houses, finding a monkey battiri mask with gemstones in it and a spyglass. He gives the mask to 🌱, who keeps it after Zanzibar identifies it as not cursed.

Plant casts druidcraft and makes it sound like monkeys are shouting out from behind the mask.

Dur-Dur-Dur destroys the eblis houses.

"Dur-Dur-Dur, did those birds talk?" Valour says.

"More like LYING!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, dragging the two dead eblis behind him. "Now let's eat!"

Later that night they make some honey with their magic juice jug and glaze up the Eblis with some goodberries to chow down. Eating kidnappers never tasted so delicious!

The next day is rainy, and 🌱 snatches up four pounds of frogs to eat with the rest of the party.

The next-next day is rainy-rainy, and once again Argus realizes that someone is tailing the boat. These people like boats almost as much as he does, apparently!

Argus remembers how people shouted like a banshee the last time he noticed this little situation, so he exclusively tells Zanzibar what he sees. Zanzibar then has to think about who didn't shout last time.

Zanzibar points in the direction of a shape moving within the rain and casts message, saying "You have followed us again."

His answer is the sound of a loud croak!

Argus then notices some shapely frog-shaped shapes: grungs! "I think those are... wug bullies?" he says, remembering sharing the Lady’s Vengeance with Minion on their trip from the Pinewood Lumber Export to Kinchasa.

"Oh yeah, grungs!" Zanzibar says.

"I think we're their king now, after Dur-Dur-Dur married their god." Valour says.

"Nothing happened!" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Figment!"

At this point, Argus doesn’t regret missing 21+ episodes of this adventure.

🌱 decides to get the advantage on these froggy boys, so he casts water walk and everyone in the party gets a good case of the Jesus Yeezys.

Argus readies his bow, but he stays in the boat because it’s his safe space. He tries stringing his bow, but he drops an arrow into the water by accident and just sits there being sad.

Dur-Dur-Dur rages and rushes across the water and chucks a javelin at the grungs.

Minion III just happened to be on the other side of the river for, like, the whole last few days like a child who doesn't have bus fare but can jog at the speed of the bus. He gallops across the river and snatches up Valour, bringing the half-elf into the fight.

🌱 raises spores into the air with chill touch and just opens holes in one of the grungs, going full trypophobia on the grung’s skin until it crumbles and falls to pieces.

Yay! Nightmares!

Valour recognizes the grungs from his previous excursions! You know, the ones who threw the skin at him! Oh fuck does he hate these guys. He hates them because he couldn't kill them! Valour goes straight for the leader and just beats the shit out of him for a little while—no escaping into the woods this time!

The other grungs dogpile Valour, but they can’t get past his plate armor.

Xandala waves her hands and drops a fireball on the edge of the battlefield, filling the jungle with steam as a blaze engulfs the rain-soaked trees and flash-boils two of the grung to a pile of dead goop.

The grung chief locks eyes with Valour and lets out a bombastic shout that stuns Valour for a turn.

Zanzibar ain’t about to let his balls be outgrown by a sorceress peasant, so he drops his fireball on the whole mass, burning everything, including Valour. Minion III vaporizes in the steams blast!

Valour wakes up, sees a bunch of charred mess, then looks between Xandala and Zanzibar. Xandala points at Zanzibar. Valour kicks a dead grung then gives a thumbs up to Zanzibar. Valour lays on hands himself for 25 hp and considers the battle a success.

Dur-Dur-Dur walks up and gives the spyglass to Zanzibar, "Here you might need this so that you won't hit your party."

The party sleeps for the rest of the night.

The next day, very little happens as they reach the delta of the River Tiryki and see Port Nyanzaru in the far-off distance. They keep close to the beach for the day, and as the sun sets, they pull into Port Nyanzaru after spending around twenty days out in the wilderness.

But something ain’t right…

Something ain’t right at all, folks!

The bright colors and general air of excitement that fills Port Nyanzaru feels quenched, as though the whole town is experiencing great mourning. Valour approaches a vendor putting his shop away for the night and asks what all the hullabaloo is, and the man tells him that the Merchant Prince Jessamine has died, and her daughter, Ymezra, now has her position as the Merchant Prince. The man then thanks the party for visiting Port Nyanzaru, then heads home.

🌱 is standing there with all of his weird shit that he straight up murder-stole out of the jungle and says, "How can he tell we're not from here?"

The party realizes that Jessamine was the Merchant Prince of assassination and poisons, and that with her no longer reigning... things can be iffy!

The party then sets off to check on their what-nots before crashing for the night. 🌱 goes to the Lady’s Vengeance and finds that they have four Soren juices filtered out now, so he fills four vials worth and pockets them.

🌱 then goes to join the others at the Thundering Lizard Inn and checks on his gulthias tree sapling. He then places the other three seeds he received from Kotaki in a triangular pattern around the sapling and plants them there. He casts speak with plants on the sapling, asking for more information regarding Jessamine’s death.

"Death rides the winds on Chult,” the gulthias sapling says. “And it claims those who have been there before."

🌱 deduces that Jessamine must have been resurrected in the past, and the Soulmonger’s Death Curse has claimed her. Better her than him!

Back at the Thundering Lizard Inn, Dur-Dur-Dur storms in, "Hey Shenice I'm back again! I have a proposition for you again!"

"What is it?" Shenice says from behind the bar.

"I'd like to buy this bar!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.

"... I thought you already owned this bar!" Shenice mutters.

Dur-Dur-Dur has a moment.

Then he has a second moment…

"Well how much did I make while I was gone?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.

"Nothing!” Shenice shouts. “You're the only patron that's keeping this bar in business!"

Everyone then decides to be patrons for Dur-Dur-Dur and crash at his inn for the night, allowing him ample time to get a sense of business acumen now that his brain is learning how to do the thinky-thing.

The next morning is nice and rainy, so everyone is off to get Dur-Dur-Dur’s new axe that has been on layaway for a long while.

Most people they see in the rainy streets are trudging around and having mourning kind of morning.

The party arrives at the Temple of Gond and finds Torvil, who unveils the axe, dazzling the party with a finely crafted adamantium greataxe infused with essence of black dragon. Once per day, this +1 adamantium greataxe can deal an additional 1d6 poison damage on all attacks made in one round.

“I named this weapon after the carnage and devastation that it will surely wreak,” Torvil says. “I call it… the Durminator!”

Torvil then holds his hand out for Dur-Dur-Dur to shake it.

Dur-Dur-Dur doesn’t.

Zanzibar then picks up his t-rex teeth daggers, and they bid adieu to the Temple of Gond. At his point, the PC’s tally up their gear and gold, selling away their +1 yklwas and other treasures, in turn buying a scroll of darkness for Zanzibar and kitting out Argus, who could use some better gear and maybe a trust fund of sorts!

They pass a sign stating that Merchant Prince Ifan Talro’a has dinosaurs for sale…

Zanzibar is highly tempted…

They decide against buying some dinosaurs for the party's dinosaur, but not before Valour throws back a Soren juice potion and casts shield of faith on Zanzibar against his wishes. Valour then finds out that once per day, he can stab himself with a dagger without any harm.

And dammit is he going to take advantage of that somehow!

Dur-dur-dur gives 500 gold to Shenice to spruce up his tavern while they’re out.

Zanzibar summons the party together to see about his necromancy book. The PC’s decide to go see Wakanga regarding the book and see what the hell is going on with it. They show up to his villa, which like all the rest of Port Nyanzaru, is displaying a degree of mourning for the death of Merchant Prince Jessamine.

Zanzibar has a moment of yearning when he sees Stevorn standing in the corner of Wakanga’s room.

Wakanga greets them, and they show him the cursed necromancy book. He peers over the book, shocked at what’s before him. “This book is cursed with aakom, a magical, radioactive residue which is infesting the land of Qelong to the southeast. You haven’t prepared any spells from here, have you?”

Zanzibar says he hasn’t.

Wakanga nods. “Good. Preparing and casting spells from this could pass the curse on to you. I suggest copying spells from this book into a different one, though I will do this for you for free if you let me sample some spells from here into my own spellbook.”

The whole party is totally down for this, but Zanzibar starts debating the logistics and such, slowly counting how easily he can copy the spells for himself, but the party yells at him to give the stupid cursed book away because they don't want no Chernobyl shit happening, so Zanzibar starts yelling back about how he wants some spells copied first before they head out, and soon everyone is yelling so loud that every fucking dimetrodon within 50 miles just starts running.

Zanzibar asks Wakanga if he can quickly transcribe the spells for web, blindness/deafness, and animate dead so that Zanzibar can have them when he heads out.

"Anything for my elders!" Wakanga says.

They make the deal.

Zanzibar then asks for a private conversation to speak with Wakanga about “wizard things” involving the Harpers' quest to find Artus Cimber.

Everyone then ignores everything about this being a private wizard conversation as the whole party piles into the secret room where the Harpers are hiding. Dur-Dur-Dur drags a couch in with him.

"So, we are about to venture into the jungle,” Zanzibar says in front of everyone and the Harpers. “In search of your friend Artus Cimber. We have heard nasty rumors of Frost Giants on his trail. Oh, aaand also THIS IS HIS DAUGHTER!" Zanzibar then calls out Xandala.

The Harper representative looks up in confusion, "I didn't know he had a daughter?"

After interrogating Xandala, the Harper determines that even with Artus Cimber being an older man, Xandala is around the right age to be the daughter of a human and an elf. He determines that it isn’t impossible for Artus to have had a child—though his adventures through Chult are driven by a search for long lost love, as rumors say.

Perhaps Artus Cimber loved someone else in a past time?

They then depart and go back to the Thundering Lizard Inn, ready to down some Soren juice. Dur-Dur-Dur is completely against this, seeing as how he just invested 500 gold in sprucing up the place. Valour chuckles, “Don’t want us to do anything craaazy?” he says, then stabs himself with a dagger.

The next day, the party sets off to find the frost giants’ boat and help put an end to any interlopers who would claim the Ring of Winter for themselves.

After a few days of trekking by foot, they enter a territory radiating with an unholy presence. 🌱 talks to one of the creepy plants, which tells him, “Chult is dying day by day, and it isn’t coming back…”

And then the undead monsters show up oh no!

A pack of ghouls led by a ghast tears through the jungle, their eyes focused on the party. 🌱 wild shapes into a symbiote and prepares for combat.

Argus takes a shot with his shortbow, then hides among the trees like a land pirate out for land booty.

The ghast runs up and swats Valour with its claws for a critical hit! Valour almost suffers a deadly paralyzation effect, but his elf heritage keeps him from falling prey to the ghasts cursed hands.

Valour then backs up with Minion IV, proctoring an attack of opportunity, but he doesn't get hit. He charges back to the ghoul and slams it with his horse’s hooves, then he smashes the ghoul in the face with a divine smite from his sword.

🌱 casts shillelagh and then wades into the army of ghouls OH SHIT there’s five of them? He bops one on the head, then they all gangpile him and start biting and clawing the hell out of him, devouring all of his mushroomy parts and making him lose his symbiote form.

Zanzibar magic missiles a ghoul near 🌱, then Dur-Dur-Dur steps up with Durminator and proceeds to clean house as he wrecks the battlefield with 1d12+1d6+2+4+10 acid damage per hit with his greataxe for the turn!

What better things to engage the undead than 'shrooms and acid?

Azaka tries hitting a ghouls with shots from her longbow, but she misses twice.

"Why do we bring archers along!?" Zanzibar shouts.

The archer, Argus, steps up. He hits and drops a zombie with a headshot from his shortbow, then stealths away with a nat 1 on his hiding roll.

Xandala doesn’t want to risk hitting 🌱 with a fireball, so he tells her to use her circlet of blasting. She fires the beams and hits two ghouls with it.

Valour leaves the dead ghast and charges into the melee, carving up ghouls with Shatterspike as 🌱 creates some space near him by blasting out an escape route with thunderwave.

The remaining two ghouls then bite the hell out of 🌱 and drop him to zero hit points.

Zanzibar and Dur-Dur-Dur focus their fighting ability, slaying the remaining two ghouls with some well-placed magic missiles and an even weller-placed can of axe body flay.

Valour lays on hands for 🌱 and brings him back to his bearings.

The party then gets the hell out of spooky voodoo woods, but their trek through spooky voodoo woods ends up being much worse when they get closer to the beach. The weather picks up, and without much warning, a tropical storm slams the PC’s while they’re in the middle of the jungle. Without any shelter from the storm, they suffer one level of exhaustion, then a second level of exhaustion as they can’t get any rest for the night.

Most of their next day is spent cowering near large trees and hoping that the storm passes quickly.

Though the frost giants’ boat is just a day’s travel from them, the PC’s have to rest in the jungle even longer to recover, as if their adventuring group popped a flat tire right before reaching Disney World.

At the end of their recovery, they reach the beach, and they are greeted by a massive frost giant boat: the Hvalspyd.

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