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Deep in the terrifying dungeon beneath Mauratal, Dur-Dur-Dur has to navigate The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, which is meant for a full party of level 5 adventurers. He's level 6. He's all by himself. There’s poison gas, random encounters, and 54 location entries.
On the third of these 54 location entries, Dur-Dur-Dur's level 5 rogue companion, Argus, was ripped apart by crustaceans.
Things don't look so well...
Dur-Dur-Dur runs from the crustaceans back into the room where he pushed the big stone block. He sees six jugs against the wall. He knows that jugs usually have stuff in them. He opens up a jug and sees that there is a fuckload of oil inside of it. Dur-Dur-Dur grabs two of these urns, then runs back and kicks the door open to Caleb Crawdad’s and Kalya-Kylla’s room. He lobs the urns inside, covering the floor in oil. He then sets the oil on fire with his tinderbox. As a fight starts, he goes back and forth, lobbing more and more jugs of oil into the room and filling it with smoke.
Fortunately for him, the doorway is too small for the crustaceans to get through!
Caleb Crawdad shambles up to him, but Dur-Dur-Dur leaps out with his greataxe and hacks the crayfish apart. Kalka-Kylla retreats into the smoke, but the fire has dried up the floor in the room, meaning Dur-Dur-Dur can run across it without tripping.
And he does!
... I mean he runs, not trips.
After lobbing a flaming javelin at Kalka-Kylla, Dur-Dur-Dur charges forth and strikes the giant hermit crab twice, killing it with an uppercut that lifts the hermit crab off the ground and slams it down behind him.
Meanwhile, on the surface…
"I think that plants are just better," 🌱 says.
"I think humans are better!" Zanzibar says.
"Zanzibar, I think we need to leave the Mauratal place." 🌱 says. "I know we can't come here without a coatl because I remember that. But let's get out of here. We should go find that old campsite we used to use from 3 months ago. And while we do, we should forage and look for some plants, not humans, because I don't want to eat any humans today."
They run off to their old camp with zombie Xandala in tow and start making jokes about her since she's moaning like a zombie.
Then they hear other zombie sounds…
"Hey Xombie-Dala, you should go check out those zombie sounds!" 🌱 says.
Zombie-Xandala dashes into the jungle, and Zanzibar sends his owl familiar to check up on Xandala. He ends up seeing TWELVE ZOMBIES COMING RIGHT FOR THEM!
Xandala slaps a zombie, and Zanzibar fireballs some other zombies, and 🌱 activates his lightsaber, and some zombies dogpile Xandala and kill her and 🌱 gets upset because he was going to use her to get a refund from Ymezra by puppeting her like Weekend at Bernie’s.
Zanzibar flies his owl and uses dragon's breath to torch the zombies encroaching on them.
The druid and the wizard lay down cantrips on the zombies as they advance, using shocking grasp, thorn whip, and other spells they forgot they memorized.
🌱 then reels back his shillelagh'd quarterstaff and annihilates the last zombie by chopping its head off. With all zombies now super-dead, 🌱 sprinkles some tomato seeds into their corpsie, fertile bodies.
"This is how evil trees are born!” Zanzibar shouts. “It's from seeds being planted in evil bodies!"
"Well I know blight now, so we don't have to worry!" 🌱 says.
"JUST DON'T DO IT!" Zanzibar screams.
"Well plants are better!" 🌱 says.
They camp for the night.
Meanwhile, back underground in the dungeon of death and crabs and orcs and dead half-orcs…
Dur-Dur-Dur finds a staircase full of rubble, tries to climb it, but his attempts prove futile.
He then tries closing up the portion of the dungeon with the spooky glyph tomb coffin thing. He lies down REALLY far away from it, but the dangerous gas filling the whole dungeon prevents him from being able to sleep well, and then a bunch of rats show up!
Dur-Dur-Dur screams at the rats, but the rats don’t give a shit and try biting him. He lobs oil onto the rats, burns a few, then chops the rest up with his axe.
He’s now out of oil…
Unable to sleep, the big orc begins exploring more of the dungeon. He goes back into the lobster room and loots Argus’ charred, dead, eviscerated body. He goes over to a door that’s blocked by mud, but he can’t dig the mud out without breathing tons of accumulated smoke that has filled the room from his burning almost 30 liters of oil.
He runs to open the door he came in from, letting some smoke seep out. Whew! Now he can breathe.
Dur-Dur-Dur then puts ear against the muddy door hears a lady singing on the other side.
Dur-Dur-Dur says “Nope!” and tries to dig himself out from the collapsed staircase again. He still can’t.
He decides to hack open the door to the singing lady room, and when he does, he hears a splash as her singing stops. Dur-Dur-Dur knows some siren-bullshit is awaiting him, so he holds his shield over his face and tip-toes into her room.
"Don't mind meeee... just passing throuuugh!" he mutters. "Just passing through, just trying to get to the upwards!" He sees there are two exits. "East or west!?"
The woman shows herself, and she’s a beautiful mermaid-looking person. Dur-Dur-Dur wants NONE of whatever she’s offering, and she tries to give him a pretty gold statuette… a gift. Just, you know, take it!
"Uh no ma'am thank you I just want to leave please!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
The woman makes a pouty face and points to the east exit, which is a set of double doors at the end of her pool. A little walkway allows Dur-Dur-Dur to shimmy through the water to the door, and a quick glance down reveals that a gigantic eel-monster is looking up at him from the pool.
Dur-Dur-Dur books it through the doors and slams them shut!
He traipses through a long hallway, then detects that one of the walls looks like it might have a secret door since the Roll20 map gives shit away, THANKS A LOT CARTOGRAPHER AND ROLL20 AUTOMATIC LIGHTING SYSTEM!
He smacks his greataxe into the wall and sees that it leads to another hallway. This hallway has several smaller halls branching off of it, as well as four carved animal heads: a bison, bear, eagle, and wolf. The eagle has a golden ring in its beak.
He approaches the eagle and peers down the hallway opposite the eagle, which has like fifteen floating corpses in the air above it. “Oh good lord NO!” he mutters, then slides a rock in the eagle's mouth to keep it from snapping shut, and then he takes the gold bracelet.
He looks at the bracelet, seeing that it’s covered in dirt and rock bits.
He chooses a hallway that isn’t full of floating corpses, but realizes a creepy light is reflecting off the wall... and moving! He wants nothing to do with that shit, so he goes down a different hallway. An alcove in the hallway has a silver chest sitting in the open…
Just... you know... sitting there. Anyone could go up and open it.
Dur-Dur-Dur might be dumb, but he’s not stupid!
He knows better than to trust a trap that’s just sitting out there in the open. He pokes around the floor with his javelin and sees that the floor is hinged, meaning that if he steps on the floor, it can flip over and dump him into a pit beneath it.
He uses his ring of jumping to leap over the hinged trap and lands next to the chest. He pops the chest open and sees that there’s a little figurine of a fish-person in it. He then sees a hidden panel at the back of the chest with some beads in it. He touches the beads, and the creepy fish figurine animates to life, flutters into the air, then flies to the room where the eerie light was lurking.
Dur-Dur-Dur decides to let the flying trinket do its own thing since it seems to have its own agenda thank-you-very-much, so he heads further down the hallway, which leads him to a massive room with a domed sepulcher and lots of clay soldiers all aiming their weapons at him.
Every. Weapon. Is aimed. At him...
"Hello I'm Dur-Dur-Dur just passing through! Hello gentlemen how are you! That looks like a burial chamber goodbye!" He dashes pats them to a set of doors with a bar over them, yanks the bar off, and pushes the door open to a hallway on the other side, allowing him to dash as far as possible away from the clay soldiers.
He goes through and sees a gigantic stone block is completely blocking the hallway, so he takes out Durminator and begins hacking out chunks of it, which goes pretty well for a while until
BABOONS COMING UP THE HELL RIGHT NOW!
Four baboons charge down the hallway behind him, but Dur-Dur-Dur skewers one with a javelin and then hacks the other three to pieces. Why are there baboons in this place? Dur-Dur-Dur doesn't know, but he does know why there are four less baboons in this place!
He then returns to the ol' chopping block.
COME ON THAT WAS FUNNY FUCK YOU—
He gets rid of the block in the path and sees a ramp leading up with some rollers on it, as though this block was pushed down these rollers and landed down where he is. He creeps up the ramp and enters another hallway, where a gigantic floating eyeball with other eyeballs on stalks is hovering in—
Nope nope nope! Hey look, there are two hallways to go down!
Dur-Dur-Dur goes somewhere the hell else and finds a hallway with what looks like two soccer goals made out of carved heads. He smacks a hole in the floor and finds lots of corpses wearing soccer uniforms, as well as jade trophies. He takes some trophies and leaves the corpses alone.
He exits on the other side of the hallway and enters a room full of stuffed cats, tigers, panthers, and all sorts of feline critters. In the center is a stone weretiger statue holding a spear. Dur-Dur-Dur decides to take the statue’s spear, which causes the statue to come to life and grow skin and fur and all kinds of kitty-extremities!
Dur-Dur-Dur swings at the weretiger and hits it, but the weretiger sinks its teeth into his shoulder. Dur-Dur-Dur fails a save, causing him to contract lycanthropy. He feels the wild energy of his mind slowly route itself to a more primitive, one-with-the-universe atmosphere.
… and the universe gets very, very afraid.
Dur-Dur-Dur wails on the weretiger with his new, natural ferocity, and he chops it in half.
He goes up to a giant, stuffed tiger, then looks at it. “Meow,” he says to it.
It doesn’t respond.
A gigantic tiger mural is painted on the back wall, so Dur-Dur-Dur approaches it and finds out there’s an alcove with a switch in its eye. He pulls the switch, which causes the wall to open up. On the other side, he sees a long hallway littered with holes, and the holes have creepy flowers at the bottom of them.
Nooooo, not when there are other doors!
He decides to open up a DIFFERENT door, which leads to a room full of ash. Dur-Dur-Dur takes one step into the ash, which causes a wailing woman to form in the ash, SCREAM, and dissipate.
Dur-Dur-Dur isn’t a fan of this.
He backs up, then uses his ring of jumping to leap across the room to a set of double doors on the other side. He lands, and the kicked-up ash forms two guards armed with spears to pop up near the door he entered from, which is fine because he’s not going back anytime soon.
"Bye guys!" Dur-Dur-Dur says and books it through.
On the other side is a large room with chunks of the ceiling missing, dirt and roots poking out from above. Some baboons are hooting and hollering nearby, but they don't fuck with him. Probably because they know better! He stands on a pile of rubble to see some ceiling portions that have sunlight beaming through.
Unfortunately, there’s a two-headed snake under that rubble!
The snake wraps one head around Dur-Dur-Dur and begins constricting him. His newfound lycanthropy can’t protect him from not being able to breathe, but he’s able to chop at the snake with his axe enough times to out DPS it, hacking both heads off.
When he does, the baboons above cheer.
Dur-Dur-Dur likes it when monkeys cheer for him.
Dur-Dur-Dur uses beast sense to speak with the monkeys, "You be my buddies okay?" He makes an agreement with them, asking them to keep watch while he rests. After taking a deep breath, he realizes that the poisonous gas has dissipated in this room due to the small holes in the ceiling. He curls up to take a nap, and nothing fucks with him for the rest of the night.
BACK TO THE CASTERS ABOVE GROUND!
🌱 and Zanzibar wake up from their campsite. This time they’ve both prepared locate object. They cast the spell, choosing Durminator as the target, which lures them into the remnants of a temple stashed behinds a pile of trees and brush.
The temple is dilapidated and weathered by centuries, but it displays a massive altar with a bat-statue standing on top of it. 🌱 uses his marvelous pigments to create a battiri goblin mask in the shape of a bat, then wears it.
They approach the altar, and 🌱 tries scaring Zanzibar by using druidcraft to make bat noises. Zanzibar doesn’t really care anymore. He's old. What they do realize is that the floor around the altar looks suspiciously weak, as though putting too much pressure in the wrong spot could cause a terrible collapse where they fall down into a dangerous pit of unknown, HP-reducing predicaments.
"You prepped spider climb right?" 🌱 says.
"... Sometimes," Zanzibar says. "I did not prepare spider climb today."
They then bicker about preparing spider climb.
"Fine, I'll just become an ape since they have a climbing speed!" 🌱 says after they realize that the altar has some handles on the side, meaning it can be lifted. 🌱 wildshapes into an ape and lifts the altar, but realizes it’s too large for him to lift alone.
"Wait, I can just magically conjure like four other apes to do this instead of me!" 🌱 says.
"EEP EEP EEP EEP EEP!" is all that Zanzibar hears from him though.
🌱 backs up, drops his wildshape, then casts conjure animals to summon four apes to do the heavy lifting on the altar.
The apes lift the bat altar, which triggers a trap where the bat wings lash forward and scrape some apes for some nasty slashing damage. The apes manage to tip open the altar, crawl inside, and just start lobbing loot out like a treasure geyser.
The apes chuck out the following:
Marble statue of a reclining figure (50 gp)
Jade placard bearing the image of a bat god (100 gp)
Fifty mother-of-pearl pieces (1 gp each)
Eighty pieces of jewelry (5gp each)
Forty embossed silver chalices and plates (5 gp each)
Twenty gold-plated statuettes (10 gp each)
Fifty silver chased goblets (5 gp each)
20,000 silver pieces (2,000 gp converted)
So roughly 3,250 gold pieces worth of loot… not bad considering Dur-Dur-Dur is the one who is actually dealing with the dangerous dungeon!
“How are we going to carry this?” Zanzibar says.
“A big orc would sure help us out right about,” 🌱 says.
But as the apes are unloading the money, one of them triggers the loose floor trap, which opens a chute around the altar and the apes plummet down it.
"My apes!" 🌱 screams, balling his hands into fists.
Zanzibar sends his owl familiar down the chute and pokes around, seeing some really weird shit. There’s a series of tunnels, some bars that block off a set of stairs leading up to a solid wall, and a little tunnel that ends at a 7 ft. by 7 ft. slab chunk of jade that’s blocking off any further progress… but maaaybe Zanzibar and 🌱 could bypass the jade statue.
Meanwhile, in the dungeon…
Back underground, Dur-Dur-Dur wakes up after a nice night’s rest that allows him to level up! He peers upward, considers trying to crawl through the dirt, but it doesn't seem like much headway can be made. Instead, he eyes two snake-shaped doors that take up a large chunk of the wall.
"All right y'all ready to go? Follow me,” Dur-Dur-Dur says to the baboons.
Since Dur-Dur-Dur doesn't have the primate-mancy skills of 🌱, he gives up trying to deal with the baboons and goes up the serpent doors, then snatches a jade plaque off the top of it because dammit if he’s going to bypass tons of mini-boss fights, he’s going to get some loot.
He enters the doors and sees a set of stairs going up. As he ascends, a stone dragon pops out of the top of the stairs and breathes hot steam onto him, dealing 10 fire damage which really hurts.
Dur-Dur-Dur freaks out for a bit, then shrugs off the minimal damage—
The steam hits him again!
Dur-Dur-Dur dashes up the stairs before the dragon statue—
The steam hits him again!
Dur-Dur-Dur leaps to the top of the stairs and hugs the wall. The mechanical steam trap blows out one last blast of steam, then retreats into the wall. Dur-Dur-Dur heads away from the trap, not caring about this "stone dur-dur-saurus," then comes across a hallway with two possible paths.
"Oh no a two-place hallway!" he shouts.
He heads down the west side of the hallway, sees a pile of gold with a skull resting on top of it, then decides he’s going to the east side of the hallway instead.
Dur-Dur-Dur opens a door and finds a massive room with little miniatures set up like eight different versions of hell, complete with devils, monsters, lava, ice, serpents, mountains, and just all kinds of scary ass nonsense that makes him very unsure about his surroundings. In the back of the room is a bronze door that’s barred from this side, and the center of the room has a chimney hanging from the ceiling with an eerie light emanating through it.
Dur-Dur-Dur likes none of this!
He shimmies up to the barred door and puts his ear against it. He hears what sounds like twenty panting mouths heaving in heavy unison on the other side.
Dur-Dur-Dur chooses to let the door stay barred!
He then goes up to the figurines in the hellscape area, and his nose starts to seep blood, so he runs back. "This is the worst!" he shouts.
Dur-Dur-Dur leaves the hell room and goes back to the two-place hallway. He throws a rock at the pile of gold with the skull on it and reveals the gold is actually pale, yellow mold that poofs out and scatters over the floor.
Dur-Dur-Dur then notices that the wall next to him is oddly smooth, so he takes out his axe and slams the wall, crumbling it open.
On the other side, he finds a room with four mirrors mounted on the wall, as well as a tub with a strange, golden liquid bubbling within. There’s a black mirror, red mirror, white mirror, and blue mirror.
Dur-Dur-Dur goes up to the blue mirror and pokes around the side of it, not looking in. He touches the surface of the mirror with his spear tip, then fails a Charisma save. He feels himself pulled through the glass of the mirror, which isn’t a mirror at all, but a magic window that leads to a tank full of water!
Dur-Dur-Dur starts to drown, but by failing the Charisma save, he likes the feeling and doesn't want to leave. His Constitution modifier is +4, so he can hold his breath for five minutes before drowning. He gets one Charisma save each minute to shake the effect.
He fails the first.
He fails the second.
He fails the third!
He succeeds on the fourth!
Dur-Dur-Dur shakes the enchantment and realizes that he’s drowning like hell, so he takes his axe and smashes it into the window, spilling himself and the water out. Fearing the other three mirrors, he lobs a rock at the black one, which it just bounces off of.
Dur-Dur-Dur flees this room and goes back to the two-way-but-now-a-three-way hallway to be more confused about how to handle his situation.
He goes to the yellow mold and bones and such and pours acid onto it, which eats it all away. He notices a black stain in the corner of the room, so he pours acid on it as well and sees that there is a gap on the bottom of the wall. Like many walls before, this one is eradicated by a hard swing of Durminator.
He enters the secret door and sees a mirror at the end of the hall. Not being a fan of reflective surfaces at this point, he throws a rock at it, breaks it, and sees a phantom image of a warrior burst out of it and disappear.
He opens a door next to the mirror and sees a massive chamber with a crystalline, cylindrical containment-thing mounted on an altar. A death mask is mounted to the wall right at the door’s entrance. An animated suit of hellish armor stands guard, points its sword at him, and shouts, "THE PRISONER MUST NOT ESCAPE!"
So yeah, Dur-Dur-Dur runs. He ain't a fan of the police.
The helmed horror flies across the floor after him, its hellish sword scraping along the wall. Dur-Dur-Dur turns to engage it, his adamantium greataxe cleaving chunks out of the helmed horror’s shield, eventually shattering it. The helmed horror slams its sword right into Dur-Dur-Dur’s face, but Dur-Dur-Dur’s lycanthropy means that the helmed horror can’t deal damage to him.
Dur-Dur-Dur proceeds to obliterate the helmed horror, then picks up its longsword because it looks kind of badass.
He returns to the room where the helmed horror was stationed and picks the mask up from a distance, which causes a cage of bars to close shut in the space right in front of the mask, but Dur-Dur-Dur is standing out of the way, so he’s fine!
As he leaves, he hears a voice call out from the crystalline, cylindrical container, “I’m awake…”
Dur-Dur-Dur decides the voice can be awake all it wants, but he’s taking a short rest back at the two-place hallway where there are no creepy voices, but as he hunkers down to sleep, he hears a croaking frog. The frog then hops out from the secret path to the cylindrical prison place.
"Hello my name is Dur-Dur-Dur," Dur-Dur-Dur says, using beast sense.
"Hello..." the frog says.
"Is there a way out?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
The frog doesn’t respond.
"Are you going to fight or run?" Dur-Dur-dur says.
"... Better conversation,” the frog says, then hops back through the secret door and disappears.
Dur-Dur-Dur finishes his short rest with his axe very, very, very close to him, then grabs the corpse of the slain helmed horror and returns to that room with all the hellish miniature landscapes, creepy-barred-panting door, and chimney with the weird light emanating out. He throws the helmed horror under the light beam coming from the chimney.
“Stupid automaton!” he grumbles.
Meanwhile above ground, Zanzibar and 🌱 tie rope around the altar and slide down it. They approach the jade slab that the owl couldn’t get past, then they pull it down while hugging the wall. The jade slab shatters, and behind it is a treasure room with a petrified centaur mummy warrior clad in a feathered helm standing in the center.
Zanzibar begins scooping loose change into his pockets, and 🌱 wants to see what the mummy is made of, so he unwraps it.
Surprise! Mummies don’t like being unwrapped. It animates to life, twirls its pike, and begins to fight the PC’s.
🌱 conjures eight pixies that pop into existence, then ignites his shillelagh for battle. Zanzibar casts dragon's breath on his owl, and one of 🌱‘s pixies polymorphs the centaur mummy into a weasel that is very upset with being a weasel.
I mean, wouldn't you?
At Dur-Dur-Dur’s chimney room, he hears 🌱 and Zanzibar’s voices through the chimney with the light coming from inside of it. His friends are here!
"Hey guys is that you?" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts up the chimney. "Is it safe to go up this tunnel?"
"Yes we checked!" 🌱 shouts back.
"Is there a monster up there?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"YES!" Zanzibar says.
Dur-Dur-Dur crawls through the chimney pipe and gets closer to this friends, but he doesn’t quite find them yet.
Back at the fight, the zombie-half-man-half-horse-undead-monster-but-now-is-a-weasel leaps at the pixie that polymorphed it, kills it, then returns to its true centaur mummy form. It swipes its hooves at 🌱, but 🌱 bats the hooves away with his quarterstaff.
🌱 has the pixies cast fly on him and Zanzibar. He flies above the centaur mummy and engages it from above. Zanzibar flies up and magic missiles the centaur. Another pixie polymorphs the centaur back into a weasel, while a second pixie casts confusion, which really fucks up the centaur mummy’s world for a while.
"Yeah now it's confused AND a weasel!" 🌱 shouts.
Dur-Dur-Dur slams open a door in the back of room and sees a lot of his friends and weird, pink, balloon fairies trying to kill a derpy weasel.
"Get it! It's a mummy!" 🌱 says, pointing at the weasel.
"No it's not, why are you trying to kill it?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"DUR-DUR-DUR GO POP THE WEASEL!" 🌱 shouts.
Dur-Dur-Dur obeys and hits the weasel head-on with his axe, which causes it to transform back into a terrifying centaur mummy. He screams, then lops off the mummy’s head, ending the fight.
"Hey Dur-Dur-Dur!" 🌱 says.
"Hey guys," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"You look terrible," 🌱 tells him. "Have you not stayed outside naked in the rain in a while?"
"Weeeell I took a bath that I didn't like and now I don't want to take a bath ever again." Dur-Dur-Dur says, feeling a bit more cat like.
"Where's the rogue?" 🌱 says, not seeing Argus.
There’s a pause…
"... It's dangerous in here let's leave he's dead,” Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Wait what?" 🌱 says.
"I don't know but I'm not going to look I'm gone!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, looking for a way out. “I want to get out of here. This place is the worst place. I’m gone!”
A pixie casts fly on Dur-Dur-Dur so that he and everyone else can float out of the dungeon and go up the chute, revealing the busted temple with the bat altar.
"HEY there's a bunch of treasure over here!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, eyeballing the stack of treasure that was piled up by 🌱’s apes.
"That's my treasure,” 🌱 says. “But you can carry it!"