"Gasp," Valour says out loud after seeing the doppelganger posing as Dur-Dur disappear over the stair’s railing.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, I think your father is a Red Wizard of Thay," Zanzibar says.
"And a dwarf!" Valour says, feeling Moa’s influence causing him to blurt out the truth.
Everyone glares at Valour, ready to chastise him since it’s not his job to out someone else’s dwarfiness. Dwarves should have the agency to come out of the mineshaft on their own accord!
"Oooooh shit I did not say that part!" Zanzibar says, glaring at Valour. Fortunately, Dur-Dur-Dur looks so dead-eyed aghast that he probably didn’t hear any of that.
"Hey, I think we should go after Dur-Dur," 🌱 says.
"We should definitely go after him," Valour agrees.
"How did he survive going over this railing?" 🌱 says, peering over the edge and seeing that the stairs go down for several flights into darkness.
"He's a wizard!" Valour says.
"Zanzibar jump over this railing!" 🌱 says.
"No!" Zanzibar says.
"We should go this way!" 🌱 says, going to the top of the stairway. As he’s about to descend, he sees a small green humanoid with a hairy, testicular-looking chin and a small pair of goggles. "Hey guys! I think we saw something with goggles down there! You know how much we like those."
"Zanzibar can only have so much shit on his face!" Valour says.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, are you okay with this? Are you okay to come with us?" Zanzibar says to the orc.
But Dur-Dur-Dur is stone still, unmoving. His face is a blank expression of shock.
Zanzibar paces around the orc. "We shouldn't leave an emotionally compromised Dur-Dur-Dur alone.”
"Zanzibar, get an arm around him,” Valour says, hoisting Dur-Dur-Dur by a shoulder. “We'll get him downstairs. He likes to carry you around, now it's your turn."
Since Zanzibar can’t reach, he just grabs Dur-Dur-Dur by the hand and pulls him down the stairs behind him like a lost, buffalo-sized child.
They venture down the stairs, and again the party sees what appears to be a short, nutsack-shaped goblin with goggles who tucks and runs when he sees them as well. The goblin disappears towards the loop-de-loop room with the mirrored tomb.
"🌱, it's a goblin with goggles. Use one of your battiri goblin masks!" Valour says.
🌱 slaps his ant battiri mask onto his face and steps up, peeks up the loop-de-loop, and sees a floating washtub with mechanical eyes hovering in the air.
This is still probably not the weirdest thing he’s ever seen.
"I've never seen one of these do this before," Valour says, staring at the floating washtub.
"I bet Dur-Dur-Dur has never seen one of these at all," 🌱 says. "Hello Mr. Washtub, how are you? Have you seen someone who looks like his daddy?" 🌱 then gestures to the orc.
"Heheheh, who goes there?" a cackling, country-boy voice echoes from behind the floating washtub.
Jogging down the loop-de-loop, a plump, suspendered goblin with a massive chin, unshaved patches of beard, and tiny goggles makes himself known to the party. The washtub reacts positively, as though obeying the goblin’s every command. The sentient washtub is clearly not very trained, seeing as it definitely doesn’t know how to bathe its master.
"Hey, what's up, what are you doing here with those goggles?" 🌱 says, eyeballing the goblin’s headgear.
"What goggles? These?" The goblin says, pointing at his face.
"Are you alive, or..." Zanzibar says.
The goblin frantically pats himself down to ensure he ain’t no ghost. "What kind of damn question is that, son?"
"Did you just ask this guy for his goggles?" 🌱 says. For some reason.
"Are you a tomb guardian!?" Zanzibar says in a panic.
"Oh god no! I ain't no tomb guardian!" the goblin says.
"I'm trying to kill the Soulmonger. You know about that?" 🌱 says.
The goblin looks down at the decrepit, moldy spot where Devlin’s decomposed goat corpse would have been if somebody didn’t get his spores all over it. "Well, I see my friend here is no longer here. Have you guys seen Devlin?"
🌱 is clearly holding Devlin’s goat staff, which he tries to hide behind his back, but he’s got too many goddamned staves at the moment so he just drops them all and they clatter on the ground.
"Sorry, I think my friend has a cold,” Zanzibar says. For some reason. “We know of Devlin. We read his book!”
"Oh yeah! You're the old one, Zanzy?" the goblin says, smiling a toothy grin.
"Why do you know my name?" Zanzibar says.
"I been watchin' y'all!” the goblin admits, slapping his knee with a jovial laugh. “I been here with those Yeller Banner folk for a hot minute. They did not end up well. They were not happy boys. I see that Devlin's gone here, unless he sprouted some goat legs again and walked off!”
"He, uh, sprouted all right,” Valour says.
"Oh, is he good?" the goblin says.
"He's at rest," Valour says, not quite lying. Moa beams at his honesty(?)
"Well, I don't give two hoots,” the goblin says, and Zanzibar feels emasculated since he was always the party member with the most hoots. Because... you know... owl familiar... “I was comin' in here for some archaeological exploration and scientific notin’, but I made it out well. Live and let live... and I lived!"
"Have you made it out? The door is closed,” Valour says.
"Ah no!” the goblin says. “Like I said, I been here for a hot minute. I been on the parallel universe, eatin' fungus and drinking water on the third floor."
"The water, did you used to be..." Valour says.
"I've always been a goblin, if that's what you mean,” the goblin says.
"Have you always been a male goblin?" Zanzibar clarifies.
"Well, he doesn't deliver letters!" Valour says. Nobody laughs. Moa never thought she’d prefer being in the orc instead of the half-elf, but damn Valour keeps making it hard for her to keep paying rent. Dur-Dur-Dur at least had a couch.
"... I tell ya what,” the goblin says. “I get out of here when you get out of here! That sounds good? Let's just say I know a little bit about the third floor. I've got some scribblin’s!" He reaches into his pocket and shoves a crinkled piece of parchment into their face. "You'll see a point on here. I decided against stealing your stuff and against killing and eating you!”
Nobody is relieved to hear this.
The goblin goes back to blabbering about the scribblin’s. “A couple of notes here: the loop-de-loop resets every night, at least I think it's night. Those gargoyle boys? No good. No gusta.”
Nobody understands that last bit he said because nobody else speaks Goblin.
The goblin recognizes their confusion, then blurts out, “There's a doppelganger here though!"
"We have a doppelganger-ish situation here," Valour says. "Come step in this truthy square. Are you a doppelganger?"
"No, I'm Chumbawuma!" the goblin says, finally telling them what his name is so that I don’t have to keep typing “the goblin says” as the dialogue tag. Fuck me, as chatty as this bastard is, he can’t just tell people his name? Even Dur-Dur-Dur can’t shut up about his damned name! Speaking of such…
"YOU'RE SO CUTE! YOU REMIND ME OF ME WHEN I WAS A BABY!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, snapping out of his catatonic stupor. He runs over to hug Chumbawumba.
"I don't hug! I don't kiss! You big green mutherfucker go stand over there!" Chumbawumba shouts.
Valour goes over Chumbawumba’s notes, seeing that the goblin has been taking notes on them. "There's a half elf, me. Ski-man, Artus. Dinosaur-man, Dragonbait... hrm... can you read this one for me?" Valour says, holding the part where Chumbawumba notes Dur-Dur as being “dworc” towards Dur-Dur-Dur.
This bastard’s still trying to create family drama! He is the worst paladin ever! “Always speak the truth” my ass.
"That's some real little scribblin's from a tiny little man!” Dur-Dur-Dur says, unable to read the handwriting. “But that's all right. You're going to grow up and know the difference one day."
"Dur-Dur-Dur, I'm surprised you're okay now!" Zanzibar says.
"I've just been in shock since my daddy left," Dur-Dur-Dur says, shedding a tear.
"Are you okay to continue?” Zanzibar says.
"Noooo! But I'm all right…" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Well I know there's a doppelganger, but I don't know who," Chumbawumba muses. "It might have been Biff, but if you seen him, it might be him... Do you know who Withers is?" he adds, looking at his notes.
"… It's your notes!" Zanzibar says.
"Well then, do any of y'all have anything that is not fungus for me to eat?" Chumbawumba says.
🌱 eyeballs everyone else, glad that he is already a “not it” by default.
"Can you slow down and speak Common?” Dur-Dur-Dur says to Chumbawumba. “You have to take breaths between every five words. That's what my daddy said! And that's what I do! GASP!"
"Well, you're daddy's probably dead," Chumbawumba says.
"WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?" Dur-Dur-Dur panics.
"Are you the drumming we have been hearing?" Zanzibar accuses the goblin.
"You have a drum-shaped thing behind you?" Valour says, looking at the floating washtub.
"That's Tubthumpin! He's my tub!" Chumbawumba says defensively, not liking that the party is making false claims about his tub.
Dur-Dur-Dur smacks the tub around a bit, but the sound doesn't make a noise like the one they heard. This does, however, irritate Chumbawumba. Before he can let off a tirade about the orc thumpin’ his tub named Tubthumpin’, the party asks what else he knows about the Tomb of the Nine Gods.
"The gargoyles are down there on the 4th floor, and I don't want to fuck with them. That there tomb guardian, what I remember, very dangerous and very deadly, so we gotta be extra careful! But yeah, don't go fuckin' with that fungus either, it shoots lasers and shit,” Chumbawumba warns them.
"You shouldn't have said that, now we want to look at it!" Valour says.
"Well that's on the 3rd floor. We are on the 2nd floor. So we'll get there when we get there!" Chumbawumba says.
"Let's take a nap here," Dur-Dur-Dur says. "You stand guard, little green dude."
"I can have Tubthumpin stand guard!" Chumbawumba says, then puts Tubthumpin on security mode.
"Are we sure we need to do a rest?" Valour says.
"Yes!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, showing Valour all the Hit Points he’s missing.
The party takes a short rest. While they are resting shortly, they begin to socialize with their new, ball-sacky friend.
"Hey, get over here you strappin' young lad!” Chumbawumba says to Valour. “You's a young boy! I'm gonna fix up that armor." He then takes Valour’s armor and infuses it with some spare parts of his, causing it to be a +1 set of magic studded leather.
This sounds like friendship!
While the party is relaxing in the crossway with the loop-de-loop, they see that the block which separated them from the checkerboard tile room is no longer there, and neither is the wine. But they’re in the prime Tomb of the Nine Gods, right?
The room does smell heavier of wine than it did before. Maybe it drained out!
"Send your little metal guy in there to go check it out!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, then chucks Tubthumpin into the room like a frisbee.
Tubthumpin whirls into the room, stopping just above the sarcophagus. With Tubthumpin hovering above the sarcophagus, the little homunculus is blocking the magical sunlight from shining down into the open sarcophagus.
A deep, emotionless, droll voice echoes out of the sarcophagus, its lackluster charisma resonating with the personality of a wet washcloth. "What is this flying tub..." the voice says.
"That is Tubthumpin! I did not know you were here!" Chumbawumba says towards the sarcophagus.
Rising from the sarcophagus, as though finally moved after decades of slumber, is a deadpan-faced, pale, fanged vampire. However, unlike the alluring and tempting vampires of legend, this vampire is absolutely, completely, without-a-doubt: extremely mediocre.
"I suppose I should thank you for my accidental release," the vampire mutters, eyes glazed over and mouth barely moving.
Chumbawumba then proceeds to deliver a most paradoxical compliment, "You look fine, but what is up with your face?"
"Hey are you a doppelganger!" 🌱 barges in, shouting.
"No,” the vampire says, succinctly.
"You have to tell us. That's the rules!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"I am from the Church of Jergal," the vampire stakes—I mean states! Oh damn I hope he didn’t hear that. Fuck me that was insensitive.
Valour uses divine sense, and though this creature in front of him is as far from divine as anything could possibly be, it is certainly undead. Valour has issues with undead.
"What's your name? " Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Armand," the vampire says.
"All right. He's cool. He checks out," Dur-Dur-Dur says, his prime detective skills at work.
"What are you doing here Armand?" Valour says.
"I came to the tomb to study the cycle of death. As is mandated by my church," Armand states with the emotion of a sleepy evangelical pastor from a pulpit in a library basement. That’s a metaphor for being really, really boring.
"I don't know about the cycle of death. When something dies, it just dies!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Um HELLO!?" 🌱 says, raising his hand.
Chumbawumba decides to look for any traps while the party finds out what’s the matter with this cadaver palaver.
"Uh, Chumbawumba, this place is trapped as hell," Valour tells the goblin. Then he turns to Armand. "We are trying to get out of here, and we are also trying to check the cycle of death... don't know if you heard about that."
"Something locked me in this tomb for a really long time," Armand says bleakly, then waves a hand and casts guidance on Chumbawumba.
🌱 approaches this strange, new undead thing that he can’t put spores into and looks into his sarcophagus, which is rather rude. A plaque at the bottom of the sarcophagus reads, "DROWN YOUR SORROWS.”
"Let's not be in here anymore," 🌱 says, backing away. "Wine just drowned everything in here."
They get Armand out of the sarcophagus, and the sunlight from above shines into the open sarcophagus. When it does, the cube starts to fall down into place, so everyone panics and flees out of the room, hearing only the sloshing sound of wine filling the room again from the other side of the stone block.
"Let's never go back there," Valour says. "Armand, how long have you been here because you look real weak?"
Again, there goes Valour with the blunt observations. “Truthful and kind” you dingus!
"Let's just say...” Armand pauses for a long time. “A long time.”
"How about you, Chumbawumba?" Zanzibar says.
"Oh, a hot minute... about six months... and I've been eating fungus for so long!" the goblin says, waiting for someone to offer him some trail rations or flesh.
The party collects their new vampire friend, their new goblin friend, and their new washtub, and they start to explore more of the second floor, specifically the part that doesn’t have a room meant to drown people. While checking out the stairs, they pass a stone door with three holes carved into it, but there are zombies with bridles in their mouths poking their heads up to the holes. They’re gnashing and snarling and just being all around ill-tempered.
🌱 doesn’t like zombies that he can’t control, so he casts shillelagh on his quarterstaff, raises it up, and—
"NO!" Valour says. "I feel like this is a trap. A trap where I put my sword in here to kill these things and then my sword gets snatched."
Valour has gotten quite protective of his objects made of metal lately.
"Don’t your people hate these zombies?" Chumbawumba says.
Valour glances at 🌱 and Armand, who are leering at him. "Well, there's a spectrum!" he says.
"Did we not discuss the symbology of the three undead heads in the door?" Armand mutters from the blackened void from whence he hovers.
Nobody knows what he’s talking about.
Valour decides to go over some of Acererak’s clues. "Chumbawumba, we have to do some reading! Eat this!" he says, tossing the goblin some rations.
While the PC’s look over the riddles, Armand approaches the door and casts detect magic. He senses lots of magic stuff on the PC's, but none on the three zombies.
Valour recites the clues, "This could be ‘the dead abhor sunlight.’ Or was that for Armand?"
🌱 takes Devlin’s staff of striking back out, shillelaghs it, then kills one of the zombies in the gloryhole by smacking it in the face like a billiards player. 🌱 then just starts beating the shit out of the zombies one-by-one until they are all dead.
"Did you say you were a cleric?" Zanzibar says to Armand.
"Yes," Armand says.
But for real, Armand didn’t.
Zanzibar gives Armand the mace of terror from Wongo’s sarcophagus. And Valour gives him the blackscale dragon cape from that place we don’t speak of. The party also gives Armand the wand of entangle.
Nobody gives anything to Chumbawumba.
"Goblin friend, how do you do your killing?" Zanzibar says, curious on how the goblin survives.
"With a pew-pew," Chumbawumba says.
"We have no pew-pew," Zanzibar says.
"About the pew-pew: it's a cannon!" Chumbawumba clarifies.
"Can I see it?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"The only cannon you'll see is my dick!" Chumbawumba says.
"Oh, so it's a pea-shooter!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Dicks literally are pee-shooters!" Valour says. Moa agrees with this statement.
The party then decides to open the door, which Dur-Dur-Dur, Valour, and Dragonbait have to lift from the bottom, raising it into the ceiling like a garage door, except there is no car on the other side. But there are wheels!
Within is a room with an ornate chariot sitting in the center, a sarcophagus in its litter. Along the left and right walls, six glass cauldrons are stuffed full of humanoid bones. 🌱 gets excited. Along the back of the room is a bronze shield embossed with an image of a Chultan warrior raising its spear that is "definitely probably harmless." On either side of the warrior are statues of Chultan warriors, one with a sword, two with a spear, and the other with its head missing.
So yeah, some bullshit is about to happen.
Obo'laka warns 🌱 that this looks like Papazotl’s tomb, and that the skeletons belong to Papazotl’s zealous followers, who will defend him even in death.
🌱 takes note, then begins sorting through the skeletons, grabbing their femurs, and chucking them all over the stairs so that if anything happens, the skeletons will have no femurs.
"I think we should 'bow before no one,'" Valour says, eyeing the statue without a head.
"’Bow as the dead god intones,’" Zanzibar says, agreeing.
Dur-Dur-Dur goes over and bows before the faceless statue. "Nice to see you. My name is Dur-Dur-Dur. Have you seen my daddy?" he says to the statue that has no eyes.
"That is rude,” Dur-Dur-Dur says. “He didn't even bow back."
Valour bows before the bronze shield.
Armand slinks up to the sarcophagus. "This one looks comfy," he says, admiring the eblis bird printing on it.
Dur-Dur-Dur goes over to the sarcophagus that Armand is admiring and pushes open the lid because fuggit, barbarians gotta investigate their own way! This makes bookoodles of skeletons emerge from the glass cauldrons and descend upon the party.
Deep in the back of 🌱’s mind, he hears an “Ooooooh I told yooou!” from Obo’laka.
The first skeleton charges Zanzibar, who uses a shield! No, not a shield. A shield! With italics. That means it’s a spell. He deflects the skeleton’s attack easily.
Boatload of skeletons? No problem. The party has fought undead masses before!
At that point, the embossed warrior on the bronze shield comes to life and lobs a spectral spear at Valour, hitting him and dealing 22 force damage.
Well that’s different.
Another skeleton charges Dragonbait, but Dur-Dur-Dur smashes it, then wades over and crumples the skeleton on Zanzibar. Chumbawumba shoots a firebolt from his gun at a skeleton as Artus Cimber conjures a polar bear made of ice, which maws one of the skeletons to bits.
Valour plants his feet and casts turn the unholy, "All undead within thirty foot range can suck my dick!" he shouts, and several skeletons cower in his paladin glory.
But there are other undead as well!
Armand feels the radiant, holy power from Valour and retreats, failing his save. "You wanna be that way, fine! Fine!" he grumbles to himself as he storms out of the room.
Zanzibar and Dragonbait do some shit and some skeletons die. 🌱 says some healing words of encouragement to Valour right before the image on the shield hurls another spear of force towards Valour, missing him.
"Wizard, where are you?" Valour shouts.
"What do you want me to do!?" Zanzibar replies.
"I don't know!” Valour says, then points to the shield. “He's throwing spears at me! And there are zombies crawling out of buckets!"
"What do we do?" Chumbawumba says.
"We tried bowing at several junctures," Valour says.
Chumbawumba decides to start constructing a cannon in the middle of the room to fight off the encroaching skeletons.
"Oh, he was serious about the canon!" Zanzibar shouts.
Chumbawumba then focuses his attacks on the cauldrons, shooting a firebolt at one. The glass begins to heat up. Tubthumpin tries to get Armand back to his senses, so it hovers out the room and smacks the vampire upside the head several times for 6 nonlethal damage until he’s no longer afraid of the holy paladin. Now he’s just afraid of the sentient washtub.
Dur-Dur-Dur engages the shield, swinging Durminator at it. He lands a critical hit, but his axe bounces off the shield and does no damage. Furious that he couldn’t do anything, he punches a skeleton in the nards and then tries to hit the massive, glass cauldron. He misses. This is not a good round for Dur-Dur-Dur.
The polar bear kills a skeleton as Artus Cimber shoots with bows and arrows and probably misses I don’t know he never hits anything with them. Valour vaporizes a skeleton with his holy sword, eyeballs that sumbitch shield on the wall, then runs up to it. He takes the shield off the wall and hurls it across the room, and it lands face down.
"Thank you again, Tub," the vampire murmurs to the robot. Armand then cases false life on himself to give himself some fake life.
Zanzibar is done playing games, unless that game is D&D. He drops a fireball and nukes the western half of the room, hurting several skeletons. "Zanzibar baby!" he shouts.
Chumbawumba launches a firebolt from his pistol and a series of shots from his force ballista at one of the cauldrons, unloading heavy amounts of military-grade, artificer ordinance into it. Then Artus Cimber breaks the cauldron by shooting it with a wooden arrow.
Valour murders a skeleton and then another. "No offense, Armand!" he shouts to the vampire who is now watching him slaughter other undead.
"I'm back..." Armand says, standing in the doorway. He casts sacred flame at a skeleton, and it crumples to pieces under his attack.
"You gotta say it!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Say what?" Armand says.
"All me!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Jergal's sacred flame," Armand says?
Zanzibar steps up and rays of frosts a skeleton near Dragonbait. The melee continues, and even more skeletons begin pouring out of the remaining cauldrons. The PC’s then realize that they really need to focus down these cauldrons to keep the skeletons at bay.
The party starts smashing cauldrons like they’re the town of Salem busting up an actual witch convention. Skeleton parts and glass chunks go flying everywhere. Some of the party takes damage, but without the magic shield on the wall slinging beads of force damage at them, the fight goes much easier for them.
All in all, the party annihilates 34 skeletons in the tomb of Papazotl. That’s a lot of bones!
The characters then investigate the contents of the sarcophagus, noting several expensive pieces of loot as well as a strange amulet. Zanzibar grabs at the amulet to identify it, but then strange shadows shift across the walls, forming the outline of a long-legged bird. Its beak stabs at Zanzibar as a voice echoes through his mind: “You will do as I command!”
Zanzibar decides that “You know what? Everyone else gets a Trickster God. I’ll take one as well!” so he lets Papazotl’s spirit into him which causes him to “bow before no one” since his opinion and esteem is now valued among any of his peers. Have fun with that flaw! Hah! He then identifies the amulet as an amulet of health, which he then gives to Valour.
"For a paladin, you sure are wearing a lot of stuff picked up from dead things!" Zanzibar taunts Valour literally right after giving him the amulet.
Let’s just break down what happened. Zanzibar got possessed by this deity, then—while guided by the deity—gave the deity’s prized magic item to the paladin, and then started making fun of him for having the magic item. Like, he just gives Valour this dead god’s shit and then starts chastising his moral fiber. That’s how Papazotl rolls in this tomb. Just an all out gaslighting megastork shithead. Enjoy the new tenant, Zanzibar!
The party then flips the washtub upside down and dumps all the loot into it like it’s a piggy bank. Dur-Dur-Dur decides to cover the magic spear-throwing shield with a tarp in case some weird shit happens. Zanzibar identifies the shield and says it won't hurt anyone who has bowed before the faceless statue within the room. Everyone runs to bow before the faceless statue.
"I don't bow before no one because I'm the best arcane wizard there ever was!" Zanzibar shouts.
"Oh yeah, then look at this!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, reaching for the shield.
Instead, Dur-Dur-Dur straps the shield to his back and covers it with a tarp. "Zanzibar don't walk behind me!" he says.
The party short rests, and 🌱 gives Dur-Dur-Dur all the goodberries for him to eat.
"Well hell I'm feeling pretty damn strong!" Valour says, wearing the amulet of health, which increases his Constitution to 19 while he wears it.
Armand and the others check out the room while some of the PC’s take their rest. Armand checks out the wall and leers at it. "There's airflow coming from this wall,” he says, staring at the wall.
He then fiddles with one of the bricks, discovering that it’s actually a button. He presses it, and the wall opens up revealing a small hallway with a strange bottle lying on a table.
Dur-Dur-Dur picks up the bottle.
"I have a bottle," Dur-Dur-Dur says, and he is correct.
"What's in the bottle?" Zanzibar says.
"Hey goblin you want to drink this?" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "What is in this bottle? Taste it!"
Zanzibar grabs the bottle to identify it, but when he does, he sees that there’s a woman within the bottle! She has dark brown skin, long black hair, and wears fancy, long, orange robes. She also glistens periodically since she is bedecked with jewelry!
"Let's open it up and see what's she's saying!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Zanzibar pulls the bottle away from him.
"Let's examine our notes first!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, going to Valour.
"This is your servant!" Papazotl screeches at Zanzibar from within as the wizard holds the bottle.
"Oh yes my servant!" Zanzibar says, looking at the trapped woman.
"Don't break any deals made with these things," Moa whispers to Valour, raising the party’s suspicion on what’s in the bottle.
Chumbawumba gets a look at the bottle and realizes that the woman is a dao. "Well tarnation look at this little thing here! It's a dao! It's like a djinn... genie... djinn, like a djinn and tonic!" he says, then tells the party that dao’s are elemental manifestations of the earth plane.
They are very… very… powerful.
Dur-Dur-Dur tries to uncork the bottle.
"Hold on before you go uncorking the genie! Which is a saying in my place, but let's just talk about it!" Chumbawumba says.
"So... should we let it out now or later? How about now?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Chumbawumba ignores the orc and shouts at the woman in the bottle. "So what's your name, dao? Is it Dao-Dao-Dao?"
Zanzibar casts comprehend languages since it appears they don’t know what language she speaks and vice versa. He holds the bottle of his servant to his face and hears her muttering, “’Tis useless, none of them… nobody hears…”
"We are not useless!” Zanzibar shouts. “I am a great wizard, and these are our servants!"
"JUST LET ME OUT OF HERE YOU DEAF BRUTE!" the dao shouts.
"We don't uncork the angry dao, do we?" Chumbawumba says.
"Hi my name is Dur-Dur-Dur. Have you seen my daddy?" Dur-Dur-Dur says to the bottle.
The dao grimaces, then begins plucking treasure from her person and laying them on the ground: sapphire cords from her hair, a bejeweled belly button ring, beautiful bracers—
"She has treasure!” Zanzibar shouts, ready to uncork the bottle. “Can we agree that we enslave her, though?"
"Well let's take the bribe and get ready to unload on this dao!" Chumbawumba says.
Zanzibar gives the bottle to Dur-Dur-Dur. "In ten seconds, open this—"
Dur-Dur-Dur opens it immediately. Sand spews out of the bottle and reforms in the shape of a woman. She’s ten feet tall, skin as course as gritty stone, and she throws her arms up in the air.
"At last I am free again!" the dao shouts.
"She isn't free! She is just not in the bottle!" Zanzibar clarifies.
But before they can begin a proper discourse, the dao teleports away, leaving behind the treasures she promised. Dur-Dur-Dur snatches up the treasure and pockets it.
The party realizes that the dao hallway looks suspiciously as though there is another room at the end of it. They fiddle around with the wall on that end and, lo and behold, another secret room! This one has a sarcophagus in the center with little frog statuettes on top, but it’s surrounded by a pentagram of salt. Off to the northern end, a small tunnel rests in the wall.
"I think that salt pentagram could use more salt!" Obo’laka whispers to 🌱.
"Where do we get more salt?" 🌱 says.
"I don't know. I'm dead!" Obo’laka says.
🌱 conjures 8 opossums instead.
He then sends the opossums to check out the creepy room, but he doesn’t let them go past the salt pentagram. One opossum goes into the little tunnel and snoops around. When it returns, it is soaked in red wine.
The PC’s don’t fuck around no more with red wine, so Artus Cimber spends a charge in the Ring of Winter to freeze the wine down the tunnel.
Valour then falls asleep at his computer and the session ends.