"This guy knows way too much about me," Zanzibar says about the whatever-it-was in the wherever-that-is.
"Let's go talk to him," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"I don't want to talk to that thing ever again," Zanzibar says.
"Send your owl!" 🌱 says.
"It can't reach!" Zanzibar says.
"Dur-Dur-Dur can walk on the wall and carry you down," 🌱 says.
"I don't want to be carried!" Zanzibar says.
So they send his owl down, and it has a glowing coin with light cast on it. The owl sees that there is a tunnel at the bottom of the thing that the water goes through because it’s a tunnel and that's what tunnels do.
"I don't know that in our current condition, we want to go down to level five,” Zanzibar says. “I think we are better off going back the way we came and progressing through this thing 'normally.'"
"It's good to know we have a step down there." 🌱 says. "She said they were on level five. We are on level two and damn near out of resources."
"Let's proceed with caution. I'm still a little weak," Armand says, being at level one but with enough XP to be at level three in a party of mostly level sevens close to level eight, though currently standing on level two and looking down to level five.
"I tell you what—you stay away from my neck you pale boy,” Chumbawumba says, almost being as prejudiced as Dur-Dur-Dur.
Armand licks his lips.
"I got gizzards and I got jowls!" Chumbawumba shouts.
Zanzibar has a lightbulb go on over his head. "Holy shit I'm that girl's uncle!"
"The fish?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"No, remember that little merchant princess whose mom died? Ymezra!" Zanzibar says. "Anyway, I'm pretty sure she looks a lot like my brother and she looks a lot like me."
"How many brothers do you have Zanzibar? I don't think we ever talked about your family in depth,” 🌱 says.
"I'm Zanzibar, son of the Manzibar. That's not his name. It's his title. It's just a coincidence. I can go on for hours!" Zanzibar says... which is one hell of a coincidence. That's like naming your child "President" and then that child gets elected President, but then has a child and names it "Kresident."
Zanzibar speaks to them about his family.
"That's a riveting tale that went on for 6 hours," Chumbawumba says.
About two hours into the story, Armand hears a noise from Moa’s tomb. He runs away. "I heard some shit, and somebody needs to go check it out.”
"That sounds like a job for Tubthumpin and Dragonbait," Chumbawumba says.
Valour, Dragonbait, and Tubthumpin go check out Moa's tomb. They hear a scratching sound at the face where Orvex’s cleaved-in-twain corpse is sitting. Valour pokes around and sees that two undead dwarves with Guga-facemasks are repairing the chompy face! And there’s something else lurking behind them!
The heroes take cover, and the two dwarves lunge through the mouth into Moa’s tomb, weapons in hand. But the heroes dogpile the dwarves, with Dur-Dur-Dur happily crit-striking one of them in the face and killing it.
"I hate you so bad, dwarf!" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts.
With the tomb dwarves slaughtered, the mysterious third shape steps around the corner and eyes the party through the gaping mouth. It stands eight feet tall, is covered in battered armor, and carries a pair of faces on a chain.
Chumbawumba starts freaking out, man, recognizing this thing as a tomb guardian. “Well boys let me just tell you this here. We don't fuck with this. We back the fuck up and then hide."
"How much do we not fuck with?" Zanzibar says.
"We don't fuck!" Chumbawumba says.
"Let's fuck with it now!" Valour says.
The tomb guardian then backs away from them and leaps over the stairway and onto the lower floor, out of sight.
Zanzibar runs up from the river. "Guys what is going on!? I heard so much emotion," he says, probably meaning to say "commotion" but unable to speak clearly over all the emotion.
The party takes up defensive positions, waiting to see what happens. Everyone stands with swords out for about four minutes, also using their time to check out the masonry tools and such on the dead dwarves.
"If these dwarves are meant to repair... These traps could be reset,” Zanzibar says.
"What traps do we have here that are reset?" 🌱 says.
"All of them!" Zanzibar says.
Chumbawumba then hears the tomb guardian coming from the northwest side, running down the river. It’s trying to ambush them!
"One of these wiped out a good chunk of our crew!" Chumbawumba says.
"I don't think we can run. There's nowhere to run,” Zanzibar says, the only way out being the chompy mouth that is probably set to cleave someone in half just like Orvex.
"If we all want to get through this mouth, I can conjure 8 animals to tank for us!" 🌱 says.
"Are we running or are we fighting this?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Zanzibar backs up and shouts, "Beefy men to the door!" which would be a perfect battle phrase if they all were minotaurs.
🌱 shapeshifts into a symbiote. Valour asks Moa to turn him invisible. Armand uses the wand of entangle on the hallway, and everyone readies up for a fight in the tomb not unlike that one part of that one movie where the adventurers get ready for a cave troll coming into some dead person’s tomb.
The tomb guardian steps up, then gets slowed in the entangled floor. Zanzibar holds a ray of frost, ready to launch it when the tomb guardian steps up.
"You can hold an action, Armand!" Zanzibar says.
"How do I do that?" Armand says waving his vampire arms around.
"You can hold anything. You can hold someone's hand, like Dur-Dur-Dur’s," Valour says.
Armand holds a guiding bolt instead.
Artus Cimber uses the last charge from the Ring of Winter to stack the entangled ground with some icy, spike growth action, filling the hallway with icicles.
Valour readies an action, realizing that the tomb guardian is still out of sight from the hall because it’s stuck in the vines. "Should we go in there and get him since he's stuck?"
"Oh, he'll get out!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, hopping on Moa's casket and readying a javelin.
Moa doesn't like that.
But Moa’s dead so she can fuck off.
Chumbawumba drops his cannon at the door, then gives temporary HP to everyone around his cannon as it shoots them full of healing.
The tomb guardian finally rips itself free, then slogs through the frozen spikes, taking no damage from them as it saunters into view at the end of the hallway. The party unleashes their defense!
Armand casts guiding bolt, but misses. Zanzibar attacks from invisibility with ray of frost, but misses. 🌱 tries to chill touch, but misses. Dur-Dur-Dur chucks a javelin, and it chinks off of the tomb guardian’s armor.
The party tries again, this time landing barrage after barrage of ranged attacks on the tomb guardian and slowing its progress down the hallway. The behemoth stops halfway up, then turns and retreats back the way it came.
"That's the best thing I've seen all fucking year!" Chumbawumba says, which isn’t saying much since half the year he’s been stuck in a virtual reality tomb eating shrooms and drawing madness.
At that point, the party realizes the tomb guardian is going towards the giant hole where the creepy voice was coming from.
"We can't loot things if they're off a cliff!" Valour shouts at the creature made out of armor. "He looks like he has armor. I want it!"
The party bulldozes down the hall, up the hall, and in one case upside down the hall, but as they try to block off the tomb guardian, it manages to reach the edge of the hole and leap into it, disappearing out of sight.
"Get it, Dur-Dur-Dur!" Valour shouts.
"Nah... I already ran across,” Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"You didn't even ask if it's seen your daddy?" 🌱 says.
The party debates the situation.
"It ran all the way around us and came up behind, then ran away. It's scared!" Zanzibar says.
"I think it just saw what was waiting for it and backed up," Dur-Dur-Dur says "Now anyways before we interrupted, tell me again about your family?"
Zanzibar almost smiles. "Let me tell you about the distant cousins we have in this very long name that we must spell out letter by letter!"
"I know we've been over the plants of Kinchasa, but can you tell me again?" 🌱 says.
"We have lots of licking trees!" Zanzibar lies to everyone since episode 5 clearly says otherwise of wait I dropped something what's that it's a link to episode 5 I better pick it up.
"Licking trees!? Do they lick you, or do you lick them?" Armand says.
"Little bit of column A... Little bit of column B." 🌱 says.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, walk down that tunnel and look for something!" Valour says, pointing at the hole.
"NO!" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Hey Nangnang, did we just fight a tomb guardian?"
"Yep that's a tomb guardian! That's one!" Nangnang shouts at Dur-Dur-Dur.
"That's what I thought Nangnang! That's what I thought!" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Got any advice on how to kill it?"
"You can kill anything if you hit it enough times!" Nangnang says.
"That's what I say too!" Dur-Dur-Dur says too.
"Nangnang knows!” Nangnang says. “Tomb guardians were... You know happens to you if you go spelunking down here in the tomb and something gets you. Weeell... If your body isn't all beat up, they make your into one of those!"
"Oh that's pretty cool... I wonder how big a tomb guardian I would be?" Dur-Dur-Dur says, then moves on.
🌱 pops his druicraft to see what weather is going to be tomorrow. He gets static, then goes around trying to find bars of service. He keeps swinging his magic around, and random plants within the tomb start to bloom.
The rest of the PC's walk around to the other side of the chompy face and see that the burning eyes on the statue face are gone, meaning that the next one to step through would have been bitten.
"Let's look for a hiding spot." 🌱 says, ready to sleep.
"Here on Chumbawumba's sheet it says ‘hidey hole!’" Valour says, looking at Chumbawumba’s scribblings. The hidey hole is listed as being on the third floor, which they haven’t been to yet.
First time for everything!
They go downstairs and realize that this whole place has piles of purple fungal mold growing out of cracks in the floor and walls. 🌱 immediately goes to collect some of the fungus for himself and starts pulling it up. Chumbawumba panics and runs upstairs as an eyeball rises out of a separate patch of fungus, stares at 🌱, then shoots a laser at him that misses and causes the wall behind him to harden into tougher stone.
🌱 decides to pick no more fungus. No meat. No eggs. And now no fungus. This is a problem.
🌱 then sees two statues that suspiciously look like tomb guardians on either side of a hallway, and there’s chain stretched between them.
Valour then finds a third plaque on the wall, another warning from Acererak.
Walk through water with weapon in hand.
Slake your shadow at the font.
The vulture is the first step.
Right the gods.
The walls of history tell all.
"This guy's a fucking nerd..." Zanzibar says.
"Did you guys hear the wizard? Even he thinks Acererak is a nerd!" Valour says.
Valour cautiously peeks up a hallway in the north wall, which has a giant face of a jackal at the end of it, its eyes just barely big enough to peek through. He wants nothing to do with it. He then sees a crawlspace in a wall, which Zanzibar’s owl flies through and discovers that crawlspace has a sheet of metal sealing it off at one point. His owl is too heavy to lift it.
"I'm going off some old notes. Just give me a minute,” Chumbawumba says, looking at his scribblings. He then finds where the hidey hole is, and the party checks it out. Its in another crawlspace, one side of it having a room full of water, the other side of the crawlspace leading to a massive room full of scary shit.
"This hidey hole you promised is heavy on the hole,” Valour says, noticing the cramped conditions. Four people can fit in the main room, others having to sleep in the crawlspace.
"Well... I'm not a big man,” Chumbawumba says.
Valour follows one of the crawlspaces and finds the massive room full of scary shit. A large pit with floating, circular platforms dominates the center, with two balconies on either side. The balcony that Valour is standing on has a massive statue of a yugoloth with a clenched fist. The other balcony has a door and a lever next to it.
"Hey Dur-Dur-Dur!" Valour says, looking at the possibly destructible statue.
"Nope can't make it!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, lying down in the ceiling of the hidey hole to sleep.
"Does anyone have knock?" Chumbawumba says.
"I do have knock... It's not prepared because it's not one of the good spells. It could be prepared after a long rest,” Zanzibar hints.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, come hop over this gap," Valour says, looking at the platforms and the lever.
"In the morning..." Dur-Dur-Dur mutters from the ceiling.
Valour and Zanzibar want some XP, so they go exploring!
But not too far since they don’t want to get Ezekieled. Or Argus’d. Or McSneakle’d. Or Soren’d.
They come across a room with water all along the floor, and sculpted into the walls are several humanoid-animal hybrids wielding weapons. The weapons are real—attached to the wall by hooks. Valour recalls Acererak’s nerdy ass writing, “Walk through water with weapon in hand.”
Valour walks through the water with his Holy Avenger out. He takes one step at a time, eventually stepping up to a veil of water at the end of the hallway. The other side of the veil is a mirrored copy of the room he is in at the moment. He takes out his 10-foot pole and pokes it at the water.
Zanzibar checks out the carvings, noticing that one of the carvings doesn’t have a weapon. Zanzibar taps his staff on the unarmed wall, revealing that it’s an illusion wall! He steps through, finding a small room with a pale, purple crystal eyeball sitting on a table. Valour picks it up and pockets it.
Armand sticks his head out of the crawlspace," Hey, I think the other side of that veil is the mirrored version, so we need to get over there."
Valour asks Moa a question about the riddle and weapon.
"What weapon would you take into the water?" Moa says.
"What weapon would I take into the water?" Valour says.
"Of these options, a trident," Zanzibar says, looking at the trident on the wall.
"A trident I guess?" Valour says.
"And that one's attached to a frog person carving, which is a watery creature,” Zanzibar points out.
"Tridents are used for fishing," Armand says.
"Certainly it is the one that is the most aquatic themed," Zanzibar says. "Dur-Dur-Dur, take this trident and go through the wall!"
"Okay Zanzibar you take the trident and I'll take you!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"I don't know why you are taking advice from all these lackeys of yours!" Papazotl shouts in Zanzibar’s head.
Zanzibar agrees, then grabs the trident and throws it to Valour, “Valour take this and go through the water!"
Valour goes up and holds his Holy Avenger in one hand and a trident in the other.
Armand casts guidance, "Go safely!"
Valour steps through safely and sees a duplicate copy of the room they were in. Valour checks the area in the mirrored room where the illusion wall was, finding another hidden alcove! This one has a bright, green crystal eyeball. He puts an eyeball in each pocket of his underpants.
"We got eyeballs attacking us in the mold, too,” Zanzibar says.
Valour swaps tridents out, then walks back through.
"What did you learn?" 🌱 says.
"Let's go talk about it in the hidey hole!" Valour says. "I found these eyeballs. They're weird."
"I need to find a fight!" Zanzibar says.
"Punch Dur-Dur-Dur!" Valour says.
They go to the cavern with the stone demon thing in it and send Zanzibar’s owl across to the lever. Valour has his weapon out, aimed right at the neck of the demon just in case pulling the lever does something terrible, which is exactly something Valour would expect from this terrible place.
The owl explores, then sits on the lever. The demon’s clenched hands open up, a pearly white crystal eyeball and scarlet red crystal eyeball in the hands. Valour snatches them and puts them in his back pocket, but not after passing a saving throw that would have made something TERRIBLY TERRIBLE happen to him!
Valour gives the four eyeballs to Tubthumpin.
"Let's go with Zanzibar and find a fight real fast so he can level up when we sleep,” Zanzibar says.
They go exploring on the third floor, seeing the jackal face again. Zanzibar peers through the jackal’s eyes, seeing a tomb with a gold sarcophagus depicting an almiraj. A hole is in the ceiling directly above the coffin. After a bit, Zanzibar sees a dwarf with a turbin step into the room. The dwarf steps onto some tiles, then a swarm of insects erupt from the mouths of four sphinxes in each corner. They devour the dwarf to bones.
"Hey, Chumbawumba, was there a dwarf in your party?" Zanzibar says.
"Yeah... Bravus. I know him.”
"Oh... I think at this point, knew would be a better word," Zanzibar says.
Chumbawumba thinks over his Yellow Banner compatriots. "Okay so that's Devlin, he dead. Bravus... That shit's unfortunate. They were good folk."
🌱 steps up to examine the dead dwarf through the jackal. He instead sees the exact thing Zanzibar saw, playing out as though a replay. He tells everyone what’s happening.
Dur-Dur-Dur steps up and starts laughing repeatedly. "Let me see! Let me see!" He shoves his face up to the jackal and sees the dwarf die. "I know how I'm spending my last hour!"
"You motherfuckers are into some weird shit,” Chumbawumba shouts.
"He doesn't know his dad's a dwarf," Zanzibar whispers to Chumbawumba.
They then return to the hallway with the chain-connected tomb guardians.
“Looks like there is a fight over here if y'all want to fight," Dur-Dur-Dur says, looking at the two statues. "Dragonbait go over there!"
Dragonbait steps up to the statues, and they animate to life, ready to attack. Dur-Dur-Dur joins in and swings recklessly and hits. Artus Cimber follows up with Bookmark out, knowing his bow won’t do anything.
A tomb guardian then decks Dragonbait in the face, dealing a good chunk of damage. Spells and weapons swing everywhere, the spellcasters using their last spell slots and the combatants using their last Hit Points. A tomb guardian drops Dur-Dur-Dur with a punch in the face. Artus Cimber tries dragging him out of the fight and gets decked as well.
"All right little vampire, do your magic!" Artus Cimber shouts.
Armand touches Dur-Dur-Dur for cure wounds.
"I'm awake!" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts.
"SURPRISE!" Valour says, having crept up on the villains with invisibility and smiting them for a good chunk of their damage. He realizes that when one gets hit, it doesn’t take damage as seriously as it should, but the other tomb guardian takes damage as well. They’re sharing a Hit Point pool through the connecting chain!
🌱 shoots spores out to form a wall, snaps his fingers, and he covers the area with a wall of fire that torches the two guardians and Dragonbait. In one last effort, the guardians smack Dragonbait and Valour before charring to blackened ashes.
"Let's go long rest!" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts.
The party piles into the hidey hole, finally able to get some shut-eye from this disaster of a place. When they wake up later, they realize that their maximum Hit Point reductions haven’t returned to normal: the Death Curse’s effects are greater than they originally thought.