"🌱, You got those potions?" Valour says.
"The Soren juice?" 🌱 says, looking into his collection of horrors. "Let's save those."
"Let's show Doomfist what they do," Valour says.
But now the fools have to figure out what to do about the lack of HP and Hit Dice they have. Chumbawumba decides to set up a temporary HP machine, dolling out fake life to his comrades in the hallway to provide a buffer against any soon-to-receive damage.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, take a potion of greater healing," 🌱 says, then shoves a different potion to Chumbawumba. "And here, you drink this Ezekiel-flavored Soren juice."
"Well, I guess I am very parched..." Chumbawumba says, then notices that nobody is standing near him as he holds the potion. "Why are y’all backing up?"
"Um... I don't know whether we should drink this potion or not drink this potion!" Unkh says to him.
"DAMMIT SNAIL WOMAN YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHING!” Chumbawumba screams. “Here, I'll get a coin out. I'm gonna flip this coin. On a 1, I drink it, on a 2 I don't...”
Chumbawumba flips the coin, which for some reason has a 1 and a 2 on its sides instead of a heads or tails. His money is weird. The coin shows up as a 1, meaning he has to drink it. Didn’t another PC drink something peculiar in this dungeon a few episodes ago? Ah, I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.
“Well bottom's up, boys!" Chumbawumba says, downing the Soren juice potion, and then healing Dragonbait. As he does so, wild magic courses through him!
Then nothing happens.
"Good! I thought there would be an instant death," 🌱, AKA the person who told him to drink the potion, says.
"I don't want to mess with this room anymore," Valour says, looking at the terrible room with the dinosaur zombie and murder-tomb.
As they leave, Dragonbait walks next to Valour, and the half-elf paladin blurts out, “TYR IS NANGNANG'S BUTT BOY!" He throws his hands over his mouth at the sudden blasphemy.
"I knew it!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"AHAAAAH!" Nangnang laughs.
"What? Valour, what is wrong with you?" 🌱 says.
"I just... I am standing with my mouth open," Valour says.
"Nangnang tells me that pose looks familiar," Dur-Dur-Dur says, then high fives Nangnang, which is just him slapping himself in the face.
Valour feels the urge to blaspheme any time he’s near Dragonbait, so he stuffs his mouth with a sleeve he tears from his shirt. Valour then casts lesser restoration on himself, but it doesn't work. He's swearing so much!
Valour steps away from Dragonbait. He realizes that the lizard-person causes him to blaspheme, which means he can't hang out next to him. This most likely came from the Soren juice potion. In an act of penitence, Valour offers the Holy Avenger back to the saurian. "You're making me say terrible things."
"He's a terrible influence!" Zanzibar says.
Valour receives Flametongue in exchange for the Holy Avenger.
The party returns to the bottom of the stairs with the four-armed gargoyles and the hole in the floor, and they take a short rest around the balcony to reattune to their items. While doing so, Doomfist checks out the gargoyles, noting that they’re mounted on pedestals, each rimmed in copper, silver, gold, and platinum. There is also a coin-sized slot in them. The monk gives a CP to one of the gargoyles, then an SP another, then a GP to a third.
"Anyone have a platinum piece? I can afford a platinum, but I don't have one,” Dur-Dur-Dur says, tossing the money to Doomfist. “Hey Nangnang, how do I get a platinum piece?”
"From your friends!" Nangnang says.
"Do we have something that's not a platinum piece but can be made into a coin?" Doomfist says.
"Take the platinum armband and turn it into a platinum coin!" 🌱 says to Chumbawumba, referring to the dao’s wristbands and his skills as an artificer.
"That is very assuming of you," Chumbawumba says.
"You could probably just sit on it at this point..." Dur-Dur-Dur says.
🌱 and Zanzibar identify the solid platinum jewelry, taking note that there isn’t anything magical about it. "Hey Papa Z,” 🌱 says. “Where do we find platinum down here?"
"Gold is worth platinum!" Papazotl shouts.
Doomfist scoops up 10 gp and inserts the coins into the platinum slot.
"You owe me some money, Doomfist!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"This was your idea," Doomfist tells him.
The monk then checks out the hole in the floor. He holds his torch up and peers down, catching a brief glimpse of a blueish, smokey bird staring back at him. The bird squawks, then disappears.
"There's a bird in this hole!" Doomfist says.
"Sikkukurut!” 🌱 shouts. “Come out from the hole! We have to talk to you."
"We've got a beard!" 🌱 says.
"I combed it today," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Dur-Dur-Dur does not have a beard.
Zanzibar decides to investigate the bird-hole by conjuring another owl familiar, hoping that it doesn’t get brutally murdered this time.
🌱 comes down the stairs, and Valour gives him some money to place into the coin slots of the gargoyles as Zanzibar keeps conjuring the owl.
"Do you think they'll care if we take off some of their wings?" 🌱 says, eyeballing the gargoyles. "Who has something that can hammer through these gargoyles?”
"We don't know if these are real things," Valour says.
"We just saw a painting of them killing people, and Chumbawumba saw it happen too," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Let's just... give them..." Chumbawumba says, stumbling over his words. He then takes out 14 gp and inserts the coins into the appropriate gargoyles.
Zanzibar finally summons his owl familiar, then sends it down the hole. He looks through the owl’s eyes, catching sight of three bizarre, pentagon-shaped rooms on top of cogs, each resting above the water. Before he can register what’s down there, Sikkukurut emerges from the darkness, talons out, and the owl familiar meets its end as Sikkukurut charges.
"What do you know about that?" Zanzibar says to Kubazan.
"None of my fellow Trickster Gods are down there," Kubazan says.
"What did you see?" Dur-Dur-Dur asks.
"My owl is dead again," Zanzibar says. "Sikkukurut killed it."
"I told you that Sikkukurut was bad!" Valour says.
"Maybe he's Acererak,” Dur-Dur-Dur says, suspiciously.
Zanzibar recalls what he saw, "So before the owl died, I got just a couple seconds of three pentagon-shaped island-looking things, and just as I was getting my bearings, Sikkukurut flew up and murdered the owl. The cogs looked like they were surrounded by water. And before I regained my senses, I asked what Kubazan knows about this. He says none of the other Trickster Gods are down there."
"That sounds like a job for tomorrow!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"When you say that none of the other Trickster Gods are down there..." Zanzibar mutters to Kubazan.
"Hrm, well you found all but one!" Kubazan says.
"Hey Nangnang?" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Do your powers work down there?"
"I don't know, I've never been down there!" Nangnang says.
They debate their next steps, thinking to explore the rest of this floor before deciding to go down to the mystery level in the hole. They decide to finish investigating the floor, so they all put coins into the gargoyles, then head down an eastern hallway.
While heading down there, they see another devil face of Guja mounted on the wall, as well as creepy murals of faceless humanoid figures doubled over in pain, clutching at their heads and ears.
Tubthumpin goes forth to examine the mouth of Guja, and as it gets close, a voice speaks from the mouth! "Tubthumpin!?" it squeaks out.
"The fuck was that?" Chumbawumba says.
"Chumbawumba?" the voice says.
Chumbawumba has a moment of recognition. "Lickety Biscuit!" he shouts.
From the mouth of the devil face, a tiny, green lizard pokes its head out and grins at seeing Chumbawumba. “I ran and hid in the face after the gargoyle attack!”
Chumbawumba then explains to the PC’s that Lickety Biscuit was an intelligent, talking lizard that the Company of the Yellow Banner found and included in their soiree. So far, he’s the only other living member of their expedition that they’ve found.
Valour says that he doesn't trust him.
"Ask it only something you would know," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Chumbawumba turns to the lizard. "Who was that lady we were with?"
"Oh, the Starfallen!" Lickety Biscuit says. "She was down here with you to get the Eye of Zaltec."
“Eye of Zaltec?” Valour says.
“It has the power to bring the dead back to life!” Lickety Biscuit says.
Everyone makes sure to note that down.
"Hey Lizard?" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Have you seen my daddy?"
"I saw someone who looked like you...” Lickety Biscuit says. “He came down here, leaping from the stairs above. Then he transformed, got old and hunched over. Very maniacal!"
"Oh, Withers?” Zanzibar deduces. “That's who that person was talking about... maybe.” He then looks to his Trickster God for advice. "Hey Kubazan, do you know who Withers is?"
"He is the caretaker of the tomb!" Kubazan says.
"Hey Nangnang?" Dur-Dur-Dur says. "How do I get my coins back from these gargoyles?"
"You lost it!" Nangnang says.
"You could smash it and get your money back," 🌱 says.
"Hey Lickety Biscuit,” Zanzibar says. “Do you know why these gargoyles attacked?"
Before the lizard answers, everyone starts to think Zanzibar might be possessed.
"We are all possessed!" Zanzibar shouts.
"Tell me something that only Zanzibar would know!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"I hate you!" Zanzibar shouts.
"That is obviously a lie,” Dur-Dur-Dur says. “Tell me a joke!”
“I do not have a joke prepared."
"I thought you were a divination wizard. Did you not see this coming?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Chumbawumba ignores the debate and goes back to questioning the lizard. "Have you noticed anything weird lately?"
"I haven't seen many of those tomb guardians around lately,” Lickety Biscuit says. “They’re usually patrolling.”
"Did you guys pay these gargoyles when you came in here the first time?" Zanzibar asks Chumbawumba.
"Nooo... we didn't have much money,” the goblin responds.
They pick up Lickety Biscuit and keep him, then head south to a series of stairs. The stairs lead up to a granite slab blocking the path, and the slab is painted with the image of a gaunt, male humanoid wearing a hooded cloak, its face a mask of stars. The figure's withered left hand is raised with palm extended.
Zanzibar detects magic around the door, noticing transmutation magic.
"Lickety Biscuit, you see anything weird down here?" Chumbawumba says.
"I saw someone do like a secret hand signal,” Lickety Biscuit says.
Doomfist steps up and holds his left hand up with the palm extended. When he does so, the stone slab descends into the floor, revealing a tight system of hallways on the other side.
The party steps in, then surveys the odd maze. In the center of the maze on a pedestal lies a seemingly harmless gold crown topped with a glittering black opal.
"We've heard of this thing, haven't we?" Zanzibar says, looking at the crown.
Go pick it up, Dragonbait!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
While exploring, they see a skeleton key bouncing around the maze, so they scurry around to corner it. Eventually it’s pinned in a hallway, and they beat the tar out of it. The top of its head is shaped like a hexagon, which they place into their collection of skeleton keys.
Zanzibar detects magic on the crown, determining that it’s magic is some really ancient shit that he can’t quite decipher. He asks about the magic crown to Kubazan, who responds, "This is dangerous in the wrong hands. Dendar wishes to devour the sun."
While chasing the skeleton, the party noticed that another Guja devil mouth was mounted to the eastern wall. Doomfist checks out the mouth, seeing that within is a pool of empty blackness that absorbs all light cast into it.
That sounds dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous, Zanzibar decides to pick up the Black Opal Crown. You see how I capitalized it there? That’s a proper noun, and proper noun treasure in the Tomb of the Nine Gods is dangerous as hell! How dangerous?
BODAKS! That’s how dangerous!
Two hooded, whispering, hellish undead crawl out of the dark Guja mouth, shambling over the floor on their hands and knees. They peer at the PC’s with their devilish gaze, instilling wracking horror at a mere glance. Simultaneously, the slab doors to the maze rise, blocking Dur-Dur-Dur, Chumbawumba, and 🌱 from the rest of the party as the Bodaks begin to wreak havoc.
Dur-Dur-Dur raises his hand the lower the doors again, and Chumbawumba goes running to join the fight. Zanzibar locks eyes with a bodak and feels his brain getting wracked with psychic damage. He casts invisibility on himself to break the monster’s gaze.
Everyone starts taking psychic damage as they lock eyes with the bodaks, but 🌱 manages to thorn whip one of them closer to Dur-Dur-Dur so he can attack it. Valour begins cutting one up with Flametongue, but the fire doesn’t burn the creatures as much as he expected.
Dragonbait guts one of the creatures with his Holy Avenger, but everyone still loses Hit Points just by looking at the creatures, causing the fight to slowly tip into the bodaks’ favor.
Dur-Dur-Dur manages to hack one of the creatures in half, and it dissipates into smoke. He steps up to the second one and swings just in time for Zanzibar to unleash a barrage of magic missiles into it, killing the creature.
Everyone stares at each other, desperately low on Hit Points and spell slots. Zanzibar takes a long look at the Black Opal Crown, then casts identify on it. He feels a swelling of danger as he confirms his suspicions. "This thing is for our friend Dendar. It can be used to bring him back into the world, or we can destroy it and destroy his link forever."
"Well, he didn't help us the last time he came back to the world," 🌱 says.
"We didn't give him much of a choice," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
🌱 loots some tattered Bodak robes lying on the ground and puts them… wherever.
The party then debates exploring more of the dungeon’s floor or stopping to heal for some desperately needed Hit Point recovery, even though they lack lots of Hit Dice.
"Unkh, what should we do?" Chumbawumba says.
After about eight seconds, Unkh responds, "I dunno... I wasn't paying attention."
Chumbawumba disregards his aloof deity and sets up his temporary Hit Point generator, letting the rest of the party obtain a semi-decent amount of temporary not-dying.
After trying to recuperate, Zanzibar catches sight of a glimmering object down the hall of the maze room. He saunters up to it, realizing that he’s seeing a glowing, blue mirror attached to the wall. Right when he sees it, the mirror activates its magic and sucks his screaming, panicking ass into it. Seeing this event, Doomfist approaches the mirror to see what all the hooey is, and then he gets dragged into the mirror.
The other PC’s keep their fucking distance.
At this point, everyone else just lets Dur-Dur-Dur chuck a javelin at this mirror that isn’t giving their friends back. It clinks off the front, filling the hallway with screams of Zanzibar and Doomfist shouting, as well as a cacophony of other monstrous screaming.
"Oh my gosh," Dur-Dur-Dur says. " It's a bilingual mirror! Let me talk to it!"
Valour steps up to the mirror and resists the magic that threatens to pull him in. He admires himself in the reflection, but then he sees Doomfist crying for help in the reflection. Dur-Dur-Dur then chucks a second javelin at the mirror and shatters it.
Turns out, Doomfist and Zanzibar weren’t the only people trapped in this thing!
A Chultan man, panicked and confused, sprawls to the ground as a jittering stirge flutters after him, plunging its proboscis into his back and drinking the life out of him! A giant, four-armed gargoyle wrestles a minotaur warrior to the ground as an Omuan clad in terrifying armor strikes the gargoyle from behind. Toppling to the side is a drow clad in sorcerous robes, and a stinky doo-doo troll roars as it rakes its hands across the ceiling. Another human stumbles out as well, and Chumbawumba focuses on the familiar face….
Biff! It’s Biff the Human! One of his comrades from the Brotherhood of the Yellow Banner! He’s alive!
Before anyone can react, Dur-Dur-Dur pins the stirge to the wall with a javelin, its bloated abdomen spewing Chultan blood everywhere. He then chucks his last javelin at the gargoyle, and it bounces off the monster’s stony hide without leaving much of a scratch.
🌱 feels something unseen, invisible, and stalkerish trying to fuck with him.
"Ah something's trying to hit me! Invisible from behind!" 🌱 shouts.
Zanzibar summons the Ring of Winter and ice walls EVERYONE behind a wall of ice that ice-o-lates (hahahahaHAHAHAHHAHLAUGHGODDAMMIT!) the bad guys to the back half of the room, but leaves Biff, Doomfist, and Zanzibar free.
Dragonbait and 🌱 fire arrows and swing shillelaghs at the invisible stalker, which looks like they have no idea where the actual fight is happening.
The drow, battered and frostbitten from the ice wall, eyes the adventurers on the safe side of the wall. From his frosted prison, he casts cloudkill on all the PC's in the narrow hallway, filling the space with deadly gas!
The minotaur and the Omuan warrior cleave away chunks of the gargoyle, which slings punches back at them. Valour uses Bookmark to disappear to the other side of the gas, stepping out of its range, and Dur-Dur-Dur hustles up a northern hallway, clinging to the top of the ceiling. The invisible stalker keeps swatting 🌱, and Zanzibar chokes on the deadly cloudkill poison.
While choking, Zanzibar considers doing AOE damage, but he knows the minotaur and the Omuan warrior are attacking the gargoyle. So he just runs!
🌱 then chill touches the drow mage and breaks his concentration, causing the gaseous poison to dissipate. He then points at the invisible force that’s trying to kill him. After he does so, the four-armed gargoyle tears the minotaur’s arm off, slaughtering the creature as the drow goes invisible and out of sight.
Chumbawumba sets up his protector cannon to give everyone their fake Hit Points. He then shouts, “Biff, if you're on the other side of that wall, you come meet up with us afterwards!” After not much of a response, he adds, “Yo Biff, get the fuck over here!"
Biff bolts out from behind one of the walls and dashes towards the party, but at that moment the frozen troll bashes through the ice wall and strikes Biff with a claw, wounding the poor bastard. Valour, in an attempt to find the invisible stalker, steps up and swings Bookmark around, using its blue light to try and find the creature. Right when he does so, Dur-Dur-Dur runs across the ceiling and slaughters the invisible stalker with his axe.
"See?” Valour says. “Flashlight damage for the win!"
Dur-Dur-Dur then reels down the hallway and engages the troll with Dragonbait backing him up in a flurry of arrow shots. 🌱 tries to chill touch the troll, but his troll-touchin’ ain’t nearly as good as his drow-touchin’, so he can’t quite get a grip.
Right when everyone thinks they have the upper hand, the drow mage breaks his invisibility, revealing that he’s standing at the entrance of the long, narrow hallway. He raises his hand and casts lightning bolt, arching a terrible line of lightning damage down the hall and blasting everyone!
Dragonbait and Dur-Dur-Dur fall to the ground, unconscious from the blast. Meanwhile, the troll is fried to a crisp, and Biff dies instantly, reducing the number of allies that Chumbawumba has recovered from his previous adventuring party down to: lizard.
"Goddammit Biff I told you not to die you sonuva bitch!" Chumbawumba shouts.
Valour steps up to Dragonbait and curses profusely at Tyr, but he lays on hands to give Dragonbait 3 HP. Zanzibar steps up and stands on Dur-Dur-Dur's face to get a better view of the melee, then uses the Ring of Winter to cast cone of cold into the room with all the fighting, catching the drow and the gargoyle and the Omuan warrior in the blast. The drow and gargoyle’s flesh laces with icicles, and they shatter!
The party uses goodberries to bring each other back to consciousness, but now there’s an Omuan woman armored in some terrifying, carapace-looking armor. She’s staring them down, sword out, and covered in a thin layer of frost.
Doomfist talks to the woman, "It didn't hurt that bad right?" He then rolls a 0 on a persuasion check. "You're not some kind of bitch right?"
While the party is trying to establish an air of calm, serenity, and we-don’t-want-any-trouble with the woman, 🌱 decides that now is a perfect time to summon his fairy monster spirit that manifests in the center of the hallway and begins shoving magical healing eggs up everyone’s asses to restore their Hit Points. This brings unease to the Omuan woman, but not too much to—
🌱 then casts chill touch on her, but he misses.
Everyone freaks out as the woman goes on the defensive!
"All right you big green fuck, get up," Chumbawumba says, helping Dur-Dur-Dur to his feet, then glaring at the Omuan. "I'm gonna take a chance with you, big bitch! But get near here and I'll help you!" He then casts protector cannon to heal 6 temporary Hit Points for everyone nearby. "I'm sorry for my fungal friend there. He's a little quick on the trigger!"
The party catches on that the woman doesn’t speak Common. Valour steps up, pulls out some food, eats some, then gives it to her. She eats it.
Chumbawumba tries to approach with his hands out, and she shoves a sword in his face.
"I'm Dur-Dur-Dur," Dur-Dur-Dur says slowly, enunciating all the words. "Have… You… Seen... my... daddy!"
Chumbawumba debates internally, "Unkh, can you tell me what to say?"
Beee-BEEE-BEEEEP! We are sorry, but Unkh cannot come to the phone right now. Please leave a—
"We just saved you," Valour tells the Omuan.
The woman begins to speak, muttering a word that the PC’s are all too familiar with now. "Nepaka? Nepaka!"