The party stands in the murdered-up throne room and discusses what their next plans should be—which could be a whole number of things! Even plans!
"Do we have any way of talking to dead people? Do we have speak with dead?" Zanzibar says, looking at the dead Fenthaza and the dead Ifan Talro’a, who surely could have been interrogated before the whole being dead thing.
"I can't do that," 🌱 says. "I can raise it as a zombie if you want it to move and stuff."
Zanzibar begins to plot, "I suggest that if we have the ability, we talk to Fenthaza or Ifan Talro’a... I don't know if they somehow actually have the true understanding of what’s going on.” He looks at the two messages that Ifan Talro’a had on him. “I can't tell if he's trying to get people from Port Nyanzaru here here to be murdered by Dendar, or if Dendar is going to Port Nyanzaru. There's a plot here, and we interrupted it before we learned how it works!"
Sometimes you just kill people too quickly!
"Well, I can't talk to them," 🌱says. "We just need one of them as a zombie. A zombie version of Ifan would be useful."
"Do we have anything else to do in Omu?" Zanzibar says.
They remember that this place had a big, giant blood room that was once full of Dendar. Maybe they should go check up on that! Oh look, it’s one hallway over. That's convenient. It's like right over there!
Let's go see!
The party goes into the room where they fought Dendar to check it out, and lo and behold, the frozen bloody chunks of Dendar are still there. Not quite alive, but not quite dead.
As Zanzibar enters, he sees the bloody ice shard vibrate in frustration—then the Ring of Winter whispers to him, “Go ahead… wear the crown. It will make you powerful! Wear the vessel.”
Zanzibar burns a portent to resist whatever sweet nothings the ring just tried to whisper to him using some bullshit nonsense! Minimum nonsense this time! Minimum! Also "minimum" is a VERY weird word to type.
Zanzibar tries an experiment: he leaves the room, and the ice shards quit vibrating. He enters the room, and the ice shards vibrate again.
This isn’t a good sign.
Pal’e’wag eats an ice shard…
As the party debates and panics about what to do with all this Dendar nonsense, Dur-Dur-Dur interrupts them due to other pressing matters. "I'm sorry, is your daddy a snake right now?" he pouts.
"We can just polymorph him into a dwarf,” 🌱 says.
"A dwarf?" Dur-Dur-Dur says, confused.
"Or we could make him a McSneakle and he could change form! Don't you want a snake daddy father?" 🌱 says.
Dur-Dur-Dur is having none of this and begins to get super upset!
The PC’s manage to calm Dur-Dur-Dur down, then they decide to investigate the rest of this yuan-ti palace. 🌱 animates Ifan Talro’a as a zombie and sends it into the water on the eastern side of the throne room. Zombie Ifan pokes around a bit, but 🌱 dashes back into the throne room when he sees five big serpent heads lurch up and grab the zombie, tear it to shreds, then disappear beneath the water.
"Hey guys do you want to go kill some serpents?" 🌱 says, reconvening with the party.
"Are they dangerous?" Zanzibar says.
"They just killed my zombie," 🌱 says.
Zanzibar pauses a bit, "... Ifan Talro’a or a different one?"
"Oh Ifan,” 🌱 says.
"WE NEED HIM!" Zanzibar shouts, since they still don’t know the full story behind Ifan’s notes. "We need to go get a piece of him!"
"Could we freeze it?" 🌱 suggests.
Zanzibar stops raging and gets an idea. He goes up to the water and uses the Ring of Winter to decrease the temperature in the nearby area, freezing the water over a period of several minutes. The whole underground river is now frozen solid! Zanzibar steps across the frozen lake, then looks down to see a five-headed hydra frozen in place.
"Come, there's axing to do," Zanzibar shouts back.
"I don't have my shoes!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, looking at the ice.
Zanzibar finds Ifan Talro’a’s discarded feet and throws them to Dur-Dur-Dur, who pulls the cowboy boots off and dons them. Zanzibar then eyeballs the hydra and jumps up and down above it, taunting the beast. 🌱 raises his staff and casts moonbeam, which lasers through the ice and annihilates the hydra.
"We can make serpent stew now!" Zanzibar cheers.
"It's like the best stew in the game!" 🌱 says.
Zanzibar realizes that although he can lower temperature, he can’t raise it. He can only let it return to normal, which even in a normal temperature, a massive 30 foot deep and 30 foot wide chunk of ice will take quite a long time to melt, so they keep poking around the palace, finding some cool little trinkets and abandoned whatnots, such as:
A big pit of writhing snakes, which Zanzibar instantly fireballs to death. Pal’e’wag leaps in afterwards, slurping down the dead snakes like spaghetti.
An abandoned sauna area full of blood, because when you want to make sure that the adventurers know they are in “bad people place,” a blood sauna sets the mood perfectly!
A heat rock sauna room full of discarded snake skin—but there are 1500 gp worth of snakey, serpentine oil (surpentine?) that 🌱 can use for reincarnating purposes! He fracks the shit out of the room by grabbing all the oils.
A dead pureblood that drank some fungus soup and exploded fungus everywhere because it was secretly a devoted worshipper of Zuggtmoy—🌱 brings that one back to life as a zombie, blooming it full of shroomie goodness. Oh, and some acid falls on Dur-Dur-Dur, but his black dragon cape finally does something good by reducing its damage by half.
A library full of toxins that—oh yeah—🌱 snatches the hell out of all that stuff too!
A slave pen full of prisoners drained of their blood. 🌱 grabs them—nah, just kidding. But next to the slave pen is a storage room with three crates of bronze bars and a bunch of other shit worth some money.
"I say we chisel out the hydra, use this salt and stuff to fry him up, then keep checking out my kingdom,” Dur-Dur-Dur says, examining all the loot.
"I think we've explored this," Zanzibar says. "Do we go back to Valindra's house and see if her teleportation circle still works?"
The party then grabs all they can, loads it into a nearby cart, then pushes it over to Bag of Nails’ place for safe keeping. Zanzibar takes the time to learn some new spells as they all sleep for the night, ready to set off for Port Nyanzaru the following day.
When they wake up, Zanzibar prepares to cast Galder’s speedy courier, which can send a crate full of goodies to someone they know. But the conversations nearby are still being weird.
"So should we kill your daddy now and reincarnate him? Or wait until we get to Port Nyanzaru in front of a crowd..." 🌱 says, trying to read the room.
"I don't know. What do you think dad?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"HISS!" Dur-Dur says.
"Okay," Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Zanzibar finally finishes casting Galder's speedy courier with a destination chosen for Wakanga. He writes,
“The Soul Monger is destroyed. The Death Curse is ended. We encountered many others with interests in Omu, including the Red Wizards of Thay. They are in leagues with a lich, Valindra, who is trapped in the tomb that hid the Soul Monger. In the aftermath, we encountered Ifan Talro’a working with a yuan-ti. He is dead now. We found the accompanying note on his corpse. I do not know if Port Nyanzaru is safe. We will be returning there with haste regardless."
Zanzibar includes the two notes he found on Ifan Talro’a’s corpse with the message, then gets ready to send it on its way.
"I want to send something," Dur-Dur-Dur says, then puts in a rock.
Pal’e’wag also wants to send something, so he tries to put a blowgun in there.
"You don't even know him!" Zanzibar says, shoving the blowgun away.
"I wanna write the note, from King Daddy Warchief Dur-Dur-Dur!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Zanzibar thinks for a minute after hearing “daddy” come out of the orc’s mouth. "... Where are your kids!?"
There’s a brief pause.
"I left them in the tomb!” Dur-Dur-Dur says. “That’s how orcs raise their kids. We introduce our kids, then say goodbye, and they spend their whole lives chasing us!"
Maybe this is where orc aggression comes from?
The PC’s get ready to leave Omu and head into the jungle once more after several days of dungeon spelunking and saving the world, but as they do, they see that Lukanu isn’t making any preparations to leave her home city. She’s staying.
"Are you sure you do not want to see more of society?" Zanzibar asks her.
"There is plenty here to set right,” Lukanu says, eyes cascading over the city that the yuan-ti desecrated. “I suppose I shall go on my own adventure soon."
The party lets her keep Flametongue, and she bids goodbye. She picks up Zanzibar and hugs him, and he realizes this may be the last time he sees his big strong murder-waifu. Pal’e’wag tries to give her his blowgun, but Zanzibar shoves it away as well.
Dragonbait approaches to say his goodbyes, the air smelling of roses—but instead of embracing Lukanu, he stands next to her.
He is staying, too.
🌱 goes up and gives Dragonbait a hug. He casts druidcraft to make the area smell like roses, communicating with the saurian that he is also saddened to see him go. Dur-Dur-Dur bids Dragonbait goodbye as well, giving him the bracelet of rock magic he has been toting around, which Dragonbait puts on his own wrist along with the bracers of archery.
Zanzibar looks at his robe of useful items and sees that he has two patches for a riding horse with saddlebags. He rips them off and throws them down, and they pop into existence. Dragonbait and Lukanu tether the horses and thank the wizard for his parting gift.
Sensing that the party is going their own separate ways, Pal'e'wag chooses to stay with Dragonbait and Lukanu as well. The jungles of Chult are his home, and since Lukanu and Dragonbait plan on staying, he will too. Pal’e’wag returns Shatterspike to the PC’s, but Dur-Dur-Dur gives him a trident so that he will still be armed. They hug each other, and Dur-Dur-Dur grits through the poisonous pain.
They part ways, leaving Pal’e’wag, Lukanu, and Dragonbait to set off for further adventure in their homeland. An hour after walking away, the PC’s realize that none of the characters in the other adventuring party can communicate with each other since Lukanu only knows Omuan, Dragonbait speaks with stinks, and Pal'e'wag is a grung…
Maybe they’ll figure something out!
But speaking of figuring out, the party gets ready to make a decision on a careful process that they've been debating for a long time.
🌱 confirms everyone's thoughts: it’s time to reincarnate Valour.
The fungal wood elf prepares the ritual! He rubs his hands together, pulls Valour’s ears out of the bag and puts them back on Valour's corpse. He then gives the corpse a solid rubdown with the oils from the yuan-ti sauna, and he plucks spores from his zombie to sprinkle over the body. 🌱 then buries Valour in the mud with incense and mushroom caps.
“Everyone put on a mask!” 🌱 says, slipping his death mask over Valour. 🌱 wears his battiri ant mask, Dur-Dur-Dur wears the battiri seahouse mask, Zanzibar gets the child’s parrot mask, and Chumbawumba gets the child’s bat mask. 🌱 continues the ritual with a patty-cake clap dance with his zombies, Dur-Dur-Dur hammer dances, and Zanzibar lays Shatterspike next to the burial mound and studies out of his books. Chumbawumba eats fungus from the zombie.
Elsewhere in the far nethers of the cosmos, a couatl speaks to a valiant soul, “Go then, there is still more work to do.”
The burial dirt writhes, and a hand emerges. Valour rises from the burial pile—he has returned to life as a hill dwarf!
"Kill him again!" Dur-Dur-Dur shouts. "He came from hell! Are you okay Valour!? If we can turn my daddy from a snake, we can fix this."
"No I'm fine, this is good," Valour says, brushing the dirt off of him.
"I don't think you understand,” Dur-Dur-Dur says. “Someone show him what he looks like!"
Zanzibar pulls a mirror patch off his robe of useful items and hands it to Valour, who looks startled at his new mortal form.
"It is a mighty form for a warrior of Tyr though," Zanzibar assures him.
"Yes, try to make it good for him!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"I'm a tall dwarf, right?" Valour says, examining his height. "I'm... I'm still growing, I'm sure."
"Maybe you'll grow out of it, Valour” Dur-Dur-Dur says.
"Oh Valur… that was my name, yes,” Valour says. “That was Valour the half-elf. I am Valour the dwarf!"
"Dur-Dur-Dur, have I ever reanimated a corpse and had it look the same before?" 🌱 says.
"Dur-Dur-Dur, this is an opportunity for personal growth," Zanzibar says.
Dur-Dur-Dur looks nervously at everyone—especially the dwarf. He takes a deep breath and lets it out. "You're right. This may be something I have to get used to. I guess… he's not really a dwarf. He just looks like one! He's racial fluid!"
Everyone cheers for Dur-Dur-Dur.
"I'll be taking those masks back," 🌱 says.
"Put one on Valour!" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
Everyone stops cheering for Dur-Dur-Dur.
They then suit up and head completely out of Omu's vicinity, back into the Chultan jungles. The humid, plant-filled mess seems much less intimidating than before. It feels like six months have passed since they last had to navigate the jungle, but in reality they only spent ten days in Omu. In those ten days, they fought Ras Nsi the fallen Barae, the Sewn Sisters, Acererak, and they destroyed the Soulmonger. A dense jungle of wildlife would prove little if any hardship.
At the end of their first day, they find a statue of Pretzelcoatl standing glorious in a clearing, as though the jungle itself parted way to let the deity’s monument shine forth. The serpentine statue gives off a vibe: Pretzelcoatl is looking onto Chult once more.
They camp for the night, striking up mild conversation when possible.
"What was it like to die?" Zanzibar says.
"Death wasn't bad. Coming back was a bit painful,” Valour says, remembering… lots of color.
"You did a good thing though," Zanzibar says.
"It's... it is good though," Valour says.
“It’s good to have you back, Valour,” Zanzibar says.
The next week or so is a slog through the jungle. The party encounters remnant ghosts, once tethered to the Material plane by the undead magic within Omu—and the ghosts depart. Pteranodons soar above, and a clutch of axe beak eggs provide a hearty meal for the adventurers, who have been living off of rations and magical food for so long. The goblin is still given fungus.
On one of their days, Dur-Dur-Dur catches sight of a feline face watching them from the trees. He bolts after it, but loses the weretiger’s trail in the jungle. He then peers into the spirit world, summoning a spirit guide to give him answers.
Yes, he can do that now!
After ten minutes, a ghosty-boy bear pops up in front of him.
"Hey spirit bear, what's up with this tiger?" Dur-Dur-Dur says.
The bear roars, "Didn't you used to be friends with a weretiger!? Well I know a secret! That weretiger is named Bwayes Otamu—and you know that name!" it says, then disappears.
"Hey that's Wakanga's last name!" Zanzibar says. Where did he come from?
After another day of fireballing some zombies away with ease, the party arrives at the Aldani Basin. Their boats are right where they left them. They hop into the boats and paddle along, a day’s worth of canoeing presenting the Heart of Pretzelcoatl hovering in the far distance. The next day, they arrive beneath the earthmote, and 🌱 conjures his pixies to cast fly on everyone.
“Everyone grab a pixie and think happy thoughts!” 🌱 says.
They enter Valindra’s former base and find that most of it has already been emptied of valuable spell components and spellbooks. Two scrolls of arcane gate rest on a bookshelf, but there’s no sign of anything super important—except for the circle of teleportation in the corner.
Zanzibar examines the circle, then looks to the rest of the party. He enters the coordinates for Grandfather Zitembe’s place, and everyone steps through.
They’ve finally returned to familiar civilization.