DATE: August 15th, 2021
ALT TITLE: A Drink of Despair
PLAYERS: AB, EB, SB, CC, EC, OR
After their visit to Snive Silvyr, Lane Weaver (AB), Aranna Weaver (AJ, played by SB), Toaf Frog (HA, played by SB), and Aust Booker (OR) head to a tavern named "The Well of Many Worlds" to mourn their lost comrades, Emma Frog, Myra the Merc, and Patrick Weaver. In a word, to drown their sorrows.
There, they bump into the Milos family: Selina Milos, the Assassin (EC), Slane Milos, the Charlton (LC, played by CC), and Shorin Milos, a lower noble (EB). They are all the younger siblings of Jarrod Milos, who as the eldest, inherited the wealth of the Milos family -- and being a selfish jerk, has kicked all three of his siblings out of the house leaving the three Milos to adventure in order to survive.
The Milos and Weavers are friends, the two families once worshipped together at the temple of Winged Tyaa in Lankhmar. Seeing their party depleted, the Milos offer to join the Snack Club. They decide to head back to the Hole in the Oak, where the Dolmenwood Drunes reside, hoping to end their feud against them once and for all.
On their way there, three random encounters. A cleric with a retinue of acolytes. The cleric approaches the Snack Club and lets slip that he has absolutely no powers but needs to show his acolytes his strength, or else he would lose his followers. The cleric asks the Snack Club if they'll rig a fight to win against one of them. The Snack Club are reluctant to get involved. Shorin suggests he simply tells them The Snack Club are too weak to bother with. In the second encounter, two drunes are stalking the Snack Club. Once spotted, they run. But the Weavers will not have this. Lane and Aranna chases them, kills both. They discover a powerful fireball spell. Lane commits it to memory. Lane also finds a map on the body of the other drune.
Finally, at twilight, they come across four noblemen who are returning from a hunt. One of them is Jarrod Milos. He acts haughty, as if he doesn't know his siblings. The other nobles, in their highfalutin voices, ribs Jarrod, making fun of his siblings. The Snack Club can't do anything here. They're smart enough to know hurting rich people brings terrible consequences. But as they leave, the Milos siblings screams at Jarrod to tell his friends about that funny dance he does. It sufficiently embarrasses Jarrod.
The next morning, they arrive at The Hole in the Oak again, to face the drunes they didn't find last time.
Spoilers ahead for Gavin Norman's "The Hole in the Oak" (OSE)
Into the dungeon they go. It's dungeon crawl time. The Snack Club explore places they missed the last time they were here. The spectral hunter and his two ghost dogs appear. Armed with magic weapons, they quickly dispose of them. Aust, with his new magical sword, flies through the hunter, dissipating him. The ghost hunter vanishes and leaves behind a hunting horn. Selina picks it up, blows on it, it summons forth a hunting dog.
The horn awakens hundreds of bats. They swarm the Snack Club. Aust talks to the bats and calms them down. Toaf turns into a bat and leads them back to their roost. Four gnomes who are on a mushroom foraging trip were also attracted by the loud horn. They want nothing from The Snack Club, but the Snack Club keeps harassing them with weird questions.
They come across a room with piles of white sand. They root around and find a hidden closet. There are jars, filled with teeth. Lane -- with a history of taking weird objects -- takes the jars. They come across two flickering warriors. A lizard man and a warrior. The lizard man is pounding on the warrior and as he's about to deal the deathblow, the Snack Club interfere and kill the lizard man. The Warrior thanks them and whispers... "They stole the sword... save Jorg... across the river" then disappear altogether.
They cut through the rooms where gnomes live. One of them runs a fishing shop, tries to sell them rods. Shorin buys one. They keep dungeon crawling. They come across a temple where four tuatara lizards looking balefully at them. The Snack Club turns around. Aust decides to turn back and talks to them with his animal speak though. Aust confirms they are indeed the "Queens of the Lizard Cult" and they're there to guard the tomb.
Stick Your Arm In. It Won't Hurt.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Snack Club are in a cavern with several fist-sized holes in the walls. Selina sees something shiny in one, sticks her hand in, and it magically doubles in size. She fishes out a serrated knife, but her forearm is now freakishly large. Toaf decides this would be fun too. Does it twice. Grabs an emerald gem worth 500gp, but both hands turn into talon claws. Shorin does it multiple times. One hand oozes this gross violet slime. Another hand turns zombie-like. He has no control over it. So now, using his slimy good hand, grabs the zombie one, and shoves it into another hole. Luckily, it turns back normal. But if it hadn't, I would have had the zombie hand choke Shorin when he slept. Opportunity missed.
They explore another room. It's a nest of head-sized eggs. Selina roots around and finds some gold and a bent silver ring.
And at this point, a few of the Snack Club are getting restless. They're not sure why they're dungeon crawling. They look at the map that Lane found on the dead Dolmenwood Drune they had killed earlier. It is eerily similar. It doesn't take long for them to realize it tells them exactly where to go to find the drunes.
So they backtrack. With a map, it's easy. They come across some black ivy, some jet-black fruit. Selina grabs a bunch and sticks it in her bag. They then see a staircase ascending to a large underground jungle.
Evil Tree Babies
There's a giant fat bronze statue in the underground jungle. In the trees, chirruping and small yellow eyes. At the far end, a plinth with a chalice and a golden light shining down on it. There's black dirt on the floor. Selina walks into the golden light, seven evil tree babies with yellow eyes and fanged teeth descend on Selina, biting her. The Snack Club fight back, kill two, injure one and the rest climb back into the tree hissing at them.
Lane -- who throughout this entire dungeon has been saying the "secret password" found on his map - says it again. The plinth shifts to the side revealing a narrow hallway. At this point, the Snack Club decide the best way to get past the golden light and the evil tree babies is to rush through. Lane and Aust run through the light as evil tree babies attack them. They get past. Toaf turns into a peregrine falcon and flies through.
The Drunes Temple
Inside, Lane, Aust and Toaf see a giant vat, where it looks like they're growing a emerald encrusted humanoid. Next to the vat are six drunes prostrating themselves towards an altar at the far end of the wall. On top of the altar, a statue of a wizard made of emerald. The drunes hear the clunky armor of Lane and Aust. They turn around and fire magic missiles at them. Toaf turns into a rhinosaurus. Charges one. Gores him. Lane and Aust are outnumbered. They roll badly. They retreat. As they turn, they get knocked up a few more times. Toaf tries to run too, but drunes beat on the grey-skinned beast. Toaf dies, reverting to human form.
The Snack Club keep running out of the underground jungle until they find a safe location. At this point, Shorin reveals, he is actually a talented singer whose songs has healing powers. He heals The Snack Club. And The Snack Club decides that they must leave the Hole in the Oak and come back. Lane informs his party that his sword requires repair as well. So they leave the dungeon and head back to Mlurg Nar.
Volter the Vizard
In Mlurg Nar, the Snack Club rests for a week. Slane the Charlton is someone who seems to "know a guy" in many cities. Finds a guy name "Volter the Vizard" who can repair magical weapons. Lane goes to him. The wizard is a little eccentric. He wants 500gp to repair the sword, plus some odd ingredients as extra payment. He asks for the talon of a griffin. The Snack Club doesn't have any. Eye of a basilisk? Nope. Tooth of a manticore? No to that as well. Finally Lane remembers that jar of monstrous teeth he grabbed from the hidden closet. At this point AB is delirious with joy. He has now received confirmation bias TWICE that taking weird random items from dungeons is useful. And in this case, it's true. Volter takes the weird teeth and repairs Lane's sword.
Selina also does a little shopping and looks for a mirror to reflect the golden light that seems to trigger the evil tree babies to attack.
Armed with the mirror, the Snack Club return to the Hole in the Oak. They bump into two novice Mlurg Nar guards, Lefyr and Ilsa, who are not too keen to be patrolling the city limits. The Snack Club chat briefly with them. Asks them about the Dolmenwood Drunes. Lefyr and Ilsa tell them they're dangerous and you shouldn't mess with them. Not very helpful.
Back in the Hole in the Oak, the Snack Club make their way back to the underground jungle. They set up the mirror so that the golden light reflects off towards the wall. The evil tree babies continue to hiss at them, but don't attack. Lane decides to walk through the narrow hallway to where the drunes are. Obviously, the drunes are waiting for them. They fire six magic missiles at him, it does 17 damage. Lane has 7 health. It's not looking good. I ask him why he would walk into a narrow hallway like this when the Dolmenwood Drunes are clearly waiting for them.
Lane has one shot. He casts fireball. Slane Milos, the charlatan with a magical silver-tongue, tells Lane that he has the best magic powers in all of Nehwon. It gives him a +11 boost. Lane rolls.... a 17. With his intelligence modifier, it bumps the entire spell to the greatest effect possible: 20d6 damage. The roll does 68 damage. It is a humongous fireball that scorches EVERYTHING in the Dolmenwood Drune temple. It is so fiery that Lane and Aust take damage, almost killing Lane.
The Snack Club realizes they need to put out this fire in order to retrieve whatever hints, clues or secrets in the temple. So Lane, decides to dimension door to Lankhmar where Benson is to learn of some water-related spell. It works. He opens up a door, jumps through and is in Benson's study. He teaches Lane Wall of Elements. But when Lane attempts to dimension door back. He fails and loses the spell.
Meanwhile, Shorin is digging up the black dirt to find treasure. He finds a chest with 1994gp in it and an iron ring. The rest of the Snack Club are staring at the fire. Eventually it dies down. The six drunes are charred into black crispy coal. The vat has melted. The emerald statue has melted. There's nothing to loot. What's more -- the Snack Club has not discovered any new information. Lane's fireball, in short, was the nuclear option.
I'll leave you with Oppenheimer's words:
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967)
As the Snack Club leave the dungeon, they are attacked... by Dolmenwood Drunes. They have not resolved the Drune Dilemma. They run to Mlurg Nar.
Back in Lankhmar, Lane, the destroyer of worlds, heads back to The Wyrmskull to rest, hoping to cast dimension door again the next day so he can reunite with his friends.
The Snack Club's Portfolio
Stored in Wyrmskull Vault
(Deposited Year of the Worm, Month of the Eagle, Day of the Fox)
- 19 Ice Necklaces x 200gp = 3,800gp
- 12 Ice Jewels x 150gp = 1,800gp
- 9 Chests of Gold = 3,679gp
- Chest of Gold from Hole in Oak = 1,994gp
- 5 Opal x 200gp =1,000gp
- 1 Ruby x 800gp = 800 gp
Hidden Cache in Great Forest b/w Mlurg Nar & Gnamph Nar: 610gp
Chekhov's Ticking Time Bombs
- By burning the Dolmenwood Drune's sanctuary, the Snack Club has not discovered any clues on how to stop the drunes from hunting them.
- Thork may be dead, but his wife Aranna isn't. Her inheritance? 800gp of debt to the cult of Loki.
- Emma Frog is dead, but her infamous mass prison break in Ilthmar will have consequences.
- The Redclaws are allied with the Dolmenwood Drunes and HQ at Redclaw Castle
DM Notes to Myself
So that fireball was a little OP.