Tomb of Dads

The Bastard Builder's Game

Defeating the Five Doors

[In a mix of Alzhedo and Rogue's Cant:]

Jhavira, my soul, 

My words of encouragement to the others seem to have achieved a little… but will it be enough? Even I find myself idly reaching for Serha al Seluna, the Navel of Selune, my fingers searching for it as my mind's anxieties well up, and I think that I could flee—simply flee all of this, and return to you, somehow. There is a way, the stone whispers it to me. It throbs, warm against my skin, like a heart that has attached itself to me, and pumps through my body new blood, fresh with a desire to live, to survive, to flee this place before it crushes me to ash and fragments and blood-scarlet shadows. 

But I refuse to abandon them. Am I a fool? My own baba was a cynical man, but he had seen his friends chewed up and spat out by the world for being too faithful, too trusting… for staying the course when those who survived and thrived jumped from the camel's back early, to save their own skins. 

My doubts swirl despite myself, until I remember your words in the desert, after my faithfulness had ruined out lives. I was weeping at the knowledge we could never return to Calimport, at the knowledge that I had failed to do all I could before we fled… and you told me most men would never have done even what I had, let alone weep for what they had failed to do.

The boy… I still see that poor boy in the darkened room, and the lash, and the laughing guildsmen. Oh, Jhavira, if I survive this… I will come to you, of course, and give you all I have won, and be with you again, my life, my breath… for a time.

But I know now that I must return there, home, to Calimport—to destroy the horror we fled, all those years ago. 

If I survive this.

[In Common:] 

We are moving quickly now, through the dark. We are rats. We skulk, and creep, and pause when we smell sweetmeats and delicacies left out… but we are clever rats now, and smell the traps in which those treats are laid out. 

Or are we? I have seen rats flee into the water, only to drown, sinking into the blackness. And we, too, seem to scurry deeper into peril with each passing hour, yet still we press on. 

On the floor filled with gear-mechanisms, we found the skull-key, and then made our way quickly through the place, searching for one thing: a way down, deeper, into the depths. There were other rooms, mysteries to be uncovered, but we turned out back upon them. A room with a juggernaut untriggered; a tower filled with wind and lightning roiling in the dark depths of the ground, its only windows open on some alien reality of storm and thunder; another pathway that the mechanism might surely have opened for us, if we had dared to fuss with it… 

But no: we found the stairwell, and descended. 

At the base, we found a chamber filled with green smoke. When I scouted ahead, I found three pathetic, ragged ragdolls advancing on us. I was about to attack them from behind, when they cried out, pleading with us to leave. 

These creatures—a trio of little dolls—gave us their names: Straw-Bundle, Clay-No-Face, and Joho the Monkey. They begged us to flee, lest "the night hags" return, and were clearly terrified of the hags, so I asked them whether they might aid us in defeating the hags, and in turn accept our aid in escaping this prison hell.

When they accepted, we made arrangements: two would ride upon Stump's shoulders—at least until battle broke out—and one clambered up into the now-unspeakably-sluggish Shayegume's lap. And aid they rendered, too: each of us who was touched by one of them, received a boon: Shayegume, now, is blessed with the ability to understand any language, at least for a week's time. As for Stump, he now may shift himself into the ethereal plane, and what's more, needs not eat, nor drink, or even breathe, for some period of time at least. These blessings are fairly theirs: they took the risk of taking upon the dolls, and though I could have made good use of the ability to become ethereal, I think Stump may make still better use of it. 

As they gathered to us, they spoke of the hags and their wicked ways, their evil experiments and comings and goings. Since Shayegume had covered the cauldron from which the green smoke had been bubbling forth, we could see one such experiment: a "clone" of Shayegume, identical in face but horrifically disfigured of body, trapped in a cage. 

After some discussion—and an abortive attempt to have Stump haul the cage from the room—we were moved by the poor creature's descriptions of a short, miserable life of torture and pain, and settled on releasing the poor soul and allowing it to accompany us if it could to the freedom that we all can win only by triumphing over the wicked, mad Builder of this place. To avoid confusion, we agreed to call the poor thing "Gume." 

The hags had not returned, and so we set about resolving the challenges of the chamber: five doors, and behind each a puzzle involving a hidden lever, waiting to be flipped. The tricks of the Builder are not even that puzzling, just cruel and bloody and wantonly hateful.

(If you could imagine a temple to all that is good, to life and to love and kindness and gentleness, to intelligence turned to good purpose and gold spent on things of true value. Now invert that in your mind, turn it into a pointless celebration of cruelty and death and hatred and joy in others' sorrow, in heaps of treasure piled uselessly in hidden shadows beneath the earth… that is what a dungeon is. A temple to, a celebration of, the worst impulses of man and beast alike. One wonders if there is any world, in the endless strands of being, where such a thing is unthinkable?)

Needless to say, we survived all the Builder's tricks and puzzles, solving them in short order, and then turned to the great green door with the locks build only for the skeleton keys we had collected. Then we steeled ourselves for what we all sensed would happen next… 

[Journal Entry Incomplete:]

New treasure as of this session: 

  • Spellbook page containing Gust of Wind
  • ?

Experience Points:

Characters are currently at 10th level, using the Milestone Advancement system. 


Precious Stones, Jewelry, Artworks, & Ingots:

  • 2 unspecified gems (50 gp each)
  • 6 Onyxes worth 50gp each
  • 4 pieces of moss agate worth 10 gp each
  • a necklace worth 15gp 
  • Assorted trinkets from the Grung camp.
  • 10 adamantine ingots worth 10gp each, stamped with dwarven runes
  • Ceramic Ring (25 gp)
  • Three painted gold masks sized for children and shaped like the faces of a bat, a monkey, and a parrot, respectively (75 gp each)
  • A gold coronet shaped like an octopus with mother-of-pearl eyes (2,500 gp)
  • five moonstones (50 gp each),
  • 10 opalescent stones worth 75gp each.
  • 6 carnelians (50 gp each)

Magic Items:

  • Jug of Alchemy (carried by Shayegume) 
  • Wand of Secrets (carried by Hakkan), 2 charges left.
  • One jar of Keoghtom's Ointment (2 uses remaining (2 uses consumed in today's session), carried by Hakkan)
  • 20 magical arrows +1 (carried by Hakkan)
  • Charms given the group by the Guardian Naga Orolonga

    • Razz: a Charm of Animal Conjuring
    • Stump: a Charm of Heroism
    • Brother Aught: a Charm of Restoration
    • Hakkan: a Charm of Feather Fall
    • Shayegume: a Charm of Vitality
  • Cloak of Protection +1 (to AC and Saving Throws while worn), made from beautiful parrot feathers, worn by Stump
  • 1 ring of jumping (As yet unassigned to a PC?)
  • 3 potions of healing remaining 
  • 1 potions of greater healing remaining 
  • 1 potion of water breathing
  • 1 Decanter of Endless Water (Carried by Hakkan)
  • 1 Helm of Telepathy (worn by Shayegume)
  • A Flame Tongue longsword (+2d6 fire damage on successful hit rolls) (carried by Stump)
  • A pair of bracers of defense (+2) Worn by Shayegume
  • A Wand of the War Mage, carried by Shayegume
  • An Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location, worn by Hakkan
  • A Ring +1 of Protection (carried by Brother Aught)
  • A Mace of Terror (carried by Razz)
  • A Staff of the Python (carried by Stump?)
  • "Teleportation Amulet" carried by Shayegume: The amulet has 6 charges and regains 1d6 charges daily at dawn. While wearing the amulet, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges to transport yourself and anything you are wearing or carrying to a location within 100 feet of you. The destination you choose doesn’t need to be in your line of sight, but it must be familiar to you (in other words, a place you have seen or visited), and it must be on the same plane of existence as you. This effect isn’t subject to the magic restrictions placed on the Tomb of the Nine Gods; thus, the amulet can be used to enter and exit the tomb.
  • A Staff of Striking (+3, cursed to give anyone who attunes it a goatish appearance), carried by Brother Aught: The staff has 10 charges. When you hit with a melee attack using it, you can expend up to 3 of its charges. For each charge you expend, the target takes an extra 1d6 force damage. The staff regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff becomes a nonmagical quarterstaff.
  • a potion of healing
  • Pearl of Power (petrified Grung Egg) (carried by Shayegume)
  • A Wand of Wonders (not yet attuned, carried by Hakkan)
  • 1 Potion of Diminution (carried by Hakkan)
  • 1 Bead of Force (carried by Razz)
  • +1 Shield  (bronze, shaped like a screaming devil's face) (carried by Brother Aught)
  • Some kind of Magical Lute of Shagambi (carried by Hakkan)
  • a Robe of Scintillating Colors (worn by Shayegume)
  • a pair of bracers (magical?)*
  • The Navel of the Moon (secretly hidden on Hakkan's person)
  • a sword that grants the wielder the ability to understand the Draconic language (on Biff)

Spellbooks & Scrolls:

  • Spell Scroll (Tasha's Hideous Laughter, carried by Shayegume) 
  • Spell Scroll (Comprehend Languages, carried by Shayegume)
  • 2 scrolls with the spell Cure Disease
  • 1 scroll with the spell Unseen Servant
  • A Red Wizard of Thay's spellbook, containing the following spells:

    • 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield 
    • 2nd level (3 slots): misty step, suggestion
    • 3rd level (3 slots): counterspell, fireball, fly
    • 4th level (3 slots): greater invisibility, ice storm
    • 5th level (1 slot): cone of cold
  • Ras Nisi's spellbook (spells ???)

Unnamed Spellbook: 

  • 1st level: alarm, comprehend languages, detect magic, expeditious retreat, identify, illusory script, sleep, Tenser's floating disk
  • 2nd level: arcane lock, cloud of daggers, flaming sphere, knock
  • 3rd level: dispel magic, fireball

Withers' spellbook:

  • Cantrips (at will): acid splash, mage hand, minor illusion, prestidigitation
  • 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, expeditious retreat, feather fall, thunderwave
  • 2nd level (3 slots): darkness, hold person, rope trick
  • 3rd level (3 slots): dispel magic, lightning bolt
  • 4th level (3 slots): blight, wall of fire
  • 5th level (1 slot): telekinesis

The Drow Spellbook:

  • Cantrips (at will): mage hand, minor illusion, poison spray, ray of frost
  • 1st level (4 slots): mage armor, magic missile, shield, witch bolt
  • 2nd level (3 slots): alter self, misty step, web
  • 3rd level (3 slots): fly, lightning bolt
  • 4th level (3 slots): Evard’s black tentacles, greater invisibility
  • 5th level (2 slots): cloudkill

Loose Spellbook Pages:

  •  Gust of Wind


12,000 cp, 5,000 sp, and 2,200 gp: not sure how much of that we can carry, so leaving for future edit.

Carried before this session: 

  • 155 pp
  • 2814 gp 
  • 5119 sp 
  • 11 ep
  • 273 cp (+12,000cp?)

Assorted Other Items:

  • 6 Carved Wooden Chultan Goblin Masks (value unknown) 
  • 1 Carved Wooden Mask (25 gp)
  • 1 ivory smoking pipe, worth 25gp
  • 1 very high quality spyglass (estimated value ~500 gp)
  • 2 Triceratops eggs, unhatched
  • a sack seemingly made of human skin
  • A map of the region, from the Red Wizard of Thay's baggage
  • An extra survival supplies (from the Red Wizard's party's stuff) 
  • Tabaxi's longbow & 20 arrows (nonmagical, currently on Stump) 
  • A leopard-skin sash (worth 25gp)
  • <s>Eight Puzzle Cubes from the Shrines of Kubanaz, Ijin, Unkh, SOMEONE ELSE, Nyang-Nyang, Shagambi, Moa, and whatever Ras Nisi had. </s> (Lost on entering the Tomb.) 
  • Feathers, teeth, and the horn of the King of Feathers (the magical T-Rex of Omu)
  • An electrum platter engraved with images of Chultan feasting rituals (25 gp)
  • An Omuan death mask (worth 250gp)
  • Some papier-mâché masks from the tomb of Obo'laka.
  • Nyangnyang's burial urn
  • Withers' shortsword (claimed by Hakkan)
  • Withers' journals, which we scoured for information
  • A "scholar's pack" worth of equipment
  • Withers' grimacing metal mask (taken as a trophy by Stump)
  • A scholar's pack
  • Orvex's notebook
  • A clay chameleon statuette covered in crystal beads that change colors (25 gp)
  • A fine music box  (250 gp)
  • a golden, cockroach-shaped jewelry box (worth 250gp?)
  • a jade key
  • a pair of sceptres of matching design (one iron, one brass, both with adamantine heads)
  • a hornet mask of gold (worth???) 
  • one suit of studded leather armor (on Hakkan)
  • one dungeoneer's pack


  • 5 doses of Midnight's Tears (valued at 1500gp/dose): ingested poison, 96hp dmg/dose, saving throw for half damage DC 17. Carried by Hakkan.
  • 3 Bottles of Poison Gas Vapor: 15' radius sphere of poisonous vapors for 1 minute. For those in range, DC 15 CON saving throw to resist damage (fail = 18 (4d8) poison damage). Creatures are affected even if they hold their breath or don't need to breathe.
  • <s>12</s> <s>11</s> 10 Doses of Serpent Venom (cost 200gp each)used on weapons : DC 11 Constitution saving throw; 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half damage on a successful save.

    • (1 dose used on Zagmira.)
    • (Six doses applied to arrows held by Razz; four doses in Hakkan's possession.)
    • (1 dose wasted on a missed shot at the aboleth)
  • 3 Doses of Essence of Ether (300gp each): inhalation poison: dose is a 5-foot cube. DC 15 CON save or fall asleep for 8 hours. Wakes if wounded or shaken awake. 
  • 5 doses of Torpor (ingested) (600 gp/dose): DC 15 CON save to avoid being incapacitated by the poison for 4d6 hours.

Critters Defeated/Dealt With Between Levels 10-11: 

  • Mezzoloth (1?)
  • Bone devils (3?)
  • Will-o-th'wisps (2?)
  • Warband of orcs (7?) with a Chieftan
  • a helpless modron
  • Three Night Hags



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