D&D West Marches 003 - College, Charms, and Kitchen Tables

Bridges fights hard to resist the charms of a demon/devil/hybrid/fuckingasshole, but alas it was not enough.
Bridges Rhinestone Jr was sitting awake in the early hours of the morning, listening to his favorite Metallica album and getting ready for bed when all of the sudden a desperate message rings out from the depths of Discord, calling for anyone to come help, as a scouting expedition won't have their full roster of adventuring cadets. Bridges, being the beautiful and nice person he is, decided to volunteer. In the process he definitely got his proficiencies wrong when adapting to a whole new character sheet, but with zero prep time, it was a mistake he would have to make.

Honestly because he got there so late it was kind of hard to know really what we were supposed to be doing, but the gist of it was: Scouting a cave where a necromancer used to be, and fight a spirit naga?



And we set out on our adventure. And then we arrived at our destination. Upon reaching the destination, which was full on daytime, we spotted an old dilapidated tower that had been turned into a makeshift camp by some gerblins. After spending roughly 20 minutes deciding on what to do, the halfling magically acquainted halfing, Ven, decided to do something about it. Bridges, now having access to invisibility, decided to make his friend invisible for this. What proceeded to happen was a massive fireball that completely murdered all but two of the gerbs, which were then burned by two well placed firebolts.

Upon celebration and awarding bonus XP for the display(OF WHICH BRIDGES GOT 1/4 OF BECAUSE HE HELPED KINDA), the party decided to investigate this cave off to their east. Ven went and investigated the camp and suggested we set up for the night. The others went into the cave and explored only a little bit, as to not get too far away from the rest.

They poked in, saw a bunch of awfully unhelpful warning messages written on the wall to alert them to the dangers, but they did a fucking real bad job of that and told us basically nothing, so the group pulled out and set up camp. After all the act of casting two spells can be quite draining on a group.

Next morning, into the cave we went. Someone had a hot tip from a prior visit to complete a puzzle involving a statue of a golem, which, spoiler, was not just a statue. So the golem is holding some sort of big ol plate or something and upon putting some earth in, the golem begins to animate and moves across the room to a large pile of rubble and lifts up some sort of massive support structure, lifting the rubble out of the way and revealing what appears to be a portal of some sort.

Apart from the internal crisis Bridges is feeling about entering a strange portal and where the ever loving fuck it could take him, the golem statue speaks "ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNE DAAAAAAAAAY" or some shit which is really ominous. So Ven goes off running into the portal and everyone else follows.

The party appears inside of a hallway with three doors. One to the left, one sort of in front of them, and one on their right. Ven says something along the lines of "Always go the most leftest" and goes off to the door. What happens next is roughly 20 minutes of trying to figure out the door, investigating the door, inspecting the door, analyzing the door, pondering the existence of doors, thankful for doors keeping us safe at night, and the eventual realization that the door is mechanically trapped, not magically.

In the same hallway, right next to the door, is a skeleton, which should have made that a little obvious but whatever 20 minutes is 20 minutes. So after much scientific study on the door, they decide their best option is to BLAST IT OPEN, and firebolt, firebolt, firebolting away they go.

To their credit, it blasted the door open, though as they will soon realize they did not actually disarm the trap. Also, as they learn, the doors are spring loaded which means it has to be held open or it will automatically slam shut behind them.

Pushing the door open with a quarterstaff and holding it for their companions they eventually move their way into the room beyond the door. Starring back at them is a disgruntled asshole in a magical cage of some sort, standing on top of a 5x5 circular platform. In the middle of the room is a somewhat larger circular platform with Abyssal writing all over it. The two platforms are connected by some kind of cords, or rope or something. The red skinned leathery winged fuckface opens his mouth to wine about being locked in here for years and wanting for us to let him out, which the party agreed to probably be a bad idea.

Bridges, having learned Abyssal after his chance encounter of a Beholder so many years before, was able to read what was on the platform. It was some sort of magical control panel which allowed access to disable or activate the force cage, to send whoever was standing on the platform to the smaller platform that the devil ass was on, or to send a person to the nine hellz. With a Z because it's edgy.

The red asshole kept asking to get out, but no one was taking him serious, so he turned his attention after some sweet pillow talk, to Bridges. And he tried to fucking charm him. And he did fucking charm him. He was ordered to let him out of the force cage. Bridges, being magically compelled to follow his commands, tried to set his newly best friend free. His party saw what was happening and tried to stop him, which resulted in one whiffed attempt at a shove, and one successful attempt to knock Bridges prone. In the ensuing panic, one of the companions rushed to the panel, unable to read anything, and began swatting violently at the buttons. Luck was on their side and they managed to hit the correct one "Send asshole to alternate fucking dimension ruled by devils or demons or some shit because fuck that guy", which sent him back home.

After the charm was broken, Bridges immediately recalled his troubled past at bard college where talent vultures would attempt to court talented upstarts by making promises and offering to give them whatever they want, but first come into this alleyway and suck it from a rubber hose. He remembered those terrible, exploitative, sticky days very well, and the pain was enough to distract him momentarily, but they were still on an alternate plane of existence(?) and needed to get on with their mission.

The Barbarian, K'yan responded to violence the only way they knew: Violence, and so they smashed open a chest of some sort that was located in the room, which blew up in a swarm of magic missiles that did a fuckton of damage but K'yan is a big mighty Barbarian and was unfazed. Around this time the late member of the adventure, Richie Blackmore appeared through the portal and immediately got zapped by the electrified trap door the rest of the party had avoided. Oops.

They inspect and catch up with the rest of their party, and afterwards decide to inspect a door at the opposite side of the room that they came in on. The door was probably trapped as well or something but the Warlock was able to send their familiar in through a whole or something to see the other side, which was a dead-end room that had a whole bunch of bottles, vials and glass containers filled with potions just destroyed. There was magic all over the place and the party was all like fuck that and bounced back to the hallway to investigate the next door.

Next door I don't believe was trapped, but it led to a pool of acid so the party bounced right the hell out of there also, and choose the next and final door from the hallway: Door on the right. Making their way through the door on the right the party found a big ass table, shelves holding all kinds of knickknacks, books, spell scrolls and the like. Shadynasty Bigbone immediately began seeking out all kinds of magical objects, which resulted noticing that the big ass table to their side is giving off some sort of magic, and also that there's a book radiating magical aura or some shit on the bookshelf. She goes to pick it up but strangely, but not surprisingly because fuck this place, the book begins trying to fly away. After shuffling about for a few seconds, the book transforms into a Paper Drake and starts to fuck some shit up. Roll initiative.

Immediately into the battle, Shinchan tells the party not to kill the book and then used some crazy ass Fey shit which charmed Bridges, which was the second charm of the day goddamnit. So, Bridges tries to help out his second new best friend by casting mending on the slightly singed book monster, which helped some apparently, and then one of the party members turned to a strange gear-like wheel device attached to a wall near a door leading out of the room. They, for whatever reason, just decided to go with it by turning the wheel and got a solid crank in before the table, surprise, animated and charged him and tackled him. Roll initiative part 2.

I mean, it's just a table, so Bridges didn't even really get a go before the Barbarian brought the table down to 1 or 2HP. Even though we didn't kill the table it decided to lay down and go night-night and then we figured out the mechanism next to the door that didn't really seem to do much. So they went through the door in hopes of finding something else.

What they found instead was a large room with a raised walkway leading from the door they came out of, which is about 10ft off of the ground, which led to a a door in a roundabout way across the room. Below them, in the area below the platform that they walk on, were lots and lots of bones. In the middle of the room stood a statue of an orc. Because statues and inanimate objects are totally not suspicious after so many of them start getting up and trying to kill us. Speaking of that, skeletons. A whole bunch of skeletons animate from the bones on the below platform and then we roll initiative again.

It turns out skeletons aren't really that big of a deal, and they were getting dealt with pretty handily by the party. Bridges would pop out every once in a while to yell Vicious Mockery at one of boneheads, which never ever does any decent amount of damage ever. Goddamn. On the east side of the room, not too far away from the platform that leads around that way, a big ass green gem juts out of a wall. The Barbarian, K'yan decided that enough was enough and rushed over and smashed the gem. Doing so, spoiler alert, awoke the orc which wasn't really a statue the whole time!!

After a heroic jump across a 20 foot chasm between the platform the party can walk on and the platform that the orc was standing on, Bridges got off a pretty clutch Heat Metal on the chainmail the orc was wearing, which got in a solid amount of damage. But the orc turned out to not be that big of a deal and was dealt with just like the skelligtons. Someone stole the orcs giant axe which looked pretty sweet, and began investigating the area. The door on this far side of the room lead to a strange room with pressure plate floors that had about 16 large tiles that make some sort of clicking noise when stepped on, but no one could figure out the trick to what this was, and there was no magic detected.

In that room though was another strange crank device. They kind of looked like a ships wheel but had a clear gear design to them. Gisela started messing with it which led to the previous skeleton room almost flood with acid. The party then had a eureka moment: If there was a pool of acid preventing them from proceeding earlier, and now this room filled with acid, then MAYBE THE ACID POOL FROM BEFORE IS GONE. They were very quite excited and animated by this prospect and they moved on. Not before Shuckyducky Blackblack started fiddling with the previous gear-wheel-crank-thing, which resulted in the previous acid room filling again which almost fucking kill the party had they not been cautious. They took a short rest to replenish any Action Surge or whatever shortrest shit they had, and then the session ended.

Officially they went back to town, with the thought in mind that if they want to finish this quest they can just jump back to where they were. Hopefully Bridges is able to finish the quest and see what that Spirit Naga is all about, but considering he joined this game to assist his fellow adventurers instead of going to bed after being awake 20 something hours, something tells me his sleep schedule just isn't going to align with it. But if luck plays a part in all of this, then maybe it will.

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".

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