22 May 2017 @ 08:29 pm

Everyone cheers the Rise of Tiamat! Against the will of King Melendrach, the PCs are charged to go investigate the dragon attacks in the Misty Forest. The group mocks Krixxix over Rods of Extend and make him walk to the forest.

Krixxix: ‘Sulesdag, can I get a ride?’
DM: ‘Do I look like Ignir, little one? No one likes you, Krixxix.’
Eben: Oh lord, Sulesdag with the sick burn. Little black sunglasses. Thug Life.
DM: ‘I got these in a tomb.’
Eben: Krixxix’s screen goes black-and-white. ‘Wrecked.’
DM and Thalynmar: ‘Wasted.’

The DM flubs words left and right, bemoaning his fate. The group goes to meet with Delan Winterhound, while the group insists on drunk DMing. The DM says he’d do it; the entire rest of the group insists he won’t and try to figure out how to make him.

Thalynmar: We just pour grain alcohol up his ass. That’ll get him drunk.
DM: No. I’m not doing that.
Lualyrr: There we go!
DM: I’m saying you don’t need to force me!
Thalynmar: You won’t taste it and it’ll get you drunk faster!
Maldrake: Fast as shit.
DM: Anyway!
Lualyrr: Alcohol suppository, there we go.
Thalynmar: Tampon soaked in alcohol up the ass.

The DM gamely attempts to soldier on. Delan waits for them in a side chamber, with food and refreshments ready for them – and a mysterious long box wrapped with silver and gold bindings.

DM: He lifts his glass to you as you step in. (to Krixxix) Whatcha doin’?
Krixxix: Nothin’. Not doing Sleight of Hand to pick the lock on that box at all.
DM: Okay, it’s sitting right there on the table. Next time roll Stealth first, Delan tells you.
Krixxix: ‘Hey, what’s that over there? Oh, just the wall.’
Thalynmar: ‘Why is this case open and empty?’

They sit at the table, making jokes about how tall it is all the while. Delan apparently runs Modern d20 at this table. Delan warns them that to keep in touch, as the cult could attack at any time.

DM: “We can arrange for you to have scrolls. Eben can use them.”
Eben: (skeptical look)
DM: Yes you can.
Krixxix: But he doesn’t want to.
Maldrake: We come back. ‘What happened?’ ‘Oh we were attacked again.’ ‘But you have scrolls!’ ‘We ran out of toilet paper. I don’t know what to tell you.’
DM: ‘He doesn’t even poop any more, come on!’

Delan tells them they are going to the town of Alton, which the cult raided but left standing for some reason. Half its people survived, while usually the cults hunt down and kill everyone there.

DM: “Perhaps more pleasant matters. The Lords of Waterdeep have decreed that for your service you are to be rewarded. Lord Neverember himself received an item.”
Maldrake: “That’s awfully kind of them.”
DM: “Well…. It is a very interesting item.”
Thalynmar: “Don’t thank them yet.”
DM: “It did not come from Lord Neverember, he is the one who received it to give to you. I hope you can control it. But first, to the raw reward, the contents of this chest are yours.”
Maldrake: If I didn’t see you roll loot, I’d almost suspect every item in the chest has some sort of backwards communication to the council constantly telling them what we’re doing.
Eben: I eldritch blast the chest! No mimic’s going to get the better of me!
Krixxix: You got a tapestry!

The chest is full of worthless gold. Delan puts on a pair of gloves to slide the box over to Eben, as the DM sells hard how dangerous he’s acting like this box is.

Eben: Should I open it?
Thalynmar: Please not here.
Eben: I’ll save it till there’s a hundred-foot fly. Clearly I shouldn’t be playing with it.
DM: “You should be able to master its contents. I advise none but yourself touch it.”
Maldrake: You open it up. Inside, a rolled-up magazine. ‘Elf Monthly: the Swimsuit Edition.’
Thalynmar: Only the dead can look at it and survive.

Eben has taken the danger to heart, and Delan actually has to urge him to open it so they can verify that he can control it. Eben reluctantly agrees.

Maldrake: It’s the wand from Harry Potter.
Eben: Thaumaturgy to open the box.
DM: It takes a little more force than Thaumaturgy can apply. You must actually stretch the metals.
Eben: I will PRETEND Thaumaturgy is opening it… stretch the metal?
DM: Yes, these are very pure metal. The gold in particular, not that strong.

Eben and the DM squabble over whether he can in fact open it. Eben opens it and then stares like it’s a Pulp Fiction suitcase.

DM: As soon as you open the box a few inches, a pair of tentacles lash out from the inside and wrap around your wrists. You feel power surging through you. It is a familiar power, the same sort of power you feel every time you commune with the Great Old One at the very edges of the cosmos’s sanity. For a moment all is quiet, and then the grip becomes comforting. From the depths of the box, using the tentacles wrapped around your arms as leverage, a massive writhing agglutination of tentacles surges outwards. It crawls into your hands, and the tentacles wrap around each other, lashing together tightly, and seem to shrink as they do so until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. And you find yourself holding a staff.
Maldrake: “Back, foul demon!”
Eben: Get Legolas to shoot the thing in the head before it sucks me in.
Maldrake: I don’t have any holy water, so I’m just splashing wine on you.

The DM passes him the information on it: it’s a Staff of the Magi. Eben offers it to Krixxix. Thalynmar, meanwhile, stares at the name of the staff, which would score obscenely high in Scrabble.

Thalynmar: How do you actually pronounce that?
DM: Ask the Great Old One, Thalynmar.

A relieved Delan says he’ll send word that all went well…ish. Loot is distributed. The DM advocates spending all their money on spyglasses. Thalynmar takes gems to his girlfriend.

Maldrake: Don’t give her gems, you’re just gonna give him a reason to have her killed off when a robber takes it, and then kills her!

The group, by which I means Krixxix, mocks Thalynmar. But Maldrake is abruptly given pause.

Maldrake: This is the only character so far that’s single. Actually, technically Aiden’s single.
Thalynmar: Techincally.
Eben: He’s in a relationship with every female.
DM: He’s in a relationship with Denerim.
Thalynmar: “Off to the elven lands.”
Maldrake: Oh please tell me she gets angry at the skankily-dressed elven women.
DM: “I guess that just goes to show, it’s better ta DATE an adventurer than BE an adventurer.”
Maldrake: ‘Don’t let them scantily-clad elven bitches take you away.’ I’m not there. I’m pretending.
Eben: (noticing his new staff is opposed to modrons) You know, if you take the ‘d’ out of there it’s ‘bane of morons’.

The group imagines a scenario in which Moradin has commanded all dwarfkind everywhere to ride only boars, since Cerilian dwarfkind did him a solid and he’s lawful. Eben explains the many and varied powers of his staff to the others.

Raven: That sounds complex. My sword is just on fire.
Maldrake: My flail is extra-sharp.
Thalynmar: I forgot our rations dried up.
DM: Yes, you have no food or water on you.
Maldrake: I picked up rations and water.
DM: ‘Please stop shopping when you’re in me house.’
Krixxix: ‘Hey baby, can I get back some of those gems I gave you?’
Maldrake: Listen, I don’t know why you didn’t expect us to, you have everything up on the shelf and you put prices below it for some goddamn reason, and there’s a register here that says please pay before leaving.
DM: ‘Stop Skyrimming it up in me house. At least have the decency to put a bucket over me head. I’m okay with anything I can’t see.’

They plan on putting a bucket over the Emerald Enclave representative’s head when they report. The group continues to insist on shopping at Thalynmar’s girlfriend’s house.

Maldrake: She leaves, she’s has three bags of 500 gold each and six more of the gems.
Thalynmar: ‘Uh, Thieves’ Guild, we’re here to, uh…”
DM: ‘I’m sorry, I already gave it to the wallet inspector.’
Thalynmar: Ugh, my girlfriend’s an idiot.
DM: Shoulda checked her stats before you dipped your wick!
Thalynmar: Wait a minute, my Intelligence is 8. ‘Oh yeah, wallet inspector’s a jerk. I don’t like him either.’
Krixxix: ‘Wallet inspector!’
DM: You feel two hands descend upon your shoulders, one from each side. Krixxix is gonna be their wedding ring.
Thalynmar: Make a wish! (miming pulling)

Off they head to the Misty Forest, thanks to a convenient teleport. They arrive on the edge of a tree town that has seen better days, with bridges between buildings broken and the ground around torn up.

Maldrake: I’m covered head-to-toe in logging contracts. “WOO!”
DM: ‘Why did you make your armor out of those?’ ‘Worthless gold…’
Maldrake: ‘What are you doing with that marker?’ ‘These are all the trees that… AREN’T going to get chopped down. Yep. That’s why I’m getting them all.’
Thalynmar: ‘I brought saws for everybody!’
DM: ‘Oh, are we starting a band?’
Thalynmar: ‘…Yeaaaah….’

They spot a figure standing against a railing, and deploy Eben’s tentacles at him. The startled elf hails them.

Eben: “Hail, Captain… of the Lift…”
DM: “Welcome to the town of Alton.”
Maldrake: “Oh good, where we’re supposed to be.”

The guard relates the arrival of the dragon who raided the town, but not in a lot of detail – he had succumbed to dragonfear and remembered little, but he advises them that others might know more.

Krixxix: “Let’s go talk to somebody who’s not as much of a coward.”
Eben: Damn it, Krixxix! STAFF!

They threaten Krixxix with the staff while he sleeps; the staff responds by spraying him with water like a bad cat. The elf raises the lift to the top level, letting them know the priest is dead.

DM: The advanced magic of the simple machine makes it a fairly easy going, and he hauls the platform up to the topmost level.
Thalynmar: ‘WITCHCRAFT!’ Shove! Aaaaaaaaah!
DM: Thalynmar murders!
Lualyrr: We thought you were Lawful!
DM: And Good!
Thalynmar: ‘These are eeeeeelves!’
Krixxix: ‘Krixxix did iiiiiit!’
DM: You see the elf fall. ‘Oh – KRIXXIX, how dare ya!’
Lualyrr: ‘Krixxix, how could you?’
Thalynmar: And no one blames Thalynmar at all.

They enter into the temple, which is laid out as an infirmary with numerous wounded within and acolytes offering what comfort they can. The group moves to offer what succor they can as well, though Maldrake’s visage scares the elves!

Maldrake: “I apologize for not being more forthcoming of my entrance, but I am not one of the dragons that are attacking you, I am one of the people sent to deal with the dragons that are attacking you.”
DM: “Merciful Corellon… you’re a dragonborn.”
Maldrake: “Yep.”
Thalynmar: He’s a man of few words, I love it.

The acolytes tell the PCs that many of them have inhaled poison gas, while others are just straight-out injured. Lualyrr contributes a Song of Rest, while the injured tell the tale of the dragon appearing to cause havoc. The DM wearily informs the PCs they can’t just heal everybody, despite the rules.

Maldrake: I can’t wait till 11th level. 4d6 on my breath weapon, woo!
DM: Bchew! ‘Ahh, why?!’
Thalynmar: ‘Because yer elves! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!’

Thalynmar sings an incredibly profane song, prompting the DM to angrily shut the book and threaten to quit. Though the others cheer, Thalynmar offers a blatantly insincere apology. After an hour of work, many of the survivors are more lively, and the PCs resume their interrogation.

DM: “The dragon came down. It came on the ground first.” “Yeah, didn’t even attack from the air, it was that confident!” “It had a rider too.”
Maldrake: “A rider?”
DM: “Yes.” A barrel-rider…
Eben: They will pay for this intrusion!
DM: “There was a man who rode it, with more men in his wake.” “I don’t know, the guy who rode it – pretty graceful, don’t you think? I think he might have been one of us.” “No. Impossible. It was men who came, I saw him!”
Thalynmar: From where did the men come from.
DM: They all indicate a direction.
Maldrake: “How big was this dragon?”
DM: “Huge! The size of this building!” “No, the size of one of these trees!” “Oh, it was a fearsome thing, its wings blotted out the sky.”
Hanzo: Not too big for our challenge level.

The wounded advise the PCs to speak to Galen, who is now the leader in the wake of their priests’ death – a hero, who emerged from the fighting without harm. The players are immediately suspicious!

DM: The elf who first brought you up by the platform—
DM: ‘How many I serve you, Evil One?’

The elf leads them to meet with Galen, explaining as he does that the new leader has lost his wife and so quite understands the loss the other elves feel.

DM: ‘Please keep your staff away from him.’
Eben: ‘Well. I might keep my staff away, and you may have lost half of population… but I just saved a lot of money on my car insurance by switching to G—all right, all right…’
DM: I just saved a lot of money on my car insurance by polymorphing to gecko.
Eben: Aaaaeeeeeeh – damn – fucking puns! I asked for it. “Please. Make haste.”
DM: The pulley-elf leads you out—
Eben: Oh god! Does he have a name? I feel bad now, now he’s pulley-elf.
DM: He’s Nerandel.
Eben: Nerandel, I’ll write that down, that’s how much I care.

Eben discovers how many names he’s written down. He still can’t pronounce ‘Blagothkus’. They arrive at the man’s house!

DM: A slim elf sits at a desk, stands to greet you—
Thalynmar: A thin elf, huh?
DM: With what is overtly a forced smile.
Thalynmar: Have you ever been a fat elf?
DM: As a raven perched in a nearby cage caws rather hideously. “Welcome to our village… how may I be of service to you?”
Thalynmar: “We’re from the Council of Waterdeep! Here to solve your dragon problem!”
Eben: (cracking up for some reason)
Maldrake: Damn it. You got this fat elf stuck in my head somehow.
Thalynmar: I just find that to be a redundant adjective for an elf.
DM: He’s slim for an elf.
Thalynmar: Jesus Christ, he’s like fucking two-dimensional then!
DM: “Our dragon problem is solved. I take it you’re looking for…”
Thalynmar: “We’re trying to find—“
Maldrake: “A more permanent solution, let’s say.”

They pump Galen for information, much as they had the others. Where did they come from? Where did they go? What of the rider?

DM: “I was in the thick of it, and I can tell you for certain there was no rider. There were many men who came with the dragon but not one of them was on his back.”
Eben: “How would the villagers have gotten the information backwards?”
Maldrake: “I’m assuming this dragon was quite old. The first person we talked to mentioned an initial wave of fear. It comes with the age of these dragons.”
DM: “Dragons are fearsome foes indeed. Their fear strikes at the very marrow of you. I was lucky to shake it off, but I can’t blame anyone who didn’t.”
Maldrake: “Based off the description of the breath weapon, we assume he was green.”
DM: “Oh yes. Very green.”
Maldrake: “Based on his size, I’m guessing he’s at least an adult if not older.”
DM: “I—I have no way to age a dragon—“
Thalynmar: ‘THEN WHAT USE ARE YOOOOOOOOOOOOU?!’ I’m going to throw SOMEONE off.
Krixxix: I’ve been deliberately keeping quiet…

Maldrake insists the dragon must have a lair nearby, and the group comes back around to roll Insight against his claim that the dragon had no rider. With absurdly good rolls all around, Krixxix and Thalynmar both suspect him of deceit. They rather bluntly demand the truth!

DM: “I… I saw the dragon kill my wife. I couldn’t save her.”
Krixxix: That’s a 12 to see if he’s bullshitting us or not.
Eben: That’s probably the truth, but – “When did the dragon kill her?”
Maldrake: Elves don’t marry! It’s against the law!
DM: “At the beginning of the slaughter.”
Thalynmar: “My condolences.”
DM: “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that. It’s painful.”

They establish that nothing was taken and that the raid had retreated unexpectedly, as if called away. Eben is convinced that Galen has attained his position through treachery.

Eben: But I’m not gonna be out with that right in the guy’s face. I want to speak to someone else.
Thalynmar: ‘Is there another leader we could talk to? We need a separate opinion.’

They roll more Insight. Lualyrr screams because she hates the transcriber. Thalynmar beasts the check, somehow rolling a 21 with a Wisdom penalty.

Eben: I’m gonna pull a Columbo here. ‘There’s just one more thing… the part about the dragon attack!’ I’m going to position myself directly in front of him and stare him down -- (rolling) FUCK THIS FUCKING TOWER! And say, “My companions wish to have a word with you!”
DM: Step forward, step on a weak spot in the floor and crash down to the ground!
Eben: (rolling angrily again) Fucking tower – FUCK! THAT’S FOR YOU, TRANSCRIBER! FUCK! FUCK THAT NATURAL 20!

The transcriber questions his life choices. Maldrake turns on the Persuasion, leaning hard on the guy, who only takes affront and attempts to end the conversation. Krixxix attempts to Intimidate, and – promptly fails it.

DM: Even Nerandel is shocked by how you’re trying to browbeat information out of him!
Lualyrr: All right. (pulling down her hood) Is a 30 enough?
DM: As you pull down your hood, both of them let out a shriek!
Lualyrr: (cackling) “I think I know a lie when I hear one.”
DM: Rather than be persuaded, both of them take off for the door!
Eben: I cast Arcane Lock on the door. That’s a free action with this staff.
Krixxix: I love this staff.
DM: Nerandel seizes the door and yanks on it hard, pulls himself forward and smashes his head into it as he expects it to open and yet it acts as if he’s pulling on the wall. Galen collides into him from the back.
Krixxix: Oh this went sideways real fast.

The elves blow on the door, then take the hinges out of the pins, but Eben leans heavily on them and even casts a minor illusion of a dragon leaning in through the window! He locks the back door too, delighting in being Saruman. The session begins to dissolve into acrimony, as Maldrake fumes that his high Persuasion check had failed and the DM insisting that the RP matters.

Raven: RPing is fun?
Krixxix: You’re the only one who hasn’t said a single – you want to do something, Raven?!

The group argues over a bit for exactly where they stand, and of all things, Raven takes affront about anti-dragon racism. Maldrake does his best to be patient, although really he comes off like a blunt asshole. They still keep trying to get a location out of him. Krixxix believes someone is collaborating with the Cult.

DM: “I think it’s more likely that YOU all are in league with the Cult, and you’re trying to break our will! Shatter our resolve so we surrender! That seems to ME to be the most likely explanation for why you come in here and do all these things?”
Eben: “Why would we do this?”
Lualyrr: “Healing your people? Because that’s what we were doing before we came here.”
Krixxix: “I’m pretty sure, though, your people were dead and dying before we even got here. So to accuse of something that happened before our arrival is…”
DM: “Well, something made the Cult retreat! They didn’t get to do the job they wanted to here, so now you’re here to finish it!”
Krixxix: “Yes, because if we wanted to kill everybody we’d start by talking to you.”
DM: “No, you’re breaking our resolve, accusing us of being traitors, saying one of us is in league with the dragon!”
Krixxix: “If I really wanted to break your resolve I’d execute you here and now and present your body to your people.”
DM: “I point out that you THOUGHT about this!”
Lualyrr: “That’s what he does.” I’m going to pull out my Harper pin and show it to them. “I didn’t pull this off a body, I actually got this because of what I’ve been doing.”
DM: “There’s no way to believe that, especially with the way you’re behaving. Here we are, an innocent, grieving population and you’ve come in and are terrorizing us!”
Krixxix: “Oh god, please, can I kill him?”
Thalynmar: “Nope.”
DM: “And are threatening to kill me!”
Raven: Ohhhhh jeez.

They continue to interrogate the man (and everyone begs Thalynmar to crush Krixxix’s shoulders). The group angrily waxes meta in their frustration.

Eben: ‘What sidequest must we do to gain your trust?’
Thalynmar: ‘How many bear asses do we need?’
DM: ‘There are these firbolgs. We have stats for them now.’

Claiming it’s a gesture of goodwill, but obviously really just trying to blow the scene, Eben removes himself from the scene.

Eben: I’ll ask pulley-elf to escort me back to –
Eben: I didn’t want to mispronounce it…

The game pauses for cake, which is probably for the best. With a moment of pause, they take the harder tack of reminding him of his dead wife and trying to help her free his wife from torment in the afterlife. (Except for Krixxix, who advocates the kill-them-all approach.)

DM: I assume Krixxix is talking out of character, as always.
Thalynmar: It’s okay. 22 on a Strength roll.
Krixxix: Oh god! Can I get some healing?!

The actual RP has made the elf waver and hesitate, though he insists it’s too late. Lualyrr continues to try to show a little empathy, as does Thalynmar, and they roll one last Persuasion check.

DM: Natural 1. Krixxix says something.
Thalynmar: Stupid hand, grip harder!
Lualyrr: That’s also a 30.
DM: These words seem to have slipped past his defenses. He looks down at the floor, which he is still kneeling on. “You don’t understand. There was a rider. He agreed to leave the village alone.”
Lualyrr: “Clearly he lied to you.”
DM: “No. That’s why they left. I offered him anything, and he took me up on it. That’s why he left. We’re safe now. Anything I tell you will have him back now. He’ll kill me, he’ll kill everyone.”
Lualyrr: “Not if we get to him first.”

Galen tells them he’d been passing information to the rider, and gives them directions to the place where he meets the dragon – who them flies off to the southeast. The group is disgusted by him selling out others.

Eben: “Let us be off. I like not the smell of this place.”
DM: (distantly) ‘We think you smell pretty bad toooooo!’
DM: ‘Bwyaaawaaaaa – how may I serve you, Smelly One?’
Lualyrr: ‘Get me some Beano! Now!’
DM: ‘There’ll be no gaaaaaaas.’

They form ranks and head towards the meeting place, a mile off into the forest. Mist clings to the forest like a shroud, but nonetheless they are able to find the meeting place, and from there head southeast to find the dragon’s lair or residence.

Raven: You know, why don’t they call other forests Brightside Sunny Forest, but now we have to call this one Misty…
Thalynmar: There probably is one like it, but we never get to go there.
Eben: Cool stuff doesn’t happen in those forests.
Thalynmar: They’re happy.
DM: All right, you go there. You have no adventure. Are you satisfied?
Thalynmar: Yes.
Lualyrr: Okay,
Eben: Exactly.
DM: Okay…. This changes the game plans for a while…
Eben: We have to find the ghost train in this forest.
Thalynmar: And suplex the shit out of it.

No one can track, but the dragon flies so there’s nothing TO track – no loss there. They trudge into the forest, the miles slowly passing beneath their feet. Bofur falls in a river.

DM: Abruptly you hear the crack and crunch of a large tree breaking, and then a scream.
Eben: What kind of scream?
DM: A female voice.
Raven: Welp, my shield’s out.
Eben: I’m going to head in that direction. My interest is piqued.
DM: Eben takes the lead, heading off in that direction.
Raven: I’m heading off, because I’m supposed to be the frontline.
DM: Raven runs off in a random direction.
Thalynmar: Huzzah!

They plunge into the underbrush, and find a large tree collapsed in a clearing, pinning the leg of a venerable old woman who pleads for them to help. A long silence ensues, as adventurer paranoia runs rampant.

DM: Thalynmar charges forward, rendering your Perception checks useless.
Eben: ‘No you don’t, Megatron!’
DM: Hold Person!
Eben: Oh, I don’t think I can do that.
Maldrake: I can do that.
DM: Fireball Person, that’ll hold him.
Thalynmar: Jesus Christ!

No one sees anything out of the ordinary. They head in to move the tree, realizing it is very perilously positioned and could very well roll over to crush them in turn – but THIS doesn’t stop them, and they put their strength into it.

DM: You push the tree back, and just as you get close to getting it off her it begins to rise on its own.
Thalynmar: Ah. This a dryad or…
DM: Two of the trees nearby shift back along the ground as the elf stands and smiles, showing no signs of injury. “So you prove yourselves heroes in the end after all.”
Thalynmar: “Sorry that we were a bit suspicious. It’s been a long journey.”
DM: “You made the right choice in the end.”
Thalynmar: “I’m just glad you’re not hurt.”
DM: “You didn’t retreat in cowardice, or think first of your own safety for more than but a moment. I grant you my blessing for aiding me, and hope that your hearts will continue to prove true.” The woman picks flowers from her hair that you swear were not there a moment ago and weaves them into garland as if by magic. She lays a garland around each of your necks and suddenly transforms into an owl, and as she flaps off her awakened tree servants stomp off after her into the forest.
Raven: Well that worked out.,

They call on the power of the spider. There is no path to lose, so they head off southeast once again. On they head at the DM’s forcing, pondering just how far the dragon could conceivably fly while leaving the rider still obviously damp, and so the DM challenges them to an Arcana roll to learn about the green dragon. They also notice thin strands of spiderweb just barely visible in the misty air.

Eben: Can’t turn back. And I can’t get rid of it without burning the woods down.
Thalynmar: They’re misty, they might not be burning TOO badly…

The players promptly consider the creation of a web-banishing spell, while the DM reminds them that they had indeed fought spiders in this campaign. Eben checks on the Protection from Evil spell in his edition, then goes back to the idea of burning the spider webs away. Luckily, this does NOT set the forest on fire, and the party creeps through.

DM: The first thing you notice is out of the ordinary is not a sight but a sound – a very faint roar.
Eben: Water? Is it ahead?
DM: You can orient on it easily enough, twisting your path to go there.
Eben: That’s what we will do.
DM: You at last emerge from the webbing, still unmolested. You find yourself looking at a pool at the foot of the waterfall, its surface obscured by an emerald haze. This is almost a certain tell that a dragon dwells here.
Thalynmar: An emerald haze? Does that mean it’s poisonous in this area?
DM: You don’t seem to be feeling any ill effects.
Thalynmar: I’m a dwarf. Is everybody all right?
DM: Krixxix is feeling an intense phantom pain in his shoulder.
Krixxix: I didn’t even do anything!
DM: You were thinking it.

The group gets clarification on the waterfall and the layout, since their Swim checks ain’t so hot. Eben is given various vampire names. Maldrake points out the tenets of his paladin code.

Eben: The only thing you have left is, why haven’t you attempted to murder Krixxix? Because you should be…
Maldrake: Because there’s a greater evil afoot.
Thalynmar: Although he’s starting to question that.

Eben assumes misty form to investigate the waterfall, though he struggles for a bit to bypass the waterfall proper. At last passing through, he ventures down a slope slick with water beyond, investigating a short distance.

Eben: I think I’m done playing psicrystal for now, I’m going to head back and report.
DM: It does indeed take you a while to come back out as you wait for a chance to get back through the waterfall. Possibly to the point that your comrades, except for Krixxix, are getting worried.
Krixxix: Nope. Not worried. Don’t care.
DM: I said that!
Krixxix: Just reaffirming it.
DM: There was no need to! Negative inspiration! Eben dies in front of you.
Krixxix: Eh, he’s already dead.
DM: Your bow dies in front of you.

Eben at last makes it back out, and reports on his scouting mission. They begin setting up a way to get everyone over to and through the waterfall. Thalynmar has the best chance of climbing over…

Eben: You can’t bring everybody through there. Well, then it would just be you doing all the rolling.
DM: Roll with disadvantage.
Thalynmar: 19 and 20.
DM: You make it. It is the easiest thing in the world. Thalynmar does not even seem to slow.

Thalynmar is immediately eaten. And many other horrible effects.

Thalynmar: It’s lava! It’s clear lava! It’s weird!
Eben: Crystal lava! All the taste of regular lava…
Thalynmar: What has magic done?!
DM: Has magic gone too far?
Thalynmar: Clear lava. You assholes.
DM: There’s also a lava-breathing shark in there.

The rest of the party begins clambering across, without much difficulty for the strong people anyway.

Lualyrr: 17.
DM: You’re good.
Krixxix: I rolled the same thing, 17.
DM: You’re bad. You fall. Splash. I get to set the DC, Krixxix suffered a minus 10 dickass penalty.
Eben: Minus 10? That’s awful.
DM: The gods hate him and he hates the gods.
Maldrake: You’re just still salty we didn’t play board games last night.
DM: Yeah! Got my hopes up and everything.
Krixxix: I couldn’t hang around here till 10:30!
DM: You shouldn’t have fucking offered then, dickass!
Maldrake: I was surprised.
DM: “Hey, you want to play board games tonight?” “You bet I do! You staying that late?” “No, I’m not!”

Maldrake angrily complains about dragons who run away, but will the dragon in this cave run away? Find out next time on Dragon Fight Z!