Exploring Chult to look for the cause of the dreaded Death Curse afflicting all of Faerun. End the Death Curse, save souls!

Tomb of Annihilation Adventurer's League Campaign in LB
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, character levels 1-10
Written by Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, and Steve Winter
The talk of the streets and taverns has all been about the so-called death curse: a wasting disease afflicting everyone who’s ever been raised from the dead. Victims grow thinner and weaker each day, slowly but steadily sliding toward the death they once denied.
When they finally succumb, they can’t be raised—and neither can anyone else, regardless of whether they’ve ever received that miracle in the past. Temples and scholars of divine magic are at a loss to explain a curse that has affected the entire region, and possibly the entire world.
The cause is a necromantic artifact called the Soulmonger, which is located somewhere in Chult, a mysterious peninsula far to the south, ringed with mountains and choked with rainforests.

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Memoirs of a Teifling: The Life and Times of Delphinius Neptunio (Excerpt 3.5)
Part III 

My Life as an Adventurer

Chapter 5 - Pirates!!!!!

The entirety of Port Nyanzaru had packed themselves into Kara’s to hear the latest tales of my adventures while my companions dined on the finest dinosaur steaks. The crowd gasped and cheered, we sang songs of my accomplishments. It was a night unlike any other on the isle of Chult.

After a lengthy autograph session that lasted into the wee hours of the morning (I always stay until the last autograph is signed), we were summoned to give Syndra Sylvane a status report. Lady Sylvane’s chambers assaulted the senses with competing scents of sickly sweet flowers and rotting decay. She was covered from head to toe in rags to hide her corpse-like appearance. She was running out of time and the Soul Monger was still wreaking havoc on the world.

Before we left, Wakanga offered us a spell book if we could recover a lost shield guardian. I had no use for such a trinket, but Rev was certainly interested in the prize. We agreed to look into the matter, but first, there were pirates to deal with. Those rogues had terrorized the seas around the port for too long. It was time they were dealt with and we were clearly the only ones capable.

Captain Swift practically begged me to take command of her ship once again, relishing any opportunity to watch me work. We set out in search of the pirates. Aramag, the great dragon turtle stopped us to pay me tribute and compliment my sailing technique just as a violent storm rolled in. I of course navigated the waters exquisitely keeping the ship safe from harm. My shipmates devised a cunning plan to fool the pirates. Under cover of the raging tempest, we disguised the ship to appear damaged from the storm.

Just as I suspected, the pirates took the bait and attacked during the night. They pulled up along side us and prepared to board dropping a ramp onto the deck. We held until the scalawags were almost upon us when I unleashed a fearsome presence that sent terror and dread rampaging through the villainous crew. Half the pirates hid below deck cowering from the scary half-devil captain haha!

We stood our ground as the remaining pirates launched wave after wave of crossbow bolts. Dumbfounded they stood as Ishketh’s magic shield protected us from every shot. This, however, was a mere distraction so the soggy sorcerer hiding in the crows nest could summon his lightning storm causing us to break ranks and scatter.

Charging into battle, Rev blasted the pirate rigging setting the ship ablaze, Ish chased after the cowering pirates trapping them below deck. Pog took on the half-orc first mate, while I stayed behind to support my crew. Meanwhile the swarthy pirate captain easily cut down Pog and teleported directly behind me landing a cutlass in my back. Infernal instinct took over and blasted him with hellfire. When I came to, Rev had used his thunder magic to throw the captain and some of his crew overboard.

Ish revived Pog, then stood back to back defending against the pirates and their first mate, all while the crusty sea sorcerer peppered us with lightning from the crows nest. Pog suddenly remembered his hookah charm and summoned a parliament of giant owls to distract and kill the sorcerer.

Pirates are a cowardly lot by nature. With only their first mate left to guide them, I persuaded the remaining crew to lay down their weapons with the promise of safe passage back to the port. The half-orc continued to rage and bark orders, but Rev quickly launched him overboard like the rest. The owls finished the job. I don’t usually derive joy from the misfortune of others. I must admit, the first mate’s screams as the owls tore at his face and eyes brought a satisfied grin to my face. Perhaps I had fallen too deep into this role of Pirate Captain.

A quick search of the ship revealed some potions, a magic cape, and the dwarven guide Hew Hackingstone imprisoned by the pirates. We allowed Hew to join our group, though he continually pestered us about a dragon he wanted dead. We eventually conquered the dragon, but that is a story for another time.

The pirate captain was found attempting to flee in a dingy, but Ish convinced him to stick around and give us info on the pirate hideout. We sailed triumphantly back to Port Nianzaru. The Mother of Prosperity, Mother Sibonseni, was awaiting our arrival. Even she, who usually draws her own sizable crowds, was in awe of the great Captain Neptunio and his brave band of pirate hunters. We were paraded through the streets, the guests of honor at the pirate captain’s sentencing where we were paid handsomely for our efforts. One down, two to go.

My companions and I headed back to Kara’s for the night. On the way, an old woman stepped out of the shadows. It was Eku the guide we had spoken with weeks before. “It is time. Omu is waiting. We must make haste and end this.”
Session: Pirates! - Friday, Mar 02 2018 from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
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Epic × 2!
Memoirs of a Teifling: The Life and Times of Delphinius Neptunio (Excerpt 3.4) Part III ADDENDUM
(I know how important it is to Delphineus that he is perceived as a hero so I made some addendums to his journal while he "slept". Perhaps he won’t notice…)

That’s when I blacked out… rose to the occasion and defeated the Golem! Behind the monstrosity lay a dark and gloomy tunnel. Heroically, I charged forth into the breach. A foul chamber revealed a large cyst pulsating at the center. This was the source of power attracting undead in the area. An evil Aarakokra – Ullal – was behind this. His undead mummified son – Zukkass – stood ready to defend the cyst. We charged into battle, the party invigorated by my charming presence. We soon found that the swarming undead could heal the mummy by merging with the Cyst. Luckily, fire did the trick. Ullal flew about the cavern like the cowardly dog he was. Revek put a stop to his shenanigans with a well-placed web spell but not before the villain summoned giant owls to attack the party. Revek and Ishketh were ready to slay the Aarakokra but my merciful hand stayed their blades. There would be no more death this day. Ullal would stand trial – we’re not barbarians. With the cyst destroyed and the villain subdued, we triumphantly returned to the Brazen Pegasus. History will remember this day – the world will know the name Delphinius Neptunio!
Session: Pirates! - Friday, Mar 02 2018 from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
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Memoirs of a Teifling: The Life and Times of Delphinius Neptunio (Excerpt 3.4)
Part III

My Life as an Adventurer

Chapter 4 - A Captain for the Ages

Back in Port Nyanzaru, we were summoned to a meeting of the factions. My secret was finally out. I worked for the Zhentarim. I wasn’t proud of it, but what choice did I have? I was young and foolish. But if it weren’t for the Zhent’s sponsorship, you would not be reading these tales of grand adventure.

We were informed that the source of the undead threat is from the city of Matolo, just off the western coast of the island. The best way to reach it was by boat, so we headed down to the docks. Zindar the harbor master, a great dragon of a man with an impressive wingspan, told of pirates terrorizing the area. We agreed to stop them for a fee. Zindar suggested we speak with captain of the Brazen Pegasus, the fastest ship in the harbor.

When we met with the captain, so impressed with me she was, that she handed over command of her ship. I was captain of the Brazen Pegasus for as long as my companions and I needed her. I sailed the masterfully along the coast through rough seas and storms. Not even a giant dragon turtle who normally required a tribute to pass gave us any pause. Never had he seen such command of the sea, it was I who was given tribute that day.

Three waterfalls was the landmark we were sailing for. When we arrived, I navigated the ship as close to the cliffs as I could. Pog, Ish and Rev swam the rest of the way. I handed off my hat and coat to the crew, climbed the rigging, and swung out over the water diving with the grace of a swan to cheers and songs from the crew.

We scaled the cliffs with ease and began to make our way back through the jungle. Ishketh prayed to his god to send him a celestial hadrosaur to ride. Before long, we were attacked by 4 armed apes demanding we return from whence we came. They charge and battle ensued.

Rev protected himself with magic, I sent one ape into a fit of laugher, Pog and Ish took the other head on. During the chaos, a child raced past chased by undead. We handily clean up the wights and finished off the other ape. I tended to the child’s needs. Basu was his name. He took to me quickly, I promised to return him safely to the port and that we would protect him. We gave him some supplies and he hid in a nearby cave to wait for our return.

The ruins of Matolo appeared out of nowhere. The only remaining structure was the temple of Ubtao, our destination. Upon entering, we were taunted by an Arakokra, who turned his beasts on us: Leopards with snakes coming out of their hides. Curse that island!

Rev summoned the power of the blue dragon and breathed lightning at one of the beasts, while Pog attacked with a whirlwind of slashes from his new greatsword. Those beasts didn’t seem like much of a fight. Not by themselves. Throw in 3 giant trees slamming us with their branches: that was a fight. I quickly hypnotized 2 of the trees while Rev blasted the third with a ball of fire setting it ablaze. We chopped up the remaining trees one by one, then searched the temple.

By the alter of the temple we found a diorama of the city, with a large missing piece. To our surprise, Pog pulled the missing piece from his bag and fit it into place. Before we could ask him about it, a massive statue came to life and attacked. My skills were useless against it, so I did what I could to aid my companions. It was a harrowing fight, but we managed to kill it just when we thought all might be lost.

That’s when I blacked out…
Session: Pirates! - Friday, Feb 09 2018 from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
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Memoirs of a Teifling: The Life and Times of Delphinius Neptunio (Excerpt 3.3)
Part III

My Life as an Adventurer

Chapter 3 - Plants, Monkeys and Naga! Oh My!

Lavish celebrations! Large coniferous trees decorated with dancing lights. Valeria by my side sipping wine while our 2 children rip into colorful packages. It felt like just yesterday I was exploring caves on an uncharted jungle island. It had been years since I’d seen Revekeus and Ishketh. We’d parted ways once we destroyed The Soul Monger. The reward was more than enough to retire on. Once we resurrected her, I had settled down with the love of my life, the same half-orc that had started me on my career all those years ago. Who knew that one night in the tavern would blossom into all of this?

I had always intended to reach out to my fellow adventurers this time of year. Sadly I never saw them again. Perhaps the loss of Pogwe was just too much for us all to bear. He was such a gentle soul. In 2 weeks time, we celebrate the day of my birth. Just a small family affair, but I will toast to Pog and how he gave his life to save mine in that final battle for the ages.

I awoke in a haze to the familiar sounds and sweltering heat of Port Nyanzaru. Apparently that dinosaur bite had infected me with a sickness that causes vivid hallucinations. Qwasha had brought me back to my room to watch over me while I recovered. My companions had continued to search the island for more clues. Finally feeling myself again, I requested Qwasha take me back out to join my allies. They would surely need my skills out there. Everyone needs a bit of entertainment and levity, even if its just around a campfire in the wilderness.

My allies were camped on a plateau, discussing a ziggurat poking out above the canopy when we arrived. For a moment, I felt a sense of relief at seeing Pogwe alive; those dreams had felt so real (I often wondered if they didn’t foretell of an alternate future.) Qwasha told of the tales his grandfather used to tell him of Oro Lunga, the ancient ziggurat: a place of great wisdom. We set off along the plateau towards the great stone structure.

As we made our way from the plateau down into the jungle, we came upon a statue ravaged by time with another cave behind it. What hilarious traps awaited my curious companions this time? None. Yes, I was disappointed too. A traveler had died inside the cave mid meal. Curious how this happened, Ish seemed hindered by his confusion. A horn made of bone with metal ornaments was recovered from the tattered remains of the travelers pack. A Horn of Blasting. Powerful, but dangerous. Every blow of the horn has a chance to backfire on the user. It was given to my because of my infernal heritage. Goodie.

Emerging from the cave, we were attacked by sentient poisonous plants. Rev immediately succumbed to the poison, I did everything I could to keep him from the brink of death. I hid myself in the mouth of the cave to keep out of harms way, to no avail. A plant found me and struck out with a vine, pulling me in, I assumed for its dinner. My instinctual fire blast didn’t help much, as the monstrosity was full of sticky wet sap. Ish came to my aid and released me, we finally had things under control. Until the demonic monkeys came.

That’s right, demonic monkeys. I hate that island. Rev managed to slow them with a magic web giving Pog time to dispatch the beasts. Ish’s heroics were not without consequence, though. We looked over to see him unconscious being dragged off by the plant. Pog rushed in for the kill, while I provided aid saving Ish’s life in return.

After a bit of rest and recovery, we continued on, coming to a river full of crocodiles. Our path lead us straight across, so Pog bravely swam the width with a rope and tied it to a tree. Rev and Ish zip lined across. But I saw an opportunity. The whole world’s a stage, after all.

It had been years since I’d practiced the old tight-rope routine. A showboating flip, bounding backwards, a fake fall, the gasp of my audience as I disappeared under the current of the croc infested river. Before Pog could dive in to rescue me, I emerged from the river, riding the back of a crocodile safely to the shore. Even my companions were thrilled at the spectacle. The entire jungle seemed alive with applause.

Still in awe of my breathtaking performance, we continued on to our destination, the ziggurat of Oro Lunga. Rev warned of many incantations protecting the structure. We could find no clear way up. Even forcing ourselves through he vines and thorns was impossible. We were at a loss when a small jungle sprite, a Chawinga, appeared with a purple and orange orchid. It bounded its way up the ziggurat. We quickly found the flower and followed. 2 more tests, 2 more chawinga’s and we were at the top of the structure.

At the top, an empty dusty room. While the others inspect the opening looking for traps, I poked my head in and was transported to a lavish room. My companions weren’t far behind. A giant Naga greeted us, Saja N’baza. 2 humanoids sat nearby smoking, Artus Cimber and his silent companion Dragonbait. Sweet perfumes emanated from the silent one, changing with his mood. Artus told us the story of his lost love, she disappeared with the city of Mezra. Against my better judgement, we made a pact to kill Ra Zni for him. Once dead, we were to signal for his arrival by lighting a smoke stick.

Before we parted, the naga invited us to smoke from the hookah. Each of us received a blessing to aid on our journey. After much debate, we decided the best way to reach the south of the island was to head back to Port Nyanzaru. But first, the others couldn’t resist a quick detour to inspect the large floating rock on the way back.

The Heart of Ubtao, as it was called, floated some 300 ft in the air with a trickle of rusty water dripping from the base. Clearly magical, we searched for a way to reach the structure when a woman appeared and called down to us in Elven. She seemed nice enough and invited us up for a chat, opening a portal which I quickly jumped through, perhaps foolishly. We discussed our mission with her, looking for answers about the Soul Monger. Suddenly, she dropped the beautiful facade: a Lich!!! Apparently Ish detected her state of undeath. Angered, she blinked from the room, summoning a zombie hoard of varying size.

One of these foul creatures was a fan of improv as I was able to slay him with laughter. Ish prayed to his god turning a large group of them. Show off. Rev dropped a giant ball of flame to continually burn the rest while Pog kept them from escaping. Defeating the hoard was easy. But a part of me died inside that night. Its always hard to lose a fan, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

Inspecting the room, we discovered the lich, Vilandra Shadowmantle, as she called herself, had been researching the soul monger to uncover a way to control it and harness its power.
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Epic × 2!
Yokka hate this
Yokka starting to think he never going to see the glorious flying city of Yellyark again. Stupid tall folk kidnap Yokka and drag him through the swamps and rivers. We leave the smelly human camp and Yokka hope he never go back there. Why humans so stupid? We attacked by zombies...again. The big folk able to slay them all. Yokka hope one of them die but they seem like living. The sooner they all die, the sooner Yokka go back home! They want go top of tall flat land, but there nothing up there but rocks and wind. We climb and climb and climb and then giant bird lizards swoop down on us. Yokka find a nice hidey hole in the rocks. No get eaten if can’t be seen. Yokka watch the tall folk get tossed around by the sky lizards. They pick up snake man and drop him off cliff - hooray, maybe he die! Then falls magic human and the new guy over the edge. All except turtle man - he too fat. But he dumb too! Turtle man jump off cliff after lizard. Up and down the tall folk climb until all the bird lizards dead. Too bad. Yokka wonder if the bird lizard tasty. Keep climb until Yokka see piles and piles of skulls! That what humans get! At the top of tall flat land we see far. The jungle big and hide many secrets for goblin to plunder. Tall folk talk about what they see - Ziggurat, crashed airship, floating rock. They think Yellyark like floating rock. What stupids! We go to only house on mountain. Crazy old granny there. She probably eat us later. Tall folk talk about Ronzy or something, Yokka no get human names. Ronzy disgraced, Ronzy make zombies, Ronzy go south, blah, blah, blah. Boring!

Yokka sleep with one eye open that night. Yokka sure granny will eat him. Weird lights in the distance wake everyone up. Yokka no wait around to find out. Yokka go hide behind pile of skulls! Gross flesh monster attack tall folk and then granny attack as well! Yokka always right. New guy put spell on turtle man and turtle man throw monster into hole in ground. The other magic human make fireball in the hole to fry monster. Snake man kill granny and Yokka think everything okay. But then monster climb out and grab magic man! Finally maybe he die! But he live. Yokka disappointed.

Next day, Yokka useful - Yakka find cave to explore! But then there more bird lizards in there. Yokka really miss Yellyark.
Session: When something goes wrong, blame the Crone. - Friday, Jan 05 2018 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Tags: Journal , NPC , Recap
Epic × 2!
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