“Lucky” Copperpot’s caravan made it way across the world to an exotic land of palm trees, oases, and fabled treasures. Wikki Swiftwind and Finias Jinx recruited additional people from the caravan into their little band of trouble makers. Pat the Dwarf was replaced by Bunny, Lorelei the Fighter was replaced by her sister Annastasia, and Herrick the Cleric was replaced by Nallon. The caravan seemed successful for a while and they stay out of trouble, accumulating much wealth. No one is quite sure how, but our heroes found themselves surrounded by armed horse men in the desert. One of them was reading a list of accusations: short-sheeting the wizards bed, placing him in a compromising position with a woman of ill-repute WHILE he was engaged with another woman, etc. etc. They don’t know for certain if the PCs were responsible, but the PCs WERE foreigners, and thus, a convenient scapegoat. They were given a choice: go into the Desert of Desolation and track the raiders who have been making their Lord’s life miserable or death by [insert unpleasant death here: there are many from which to choose!].
The PCs wisely decided to cooperation and go into the desert. It was not a hard choice since they were told they could keep any treasure they found. They were given provisions and supplies to last a few weeks (except water, they would have to find more on their own) as well as a choice of a draft horse or a camel each. In the end, they all chose camels and named them appropriately. Bunny named hers Thumper. Nalton named his Billy Bob Thornton. Wikki Swiftwind named his Flower. Finias Jinx named his Dumbass. Annastasia named hers Buttercup. They were also given a map inscribed with symbols that neither thief could decipher, nor could Wikki’s casting of Read Languages. (Mostly because no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find any translations in the adventure … even I had no idea what it was supposed to say.)
Our heroes set off through the desert, following a path left by the raiders. A few hours in, they found what appeared to be some sort of pool of water. When Finias moved in to investigate, he was caught in the trap of a dustdigger! The creature (it’s similar to a pre-Special Edition sarlacc, except smaller) tried to make a meal of the thief, but was quickly killed when the rest of the party came to his aid. Pressing onward, after a few more hours, they found two pillars rising out of the sand. The path continued between them. Finias was able to read an inscription on the pillars: “The gates of Sule cure ye who enter unbidden.” Finding this warning silly, Finias urinated on the pillars.
By the time the day gave way to night, our heroes found themselves at a fork in the trail, marked by a fallen obelisk. The obelisk seemed to be a directional marker with two inscriptions: “Here lies the road of the kings,” and “There lies the road to the pyramid.” The directional arrows were eroded away, so they couldn’t tell which path led where. They choose to make camp for the night. During the 3rd watch, an orange glow appeared on the horizon. As the sky brightened toward dawn, they could see it was accompanied by a column of smoke. In the morning, it was still there. While it did not appear to be at the terminus of either trail they could follow, they decided to follow the trail that led generally in the same direction. A few hours later, the desert gave way to craggy hills. By the end of the second day, the trail came to an end. The smoke was still on the horizon, but was the only landmark in the otherwise featureless terrain.
That night, an apparition appeared. The apparition was not aggressive and spoke to them. It was the Amun Re, son of Tokash-Ru and gave a long-winded explanation of his life, death, and curse. Essentially, he was cursed to remain between worlds, unable to cross into the afterlife until his un-robbable tomb is defiled (the tomb was built on the backs of the people he swore to protect and nuture). He answered no questions, only pointing in the direction of his tomb. The tomb was basically in the same direction as the column of smoke, still rising on the horizon, so our heroes headed in the direction to which the apparition pointed.
After more hours of traveling through inhospitable terrain, our heroes arrived at a large pyramid surrounded by a wall. The entrance appeared to be through a temple built on the southern side of the wall. Two men guarded the main entrance, demanding the new intruders state their purpose or leave. They were not amused by Annastasia’s insistence that they were here for the tour. The guards attacked, but were quickly defeated. Our heroes proceeded to explore the temple, killing any other dervishes they came across. Shortly after finding a statue with jeweled eyes, from which Finias and Annastasia promptly took one each, they prepared to explore the other side of the temple, despite having found the exit that led to the pyramid.
How many other dervishes can they defeat while making cruel suggestions as to what to do with the remains?
With names like Bunny, Thumper, Billy, Flower, Dumbass, and Buttercup, my players’ days of taking the Doctor StrangeRoll Campaign seriously have come to an end. Alas, my attempt to spin an epic tale in the land of pharaohs and mummies will probably devolve into a bunch of Stargate/Go’uld jokes and humor about the Middle East that will toe the line.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I bumped everyone up to 35,000 XP and we started the mid-level adventure portion of the Basic D&D phase of Doctor StrangeRoll. This put everyone except Wikki Swiftwind at 6th level. Now they’re getting access to some of the iconic D&D magic: fireballs and lightning bolts, as well as being leveled high enough to encounter more challenging opponents like mummies.
Stay tuned for some player reports on the game play of Basic D&D as seen through the eyes of players who prefer Pathfinder & D&D 4E, as well as a report on a Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space game we played last week when there weren’t enough players for the D&D game. The next Doctor StrangeRoll game will take place on August 31st. August 17th is Gen Con and we’ll all be there.