I’m not going to do a room by room breakdown of the exploration, but there will still be spoilers for the Tomb of Nine Gods section of Tomb of Annihilation. I also don’t want to spoil some of the details of the final dungeon, so like Innigo Montoya, I will sum up.
After taking a rest to recover from recent challenges, our heroes descended to yet another level of the Tomb of Nine Gods (the 6th level, if you’re keeping track). They entered a large room with a bubble cauldron filling the room with a thick green smoke. Stairs on either side lead up to an elevated walkway along the sides of the room. They saw several doors on either side, along with a giant carved stone door blocking further progress. Three animated dolls approached the group after the placed the lid on the cauldron and warned the group that the Sewn Sisters wouldn’t like it if they caught them there.
At first, they ignored the dolls and explored the room. They found a misshapen twin of Baersora in a cage. Thinking her to be a doppelgänger at first, they interrogated the naked dwarf only to discover she knew everything “their” Baersora knew. The dolls repeated their warning and our heroes took a moment to talk to them. They were created by the Sewn Sisters, but weren’t allowed to leave this room, so they didn’t know anything about what lay beyond, except that the surrounding rooms contained tests.
They also noticed the giant door had covered keyholes that matched the skeleton keys they had collected as they explored the tomb. Having had enough of the dolls pestering, they destroyed them, then decided to take the tests.
One by one the group defeated the challenges of the tests, each one uncovering a skeleton key lock. They prepared to unlock the giant door when the Sewn Sisters appeared around their cauldron, having watched the whole time from the Ethereal Plane….
I didn’t have a lot of time to foreshadow the Sewn Sisters, since they sped through the jungle exploration (and since the book does a piss-poor job of mentioning them much before you get deep into the Tomb of Nine Gods). This is an excellent example of something that could have been mentioned in myriad sidebars at appropriate times throughout the text saying something like “This is a good place to foreshadow the Sewn Sisters (then give examples), but that would make this adventure more DM-friendly and Tomb of Annihilation is from the era of assuming the DM has studied this very lengthy, sandboxy adventure extensively before running it and remembers everything that is supposed to happen months ahead of time.
I went ahead and drew out the rest of the dungeon on Gaming Paper. It’s too hard to create in Dwarven Forge and I didn’t want to draw it on the fly; that bogs things down and I hope to finish ToA next session. We’ll see.
There’s only two more scheduled games this year. Our last game of the year will be another Doctor Who Christmas Special (or maybe New Year’s, depending on what the GM comes up with). It’ll be nice to play Doctor Who again.