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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 61 - Tomb of Annihilation

Episode 61: End of the World
Season three is about to begin! The show has been on a break for a month, and during that time, Strix had a couple adventures with the Acquisitions, Inc. group. She was on a podcast and then she did a live show. Both of them were fantastic and, in my opinion, hilarious.

The Waffle Crew

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer
(Dani Hartel) Captain Xandalla - Elf Sorcerer

Non-Robot Evelyn

At the start, the group is on an airship. Strix is gone. She had vanished (summoned by Omin Dran) but the group has no idea what happened. They are on an airship captained by Captain Xandala. Godfrey the undead knight is with them, as is Waffles the owlbear and Simon, the demented, sinister golem-boy. Artus Cimber is here, too! He's got the ridiculously powerful ring of winter.

The airship is lifting off. The crew is dead - they were agents of the red dragon, Klauth. The waffle crew is trying to run the ship on their own under the tutelage of Captain Xandala.

Diath wants to know what happened to Strix, so he busts out his sword, Gutter, and summons Shemeshka. She is wearing a ball gown, crimson and gold. This is apparently based off of a piece of fan art right here, which is awesome. She's wearing her "crown", which is a wreath of razorvine. She's got a cigarette in a cigarette holder. Evelyn likes her clothes.

From this point on, Shemeshka is referred to as Diath's girlfriend, which he really doesn't like. Very amusing!

Diath... blushing

Shemeshka checks out Jared's pendant. It's not magical. She drops it. Diath asks about Strix and she says that she did a little research. She says that Strix was summoned via infernal contract by Omin Dran.

He messes up his other two questions. "Can I take a raincheck on that?" Shemeshka says a bunch of things, suggesting that the group doesn't need Strix because Xandala is a suitable replacement.

She also says, "The Skizzixes are coming for you." That's Strix's family. Hmm... who are these people? Are they after Diath?

She also again drops the name "Locatha" or "Lorcatha". Who or what is that?

Xandala wants the ring of winter from Artus. Artus says she isn't who she says she is. Paultin wants the ring, too.

Paultin makes a high persuasion roll. Artus wants to accommodate him.. he says that he will travel with them and decide whether Paultin is worthy to wear the ring. Yikes, that will be awesome and terrifying.

After lots of talking, the group knows that Strix is in Chult and they want to go there ASAP. Xandala is worried that Klauth will find them. She chucks the sending stone that her former crew used to communicate with Klauth over the side.

Some rolls are made and Xandala "made a 1", becoming the first member of the waffle crew to roll a 1. There was a poll on twitter where people could vote on who would do so. Strix got the most votes (fun fact: Strix wins every twitter poll).

Evelyn realizes that he mouse, Juniper, is freezing. Since Evelyn is  construct, she has no way to warm up Juniper.She hand Juniper to Xandala and suddenly, her pseudodragon eats Juniper! Xandala rolls a 20 to persuade Summerwise to spit the mouse out. Evelyn resuscitates Juniper with a lay on hands. The look on everyone's faces when that happened.. good gawd.

The group notices that Paultin is sick. He says he has motion sickness/allergies. It's the death curse!

Xandala notices that Artus is not wearing the ring of winter. She points it out to everyone.

Over the course of a few days, Paultin loses some  max hp and gets sicker and sicker. Artus says Paultin will be dead by the time they get to Chult.

Strix

Strix appears!  She declares that she won the dinosaur race. She says Omin is nice and that Jim is an asshole.

Strix tells the group about Acererak and the Soulmonger. Xandala wants to find a quicker way to Chult.

After much debate.. they summon Shemeshka again. They are thinking about jumping through her portal which makes my eyes explode. I would love that so much.

Would Chris use post-Faction War Sigil? I guess he would. Would the crew have a run-in with the Lady of Pain?

Shemeshka has a vial and a scroll for them. They can use this stuff to summon the Sewn Sisters. The affected heroes will need to suffer through three things in order for the sisters to stave off the death curse.

They ask Shemeshka, "Where can we find the Soulmonger?" It's hidden under the city of Omu. Strix points out that she was just in Omu, so she knows where it is.
Paultin

Shemeshka agrees to teleport the group to Chult if Diath does something for her. She casts a geas spell (this spell forces a quest on you - you take a pile of damage every time you defy it). She wants Diath to find a person named "Mr. Fox". She wants his spectacles and the spellbook that he took from her library.

They have to pick people. They exclude Godfrey and Xandala. Xandala decides to cast dominate person on Artus. Xandala gives a great monologue, talking about how the Harpers are ineffective and that she's going to take care of things herself. She has "plans for this world."

Strix tries to stop her. Roll initiative! And... here come Klauth the red dragon. That's where we stop!

Overall

I'm going to talk about the show and then march into spoiler territory, so beware!

Great show! A little too much debating in the middle, but they are all fun to watch so it was fine. The show is really good and it makes me very happy to see it get bigger and bigger. I should note they have a new intro, and it is really great. It feature all of the heroes getting trapped in the Soulmonger.

As far as I'm concerned, Dani is the "fifth waffle". She should be on the show as often as possible. Maybe they could put her on a new show or something. Let's imagine a super group:
  • DM: Mike Mearls (I'd like to see him running something, at least on occasion!)
  • Dani Hartel
  • Trump from Missclicks
  • Milynn Sarley from Maze Arcana
  • Taliesin Jaffe from Critical Role
I'd watch the crap out of that show!

Xandala: If you want to know what the deal with Xandala is, check out pages 58 and 236 in Tomb of Annihilation.

The Sewn Sisters: They are on page 180 of Tomb of Annihilation. The people who make D&D seem to really like hags! I think there's at least one hag in every adventure so far.

The sisters are Widow Groat, Peggy Deadbells and Baggy Nana. They're probably going to want the hair or blood of the heroes, which will lead to some hilarious, insane stuff.

What's weird here is, as far as I can tell, these ladies guard the Soulmonger. They are not going to be inclined to help the heroes.

Also interesting is that the Acq Inc group has also been pointed in the direction of the Sewn Sisters. Maybe we'll get some kind of taped Christmas show where the waffle crew and Acq Inc have a crossover.

"Mr. Fox": This person is on page 188 of Tomb of Annihilation. Shemeshka wants two things of his:
  • His Spectacles: They're not magical but acts as a portal key in the city of Sigil.
  • Shemeshka's Book: This place is full of spellbooks. One must be hers. Maybe Chris will make it a Demonomicon of Iggwilv or something. There is one named book: "X the Mystic's Arcane Grimoire." 
X the Mystic has a bunch of quotes about "dungeon survival" in the 5e MM. X was originally a pre-made character from the classic 1e module, Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Chapter 3 of Tomb of Annihilation is actually named "Dwellers of the Forbidden City", so you got yourself an easter egg here. I wrote about all this weird stuff in this article right here.

I'm glad the show is back!

2 comments:

J. Edward Maz said...

About the name Shemeshka gave Diath the first time she appeared - I doubt it's the monsters of the same name, they're sea people (I always imagined them as the type that would just walk on the ocean floor whereas things like sahuagin, merfolk etc. swim). However, there is a character named Lorcan from some other areas of Realmslore that might fit the bill. He's a Cambion, a well lived half-fiend, so he's probably made the rounds across the planes and has a holding in places like Sigil (or at least has encountered Shemeshka herself). He's also made a hobby out of owning infernal contracts and "collecting" warlocks by being patron to them (he's actually mentioned as an option for Fiend Warlocks in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide). He owns (or owned I'm not sure currently) a now-famous warlock named Farideh, who made her first appearance during the Sundering novels. In the novel she a warlock dedicated to Lorcan herself, though from what I can tell she's not very on board with him or his ideas.

I think it's not unreasonable to think that if it were Lorcan, that he probably lays claim to the Skizzixes, or at least a few of them. What's particularly interesting is that Lorcan used to own a group of tieflings known among "collectors" as a Toril Thirteen - Warlocks who are descendants of the first tieflings who made the pact with Asmodeous. Not only is it interesting that there's an established culture of Fiends collecting warlocks as patrons, but there's terms like that among them. Makes it seem like trading cards or something of the sort.

Here's my crazy tinfoil hat theory here - Strix might be an eligible member of the Toril thirteen, and thus Lorcan might be coming to claim her. From what I've gathered of Gutter and from Diath's family history, his ancestors might have stood in Lorcan's way before, or they might have just crossed paths in a way that left a sour taste in Lorcan's mouth. If this is true that'd make things super interesting - Diath's ancestors might have known members of Strix's family, and they might even have a mutual enemy in Lorcan.

Sean said...

J. Edward Maz: Lorcan! I know him. I read the first two Brimstone Angels books. Your theory sounds awesome! Maybe they'll have Erin Evans be a guest star. Apparently she's playing a charity game with Mike Mearls in a month or two, so you might be onto something!