I previously posted some warts-and-all email summaries of the ‘Curse of Strahd’ campaign I ran in 2017, and the ‘Tomb of Annihilation’ campaign from 2018. CoS was the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Here’s another campaign – 2020’s ‘Out of the Abyss’. Each session was approximately 4 hours long. Some of the summaries may be amusing, but don’t forget these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar. If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them. And maybe even if you aren’t.
Session 6 – Coughing up phlegm in good old Gracklestugh sounds like my idea of a good time
After a long rest on the shore with dreams filled with giant two-headed demons and tidal waves, the party continued on to Sloopoopoododooo. On their way they ran into a boat of friendly Kua-Toa, who explained there was a religious schism in their home town and they needed the PCs to pretend to be sacrifices to fix it (as you do).
In Slooppoodododoppop, the PCs did some shopping at a convenient convenience store (dang – no toilet paper!) then pretended to be sacrifices as the head priest of Blipdoolpipdoolpoo took out the head priest of leeemooogooogon who just happened to be his daughter – small world. As the PCs fought the arch-nemesis priest (who was really just misunderstood teen going through a rebellious phase – how do you feel now?), a huge two-headed demon rose from the waters and started crushing Kua-Toa with its big tentacles. Well that was unexpected.
The party ran off after rescuing another potential sacrifice, a Duergar named G’an who turned out to be Mathew’s Duergar Cleric’s childhood friend, whom he left for dead in a mine many years ago. It didn’t help that Mat’s Cleric couldn’t remember his old friend’s name. A suitably strained reunion followed.
G’an guided the party to the dour and ash-filled air of the Duergar city of Gracklstugh by boat, arriving at Darklake Docks. The party made their way to the Grohlborn’s Lair, the only inn that accepts visitors (seems the hard working Duergar don’t really like anyone who isn’t them – yet another example of the Underdark’s rampant isolationism). Two terrible performances by Belinda’s Half-Sireen Bard and Jeremy’s Goblin Monk later and the party ended up paying for the night (“no soup for you!”). Overnight, Rhyse’s Ratfolk Rogue, Josh’s Tiefling Warlock/Wizard and Jeremy’s Monk contracted Grackle-lung, an insidious disease the Duergar are immune to – cough!
Off to the Blades Bizarre to shop and a crazed Stone Giant with two heads crashed through the gate. Once the giant was put down another Stone Giant appeared, explaining the giant went mad and was in two minds (not just a metaphor). He invited the PCs to visit Cairngorm Cavern where the other Stone Giants lived (they worked alongside the Duergar). Perhaps there the party could gain some info about the demonic incursion that seemed to be happening.
Duergar stone guards interviewed the party as some Drow from House Mizzrymrymblestein asked for the PCs to be turned over. The Duergar told the Drow where to go and took the party to Overlake Hold, where Captain Errde Blackskull (I hear she’s a barrel of laughs at parties) recruited them to track a Derro – an insane gnomish race – named Droki and find out how he had been evading the guards. She also wanted the party to report incidences of corruption and craziness in town, to which they provided a few examples. The PCs were given badges to access the south of the city and Laduguer’s Furrow where all the Derro lived.
Next Week: Why light your fires using a tinder box when you can use a red dragon? So, this is the Cleft, eh? Is that a Stone Giant in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Session 7 – Having a Whorl of a time in the Whorlestone Tunnels, wish you were here
After a long rest the party rose to find Jeremy’s Monk and Josh’s Wizard had recovered from Grackle-lung, with Belinda’s Bard now coughing up buckets of black phlegm. A brief shopping sojourn in the Blade Bazaar and then off through the gates to the Southfurrow district, where only Duergar were allowed to go (luckily the party had official badges they could flash). The now popular party was stopped on the bridge by the Keepers of the Flame and recruited as mercenaries.
Through to Cairngorm Cavern where the stone giant Stonespeaker Hgraam listened to their stories of woe and pronounced that the demon they encountered in Slooppoerfuporupeman was Demogorgon, demon prince of the Abyss – if he was in the Underdark it did not bode well. The faezress was playing up and the demonic influence might well be driving creatures insane. Hgraam advised the party to seek out the Archmage Vizeran, who knew how to deal with demons. His tower lay beyond the Drow city of Menzoberranzan. Hgraam mentioned there was something special about this party, but didn’t say what. “Go to Blingdenstone. There you will find Yoda, the jedi master who trained me…”
Hgraam pointed out Josh’s Wizard and mentioned he was looking for something – aside from more spells for his meagre spell book, that is. The Stone Library of Gravenhollow, which lay beyond Mantol-Derith – “You aren’tready for its secrets yet, but in time…”
Off to see the Keepers of the Flame and a run in with Themberchaud, the overweight Red Dragon who stoked the Gracklestugh furnaces. He asked the party to be his agents and do what the Keepers asked them to do, but to report to him first. The party met Peter’s swashbuckling Rogue, who immediately joined a bunch of complete strangers on their quest (because that’s what you do in D&D world).
The Keepers of the Flame asked the party to investigate the Gray Ghosts, who stole a precious dragon egg from them that they were planning to raise as a replacement for Themberchaud. Also, the head of the Keepers believed the Gray Ghosts were responsible for all the craziness in the Underdark and for the party to find the source of that power. Droki was apparently a contact for them (I guess Droki did everything in this town ‘cause everyone was after him…)
Off to the West Cleft District, where the city’s strange Derro population lived in squalor. Through the gates, asking questions, fighting the Moon Beamers – ass-crack flashing hoodlums – a quick interrogation using Jeremy’s Monk’s “barracuda” and the party arrived at the entrance of the Whorlestone Tunnels, where Droki was seen previously.
Never ones to hang around and wait, into the tunnel with Rhys’s Rogue paranoid about stalactites. A side cave turned up G’an (who went missing earlier that day), who confessed he was now a serial killer with his own little shrine (all Matt’s Cleric’s fault, of course). Six skeletons arose and the fight was on. Matt’s Cleric managed to turn half of them and the rest of the party managed to take out G’an, but not before Peter’s Rogue was knocked unconscious.
The ghost of Pelek rose from the floor and asked the party to return his missing crawling hand (recognisable by its obsidian ring, NOT by the fact it was crawling around) to Blingdenstone. “There you will find Yoda, the jedi master who ALSO trained me…”
Peter’s Rogue managed to raise his hand: “Guys? Bleeding to death here…”
Next Week: Deeper into the Whorlestone Tunnels. Will Jeremy get to show his barracuda again? Will the party recognise Pelek’s hand (because there are sooooooo many crawling hands out there)?
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