How A Soul-Stealing Orb *Almost* Outsmarted Most of the Party

My name is Jared "XIII" Hill. I am a fairly new player and DM. This is a story of a one-off my DM Thomas wrote, and I have been given permission to share.


0

I have been playing D&D with a small group of friends through Discord and Roll20.  My friend – who plays Birdface in this one-off – had helped me find two DM’s through reddit.  The DM’s are from the United States, and the players are from Canada.On a particular evening where my friend (Birdface) and I were the only ones available to play for the week, one of our two DM’s decided to host a Homebrew one-off.  The DM had evidently planned this one for a while, and was excited to take us through this adventure.

            The three of us (the other DM, my friend and I) were instructed to create level 10 characters.  My friend created Birdface – an aarakocra cleric.  The second DM also made a character to play in the homebrew, and played as a half-elf warlock named Chuck.  I played a Goliath Barbarian named Diminue.  Not knowing what was ahead of us, we made these characters totally at random, and were placed in the world created by the DM.

            Birdface, Chuck and Diminue find themselves in the middle of a forest.  Traversing through, we discover a large mansion.  There is a raging storm around us, and the gates of the house seem to beckon our trio toward their refuge.  A few moments after observing the manor, the wind from the storm seems to literally push us toward it.  Diminue tries to fight against it briefly, before noticing his compatriots heading to the house on their own volition.  

            We reach the two massive wooden doors, and Chuck opens them tentatively.  The pull of the manor becomes overwhelming quite suddenly, and before we know it we are propelled into the mysterious manor unwillingly; the doors slamming shut behind us with a THUD.  Diminue tries to open the doors back up, to no avail. As he does so, Chuck and Birdface take in our new surroundings.

            The first thing they notice is that the manor we had entered now appears to be more of a castle on the interior.  The walls are made of stone, and we are in a fairly long hallway with two doors segmented on either side of us.  After consulting with each other on what we should do next, we decide there is no way but forward.  We enter the first of the four doors; the one to our left after I aggressively kick it in – for funsies.  

            In the next room is a massive dining area.  The room has a long and elegant table, with matching chairs.  At the head of the table is a particularly ornate chair – one fit for a king!  The walls are lined with fancy wallpaper, and the table itself has what appears to be a freshly made feast.  The smell of it fills our nostrils, tempting and tantalizing.Diminue searches for traps as Birdface and Chuck decide to snack a bit.  After I fail to see any traps around the table or anywhere in the room, I do notice that the room seems longer from the inside than it did from the hallway.  I decide to try and tear down a wall with my Vicious Warhammer as my friends chow down.

            After briefly snacking, Chuck rises from the table and begins to look around the room himself.  After I finish hitting the wall – resulting in ultimately nothing – I notice Birdface is…a little crazed over the food.  Diminue saunters over to Birdface and tries to get him to venture forth. 

“We cannot waste time, Birdface,” Diminue says to him, trying to lift him from his place at the head chair.  He struggles from the barbarians’ grasp, and dives back into the food and drink before him.It is as if he is in a frenzy.

“Squack!” he bellows from a mouth filled with food.

            Growing impatient and concerned, Chuck and Diminue try to push the food away from Birdface.  Unfortunately, the Cleric still seems to be in a craze.  He reaches out and drags back as much food as we can.Feeling a little hopeless, Chuck and Diminue discuss the next course of action.

            After a bit of time, Birdface snaps out of his trance (having succeeded a wisdom save) and moves on to the next room with his friends.The troop walks across the hall, where Diminue once again kicks the door in – this time knocking the door off the hinges.  Behind door number two is a massive, maze-like library.  Chuck looks very excited; as a Warlock, this gives him the opportunity to learn a new skill.  

            Diminue and Birdface don’t seem to notice as Chuck rounds a corner in search of a spell book.  Diminue and Birdface aren’t much of readers themselves, and begin to look at a book together, in the hopes Chuck won’t notice they aren’t actually reading any of it.Before long, the Goliath notices Chuck is no longer in sight.  He picks up his aarakocra friend, places him under his arm, and charges around a corner.Fortunately, Chuck had not gotten far, and the trio is reunited.

“Don’t run from Diminue!” the Goliath exclaims.  “Mysterious house, we do not want to lose friends!”

“Okay mom,” Chuck replies, rolling his eyes.

“That’s Mr. Mom, to you!” Diminue bellows.

            After putting Birdface down, the trio look around the library together for a bit longer before deciding to continue exploring the rest of the house.  Trying to keep his cool, Diminue (failing a wisdom save) loses track of where they are.

“We are almost to the door,” Chuck assures the barbarian.

“Squack!” adds Birdface.

“Ok,” the Goliath replies nervously.  “Diminue trusts magic friends.”

            Not even five minutes go by, and Diminue is now noticeably lost.  He begins to get frustrated with not knowing where they are, and concerned they will never leave.  They once again reach the door they had entered from, which is somehow back on its’ hinges – but lays open.

“We lost?” Diminue asks again.  Evidently, the Goliath is under a spell that obliterates his internal GPS.

“Don’t worry big guy,” Chuck answers.  “I won’t let us get lost.”

            With that, the trio exit the Library.  The GM informs me that Diminue is still very confused with where he is.  Diminue however does not want his friends to know that he is.  He goes up to the exact door they just exited, and kicks it open.As he walks in, Chuck pulls him back out.

“Squack!” a concerned birdface states.  

“Oh!  Thank you Charles,” Diminue says as Chuck places him before the right hand door at the end of the hallway.

“My name is Chuck.”

“Chuck is short for CHARLES” the Goliath bellows, once again kicking in the door before him.  Diminue does not like doors.

            Birdface, Chuck and Diminue enter a dark room.  Even those with dark vision can see little more than a fairly narrow hallway with chains along the walls.  As they light a torch, however, the party sees a Chain Devil perched on the ceiling above them.  The red skin and malicious red glowing eyes are daunting as the entity leers down at our party with murderous intent.

            Chuck attacks some seemingly sentient chains that approach the party.  Diminue climbs a chain hanging off of the chain devil and begins swiping with his Vicious Warhammer.  Birdface soars to the ceiling with a loud “SQUACK” and begins thwacking the evil being in the face with a mace.

            The party makes quick work of the Chain Demon and the chains under its’ control.  The chains and the demon appear to turn to dust with a finishing blow from Chuck.The trio take a moment to search the room, where Birdface finds a whip, and Chuck finds a rather peculiar looking coin.He takes it, cautiously.

            Outside of game, my friend who is playing as Birdface asks if there is any “bird shit” in the room – referring to something that his aarakocra character could use.  The DM – however – thinks he is asking if there is literal fecal material from a bird.Upon an investigation check, he does find the aforementioned whip within the dark room, but no bird feces.Birdface then decides – with the misunderstanding from the DM – to put some actual bird shit in the room.  With a failed save, the Cleric winds up slipping and falling into the newly placed bird dookie.  He is covered in it for the remainder of the adventure.

            The group finally exits the room (Diminue being guided out, as he is still unable to tell where he is) and takes a rest.  After a while, they head to the final door.  The barbarian – a hater of doors – kicks this last door in and rips it off the hinges.

“No more doors!” Diminue exclaims as he is struck in the side of the head by a possessed suit of armour. 

            The trio have entered what looks to be the throne room of a castle.  The walls are lined with suits of armor (the closest two on either side of the aisle are possessed), and there is a Manticore caged at the other end of the aisle.  The Manticore is trapped in a cage, and is doing its’ best to break free.  Diminue destroys the two sets of armour with his Warhammer, flattening one into an accordion-like shape.  Chuck and Birdface, on the other hand, run to the Manticore.

            While Chuck is trying to speak with the Manticore, Diminue attacks a non-possessed suit of armour.  He raises his hands in triumph as the totally normal, ornamental suit of armour collapses to the ground.

            While trying to speak with the Manticore, Chuck realizes that the beast is truly feral, as it snarls and continues to try and break through the cage.  The aarakocra Cleric makes use of his newly found poopy whip and strikes the Manticore from within their nearly destroyed cage.

            Finally, the beast breaks free from the confines.However, the joy is short lived as Diminue charges up the aisle and grapples the Manticore to the ground, striking it with his Warhammer.  Chuck sends some Eldritch blasts into the enemy, tightly within the grasp of the barbarian.Birdface takes out his mace and obliterates the Manticores’ face.  The beast lay lifeless within the barbarians raging grasp.  

            After an investigation of the room, the trio find a trapdoor beneath where the Manticores’ cage had been.  Diminue excitedly jumps through the trap door; only to realize the pit is much deeper than he thought, and fortunately catch himself on a ladder fixed to the wall.  Cautiously and wisely, his party-mates climb down after him.

            After a while, Chuck notices a small coin on the wall, across from where the ladder is.  The coin looks identical to the other he had picked up earlier, where we battled the chain demon.  The warlock reaches for it, and as he does it appears to become bigger…and bigger.

            The group follow suit, finding that it causes them to shrink down to a size notably smaller than the coin; to the point where it looks colossal before them.  To their fortune indeed – they had been climbing for what felt like forever, as if the ladder led to nothing but an abyss.

            Birdface, Chuck and Diminue take a long rest after finding a passageway through what had previously been a crack in the wall.Failing a wisdom save, however, Diminue ends his long rest to find himself hallucinating.  While trying to iterate this to the rest of the party, all the duo hear is “ugh, woah-ugh.”

“I’m seeing stuff guys…HELP ME!” Diminue shouts.

            Chuck looks at Diminue quizziacally, hearing only “gggrrgghhll-HEURGH!”  Birdface lets out a confused “Squack?!” before walking through the newly found passageway that was previously a crack.  Walking into the light, the trio find themselves in a long hallway. At the other end is only a door.

            Diminue, tired of hallucinating, charges toward the door, ready to knock it off the hinges. With each large Goliath stride, Diminue seems to grow as the door seems to shrink.  Though hallucinating, Diminue can tell he has reached his original gargantuan size.  Chuck and Birdface follow close behind, and as the barbarian kicks in the door, they stand before a portal that appears to be vast nothingness.  Regardless, our intrepid heroes venture forth.

            The group find themselves in a wooded area.  They are surrounded by a vast, lush green forest, with a large doorway before them.  The door behind them seems to have disappeared, and there is an Elf standing between them and the doorway.  The elf is looming over an orb and looks at the warlock, cleric and barbarian with murderous intent.

“My fun has just begun,” the Elf says maliciously.  “If you wish to leave, you must defeat me!”

            Not waiting to see what this vicious looking stranger would do, Chuck shoots an Eldrich blast at the foe.  Following shortly after, Diminue charges and grapples this enemy as well.  Strangely, the Elf melts into a puddle at the barbarians’ feet before reforming (terminator 2 style) before him, a mirrored image of the Goliath.  Birdface, confused, swoops down to strike the illusion, only to find it multiply into two more (for a total of four Diminues present).Fortunately, however, Birdface does not strike his friend and the illusion of one of the Goliaths disappears.

            Diminue strikes the orb that the illusions seem to have been protecting.  There is a deafening scream of pain that echoes within the minds of each hero, as the orb shoots up into the air.  What previously appeared to be three Goliaths has now become one Goliath named Diminue.Taking the place of one of the illusions is a large ogre.  Birdface soars up and strikes the orb with his mace.  The orb shoots down toward the Earth and into the mouth of the ogre.Diminue drives two hand axes in the stomach of the ogre, in an attempt to rip into its bowels and retrieve the orb. 

            Chuck casts sacred flame onto the ogre as Birdface continues to thwack it upside the head with his mace.  The ogre falls to goop on the floor, knocking Diminue prone.  The orb once again rises into the air, and the door across from the battle opens.

“Okay! Okay!” the orb exclaims.  “Leave if you want to…this battle is over…”

            Without questioning it, Birdface makes a triumphant “SQUACK!” and exits through the door.  The barbarian – on the other hand – leers at the orb suspiciously.  He draws his Vicious Warhammer and a hand axe, and turns to Chuck.  

“Are you with me?” he grunts.

“Well, what do you-“ Chuck begins apprehensively.

            Aggressively, Diminue hucks his hand axe at the Orb.Chuck slinks down for a moment, disappointed.  Diminue smiles broadly at his Warlock friend.

“Thanks for ruining my life,” Chuck sighs, then shoots a spell at the orb.

            Just as the spell strikes, Diminue and Chuck lose their vision.  They get the sensation that they are falling, and they can hear maniacal laughter emanating within their minds.  They wake up in the middle of the forest that they had found the ominous house in.

            Shaking off a mystic and unfamiliar sensation, the duo take in their surroundings.  The storm that had led them to the strange mansion has clearly subsided, and the forest is quiet and daunting.  After checking if each other are okay, they notice the orb they had fought on the ground in front of them.

            Within the musty contents of the orb, the duo can see the shrunken, frightened image of the dear cleric friend, Birdface.Saddened, they do all they can to try and release their friend from the orb.  Time goes on.  They go on many an adventure seeking a way to free their friend from the orb, to no avail.

            It would seem that the orb spoke true when it said the group had to defeat it to go free.  Birdface had been tricked, but Chuck and Diminue did all they could during their long time of adventure to make sure that the name Birdface was known throughout the land.              


0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item