Aboraz, the Striding Skull, The Tomb that Walks

Aboraz, the Striding Skull, The Tomb that Walks

Aboraz was once a fairly run-of-the-mill demilich, moldering in a tomb while their spite-filled consciousness traversed the Far Realms, looking for power through a greater understanding of corners of the planes mortal minds rarely perceive. When a powerful party of adventurers looted their lair and nearly destroyed them, Aboraz was left exposed and irate.

The desperate demilich petitioned the Lich Congress but due to petty rivalries they received very little support from their undead colleagues in the Shadowfell. Using what little resources they had left, Aboraz crafted an iron golem, custom made to carry their skull. One would think that Aboraz would command the golem to walk them to a remote location so they could continue dream-traversing through cthonic planes but they did not. Believing that the adventurers learned of Aboraz’s tomb’s location from a jealous lich, Aboraz began walking across the Outlands, taking what treasure they could until finally becoming a feared bounty hunter.

A rusty iron golem with a demilich's skull in the torso. 

TEXT: ABORAZ / THE STRIDING SKULL / THE TOMB THAT WALKS
Aboraz, the Striding Skull, the Tomb that Walks
Made with Midjourney

Aboraz takes special and hateful glee in hunting adventurers who have angered evil powers with the money to pay. They most often wait until their prey has been through a battle, scrying on them to learn of their tactics and weapons before ambushing them before they can rest. Once the Striding Skull has accrued the resources to build a new trap-filled tomb they plan on getting revenge against the lich who led the adventurers to their lair and forced them into what they see as a humiliating detour into an undignified vocation. The unique demilich will never admit that they have actually enjoyed their time as a bounty hunter, hunting heroes for coin, living by their powers and wits.

Executioner's Sword Subject Divider

The image of Aboraz was made with Midjourney and then I took several images and used Affinity Photo to edit them together.

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Wizards, derring-do and a legendary Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tomb of Annihilation continues…

After last game, we began this game in the midst of combat. The following things happened in no particular order:

  • Trundle and Kuru ended up on the Queen of Feather’s head, trying to hit the sword embedded in her skull but missing. Still, leaping on a T-rex’s skull is cool.

  • The Queen of Feathers bit Failed Soldier nearly to death but spit him out because she was wounded, he tasted funny and Kuru hit her in the face with pepper spices.

  • Trundle ran into an old Tabaxi hunter, praying to the Cat Lord before letting arrows fly. Trundles whispered, offering the support of the Omuan deity in his head.

  • The Red Wizards let loose some vicious spells; they are formidable.

  • Jusko saved his doomed pterodactyl and named it Mishka. It was touching af.

  • The blade in the legendary T-Rex, the Queen of Feather’s skull was dislodged – turns out it was a +3 vorpal longsword (snicker-snack, mofo’s!) made for human pets kept by giants during the ancient wars between the giants and dragons.

  • They know that Red Wizards are here to grab either the young god Acererak is growing or the battery he’s using to grow it.

  • The Red Wizards do not know about the party’s access to the Godroads. They are keeping it as their hidden ace.

  • The Queen of Feathers side-stepped through reality to gain access to a wall she should have not been able to climb with her natural gifts. She wandered northward after taking a grievous headwound.

  • Jusko was frustrated by the whole mess and suggested the Red Wizards relocate to a nearby pillar of earth that he thought was easier to defend than their camp. They agreed and moved.

  • Failed Soldier, Corpseflea Grave Cleric and Trundle, Dwarf Ranger, both leveled up.

  • Next game – the Red Wizards will toss up a series of distractions while the party sneaks into the Night Snake’s Fane to get the key-cubes the Yuan-ti have in hand.

Used the Insight rules as Jusko took stock of the Red Wizards as they ate their first good meal in a long while.

5e enemies have LOTS of hit points. Dag. Still, they put a hurt on the Queen of Feathers.

Next session will start with another bang, looking forward to it.

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Landing in the Lost City of Omu

After 4 sessions in Tomb of Annihilation adventure, the players landed their pterodactyls in the Lost City of Omu. 1 session was getting to Port Nyanzaru, another couple of sessions shopping and dinosaur racing in the city and another flying pterodactyls across Chult.

This is our second session have switching over to 5e. The party just got to 3rd level.

  • They decided to land on a pillar of land above the lava, hoping that the lack of easy access would keep them safe.

    Their Gnome-inventor friend, Dosk, is setting up her equipment to see if she can figure out exactly where the Soulmonger is pulling the ghosts.

  • “I am going to use the Gem of True Seeing to make sure no invisible wizards fly in and sneak up on us,” Kuru said, right before a pair of Red Wizards tried to fly in invisible and take stock of them. Contact was made and the group was invited to the Red Wizards’ wreckage of a camp.

  • Jusko was worried about the letter of introduction Vandrilla Shadowmantle gave them to give to the Red Wizards, worried they might get Rosencrantz-&-Guildenstern’d.

    Kuru removed the wax seal and Bugwump read the letter in ancient Mulhandori. It was legit, no coded kill-orders.

  • They split the party – Failed Soldier (Corpseflea Cleric of the Grave) and Trundle (Dwarven Ranger) looked into the Godroad entrance near the shrine to an ancient Omu God while Jusko (Human Fighter) and Bugwump (Frog-kin Wizard) took Pterodactyls to make contact with the Red Wizards.

  • Kuru remained at camp with the guides and the remaining steeds, using his spyglass to keep track of things.

  • The camp was a mess, having just survived a Yuan-ti attack. Bugwump corrected their assessment of the Yuan-ti as “snake people” repeatedly. Jusko invited the Red Wizards to dinner at their place that night.

  • Failed Soldier and Trundle looked at the local Godroads, making contact with an ancient Omuan deity who Trundle took into his flesh for the power of Invisibility.

    They could see the other shrines to the other Omuan deities and some fell shrines in a temple complex that would turn out to be run by the Yuan-ti.

  • On their way home, Jusko and Bugwump are hit by a flurry of arrows from Yuan-ti scouts who were watching their approach. The archers targeted their pterodactyls, killing one.

    Jusko and Bugwump wade in and drive 3 of the 5 scouts away with spell and steel.

  • Kuru sees something moving towards Jusko and Bugwump from the north of the city.

    The Queen of Feathers, a legendary t-rex with a beautiful ridge of black and blue feathers, attracted to the sounds of dying pterodactyls is making her way south. It has a sword stuck in it skull, flesh and bone healed over it, from someone who tried to kill her and failed.

  • Next game will begin with Yuan-ti, Red Wizards, Queen of Feathers and a few new faces colliding as Trundle and Failed Soldier enter the fray from a nearby shrine-door from the Godroads.

The amount of hit points things have in 5e is shocking to me after months of 5 Torches Deep. I’m wondering if an E5 hack would be the way to go. I’ll give 5e a go for a while.

I think I got distracted by the combat and maybe didn’t split up the spotlight time as well as I should’ve. Something to watch out for in the future.

Using the Bingo Style Experience Points, we started the game writing up the outer ring of the Bingo Board. Bingo chips can be taken off the board to be used as Inspiration.

The covered squares from this session are: Discovered Secret Lore, Earned the Trust of a Wondrous Ally, Added a New Detail to the Map, Built a Bridge (relations with the Red Wizards).

After reading over the full Tomb of the Nine Gods, I’m trimming that dungeon way, way back. More on that later…

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