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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Mannix, level 9 Yuan-ti Inquisitive Rogue/Divination Wizard
Khaless, level 9 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 8 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 9 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 8 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

Following the big fight between Zagmira’s Red Wizards and the accidentally unleashed demon, the party short rested and leveled up to 9. They had acquired all the puzzle cubes. Now it was simply a matter of using them to gain access to the Tomb.

The False Entrance proved suitably confusing for the players. With Mannix’s incredibly Perception scores he noticed the gas chamber beyond the door, and another door that looked ready to trap them inside. The door only had eight slots, but they had nine cubes. What to do?

They cautiously explored the other tunnel to the east, which held rows of bestial statues that they quickly recognized as the trickster gods of Omu, for whom they had bested the shrines (and the yuan-ti and the Red Wizards) and earned the cubes.

Walking down the hallway while carrying the cubes lit up the basins of oil at each statue, and reaching the end alerted them to a hidden ninth statue, Unkh the flail snail. Unkh’s statue also held a golden pendant, which tugged Mannix away from the false entrance and toward the western cliffs, where they discovered a hidden entrance.

The entire time the party was also deducing the riddle on the obelisk. I was pleased to listen in and let them work out the details of the Legend of the Nine Gods, Acererak’s First Warning, and the puzzle cube symbols when they reached the door of the True Entrance, which contained nine slots.


The players did a fantastic job working through the logic of the puzzle, and ultimately put each cube in the correct slot, successfully opening the door without succumbing to any of the traps. On one hand it’s fun as a DM to unleash nasty traps on the players, but it’s even more enjoyable to see them work through a problem successfully. I was really pleased with how this entire process went down, without needing a single hint or nudge from me.

The door opened and the party faced another hallway, and a closed stone slab door with a lever.  A leering skull opened its mouth and a sand timer emerged and I began counting down from 10. Mannix panicked after a few seconds, ran up, and pulled the lever, triggering the trap that opened the floor and sent everyone tumbling down into a pit of sharpened, poisonous spikes!

Welcome to the Tomb!

Mannix failed the DEX save to hang onto the lever, but used his Balloon Pack to float gently down, avoiding the spikes. Everyone else rolled a DEX save, with most succeeding and taking half damage, and Khaless taking no damage due to Evasion. The skull laughed as the party humbly crawled out of the pit with the help of Therinsaurus, who thankfully couldn’t fit into the hallway.

They used Mage Hand to reset the pit. This time Mannix entered the hallway alone and yelled at the skull, dancing as the timer went down. When the timer ended and the lever wasn’t pulled, the doors opened. I absolutely love the design of this puzzle, as the entire solution is to NOT pull the lever!

The lever-door opened as the front entrance door began to close, prompting everyone to get inside. George started forward but Mannix stopped him, noting irregular tiles on the ground and holes in the walls. They carefully avoided the pressure plates, and everyone followed single file toward a giant green demon face at the end of a T-intersection, with a shadowy maw.

They heard the familiar voices of the hags who had been harassing them throughout the jungle, but a new voice commanded them to back off. A projected image appeared: Mr. Withers, a decaying man with a bronze mask, tattered robes, and a giant skull amulet wrapped around his body in chains. He welcomed the adventurers into the Tomb, introduced himself as the caretaker, and looked forward to providing them with most exquisite and excruciating deaths. For the strongest adventurers provide the sweetest souls.

Voted MVPC – Mannix!

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