The talk of the streets and taverns has all been about the so-called death curse: a wasting disease afflicting everyone who’s ever been raised from the dead. Victims grow thinner and weaker each day, slowly but steadily sliding toward the death they once denied.
When they finally succumb, they can’t be raised—and neither can anyone else, regardless of whether they’ve ever received that miracle in the past. Temples and scholars of divine magic are at a loss to explain a curse that has affected the entire region, and possibly the entire world.
The cause is a necromantic artifact called the Soulmonger, which is located somewhere in Chult, a mysterious peninsula far to the south, ringed with mountains and choked with rainforests.
My name is Bronn, a devoted follower of Tempus. I grew up amidst the hustle and bustle of Baldur’s Gate, a city that never slept, always teeming with life and activity. From a young age, I was drawn to the grand temples scattered across the city, each one a testament to the power and grace of the divine.
The temple of Tempus took me in as an acolyte, recognizing the spark of devotion within me. Under their guidance, I delved into the teachings of my chosen god, learning not only the ways of healing and spiritual guidance but also the art of warfare. It was here that I discovered my calling in the War Domain, a path that resonated deeply within my soul.
In my late teens, a new calling echoed in my heart, one that led me to join the city guard. Patrolling the lively streets of Baldur’s Gate, I honed my combat skills and embraced a new sense of duty. Protecting the citizens became not just a duty, but a purpose, a way to embody the ideals of Tempus in action. Here I met Balder, a worthy fighter though devoid of spirituality and later also Caric, an Druid who likewise is seeking his fortune in the city.
Chapter 1 – Port Nyanzaru
Recently, my life took an unexpected turn. After intervening in an assault in the streets of Baldur’s Gate, we were brought to Syndra Silvane, a powerful and enigmatic figure. She entrusted us with a mission of utmost importance: to investigate the harrowing Death Curse, which, according to the Harpers, may originate from the land of Chult. Without hesitation, we accepted, eager to serve a higher purpose and the promise of treasure.
With my companions, Balder and Caric, we embarked on a journey to the distant and exotic shores of Chult. Through Syndra’s arcane powers, we found ourselves standing in the bustling port city of Port Nyanzaru, the gateway to this mysterious and perilous land.
In this vibrant and exotic city, we shall seek knowledge and allies who can aid us in our quest to uncover the secrets hidden within Chult’s unforgiving jungles and the origin of the Death Curse – the artifact Soulmonger.
As night quickly descended upon us, we decided it was time to find a place to rest. We followed Syndra’s advice and navigated a winding alleyway to the Inn – Caya’s House, a quaint and cozy establishment nestled amidst the labyrinthine streets of Chult. The inn was adorned with colorful tapestries and flickering lanterns, giving it an inviting ambiance that was hard to resist.
Inside, we encountered two intriguing individuals. River Mist, with sleek, ebony fur and keen eyes and her companion, Flask of Wine, who shared the same feline-like features. They introduced themselves as Tabaxi, natives of Chult who claimed to be well-versed in the lore of their homeland, and also willing to act as our guides for five gold coins per day. As our resources were limited, we instead settled on sharing the treasure with 15 percent going to the Tabaxi. Intrigued by the prospect of knowledgeable guides, we decided to team up with them, even though they were not members of any of the formalized guilds of guides.
The next morning, we woke up refreshed and ready to embark on our quest. However, before venturing into the jungle, we needed to equip ourselves for the journey and learn more about the history of Chult and the culture that inhabited the peninsula before. We ventured back out into the city’s bustling streets and came across a lively market square, where merchants hawked exotic wares from across the land.
Asking for books and tales of the history of Chult, we soon learned that it was extremely sparse and rare. However, we did find a merchant who dealt in books and scrolls. He had a carefully preserved scroll that contained invaluable information about the history of Chult. We haggled a bit for the price and bought the scroll that spoke of a forgotten empire and a city named (Omu), and the rise and fall of a civilization that had once thrived in the jungle. The demise of the civilization was ensured when they (or their Queen) were attacked by undead or necromancers and something about a reptile god or religion.
With the newfound information in hand, we made our way to the grand temple of Savras, a magnificent structure and a repository of knowledge and spirituality. When we arrived, we found the High Priest Citampe (Artus Cimber var navnet på ham som de andre ledte efter) in a confrontation with several shady characters who were trying to pressure the priest to help them with a task. As we approached, they slinked away, and the High Priest greeted us happily.
He listened intently to our tale of the ancient artifact and agreed to assist us in our endeavors by performing a ritual that would take 24 hours. We thanked him and took our leave, venturing again to the market to purchase the gear needed for the trip into the jungle.
The Forgotten Cellar
While we waited, we decided to undertake a simple task: an assignment to investigate a newly discovered cellar beneath one of the old dockhouses by the harbor.
The aged cellar had been uncovered during dock maintenance, and our job was to investigate it and clear it out with the promise that we could keep the loot we found. It was a dimly lit, murky place, illuminated only by the flickering lanterns we carried as we descended into its depths. The air was heavy with the scent of dampness and decay, and our footsteps echoed ominously in the narrow stone passageways.
As we ventured deeper, the darkness closed in around us, and we found ourselves alone in the shadows. Cobwebs clung to the walls and brushed against our faces as we proceeded, the torchlight revealing strange etchings on the walls that hinted at a long-forgotten history.
Suddenly, we stumbled upon a hidden door, its ancient stone bearing an ominous message: “Kneel before the gods.” There were no handles or locks, only a circular hole. The room beyond was a graveyard, but not for the living. It was a burial chamber for an ancient adventuring party – a group of long-deceased heroes whose exploits had faded into obscurity.
Unable to open the door, we pressed on and entered a room adorned with statues depicting the old adventuring group. Each statue held a relic from the past, and one of them held a spear that seemed to fit the unusual door-lock.
As it turned out, the spear was indeed the key to the tomb’s inner chamber. We unlocked the door, and as we approached the sarcophagus, the chamber suddenly sprang to life. The fallen adventurers, now risen as undead abominations, lurched from their resting places, their hollow eyes filled with malevolent intent. With an eerie chorus of moans, the battle began.
Despite the odds, we managed to defeat the undead adventurers and secure the inner chamber. With bated breath, we collected the treasure and made our way out of the cellar, leaving behind the forgotten darkness of the tomb.
Chapter 2 – Welcome to the Jungle
We arrived at Caya’s House, our chosen sanctuary in this bustling city. Here, we identified the items we had collected. Balder got a helmet that made him more intimidating and a magical spear that could also cast light, Caric got a dagger capable of changing his appearance and I got a chain shirt granting a bonus to saves, we also found a fine, non-magical cape that we promptly sold at the marketplace for 50 gp.
We ensured that Undrild Silvertusk, the half-orc priest, and the Tabaxi were ready to depart by noon the next day. River Mist and Flask of Wine shared some rumors they had heard:
“The inhabitants of Chult had once worshipped a god named Ubtau but had turned to other trickster deities. They offered sacrifices to these gods until a reptile god emerged, causing the downfall of their culture.”
“Near the Alain Basin, there lay a ghost city at the mouth of the river we planned to travel.”
We had decided to journey to Camp Vengeance by the river together with Undrild, sharing expenses.
The following morning, we visited Father Citambe and listened to his vision. He foresaw a city deep in the jungle, far to the south, nestled in a valley surrounded by cliffs. It was teeming with snakes and dominated by a massive black obelisk, overgrown with vines. There seemed to be no signs of life except for the serpents.
In the afternoon, we set out in two canoes. Caric, Flask of Wine, and Balder occupied one, while River Mist, Undril, and I took the other. The journey up the river was peaceful, and the lush jungle unfolded around us.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, we made camp for the night. Our first night in the Jungle passed without incident, but the following day brought an unexpected challenge. While taking a midday rest, we were attacked by two giant wasps. With quick thinking and teamwork, we managed to fend off the aggressive insects.
The journey continued up the river, encountering the occasional threat from piranha-like fish and lurking crocodiles, though none challenged our group directly. Night fell again, calm and starry.
The next day brought colder weather with no wind and dry conditions. In mid-morning, an unusual creature approached, resembling a flying porcupine with a snout and wings. These creatures attacked with determination, and in the ensuing battle, I was injured but stood my ground. Miraculously, we emerged victorious, and our experience granted us new insights and capabilities.
Rain began to pour as we continued upriver, prompting us to rest early in the evening to seek shelter from the relentless downpour. We erected our tents and settled down for the night, somewhat grateful for the temporary respite.
The rain persisted into the following day, keeping us stranded in our camp. When we finally ventured out, we were met with an eerie mist emanating from the surrounding jungle. It seemed to be a phenomenon known as “mad monkey mist,” known to induce hallucinations and madness.
To avoid the unsettling fog, we swiftly paddled our canoes away, finally escaping its reach. The mist retreated back into the jungle, leaving us shaken but safe.
After the next rest, we heard movement in the forest and were approached by a group of goblins. Even though I adressed them in their own toung, they refused to speak with us and launched a direct assault. We all sustained injuries but managed to defeat them. Caric took one of their masks, allowing him to disguise himself as a goblin with his new dagger.
Continuing our journey, on the eight day we rounded a bend in the river and encountered a colossal statue of a man with a crocodile on his shoulder. At its base lay the remnants of a camp—destroyed tents and burnt buildings. Two rowboats were moored by the water’s edge, and beyond the statue, there was an entrance at the base of the cliff.
A tiny bird, seemingly frantic, darted around the entrance. Our group approached the statue, curious about the legend it represented. The story told of a man and a crocodile whose relationship soured due to deceit. The legend served as a cautionary tale, marking humans and crocodiles as eternal adversaries.
Balder cast a spell to illuminate the area, and our party decided to investigate the entrance. What mysteries awaited us inside the dark depths of the cliff?
Chapter 3 – Tales of crocodile and man
We ventured further into the ancient underground complex, where the air was thick with dust, cobwebs clung to the walls, and leaves covered the floor, all signs of its long abandonment. Our path led us into a 20×20-foot room with a high ceiling. In the corner stood a 7-foot-high wall with a ledge on top, easily climbable, and beyond it, a smaller room with a similar ledge, like giant steps. As we took a few steps into the room, four blades suddenly shot out from the walls, injuring Balder. We examined the floor and found numerous triggers and then turned our attention to the walls. I managed to block the slot from which the blades emerged, preventing any further harm.
Caric transformed into a giant spider and crawled up to the next ledge, where we spotted a room with a door. Pictograms adorned the floor, and one tile emitted a faint glow. Caric cautiously pressed a couple of tiles, triggering traps that caused flames to engulf him as he fell to the ground.
We realized that we could cross the room safely by stepping on the glowing pictograms in the specific sequence they lit up in on the door. It was only visible if we were piggybacking on each other akin to the story of the crocodile and man. Safely across, I attempted to press the pictograms in reverse order, but a thunderbolt struck us as punishment for our mistake. Learning from our errors, Caric and Balder simultaneously pressed all the lit tiles, and the door swung open, revealing a spacious 30×30-foot chamber.
The chamber floor was strewn with animal bones, and cobwebs hung from a central pillar where a spiral staircase led upward. At the top of the stairs, we saw a large jug.
Balder bravely stepped onto the chamber floor and began to ascend the stairs. On the third step, he was struck by lightning. I quickly administered some healing, and he continued his ascent. However, on the tenth step, lightning struck him once more.
Meanwhile, Caric transformed into a spider again and climbed up the wall to investigate the jug. To our disappointment, it was empty, but upon closer examination, Caric could hear a faint sloshing sound. It seemed the jug could produce a limited amount of liquid once a day, a maximum of 2 gallons per minute.
We found we that it could daily fill with various liquids, eg:
- 1 gallon of wine
- 12 gallons of saltwater
- 8 gallons of drinking water
- 4 gallons of beer
- 2 gallons of mayonnaise
- 8 ounces of acid
- 1/2 ounce of poison
After a brief rest, we retraced our steps and emerged from the chamber the way we had entered. However, outside, we were greeted by a group of goblins who had taken our fellow travelers captive. Four of them wielded bows, while six others, led by their leader, surrounded us.
Balder initiated the attack but missed his target. Caric utilized his druidic magic to pull the goblin leader to the front lines, creating a magical circle that granted us temporary hit points. Undril and the Tabaxi attacked their captors with their claws.
We eventually managed to defeat our goblin foes. With our prisoners in tow, we re-entered the cave, but the floor suddenly collapsed, leaving only one Goblin alive.
The surviving goblin told us he was from the Bankrig tribe, located three days’ travel from our current location. There weren’t many ruins nearby, but he had heard of some to the east. He mentioned the old city of Mnbala, situated on a plateau. To the southeast lay a floating stone, known as Obata’s Heart, which was once worshipped by the original inhabitants of the land.
Further south, in a swamp called Aldani, lived a people known as…. the Aldani, who had angered a god by eradicating all lobsters, turning themselves into a lobster-like race.
The next day, we continued our journey toward Camp Vengeance. We released the goblin but kept a wary eye on him as he retreated into the jungle.
On the tenth day of our travels, we spotted a camp—perhaps belonging to another group of adventurers. It was partially destroyed, with zombies wandering about. We sailed in, ready to engage in combat.
The fast-moving zombies reacted first, and the battle began. Balder and Undril struck at them while I attempted to turn some of them. Despite the initial chaos, we managed to defeat the undead foes. We investigated the camp, finding two gold chains worth 25 gold pieces, a gold ring worth 50 gp, and a bottle of heroic draught.
We finally arrived at Camp Vengeance on the third day in the afternoon. The camp was well-organized with palisades. Outside, numerous goblin and dinosaur corpses lay. Undril secured our entry into the camp.
We met the camp leader, Charles Breakbone, who wanted us to return with the wounded and tried to enlist us in the army. However, Undril persuaded him otherwise. The second-in-command, Firebeard, and Salbana were aware of the problems with the erratic leadership, but didn’t take any action.
Chapter 4 – Swamps and marchland
We bid farewell to Undril and continued our journey in the canoes towards Mnbala. Caric took the opportunity to inquire about any knowledge of a ruined city with an obelisk, but the camp residents had not heard of such a place.
As we sailed along, we noticed the possibility of heading to Mnbala or exploring the floating heart. The area was known to harbor dinosaurs, goblins, and the undead. Given our quest, we decided to proceed towards Mnbala to investegate in ruins on the top and get an overview from the top.
The journey took us through an area teeming with wildlife and dangers. We could see dinosaurs grazing along the shore.
We all took turns on watch duty, ensuring our safety during the night. Despite the small, continuous rain, the night remained peaceful.
We had now entered a marshy region, and the river meandered southward. We remained in the canoes as long as possible, but as we approached the towering Mnbala plateau, we decided to take refuge on land. In this new environment, we observed various bird species, insects buzzing about, and elusive movements that suggested hidden creatures. Occasionally, we spotted crocodiles, but they showed no interest in bothering us.
At one point, we came across an abandoned camp with several extinguished campfires. The camp’s inhabitants had been barefoot and numbered between 25 to 30 individuals, likely goblins. The camp appeared to have been abandoned for several days.
Continuing our journey, we noticed movement in the water, indicating the presence of Walter creatures. We managed to reach the shore just in time as six giant frogs leaped onto the bank.
Caric summoned a Hawk totem, providing us with advantages in combat and resistance to certain magical attacks. Despite the frogs’ attempts to ensnare us with their long tongues, Balder fought valiantly, and with the combined efforts of the group, we overcame the amphibious foes. The frogs lay dead, their threat eliminated.
Our journey through the treacherous Chultan jungle continued, and as we settled down for the night, an unexpected threat emerged. In the dead of night, we were attacked by two swarms of giant centipedes. River and Balder found themselves overwhelmed, and we fought together to fend off the ravenous creatures. River was gravely injured, but through our combined efforts, we managed to survive the night’s onslaught.
With the dawn, we hid the canoes and continued our journey on foot towards the towering Mnbala plateau, which rose 500-600 meters above the swamp. Along the way, we ventured through tall grass and were ambushed by small, tactically skilled dinosaurs. They inflicted considerable damage on us before we managed to defeat them. Balder was seriously wounded and bit the dust at one point.
After this encounter, our journey remained uneventful until we reached the base of the plateau. We discovered an ancient path littered with stones that required clearing. After hours of hard work, we successfully ascended to the plateau’s summit.
At the top, we found the promised ruins, but they did not belong to the old Chultan civilization. Instead, we encountered more primitive structures—mud huts with thatched roofs. One hut stood out, crafted from the bones of a giant creature’s ribcage. To reach it, however, we had to pass through an area littered with human bones, scattered like grim decorations at the entrance to the village.
The village appeared abandoned except for a peculiar, elderly woman named Nanni puhpuh. Nanni shared a grim and unsettling tale with us. She explained that the village’s residents had been massacred by man-eating, winged creatures that resided in the southeastern part of the plateau. It was a horrifying account of brutality that left us perplexed. The fact that the bones remained scattered throughout the village only added to the senseless cruelty of the act. Nanni, however, had no other explanation to offer.
As we contemplated the gruesome events that had unfolded in this village, we surveyed the surrounding area. To the southeast, we could see the floating heart, and to the south, a crashed flying ship. Nanni also mentioned the presence of a pyramid to the west. With this information in mind, our next steps became clear: we would investigate the winged creatures responsible for the village’s devastation and then proceed to the crashed ship.
Chapter 5 – the Petrafolk
We noticed bite marks on the bones scattered throughout the village. These marks were puzzling, as the Petrafolk that had attacked us earlier lacked teeth. It was possible that some other creature or scavenger was responsible for the marks. After a well-deserved rest in Nanni’s hut, we resumed our journey, and Calec descending through a narrow crack in the cliffside to reach the lair of the winged reptiles.
Sneaking closer to the area where the Petrafolk resided, we discovered a cave entrance on the cliff’s side. Unfortunately, it was too far down for us to reach with our limited climbing and sneaking abilities. Just as we were considering our options, two Petrafolk suddenly attacked. They proved to be formidable adversaries, but the Tabaxi members of our group fought fiercely, inflicting significant damage on the creatures.
In a daring move, we pushed one of the Petrafolk off the cliff as a warning to those inside the cave. However, this action had unintended consequences. As it turned out, there were eleven more Petrafolk within the cave, and the sight of their fallen comrade incited them to attack us. The ensuing battle was fierce, and nearly all of us suffered significant injuries with only Balder remaining standing.
The tide of battle began to turn in our favor when a colossal flying dinosaur arrived on the scene, attacking the Petrafolk. Faced with this new threat, the remaining Petrafolk scattered and fled the area.
After the grueling encounter, we removed our armor to squeeze through a crack in the cliff, entering the Petrafolks’ lair. Inside, we found a meager treasure consisting of 6 gold pieces, a silver dagger, and a vial of red liquid, which we later discovered to be a healing potion.
We took a short rest to recover from our injuries and then returned to Nanni to inform her that the Petrafolk had been defeated, avenging her people.
Chapter 6 – This way…no this way!
That night, we spent the night in Nanni’s hut, feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. However, the following morning took a dark turn when Nanni, during Caric and Flask’s watch, transformed into a green hag. A fierce battle ensued, and we managed to defeat her. It appeared that she had awakened on the wrong side of the bed that morning, as her attacks failed to find their mark.
Upon searching her hut, we found no further clues to her true nature or motives. Balder, ever curious, descended into the well and discovered a hidden cache of treasure.
With the threat eliminated, we continued our journey, making our way down the cliffside to our canoes. After a few hours of travel, we decided to rest, and it was during this respite that two natives emerged from the jungle. They asked for permission to share our fire, eat, and perhaps sleep by it. We welcomed them, sharing our knowledge of the area as they told us about their role as rangers, monitoring the region for disturbances such as undead or corruption.
They also shared information about Orolunga, an ancient pyramid from the lost civilization, guarded by a Naga. This Naga was said to possess vast knowledge of the past, though gaining access to it required passing various trials. Our interest in the pyramid grew as they described its potential. They knew nothing of the flying ship, but they mentioned that you could sail fairly close to the pyramid. One of them had heard about someone taking up residence in the flying heart around two weeks ago.
The following day was uneventful, and we set up camp again. The day after that was slightly cooler as we continued our journey downstream. The jungle teemed with life, and we observed various birds and dinosaurs along the way. Caric transformed into a panther and detected the scent of rotting flesh, leading us to a massive dinosaur’s kill and a devestated camp with the remains of another adventuring group.
Our next camp was set up on the opposite bank of the river to avoid the huge dinosaur, and the following day marked the end of the rain. We sailed onward, experiencing the vibrant wildlife of Chult, where every moment held the promise of adventure and discovery.
We found an pyramid and we reached the summit of the staircase, only to be greeted by the unexpected sight of skeletal figures. As we stepped onto the platform, the skeletons sprang to life, and a battle commenced.
Bronn, utilizing his holy symbol, managed to drive some of the undead away. However, Caric and Balder engaged in combat with the others, eventually defeating them.
Gazing around, we saw a series of hieroglyphs carved into the stone and deduced that they were a testament to the civilization that had once thrived here. Their history, achievements, and culture were immortalized on the pyramid’s walls, providing us with a deeper understanding of this lost civilization. We made a mental note to study these inscriptions more closely when time allowed.
The next day upon reaching the ancient pyramid, we were immediately faced with a series of trials. It was clear that our ultimate goal was to reach the summit of the broad staircase leading to the pyramid’s entrance. However, within a few meters, we encountered a repugnant thorn bush that had spread across the entire staircase. No matter how much we tried to remove it with fire, acid, or magic, it would immediately regrow. It was a perplexing obstacle. Fortunately, the gods favored us, as we witnessed a small creature passing through the thorns unharmed, using a blue flower that grew at the base of the stairs. We emulated its approach, wielding the same flower to make our way up the staircase.
At the halfway point, we encountered another challenge. This time, guided by divine inspiration, we discerned that we needed to wave a parrot feather over the nose of a creature, utilizing the local flower once more. The third and final obstacle proved to be the most arduous. The task was clear: wave the flower and confront a giant snake. However, the latter proved too much for Bronn’s mental well-being, and he broke down on the stairs.
Chapter 7 – Down by the River
After a brief respite, Balder and I successfully faced the challenge of confronting a giant snake, reaching the summit of the pyramid. Caric, like Bronn before him, harbored the same reservations and couldn’t proceed further. Balder and Bronn discovered a room filled with the scent of incense behind an open door. The space was illuminated, adorned with cushions and mats on the floor. Plants, flowers, and birds fluttered about, and in the center of the room, a colossal snake coiled.
“Saja N Basac,” it hissed, its eyes studying us. “What do you seek?”
We inquired about a city, possibly Omu, marked by an obelisk and located between the mountains to the south. The ancient serpent revealed a tragic tale of a civilization consumed by greed and slavery, leading to the abandonment of their god and the loss of magical power. Slaves revolted, trickster gods demanded blood sacrifices, and a death god rose, annihilating the tricksters. A century ago, RazNsi, a once-mortal warlord, amassed a colossal army, but his fate remained unknown after a failed conquest of the city. He underwent a ritual, transforming into the serpent creature like a Juanti.
The Juanti, a mysterious race, arrived 50 years ago. Omu, now a desolate valley, harbored undead remnants of RazNsi’s army. Saja N Basac implored us to rid Chult of RazNsi and offered powerful items in return. Balder received a Charm of Heroism, and I was gifted a Wand of Restoration.
Arthur Cibre had also sought counsel from Saja N Basac, mentioning a dragon in the dwarven mine, a displaced queen Naga Logra, and an ancient temple city to the west.
Descending from the pyramid we slept peacefully by its side. We sailed through the day, enduring persistent rain and a chill in the air. As night fell, we reached a lake where larger dinosaur folk roamed. A massive dino attacked them, but Balder and Calec refused to heed the call of the war god and fight the breast. Reaching the lake’s edge, we climbed a tree, spotting that it would take approximately two days before we cleared the tree line.
The next day, we faced a goblin ambush, defeating several in battle. Caric transformed into a panther, aiding our victory. The following day marked the end of the swamp as the river turned eastward. Caric conversed with parrots, learning that we needed to head west. Leaving the canoes, we ventured into the jungle, facing the heat.
After uneventful days, we encountered a skeleton tied to a tree. Little else stood out. At noon the next day, we entered a clearing where three figures awaited — a green-clad archer, a spear-wielding warrior, and a robed woman. Their sudden attack caught us off guard, but we prevailed, swiftly dispatching the mage and subduing the others.