DM | Thomas Koch | https://twitter.com/ThomasAKoch
UZO | Warren Reid | https://twitter.com/urbanmasque
REMY the Fox | Beau C. Williams | https://twitter.com/Beau_C_Williams
ANDRASTE | Tiana Hanson | https://twitter.com/Vana1895
RUKUS | Aaron Acosta | https://twitter.com/AaronThatDay
Music and sound by http://www.syrinscape.com
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Episode 18 – Vault of Dragons
**EDITOR’S NOTE** Uzo’s armor has been given stats.
- The Leather Armor of the Octopeers grants +1 AC and the ability to breathe underwater while wearing it.
- The wearer has advantage on dexterity checks while massaging an Octopus and advantage on attack rolls against creatures with Tentacles
- Every 24 hours while wearing this armor, the wearer suffers 1 level of exhaustion and does not recover a level of exhaustion after a long rest while wearing this armor.
- This armor is only removable by emerging from a body of salt water while holding an Octopus.
In the aftermath of the fight, Barnibus says that Victoro Cassalanter has only been driven away but not defeated. Andraste knows the way to the vault, so the best course of action is to head there right away. But first breakfast.
Uzo goes into the kitchen for food and comes back with a piece of cheese and a live octopus. Remy says it was supposed to be food, but Uzo has adopted him now and his name is Brynn. Brynn is overly friendly and has no boundaries. Uzo goes back in the kitchen with Brynn latched onto his face and dunks his head in the octopus aquarium. Somehow he can breathe underwater and his armor feels looser.
Andraste rolls her eyes and goes to cook actual food. While the others wait, they examine the damage to the tavern. Cassalanter tried to break down the wall but most of the damage is superficial. Rukus kicks an upright beam and it seems solid enough. They need to fix it before tonight’s grand opening and decide against a giant monster head or an illusion in favor of an enormous octopus tank. Barnibus shakes his head at the irregularity of it all and realizes how the party got its name. He sends a message to Broxley requesting the octopus tank. The innkeepers’ guildmaster replies he isn’t surprised by the irregularity.
Over breakfast, Barnibus examines the gem in Rukus’s head and identifies it as a gem of soul storing. “So I can put fire in my face whenever I want?” Rukus asks, delighted. Andraste goes upstairs to put on her armor and tells Rukus should come too since the fighter is still wearing a onesie with an open buttflap. “I’m way ahead of you,” he says. He’s behind her. He moonwalks up the wall in his spider slippers and eventually returns armored.
Brynn isn’t looking very good and Remy suggests he goes back to the aquarium. But the octopus won’t let go of Uzo and wants to come along. Andraste leads the way to the sea Ward using her attunement to the Stone of Golorr to guide her. Uzo goes the other direction and goes toward the beach. Brynn is suffocating in the air now and it’s Uzo’s fault for bringing him. He lies to the gate guards to get to the beach and tries to give Remy’s name as his own, prompting Andraste to lament that they’re all going to die.
Eventually Uzo gets to the beach and walks straight into the water until he’s fully submerged. Then he walks right back out of the water with Brynn, and his Octopeer armor folds itself up on the sand. Brynn goes back to the water with a tentacle-y farewell.
Uzo takes off the robes he’d been wearing under his armor complaining at how they’ve been chafing. Fully naked, he explains how somehow the armor must be attuned to the octopus and the saltwater. He puts the armor back on but it isn’t long enough to cover his naughty bits. Remy pleads for him to put the robes over it since his bits are at halfling eye-height.
Out of nowhere, Rukus asks Uzo “have you ever seen yourself naked?” Uzo’s mouth drops open in shock. He lifts up his tunic and looks down at himself. He is “not disappointed.” Andraste blushes. Uzo asks “is that good?” and Rukus cringes, answering “Uh… it’s mag…nif…i…cent… I’m going to go” without making eye contact.
Remy tries to give Barnibus some sort of explanation for what’s happening as Andraste leads the way to the abandoned tower that holds the Vault of Dragons. It’s in such poor repair it’s almost derelict and Rukus kicks the door open with the “palm of his feet” so hard the ancient door cracks open.
Shouts come from inside and soldiers in livery come up from the basement with swords drawn. With them is a confident young woman with flowing black hair wearing noble clothing. Remy is immediately smitten and recognizes something in her bearing. He says hello in Thieves’ Cant. She obviously recognizes the language but ignores him. She introduces herself as Esvele “Eva” Rosznar. She is the daughter of a noble family and recently bought this building. Everything inside belongs to her. Through guarded political conversation, the party figures out that she knows about the vault but can’t get in. Barnibus promises 10% of the treasure for her help.
They descend to the basement and find the magic door Andraste saw. She takes the cask of dwarven ale, gems worth 1000 gold, and the adamantine bar to open the door while Uzo asks Eva her opinion on something. Remy and Rukus stop him before he can lift his robes.
They expect to see a mountain of gold inside but instead is an enormously tall derelict corridor with massive pillars carved with Dwarven symbols. Far above them are three crumbling bridges. The Irregulars, Eva, and Barnibus carefully explore the way forward. Remy makes eyes at Eva who returns the interest. When Remy asks Andraste if she’s jealous, she goes red and firmly denies it.
An enormous fresco (which is painted plaster, and not a mosaic or a seltzer drink) shows dwarves at work. As soon as the group comes in sight of it, Barnibus, Eva, and Rukus are struck dumb by its beauty. Eva stops midstride and Remy, walking behind her, runs into her backside. He doesn’t mind.
Andraste, Uzo, and Remy try to figure out how to free the others from the spell. Remy hacks at the wall with his sword to break it, but Eva turns and attacks him. Uzo thinks she’s turning on them and stabs her with his spear. Barnibus looks at Remy, sternly suggests he should leave the vault, and Remy goes running the other way until he gets to the doorway. Then he turns around, spell broken, and returns. Eva and Barnibus ignore Andraste and Uzo, so they figure they only attacked Remy since he damaged the fresco. But they have to destroy it to free the others. They just can’t do it within sight of the ones who are charmed. They decide to tie up the feet of the three spellbound party members, then Uzo blasts away with an eldritch bolt from behind a column. The fresco crumbles, Eva, Barnibus, and Rukus are freed, and they immediately trip over their own tied feet.
Art dispatched, its time to face architecture. The team climbs a flight of stairs until they reach a landing far above the same corridor. Three bridges cross a gap that would kill anyone who fell down it. All three are damaged and crumbling.
Rukus is the heaviest of the group so he attempts the right-hand bridge. It immediately starts to break under his weight and he is barely able to moonwalk to safety as it falls. They next turn to the center bridge which is broken cleanly in the center. Remy picks up a stone and tosses it into the gap. He’s saddened that it isn’t just an invisible walkway like a famous archaeologist once found, but hops across the gap with a flip and a flourish.
Rukus tries to go next and actually achieves a flip as well. Andraste has no issues crossing it. Uzo steps forward gingerly, analyzing the gap and imagining the fall to his death. Finally he tries to jump and does a swan dive straight down. Screaming, he stops in midair as Barnibus catches him with magic. Remy writes in his journal “Uzo plummeting to his death, saved by Barnibus. Could not imitate Remy.” Barnibus and Eva cross without incident.
At the end of the bridge is an adamantine door. The team study it too long until Eva gets bored and pushes it open. They walk into a small room that Uzo can tell is magical. A huge statue of a dwarf with a label in runes stands before them. Andraste, who can read Dwarvish, tells them it reads: “A secret never before told will part Dumathoin’s lips.”
The party doesn’t know what that means, and Barnibus is ashamed he hasn’t studied the dwarves. Eva speaks up, saying “Dumathoin. He’s the dwarven god of secrets. What are you, imbiciles?” She says she has a secret but not one for Barnibus to hear. She tells him to close his ears, then says “I am the Black Viper.” The floor drops open to show a long spiral staircas. She starts down, Remy jots the secret in his journal.
Rukus leads the way and Andraste takes out her shield for the very first time. They descend for what feels like forever until they come to a hallway. Before they can decide whether to go right or left, a voice calls out “You might as well come through if you came this far.”
It turns out both directions turn and merge into a huge cavern completely filled with gold. A dwarf stands there waiting for them, holding a staff carved with two spiraling dragons. The dwarf’s name is Barok Clanghammer and he welcomes them to the Vault of Dragons. He says made a deal a long time ago with Lord Neverember to protect this gold, and in return he is safe here, able to be in Waterdeep, and has plenty of gems to eat.
Remy offers Barok the cask of dwarven ale, but the dwarf says “Never had much taste for it. Humans on the other hand. Halflings. Mighty tasty.” At this, Andraste realizes he must actually be a dragon in disguise. She tries to explain to the team, but Rukus doesn’t get it. Barok says he is really Aurinax, a gold dragon, and the staff of dragons allows him to be in Waterdeep. When he reveals his true form in the cramped cavern, Rukus finally gets it. Andraste gasps, saying “stars and stones, you’re beautiful.”
Remy asks what they can do to return the gold to the citizens of Waterdeep. When Barnibus repeats the question word for word, and Aurinax listens. The dragon says he’s comfortable down here but wouldn’t mind stretching his wings above ground. He makes a new deal with Barnibus tol return the gold to the city if he gets to keep the staff and reside in Waterdeep as a dwarf. He won’t kill anyone or cause trouble. Aurinax looks at his signed contract with Neverember, remarks he wasn’t a very pleasant man anyway, and rips it up. Remy says Aurinax is welcome at the Irregular Tavern and Rukus tries to hire him.
The Foxy Irregulars leave the Vault of Dragons 50,000 gold richer with a quest complete and multiple leads to follow. Uzo has a strange deed, Remy has enough gold to buy a ship, someone in Baldur’s Gate wants Rukus dead, and Andraste has learned about the orcs that destroyed her village. But first there’s a tavern to open.