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D&D 5E Tomb of Annihilation: Leads and Clues (spoilers)

CapnZapp

Legend
Tomb of Annihilation: Leads and Clues

I have made this into a wiki thread. You can edit this post!

I have moved the introduction to post #2 since only this post is wiki-editable. Go to post #2 below for an explanation of what this is.

This is a WORK IN PROGRESS.

---

Not on the map:

Chult Rumors, p36 (The rumors are what's not on the map. Many things they speak of are)
>> Bird folk monastery (Kir Sabal and Princess Mwaxanaré)
>> Minotaur city (Omu)
>> Terror Folk (Firefinger)
>> Charter of Exploration (Fort Beluarian)
>> Queen Zalkoré (Nangalore)
>> Green Dragon (Needle's Bones)
>> Ruin City (Mezro)
>> Red Dragon (Wyrmheart Mine)
>> Nature Spirits (Chwinga)
>> Star Goddess (wreck of)
>> King Toba (Snapping Turtle Bay)
>> Order of the Gauntlet (Camp Vengeance)
>> Blue Mist (Mad Monkey Mist)
>> Aremag (Bay of Chult)
>> Naga Ruins (Orulunga)
>> Ubtao (-)
>> Aldani monsters (Aldani Basin)
>> Ghost village (Mbala)
>> Mazes (-)

Artus Cimber
<< Xandala, PN Side Quests

Chwinga
<< Chult Rumors

Mad Monkey Mist
<< Chult Rumors

Factions
Emerald Enclave >> Qawasha and Kupalué, Fort Beluarian; Random encounters
Flaming Fist >> Fort Beluarian; Random encounters
Harpers >> Artus Cimber;
Lord's Alliance >> Flaming Fist
Order of the Gauntlet >> Camp Righteous; Camp Vengeance
Red Wizards of Thay >> Heart of Ubtao
Ytepka Society >>
Zhentarim >>

Faction Representatives (including AL quest givers)
Alastar Bol << AL. Ranking member of the Order of the Gauntlet.
Undril Slivertusk << PN Side-Quests. Representative for the Order of the Gauntlet.

Lerek Dashlynd << PN Side-Quests. Agent of the Lord's Alliance.
Klevin Van’Sheram << AL. Member of the Lord’s Alliance.

Rokah << PN Side-Quests. Works for the Zhentarim
Pock-Marked Po << AL. Free operative associated with the Zhentarim.

Screaming Wind << AL. A young tabaxi and member of the Emerald Enclave.

Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film << Faction unknown

Soggy Wren << AL. Ranking member of the Harpers and often drunk.

Finding a guide
Azaka, PN >> Firefinger; Saja, Orulunga
Eku, PN >> Omu; Kir Sabal; Nangalore; gargoyles, Omu; naga, Orulunga; Nanny Pu'pu, Mbala
Faroul and Gondolu, PN >> Needles' Bones
Hew, PN >> Wyrmheart Mine, Tinder, red Dragon
Musharib, PN >> Hrakhamar
Qawasha and Kupalué, Fort Beluarian >> Emerald Enclave
River Mist and Flask of Wine, PN >> Zhentarim; Firefinger; Dungrunglung; Mbala
Salida, PN >> Ras Nsi
Shago, Fort Beluarian >> Flaming Fist; Zhanti

Fabled Treasures
Moradin's Gauntlet, Hrakhamar << Musharib, Finding a Guide
Black Opal Crown, Tomb of the Nine Gods << Fenthaza, Omu
Eye of Zaltec, Tomb of the Nine Gods << Company of the Yellow Banner
Navel of the Moon, Tomb of the Nine Gods << Bag of Nails, Omu
Skull Chalice of Ch'gakare, Tomb of the Nine Gods << Princess Mwaxanaré, Kir Sabal
Ubtao's Gift, Camp Righteous (there are no rumors or connections to this Alchemy Jug)

On the map but not in the adventure:
Lantan
Mother of Mists
The Ssan (the daughters)
The Dawn Warrior
Valley of Dread (mentioned with no info)
Samarach

On the map:

Bay of Chult, p42
Aremag the Dragon Turtle << Chult Rumors; Ortimay, PN Harbor Ward

Fort Beluarian, p
<< Chult Rumors
<< Rokah, PN Side Quests
Qawasha and Kupalué << Finding a Guide
Shago << Finding a Guide; Zhanti, PN Merchant Princes; Kwayothé, PN Goldenthrone
Agents of the Flaming Fist >> Ghouls, Random Encounter; Shilku; Frost Giants, Random Encounter >> Hvalspyd

Port Nyanzaru (PN)
PN Side Quests
K'lahu >> Taban, PN
Rokah >> Shago, Port Beluarian
Undril >> Camp Vengeance
Inete >> Aldani Basin, Heart of Ubtao; Grandfather Zitembe, PN Temple of Savras
Xandala >> Artus Cimber
Omala >> Kwayothé, PN Goldenthrone >> Shago, Port Beluarian
Lerek >> Nangalore; Orulunga
Zindar >> pirate captains >> Jahaka Anchorage
Belym >> Draza, Executioner's Run
Eshek >> Orulunga; Mbala

PN Merchant Princes, p
Zhanthi >> Liara Portyr, Port Beluarian; pirate captains
Wakanga >> Vorn

PN Goldenthrone, p
Kwayothé >> Shago, Port Beluarian

PN Temple of Savras, p
Grandfather Zitembe << Inete, PN Side Quests

PN Harbor Ward, p
Ortimay >> Aremag, Bay of Chult
PN 13 Harbormasters
Zindar >> pirate captains >> Jahaka Anchorage

Temple of Gond
Temple of Sune
Temple of Tymora​

{Mistcliff}

The Hvalspyd
<< Random Encounter
Drufi

Yellyark
Queen Grabstab >> Vorn, she has its key

Port Castigliar

Vorn
<< Wakanga, PN Merchant Princes
<< Yellyark, Queen Grabstab

Camp Righteous
Located along River Soshenstar
<< Order of the Gauntlet
House of the Crocodile

Firefinger
Located along River Tiryki
Can see Peaks of Flame, Aldani Basin, Lake Luo, Valley of Embers from top level
<< Chult Rumors (13-17)
<< Azaka, Finding a Guide (asks PCs to retrieve an item)
<< River Mist and Flask of Wine, Finding a Guide
Nephyr, aaracokra prisoner >> Kir Sabal
Azaka's mask of the beast


{Mezro}
<< Chult Rumors
Not detailed, but there is a Guild Adept series of adventures called "Lost City of Mezro". The module "Ruins of Mezro" details this location, complete with color map, NPCs and a few sample adventures.

The series of adventures themselves tell the story of lost Mezro. To date two out of three modules have been released, "Heart of the Wild" and "The Risen Mists".


Camp Vengeance
Located along River Soshenstar at the north edge of the Aldani Basin
<< Chult Rumors (61-65)
<< Undril Silvertusk, PN Side Quest 3
<< Order of the Gauntlet
<< Mbala (Nanny Pu'pu may request PCs to get something from Commander Breakbone)
Commander Niles Breakbone (asks PCs to go on two possible missions)

Ataaz Muhahah

Orolunga
Saja N'baza, naga, oracle (knows cause of death curse and location of Omu)
<< Chult Rumors
<< Lerek Dashlynd, PN Side Quest 7
<< Eshek, PN Side Quest 10
<< Azaka, Finding a Guide
<< Eku, Finding a guide
<< Artus Cimber (possible location where he can be found)
<< Mbala (Orolunga is visble from Mbala)
<< Mbala (Nanny Pu'pu may request PCs to get something from Saja N'baza)

Mbala
<< Chult Rumors
<< Eshek, PN Side Quest 10
<< River Mist and Flask of Wine, Finding a Guide
Nanny Pu'pu << Eku, Finding a guide
>> Camp Vengeance, getting something from Commander Breakbone
>> Orulunga, getting something from Saja N'baza

Dungrunglung
Located south of the source of the River Tiryki
<< River Mist and Flask of Wine, Finding a Guide
Krr'ook is a possible source for location of Omu

Wreck of the Narwhal

{Aldani Basin}
Lobsterfolk << Chult Rumors
<< Inete, PN Side Quests

Needle's Bones
<< Chult Rumors
<< Faroul and Gondolu, Finding a Guide

Kir Sabal
Located off the River Olung and at north end of Nsi Wastes
<< Chult Rumors (29-33)
<< Eku, Finding a guide
<< Artus Cimber (this is one possible location where Artus may be found)
<< Nephyr, aaracokra prisoner in Firefinger
Asharra, aaracokra (knows location of Omu and can perform Dance of the Seven Winds ritual)
Princess Mwaxanaré and Na (asks PCs to find the Skull Chalice of Ch'gakare in Omu)

Ataaz Kahakla

Heart of Ubtao

Nsi Wastes

Jahaka Anchorage
<< Liara Portyr, Fort Beluarian

Nangalore
Located along River Olung
Zalkore, medusa (knows location of Omu, knows about Princess Mwaxanare, possesses black orchid)
<< Chult Rumors (23-28)
<< Eku, Finding a guide
<< Lerek Dashlynd, PN Side Quest 7
<< Asharra, Kir Sabal (black orchid)
<< Bwayes O'tamu, Wreck of the Narwhal
<< Napaka, Tomb of the Nine Gods (Area 53)

{Ishau}

Wreck of Star Goddess
<< Chult Rumors (51-55)
<< Hrakhamar (dwarves know of location)
<< Mbala (visible from here)
<< Oloma, Prisoners of the Yuan-Ti (Chap. 4 Area 8)
Survivors may be a possible source for the location of Omu

{Lake Luo}
Source of River Olung, located within the Valley of Embers
<< Firefinger (Lake Luo is visible from Firefinger)
<< Devlin Bashir's journal, Tomb of the Nine Gods (Area 19)
<< Chult Rumors (23-28)
<< Cyclops random encounter (cyclops is familiar with area around Lake Luo)


{Hisari}
Not detailed, but there is a Guild Adept adventure called Ruins of Hisari (Tier 3).

Valley of Embers

Hrakhamar
Located under the Kobold Mountains at the west end of the Valley of Honor
Moradin's Gauntlet << Musharib, Finding a guide; Legendary Treasures
Dwarves of Hrakhamar know the location of the Wreck of the Star Goddess
Underground connection to Wyrmheart Mine


Ataaz Yklwazi

Valley of Lost Honor

Omu
Omu, Gargoyles
Omu, Minotaur city
Omu, Snake-people
<< Chult Rumors
<< Eku, Finding a guide

Wyrmheart Mine
<< Chult Rumors (41-45)
<< Hew Hackinstone, Finding a Guide (wants to liberate the mine)
<< Random Encounter (red dragon)
Tinder (or Tzindelor), red dragon (knows location of Omu) << Ataaz Yklwazi, Land of Ash and Smoke
Underground passage to Hrakhamar

{Shilku}
Located in Shilku Bay on the south coast
Possible starting point for a Flaming Fist-sponsored expedition (p. 56)

{Land of Ash and Smoke}

Snapping Turtle Bay
King Toba << Chult Rumors

{Snout of Omgar}
Detailed in the Tortle Package
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Introduction

The preceding wiki-post purports to be a geographically-sorted list of leads and clues in the Tomb of Annihilation adventure. Its purpose is to help Dungeon Masters answer questions such as “my party is at the Firefinger and are stuck for where to go next. Where do I find the closest lead to Kir Sabal or perhaps Nanny Pu'pu from here?” In short, any adventuring group could despair about where to go next, and as a good DM you will want to have ready answers when they ask the locals for directions.

To do this, I've listed all locations marked on the map and sorted them north to south, west to east. Then I've entered every clue, lead, mention or other reference that appear within the book under the location where it appears.

This should give you a much better shot at quickly finding something useful to your party's current location. (I'm fully aware you can make stuff up as a DM; this document is for the instances where you simply don't have the time or inspiration).

Nomenclature:
  • >> means “someone or something at this location points to this other person or location”
  • << means the reverse, and is included for your convenience. It tells you where people talk about your current location. This is simply me taking the >> references and copying them to their destinations.
  • {minor} Locations in curly brackets are “minor” in the sense you need to make stuff up yourself if you send your party there. “Major” locations feature NPCs with names and even statistics, and perhaps maps and other resources. The point is for harried DMs to be able to tell at a glance what locations to avoid, at least until they have time to prep them.
  • PN# means numbered location in Port Nyanzaru


This is a WORK IN PROGRESS. It's far from complete, not yet sorted properly and hasn't {minor} markings.
Since this is a somewhat large undertaking, here's my progress so far:
  • sorting complete (feel free to point out any errors)
  • added links from rumor tables
  • listing "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Adventure" as it were, that is: geographical features marked on the map... but then utterly ignored by the adventure text
  • Fort Beluarian complete



Zapp
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Giving this a bump - maybe there's a few new DM's running this module :)

Also, the time has come for my own group to go to Omu, and this thread is the best place to make sure I haven't missed any of the rumors, clues and leads (if I may say so myself!). I want the group to know everything there is to know, since maybe the biggest weakness of the module is that you know essentially nothing about the mission or the enemy until you're deep inside the tomb.

This includes: every scrap of info, every NPC with a tidbit about Omu and Ras Nsi and his past history regarding Mezro; and every piece of info on the tomb, its creator, and the legendary treasures said to be there.

All of this stuff absolutely should have been collected in a neat summary sidebar, and the adventure should have made sure the adventurers stumble upon the info - after all, if there's a single piece of DM advice I've found useful over the decades, it's this: "show them the adventure!" Holding back info merely as an attempt to be mysterious is seldom a good idea.

</rant> :)
 

Giving this a bump - maybe there's a few new DM's running this module :)

Also, the time has come for my own group to go to Omu, and this thread is the best place to make sure I haven't missed any of the rumors, clues and leads (if I may say so myself!). I want the group to know everything there is to know, since maybe the biggest weakness of the module is that you know essentially nothing about the mission or the enemy until you're deep inside the tomb.

This includes: every scrap of info, every NPC with a tidbit about Omu and Ras Nsi and his past history regarding Mezro; and every piece of info on the tomb, its creator, and the legendary treasures said to be there.

All of this stuff absolutely should have been collected in a neat summary sidebar, and the adventure should have made sure the adventurers stumble upon the info - after all, if there's a single piece of DM advice I've found useful over the decades, it's this: "show them the adventure!" Holding back info merely as an attempt to be mysterious is seldom a good idea.

</rant> :)
Any updates?
 



CapnZapp

Legend
Yep! How did it end up going?
Quick summary (as far as my memory serves):
  • the counting clock idea does not work since the first half of the adventure is a hexcrawl, and you do not want players to avoid exploration with the rationale they don't have time for it. Drop the idea to death curse the PCs at the start. The correct moment to inflict it on the PCs is when the adventure switches from exploration to site-based, which is when they reach Omu.
  • if the hex crawl is going to be meaningful, it simply has to be about resource attrition. You just can't have every individual encounter threaten the life of the heroes - that makes the jungle illogically lethal. But a party with Create Water and Cure Disease simply don't care about festering swamps. I personally hardlined this to say "you cannot recover hit points* except in hexes with fresh running water" to force the hexcrawl be about resource attrition. (Of course, if your players won't enjoy exploring the continent, feel free to beeline straight to Omu)
*) specifically "you can sleep for the night anywhere but it doesn't count as a long rest if you're in a corrupted jungle hex"
  • the expanded encounters at Omu is a wonderful resource. I cannot straight up remember the exact name but it should be in this thread. I even made an "expanded Omu map" with loads of more encounters (from that book) here on EN World.
  • warning: this adventure continues the long tradition of spending effort on what my players never do: negotiating with obviously chaotic evil creatures; in this case the yuan-ti of Omu. So many words have been wasted on the intrigues of drow or other races... when you have players logically (and correctly) deduce that just killing them is the only way to deal with them, it all goes to waste. Why can't D&D understand that you need more morally grey (or at least less morally black) counterparts to get intrigue and diplomacy going?!? But I digress.
  • if your players aren't fans of mega-dungeons do not run every encounter in the final Tomb dungeon. This dungeon is not logical. It is a posterboy of a wacky funhouse created solely to entertain players. Yes it's made by Acecerak. No, players who want logic and realism still won't enjoy it. Just skip half the levels, so the campaign doesn't end up spending half the run time in the dungeon-on-acid.
  • Acecerak probably needs better stats to provide a satisfying final boss. I am of the opinion that the final challenge should be capable of actually perma-killing a player character. There is no more adventure to miss out on, so even a TPK is acceptable. Therefore, the time to play softball has come to an end. I am pretty certain I have posted a replacement spell list and (much) better tactics for the old lich, but I am only 90% certain.

Think that's it. If you have a more specific q, maybe I remember enough to answer it :)
 

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