Having caused a riot in the Fane of the Night Serpent in which Justin Breakbone was killed and Ras Nsi forced to flee (before likely also being killed), the Friends have escaped from the Fane. At Philge's request, they return briefly to free the remaining slaves (including Cody) before returning to the campsite near the tomb. In the campsite, they are surprised to meet Grimsby Davenport who explained that he survived his fall by using his cloak as a glider.
They take the opportunity to rest, but in their dreams they are visited by Acererak who tells them that he is the creator of the "Tomb of Annihilation arcade machine" and that he wants them to continue testing the final dungeon. The puzzle cubes magically fly back into the matrix and re-open the gate, and in addition each of the Friends is given a box with an engraving of their face on it. When they wake up, the five boxes are piled up on a table outside their tent. Freezo grabs Philge's box and opens it; it contains a clockwork mechanism which presents a card reading "What do you desire most? Power beyond reckoning, or a second chance?" and a counting timer. Freezo fails to answer in time and the mechanism disappears, leaving the box empty. Bobby Pancakes grabs his own box and Freezo's, and Freezo agrees that Philge can take his box in reparation. Baston opens his box, which offers "A weapon where none stands, or a second chance?" He chooses "a second chance", and 3 Potions of Supreme Healing appear inside the box.
Philge opens Freezo's box, asking Bobby to read the card for her; it offers "spell power without end, or a second chance". She chooses "spell power", and receives an amulet containing a dark stone, which she puts on. Bobby's box offers "A way open when all doors lie closed", and receives a key marked with a question mark. (Rather disappointed, Grimsby searches for a box of his own, and gets one containing cigars.)
Stepping inside the tomb, they walk through a chamber with figures of each of the Trickster Gods holding a bowl of oil, ending in a sealed doorway inscribed:
The enemies oppose, one stands between them; in darkness it hides.
Don the mask or be seen.
Speak no truth to the doomed child.
The keys turn on the inside only.
By pressing on the inscription, Bobby opens the door. Investigating the first line, Philge returns to the statues, and notices that the trickster god statues are all facing their enemy god. Baston notices that there is no statue of Unk, the Flail Snail, who had no enemy; he realizes that Unk must be the "one" that "stands between them", and searches the walls with his Lantern of Revealing, finding a false wall hiding a statue of Unk with a golden pendant around his neck, which he takes.
Looking into the room beyond the doorway, they see a further sealed door with an iron lever. After Bobby fails to lasso the leaver, Freezo summons Bushu and offers to set him free if he pulls the lever. When Bushu approaches the lever, a skeletal hand holding a hourglass emerges from the archway; Bushu pulls the lever anyway, causing the floor of the room to open into a spiked pit - fortunately, none of them are actually in the room to fall in the pit. Bushu then presents Freezo with a contract to set him free, which Freezo signs, and Bushu leaves. After the hourglass runs down, the pit closes back up again. Bobby walks across the closed pit and pulls the door open; the hourglass comes out again, and the Friends race across the closed trap.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- The items the friends receive appear to both be from the D&D 5e supplement Xanathar's Guide to Everything:
- The key is a Mystery Key, which as written has a 5% chance of unlocking any door it is applied to, then disappearing.
- The amulet may be a Dark Shard Amulet, which allows a warlock to cast cantrips they do not know. It would therefore have no effect on Philge.
- The Superior Healing potions are actually more than ten times more valuable than either of the two items that are given out (which are actually considered quite weak). It is however a known flaw in D&D 5e that as written, potions (which can only be used once) are considered no less valuable than items which can be used forever; and healing potions have the disadvantage that they are only useful when you are losing.
- The Tomb of the Nine Gods is actually the majority part of the Tomb of Annihilation adventure, but the Dragon Friends unexpectedly took their entire time allocation and an additional half-series to get to it, so they only play through a reduced section of it.
- The initial part of the adventure resembles that in the published adventure, except that the placement of the rooms near the start of the dungeon is different; one potential trap is omitted; and the hourglass trap is kinder than the published version.
- "We've done dungeons before." "Actually we haven't done dungeons before. We've gone downstairs in a castle, once."