“If we shan’t leave it, why should we take it? Why don’t we break it here?”



  • A peculiar corpse
  • A simple task
  • Guests at the table
  • A pair of letters

Photo showing the cast of Lobster Role

Glasstaff's quarters

Episode 21: A shattered staff


We are running out of places to put the bodies. A redcloaked elf lies dead in one cell, the silvery smooth corpse of the shapeshifting she-elf in the other. Hag has just smashed the glass staff into pieces with his club while clutching a full-sized bed under his free arm with the remains of Glasstaff tangled up in the blankets. Tibboh and Enya continue to grapple with the decision to break the staff while Little Pocket gathers up a single shard to deposit in the nearby spring. Everyone’s ears perk up at as a distant voice bellows out in broken elvish: “What’s the password???”



Little Pocket took off after the blue-and-white striped spider as it dragged the unconscious body of the small bugbear away along the ceiling toward the chasm and into the natural tunnel toward the cave mouth. Barging down the hallway right behind her was a fully grown adult brown bear mounted by a wounded hobbit training his crossbow on the ceiling in search of a clean look at the spider. The shot sank into the upper body of the spider and sent it and the body it was carrying crashing dead to the cave floor below. “Oh Tibboh and brown bear, boy am I glad you came when you did!” cried Little Pocket. She and Tibboh then watched in wonder as the hair of the bugbear receded and the skin tightened and shrank, the face briefly passing through a pallid gray-blue, then fading and contorting to a shimmery, silvery, smooth surface like the skin of a newt or a salamander. Inspecting the body yielded no further clues so Tibboh volunteered to transport it to the cell room where they had previously stashed the body of a redcloaked elf who had been imprisoning a trio of kobolds.

“This was a simple task!” Hag would say a moment later. “Just hang onto the bear!” The bear’s leap across the chasm looked great, but when both beast and rider turned back grinning toward the others for recognition, Tibboh began to tumble. At first it looked planned, an acrobatic dismount to impress the comrades, but then he was grasping to catch the edge of the chasm rim, then he was slipping through the strong, supporting grip of the druid-sailor, and before you knew it he was on the chasm floor. “Bear friend!” Hag called out, “jump down in the chasm, get the hobbit, and climb back up.” Prioritizing efficiency over pride in the darkness of the chasm depths, Tibboh offered his collar to the bear who climbed the two of them back up to the other side with Tibboh gripped gently in its maws like a young cub.

After securing the second body and locking the cell room from the outside, the party proceeded through an abandoned common room where playing cards, empty flagons, and small coin lay scattered about the space. Hag led the way into a dark room, radiating brightness from the gem in his left hand as Tibboh illuminated a torch on the wall. “Ladies, gentlemen, please, be my guests” a voice called out, “I insist. Have a seat.” A black cat emerged from beneath a table and benches in front of the torch and began prowling around Hag and the others as they entered the room. Each party member offered different excuses in turn as they refused the offer: “I’ll stand with my bear friend.” Hag replied, “I don’t sit for anybody I cannot see.” Enya, her neck still bearing the marks of having been attacked in close quarters in the previous battle, insisted “I do not like small rooms. I’m staying here where I can breathe.” Tibboh kept quiet, but his attention was clearly drawn to light filtering in the room from under a broken door. “As a sailor,” Little Pocket chimed in, “you must know it’s very important to know all about where you’re going to sit.”

By the time Little Pocket accepted a seat at the table in front of the torch, then, their host had already begun to arouse suspicion. He appeared at the head of the table, seated several feet back against the wall and soon enjoying a glass of wine poured by an unseen servant, Franklin. After allowing the conversation to proceed for half an hour, Hag finally demanded “Are you also known as Yarno?” Unsatisfied with evasive replies, Tibboh fired a shot in the direction of the cat and then barged into the adjacent room. A final offering of wine failed to bring the party to the table.

When the torch went off, Enya barely had time to shield herself behind the door. Hag and Little Pocket suffered the full force of the blast. The bear responded furiously, landing a vicious bite attack on the wizard before teaming up with Hag to go after the black cat. The cat disappeared instantly, causing Glasstaff to cry out in grief before he drew a rose petal and pinch of sand from his pouch and sent the warrior and the spy to the ground in a magically induced slumber. Immune to the effects, Enya and Little Pocket mustered the most powerful magics at their disposal, but Glasstaff evaded a well-timed guiding bolt from the archer and he withstood the effects of the druid’s spell as she clutched an iron rod seeking to paralyze him. The situation went from bad to worse when Glasstaff ignited two barrels of gunpowder behind Hag, sending the already unconscious barbarian into a fight for his life as he began to succumb to his wounds. With Hag’s bear friend anxiously circling his body to provide cover, Little Pocket was then frozen by Glasstaff who cast her own spell against her and succeeded with arcane magic where the natural powers of the druid failed.

More than half of the party lay on the ground, one of them dying, when Enya transitioned from archer mode to cleric mode and came to the rescue. In an instant, Tibboh was on his feet and joining in the attack. A few silently fingered notes on his whistle and the far side of the room behind Glasstaff erupted with a sudden loud ringing noise, painfully intense, that further wounded the wizard and sent a spray of gunpowder sparking across the front of the torch. At this point the wizard clearly failed to appreciate the threat he faced, ignoring the recently revived Tibboh and the fast-improving Hag to bounce from chair to chair nonchalantly sipping his wine. Enya had the last word, locking her eyes on his as he slammed his glass staff to the floor casting another protective shield spell that swept across his body. Enya’s patience paid off, and as Glasstaff’s body hit the floor she strode confidently into the next room: “Fanklin, wine!”

A debate over what to do next consumed the party. Enya and Tibboh recovered a pair of incriminating letters that seem to connect Glasstaff to the names Yarno, Lord Albreck, and a nameless figure who signed his correspondence with the symbol of a black spider. What was agreed was that the body of Glasstaff should be disposed of with gunpowder somewhere near the chasm. More difficult was what to do with his namesake staff. As Hag hauled the bed and Glasstaff in it, Tibboh tried to look helpful, and then the kobold followed his lead, thinking he was actually being helpful. “Come here,” Hag instructed Enya, “drop the staff. We’re leaving it.” After some pushback against the idea of leaving it with the chasm-dweller, he continued: “If we shan’t leave it, why should we take it? Why don’t we break it here?” Tibboh, Little Pocket, Enya, and Jax each took turns eyeing the staff. In the end, it was the hobbit that brought the kobold on board with a decision he himself didn’t strongly agree with: “Staff or no staff, Phandalin will help you. Break the staff.”

Image of Glasstaff letter 1



I want to highlight again here a video I shared earlier this week about questions to think about from the perspective of your characters. Everyone is visibly improving in combat tactics and in general understanding of the game, so this is an exciting chance to start diving into what makes this game really special and different from other games. We call these games “role-playing games” for a reason, because a big part of what makes it special is that we aren’t just playing in an adventure but we are playing the role of another character in that adventure. While many things in the adventure are beyond your individual control, you get to have complete creative control over your character. It takes a long time to figure out what we want to do with that creativity, and we’ve all been working at it in our own way so far. To help us all in that process, I wanted to share another video about how to keep improving together as we play. This time, it’s not about combat or other game mechanics, but instead about who your character is as a person. It’s a short video with a long list of questions you can think about how to answer from your character’s perspective. You don’t need to share your answers with me or anyone else, but if you pick one or two questions to think about each week it can help you figure out how your character interacts with the world and the other characters. For example: “Are you a morning person or more of a night owl?” “What’s the first thing you notice about a person when you meet them?” “Are you a good cook?” “Tell me about your first kiss…” “What’s something you had to work to be good at?” And so on.

Here you go: 50 Character Builder Questions for your Tabletop Character (YouTube:Ginny Di)

For future reference, you can also find a list of the questions here: 50 Character Builder Questions for your Tabletop Character (Document)



The farm is ours. Phandalin is now a safer place. What next? What questions about the world do you want to explore the answers to together? What great accomplishments might be enough to heighten your already impressive powers? What do you want? What are you curious about? What are you afraid of? We’ll begin figuring out the answer to these questions and more on Sunday.


Be heroic,
Be creative,
Have fun together,


See also: Enya’s Letters #21

See also: Tibboh’s Diary #21




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