thrin the brave
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Okay just for a bit of fun I thought I would try and do a quick movie synopsis for a Dungeons & Dragons movie. The first two D&D movies have been something of a mixed bag: the first had the big budget but was really cheesily done. The first rule of fantasy should always be to play it as seriously as possible, otherwise it just won't work. Also the costumes looked like costumes, rather than clothes.
The second was entertaining and far more like D&D, with a strong group dynamic, rather than one main hero dictating things. It also had actress Ellie Chidzley as the barbarian girl Lux - who was ridiculously gorgeous. The brilliant Tim Stern as the rogue Nim. It had a cleric...until he got frozen out. Great puzzles. Some nice D&D references. Actual D&D monsters!
Movie Idea - Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Horrors
Either Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Laybrinth) or Michael Bay (Armageddon,
Six core heroes with one other (Tordek) 'picked up' along the way. Gimble is basically only in there to die at the hands of Acererak (if you'll excuse the oxymoron).
For the purposes of the story, Mialee will be attracted to Jozan (testing the latters clerical vows), Regdar will fall for Mialee and Lidda will have a crush on Regdar. A romantic square (as opposed to a romantic triangle if you will).
D&D: Tomb of Horrors Outline (1 page synopsis)
D&D: Tomb of Horrors Treatment
(Work in Progress: Some parts below are further along than others)
Prologue (approx. 15 minutes)
The Hellfurnaces: We begin with some slaves in a volcanic fire giant lair. This particular group of slaves don't think they will last much longer under the brutal yoke of their masters, so they risk their lives in a daring escape across a bridge that spans some lava. A half dozen or so make a break for it, but they are spotted by barking Hell Hounds who alert the giants. The slaves get picked off one by one, either falling into the lava, pinned by Fire Giant Ballista defenses, caught by Hell Hounds (etc.). However, just as it seems the last two runaway slaves will be caught by the Hell Hound pack, three 'heroes' arrive in the nick of time...enter Drelzna, Ember and Warduke.
...the chasing pack break like waves on the shore against these powerful characters. Drelzna lightning bolts several hounds with one bolt, but another pounces on her, knocking her down. But she sticks her wand down the beast's throat and electrocutes it from the inside. Ember gracefully dodges the oncoming hounds, stunning one, performing a flurry of spin kicks on another, landing on the back of another and snapping the monster's neck. Warduke uppercuts one with his shield then slashes its underbelly with his sword - freezing the beast to ice. He swiftly decapitates a second hound (who had breathed fire on him - to no avail (close up of Warduke's Frostbrand Sword) and the blood from its wound freezes in mid flight.
...with the defeat of the Hell Hounds, the surviving slaves (one male, one female) rush to herald their saviours. The girl goes to embrace Warduke, sighing "My hero!". Warduke promptly runs her through with his sword, freezing her solid still with a perplexed look on her face. "I'm no hero" exclaims Warduke. While the stunned male slave has his throat ripped out by Drelzna, her mouth contorting into a rows of fangs. Warduke glances over and remarks, "Your kiss is colder than my blade, vampire!"
...The giant guards charge these interlopers as the ballistas on the turrets target them, Warduke deflects one of the giant ballista with his shield but the force of the blow causes him to drop his sword just as the leading giant prepares to slice him in two. But Warduke catches the giant's blade in mid flight - much to the surprise of the giant (close up of Warduke's Belt of Strength). Ember's palm begins to quiver, she dodges the giants great blow and runs up his sword and kick-flips him, while a second giant swings at her and misses, catching the first giant full in the chest. Ember then hits the startled Fire Giant with her quivering palm technique. "Is that your best!" the giant roars. "You're already dead" intones Ember (It should be noted that Ember's line is taken from Fist of the North Star - so that may need to be changed) as the giant's head explodes. Drelzna stands motionless as the first giant strikes, but she seems to phase out of the way (close up of her Cloak of Displacement) and then says "GNIVIL YALS!" touching the giant who instantly falls down dead.
...Our villainous trio fight their way into the Keep itself. But the Gatehouse is trapped. Portcullis descend and two Iron Golems emerge to battle our seemingly trapped trio. Drelzna becomes incorporeal and flies up to the ceiling where giants are firing crossbows down, biting the neck of one giant as her misty form engulfs him. Warduke bears the brunt of the golems onslaught and is pushed back by their charge, and the poisonous green gas that issues forth from the mouth of the metal monsters. Ember leaps at the Iron Golems, her palms and kicks leaving hand and boot prints in the metal. One of the iron golems swings at Ember who dodges and causes the first golem to strike the second. Drelzna then uses her wand of lightning to slow the last remaining iron golem. Allowing Ember and Warduke to defeat it.
...The final scene (of the prologue) pits our villains against the enthroned King Snurre and his guards. The king, initially holding a skull-topped wand, sets it down and reaches for a huge warhammer. Drelzna mentions "The fool doesn't even know the power in his possession". The king bashes his great hammer against the wall of the chamber, which cracks and starts to spill lava. But this lava coalesces into a great twin-headed lava dragon (yes I did steal that bit from the D&D Cartoon). Warduke engages the monster, each blow of his icy sword causes a wound of solidified stone to scar the dragon. Ember attacks the heavily armoured king's guards, drawing her (glowing green) brilliant energy nunchuks for the first time, cutting through the assembled guards like a helicopter blade. Drelzna and the King charge each other (Drelzna seems to glide/fly), the King lowers the visor on his helmet and can see Drelzna's real location, this allows him to initially surprise her and clobber her with his hammer which also sets her on fire (close up of the King's rune weapon). The force of the blow blasts Drelzna back onto the floor and the King moves in to finish her. "LETAM LLIHC!" chants Drelzna and the King's hammer turns to ice (yes that is a bit faster than the spell should take effect but I think it works well in this manner). The king discards his weapon and elects to finish her with his bare hands. She scrambles to back off, but as he closes his hands round her neck, in desperation she shouts "MRAH!" and touches the king and he screams in agony as a great diagonal wound appears across his torso and face. Staggering backward in pain, Drelzna is able to reach the skull-topped wand. "The prize is mine!" she exclaims. The king, defiant in rage, charges at her but one touch from the rod kills the king and steals his soul. His lifeless (now) skeletal remains fall to the floor.
Act One (approx. 30 minutes)
Using the power of the wand they corrupt/trick the Temple of Pelor (offscreen) into thinking Acererak is about to awaken. The Temple then puts together a group of heroes to destroy Acererak before he can escape. But in reality, the heroes will inadvertantly free the demi-lich (a cleric of Pelor is needed to undo spells that bind the undead wizard). Once the group of heroes has been formed, they set off to find a dwarf called Tordek who is the only known survivor of the Tomb of Horrors.
Church of Pelor: When we open to the Church of Pelor we see Jozan on one knee in front of an altar/stained glass window with light shining through. A young cleric enters and disturbs Jozan's prayer telling him "The High Priest requests an audience". Jozan remains in prayer. "Its most urgent" stammers the young priest. Jozan stands and takes two backward steps before turning on his heel and marching out the door. Cut to the audience chamber, where the seated High Priest informs him of the gravest news. "The lich Acererak has awakened and it is only a matter of time before he escapes the prison that is his tomb." "How do you know of this, high priest?" questions Jozan. "We have been brought the news by this emissary from the Jade Sisterhood". Ember steps forward and bows. "What would you have me do high priest?" asks Jozan. "Lead a group into the Tomb and destroy Acererak before he has regained his full power". "It will take time to assemble such a group" replies Jozan. "Ember will accompany you, and talk has reached us that a wizard is staying at the Hangman's Inn. Perhaps they can be convinced to join our cause" at that the high priest plonks a bag of gold on the table. "May Pelor's light guide you."
Getting to Know You: Ember and Jozan leave the Temple. Jozan asks Ember to wait here a moment, while he ventures into the graveyard that surrounds the temple. When he reaches an undisclosed grave he kneels and prays, leaving a silver necklace around the tombstone. As he returns to Ember crossing the graveyard, he almost stumbles into a freshly dug grave. "Mind your step" smirks the gravedigger. As he and Ember leave the temple grounds, the undertaker pulls up in his carriage. "Will you be performing the last rites for this poor soul sir?" he asks Jozan. "Not today Phibes", returns Jozan. "Do you and your friend need a ride anywhere sir?" the undertaker responds, tipping his top hat. "No thank you" Jozan remarks. "Always room for one more" smiles the undertaker as he slides the coffin out of the back. As they cross the street (on their way to the Hangman's Inn) a beggar shuffles up to them, rattling a tin cup with a few copper coins therein. Jozan gives him a silver piece and remarks "Get yourself something to eat". "Pelor bless you" the beggar beams.
The pair then walk on to the Inn, but the camera pans right to take us into the stable where a female Blacksmith is in conversation with our dynamic duo; Regdar and Gimble who are trying to haggle the cost of having their horses reshod. "We wouldn't be in this position if you hadn't gambled away all our money" drones Regdar. "Five gold pieces" deadpans the Blacksmith. "What would you say to a romantic dinner with my friend here" Gimble asks the Blacksmith. "I'd say no way!" exclaims Regdar hurriedly. "Six Gold pieces..." she glares "...insults are extra!". "I've always given insults for free" smirks Regdar. "Right, out the pair of you, and don't come back 'til you have the money" she scolds. The pair leave sheepishly, "How much have we got?" inquires Regdar. "A dozen silver pieces" answers Gimble. "Right then, your turn to get the beers in." retorts Regdar. As they approach the Inn/Tavern we see someone (the owner) hanging a noose from the sign. "Hello there gentlemen" the innkeeper chortles "...what do you think?" "Very classy" replies Regdar. "Won so much money last night I thought I'd splash out" beams the innkeeper.
Inside the place is just livening up. We see a long bar to the left, stairs to the right tables in the middle and even a small stage at the far end of the room. We see Ember and Jozan sitting at a table in the corner. "How would you consider a romantic dinner with my friend here!" pointing to Gimble. At that the barbarian erupts.
Dragonslayers: Tordek is thought to be in a village to the north, but on the way (through the forest) the heroes tangle with a large green dragon. They swiftly defeat the dragon only to find it was merely the young of an ancient green dragon - a much tougher battle ensues. They defeat the dragon and eventually get to the village, but when they get there they find it has been raided by orcs.
Act Two (approx. 60 minutes)
Everybody Hates Swamps:
The Only Good Orc is a Dead Orc: As the heroes track the orcs down, we cut to the Orc camp where the crucified dwarf (stripped down to his loin cloth) is being tortured by Krusk. "It is okay to scream little one" mocks the orc chieftain. "No self-respecting dwarf would give you the satisfaction!" spits the dwarf who grimaces as the orcs knife cuts his face. "First we cut you some, then we burn you alive" the orc menaces as he slices the dwarf again. "Well finally some good news" remarks the dwarf "I'm bloody freezing here". "Then we feed you to the troll" smiles the orc. "I thought that was your sister" the dwarf says, and gets a gauntleted fist for his insult.
At that point an explosion amidst the camp heralds the attack of the heroes. This attracts the attention of the orc witch-mother from her tent. The orc chieftain grabs his double axe and signals his orcs to attack.
After a great battle, they rescue the prisoners and heal the dwarf who is on the verge of death. Indebted, he takes them through the swamp to the Horned Hill where the tomb is located.
While the Cats Away: While the heroes are on their way, Drelzna and Warduke have been killing (and animating the townsfolk), while the once priests of Pelor are turned into vampires.
The Tomb of Horrors: The heroes reach and enter the Tomb of Horrors. Inside Regdar is killed, but resurrected by Jozan.
Acererak's Prison: After overcoming many traps and puzzles, the heroes make it through to face Acererak himself, but are overwhelmed by the power of the demilich. With the party either dead, dying, stasised or mazed, Acererak takes his leave. Despondant and defeated, the party rally to avenge the death of Gimble (Acererak stole his soul). Physically unable to leave the Tomb, Jozan tries, and fails, to word of recall the party back to the Temple of Pelor (which is now the Temple of Orcus).
The Astral Plane: However, Mialee is able to take them all to the Astral Plane where they are pursued by an Astral Dreadnaught. Mialee cancels the spell early (to avoid being eaten by the Dreadnought. Nevertheless, when they return to the material plane they have reached the outskirts of the town.
Village of the Damned: Townsfolk are aimlessly milling around in the dead of night. As the heroes approach they find that the townsfolk have been turned into undead, and they now face a horde of zombies (the townsfolk), skeletons (from the graveyard) and ghouls, just to get to the Temple. These undead are commanded by Drelzna, who also summons a Nightcrawler to aid her. The heroes defeat the undead (although Drelzna escapes - thanks to her cloak of displacement, and makes it back to the temple).
Temple of Orcus: Inside the Temple spectres start coming out of the walls to assault the heroes (and Tordek is killed after falling into a rift) and we find that Jozan's ability to turn undead is diminished in this desecrated place. He remarks "I guess we'll have to do this the old fashioned way!" (brandishing his mace of disruption).
...The heroes fight their way through to the main hall where Acererak is about to gate in Orcus himself. Drelzna turns Ember on the heroes, as they try to fight their way through to Acererak and stop the spell. Warduke and Regdar face off. Lidda has her hands full trying to evade Ember. Mialee and Jozan have a host of vampire priests to deal with, and although they kill many, they are too late to prevent Orcus from passing through the gate. Jozan breaks the angel statue he keeps for luck, which summons a Solar in a blinding flash of light, a flurry of vampires attack the Solar but he effortlessly destroys them and battle is joined between the Solar and Orcus. But now Acererak is free to ply his powers, targeting Mialee. Jozan is battling Drelzna, but is struck from behind by Ember who in turn is killed by Lidda "Don't turn your back on me!" The Solar manages to sever Orcus arm (holding the wand) but is killed by the wounded Demon Prince. Orcus roars in triumph (which seems to summon a number of Vrock from the gate). Lidda is being hard pressed by Drelzna, Warduke is getting the better of Regdar and Acererak is just about to kill Mialee when the skylight bursts in, Tordek swoops down fom the ceiling (using his Winged Boots), throws his hammer which cracks Acererak's skull, and shoots at Drelzna and Warduke with his X-bow (enough to distract them) screaming "Ya can't kill me ya bastards!!!". Orcus points at Tordek and the Vrock swoop to attack. But it gives the heroes just enough time to regroup. As Orcus is trying to regenerate his severed arm, Lidda steals the wand, Jozan is able to deal with Drelzna, Mialee creates a wall of force between her and the other heroes and charges at Orcus who stabs her with his tail, but she manages to break her staff of the magi (retributive strike) against Orcus and the resultant explosion destroys everything on that side of the wall of force. Warduke is knocked out by falling masonry as the roof of the Temple collapses. Tordek and Regdar finish the Vrock. But Acererak recovers and turns Tordek to stone. Jozan, Lidda and Regdar escape with the wand. Warduke frees himself from the rubble, while Acererak summons multiple Nightcrawlers to deal with the heroes and the two villains set off in pursuit of the heroes.
The Horned Hill: The heroes are headed to Horned Hill where Gimble had told them was the only place the wand could be destroyed. The heroes get there first with the villains close behind. As Jozan strikes the Wand against the horns of Horned Hill the whole hill rises up and is revealed to be a dormant Tarrasque. The Nightcrawlers attack the Tarrasque, while Jozan faces Acererak and Warduke fights Regdar on top of the Tarrasque's back. Regdar says "Been saving this for a special occasion", and drinks a potion of Haste making this a more even fight. Jozan instructs Lidda to get the Wand into the mouth of the Tarrasque. Warduke initially has the upper hand again, and is about to kill Regdar when Lidda sneak attacks Warduke, but is backhanded and Warduke gets the Wand of Orcus, bellowing "I have the wand!", but Regdar boots him off the top of the Tarrasque retorting "Keep it!". As Warduke falls backwards and is swallowed by the great beast. The Tarrasque belches as it swallows Warduke, and seems to convulse and spasm. The destruction of the rod banishes Acererak (as it was he who summoned the Rod all those years ago) to the Abyss.
Epilogue: We cut to a place of darkness, a city of bone and skulls. The camera tracks in through the gates, where a Balor whips a contingent of zombies, follows through the streets to the castle itself. Tracks up the side of the wall to the throne room near the top. In there Orcus is using Acererak's skull to fashion a new wand...
Temple of Pelor/Temple of Orcus.
Forest (where Dragons are encountered)
Orc Camp (extension of the swamp)
Tomb of Horrors.
Dungeons & Dragons: Queen of Spiders
This one involves Lolth and her high priestess Eclavdra trying to magically induce a new Ice Age. It features Frost Giants, a Beholder, Rust Monsters, Drider, Lizard riding Drow, a trip to the Plane of Elemental Fire and culminates with a battle against a Xixecal.
Unless stated otherwise, all content © 2001-2008 Craig Cochrane. All rights reserved.