A Dysfunctional Trio is the first chapter of Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling. It introduces the three main party members, who explore Snakemouth Den to find the first ancient artifact. This chapter is also playable in the Indiegogo demo. It is followed by Chapter 2: Sacred Golden Hills.
At the Explorers' Association, a beetle named Kabbu asks a knight named Maki for permission to explore. While Maki respects Kabbu's passion for exploring, he rejects him because exploration is too dangerous for an "unproven warrior." Kabbu disagrees, citing the hardships he had faced in the north as proof that he can handle exploration. Maki requests that Kabbu not press the issue any further, so as to not cause a scene, much to Kabbu's dismay.
Right at that moment, a short and outraged bee at the back of the room begins to cause a scene when Eetl denies her permission to explore, since she is just a child. Maki overhears this argument, and asks Kabbu to accompany him to the back of the room to investigate.
Maki asks Eetl and the bee to quiet down and tell him what is wrong. The bee shouts at Maki, saying that Eetl called her a child and won't let her explore. The bee then introduces herself as Vi, the best explorer the Hive has ever seen. Kabbu is surprised that a bee would want to become an explorer.
Eetl says he cannot give an Explorer Permit to just any bee, especially one without a partner. Kabbu gets an idea and tells Vi that seeing as both of them want a permit, they should join forces. Vi reluctantly accepts his offer. To test this newly-formed team's strength, Maki challenges the duo. After the battle, Maki believes they are ready to explore the world, much to their surprise, and finally grants them a permit.
The team heads west of the association, towards Snakemouth Den, with the goal of finding the fabled ancient artifact hidden inside and delivering it to the Ant Queen. Many previous exploration teams have met their untimely demise in Snakemouth Den, however, Kabbu and Vi are still confident that they can complete the mission.
On the way to Snakemouth Den, Kabbu stops to help an old bug named Chuck with cutting down a bush, and learns a new field skill. Chuck is very happy now that he can set up a cozy resting place for explorers, and gives the team 10 berries as a reward.
Arriving at Snakemouth Den, Kabbu warns Vi of the many monsters and traps inside, and thinks that they should be extremely cautious. In the first cave, the team encounter a broken bridge and cannot move forward. Vi spots an ancient switch on the other side of the bridge, and, with a new field skill, throws her Beemerang towards it, but hits a rope in front of it instead, which causes another bridge to fall in place. Vi claims this was her original plan, and Kabbu says he is glad to have a reliable partner.
At the end of the first cave, there is a huge, locked door. Kabbu uses his horn to push stones onto two buttons on the ground, which causes a Mushroom to fall from the ceiling onto a platform in the middle of the room. When the team grabs the Mushroom, the cave starts shaking, and a trapdoor suddenly opens, causing the two to plummet down to the room below.
Vi saves herself by flying up, and thinks it is a good time to ditch Kabbu, but she wants to be a reliable partner, so she flies down to see if he's okay. The huge, locked door opens right after.
In the dark room below, Vi finds Kabbu on top of a big mushroom, which luckily broke his fall. The team move forward, and find a moth trapped in a web, who they assume to be dead. They soon realize this moth is still alive, just sleeping, so Kabbu says they should free him.
Right before Vi attempts to use her Beemerang to cut through the web, a large spider emerges, and tries to attack her, but Kabbu uses his horn to push her out of harm's way. The spider roars, and Vi says that they should quickly escape, however, Kabbu disagrees, and thinks that they should stay to protect the trapped moth.
Vi runs off in fear, leaving Kabbu to fend for himself. The spider is too strong for Kabbu alone, and wraps him up in a cocoon. Suddenly, Vi throws her Beemerang at the spider to divert its attention, and then at Kabbu to free him from the cocoon. Kabbu is mad at Vi for abandoning him, but realizes that now is not the time to scold her.
The team engage in a second fight with the spider, this time focusing on damaging the web behind it, and successfully free the sleeping moth. Kabbu grabs the moth, and the three escape into a crack in the wall, which the spider cannot access. The moth wakes up, initially speaking an ancient language, but soon switches to Bugnish and introduces himself as Leif. He mentions that he was on a scouting mission in Snakemouth Den, and says he has no fighting ability, as it was never part of his training. Kabbu tells Leif to stay safe behind them as they continue to look for the artifact ahead.
A Jellyshroom ambushes the trio, and Leif instinctively casts a spell, freezing it. Kabbu and Vi are amazed, and interestingly, so is Leif, who says this is new to him. Leif now joins battles, fighting alongside Kabbu and Vi. In the next room, water drops fall from the ceiling, which Leif can use ice magic on to freeze into ice cubes, through a new field skill. After solving various puzzles, the team flips two big switches, opening a large door, leading to a mushroom-filled room.
Finally, the team makes it into a long hallway with what appears to be a mask at the end. Leif begins to speak in an ancient language as he reacts to the potent magic found in the mask in front of them, confirming that this is a true artifact. Vi takes the Ancient Mask off of its pedestal, which sets off a trap, causing the room to flood.
The team tries to make a quick escape, but the same spider from earlier jumps in front of them and screeches loudly. As a trio, they prove strong enough to defeat the spider, however, since they forgot about the flood, the cave completely fills with water, and they are washed away with the current.
Kabbu, Vi, and Leif wake up safely on the surface, near the entrance to a cave. Vi had dropped the Ancient Mask, but fortunately, it had washed up right next to them. Vi picks up the Ancient Mask, and the trio head towards Ant Kingdom City to report to the Ant Queen.
- In the demo, Spy Specs was in Poison Defender's place.