Not long after leaving the stalagmite-strewn tunnel the chimera had inhabited, the party found themselves at yet another underground lake, staring at the desiccated corpse of an (arguably) less fortunate adventurer. Though initially intending to simply put their for-bearer to rest, Merek announced that the skeleton’s bag radiated magic.
As the party stood about arguing over who would have to open the bag, they were approached by another of the Droshugan soldiers who had braved the dangers of the Underdark to lend them aim. As Vaskalyn stepped into their discussion, the party quickly welcomed their new intern, and bade him to open the bag. Luckily, the bag had not been trapped. Unluckily, the bag seemed to have an occupant. Vaskalyn hopped backwards as a foul tempered gremlin gruffly growled at him to shut the flap.
Looking back at the party with confusion, Vaskalyn rejoined the party as Khaled stepped forward to identify the bag. After a few moments, he revealed it to be a gremlin bag , an entity far larger on the inside. However, in order to retrieve the items from the bag, the owner would have to convince the immortal creature inside to return them. Additionally, Khaled warned that if the owner of the bag were to die, all that was held within it would become the gremlin’s property
After a bit of discussion, Damhsa eventually stepped forward to be the owner and opened the flap. The creature was adorned with crown and festooned with jewels as he glanced over at Damhsa, asking if she was his new servant. Quickly catching onto the situation, Damhsa humored the self-proclaimed “God-King” of the bag, giving it several pieces of their loot to hold onto.
With this, the party pressed onward, soon finding themselves at a fork in the road, at which several stone giants were working. Once more, Damhsa, who happened to speak Giant, came forward to parley. They learned that they were building a portcullis for a bugbear, and which of the two paths lead to the Drow city. Furthermore, the giant advised them to avoid the other path. Though it lead to the surface, it was where his employer was, and in a foul mood due to his wife visiting. Thanking him for his information and flattering the giants’ handwork, Damhsa lead the party onward.
As the path narrowed to a tunnel, the party found themselves outside an octagonal tower of Drow make. Taking this to possibly be their last opportunity to rest, the party steeled themselves. The next morning, upon entering the tower, they were assaulted by animated warriors of stone, which came at them from the bais relief carvings within the bottom layer of tower.
One short scuffle and a very angry halfing paladin later, the sentinels were cut down. As the party set about searching the tower, they soon discovered that its former inhabitants, Lolth worshipers, had been mostly cut down, only finding two living beings within the tower. First was a blind scribe, locked in his room as he frantically copied books for his Master. Damhsa quickly gave the Drow some rations, despite Kiwi announcing that the scribe radiated evil. Upon discovering a sizable pile of coins in his chest, the party quibbled amongst themselves on what to do with the money, but eventually decided to leave the pitiful creature be.
Moving up to the top floor of the tower, the party found what appeared to be the former owner’s throne room. Given his obvious ill treatment of the scribe and assumed shuffling off of the mortal coil, the party had no scruples about looting his belongings. However, in one of the throne room’s side rooms, they made an interesting discovery – a hulking demon stood bound in a magic circle. Upon spotting the party, he grumbled about the wizard who summoned him having left him there, and asked that they break the circle.
Though most of the party was hesitant to help the fiend, Vaskalyn stepped forward, breaking the circle with his heel. With a collective sigh of relief, the party watched as the demon’s body disintegrated, marking it’s return to the Abyss. Now content that they had seen all that was worth seeing in the tower, the party stepped over the remains of the tower’s guards and out into the bottom of a ravine in one of the Underdark’s vast caverns.
Assuming the Drow city to be ahead, the party marched on before coming to a dead end in the canyon, marked only by a rope, secured by a piton to the ground, and leading up to a hole in the ceiling above. Given that it was several hundred feet above them, Merek flew up to investigate it alone. Eventually mustering his courage, he peeked his head into the hole to find a half dragon, half Drow staring back at him.
Steeled for an attack, Merek was surprised to find the creature greeting him. Introducing himself, he told the half-dragon of their quest and his companions. Obviously a curious creature, the halfbreed slipped forward out of the hole, took wing, and circled his way down to the party. Merek followed close behind, landing next to the half-dragon. After a round of introductions, the party were able to learn, between his frequent questions, that the creature’s name was Sshu-Math Daerindra. He attempted several times to convince the party to forgo their trip to the Drow city, telling them that it was an awful place. Though Sshu-Math was guarded, the party was quickly able to tell that he wanted to leave the Underdark for the world above. After Sshu-Math had told them of the two paths ahead that lead to the city, they thanked him and offered to lead him out of the Underdark upon their return.
However, as they stood to begin scaling the cliff, Sshu-Math snapped his fingers, causing the dead end to dissapate, revealing yet more of the cavern head. Hesitantly, he agreed to at least guide them to their path. With the party having chosen the shorter path, known as the Wailing Cliffs, guarded by a series of outsiders, over the potentially dangerous giant’s village on a nearby lake, Sshu-Math warned them that they must be careful when clearing out the outsiders living there. Slumbering somewhere in the cliffs, he said guardedly, there was a great shadow dragon.
The rest of the journey passed with the party telling Sshu-Math more of the world above, with them finally parting ways outside the wailing cliffs. The party could feel in the air that the veil between the elemental plane of Shadow and the Prime Material plan was especially thin here. At the base of the cliff ahead, the party spotted a large chime which they quickly surmised may be used to summon the shadow dragon. Up the cliff, a winding path rose slowly past two tunnels until it finally culminated in a much larger tunnel which the party had been told would lead them to the Drow city.
Doing the best the could to stay silent, the party began ascending. As they neared the first tunnel, a dark figure waltzed out glancing over the cliffs. Thankfully, the party seemed to go unnoticed as the creature slipped back into its hole. Quickly deciding that the party’s armored division would be incapable of moving by silently, they decided to bum rush the tunnel.
As the heavy hitters of the party charged in, they were met with the enfeebling talons of the krylanen, creatures of the shadow plane, and their leader Grindel. Though several of the party fell to rays of enfeeblement, the party was able to clear the cave without any casualties. With several hundred feet and another cave to clear, the party readied itself to finish scaling the Wailing Cliffs.
Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Wu Zi, Slade, Vaskalyn
XP Award (APL 6): 900
Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa