Campaign of the Month: April 2016

Adoraith: Echoes of Epirus

Events of June 7
Who Wants to Live Forever?

Upon returning to the inn, the party found that Vorn Chumov was nowhere to be seen. After exchanging a few pleasantries with Hamadh, who introduced the party to a goblin cleric, the party settled in to tend to their wounds. However, as the third watch rolled around, the party spotted two large groups of troops marching towards the inn. Not wanting to be caught in the middle of a pitched battle, Edluar picked the lock to the Hidden’s tunnels and disarmed their traps, leading the party down below.

Finding the Hidden conspicuously absent, the party lugged their dead with them as they wound their way through the tunnels, watching as Avvar managed to repeatedly gas himself in an attempt to disarm the traps on the exits, feeding suspicions that the ragged dwarf was enjoying the poison gas a bit too much.

After having mapped out all the other tunnels, the party found themselves in a smoke filled basement. Though Merek was convinced he was about to be balls deep in another smoke elemental, Edluar slipped up into the room and cleared the smoke with a flick of his wrist. A cursory search of the room showed that it seemed to be a stock room for the Hidden. Glancing up at door to the floor above, the party began to hear voices shouting in the drow language.

A smirk crossing his face, Edluar slipped into invisibility and stepped out into the hallway. To his surprise, he found himself in a Drow school. After spending several long moments trying to line up all the children in a whelming blast to knock them out, he consigned himself to the fact such a feat was impossible.

Stepping back into the door, he whispered to the rest of the party to rush out should they hear any commotion. With this, he slipped up beside the drow teacher, whispering that the Hidden send their regards. Jerking upright in suspicion, she urged the children to retire to their studies and promptly pulled out a pair of swords once they had filed into their rooms.

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As she shouted for Edluar to reveal himself, the rest of the party charged into the room. Seeing the drow fade from sight, the party scrambled to cover the doors. After several minutes of a stand off, the teacher told the party which door lead to the exit. As they promptly filed out, the party left a sizable donation to the school and Damhsa apologized to the drow, who reappeared to as they exited to glower disapprovingly at the party.

Finding themselves on a plateau high over the city, the party resolved to make their way back to the inn, stopping by the temple of Lolth. Finding nothing at the temple, they finally reentered the tunnels. They decided that the hub room of the tunnels was a relatively safe place to leave their dead, however, concerned with the possibility of their former allies turning to undead, the party followed Edluar’s suggestion and drove a piton into the base of their skulls.

With this, the party slipped down a tunnel filled with purple miasma, reasoning that it was likely to lead into the Kiaransalee citadel. After a bit of a trek, the party found itself in a dungeon which seemed to be used as a storeroom. Slipping by the crate-filled cells, the party ascended a flight of stairs, finding themselves in the citadel proper. Moving to the next door, Edluar flung it open, revealing a room filled with drow and their undead soldiers. With the drow sounding an alert, the party rushed forward to battle.

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Brash as always, Edluar rushed forward ahead of the rest of the party, throwing giant ball of glitter on the undead. This seemed to annoy them greatly, as the promptly surrounded Edluar and did their best to beat him senseless. Though their efforts did eventually succeed, Edluar was able to fill the center of the room with illusionary sentinels, making it difficult for the drow forces to reach the rest of the party.

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Meanwhile, one of the drow soldiers had brought back a troop of archers to support their defense against the party. Under a hail of arrow and magical fire, the party struggled to push back the undead and drow soldiers far enough to gain a foothold in the main room. As Avvar skirted around to flank one of the drow soldiers, he moved just a bit too slowly and was skewered by a well-placed spear, dead before he fell into the purple miasma covering the floor.

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Seeing yet another of their number fall, the party surged forward against their attackers. Merek flew over to Edluar’s side in hopes of staunching the wounds he had sustained in his initial charge, but was knocked out by a hail of arrows. Soon after, Khaled, Dage, and Fritz rushed over, bringing both Edluar and Merek to consciousness.

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Khaled, intent on preventing the drow archers from firing with impunity anymore rushed forward, coating them in dragon fire while Edluar charged the drow wizard, giving Damhsa, Caitlyn, and Vasalkar the room they needed to break the undead and drow’s line. As they mopped up the survivors of the drow force’s front line, Dage plowed his mace into Avvar’s face, intent on stopping his fellow dwarf from rising against them.

Seeing the battle turn, the drow wizard attempted to flee, but Merek and Edluar gave chase. In a last ditch effort, the wizard loosed a lightning bolt, rendering Merek unconscious once more and killing two of his own archers. The gesture was in vain however, as Edluar pummeled the wizard into submission before he was able to flee.

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Exhausted and wounded, the party circled around to briefly mourn their scroungy dwarven ally, before setting about looting the bodies for anything which would assist them in surviving their assault on the drow bastion.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Fritz, Edluar, Vasalkar, Avvar, Saurok, Caitlyn
XP Award (APL 6): 900

Roleplaying XP Bonus: ???

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Events of May 24
All Dead, All Dead

Having finished dividing up the loot from their ambush within the arena, they party gathered around their prisoner. Damhsa tied up the massive being before the party revived him, but with a great roar, the giant broke his bonds. However, as the fire giant fought his way to his feet, he was pummeled unconscious once more.

Taking a moment to re-evaluate their options, the party noticed an amulet around the giant’s neck. The party’s clerics identified it as the emblem of Mishka the Wolf-Spider, one of the first Tanari to rise to power in the Abyss. Wanting to garner as much information as they could from the giant, they turned to Edluar before awakening the giant once again. As it rose, Edluar put an enchantment on the giant, making him think the party members were friendly reinforcements.

Though they were able to gather no further information the identity of Kurgoth’s master, they did learn that the bulk of Kurgoth’s forces were in the southern portion of the city, intent on wiping out the last of the Loth supporters in order to turn the full strength of their might to the Kiaransalee worshipers’ citadel.

Knocking the giant unconscious once more, the party was in the process of working out a plan to light Kurgoth’s signal fires in the arena to call him back from his offensive prematurely when Wisp, the young and overly-energetic member of the Hidden., bolted into the arena. Gibbering at break-neck speed, she told the party that Vorn Chumov had been taken by the Kiaransalee worshipers, and that their assistance was needed to rescue her.

Seeing their best shot at peace within Maerimyrdra was now in danger of being lost, the party took off after her. She explained there were tunnels nearby on the the plateau were the party had previously camped. After scaling the wall to Wisp’s incessant chirping to hurry, the party began to traverse the fungus fields around the lake of blood. However, Damhsa called the party to a halt as she noticed an undead creature shuffling up ahead.

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As it slipped back behind the vegetation, a voice called out, “Take the drow alive, kill the rest.” With this, Wisp disappeared off into the fields and the party was ambushed by several Abyssal Ghouls. Fighting off the creatures on three fronts, the party seemed to hold their ground initially, but within moments, Myrtle was felled as a pair of the abyssal ghouls flanked her. Enraged at the death of the little cleric, the party surged forward. The battle finally began to turn when Wisp reappeared with Chiirikk, the Hidden’s sorcerer in tow.

Finding themselves to now be the ones outflanked, the ghouls attempted to retreat, but were cut down with impunity by the party and the Hidden. Taking the time to gather up their fallen cleric, the party was reminded that they did not have time to mourn by the ever chipper Wisp. The party followed Chiirikk and Wisp back to the Hidden’s tunnel system, and through it to the inn where they had first met.

Before Hamadh had a chance to brief the party on the situation at hand, Chiirikk offered to prepare a spell with which he could prevent Myrtle from rising as an undead, which the party gratefully accepted. With this Hamadh quickly informed the party that Vorn was being held nearby at the shattered tower, guarded by a pair of silverwraiths. He explained that these wraiths had been spellcasters in life, and likely still retained their spellcasting abilities. He told they party he wanted them to go and rescue Vorn while the Hidden went off to intercept the Kiaransalee worshipers’ reinforcements. Not wanting Myrtle’s death to be in vain, the party agreed and went to the tower immediately.

As they approached the shattered glass tower, they party skirted about the outside of the crater which had seemingly caused it to collapse. About halfway around the crater, the first of the silverwraiths appeared. While most of the party stood their ground to occupy the silver wraith, Damhsa, Edluar, and Khaled ran forward to investigate the tower itself. As they approached, the party saw that the contents of the tower were shrouded by magical mist of some sort. Damhsa however, spotted some sort of eddy swirling in the mist. Reasoning that it may be the source of the mist, Damhsa began firing into it as she approached.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the found themselves blasted by a fireball from the second silverwraith. While this second wraith occupied the rest of the party, the first flew up to engage Merek in an aerial dog fight. Damhsa, Khaled, and Edluar had now entered the tower, and saw a figure floating in the air between the large cubes. As Khaled readied himself beneath the figure to help Damhsa jump up to her, he found himself pulled up next to the figure.

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Now close enough to identify the figure, he shouted down to Damsha and Edluar that it was Vorn Chumov, and to stop shooting at her. With this, Edluar and Damhsa turned their attention to the cubes which encircled Vorn and Khaled. Back outside, the battle was not going well. Merek had been able to occupy the first silverwraith for a time, but found himself paralyzed and heavily wounded, forcing him to retreat. Those fighting the other silverwraith, were struggling to even hit the incorporeal creature.

Their troubles were entirely one-sided, however. After several exchanges, the wraith finally managed to strike a critical blow, causing Slade’s body to drop lifelessly to the ground. The rest of the party was now critically wounded as well, but finally managed to kill one of the silverwraiths. Within moments, Edluar also dispelled the enchantment on the cubes within the tower, causing Khaled and the unconscious Vorn to drop to the ground. As Khaled tore Dhamsa’s arrow from the Drow priestess’s leg, Damhsa poured a potion down her throat.

Back outside, seeing that it’s mission had failed, the other silverwraith fled in the direction of the citadel. Now awake, Vorn stood up, and began to silently walk, with a very pronounced limp, back towards the Hidden’s inn. Though at great cost, the party had managed to save their best hope for peace in Maerimyrdra. With this victory fresh in their minds, they gathered up the dead and began to follow Vorn back to the Hidden’s lair.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Slade, Edluar, Vasalkar, Avvar, Saurok
XP Award (APL 6): 900

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Edluar

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Events of May 17
Staying Power

Not long after their ambush, the party was within sight of the arena. As the majority of the party stared curiously at the heads of fire giants bobbing over the arena’s upper lip, Damhsa spotted a figure darting toward the arena. Slipping from the rest of the party, she sidled up behind the figure, who promptly spun about to face her. Before her stood the filthiest dwarf she had ever seen, both weapons drawn and loudly announcing that he was armed, to which Damhsa responded in kind.

After watching the exchange in bemusement for a few moments the rest of the party approached. Though the dwarf had no idea how he had gotten there, they did learn that his name was Avvar Stonehewer and that he was a “preemptive salvager” by trade. As their destination seemed to be the same, and Avvar had a much greater local knowledge, the party offered to allow him to join, to which Avvar agreed after Damhsa gifted the unkempt dwarf a comb for his beard.

With this, the party slipped up to the arena proper itself. Spotting that the main doors were each guarded by a pair of fire giants, Merek slipped up to one of the upper windows. Within he saw a host of ogres, giants, and other such creatures cheering as a fire giant upon a fiendish mammoth ran down a band of raggedly armed drow prisoners. Overlooking the whole spectacle, Kurgoth sat upon a dais in the middle of the arena. His balor heritage obvious upon looking at him, Merek returned to the party to inform them of what he had seen.

Deciding that taking on a half-balor and several dozen fire giants would accomplish little more than their own deaths, the party decided to stake out the arena while they got some rest. Avvar told them of a plateau nearby from which they would be able to easily overlook the arena and the party set off. As they slipped through the alleys of the burnt out city, dashing from cover to cover to avoid the gaze of the fire giant sentries, a troop of undead arose from the purple miasma which spewed forth from the fortress.

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Not wanting to alert the fire giants to their location, Edular dashed out into the street which divided the party, covering their movements with an invisibility sphere. As the rest of the party rejoined the vanguard, the undead were slowly pushed back, with little harm done to the party itself. However, the ruckus in the street did seem to have raised the sentry’s suspicions, as the party noticed they were missing from the upper ring of the arena.

Slipping quickly from the last city block, the party quickly scaled the cliff, and found themselves in a set of fungus fields encircling a subterranean lake. Setting up camp, the party took watches, which passed uneventfully until the final watch when Khaled noticed the noise from the arena had died down sometime during the night without the party noticing, and the giant bivouacs were now much emptier. Their plan to track Kurgoth’s movements now foiled, the party resolved to return to the now quiet arena.

Approaching quietly, the party slipped up through a second floor window, gathering underneath the seats. As Avvar slipped up into Kurgoth’s box to the survey the arena, he quickly spotted a small contingent had been left behind of a few ogres, the fiendish mammoth, and its rider. He also quickly spotted several chests the group seemed to be watching. After reporting back to the rest of the party, they quickly decided to attack the giant and ogres, while attempting to take the giant alive for questioning.

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Taking their positions throughout the arena, the party surged forth into the stadium. As Edluar put a pair of the ogres into a deep slumber, Merek summoned elementals to aid the fight, Avvar and Damhsa deftly leapt over the railings to the arena floor below, and were followed by a much less graceful Slade and Vasalkar crashing down to the ground.

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Seeing his ogre lackeys fall and become swarmed by the party’s front line, the fire giant swiftly mounted his mammoth, only to be surrounded by water elementals and wreathed in lightening breath from Khaled. This distraction delayed him long enough for the party to fell the last standing ogre, and move in to meet the mammoth and its rider head on.

After a long exchange of blows, the fire giant rider fell to the ground, leaving just the fiendish mammoth to fight the beleaguered party. Vasalkar, eager as ever for glory, stared down the mammoth. As it beat him within an inch of his life, he continued to taunt and hold the beast’s attention while the rest of the party mercilessly battered it. As the mammoth neared death, it finally threw Vasalkar to the ground, leaving him mere seconds from death until Avvar dashed forward, dodging the mammoth’s tusks, and poured a potion down the glory-hungry crusader’s gullet. Moments later, the beast finally fell to Edluar’s thrust from behind.

Their enemy now vanquished, the party quickly checked to see if the fire giant was still alive. After ascertaining that he was still breathing, the party bound him before they delivered a coup de grace to the sleeping ogres. Clearing the chests the giant had been guarding of any traps and unlocking them, the party quickly divided up the horde of gold and magical items which they found, turning their attention back to their captured fire giant, and best lead to finding Kurgoth’s allegiance.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Slade, Edluar the Seeker, Vasalkar, Avvar,
XP Award (APL 6): 900

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Avvar

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Events of April 26
Fight from the Inside

With the full party gathered within the inn, Hamad, the leader of the Hidden, quickly briefed them on the major players in the city. First off, there was Trae Tsurren, the Matriarch of the Kyransali worshipers, whom both the Hidden and the Seekers agreed needed to be removed from power. Next, was Vorn Chumov, the newly minted Lolth matriarch, whom the Hidden wished to see reinstated to power. Finally was Kurgoth, the fire giant who had taken advantage of the drow coup to move into the city for himself.

Though initially insisting they they only cared about removing the Kyransali worshipers’ powers within the city, the party reluctantly agreed to meet with Chumov to see about removing Kurgoth from the city. Settling in for a few hours of rest as the Hidden left to do some scouting, the party were once again denied an uneventful night. As Damhsa stood watch, Merek rose in his sleep, shambling towards the door in a trance. Only after waking the rest of the party and several spells cast from Myrtle was the trance broken.

More than a bit shaken, Merek told the party he had been beckoned by a drow lady draped in a spider silk robe and surrounded by purple miasma in his dream. With the threat seemingly past, the remainder of their rest passed uneventfully. As they were packing up to head out, the goblin from the Hidden dashed into the inn. She quickly told the party that the Hidden had located Kurgoth in the arena, and that he was half-fiend. Telling them Hamad wished them to take this information to Chumov, the goblin handed them a grubby symbol of Lolth and rushed back off to rejoin her companions.

Seeing they would get no help assaulting the Kyransali stronghold otherwise, the party set off towards the sacked Lolth temple. As they snaked through the alleyways, they saw a trio of flying figures swoop up from the arena at the far side city. The largest, a dragon-like creature, began to spew fire up and down the main thoroughfare, while the other two swooped over and began to scan the city. As the two fiendish creatures swooped in closer, the party scrambled for cover in the nearby buildings, but Vasalkar stumbled in the middle of the street. However, Edluar quickly tossed an illusion over him that thankfully hid the party from the fiendish fliers.

Continuing under the cover of Edluar’s illusion, the party reached the foot of the cliff on which the temple of Lolth sat. A quick search located a secret door hidden within the cliffside. Determining that the door was trapped, Edluar tried in vain to disarm it. However, Merek and Khaled surmised that the trap on the door was an evocation spell. Hoping it was a fire trap, Merek had Myrtle cast some protections on him and quickly opened the door as he was wreathed in spellfire. Luckily, his reflexes and Myrtle’s spell prevented him from taking any damage.

As the door swung open, smoke spewed out of the doorway. Urging the rest of the party to wait outside, Merek hovered along the ground under the smoke. After a cursory search of the room, he was able to spot a smoke elemental sitting in the cellar, blocking their path. Once back out side, Merek told the party what he had seen, and volunteered to lead the elemental out to them. As the rest of the party crowded around the door, Merek slipped back into the smoke.

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Hovering next to the elemental, Merek attempted to parley with it, and discovered that the elemental was indeed feeling very friendly, as it forced itself down Merek’s throat. Through a well trained gag reflex, Merek was able to expel the elemental from his body and rush out to the rest of the party, the elemental hot on his heels. The party quickly swarmed the elemental as it went about deepthroating the rest of the party. Though some of the party were a bit hoarse, the elemental fell with no casualties amongst the party.

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With the cellar now cleared of the elemental, the party set about moving up the tower, and though the signs of battle were evident therein, they were able to make it the top of the cliff without further event. As they left the tower through which the secret door had lead them, over the main thoroughfare, they saw the dragon-like creature making yet another strafing run, until a huge figure leapt up from a bonfire on the street, grappling the fiendish dragon to the ground.

As they hiked the rest of the way to the temple, the party peeked down at the main street were the fiendish dragon had been pulled down, only to see it’s desiccated corpse in the street. Slightly surprised to see the creature dead, the party turned about and walked into the temple of Lolth. As they spread out looking for Vorn Chumov, the party began to see a swarm of spiders pouring from the mouth of a dead fire giant.

After a few moments and several unsettled groans from the party, the spiders coalesced into a beautiful drow woman. Quickly spying the symbol of Lolth that Damhsa had been given by the goblin, the women identified herself as Vorn. After filling her in with the Hidden’s discovery of Kurgoth’s heritage, Vorn confirmed she had expected as much. Giving the matter a few moments thought, Vorn offered her assistance in entering the Kyransali fortress should the party find out which fiend had sired Kurgoth.

Vorn told the party they would not find her again at this temple, but that she would send her help once they held up their side of the bargain. Their business concluded, the party took off to the other side of the cliff. Quickly slipping down the side to the streets below, the party set about slipping through the side streets on their way to the arena.

Moving with unusual stealth for them, the party managed to avoid the fighting within the city proper. However, as they began to pass a main street, they saw a group of ogres heading to the giant camp with a large sack. Curiosity and greed being what they are, the party promptly ambushed the ogre patrol. Not even knowing what hit him, the lead ogre fell to the party’s ambush, dropping the sack he had been carrying. Quickly forming battle lines, the party tore into the ogres.

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As the battle wore on, Kiwi fell, alive but exhausted, as she delivered the killing blow to the ogre captain, and the rest of the party was able to finish off the remaining ogres who were now caught in a flank from Merek’s elementals. Once again having taken on their enemy with no casualties, the party healed their wounds and tore into the ogres’ loot sack.

Spoils now collected, the party began slipping through the side alleys once more, slowly approaching Kurgoth’s arena.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Slade, Edluar the Seeker, Vasalkar
XP Award (APL 6): 900

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of April 5
Somebody to Love

Having recouped their strength from their last battle against the outsiders, the party set off once more up the Wailing Cliffs. However, the party was unable to move in on the next cave as silently as the last, and the inhabitants were waiting for them. As Damhsa, Slade, and Vasalkar charged into the cave, they were met by a half-dragon, growling menacingly. Waiting long enough for the bulk of the party to charge in, the half-dragon exhaled a cone of negative energy, sapping the majority of the party of their strength as Damhsa shouted, “We should have gone with the giants!”

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Fighting against their drained energy, the party slowly beat back the half-dragon and its krylanen allies. The fight was not without losses, as Wu-zi fell to the half-dragon’s blade. After burning his corpse, they party set about investigating the cave. As they set about their customary looting spree, they made a disturbing discovery. Hidden in the back of the cave lay a shadow dragon’s egg. Wisely deciding to leave it be, the party set about beginning to rest while Merek flew up to investigate the cave in which they assumed the dragon rested.

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Upon studying the roiling clouds of darkness spewing forth from the cave, Khaled was able to determine that the dragon was indeed awake. With the majority of the party still suffering the effects of the half-dragon’s negative energy blast, they decided to bed down in the cave for the night. However, their rest proved short lived when halfway through the night an old beggar wondered into the cave. After Damhsa, Merek, and Vasalkar had tried to one-up each other giving money to the beggar, the party began talking to him.

It turned out that he old man served the dragon, whom he referred to as Glourath, and that he had come here to see the dragon’s daughter. Though Merek attempted to convince the man that the dragon’s daughter had left in a fit of adolescent rebellion, the old man was not convinced, and the rest of the party finally spilled the beans, revealing that they had killed her. The shaken old man then began to totter out of the cave, heading up to the shadow dragon’s cave.

The party, lacking the stomach to kill a defenseless old man, reluctantly followed him up to the dragon’s lair. As the old man stepped into the mist, a feminine voice came from the tumultuous cloud of darkness, condemning the party for slaying her daughter and demanding retribution. In a mad scramble to appease the being, the party parted with several objects d’art they had collected as well as the gremlin bag they had recently acquired.

Somewhat mollified, Glourath stepped out of darkness in the form of a beautiful woman, demanding one last bit of restitution. Sidling beside Khaled, she demanded that he conceive in her another daughter. Khaled nervously stated that he was uninterested in women, and refused her advances. Though Merek gleefully offered himself as a replacement, he was brusquely rebuffed. Sensing the draconic power within Khaled, she cast a charm on him, dulling Khaled’s resistance. With this, she lead him back into the cave and made sure the Wailing Cliffs were filled with yet another set of screams.

Now thoroughly violated, Khaled stumbled back to the party, who quickly exited the Glourath’s territory, all the while doing their best to ignore Damhsa’s “I told you so” and Vasalkar’s exhalations of the glorious battles they had on the cliffs. As they slipped through the tunnels, following an underground stream, the party found themselves next to a statue which Khaled advised seemed to have been created by a flesh-to-stone spell.

Just past the statue, the party found a fetid pool, surrounded by dense vegetation. Surmising there to be a beholder or medusa in the party, the party planned to bypass the pool, but as they moved to slip by, the party noticed movement at the far side of the pool. Their curiosity overriding their good sense, they moved to take a look, with Merek hovering over the pool as a pair of drow popped up to shoot at him. Barely managing to withstand the poisoned arrow bolts, Merek flew back to the party, alerting them to the drows’ presence.

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As the rest of the party rushed forward once more into “glorious” battle, a beholder slipped down from the ceiling, firing it’s eye rays at the party, most of whom manage to resist their effects. Demanding to know why they were there, the party told him of their quest. Though the beholder seemed displeased to have the party in his territory, he quickly recognized Khaled as “the dragon’s consort.” Grimacing at the memory, Khaled sullenly stood at the back of the party as they finished speaking with the beholder and went on their way.

It wasn’t long before the party found themselves at the gates of Maerimydra. However, they were not unguarded. Through the smoke billowing into the hallway, the party spotted a fire giant, standing at the gates. Motioning her forward, the party urged Damhsa to show them her skill in dealing with giants, that supposedly would have made the other path so much easier.

Shooting them a glare, she stepped forward and addressed the fire giant, who demanded they leave. After several minutes of parley, he offered the party two choices, ten thousand gold in payment for passage or to give him Damhsa as a slave. Seeing that the negotiations were going nowhere, Merek opened fire on the giant.

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The die now cast, the party rushed forward assaulting the giant while Merek and Khaled loosed lightning and eldritch power into it from afar. After several rounds of the melee fighters being tossed back across the hall, they finally wore the giant down and felled him. The way to Maerimydra now cleared, party stepped through into the drow city.

As the cavern opened up before them, the party could see the desolation the multiple sackings had wrought on the city. In the distance, they spotted the drow citadel and the invaders’ bivouacs. Deciding to make a beeline to the citadel to make their stay in the Underdark as brief as possible, the party decided to cut through the least damaged portion of the city.

Slipping through alleyways, the party noticed voices slipping from a half collapsed in ahead. Sending Damhsa ahead to scout, the party watched as she sidled up to the window. Overhearing the drow inside discussing how to deal with the invaders, Damhsa decided they could be possible allies. Letting herself be noticed she offered her assistance.

Wary of their unwelcome guest, they invited her into the inn and gave her a potion of truth to drink. Submitting herself to the effects, she confirmed that they were here to put the drow city back in order, as it had affected the surface world. Seemingly satisfied, the drow instructed Damhsa to bring her companions in. Identifying themselves as the Hidden, their mission was to restore stability to Maerimydra. Settling in with their prospective allies, the party prepared for their assault on the drow citadel.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Wu Zi, Slade, Vasalkar
XP Award (APL 6): 900

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Vasalkar

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Events of March 29
Stone Cold Crazy

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Events of March 15
We Will Rock You

As the village burned around them, the party spread out to search for survivors. Regrettably, none of the adult mycanids had survived. However they party was able to locate a pair of mycanid nurseries, filled to the brim with still-dormant mycanids. Thanks to Slade and Edluar’s knowledge of the Underdark, the party was able to determine that the fetal mycanids were still several weeks from being “born,” and resolved to tell the other settlement of mycanids they had encountered of them before their return to Droshugan.

Pressing on, the party came to the shores of a nearby lake, on which a wall of meshed stalagmite and stalagmites blocked their passage. Wary of a possible drow ambush, Merek flew up to the wall to peek around it, but was quickly caught in an ambush of another sort. With a forceful blast, Merek found himself enveloped in the milky white issue of an ethereal wraith spider.

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With this, the rest of the party rushed forward, where those who could fired upon it while the rest began to climb the wall. Kiwi, seeing the creature begin to climb up with Merek, lobbed a grappling hook around the creature and began to set about pulling it back down. With this distraction, Merek was able to wriggle free of his silken cocoon and quickly grounded himself as he unleashed a flurry of eldritch energy into creature. However, now depossessed of its prey, the creature turned to those who had climbed up the wall after it, heavily wounding Wu Zi and killing the yuan-ti priestess, Serea. Enraged at the death of their comrade, the party quickly finished the wraith spider off.

With the creature now dead, the party put Serea’s body to rest and decided to make camp to recover from the day’s battles. However, on second watch, Damhsa heard the approach of someone in the darkness. Nudging Merek awake, the two drifted forward. Damhsa called out the figure, demanding that he identify himself, however, the unknown figure quickly dashed behind a rock, earning the nomadic woman’s ire. As Damhsa loosed an arrow in the figure’s direction, a fiendish creature popped up above the rock, breathing a line of fire at the pair.

Now seeing the person’s face clearly, Merek called out for pair to stop firing at each other, having recognized the fiend as a friend he had met in Acanthus, Khaled Wyrmdoom. Thankfully, he was able to convince both sides to stand down and return to camp. After a quick introduction to the rest of the party, Khaled explained that he had been looking for Merek in hopes of redeeming his past sins.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully, leaving the party to begin their trek through the Underdark. It wasn’t long however, before the party began to hear the steady beat of the chimera’s wings circling them through the cavern. The party quickly circled out, quaffing potions, casting buffs, and summoning their creatures.

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After a few tense minutes of waiting, the chimera swooped in, blasting several of the party with a cone of minty-fresh ice breath. As the creature once more hovered just out of reach, Kiwi and Wu Zi attempted to repeat their grappling hook stunt, but the creature quickly snapped the rope. The creature continued to make passes at the party as they leapt into the air to attack it and unleashed their best ranged attacks into it, until at last Slade stepped forward, channeling a shocking grasp spell into his blade to finish the beast off.

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With the creature now dead, the party set about finding the creature’s horde, unwilling to leave without claiming their loot. After fanning out, it was Edluar who finally discovered the creature’s small horde. Riches and glory now in hand, the party prepared for their assault on the drow city itself.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Edluar the Seeker, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Wu Zi, Slade

XP Award (APL 5): 790

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Kiwi

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Events of March 1
In Only Seven Days

Newly freed slaves in tow, the party returned to the surface to spend what remained of their latest spoils on the preparation for the assault on the Drow city, as well as giving a healthy amount to the slaves in order to begin their new lives. As they went back down, the party filled in Hrink on their assault on the druegar caravan and the drow city while skipping over their association with the Great Khan. They told Hrink they anticipated that it would take them about a week for their assault on the Drow. Nodding somberly, Hrink warned them that he would wait only one week before sealing the tunnels. Any longer, and the party would have to find another way out of the underdark.

Once more in the underdark, the air was now noticeably warmer, with the scent of something burning in the area. Stepping over to the portcullis to the Great Khan’s compound, the party was informed by the illythid that a band of Lolth worshipers were attempting to retake the Drow city. Glad of the diversion, the party was lead to the alternate path into the drow compound they had been promised. As they stood at the edge of a great chasm, the illythid warned the party of a chimera which lived in these tunnels, feasting itself on the grimlocks that moved below.

With this, the illythid raised a bridge across the chasm and the party was beckoned across. Upon the other side they found two paths, one well traveled, the other not. However, they were told both would lead to the same place. Though initially the party considered taking the well trodden path, Merek reasoned that they did not know what traveled down that path, and was able to convince the party to take the less traveled tunnel.

As the party snaked their way down the tunnel, they soon came to question the wisdom of having taken this path. Slade was leading the party when a sticky strand shot shot from the darkness into him. Ignoring the shouts of “Money shot!” from behind him, Slade found himself face to face with a roper, its poison sapping his strength.

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The party quickly rushed down the tunnel to his aid. Shortly after discovering the creature’s resistance to magic, Merek also discovered it could fire more than a single strand as it yanked him from the ceiling onto the stone floor and began firing at the rest of the party. While those that could harm the creature closed in and chopped at the roper, the rest of the party busied themselves with sundering the creature’s gummy spurts.

With the creature now dead, the party was mildly surprised to find that it had collected a sizable cache of coins. Padding their wallets, the party continued down the tunnel. It wasn’t long, however, before they found themselves upon the scene of yet another battle. As their tunnel widened out into a large cavern, they party saw a mycanid village before them, the little mushrooms strewn about, their bodies flaccid against the cave floor. It did not take long for the party to notice Drow moving about the village, setting fire to the buildings.

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Unwilling to let this slaughter go unchallenged without one of their own, the party charged out to meet the Drow. However, they quickly found themselves outnumbered, as several more Drow and a dryder came from within the village proper. Quick thinking by Edluar sent a few of the Drow fleeing in blindness. Merek was dropped to the floor once more as one of the drows’ poison over took him, dropping him unconscious. Upon being revived, he quickly set a pair of water elementals to distract the dryder. The rest of the party rushed forward to meet the enemies’ melee fighters, while Edluar, brash as ever, rushed forward without support.

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Just as the tide seemed to be swinging in the party’s favor, reinforcements came from below in the form of a pair of Drow rogues, a sorceress, and a web golem. The sorceress fell quickly to the concentrated fire of the entire party, but the rogues proved far more resilient. None the less, the party managed to keep their momentum, cutting down the last of the Drow’s main line. With the dryder having wasted the majority of her spells on the elementals, and the rogues now surrounded, the Drow fell into retreat, leaving their web golem alone to stall the party.

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As the party surrounded the gooey, pasty construct, they found it more than capable of slowing them down. Slade called out that it was weak to fire, prompting Dhamsa to unleash a flurry alchemists fire and to down a potion of fire breath. Smoldering under the fiery assault the creature fell at last. Exhausted and badly wounded from their battle, the party resolved to regroup before continuing onward toward the chimera that no doubt awaited them ahead.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Edluar the Seeker, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Wu Zi, Slade

XP Award (APL 5): 790

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Merek

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Events of February 22
Dead on Time

Their meal with the Great Khan now concluded, the party were lead to rooms, just as opulently appointed as the rest of the beholder’s lair. After passing a few hours to themselves, a soft knock was heard at each of their doors. Those who answered it were greeted by a scantily clad slave of the opposite sex, carrying a bottle of wine and a tray of meat and cheese. Though most of the party turned away their visitor, Merek found himself quite enamored with the… erm… fine wine and invited the woman in.

The following morning, Merek groggily awoke to the familiar site of an empty bottle of wine, and the unfamiliar sensation the woman lying next to him. Looking over at her, he could see she was already awake and staring at him. “Did you mean what you said last night?” she asked, giving the now bewildered Merek a nervous look. All the more confused, Merek asked what the girl what he had said. This sent her into a panic, though Merek managed to calm her down enough to learn that her name was Lariana, and that he had promised to free her. He reassured her that he would find a way to free her and set to work finding his clothes.

Hoping the rest of the party hadn’t seen Lariana leave his room, he slipped down the hall to rejoin them as Burok Zhan lead them on the trail of the Druegar traders, warning that they had allied recently with the Grell, beaked brains with tentacles who hunted in the Underdark. Not long after leaving the gates of the Great Khan’s stronghold, the party found themselves on the edge of an underground ravine. As the carefully made their way along the edge, Serea called out that she heard something up ahead. Merek scurried along the ceiling over the ravine, spotting a hulking beast gnawing on a recent kill. After failing to distract it, Merek opened fire on the beast, loosing bolts of eldritch energy into its flank as the rest of the party charged forward to finish it off.

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With the beast slain, Slade identified it as a grey render, a beast which was known to imprint upon and protect communities near where it hatched. Hoping not to run into whatever may command such a beast, the party continued following the directions given by Burok Zhan. The floor began to descend until the party found themselves hiking along the shore of an underground river. Once again, Serea signaled for a stop, hearing whispers up ahead which discussed eating them. Merek went to climb up the wall once more, but Serea waved him back, stating that there was movement above them.

Now on high alert, the party cautiously moved forward. However, whatever had been whispering seemed to have passed over peaceably, and it wasn’t long before the party found themselves in a large cavern which seemed to have once been an underground lake. Traveling a bit further, the party spotted several walking mushrooms pulling on a set of ropes. After reassuring themselves that they had not eaten any mushrooms, the party were able to identify the mushrooms as mycanids, one of the few peaceful denizens of the Underdark.

Though initially skittish at the site of the party, Kiwi and Slade were able to calm them. Upon noticing that the mycanids were trying to pull a purple worm grub from their fields, the party offered their assistance, taking a few hours from their pursuit to relocate it. In appreciation, the mycanids offered the party bundles of edible fungus. Continuing on their way, the party asked the mycanids for directions on which way the Druegar had traveled.

Pressing on into the night, the party was able to at last catch up to the Druegar. A quick survey of the camp showed a dozen or so druegar, three grell, and one dire boar.

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Deciding that valor gets the better of discretion, the party quickly buffed themselves up, with Slade drinking a potion of Enlarge Person, Merek summoning a large water elemental at the far side of the camp, and Myrtle blowing her horn of glory. As Merek’s water elemental crashed against the grell, the druegar lept to their feet. The basic foot soldiers advanced towards the bulk of the party, while the druegar commander ordered their beserker BLOOORGH to take out the water elemental.

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The water elemental was able to fell two of the grell before they could escape, and the third was taken out by Slade as it tried to close into the rest of the party. Damhsa, Kiwi, and Slade then turned to meet the bulk of the druegar forces and the dire boar rider. Almost unseen, a rogue managed to slip through the party’s front line, but was swiftly cut down by Kiwi and Myrtle. Merek moved forward, blasting a shot into the boar rider as he moved up to support his elemental. Not long after, Slade and Damhsa had managed to fell the rider, and began to clean up the foot soldiers while the boar fled in panic.

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Meanwhile, at the far end of the camp, BLOOORGH and the elemental dueled, with the elemental just barely surviving with Merek’s assistance. With the tide of battle having turned against the slavers, the druegar leader pressed a dagger to the nearest slave’s throat. Merek and the elemental quickly close in, demanding he surrender. Face to face with an angry blob of animated water and a warlock powerful enough command it, the druegar slaver’s nerve broke. Dropping his knife, he surrendered and the last of his foot soldiers followed suit.

Quickly binding the two druegar prisoners in the slaves’ irons, the party set about moving the sizable amount of valuables the slavers had been carrying to a single cart. Once the wagon was loaded, and the captive druegar were put into the slaves’ harnesses, Kiwi and Dhamsa told the former slaves that the party had to take them back to the Great Khan in order to get them out, advising that they would trade all the riches they had taken in order to do so if necessary.

Though not entirely convinced the former slaves decided they had no better choice. It was at this time that Sylandra, a radiant elf that had been the Great Khan’s favorite, began to panic fearing that the Great Khan would not release her. Reassuring her they would think of something, they party trekked back to the beholder’s palace.

Once there, they were once more given a lavish dinner with the Great Khan. This time, however, the meal was mainly concerned with negotiation, with the party able to secure the purchase of the six slaves they had recovered and Lariana. Sylandra, however, the Great Khan would not release, though he did agree, at Dhamsa’s suggestion, to discuss the matter again if the party were to deliver to him the Drow Matriach. With the negotiations largely successful, the party and the Great Khan passed the rest of the meal amicably while the party planned their assault on the drow stronghold.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Wu Zi, Slade

XP Award (APL 5): 790

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of February 8
Beauty is in the eye of... well, you know...

As the party exited the mines, they watched in bemusement as all of their hard-won drow treasures dissipated in the waning sunlight. Muttering curses about evil elves and their black metal, the party somberly made its way to the inn to rest and make funeral preparations for Bolo. After a quiet night, the party made its way back to the mines to once again delve deep into its deadly passages. Upon arrival, however, Hrink advised the party that the guards had heard strange, eerie sounds from the accursed mines throughout the night.

Eager to avenge their fallen comrade, they entered the mine and headed to the collapsed shaft. As they moved down the collapsed shaft, Kiwi sent out her senses and felt the reverberations of evil down the side shaft with the supply crates. Carefully moving towards a possible ambush, they were befuddled to find… nothing. Myrtle determined that the area had been desecrated, and Edular noticed that there was blood seeping through a crate. When the top was pried off, Edular found a dead Droshügen soldier, naked and starting to rot. “They killed him, changed their appearance, stole his uniform, and just walked out. No suspicion. No questions.” Quickly, the party took the body back to the surface and warned the soldiers, who vaguely remembered already seeing their deceased compatriot walk out of the mines earlier the previous day.

Not wasting any time, the party hurried back down the mine and to the bottom level. Wanting to ensure that nothing would surprise them from behind, Edular used his 10 foot pole to poke at the hanging curtain at the back of the passage. With an odd tearing sound the curtain moved to show a passageway filled with webs. Just as he turned to yell a warning to the party, the trap was sprung.

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Working together, the party quickly destroyed the devilish arachnids, barely keeping Serea from succumbing to their toxin. After a quick round of healing, they continued down the passageway, watching for anything with more than two legs. When they reached the hole in the ceiling, Wu Zi climbed up and verified that no more nasty surprises awaited them. Serea quickly climbed up the rope into the hidden room above, then up another ladder into a tiny chamber which once housed a shrine to her god. Her cry of anguish had the party scrambling up the ladder to find a desecrated shrine no longer usable to Serea or her followers.

Filled with anger and a need to purge the mines of their evil intruders, the party quickly moved to the final chamber. Hearing odd noises and sensing an evil force within, Damhsa and Edular threw sunrods as far as possible in different directions as Myrtle blew the Horn of Glory, empowering her allies. As the sunrods landed, the dark recesses of the cavern revealed a pack of worgs greedily ripping into a carcass as a drow sorceress stood high upon a rise, sending wights towards the party.

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The fight was drawn out and almost overwhelming, as both Myrtle and Damhsa were almost felled from grievous wounds. Kiwi and Slade sliced into enemies left and right, as Wu-Zi rained down a flurry of blows on anything he could reach. Edular quickly cast a spell of invisibility and started to run up the incline towards the sorceress, but she stepped back into an opening in the rocks and vanished into the underdark. Just as the party was wrapping up the last of their wounds, a large force of Droshügen soldiers came up the passageway, led by Hrink. He told them that they would hold the cavern so the party could go after the sorceress and into the underdark.

Moving down the dark tunnel, they encountered a fork in the path. To the left, they found a portcullis barring the tunnel. Edular drew out his 10 foot pole and poked the bars. Unfortunately, the threat came not from the portcullis, but from the walls of the tunnel, as an umberhulk came charging out. Damhsa and Slade fell victim to its hynotic gaze, becoming confused and struggling to determine friend from foe. Wu-Zi quickly stepped in to assist, only to take a stunning blow to the face which would forever leave him a mouth-breather. Finishing off the creature, the party took a few minutes to quaff potions before turning their attention back to the portcullis.

Approaching the bars cautiously, Damhsa knocked on the metal and called out a greeting to whomever may dwell beyond. After receiving no response and examining it and being unable to move the bars, the party searched the right tunnel and discovered a swath of loose, sandy ground. Edular stepped forward and cautiously poked the ground with his 10 foot pole. It sank in almost half way, then seemed to be gripped from deep below the sand. Most of the party returned to the cavern with Hrink to plan a way to go through the portcullis, but Edular stayed behind to explore the tunnel. Casting both invisibility and spider climb spells, he used the ceiling of the tunnel to bypass the sandy ground. After a few minutes of crawling, he came to the end of the tunnel and the beginning of their nightmare. The cavern was huge and filled with not just buildings, but an entire city of dark elves. Far in the distance, he could just make out figures harvesting glowing fungus as slavers cracked whips behind them. Scurrying back, he relayed to the group what he saw.

Determined to avoid a TPK, the group decided to return to the portcullis in the hopes of finding a way around the city. As they approached, they noticed that there was a strange being standing behind the bars. With a nod, the being greeted the party and introduced himself as Burok Zhan. He said that he had responded to Damhsa’s knock and came to bring them to his master. Myrtle leaned over and whispered to the party that he was an Illithid, a very powerful creature of the underdark.

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“He eats brains!” she warned. Try as hard as they could, the party could not get out of the invitation without invoking the wrath of the Great Khan, Burok Zhan’s master. Reluctantly, they followed behind him as he lead them through the tunnel, which seemed to magically morph into a sweet-smelling, beautifully crafted hall. The grand hall had a huge octagonal fountain in the center with a huge floating orb at its center. At each corner was what appeared to be a very realistic sculpture of an explorer of one kind or another. A little too realistic. At the back of the hall were several massive banquet tables overflowing with food, drink, and the most expensive tableware Edular had ever boasted of owning himself. Opulence dripped from every corner and furnishing, stunning the party.

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They were seated at one of the tables, where they were joined by many other beings of varying races, all who acted and spoke to the party as though they had known them for decades. Wary and uncertain, the group watched as slaves served them food and drink, but only after tasting everything. Suddenly, their mysterious host appeared at the head of the table.The Great Khan greeted them warmly, even as the party silently soiled themselves with fear. A beholder, the most feared creature of the underdark, floated before them. He spoke of how he was displeased that the drow were becoming troublesome. Once, they had coexisted peacefully. Now, since a new matriarch had taken power and formed an alliance with the yuan-ti, their relations had deteriorated. He looked at the party and offered them an alliance – if they would help him with a little “problem,” then he would assist them in their quest. Looking about, he asked who their leader was, which had Edular jumping up and proclaiming himself their glorious leader. They agreed that the party would go in search of some duergar traders who had cheated the Great Khan out of his favorite slave,an elf of great beauty.

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Asking for a gift of great value and beauty to seal the alliance, Damhsa quickly dug through her pack and presented to him the electrum dagger with a ruby handle they had “found” after a battle. Pleased with his gift and new alliance, the Great Khan smiled and told the party that they would be his guests for the night, and that he would bestow upon them a gift – a male slave. Afraid of what else would happen, the party quickly sought their beds.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Edluar the Seeker, Slade, Wu Zi

XP Award (APL 5): 790

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Edular

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