The party (Halmod the sorcerer, Gregor the paladin and his hot sidechick Violet, Kugel the summoner and his dragon-like eidolon Kinestarre, Malf the bard and Talon the rogue) had returned to Elania after discovering the demonic invasion of Agnara was underway. On their way they brokered a deal between the Rovell and Caston armies to, at least temporarily, put aside their differences and join forces against the invading demonic hordes. Upon reaching Elania they had been given a quest by Lord Rovell to locate a mysterious artifact known as the “Book of Ceorl” which was reputed to have information that would potentially allow the destruction of the invading demons. The quest was to enter the underdark through the Dwarven city of Gryggsdral and locate the long-hidden “summer home” of Ceorl through it’s rumored secret underground entrance.
After agreeing to the quest, the party had an evening to “relax” in town and prepare for their underdark excursion. This was complicated somewhat by the frantic evacuation of Elania as the citizens were moved either to Gryggsdral to the north or Three Oaks to the south. Luckily a few stores were keeping their doors open to allow evacuees to purchase needed items (and make a nice profit).
As the party went from merchant to merchant to buy or barter needed goods, they were unable to trade or sell the demonic flaming spear, but a suggestion was made to the party that Rathis, the Royal Wizard to Lord Rovell, might be interested in the item since he was known to be a collector of unusual weapons and armor. So the party went back to the palace to seek an audience with Rathis.
Rathis agreed to see the party. His young female acolyte welcomed the party into the wizard’s rooms and after settling the party in the sitting room and bringing Rathis in to meet them, vanished through another door, but not before sending Malf an appraising glance. Rathis was a middle-aged man with a hooked nose resembling a predatory bird’s beak. He seemed harried, even to the point of exhaustion, but after a short discussion examined the spear and offered the party a trade for one of three comparable magic items. The party eventually chose to trade the spear for an “immovable rod”, and then returned to their rooms at the now almost vacant hotel, where they were again offered a meal at no charge.
The next morning they went back to the castle to begin their journey. The were met by Rathis and Captain Kane who blindfolded them and then teleported them to an unknown room where they were instructed to use a portal to transport, still blindfolded, to Gryggsdral. Once within Gryggsdral, still blindfolded, they were led through cold stone halls down into the depths of the city where they eventually had their blindfolds removed in a stark guardroom deep in the depths of the mountains below the city.
Kane was still with them and gave them instructions to “turn right in the main tunnel, then follow the tunnel through two large chambers until you reach a huge underground cavern which is the true underdark. Once there head to your right and search for the secret dwarven sign which should indicate the hidden entrance to Ceorl’s hidden chambers.” Kane showed them a series of symbols that he said would be insribed magically on the walls of the tunnels or caverns to indicate the predominant faction known to claim that area. The symbols included Duergar, Undead, Myconids, Lizard men, Drow and Illithids. “Good luck, the world hangs in the balance.” were Kane’s last words as the party followed a group of dour dwarves down a tight hallway into the underdark.
Once in the main underdark hallway the party headed to their right and began casting “detect magic” on a regular basis to read the magical symbols on the walls. It wasn’t long before they encountered the symbol for the Drow. After about an hour of walking they turned a corner to discover a large chamber from whence they heard strange voices. Their own light seemed to reveal their presence and soon they found themselves confronted by Drow female soldiers who demanded to know why “surface dwellers” were in the underdark. After a short discussion where the Drow attempted to gain information about the events occurring on the surface, impolitic words were exchanged and tempers flared.
The Drow soldiers were easily dispatched, but giant spiders emerged from the shadows and lobbed sticky webs at the party. Just as the spiders were engaged by Gregor, a lightning bolt emerged from the darkness and nailed Violet and Halmod, although Talon nimbly dodged the arcane attack. The spiders’s webs repeatedly missed their mark while the two most powerful Drow soldiers pressed Gregor and Kinestarre. But they were no match for the party, and after a final lightning bolt coincided with the final Drow falling to the floor, the party was rewarded with a quick view of a retreating half-spider, half-drow man (a “Drider”).
After looting the dead Drow soldiers and recovering two exquisite Drow swords, the party moved forward to discover the hallway beyond the chamber was filled with sticky webs, which they burned away, but the Drider appeared to be long gone by the time they got past the webs.
(Continued on next post)