Out of the Abyss

Session Two - Escape into the Underdark

Fleeing into the twisting passages of the Underdark, the party stopped only long enough to create a rope system to keep each other together, then set a hasty pace in a generally northeast direction away from Velkynvelve. Fang creates a rope sling for Prince Derendil and Ront to carry Stool so he is not left behind.

The Underdark itself teems with strange sounds, odd lights and cave features, and myriad flora . Dellic assisted Dengg in finding some bluecap mushrooms to collect for a future meal, and the party traveled several miles before stopping at a large empty cavern. There, Dengg took the lead and tumbled into a sinkhole with Dellic before being pulled out by the rest of the party. The ropes may have helped. Dengg begins leaving some foodstuffs on the ground in the hopes of confusing any pursuers.

Several more miles of mixed terrain and passages go by before the party finds themselves approaching a stream bordered by several different kinds of plants. Numerous passages converge on the stream and head off in different directions, and the area is brightly lit by the lights known as faerzress -. This magical light is randomly dispersed throughout the Underdark, and anyone who has a very basic knowledge of the Underdark knows it is fairly common and harmless. Faerzress appears like glowing energy of various colors, typically blues, purples, greens, and reds, and is bright enough for people without darkvision to see normally.

The party stops there, takes some time to equip some armor and fashion packs from their materials, mash up some of the bluecaps into a joyless, hummus-like meal, and squeeze water from the waterglobe mushrooms Dellic has found growing by the stream. Watches are set, and the night begins. The caverns are mysteriously silent, even from normal sounds like wind or cave crickets.

All members of the party who aren’t on watch (everyone but Dellic and Prince Derendil) have a terrible dream, hearing the panicked screams of a woman alongside the snarling and yipping of a pack of dog or hyena-like creatures in pursuit. Before awakening, they taste blood, fur, and hair in their mouths, and they wake coughing and spitting. Several of the party slump forward in a stupor; Fang immediately attacks Prince Derendil, who flies into a rage. Dellic attempts to subdue the halfling, and asks Dengg for help, who is compelled by temporary madness to help. During the fight, Fang is grappled by Dengg after doing substantial damage to Derendil. Derendil is knocked out by Dellic, who then attempts to roust the rest of the party for the next several minutes.

At more or less the same time, the party members affected by the mysterious madness come to. The party is still by the stream. They will be able to take with them 2 days worth of water and 1 day worth of food for each member using the resources at hand. Harvesting will take an hour or so, or you can just press on. No one has seen sign of the Drow or any other sentient creatures… yet. You believe you are heading in the general direction of the Kuo-Toa city, but have at least a week before you get there.

Players present will get 150XP for taking efforts to not be caught by the Drow and for finding food.

DM Notes: I wanted to set some tone for travel, but we won’t be slogging through each day one at a time like this session. Since there were only two players present I didn’t want to get into anything that deep and we had several distractions :) Next time, we’ll reduce the travel to how you’re accounting for food, how you’re attempting to elude your pursuers, and important plot and terrain encounters before hopefully reaching the next big area.

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Session One - Captive in Velkynvelve!

The party members began their adventure held captive by Drow, along with a number of fellow captives (including a Drow, named Sarith), in a cavern/stalactite structure called Velkynvelve. Those who had been there for several days were basically being forced to do manual meaningless labor and occasionally beaten/tortured by the Drow. The captors were led by a priestess, Ilvara Mizzrym, and two male consorts, one of whom has horrible acid scars down one side of his face. The Drow also controlled a number of Quaggoths and giant spiders. On the second day, the party was made to witness the brutal execution of two elves who had attempted to escape and were captured.

Stool, a Myconid sprout, originally approached the party and asked their help. They also made quick inroads to friendship with Jimjar . Sarith attempted to enlist their help escaping, claiming to have been wrongly accused of murder he couldn’t remember, his position usurped, and that he would be taken back to Menzoberranzan as a sacrifice.

The party managed to successfully pocket some materials and undo some of their shackles that night, then send Jimjar off to scout their escape route. Jimjar was caught by a guard, who knocked him out and brought him back into the slave pens…where he was killed by the party. They then outfitted Sarith to go with Prince Derendil on a scouting mission (Sarith said he’d only go if they gave him the dead guard’s equipment and Prince Derendil looks like any other Quaggoth); Sarith attempted to just run (deception 1),[[Prince Derendil instantly noticed (perception 20), flew into a rage, and tore Sarith in half.

Alerting the guards, including an elite Drow warrior, in the nearby stalactite tower. The guards came out to put down the Quaggoth. Quaggoth won. The party managed to legitimately take out the elite warrior due to some excellent environmental effects and dice rolls. They then looted the tower , cut the rope bridge before the rest of the guards could mobilize, and followed their hulked-out Quaggoth buddy into the dark tunnels of the Underdark.

Oh, and anyone who has been in the Underdark for at least a night has been having terrible dreams about pulsing masses of material sweeping through miles of caverns, and (separately) glowing dust covering everything.

Having launched a daring escape within mere days of capture, you find yourselves catching up to Prince Derendil, the Quaggoth who claims to be a polymorphed elven prince. He is deeply embarrassed by what he calls “The rages brought on by my current form. Sarith moved to betray us, and I had slain him before I knew it” As best you can tell, he is barely wounded despite taking numerous hits during the fight. You bring with you the remaining prisoners:

Ront, the Orc.
[[Buppido]], the Derro who can lead you to the Duergar trading city of Gracklstugh. He claims he can outfit the group with better equipment and promises a ‘great reward’.
Topsy & Turvy, deep gnome twins from Blingdenstone.
[[Stool]], the Myconid sprout who wishes to return to the Neverlight Grove where his people promise shelter and sanctuary.
Shuushar the enlightened pacifist Kuo-Toa who wishes to reach the Kuo-Toa city of Sloobludop.
Jimjar, the deep gnome.

You’ve delayed pursuit from the Drow for the immediate future, but they are certain to pursue you into the Underdark. None of you know exactly where you are or how to escape the Underdark. Fortunately, you have some friends who can help you get to either Sloobludop (on the near side of the Darklake), Gracklstugh, or the Neverlight Grove (both on the far side). The closest settlement is Sloobludop, approximately a week away. It should be noted that other than the Drow, none of the other underground races are guaranteed to be hostile, although you’ll need allies to travel to their cities freely.

Other than the equipment you found before your escape, you have the following from your looting of the guard tower:

6 chain shirts
6 suits of studded leather armor
6 shields
6 hand crossbows
120 crossbow bolts
6 short swords and 10 daggers
6 bags of caltrops
4 100 foot coils of silk rope
2 building hammers
20 iron spikes

You have no food or water, and will need to forage along the way.

Everyone gained 525 experience points, taking you all to 2nd level!

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