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Page history last edited by Azeari 9 years, 7 months ago

Lukwind points out that their first priority should be to interrogate the unconscious dark elf, whom Rohit subdued. This defuses the argument over where to go next, at least temporarily. They tie up the drow and use the platform of healing to revive him, then give him the third degree. He can't tell them anything about the raids on the surface, but he does reveal that the settlement of Szith Morcane lies barely 100ft below them, where the raids originate from. It is ruled by Dorina T'sarran, which explains why the cleric they killed was wearing a brooch in the shape of the House T'sarran insignia, as well as the silver rings that symbolize followers of Kiaransalee. Much rolling of knowledge skills and consulting the Tome of Worldly Memory follows.

While they are doing that, they hear a voice from down below, intoning a magical incantation. Martok and Garyn sneak down through the hole in the floor to investigate. Figuring that they might as well check out what's behind the second illusory wall while they wait, Bolias drives the stronghold back to the other cavern. They find the cavern walls strewn with cobwebs. The eyes of many medium-sized monstrous spiders shine in the bright daylight emitted by the stronghold. Lukwind sings to inspire courage, while the others attack the spiders through the arrowslits.

Spiderdrow, Spiderdrow, does whatever a Spiderdrow does ...

Bolias dives down into the rock and surfaces in the middle of the cavern. Half of the spiders change shape into drow; Elsa identifies them as araneas. She and Rohit step out of the stronghold to engage them in melee.

In the meantime, Helena has been using chain of eyes to observe what Garyn and Martok have been up to. The tunnel descended steeply for about 100ft. It ended abruptly in masonry that Garyn recognized as a wall of stone. There was a hole in the floor of the tunnel, just in front of the wall. While they watched, a rope snaked up through the hole and tied itself off to a metal ring. A horrid creature that they recognized as a Quth-Maren climbed up the rope, wreathed in magical darkness. Garyn put three arrows into it, but Martok missed with his eldritch blast. The undead quickly climbed back down the rope.


Garyn carefully edged closer to the hole and looked down. It descended for 10ft through the rock, then opened up into a cavern that was apparently 10-15ft high. The Quth-Maren still stood down below, so he put another arrow into it and it ran off. A medium-sized spider scurried up and peeked at him from the other end of the hole, then a drow stepped into view and cast evard's black tentacles. Martok was just outside the radius of the spell, but Garyn and Telémachus were grappled by the tentacles and held fast. The drow cast one fireball, then another.


Helena signalled to Bolias that they needed to go back and help Garyn, pronto. Half of the araneas were dead and one of them had fled through the cavern wall, revealing the location of a third illusionary wall. Since Rohit and Elsa appeared to have everything under control, they left them behind and drove the stronghold down through the rock. They appeared through the wall, right beside the spellguard who was harrassing Garyn, blinding him with daylight. Helena cast silence, which put an end to the fireballs, but the tentacles were still slowly crushing Garyn. Martok hears scrabbling noises behind him and turns to see two medium-sized spiders crawling down the tunnel. He kills them with eldritch chain, but can hear other creatures in the tunnel as well.
Lukwind and steps out of the stronghold and entangles one of the drow sentries with his assassin whip. The husk spider crawls towards the stronghold, but Helena kills it with searing light. The other sentry and the Quth-Maren charge Lukwind, but end up attacking his mirror images instead. Helena turns the Quth-Maren and it runs away, but Clicker chases after it. Lukwind entangles the other sentry, then Bolias tunnels the stronghold up to the tunnel where Garyn is trapped. Helena casts delay death, just as Garyn falls unconscious.
The mouth of the cavern opens into a chasm 30ft across, but wider and deeper than Clicker can see with his Darkvision. A vast spiderweb lines one wall of the cavern, and the Quth-Maren uses the web to climb down. In a distant corner of the web is an enormous nest, 30ft across, inhabited by a gargantuan spider. It makes no moves to attack, however, watching passively as the Quth-Maren traverses its web.
The spellguard draws his rapier and stabs at Lukwind, but hits one of his illusionary doubles. Freed from the entanglement, the two sentries chase after Clicker, but are unable to pierce his armor. Clicker dimension doors into the tentacles and grabs hold of Garyn and his familiar. Two araneas come down the tunnel towards Martok and the stronghold, so Helena casts flame strike.
With an enormous feat of concentration, Clicker manages to teleport Garyn and TelĂ©machus onto the healing platform, saving both their lives. Bolias tunnels the stronghold directly underneath Lukwind, so that he falls through the trapdoor in the roof. Still under the effect of the silence spell, the spellguard is powerless to prevent his escape.
Martok finishes off the araneas with a couple more eldritch blasts, then hops aboard the stronghold and they all drive back to the cavern where they left Elsa and Rohit.


The araneas managed to snare Elsa in their webs, but she was strong enough to break free. Rohit dodged all of the webs, and once that annoying daylight was gone he was able to use his invisibility to darkvision to great advantage. He threw an eggshell grenade, blinding them, and Elsa stepped in and cut them down. Once all of the araneas lay dead or dying, Rohit used alchemist's fire to burn away the webs around the third illusory wall, then threw a daylight pellet through the wall to blind any drow that might be on the other side. He took a peek through the wall and found that there were webs everywhere on the other side as well. Some more flasks of alchemist's fire took care of that. A tunnel went for 50ft before opening out into a cavern. As he had suspected, there were drow in the cavern, temporarily blinded.


Once the fires had burned down, Elsa stepped through the wall and straight into a fireball cast by one of the drow. She quickly stepped back again, so that Rohit could go first. Drinking a potion of invisibility, Rohit moved stealthily down the tunnel and got into a position to threaten the spellcasters. When Elsa stepped through the wall a second time, Rohit disrupted the spell with his attack of opportunity. Using her boots of speed, Elsa quickly moved down the tunnel and felled the spellguard, cleaving to the cleric and injuring her as well. Frightened by her bloody blade, most of the drow warriors retreated to the other end of the cavern, suffering AoO from Rohit as they went past.


The drow officer, dressed in mithral full plate armor, swung at Elsa with his longsword, but missed. Stepping back, the cleric said, "Wait, why are you attacking us? Are you in league with the white banshee?"


"What white banshee?" Rohit replied, "Drow have been attacking the surface. Your Drow, so thats why we are going to kill you. Although you might enjoy being our slave, so I plan to knock you out before we finish off your followers. Surrender now or face the consequences and meet your doom." 


"Very well, then," the cleric said, "we surrender." She signals to the rest of the drow, who drop their weapons on the ground. "We aren't the ones who have been attacking the surface. I've never even set foot on the surface. It's the Kiaransalean drow that you ought to be hunting." 


Rohit turned to Elsa, "Well, mistress, you did say that you wanted some alive..." 


"I'm pretty sure that wasn't me," Elsa replied, "but I suppose it couldn't hurt." She asked the cleric, "What can you tell us about the Kiaransalean drow?"


"They came from Maerimydra, only 25 turns ago, and took us by complete surprise. It was horrible. They tortured the priestesses of Lolth, then flayed all the skin from their bodies, transforming them into hideous undead. I alone managed to escape, the sole surviving heir of House Morcane. I took refuge in these caves, which the Kiaransalean drow are ignorant of. A few of my troops abandoned me, deciding to take their chances in the frigid surface world. I haven't seen or heard from them since." 


The cleric's lengthy exposition is interrupted by the arrival of the strongholdwinnebago, blinding all of the drow in its headlights. 


Lukwind, still changed into the form of a varag, stepped out and greeted the drow. With an amazing diplomacy check (a natural 20, for a total of more than 50), he changed their attitude to helpful.
Rohit asked the cleric why she hadn't cast any spells. Even now, severely wounded by Elsa's attack, the cleric hadn't healed herself. Extremely reluctantly, she admitted that Lolth no longer grants spells to her followers. "That is how the Kiaransalean drow conquered Szith Morcane so easily. One must assume that the city of Maerimydra has met the same fate. No clerics of Lolth have been able to pray for spells for the last 70 turns. Most of our wands and scrolls have already been used up. I don't even have any healing potions. However, I do know Szith Morcane better than anyone left alive. I can also tell you that not everybody is happy about the new regime. If you are willing to form an alliance, then together we can kill the usurpers and restore me to the throne."
"Aaahhh, well you might be very useful," Lukwind replied. "I will need to talk with the other members of the party. Everyone, in this party has got wildly different views on how to move forward, but let me just say that I will be strongly going for the alliance."
As a token of good faith, Tierak Morcane offered the party a chest containing gold and platinum pieces, as well as silver diningware. "This is only the small amount that I was able to bring, in my haste to escape," Tierak told them. "Rest assured that, once I have assumed my rightful position as ruler of Szith Morcane, you will all be richly compensated."

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