Drow Wars: Episodes 15-20 Following Darkness Like a Dream
From the journal of Rubina
We discuss the various options:
- Go to the plane of negative energy, with a cleric who can't turn undead, to get some more darkness stone.
- Investigate/Sabotage the Drow Mechs TM , sorry I mean spider constructs definitely not Mechs., Rubina suggest we give the plans to a dwarf/gnome working group to reverse engineer them to build our own and/or find ways to stop them the two hippy tree huggers, sorry Druids object saying some about “think of the squirrels” or some such.
- Think of the way to kill a colossal black Dragon (unfortunately none of the characters are planar champions to no nipping to Krynn to get a colossal Gold Dragon).
- Try to persuade some of the feckless nations that are sitting on the fence not to be wussies.
- Return to the shadow dragon kill him and steal beat him up, shake him down and tell him we expect better stuff next time!
Alfric then attempts to haggle with the thieving merchants of Xoth Sarandi, but the hard faced git doesn't drop his prices, we are only trying to save the world here after all, he purchases a ring of invisibility, he only has to up his craft (painting) and he can start the “What the Cohort saw” business he has always dreamed of.
The Druid/wizard thing refuses to scribe any scrolls (Rubina despairs of XP whores).
In the Frozen foods/magic rings aisle we meet two new starborn a Ranger druid (Rubina thinks great another tree hugger lighting joss sticks everywhere) and a Wizard/Conjurer/ULTIMATE MAGE (Muha hahah!!).
After discussion the various options be decide to return to the Ice Spike and see what goodies we missed on the first sweep (see if the butt naked dead Tiefling we left is still there, woe betide those who try to sell out the party!!) we justify it by saying we might find the portal to the plane of negative energy but we all know the real score.
Because we don't want to be separated from our stuff we need someone to teleport us past the stone Golem who the first attempt fails so we try again (Rubina despairs of those who don't get the hint the first time and resolves to blame the spell casters if it all goes wrong). We find ourselves in the icy waste near the icy spike but of course we forgot to cast endure elements (so Rubina can still blame the spell casters about something) AND we were outside the spike rather than inside.
We approach the spike whilst waiting for the stone Glum to do his “Please check your weapons at the door” act. Unfortunately there are 2 Glum's this time and we suspect the spike is warded against the teleporting. The dwarves don't know anything about the geology of the spike (Rubina starts to wonder if perhaps they are just short ugly humans, or tall bearded halfling's in reality however then she remembers about the smiting giants thing and realises that only a dwarf would ditch undead turning for that!!).
Once asked we have a quick discussion say “Well be back in a bit without our weapons”, walk round a corner stuff everything into a hewards haversack and return whistling nonchalantly, and the Glum falls for it (Rubina feels for the Ice Wizard you just can't get the staff these days!).
We decide that we need to fulfill the DnD staple and do the dungeon properly rather than just going straight to the top or bottom.
In the Trophy room we discover two insect things (Rubina eyes the Druids in case they want to hug them because she knows hippies are a bit like that). We decide the new Wizard should cast Detect Magic rather than Lorenna in case the insects get annoyed (Rubina thinks that Lorenna may need a death or two soon). The insects try to block our path but Alfric spins it a yarn about how we are like “that” with the Ice Wizard, honest guv we are not here to rob all his stuff honest. After discovering that all the frozen bodies in the wall have magic items of low to middling and we need cash, we decide we may need to kill the insects at some point but we decide to come back later, after shooting the breeze with the insects.
We find a dinning room with what looks like very, very old humans who nod there head (Rubina thinks that people listening to iPods are amusing). One of the creatures hisses “Slay Us” but we are worried that if we do we may end up taking there place (the others start up with the same chant). After discussion about using the Cohort (we can always get more clerics) Lorenna summons a wolf to kill them for us.
We go up another level, the new chamber is warm and full of light and plants (Rubina for the first and last time wishes we had a Blighter with us), there are also for different insecty things. Rubina asks if she can have a blackberry but the insects threaten to kill them if we touch a plant, we decide it's probably not worth it (Rubina thinks that Gardeners World from the Ice Wizards Spike would be amusing: “Ice Demon, chairman of the Ice Spike in Bloom committee, We have a problem with adventurers wandering in, killing everything and spreading fruit blight, does the panel have any solutions?”)
We eventually go through the lab and the monk and both clerics fall into a stupor (Rubina thinks this confirms her views about weak willed dwarves). We see the Ice Wizard and his sister who seem to be quite annoyed at Lorenna.
Alfric moves ahead and tickles the Ice Wizard, then acting at the same time, Lorenna. runs wibbling from the room down the corridor, whilst the other druid puts an arrow through the wizard and the Sister (a cleric) directs a cone of cold (which also gets the new wizard, Rubina, Alfric and the other Druid by mistake, Rubina assumes), the party turns and points down the corridor saying “She went that way”. Rubina then dances over and showers the ice wizard in cuts. The new wizard drops Evards entagleing thingumy which grapples the Ice Wizard and his Sister, Alfric then sneak attacks the now entangled Ice Wizard who looks a bit pissed and teleports away with his sister muttering about spells with Somatic components.
After the other 3 wake up we heal up and progress onwards, we get to a swirling coloured portal and Alfric Bravely steps in against the advice of the Hippy with the identity crisis (Rubina feels proud to be a Fighter like him). The new wizard kea to show he is a cut above most spell casters steps through as well. Alfric returns a short time later and tell us that there is a chained angelic looking titan, the rest of the party go through and the titan initially mistakes us for the other party of heroes wandering about that will free us.
The new wizard realises that the bindings of the titan must have been placed by a god and Lorenna. taunts him about this and we tramp out to try another portal instead.
The party think's that it's Lorenna.'s turn to go through first, but she disagrees so the fighters get fed up and decide to go through first instead again . We come trough into a quiet forest so Rubina returns and tell's the rest who decide that as it isn't the plane of eternal torment they may deign to follow.
We try another portal which brings us into a icy plane with 8 ice sculptures which emit a moanfull tone, as it's lest than –50 degress we all decide to leave. (Rubina records all this on her CV for when she becomes a Planar Tour Guide).
Finally we enter a massive storehouse of the dead pilled high in rows upon rows of coffins.
From the journal of Brottor
We decide to try some more portals, Alfric goes in under invisibility. It is the bedchamber of something utterly evil, heavy on the desiccated human flesh features.
There is the chained soul of our previous enemy – the Terror. She has obviously been tortured. Alfric comes back to relay this to us, we have a debate as to what to do. I say she is getting her just deserts and we should leave her to rot, others want to talk to her and maybe free her. Lorenna and Terri vote yes, everyone else abstains - We are going to talk to her.
The only way to free her is to kill the one who owns her. Archduke Be'lial of Hell. Ruler of the 4 th layer of hell. I ask her what she had done to get imprisoned by the Archduke of hell, she replies nothing. We are so OUT of here.
The last portal we find is not a portal – the pass ends. I try a detect magic. We think it is a portal but specifically keyed. We remember that you need a cold iron tuning fork of specific dimensions to get in. We are going to need to get it manufactured, BUGGER should have thought of this earlier!
Levi casts locate object but we don't find one. So we are going to have to return to the city to get one manufactured. Before we go we are going to raid the fortresses magic items.
They are guarded by 4 devils, we hatch a plan to slay them all, but it all falls apart when the devil doesn't believe Alfrics bluff. Here we go! We charge out of the corridor, Rubina attacks but doesn't do much damage, I cast Stoneskin on myself and move in. Ter'ri rolls in and clobbers one with his bat, Alfric runs away screaming.
All the devils move in on us and Ter'ri takes some serious grief. We battle but it seems to be going the devils way - they are quite hard. Rubina takes a lot of damage and is slowed. Lorenna summons a huge earth elemental. We continue the battle, Terri brings one down. Lorenna casts Vitriolic Sphere then retreats down the corridor. COWARD!
Bastirak and his crazy sister Zamelak appear behind Lorrena and let fly. She manages to shrug off the destruction spell from Bastirak but Zamelak Fingers her to Death. Lorenna has kicked the bucket! DOLLY HAS BEEN AVENGED! Now we have 2 powerful spellcasters at our backs and 3 devils to our front.
We take down 2 of the devils, Levi casts fog to delay the 2 mages. Jessault casts Spell Turning on himself and moves back towards where the spell casters were, the pair teleport in behind him and Zamilak casts slay living on him. As she only has to touch him it bypasses the spell turning. The power of Vendyss luck protects him and the spell fizzles.
Levi blasts Bastirak to pieces with fire and brimstone, I charge in on Zamelak as Ter'ri tries to grapple her but she plane shifts out.
Off Bastirak we loot:
- A black wizards robe – Evil Archmage
- A pair of rings – Force shield, Protection + 4
- A Cloak – Resistance + 4
- A cold iron tuning fork of very specific dimensions.
We melt the walls and pillage the bodies of the fallen.
From the halfling:
- 458GP, small saphire earings
- A magical shortsword
- A ring – improved ring of climbing
Female elf with blond hair:
- Suit of full plate +1 full plate of moderate fortification
- A greatsword +1 Vorpal Greatsword
Bald headed Human:
2 Male half elves:
- 2 rings – Minor cold resistance (both)
- 2 longswords
- 2 scroll cases
Grey haired human female
- Shield +2 darkwood shield
- Non-magical full plate
We seal the entrance and rest. In the morning J talks to Lorennas spirit and she convinces him that she sincerely respects vendyss, he resurrects her and we identify items.
I suddenly realise something - Alfric isn't here and no one has seen him since the start of the previous days combat!
From the journal of Brottor
Off to find Alfric! Levee casts locate object on his signature weapon, “found it!” We get our hopes up for a second, “20 feet that way!”…. “where he dropped it”
Bugger… Lorenna transforms into a dire wolf and tracks his footprints, they lead out to the central staircase, then stop. Bugger.
We are going to search the place from the top down. We head to Asteraks prison room, Thombold climbs up and checks if he is still there and if Alfric had been imprisoned with him. Once up there he attempts to break the enchantment with his axe, slips and plummets to the ground. Levee casts feather fall and saves him.
We carefully move across the narrow bridge to the crazy sisters room, Terri hear's someone scolding dolly. A symbol appears ahead of us, its very powerful. Rubina and Thombold resist, followed by Jessault and I, but Lorenna lacks the fortitude and succums, dropping dead instantly. Bugger. Everyone else survives.
After that experience Rubina quickly slips on the cloak of resistance. A wall of blades appears before us, Levee dispels it. Thrombold moves towards in cautious, Terri and I charge in. Terri tries to grapple her but can't grip.
Alfric is bound and gagged on the floor, wearing a dress, makeup and lipstick, being scolded for being a bad dolly. She casts a spell and Ter'ri cannot approach her. Rubina comes flying past us scimitars spinning. There is a blur and a splat of blood and pieces of Zamalack drop to the floor.
We untie aflric and give him some privacy to get dressed. Assuming he knows we forget to tell him about the makeup. She has a amulet of natural armour +6, a ring of protection +4 and a ring of regeneration, and a cloak of resistance +4. Based on what has been happening I take the helmet of teleportation. In her room we find a book on fairy tales and a crystal orb. Inside the orb is an image of a silver dragon flying across a stormy sky.
Other stuff we found earlier is identified.
We sound the tuning fork in the passage and a black portal with swirling silver. Rubina and Thrombold at the front move through the portal, as soon as they are through the portal closes.
They find themselves in a shadowy realm with illumination like twilight. The land is barren and rocky, with giant black flying shapes. There are the shapes of trees that look like they should be dead, but aren't. Everything has a dark and shadowy appearance. They are on a ledge overlooking a plane. To the south there is a slope downwards to a forest of diseased trees with green glowing things like fires. Further south west there is what looks to be a town. There is what seems to be a lighthouse in the town except it is beaming out black light.
This place is strongly evil aligned, squashing our protection from evil spells immediately.
Much further to the south, barely visible is a sheer vertical wall – cannot be natural. There is a faint vision of someone sitting on a throne above it.
We head towards the city – the dark ore has got to be in the lighthouse thing. The small bats seem to follow us. Levee casts silence on us so the bats lose our trail. There are small settlements a way off our route, we decide to check one to see if we can learn anything. It is a few huts populated by albino, malnourished, human peasants, the huts have pale cabbages growing outside and pale enclosures. The villagers look at as resignedly, the enclosures contain insects.
Alfric strikes up conversation
They don't know where we can get dark crystals.
The city is called the City of Memories, going there is forbidden. By Noctoloss, the dark majesty who rules this land.
The form of the top of the wall is the Collosus, Nectulos lives there. The plain is also called Nectulos.
We continue towards the city. It seems to be abandoned, but it has a shadowy motion that is hard to focus on. There are red fungal growths everywhere that light up the area around them in hellish light. A wooden sign reads “memory vale”. We get a feeling that this is a bad place, we ignore this feeling. We notice something disturbing – there is nothing here, but the red light shows shadows as if there were people walking here. The street is bustling with shadows, shadow families have dinner, shadow drinkers imbibe in silence at the pub. But the scenes all end in violence and death – a shadow with a greatsword hacks down people in the street. The tavern turns into a leathal brawl, the dinning family have an argument and the woman stabs the man. Then at the end of the scene the shadows all turn and look at us, then come charging at us.
There are 4 of them charging the cluster of our party from all directions. Their incorporal nature makes them hard for our attacks or spells to touch them. Their attacks drain the party on contact. Levee starts yelling for everyone to get around him. Jessault attempts to blast one with Vendyss light, but it fails completely in this world of shadow. We form a circle around Levee who clicks his heels and screams “there's no place like home” We appear back in Kahore – 280 miles from where we were aiming but so much better than the shadow plane.
Note to self and party, feelings about bad places should not be ignored. We teleport back to Zoth Zerandi to heal and make a new plan.
From the journal of Brottor
We go shopping….
We have options
We need to bring more nations to the alliance
We need to destroy the drow death machines
We need to go back to the plane of shadow to get the sample of the dark stuff
The conclave believe they have pinpointed the location of the manufactory in the mountains south-east of Svarth, run by duerger. Probably with the most elite defences they have, stealth would be preferable to brute force…. Bugger.
The conclave recommend we enlist the help of a silver dragon that the ancient black dragon cast down and imprisoned in a laberynth beneath the mountains north of Svarth. Mount Granak , located in an area called the Dragon-Haunted hills, the most remote regions of the mountains. It is rumoured that red dragons live there.
The party has a vote. Dragonslaying has it. The conclave teleport us to the edge of the Dragon-Haunted hills.
We hatch a plan, Jessault and I cast wind walk to turn us into clouds, Lorenna has control weather. There are many dragons in the area and many more flying around the mountain. We drift slowly as a cloud whilst Lorrenna summons a storm which encourages the dragons to take shelter, none of them spot us and we drift to the cloud. WE WERE STEALTHY!
Jessault casts find the path to take us to the labyrynth. Mount Grannak is a huge volcano. The path he finds leads to a large nearby cave, Lorrenna casts rope trick that we take shelter in whilst we watch and count the number. 7 of us are in one rope trick, Alfric is “entertaining himself” in the other. We drop down under an invisibility sphere whilst Alfric has his ring of invisibility and enter the cave.
We noted that the dragons we saw leaving were all huge – that means probably fairly young. I make the cynical comment – mum and dad have sent the kids out to enjoy the good weather.
The corridor is hot, Vendyss magic protects us. Our spell directs us which side passage to take. This side passage is dragon sized – one of the young dragons could fit down quite comfortably.
The corridor opens out into a large chamber, in which there is a guargantum red dragon lying on a big pile of swag. We come to a swift halt. Levee recons this is at least an old dragon. DRAGON BAD.
UP UNTIL NOW WE HAVE BEEN STEALTHY.
We back up, use a Claivoyance to see further down the corridor then teleport down it, avoiding the dragon. WE ARE STILL BEING STEALTHY!
There are many side passages that look like they have been enlarged to fit dragons, there are broken eggs and hatched dragons in the side passages – this seems to be an entire red dragon colony. The passage to comes to another huge cavern with another gargantum dragon, this one looks older. This means his horde is bigger!
AsLlevee is out of greater teleports we have to do this with smaller hops using the helm.
We continue down the corridor and come to a final giant chamber. Within it is an even older looking dragon on a huge horde. Chained to a wall is a silver haired human female – our silver dragon hopefully. Past it the passage leads to the heart of the volcano.
We buff ourselves with everything we have and prepare for one hell of a fight. I note down 3 things before we start:
- We love find the path, control weather and invisibility
- WE WERE STEALTHY
- DRAGON BAD!
Lorenna summons an elemental, levee casts a spell at the dragon. It breathes on us as we charge, the fire hurts.
Thrombold, Rubina, Terri and I charge in and around it and attack, but fail to do it much damage. Alfric and Jessault move around to try and free the silver dragon. Levee and Lorenna move and cast, we have split up to avoid the breath.
The dragon goes for Lorenna, I strike it as it moves, it attempts to shunt Lorenna out of time but misses due to her blink spell. I let rip with my hammer into its flank and Rubina slashes all across its rear end.
From the journal of Brottor
Fighting a dragon…
Lorenna sensibly dimension doors away from the dragon before it can bite her. It turns around and lets rip on Ter'ri. Ter'ris displacement saves him from the wing attacks which saves his life, he is badly injured and withdraws.
I attack the dragon with my hammer and wound it, Rubina dances across it's flank and Levee blasts it with a giant ball of acid. Lorenna puts Terri in a rejuvination cocoon. Jessault stone shapes the manacles free from the wall. Alfric starts to carry the silver dragon towards Lorenna.
The dragon decides it has had enough and teleports out. We spend 6 rounds looting the horde and freeing the silver dragon. Then the dragon, one of its friends and a smaller dragon all teleport in next to us... they look pissed. Jessault calls upon Vendyss power and planeshifts us to Her plane before they can breath on us.
We planeshift back to Kaldraza the next day. We are feeling good! We have loot. We sell most of it. Shopping spree!
We consider changing the party motto from Dragon Bad to Dragon Bank.
I explain what has happened to her and we share information.
She will help us but needs time to heal.
On the plus side – the black considers her dead. He cast her down and ordered the red to kill her, but the red disobeyed and imprisoned her instead. It's unlikely the reds will be wanting to let the black know.
The black has probably been sleeping for the thousand years. The reds are worried that, given last time he wiped out almost all the good dragons this time he might kill all of them.
We go back to the plane of shadow and teleport to the roof of the tower that projects the black light. It's some sort of cathedral of darkness and we are on the tower, the flying shapes are a lot closer now.
I stone shape us a hole in the roof – it is a bell tower containing a large chunk of the dark metal on a chain. There is a little plaque that Terri spots, we translate it to “The black stuff keeps the worms away from city.” Lorrenna uses acid to melt the chain, Levee floats below it with the bag of holding open, the dark metal drops in.
Immediately there is a rumbling below us, giant worms spring out of the ground destroying the city and the surrounding villages! We wisely decide to plane shift ourselves home.
The conclave examine the stuff – its good, but its not enough. We need to go back. Bugger!
From the journal of Brottor
We decide to go to destroy the duerger walker builder operation in Doloris peak. We try to hatch a plan – fighting our way in probably won't be an option. Our goal is to cripple the factory and destroy any finished walkers.
Lorrena shifts to bird form and goes flying, she finds a large gash in the side of the mountain that leads in, we head towards it. When we arrive Alfric checks for traps, but finds none. We enter the fissure, which leads to a large natural cavern. The wizards forgot to memorize darkvision so half the party can't see.
The cavern has no exits so we turn on the lights and get searching. Alfric finds a section of the floor that is smoother than the rest and has a visible seem. Levee tries to cast knock on it but it fails. Alfric searches some more and finds a nodule he can twiddle. He does so and the stone platform descends, we run and hop onto it.
Down it goes with a series of juddering thumps at a dwarvish guess we are 200 feet below the ground. It goes down into a large chamber, at the base of the lift are 3 duerger, whilst around there are 2 more drow on a raised platform with an alarm . Oh Shit!
Alfric moves off the platform and switches the lights on, Rubina dances around the dueger and sends one crashing down.
Levee casts lightning leap to try and stop the drow from pulling the alarm lever, appearing between the 2 of them. But he is an instant too slow and the lever gets pulled. Immediately a klaxon blares.
So much for stealthy. Lets whack some drow!
Lorenna smites the wizard with an acid orb while Terri clobbers a duerger with his staff. Jessault spins his warpike and finishes the duerger, leaving just one. I cover the entrance to this chamber in spikes of stone to stop the enemies entering. Alfric slips in behind the warrior and impales him through the throat with his longsword. The wizard teleports away as levee blasts him and Rubina slashes the final duerger to death.
Now its hammer time!
There is a lack of Duerger hordes, Alfric walks along the ceiling of the corridor. The door at the end of the corridor leads to a giant storeroom. There is a corridor branching off that branches itself into a T – at either end of the T is a barricade with drow and duerger behind them – crossfire.
Jessault attempts to find the path, but it fails. We wall of force off one branch of the T and Thrombold and I advance forward. They fire on us with crossbows which bounce harmless off our armour…. Perfect. We charge!
Just before we reach the barricade to put steel against steel the floor gives way! Thrombold and I fall into a 50 foot deep pit covered in spikes. My feather fall token activates and I land harmlessly but Thrombold is impaled quite badly.
Lorenna casts murderous mist on the drow whilst levee lets rips with incendiary cloud.
The wall of force behind Lorenna disappears and a drow appears behind them. He speaks a word powered by chaos that stuns all the party that hear it – everyone but Thrombold and I. He then retreats whilst the party is stunned.
When Levee recovers he drops an incendiary cloud down the other end of the corridor to keep the drow occupied.
An acid fog spell materialises around the party. Levee teleports us together so we can pull out. Then we teleport out. We need some dark visions… and perhaps some stealth.
We rest up a day, then we place as many useful stealth spells on Lorenna and Alfric and Alfric teleports them into the storeroom. They walk across the ceiling and over the heads of drider that are patrolling the room. Unfortunately there is a symbol of insanity that triggers and Alfric is unable to resist. Lorenna puts them both in a resilient sphere.
Alfric is confused and grabs Lorenna the lizard and yanks her out of his pocket. Lorenna transforms back into a human to break the hold and tries to get the helmet off his head while he attacks her. They are invisible, silent, and stuck in sphere attached to the ceiling!
Lorenna manages to grab the helmet off Alfric and teleports out, I heal Alfrics insanity.
From the journal of Brottor
Lorenna summons a new dire bear and names it Sapphire.
Ter'ri bets it will last 2 weeks
Levee bets 4 weeks
J and I recon it's dead by the end of our adventure to the shadow realm.
We go back to the shadow realm, the giant worms have destroyed the town and the isolated villages but left the forest of hags. We teleport – Levee teleports with us and Lorenna takes her bear separately. Unfortunately Lorenna's teleport doesn't go so well.
We appear at the base of a wall made of black rock at least 200 feet tall. It is perfectly smooth so impossible to climb. A distance along the wall there appears to be an arch.
Lorenna has appeared directly in front of the colossus. A giant humanoid figure contorted in pain. There is a tunnel between the feet leading into the mountain, but it is only 2 and a half feet across. There are 3 huge shadowy forms around her. She teleports out but not before one of them casts finger of death at her – her contingency death ward triggers.
We head to the archway, there are big stone doors blocking the way. Jessault and I stoneshape holes in the door. The bear pokes its head through and meets the gribbles. It is paralysed with fear, pooping on Lorenna's feet. It's blocking the door! Bugger!
Unholy blight gets dropped in the area followed by a cone of cold. Lorenna dimension doors herself and the bear away from the entrance so we can charge.
Rubina charges in and attacks followed by Thombold and Alfric. Levee casts arc of lightning on them whilst I blast with holy power. The things attack with finger of death spells, which fizzle against us. Between spells and melee we send 2 of them crashing back to hell, the third teleports away.
We form up a party order and squeeze into the gap. Alfric finds a trap and tries to disable it, but fails and the walls rumble for a second then slam closed. As they close a slam a wall of stone in front of me that blocks my section from closing. This buys time for many of the party to teleport so only the unfortunate Alfric gets squished.
He survives the squishing and crawls to the other end as Lorenna burns through my wall of stone with a Thocca – which triggers the trap again squashing it. We divise a complicated series of teleports that gets everyone past, I heal Alfric.
The passage opens into a chamber, which has stairs down. At the far end of the chamber is a set of stairs upwards. Standing in front of the stairs are 6 large iron statues, in pairs facing inwards so anyone wanting to go up the stairs would have to walk between them.
The statues bow steeply from the waist and speak:
The first pair says “hail unto thee who art Nectuloss in thy darkness.”
The 2nd pair says “… …. In thy silence”
The 3rd pair says “… …. In thy majesty”
We figure walking between them will be very bad so lorrenna summons a sacrificial wolf. The wolf walks between them without triggering anything. Terri, the great plum decides to sprint between as fast as he can!
All 6 statues animate – IRON GOLEMS!
Lorenna puts a wall of force between us and them, Levee puts a wall between them and the stairs. We teleport past them and Jessault shapes the thickest wall of stone he can between us and them. We think that between the wall of force and the stone we have about 20 minutes.
We head up the stairs and through many passages and junctions, using the logic of “always go left”. We come to a room with a large pool, in a moazaic is a figure of a man. There is the text, “Oh Noctulus cleanse me with your flaying waters.”
We conclude this would be a bad thing. After some deliberation Lorenna wild shapes to an eagle and carries us across. Levee teleports the bear. We have to use a lot of spells to carry that bloody bear!
We carry on and come to a series of twisted passages and chambers with 3 feet of water. We decide that the water is probably bad and Levee summons a dog to investigate. It swims around for a bit, then the water churns and goes red as the dog disappears under.
Levee spider climbs people and casts fly on the bear and we avoid the liquid.
We climb up through the colossus and come to a huge open chamber. The passage becomes a walkway around the huge circular room. Floating in the centre, not supported is some form of huge black heart. The chamber echo's like a heartbeat. There is a valve like exit on the other side of the room. It is closed. The walls and floor of the room are some form of leathery flesh, only the walkway is made of stone.
We wander round the chamber to the valve. Alfric examines it and finds no traps. Jessault recognises the flesh of the valve, heart and walls – undead flesh.
Levee tries a knock spell, the valve opens, the heart spasms and emits 3 wraithlike figures which look a lot like the figures that attacked us in the town. They open their attack against Terri, Alfric and Lorenna's bear, draining them significantly. Terri opens up with the baseball bat of doom, but the one he attacks is still up.
Lorenna flame strikes 2 of them, both are still left. The bear attacks one and ACTUALLY HITS!
Rubina, Alfric, Thrombold attack, Jessault and I use holy power to attack them. They strike back and alfirc and the bear are not looking happy. Jessault restores Alfric whilst Lorenna encages the one attacking the bear. We send 2 of them back to hell then prepare for the third – Lorenna releases the forcecage and we destroy it.
From the journal of Brottor
We come to a chamber, it is a high gloomy hall, a mausoleum built to house the body of some dead god. Murals on walls show people abasing themselves before a figure on the throne.
Opposite us are high doors leading away. On one side of the room is large globe of inky darkness that darkvision cannot penetrate. Te'rri notices that there are some bats hanging on the ceiling. We enter, cautiously.
As Ter'ri (first) enters a large voice booms out “prostrate yourselves before his majesty Nectulos”. Ter'ri sits.
After a lack of smiting Ter'ri gets up and the rest of us move in slowly.
Six females in robes step out from the Darkness. They throw back their hoods. At first glace they look like well proportioned females, a second glace shows a foul face with masses of snakes instead of hair.
Ter'ri charges in, but as he moves his flesh solidifies and he turns to stone. Oops!. Alfric and Thrombold manage to avoid being turned to stone as they attack other medusas. Jessault and I attack and avoid the gazes but Lorrena and Rubina are not so lucky and turn to stone, as does her bear, Sapphire. Ter'ri wins the bet, pity he can't collect on it.
Levee casts antimagic field which breaks the gaze attacks. But annuls the magic on our attacks. We continue to fight as the medusas close in on us, Thrombold sends one back to whatever hell she came from with his axe, Alfric is being drained by their poison. Levee flails wildly with his quarterstaff but is failing to hit anything. I send another one down and Thrombold finishes a third.
Alfric drops from the medusas strength draining poison, unable to support the weight he is carrying. Levee drops down almost immediately after. The 3 meduasas decide that the remaining dwarves are more of a threat than the downed party members so attack us instead of finished Alfric and levee. I slay one as 3 things come into the room from the opposite entrance.
3 Huge humanoid things with batwings, big claws and jaws. Things might be looking bad for us now. To make matters worse Thrombold gets turned to stone. Leaving just Jessault and I up to fend off the remaining medusas and the 3 new creatures. Levee and Alfric are on the floor from strength draining poison.
The things advance on me and their attacks hurt. Levee dismisses the antimagic field as Alfric crawls towards him – good thing planeshift doesn't require gestures. Swarms of bats attack us all. I planeshift J and myself away, seconds later Levee teleports himself and Alfric to entrance to the plane.
Levee and Alfric are left lying on the floor in front of the portal. Levee cannot even move his own body. Alfric is able get naked at which point he can move around and reach into Levees clothes to find his scroll of restoration. He holds it up to Levee who can read the words on the scroll and restore himself then planeshift them to Zoth Xarandi. The next day Jessault and I can teleport back to the city and heal everybody.
We need a plan B. It starts with Levee learning the Stone to Flesh spell, then making a scroll of it. Alfric takes Jessault shopping for antitodes, mirrors, and finally manages to find an amulet of wisdom. I research the things that attacked us. They are Nightwings, huge undead with the ability to drain magic and a number of spell like abilities, including the ability to slay at a gesture.
We also purchase a scroll of shrink item to shrink the throne so we can carry it. We buff up and planeshift in to the corridor leading to the throne room.
The far doors are open to a balcony beyond, we can see one of the Nightwings and the statue of Terri, perched perilously on the edge. Good thing we are invisible. We hatch a cunning plan. Jessault and I summon walls of stone behind Terri and presumably the rest of the party. Levee casts stone to flesh on Terri and Alfric charges bravely forward. Alfric and Terri between them cause a lot of grief to one of the Nightwings.
Levee casts scintillating sphere within the mass of darkness, hopefully killing something. I charge after Alfric and Jessault recites Vendyss' will to strengthen us. The bat swarms descend onto Levee and Jessault whilst the monsters move into attack Alfric, Ter'ri and I. 3 Medusas comes out of the shadows and gaze upon Levee and Jessault who resist.
Alfric sends the first monster back to hell, allowing Ter'ri and I to engage the other 2. Levee uses a cone of cold to kill one of the medusas. I land 5 mighty blows against the second Nightwing and crush it's unholy body into the dirt. Jessault calls out the holy Word of Vendyss, which slays the bats instantly and paralyses the medusas with terror at Her power.
From the journal of Alfric
Alfric and Ter'ri attack the Nightwing on the balcony. A robed male creature with red eyes, teeth and snakes for eyes walks out of the darkness and gazes at Levee, turning him to stone. Brottor charges the creature and smites it with his hammer while Jessault sends an arc of electricity destroying a medusa. Ter'ri bludgeons the Nightwing to death. Alfric rushes into the room and finishes off the other paralysed Medusa. Brottor swings his hammer the male medusa who turns to mist and retreats into the darkness like a cowardly cur.
Alfric walks into the darkness. He edges forward hand on the wall feeling a stone chair and a leg. He runs straight out again!
Brottor heads into the darkness intending to push the chair out. He starts to push the throne. It tips over and something falls out. We find Nectulos helpless and move to finish him off. Alfric attacks him but is turned to stone too. Ter'ri finishes him off. He finds a cloak a ring and two amulet.
Brottor, Jessault, Ter'ri and the statues of Levee and Alfric planeshift out with the throne. They head for Caldrazza then Xoth Serandai where the statues are turned back to flesh. The newly found items are identified:
Ring of protection +4
Ring of energy resistance major (Acid)
Cloak of resistance +5
Amulet of the planes.
We planeshift back to Nectulos to search for Lorenna and the others who are still missing, presumably statues. Brottor casts locate object to try and find the statue of Thrombold. The body of Nectulos has disappeared from the throne room. We find the statue of Lorenna is in a room filled by water. The water is unholy. Lorenna is shrunk by Levee and put in a bag of holding. We move on.
We arrive at the room filled with 6 iron golems and teleport past them, heading down the stairs to the basement. There are 3 cells. The cells have gleaming barriers in front of them. We recognise these as walls of force. There is a haggard half orc barbarian in one room. It's Gibora! She's slightly manic. The remaining statues are together in another of the cells. We rescue them all.
Bacl on Xoth Sarandi the elves, after some experimentation, confirm they can create a wand that will destroy the tenebrium (darkness producing stuff). We just need to reach the heart of the spire and use the wand to dispel the darkness in Crom Calamar.
We debate our next steps...
From the journal of Rubina
We are in a tavern when and old man approaches, the clerics try and turn smite him in case he is a giant!!, the wizards blast him with fireballs, the fighters stick sharp pointy things into him, take that plot hook!
The Druid thing begs the party wizard to turn her bear back from it's current small stone (and manageable form) the rest of the party begs him not to, eyelid fluttering however works for Lorenna.
Loreena decides that greater teleport is not needed, Rubina announces that she will contracting Levi to fufil all her teleporting requirements, an SLA is signed.
We have a number of options:
Get more forces.
Kick the elves of the fence.
Give 2/3 of Jeharnam to the neighbours.
Disguise ourselves as drow and carry out numerous atrocities.
Steal/stop the production of the drows Mechs TM
Try and enlist the red dragons that we robbed the white dragon from (given they may be bricking themselves over the black dragon), stealing the kids to hold them to ransom appeals to the players sitting at the table (then killing them anyways), the quasi-clerics opinion isn't canvassed.
Kidnap the drow archmage and break out the thumbscrews (not for information just for kicks).
There is a suggestion that we should just send the druid/wizard schizophrenic to deal with the mechs given that with her AC post-buffs nothing will be able to touch her.
We consider the option of combining the disguising as drow thing with the stealing/killing the dragons kid thing.
We return to the (seemingly) eternal debate about attacking the MechFac, one option being to buff Terri and set him running through the complex to set off all the traps, and or try casting true seeing.
We eventually decide to tunnel through to the main room from the entrance whilst at the same time sending a herd of summoned natures allies the other way.
Lorenna will be casting the sacrifical lambs whilst Brottor and Jesalt stone shape the tunnel we need.
Lorenna proves once again proves that Druid/Wizards who can't decide which class they want to be are deludings themselves by mis-teleporting, Rubina strokes her SLA .
Gebora wanders off with loreena tugging at her skirt trying to teleport her away, whilst Gebora ignores the protestations of the hippy with her bear.
Whilst the dwarves start stone shaping, eventually lorenna and the menagerie appear.
Lorrena starts summoning dire weevils.
The fighters start examining their nails.
The wizards keep summoning celestial ferrets.
Rubina asks if any of the fighters have any cards.
Levi finally casts invisibility sphere before the teleport whilst lorenna keeps summoning dire sparrows or somesuch.
Levi and the core of the party dimension door away, unfortunately a load of drow teleport in to replace them.
We find 20 durgar and 20 drow fighting a couple of the summoned beasties (a Zorn and a Earth elemental)
Rubina and Alfric move to 15 foot range ready for the next round (and for levi to set off his spell)
Gebora rages and turns into another bear and moves upto drow wizard in the group near them.
The drow in geboras room attack the bears and the wizard casts and buff vs. bear spell, this utterly fails as gebora rips him in two.
Levi drops a 3 round fireball on the gathered drow and durgar.
The large room gets resolved via a montage whilst the director concentrates on Lorennas room (she is the star of the show after all). Gebora the teddy keeps getting hit but shrugs off the damage and keeps making the save vs. their poison, however eventually he rolls a 1 and collapses, at the same time a new load of drow move up behind Lorenna and tap her on the shoulder. Luckily the hippy has a neutralise poison scroll and wakes gebora up before the drow remember the coup-de-grace rules. Ignoring the option to stand up Gebora stays lying on the floor flailing about (but still handing out wades of damage.
Lorenna casts biggbys grasping hand against the new wizard that has appeared behind her and direct her teddy to attack the new lot whilst gebora clears up the original lot.
The drow paw uselessly at lorenas obscene AC and she casts a cone at them but all but 2 of them are protected by their SR. Gebora finishes off the last of the original group.
Lorrenna and Gebora finish off the rest of the drow during another montage.
We make our way down the corridor and drop the room behind with earthquakes.
At the end of the corridor we see another room with the doorway barricaded and a load of heads poking over, the wizards drop an acid and fire cloud on them.
From the journal of Alfric
Something bounces towards us. It's a delayed blast fireball. We dive for cover. Jessault, Terri, Rubina and Gibora leap out of the way. Our protection from fire keeps the rest from being too scorched. Brottor leads the way to the other room. He doesn't seem to care about nasty symbols on entranceways. A symbol flares up – we all shrug it off.
When the fog clears we see a figure in the room. It's an emo, long hair and a skull costume. He's probably depressed, and needs happy pills. There are also partly formed mechs in the room. Lorenna casts disintegrate on the figure. Alfric runs into the room. The figure casts a spell on Levi. It's a meteor swarm. The fire also affects the group around him. Despite the pyrotechnics the group survive unscathed. Brottor moves towards him and strikes at him. The hammer goes through him. Rubina runs into the room and slams into a wall of force. It's an illusion. Jessault tries to dispel the illusion. He fails. Levi uses his boots to teleport into the room having cast see invisibility. Seeing the caster brings a column of fire down on him. Gibora attacks the illusion. Alfric disappears. We wait for the wall of force to disappear. There is a piercing shreak. Alfric, Brottor, Jessault, Rubina and Terri don't succumb. Gibora dies and the image disappears. Levi teleports us past the barrier. Lorenna teleports off with the bear and the body of Gibora. In a room off the room we are in there is a big hanger with mechs and cybernetic Duerger. There is at least one active mech in the room. Rubina sees the mage behind two cyberdurger. The room is 50' high. The mech is like a mechanical crab with multifaceted eyes. Rubina bravely charges into the room. He tries to slice him to pieces but he misses. The emo guy climbs into a mech. The dwarves and Alfric move into the room. Terri move into the room and attacks a cyberduerger. Lorenna teleports back in with the bear. A cyberduerger attacks Rubina. The mech attacks Rubina. Some more attack Terri and Brottor. Alfric spiderclimbs into the room still invisible. Jessault cast holy word blinded and deafened the cyberduerger. Brottor smites a cyberduerger. Rubina dervish dances around the mech. She scratches the paintwork. Terri uses his baseball bat of doom to smack a cyberduerger into the floor. Levi flies in and casts disintegrate on the mech. It survives. The bear sees some dryder coming down the corridor. The bear charges it and mauls it. Lorenna casts Evards nasty tentacles in the middle of the dryder, which grapple them. A dryder attacks the bear, which resists the poison. A gas sprays out of the mech poisoning Rubina. Alfric runs out of the room knowing that an Earthquake is about to occur in the room. Brottor smack another cyberduerger into the floor. Rubina runs out of the room. Unsurprisingly an earthquake occurs in the hanger. It collapses on the mechs. The room is full of rubble. Levi casts an arc of lightning on the dryder. Saphire mauls a dryder. Lorenna kills another with an acid orb. Rubina and Terri move up to just outside the range of the tentacles.
Rubina and Terri dispair of spellcasters. Eventually the Dryders go down.
We plan to teleport an army in to the place to take over the place.
From the journal of A Giant Badger
The conclave show us 3 rods of glass they have created, they are dressed formally – they expect this to be the last time we meet. Each of the rods is an elaborate wand that will distrupt the Tinebrium, each holds 10 charges. They also explain that there is a catch – the range of the rods spell is 80 feet. When the dark metal disrupts it is going to explode and blow in a big way. Anyone who is in range to disrupt it with the wand is well in range of the explosion and has no hope in hell of surviving the blast. Worse they think there is good odds that the explosion will shred the soul of those caught in it.
We ask about how to get the elves into the war, the conclave explain to us that after the last equinox there were a lot of drow non-combatants left in Jeharnum. For a while they lived, persecuted, but not attacked. Then after several human generations the elves of Zoth Zerandi bribed Jeharnum to remove the drows protection from attack. The Drow were hunted down, individual elves offered bounties on drow heads and they were wiped out. Few escaped and they swore revenge.
We go diploming with them, Alfric makes an inspiring speech and shames them into joining us. The elves will contribute 40,000 troops.
We try diploming with Kahore again, Lorenna comes up with the idea to offer them the artefact that raises mountains in exchange for 20,000 troops, after a few days they agree.
We now have just over 100,000 troops of whom many are the elite monks of Murdock ram giving the equivalent of 119,000.
We come up with a plan.
We are teleporting into the catacombs of Jeharnum with the silver dragon. We buff up, and go invisible, then teleport to the outside of the Dark spire in that is causing the blackness.
The black dragon is atop the spire and he immediately sees through our spell. The silver dragon transforms back to her full form and pauses only for Jessault to leap onto her back. They shoot into the sky, and the black takes to wing after them. I wish them luck.
We fly up to the top of the tower before the guards stop being distracted and Levee uses the passwall spell to open us a small hole. Inside is the dark alter of the Drow. The Dark Alter that they all worship at!
Also there is the Drow Wizard and a summoned Balor demon. Rubina dances through the hole and attacks the Balor, but her swords barely scratch it. She dances back so we can dim door away next round. The mage casts something that only be seen by Rubina, unfortunately she tell us as she vanishes with a pop. The Balor advances to our entrance hole, but it can't fit through, it lets rip with spells against us.
I attack the Balor and my holy weapon causes it grevious wounds. Lorenna and Levee both cast spells at the mage but his resistance stops them. The blast is happening next round so Terri dimension doors himself, Alfric and I to safety.
Unfortunately the Balour has other plans and stuns Levee. Lorenna grabs him and dimension doors him away before worse can happen but he has dropped his wand!
I heal him and give him my wand. Levee and Lorenna teleport back with me and we do the same attack from another direction, with me there just to soak up the pain.
They throw spells at us but we resist, then Loevee and Lorenna together cast the spell from their wand onto the Dark Alter. As we teleport away we are blinded by an almighty flash.
Every brick and tile in the city seems to reverberate with the explosion and as it ends we hear thousands of screams. When our vision returns we see it is the drow – blinded by the sudden sunlight that now shines down on us. The top of the spine is blown to bits and the people of Jeharnum let out an almighty cheer as they take in the light for the first time in months.
With their alter destroyed and the light blinding them the drow fall upon the advance of our armies. In the skies the great black dragon is unable to stand against the silver with Jessault healing her body and he turns tail and flees.
With their alter destroyed the Drow have lost more than just a battle – they can no longer claim to be chosen of a greater power or have a manifest destiny. They are just a species of elf blighted by their own evil that has now come round to haunt them.
As the celebrations begin we find a spell to release Rubina.