Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Fifty-Four

The Belly of the Beast


24 Hearth 508

Mõrvar calls out in Elven, “Surrender and be spared or die,” and then in Tradespeak, “keep him alive!”

The Drow, with a frightened look on his face, turns and runs toward the door on the other side of the chamber. Savaric attacks him as he runs away, but fails to put him down. The nimble elf makes it through the door.

Meanwhile, Rilka listens at the opposite door to hear of any opposition is on the way from that direction. She hears some movement in the next room—not the heavy movement of booted soldiers but the light step of a servant. And the quiet voice of a male tenor singing to himself.

Mõrvar opts to wait until Savaric gives chase to the running Drow. Savaric moves to the door and looks out. He sees into a hallway and another open door. He moves forward and looks into a large room that appears to be an armory/practice room. The walls are lined with racks and pegs with various weapons and armors. At the far end of the room are practice dummies/targets for combat.

Gathered near the center of the room are the Drow that Savaric followed, as well as four armed females. They all turn and look at Savaric in the doorway. He takes a step back out of the doorway, awaiting their inevitable charge.

Mõrvar runs through the bedroom, through the hall, and through the open door, into the armory/practice room. There the gathering of Drow all stand staring at him. He smiles, readies his sword and says, with confidence, “Surrender and live, or attack and be slaughtered.” The faint blue glow of negative energy shimmers along the edge of his blade.

Surm whispers to Kortash to stay with Rilka and for Burask and Cyrus to come with him. The half-orc and the ghoul follow him out of the bedroom and into the hall.

The Drow all move around Mõrvar, the male crossing to move behind him. One of the females says in Elven, “Slaughter? You obviously cannot count, manling.”

Mõrvar lashes out at the male who moves behind him and hits with his blade. The male remains standing, but looks a bit paler as the negative energy saps his strength. Mõrvar calls out, “I can count just fine. There are only 5 of you skanky whores. I think ill defile your bodies after I slaughter you.” The four females all attack and miss—one even drops her sword ten feet away. Mõrvar smirks at the one who spoke earlier and says, “I’m going to save you for last.”

Savaric takes a short step into the room and cuts down the male Drow. Cyrus steps into the doorway and fires his bow into the melee, sinking an arrow into one of the females.

Rilka and Kortash move up to the secret door and look across the room to the hallway and hear the sounds of battle.

Mõrvar cuts down two of the females and calls out, “Who’s outnumbered now, whores? Surrender or meet my blade!”

The remaining Drow attack but all miss.

Surm moves down the hall and listens at the closed door, bringing Burask with him as a rear guard. He hears nothing beyond the door.

Mõrvar calls out to his comrades, “Take them alive to question!”

Savaric crosses the combat to flank one of the remaining drow, dodging an attack of opportunity and taking her down.

Rilka crosses the bedroom and tells Kortash to follow her.

Mõrvar strikes a mighty blow with the flat of his blade to the one who spoke before and she falls into a heap. He swings at the other one, but misses, telling her “Yield, or you too will be cut down!”

Surm and Burask move further down the hall to a set of double-doors. Surm listens. Surm hears a conversation that sounds like it is across a room from the door, between two people—probably female. As Surm doesn’t Elven, he can’t understand what they are saying—but they don’t sound alarmed.

Meanwhile, the still-standing Drow snarls, “Death before dishonor!” and attacks Mõrvar —narrowly missing him with her sword.

Mõrvar says, “It’s settled then; I am totally going to dishonor you!”

Then, at the far end of the hall, the door opens and a male Drow in simple clothing steps into the corridor. He is carrying a tray with an ornate ewer and 4 pewter cups on it. In this moment, he appears to be concentrating on his tray.

Rilka moves into the hall behind Cyrus as Mõrvar knocks out the last Drow female. Savaric secures the two unconscious females, removing their armor and weapons and tying them up. Surm approaches the servant, who barely notices the Northman, so intent he was on his tray, and convinces him that it is in his interest to sit down and be quiet. Surm then convinces the servant to cooperate with him—his and the other servants’ lives may depend on it. The servant’s name is Brizvae.

From Brizvae, Surm learns that the room Savaric and Mõrvar are in is, indeed, a practice room. The bedroom they came through was for the First Consort. The bedroom they arrived in through the wardrobe was the Matron’s room. The smaller shut door is the Second Consort’s room. And the double-doors lead to a large mezzanine over the meeting hall on the lower level. Brizvae had come from the kitchens with refreshments for the Drow in the practice room.

Returning to the practice room, Surm notes the captured Drow females. They search the room and find an assortment of weapons, armor (some magical), and some strange small pots in the locked cabinet with substances that they can’t identify. They go ahead and take the pots with hopes of identifying them later. Brizvae cannot identify them either.

Surm notices one of the females starting to stir and places a found tanglefoot bag on her head. She after a few moments—she ceases to stir.

They go to the Second Consort’s room and find no occupant—but a missing weapon from a weapon rack indicates that he may be around and armed. Brizvae indicates that he did not leave when the others—the Matron and her daughters—went to see about the emergency that occurred earlier in the day. They search the room and find a small chest full of gemstones, which they take.

They head back to the Matron’s room and Brizvae convinces the “singing servant” to come out and they herd the Drow into the Second Consort’s room. It appears to be a conference room of some sort that the man was cleaning.

With Brizvae’s help, they manage to make their way around and clear out more of the servants from the kitchen and herd them into the Second Consort’s room as well. Along the way, they take on some guards in the mezzanine, in the dining room, and finally, the Second Consort himself in a secret room in the Matron’s chambers. After defeating the Second Consort, they find the Red Dragon Orb in a secret compartment in the chamber. Mõrvar takes the Orb and places it in a sack.

Before they leave, the party offers to take the servants with them. Brizvae demurs—they will be in enough trouble as it is and they will not be any good on the surface, which is where the party is ultimately returning. No, the servants will make their own way to Almetherocc, another Drow city, and start over.

After they secure the Orb, the party manages to make their way out of the stronghold the same way they came in, through the passage in the Matron’s wardrobe, and then through the dragon’s lair. Mõrvar can tell that the dragon is within ten miles of the party—probably in the city above. He doesn’t know how he can tell—he just knows—which gives everyone the willies. They head to the tunnel leading out of the underground realms.

Once again, Cyrus leads the way through the tunnels. It’s a long journey through the caverns, and they all look out for hazards along the way, especially the well-camouflaged ropers they encountered before.

At an intersection of tunnels, they encounter a group of dark folk hiding in ambush. The party sees them as a threat and attacks. The dark folk’s leader attempts to dissuade them, claiming that they were sent by Laerus, Pravenel’s friend. Even Cyrus is skeptical and the party continues to engage in combat, slaying the group of dark folk.

After the fight, the party continues through the tunnels and eventually emerges into the city of Ambraxaran. They make their way to the rendezvous point they arranged with Pravenel—the Naga’s Scales. Sure enough, they find the Naga’s Scales and go to the bar and order a “bloody oyster.” They are directed by the barkeep to a secret room where they find Pravenel. After a tense negotiation, they are told that they can be guided out of the city through another secret tunnel. The party would prefer have Cyrus do it and after a bit of negotiation, Pravenel agrees to it, as does Cyrus. No mention is made of the incident in the tunnels with those that were supposedly sent by Laerus. Finally, the party is led out of another secret tunnel out of the tavern and out of the city by Cyrus.


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