Out of the Abyss

Session 5: Into the Underdark
Escape into darkness, a reunion, and a toll at a bridge

The Party

  • Chryso, human fighter, 3rd level (Alan) — prisoner seven days
  • (Cantas, high elf bard, 1st level [Alan])
  • Galdorf, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Milo) — prisoner seven days
  • Naivaia, drow elf fighter, 1st level (Poppy) — prisoner seven days
  • Adran, half elf sorceror, 2nd level (Liam) — prisoner five days
  • Sheena, half elf rogue, 2nd level (Igor) — prisoner four days
  • Trazar, wood elf cleric, 1st level (Arden) — prisoner four days
  • Melech, tiefling warlock, 2nd level (Chad) — prisoner one day

After the first group of four party members make it to the ground in the Lift safely, it returns to its station at ledge level. The remaining party members can hear the sounds of alarm trumpets, shouts, and footfalls as the slaver drow and quaggoth approach, sounding the alarm. Those sounds are interrupted, however, by the sudden appearance of a handful of angry, screeching, fighting winged demons.

Two winged demons are pursued by four more winged demons, of a different kind. They are locked in combat, screaming, slashing at each other, and otherwise blundering into the slaver’s outpost of web bridges and stalactites. This distracts the gathering drow and quaggoth, who turn their attentions to the fighting winged demons, letting loose with arrows and bolts.

That distraction allows the second group of party members and prisoners to begin their descent to ground level, down from the slaver outpost, and the giant spider webs. Once down. the Lift returns upward, and the third group lowers.

At ground level, the party and prisoners determine where to go. Only Jimjar seems to know where he is in the Underdark, and he agrees to lead the party to Neverlight Grove, to return Stool to his home. Other options include his home Blingdenstone, as well as the kuo-toa enclave Sloobludop at the shores of the Darklake. At the mention of Menzoberranzan, Naivaia perks up, until she remembers that, while a drow, she’s now an escaped slave. The party and prisoners concur: Neverlight.

After checking out whether there’s a path behind the waterfall—there is not—the group sets out to the south—only to be surprised by an injured winged demon falling to the ground, impeding their progress. The party handily dispatches the limping demon, and proceeds out of Velkynvelve into the Underdark.

Once they’re far enough away, the party finds a safe place to rest, in a twisty, downward-sloping section of tunnel where someone can guard each approach without being out in the open. The group dons its armor and re-equips itself, setting a watch. During the first watch, a haggard, peakid Chryso rejoins the party. He tells a tale of waking in the spider web, pulling himself free of its web, and somehow lowering himself to the ground. Of all the party, Chryso sleeps fitfully, dreaming of darkness and depth.

The next morning, after an extended rest, the group continues toward Neverlight Grove. while crossing a bridge over running water, and approaching a stone structure stretching toward a cavern ceiling high above, the party encounters several duergar. The duergar are unresponsive when the party approaches, attacking only when confronted aggressively. They enlarge in size, towering over the group, but are eventually felled.

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Session 4: A fighting chance
A comrade falls, and the party prepares to descend

The Party (A party still too large; we’ll have more DMs next week)

  • Chryso, human fighter, 3rd level (Alan) — prisoner seven days
  • Gildorf, half elf sorceror, 2nd level (Milo) — prisoner seven days
  • Naivaia, drow elf fighter, 1st level (Poppy) — prisoner seven days
  • Nordafrost, hill dwarf rogue, 2nd level (Matt) —prisoner seven days
  • Adran, half elf sorceror, 2nd level (Liam) — prisoner five days
  • Sheena, half elf rogue, 2nd level (Igor) — prisoner four days
  • Trazar, wood elf cleric, 1st level (Arden) — prisoner four days
  • Melech, tiefling warlock, 2nd level (Chad) — prisoner one day

On the webs far below, a fallen Chryso succumbs to his wounds and dies — his sacrifice saving the lives of his party. The giant spider wraps Shoor and Chryso in webs for consumption later.

On the ledge above, Sheena feeds Trazar the healing potion. Invigorated, Trazar rushes to the Southern Watch Post to claim his holy symbol and any remaining available healing potions. Gildorf, Naivaia, and Adran also hasten to the Watch Post to reclaim their belongings. Melech and Sheena drag the chest toward the Lift so the party doesn’t have to take time to don their armor while under attack.

Sheena and Naivaia rain arrows down on the spider, trying to distract it from wrapping up Chryso. The spider responds by spitting a glob of webbing at Shenna, but missing.

All the while, drow spill out of the barracks, attracted by the sounds of combat. The party is able to dispatch the challenging drow.

At the end of the session, one load of four party members — Gildorf, Adran, Sheena, Melech — had been able to descend to the floor of the chamber, sending the Lift back up for another wave of escapees. The escaping party also includes Prince Derendil, Eldeth Feldrun, Jimjar, Ront, and Stool.

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Session 3: Making a break for it
Reclaiming weapons, releasing comrades, and tending the fallen

The Party (A party too large; we’ll have more DMs next week)

  • Chryso, human fighter, 2nd level (Alan) — prisoner seven days
  • Gildorf, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Milo) — prisoner seven days
  • Nordafrost, hill dwarf rogue, 1st level (Matt) —prisoner seven days
  • Adran, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Liam) — prisoner five days
  • Sheena, half elf rogue, 1st level (Igor) — prisoner four days
  • Trazar, wood elf cleric, 1st level (Arden) — prisoner four days
  • Vermis, wood elf ranger, 1st level (Andrew) — prisoner three days
  • Melech, tiefling warlock, 1st level (Chad) — prisoner one day

Nordafrost and Trazar, in the Southern Watch Post, free of their chains, disguise themselves as a drow guard and prisoner. They reclaim some of the party’s weapons, including daggers for their comrades. Trazar leads Nordafrost along the walkway, an awkward bundle of clothing and cloaks under his arm, through the Guard Tower. There, two drow stop the duo, picking up on something being amiss. The two persuade them that everything is OK, and continue on their way.

As they approach the Slave Pen, they see several quaggoth walking toward them from the Quaggoth Den. They hesitate at the door, using a dead drow guard’s keys to open the cell, so the quaggoth pass before they go into the Slave Pen. There, they free the rest of the party except Vermis, using thieves tools, or breaking the chains. They also enlist the support of several of the other prisoners, including Prince Derendil, Eldeth Feldrun, Jimjar, Ront, and Stool, all of whom they free, as well. They others decline to participate in the prison break.

Sheena and Trazar disguise themselves as drow guards again and lead the party of prisoners back along the ledge and bridges toward the Southern Watch Post to reclaim the rest of the party’s gear. While walking through the Guard Tower, the group is stopped by three drow — the two who’d stopped them before and another — and a fight breaks out. The group noisily dispatches the three guards, but not without some members falling.

Continuing out of the Tower and along the bridge and ledge — supporting their injured comrades — they also encounter Shoor as he comes out of his quarters. He attacks the party, felling several more of the group. That brings the number of the fallen to five: Nordafrost, Adran, Melech, Gildorf, Trazar — stable, but unconscious for a number of hours still. In the heat of combat, Sheena breaks off from the group to run to the Southern Watch Post to find a healing potion in the party’s gear.

Shoor proves himself a most challenging enemy. Chryso grapples him, pitching them off the bridge to the webs below. They fall 60 feet, finding themselves restrained by the sticky webs below. They free themselves, only to find themselves beset upon by a giant spider. They stand together facing the spider, and Shoor finally falls, poisoned. Chryso falls, too.

At the end of the session, Chryso remains unconscious — and not yet stable — down below on the web. Sheena has just returned to the party, five members unconscious, with the healing potion. And so far — despite the noisy conflict — no new guards have arrived on the scene.

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Session 2: Bad dreams and hard labor
Work shifts bring new information and tools

The Party (A party too large, but we had several newcomers)

  • Glenn, half elf warlock, 1st level (Kyle) — prisoner eight days
  • Chryso, human fighter, 2nd level (Alan) — prisoner seven days
  • Gildorf, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Milo) — prisoner seven days
  • Nordafrost, hill dwarf rogue, 1st level (Matt) —prisoner seven days
  • Adran, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Liam) — prisoner five days
  • Sheena, half elf rogue, 1st level (Igor) — prisoner four days
  • Trazar, wood elf cleric, 1st level (Arden) — prisoner four days
  • Vermis, wood elf ranger, 1st level (Andrew) — prisoner three days
  • Melech, tiefling warlock, 1st level (Chad) — prisoner one day

Adran wakes with a start, plagued by bad dreams, his slumber interrupted by visions of dark shadows, mazes of tunnels, oily tentacles, clouds of flies, and the sound of howling. He wakes in a cold sweat, to find that the party and fellow prisoners have been joined by several new people, including Gildorf, Nordafrost, Sheena, and Melech. Some are newly imrisoned, and some have been relocated from other holding stations.

For the first work shift, Sheena and Chryso are assigned to the Main Hall again, where they serve food and clear tables. Sheena manages to lubricate her manacles, as well as Chryso’s, with a flavored oil, but neither is able to work their way out of their bindings.

For the second work shift, Glenn, Adran, and Melech are assigned to the Elite Barracks, where they are ordered to polish the interior stone walls. While Glenn climbs the ladder to listen at the trapdoor leading upstairs, Adran and Melech try to secure a sleeping drow’s weapons, only to wake him. He subdues all three party members, who are led back to the slave pen unconscious. It is rumored that one of them will be thrown to the spiders below during the next feeding time.

The third work shift was also eventful. Assigned to the Southern Watch Post, Nordafrost, Trazar, and Gildorf manage to slip a short sword out of one drow’s sheath while a comrade attempts to repair the drow’s alarm trumpet. That drow returns Gildorf to the slave pen, having finished his shift early, leaving his comrade to be overpowered by Nordafrost and Trazar. Upon his return from the pen, the two imprisoned adventurers overpower him, as well—recovering the party’s gear, obtaining two swords, and picking the locks of their bindings.

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Session 1: Captured by the drow
Prisoners and hard labor in an underground outpost

The Party

  • Glenn, half elf warlock, 1st level (Kyle) — prisoner seven days
  • Naivaia, drow fighter, 1st level (Poppy) — prisoner six days
  • Chryso, human fighter, 2nd level (Alan) — prisoner six days
  • Adran, half elf sorceror, 1st level (Liam) — prisoner four days
  • Trazar, wood elf cleric, 1st level (Arden) — prisoner three days
  • Vermis, wood elf ranger, 1st level (Andrew) — prisoner two days

The party members find themselves prisoners of a band of drow slavers — unified in their imprisonment, hard labor, exploration of the underground outpost, and shared desire to escape. Several of the party prisoners have found items since their arrival at the outpost, but only Glenn has anything that might be useful as a weapon.

Members of the group talk with

  • Prince Derendil, a hulking quaggoth who claims to be a polymorphed gold elf prince
  • Eldeth Feldrun, a shield dwarf scout from Gauntlgrym who suggests that as a destination for the group’s escape
  • Sarith Kzekarit, a drow warrior jailed for killing a fellow soldier — which he doesn’t remember doing
  • Stool, a youthful mushroom creature who doesn’t seem to need to speak to communicate

The prisoners work daily work shifts of eight hours, most recently in the main hall, where drow and quaggoth (underbears) gather to eat and drink. They are fed twice a day, a thin mushroom and root vegetable gruel. And they are occasionally forced to watch the sacrifice of other prisoners to the spiders that populate the webs below the outpost.

Overhearing conversations, and speaking with fellow prisoners, the party has learned a little about the slaver band, their prison cell, and the power structure among the drow.

At the end of the session, the party was bedding down for an extended rest, their work shift over. They’d met each other, met some of the other prisoners, explored the drow outpost — its hollowed-out stalactites, ledges, rope bridges, and backet lift — and learned a little about their captors.

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