Exploding Snacks

Nothing for Sale Today

Nothing for Sale Today

Starting XP: 1,100 (since 13th level reached—5.5% of the way to 14th level)

After defeating the Drow defenders in the Guard Barracks last time, and checking out each of the rooms in the barracks, our heroes started off this session investigating the cells down a short stairway.

It seems that the current Drow don’t see much benefit for keeping prisoners alive, and all of the cells are empty. They are still sadistic, though, and trapped one of the doors with a summoning trap, just to keep those would-be heroes on their toes. At some point during the exporation of these cells, a magic circle flashed on the floor, and a summoned Noble Salamander appeared, ready to injure whatever miscreant interrupted his afternoon.

Moonspider was gracious, though, and quickly sent the salamander back to where he came from. (A successful banishment spell!)

That means: 1,800 xp, or 450 per player. Running total now 1,550 xp (7.75% of the way to 14th level).

The barracks completely explored, the heroes returned to the web in the chasm, and decended to what appeared to be the center of the web. A large cavern extended into the rock from that point: a natural cavern which seemed overlarge for the single clump of creatures doing business along one of the walls: a trio of Duergar merchants (along with plenty of goods loaded onto a pair of pack lizards), a trio of Kuo-Toa and a Mind Flayer doing a bit of shopping, and a set of Drow sentries, making sure peace was kept.

The cavern also had a ledge, opposite the merchants, about ten feet above the floor, with what appeared to be a number of abandoned warehouses. Clearly, this location saw considerably more commerce at some point in the past.

Somehow the heroes talked their way into the chamber, even going so far as to try to buy something. Disdain is what they got, though. Still, it avoided violence, and let them continue to a passageway further to the south. It was here that another watch post was found, with sentries watching a long corridor heading further eastward into the deeps.

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Then the violence began. (Two Drow Elite Warriors and a Drow Mage). The Drow in the grand chamber joined the fray a few rounds later (2 more Drow Elite Warriors and another Drow Mage). And then when things didn’t quickly quiet down, the Mind Flayer decided to join in to stop the battle (by taking over Thog’s mind and having him do a bit of hero slaying). It might have gone better for the Drow if they’d all joined the battle at the same time, but they failed, and were killed. The Mind Flayer was almost killed, but plane shifted away prior to taking a fatal blow. (Sadly taking his loot with him.)

4 Drow Elite Warriors (1,800 xp each: 7,200 xp total)
2 Drow Mages (2,900 xp each: 5,800 xp total)
1 Mind Flayer (2,900 xp)

Total: 15,900 xp (or 3,975 per player)
Running Total: 5,525 (27.6% of the way to 14th level)

The Kuo-Toa and Duregar by this time had decided that “somewhere else” was a much better place to be, and headed out through that tunnel at the end of the chamber. Meanwhile, the heroes started checking out the abandoned warehouses.

All of them had large boards nailed across their doorframes, clearly an indication that they were not currently intended to be functional. Punching holes through the doors, the party found that all but one were infested by spiders (small to dog-sized). The one not infested was also, as it turned out, not actually boarded up. There was a board nailed to the doorframe certainly, but the door itself swung freely inward. Suspicous.

But it was time for rest, so the heroes picked one of the spider-filled warehouses, fireballed the heck out of the webs, and bedded down for a rest.

(Not described at the time, but the PCs would have noticed:)

After clearing out the spiders & the webbing that they’d spun onto every imaginable surface, a door to a back room appeared. When opened, a chamber was revealed, clearly once having served as a residence. In one corner stood a bed with a crumbling frame, and beside it a dresser with its empty drawers heaped on the floor. Against the opposite wall stood a writing table and a chair. Any creature comforts were long gone. Spiderwebs covered the ceiling and hung idly from the walls and furniture.

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Into the Chasm!

Moving further into the tombs, the heroes enter a chamber with 2 hollow undead spiders behaving very much like wraiths behave, along with 4 other drow.

2 Wraith Spiders: 1,800 xp each.
2 Drow Elite Warrors: 1,800 xp each.
2 Drow Minions: 50 xp each.
XP total: 7,300 (1,825 per player)

Running XP total per player: 12,412.5 (62% of the way to 13th level).

A wide ramp leading further underground exits the chamber (steep and a bit rough — hard to fight on), which ends in a seemingly incongruous granite wall and a hole leading downward.

That hole ends in the roof of a guardroom, where our team dropped down to battle with yet another cluster of drow. A mage, a few more elites, some minion types a nasty looking humanoid skinless thing, and another of those undead spiders.

1 Wraith Spider: 1,800 xp
2 Drow Elite Warriors: 1,800 xp each
1 Drow Mage: 2,900 xp
2 Drow Minions: 50 xp each.
1 Quth-Maren: 3,900 xp.
Total: 12,300 xp (3,075 per player)
Running Total per player: 15,487.5 (77% of the way to 13th level)

The edge of the guardroom looks out into a massive underground chasm, and one of the drow shouted over the edge to announce an attack before being killed by our heroes.

Thus, a few minutes after battle number one finished, battle number two starts in the same location.

1 Drow Mage: 2,900 xp
2 Drow Elite Warriors: 1,800 xp each
7 Drow Minions: 50 xp each
Total: 6,850 xp (1,712.5 per player)
Running Total per player: 17,200 (86% of the way to 13th level).

After that, our team headed into the chasm. It’s got some kind of web stretched against one side of the chasm, and it’s apparent that it’s used to move around the wall. Following a reasonably obvious path, the team soon found themselves in what seemed to pass for a Guard Barracks, where yet another team greeted them.

6 Drow Minions 50 xp each
2 Drow Elite Warriors: 1,800 each
1 Quth-Maren: 3,900 xp
Total: 7,800 xp (1,950 xp per player)
Running Total per player: 19,150 (98% of the way to 13th level).

Also, each one of the warriors had a key, to what you don’t know.

And I remember handwaving away another cluster of drow. Defeated by the heroes without playing the actual battle. I’ll add another 7800 xp for that, which means:

THIRTEENTH LEVEL

The barracks so far explored were empty except for the greeting party, so there were a bunch of other rooms without encounters.

One of the barracks rooms had a chest with a false bottom; within was a wand of web, a scroll of haste, and a scroll of suggestion.

One of the rooms was clearly for the use of officers; one of the desks had an unsent letter with the following:

Indrazil:

Word has probably reached you about the fall of Maerimydra, and perhaps you have wondered about my safety. Obviously, I survived the sack of the city, although it was a close call indeed. The city fell at the hands of mere chattel—-the priestesses of the Spider Queen had kept the city so cowed that, with their power gone, its defenders could not resist even a force of goblins, ogres, and giants. We held our strong places for a time without the clerics, but then House Chumavh was overthrown from within, and so we were undone.

I write to you now from Szith Morcane, the old outpost north and west of the city. Perhaps you will come visit me—-though I must say that if you still profess faith in Lolth you will not be welcomed by those who rule here now. The Spider Queen’s priestesses have found a new role here, which I think you would not enjoy very much.

I do not know if you still cling to the hope that the Spider Queen will restore you—-will restore all of us—-to her favor, but if you do, I urge you to reconsider. It is not too late for you or for our bond of blood. The Lady of the Dead will accept you still, just as she has taken me into her care. All Maerimydra is her temple now, and her emissaries rule here too. Abandon your empty allegiance to a silent goddess and come to Szith Morcane, but do not wear the emblem of the spider. I have need of allies of my own blood, and if Lolth still ignores your pleas, I suspect you do as well.

—-Rhavauz

Other treasure in the officers’ quarters was stuffed deep into one of the mattresses: a leather pouch containing 65pp, 50gp, and a mithral necklace worth 1300gp. (A total of 2000 gp worth of value.)

Another chamber was clearly housing the guard’s mages: that accounts for all the magical traps on everything.

Within are two spellbooks, both of which contain the same spells:
5: Cloudkill, Scrying, Teleportation Circle, Wall of Stone
4: Evard’s Black Tentacles, Greater Invisibility, Ice Storm, Confusion
3: Fly, Lightning Bolt, Hypnotic Pattern, Dispel Magic
2: Alter Self, Misty Step, Web, Arcane Lock
1: Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Shield, Witch Bolt

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Gee Willikers! There's Drow here!
And they Talk!

The last we saw them, Frokin’s Flavorful Friends had just wandered through an illusory wall into into a spiderweb. A pitched battle quickly ensued.

We had four elite drow soldiers, who could do tremendous damage with their poisoned blades. Kriv and Billy, with their poison immunity stood toe to toe to them with remarkable tenacity. Moonspider, who you think would have been prepared for the poison of dark elves, was very nearly slaughtered.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, there was also a Drow Mage throwing lightning bolts down a narrow corridor (Billy had a much harder time with those), and a Drow Cleric floating in the air, wielding a wand of lightning bolts. The electricity flew.

The battle was tense and hard fought, but the Friends had mettle enough to last the fight.

Towards the end of the fight, Moonspider realized that the cleric had yet to cast any divine spells, and was relying almost exclusively on the wand of lightning bolts. And then, as she was about to go down, she shouted at Moonspider, “Your freakish cult shall never overcome the power of Lolth!”

Spent of resources and worn out, the heroes spent the night in the Drow camp. Seeing as this was an opportunity to swap out spells, Moonspider prepared Speak with Dead, giving everyone the opportunity for Morning Tea with Talking Corpses.

5 Questions were asked:

Q: “What is this cult?”
A: “Followers of the White Banshee”

Q: “Why are you camped here?”
A: “Hiding from the cult”

Q: “Why no spells?”
A: “The Silence of Lolth”

Q: TBD

Q: TBD

Loot: Wand of Lightning Bolts, coins and a silver service (totalling 2580 gp, including the stuff from the individual drow).
Also: Enough provisions to last a tenday or two, but nothing so portable you would want to carry it. Other than the two kegs Mushroom Ale, of course. (Kriv had to get out a notepad and add the new ale to his catalog of beverages. He calls this “Untappd” for some reason. He was quite giddy.)

Moving further into the caves, the group also found some kind of demon ghoul (which spent the first part of the battle invisible, after it had summoned 4 normal ghouls), but made short work of it.

Loot: TBA
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Descent into the Dordrien Crypts

Our trusty band of heroes, “Fronkin’s Flammable Friends,” continues into the Dordrien Crypts.

Grave robbers that they are, emptying every last crypt of all their valuables seems to be even more important than discovering the threat that’s been terrorizing the local farmsteads. One last wealthy-looking crypt still stood un-entered, protected as it was by some kind of disintegration beam. Whoever else has been in this crypt had for some reason tried quite hard to obliterate the warning on the door not to enter. Like they wanted adventurers dead, rather than scared off. The nerve!

Still, the trap was bypassed, and our group entered the crypt only to face a statue animated by the late ghost of the matron of this family. Quite old, apparently, for she spoke an ancient dialect of the language, unintelligible to all. And pissed too.

1 Ghost, 1,100 xp.

Still: treasure: a sweet gold pectoral, and other random gems that amount to 4,450 gp in total.
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Heading deeper into the crypts, our heroes start to find the final resting places of the common folk. Riches don’t seem to be part of this picture, and for some reason, rifling through the final remains of the simple people didn’t seem nearly as exciting as the rich ones. Hmmm.

But it did appear that something or someone else has been rummaging through the bones, however. While skeletons still occupy the niches in the wall, everything looks like it’s been rifled through, and many of the bones appear to have been gnawed upon.

The next chamber holds a creepy statue representing the god Jergal, Guardian of Tombs. a gaunt, alien-looking creature with bulbous eyes, an insect’s mandibles, and an elongated oval head. Our heroes gave it a wide berth.

Further down the corridor, a stalagmite started talking to Moonspider in undercommon. Some kind of guardian or other, the party’s helpful drow managed to convince it that all was in proper order.

And then there was the illusory wall, behind which were a couple of Bebeliths (spider demons), quickly dispatched.

XP: 2,200 xp.

Behind which were a couple of other spider/ranger shapechanger dudes, one of which pretended to be a damsel in distress. Never believe damsels in distress. (These things are known as araneas (or werespiders).)

XP: 2,200 xp.
Treasure: Gold, Gems, and two +1 rapiers worth 2,662 gp. [Edited. Jay reminded me about the rapiers.]
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Then one more illusory wall, that Billy walked through and straight into a web. Drow at last!

And we came to the end of the night.

Seems like a low XP night, which was clearly indicated by the ease of which battles were fought.
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And So It Begins

Our trusty band of heroes, known as “Fronkin’s Explosions,” has headed off to Daggerdale to learn of Drow raids on farmsteads of the region. After a discussion with the local lord, and accusations of racism, they head off for a local supposedly haunted crypt with connections to the Underdark.

Haunting turned out to be an accurate rumor. A vampire and his spawn were “collecting” grave robbers as they tried to enter the vaults.

1 Modified Vampire Spellcaster and 2 Vampire Spawn: 15,100 xp, and 5,650 gp in loot.

Inside the hillside crypts, the party found a cluster of five dead drow, stripped of their gear, but still wearing enough to sport tabards emblazoned with silver spiderweb insignia.

Finally, after checking out an empty and still unused vault, the heroes broke through into an intact vault where a protective spell was triggered, summoning two Celestial Dire Lions.

2 Celestial Dire Lions: 5,800 xp. 9,630 gp in loot plus a Staff of Healing. (It looks like one of the corpses interred here may have been a minor druid.)

Then a short rest.

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