Again the drow stand at the slope of the mine, and try to decide which way to go. As the brothers each point in a different direction and Phaedra is still blinded, Lilith takes the lead. Confidently she takes them through the tunnels of the Underdark, back towards the city of Erelhei-Cinlu – or at least that’s what she’s convinced of. When they have traveled for a few hours, Phaedra becomes aware of an air fluctuation, which brushes against her face. She listens carefully, almost feeling her surroundings with her highly sensitive senses. They enter a dark corridor. In the distance the cleric observes a strange phenomena. It’s almost as if someone has left a couple of black piwafwi’s to dry on boulders.
Her sister feels a change in the air, like something is gliding on the wind, and she instinctively ducks. All of a sudden a black spot flies straight into Jharrath, uttering a screeching sound. Notwithstanding the moaning sound, the wizard keeps his wits about, but still is attacked. By a cloaker!
Five more creatures launch themselves from the rocks which the cleric had spotted earlier. One of them attacks Lilith with its nasty looking tail, leaving an angry scratch. Again the screeching reverberates through the tunnels, echoing between ceiling and walls, causing the scout – who has no eyesight – to panic temporarily. She drops her spiked chain and takes off at a dead run, away from the sound. The cleric is under attack by a second creature, but both the tail and vocal attack have no effect. A third cloaker tries to hit Alvra, but the tail rebounds off his armor.
The fighter carefully takes a step closer to the wizard, keeping in mind the poison that Lilith smeared on his sword, and sticks the point into Jharrath’s attacker. The beast’s movements seem to lessen. When yet another monster tries to grapple Jharrath – though in vain – the drow casts a spell, which results in six mirror images of himself. These confuse the creature long enough to keep the wizard safe. He manages to escape his opponent’s embrace, but loses one of the images. When the beast uses the shadows to better protect itself, Jharrath is inspired and casts a circle of darkness around him. Still he gets hit, after which Jharrath teleports to a safe distance. From there he aims his wand of scorching rays at the cloaker.
Lilith calls upon Lolth and eight writhing tentacles ooze from her body. One of the cloakers wraps his wings around her and tries to bite her, but it can’t find an opening. The cleric counterattacks with her eight tentacles and subsequently hits the beast with her flail. The poison and the special fire damage of her weapon ravage it almost to the death, but there’s still some fighting spirit left. Twice it tries to attack the cleric, but she crushes it with her tentacles, taking on a second cloaker with her flail. With two strong attacks, she kills this one also, and a third says in an alien yet recognizable voice:
You’re too much trouble!
and flaps away.
Meanwhile, Alvra is hacking and slashing at the creature that now definitely is weakening, but still it manages to get close to the drow. Too close! The fighter takes his kukri and lashes out, while the hungry mouths of his armor dig into the cloaker’s body. With a booming intimidating laugh, again and again he punctures the cloaker’s hide. His strategy seems to work. The attacker releases him and takes off. Grabbing his sword, Alva tries to hit it once more, but the darkness prevents him from hitting his target.
Somewhat further, Phaedra comes to her senses and hears flapping. She loads her crossbow and aims at where the sound is coming from. When she feels a sharp sting, she realizes she’s been hit. The black attacker grapples and tries to bite her, but misses. She has quite a good knowledge of these animals and uses her abilities to blind it. A bright flash illuminates her surroundings and… she becomes invisible.
Are we playing now? I don’t like it when my food disappears!
Though the creature’s moaning makes her muscles cramp, she manages to sneak away. After a while, the beast gives up its search and disappears into the darkness. Phaedra hears them very high up in an air shaft, and walks back towards her siblings. Her sister nods and hands over Phaedra’s favorite weapon.
The cleric gathers the Xaniqos close and heals their wounds, giving extra attention to Jharrath. Soon they are all looking way better, and together they walk back to the last intersection.