Against all odds


Meanwhile the Scout takes out her spiked chain and lashes out in the shadows, but there’s no impact. She takes a second to focus and spots Jhael’min, who is sneaking up behind her, rapier in hand. The weapon pierces her leg and Phaedra reacts by swinging her chain towards him. A full hit this time. Jhael’min’s many attempts at disarming her don’t have the required effect and when Phaedra hits him a second time, he gets weary from the fight and pulls back. Phaedra listens carefully and follows him, casting a spell. A bright light erupts and under cover of the light, she disappears.

Lilith spots a second Drow male, having left his hideout at the top of the stalactites, who is cautiously coming nearer, carrying a spiked chain. Another approaches her brother.The Cleric takes a step back and conjures a horizontal ring of swirling metal blades around her, that moves with her as she moves. The two quaggoths are not too pleased with this painful barrier. Their claws slash through Lilith’s defenses and wound her badly. On top of that three magic missiles slam into her, and she retreats to a safe distance to heal herself. A bit. Seems like the Shi’quos Drow combines melee fight with magic attacks! An opponent to reckon with.ringofblades When Alvra is hit from behind, the bat insignia shows him that these are also Drow of House Shi’quos.  Quick as lighting he turns around and slices clean through the Drow’s chain shirt. In reply the Drow’s hands spread a cone of pure fire, and only the Xaniqos brothers’ spell resistance saves them from disaster. Furiously Alvra whips his sword towards his attacker and scores two hits. The male Drow still manages to get a spell off and disappears from sight. Then the quaggoths also attack, but both miss. The Xaniqos Fighter doesn’t miss though, and soon a quaggoth lies at his feet, while the other is severely wounded. Lilith, feeling somewhat better, steps up to the beast and shreds him to pieces with her ring of blades. Then Alvra’s attacker appears from out of nowhere and whips his spiked chain around the Fighter. Alvra drops to the ground, unconscious as well. The Cleric goes after the Shi’quos male and again her blades draw blood. He attacks her with another cone of fire, but the female easily shrugs off the effects. With her blades and her flail she beats him to death. 131205quaggothMeanwhile the fight between the Scout and the Shi’quos male continues as Jhael’min manages to retreat to safety and drinks a healing potion. Phaedra, who was waiting for the Drow to make a move, is quicker and throws a bag of goo at him. It splatters all over him, thus entangling him. The male feels humiliated and snarls at the Scout. He attacks with his rapier, but is sluggish and misses. Phaedra’s spiked chain wraps around his leg and she trips him. He’s prone!

You prove to be superior, I surrender.

he says. But the Scout, knowing they can leave no witnesses, finishes him off with two hits of her chain. She checks the Drow’s outfit and takes the magic rapier, the ditto chain shirt and a silver ring – it has a secret compartment with two doses of sleep poison left – which she offers to her sister. Then she moves on to check out the quaggoths and the Drow males. Two spell books, magic spiked chains, mithral shirts and two masterwork hand crossbows and spider kits are the loot. She keeps one of the crossbows, dons one of the extremely light mithral shirts and hands a masterwork dagger to Lilith. The Cleric dispels her blades and checks on her brothers. Alvra seems to be heavily wounded, so she pours two strong healing potions down his throat. She then drags the Shi’quos Drow towards the side path and hides the corpses between the stalagmites. Finally coming to his senses, Jharrath feels groggy and sick, but he’s able to help carry the stuff back to Erelhei-Cinlu. Mission accomplished.



Alvra carries the strongbox back down to the corridor, and does the same with his dead mount’s saddle and bridle. Phaedra points out it would be suspicious if a dead riding lizard was found in this cave. Combined with the missing Cloak of the Consort, it might lead straight to House Xaniqos. They decide to burn it all: the crates, bedding, araneas and the riding lizard. An incendiary slime spell in combination with a fire ball does the trick. An enormous explosion rocks the stone, and when the Wizard climbs back up to check out the area, all is scorched black. A mass of organic and inorganic stuff remains, reasonably unrecognizable. Satisfied, the Drow follow the corridor, the younger sister scouting ahead. She finds herself in a cave with ladders and ropes, leading up to a platform with a small pool of pure drink water. This might come in handy for future travels. They fill up their water bottles. Since it is a dead end, they retrace their steps and take the long and arduous route back. A lot of climbing and hoisting needs to be done and it takes them at least two hours to reach the spider carcasses again.

At the bottom of the slope that leads down from the cave entrance, the scene is unaltered. Or is it? When Lilith takes a closer look, she sees that one of the hobgoblin bodies has been turned over: someone has been here. Fresh bear tracks lead back the way they came from, but all seems quiet for now. After about an hour the siblings come upon a crossroads. The bear imprints lead to the right, but their city is straight on. The Cleric sees no point in following the tracks any further and takes the road towards Erelhei-Cinlu. To their right and left are paths filled with stalagmites, while high cliffs frame the way forward. Then the Scout spots a male Drow standing on a small rock at the side of the road. He’s seems to be nonchalantly waiting for them, his hands at a safe distance from his expensive looking rapier and dagger. The male is wearing a costly outfit and his whole demeanor radiates supreme confidence.


Greetings, I want you to lay down your weapons and hand over the cloak that you stole.

The adventurers immediately stand still, assessing the situation.

Please lay down your weapons, I will not ask again.

When Lilith asks for his name, he responds with

My name is Jhael’min Shi’quos.

Of course that does ring a bell. House Shi’quos, the Fourth house of Erelhei-Cinlu. And member of the House of the captive Drow whose throat Phaedra slit. The Scout, in a high state of alertness, hears a soft snort to the right. They might have caught up with the owners of the bear tracks. The male Drow, seeing the family crest on Lilith piwafwi, exclaims:

You are of House Xaniqos? That cloak belongs to our family!

Such a devious Matron Mother, the Cleric muses, she indeed never said anything about our House owning it or being entitled to it! Lilith keeps on talking, since the Drow seems genuine in wanting to let them pass, and throws her diplomacy skills in the game.

We know we took something that most likely doesn’t belong to us, but you must understand that we can not go back to our Matron Mother without it.

I’m sorry you feel that way,

Jhael’min says, whereupon both the Wizard and the Cleric feel the impact of a crossbow bolt. Slowly the world fades…