The Calling

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Welcome to this Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 adventure in the strange and fascinating world of the Drow Elves…

THE UNDERDARK

It all starts when four siblings of the house of Xaniqos receive an urgent message to return home immediately. They leave their various academies Рscout Phaedra, wizard Jharrath, fighter Alvra and cleric Lilith Рand hurry towards their new home in Erelhei-Cinlu.

Like all drow cities, Erelhei-Cinlu is situated underground and is built on an island. Only one bridge leads from the city into the Underdark. There is a wall all around it and in the west another bridge leads to the Noble Estates. This area is backed up by a huge cliff.

In the early morning the four are supposed to report to the Matron Mother in the hall near the altar of Lolth. Jharrath hurries down the stairs, a drow of average height with a smooth stoic face and straight shoulder long hair. Dressed in a gray robe with long sleeves, boots and some simple jewelry, he walks towards the central room. His eldest brother Alvra follows on his heels, a long and muscled lean drow, sturdy and Рlike his brother Рstoic, even a bit surly, dressed in a chain shirt and a piwafwi. His eyes are bright red.

Downstairs the rest of the family is already gathered. A petite female with silver hair and amber eyes is among them: their sister Phaedra, third daughter of the House of Xaniqos. In her short dress, high boots and gloves she looks quite beautiful. She is wearing a spider on a choker around her neck. Next to her is their other sister and second daughter, Lilith. Slim yet wiry, with a pure black skin and lavender almond-shaped eyes, she is dressed in tight-fitting black long skirts with high splits and a leather bustier with red silk accents and a family brooch. She wears a leather band around her neck and and holds her long white hair back with hairpins, so it tumbles down her back in a nonchalant mass.

Their mother Thandysha is waiting impatiently, flanked by her eldest daughter Quarra, a very tall and heavily muscled imposing drow female. Very arrogant too. Next to her are Taldinyon –¬†weapon master¬†– and the house wizard K’yorl.

Above a¬†basin¬†of water, there is a beautiful statue of Spider Queen Lolth. When Lilith looks at it, she sees the image waver between the ageless beauty of Lolth and the horror of a drider.¬†The cleric doesn’t have much time to wonder over this phenomenon, since the Matron Mother Thandysha speaks up.

House Xaniqos is moving up after the ‘acquisition’ of house Everhate with all remaining assets. I need every hand – even worthless ones like yours – to strengthen our new position as eighth House of Erelhei-Cinlu and take Xaniqos to a higher level.

We are lacking slaves and have problems at the rothé island. Furthermore we lost the Weapon Maker during the takeover. Go into the city and pick up the weapons we already paid for!

The two female and two male drow bow their heads and rush out the hall to do her bidding immediately. It is not healthy to make a Matron Mother wait.

Lilith Xaniqos

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Lilith Xaniqos

Gender: female
Age: 28
Appearance: slim yet wiry, pure black skin; pointed ears and lavender almond-shaped eyes; 5.4 feet tall, 120 pounds. Dressed in tight-fitting black long skirts with high splits to enable maximum freedom in movement and a leather bustier with red silk accents, more revealing than concealing. There are tiny pockets hidden in this leather outfit. She wears leather bands around her neck and and holds her long white hair back with (sharp) hairpins, so it tumbles down her back in a nonchalant mass. In the throat band is hidden a holy symbol of Lolth.

The drow sweeps into the room, slamming the door shut. Utter indignation causes her eyes to flare red. ‘How dare they!’, her fierce voice resounds off the walls. ‘They will pay for this. House Xaniqos will NOT be played for a fool!’ Then she goes through the calming rituals she learned at school and kneels before the stone image of her deity, Lolth. Praying ‘Elliya Lolthu’ over and over again, she surrenders herself to the Spider Queen’s mercy.¬†

Meet Lilith, second daughter of the house of Xaniqos.

At the head of House Xaniqos stands the Matron Mother Thandysha, for whom¬†Lilith has the utmost respect, though that is the only thing she feels for her mother. Lilith doesn’t really know her that well, since she was half raised by her elder sister¬†Quarra, half by the clergy. Lilith¬†has a younger sister who sometimes listens to the name Phaedra, and two brothers: Avra and Jharath.¬†Ever since she was a child, Lilith has shown an aptitude for divine magic and has been studying to become a Cleric for many long years. These studies led her away from home over longer periods.

She has recently graduated from the Clergy school: a big step to reach her main goal in life: become a High Priestess of Lolth, as to honor the Spider Queen and thus bring wealth and influence to House Xaniqos. Lilith is determined to reach this aim in whatever way possible. She won’t let anything stand in her way, not even the tests of Lolth. In fact she’s looking forward to them, so she can prove to the Spider Queen that she is worthy to serve her!

Others might describe her as strong, proud and dedicated, quite bossy and stubborn. Also touchy and quick to anger. She is a born leader and expects others – lower ones like men and other races – to simply fulfill her demands and orders without hesitation. When disobeyed, she will not hesitate to swiftly set things straight. Lilith will not confide in others quickly, if she does at all. She’s learned early in life to trust in herself and in her faith in Lolth.¬† She will always act with the House Xaniqos’ interests in mind.

Lilith is a fervent disciple of Lolth and makes sure that all members of House Xaniqos are faithful in their devotion to the Spider Queen. And this – whether or not forced – preaching of the devotion to her goddess does not stop at the threshold.

Warehouse #352

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It’s good to see commandant Djuhah again, that makes things so much smoother. Two guards stay behind to take care of the prisoner and the bodies, while the other guards join the party. Together they set out towards the Trades District, travelling in an open coach. Since it is getting rather crowded in the coach, Darryl hangs on to the side.

The Trades District sounds more chic than it is: a collection of shabby buildings and sand roads, which are mostly deserted. The coach pulls up near #352. The brothers get out to scout ahead, leaving the Paladin and Cleric behind: sneaking is not one of their virtues. After a short while, the halflings find themselves staring up at a warehouse two stories high with a slightly pointed roof. Narrow corridors flank the house. There are windows on either side at the first floor.

With his keen eye sight, Larryl spots someone kneeling on the left side of the roof, while his brother thinks all is clear on the right side. Via an evading route Larryl nears the building and climbs up towards the first floor: the window shutters are open.

Finding enough hand holds, he climbs to the top of the warehouse and crawls towards the guy on the roof. He has to prevent the sentinel from alerting the rest of the gang and sees no other option than to take him down. When Larryl is real close, he attacks and hurts the guy very badly. In a second attack he finishes him off. The roof cleared, he cleans his weapon and climbs down to return to Tonks and Magnys, who are waiting impatiently.

Meanwhile Darryl climbs up the right wall of the warehouse. The window is secured by bars. Peeping through, he sees a kind of balcony with a wooden balustrade. He jumps down and meets with the rest. Quickly the brothers explain the situation to the others. They will have to get in through one of the windows and open the front door from the inside. Larryl and Darryl then go back to assess the situation on the windows.

After a thorough inspection, Larryl notices that a bar in front of the first window on the left side has come loose. Very quietly he gets it out of the way and – followed on his heels by his brother – he enters the building.

They step onto the wooden balcony Darryl has seen on his first climb. The landing winds itself all around on first floor level. Larryl walks boldly towards the guard, who whispers

Who is it?

It’s Larry, Darryl is right behind me.

The suspicious guard is still aiming his bow at our friends. They try talking their way in. Meanwhile another guard comes up the stairs.

Doesn’t Mutamin tell you anything?¬†We are new recruits, we were scouting the Inn. I’m unarmed, lower your bow!

Larryl shows him the heavy money pouch and the gold tinkles softly. Both guards relax a bit and they exchange some smalltalk. Suddenly the door at the bottom of the stairs opens and a man walks in, fully armored.

What is happening here?!

Seems play time is over. Darryl jumps into action and charges with a flying kick against the second guard. When the guard defends himself, Darryl attacks with a flurry and kills him.

Larryl stabs the first guard with his kukri and then shoves him off the balcony. The guard tries to escape down the stairs but the ninja reacts quick as lightning and drops him like a fly. He jumps down and tumbles towards the front door. They need help!

The armored dude grabs his bow and shoots at Larryl. It’s a hit. After this, he disappears through the door into the interior of the warehouse again.

Inspecting the door, the Ninja discovers traps, so upstairs Darryl jumps out of the window to report back to the others. Tonks casts a Dark Bridge towards the window and, together with the Paladin and the Monk, climbs in, while the City Guards guard the building from the outside.

The fight continues

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Larryl also goes down to the alley, disarms his prisoner after stabilizing him… and then throws him against the wall.

Two more archers appear near Larryl and Darryl and suddenly the Paladin feels a dagger in her neck and a voice growls fiercely at Larryl ‘Let him go!’. They’re surrounded! The guy changes his grip and then points the knife at her throat. Magnys freezes. The Ninja duplicates the move, aims his kukri at his prisoner’s throat en takes a step towards the beleaguered Paladin.

The Cleric casts her invisibility spell and steps behind Magnys’ attacker.

An arrow hits the ground near Larryl’s feet and again he hears the command ‘Let him go!’, which he ignores. Another attacker tries to hit Tonks, but misses. Her invisibility helps enormously. Very annoyed by this all, Darryl charges the second archer but his flying kick only hits air.

Meanwhile Magnys is getting mighty pissed and tries to free herself with an elbow blow aimed at her attacker’s solar plexis. Alas she doesn’t succeed and only manages to get herself cut as a reward.

The Ninja pushes his prisoner against the ground, then runs along the wall and tumbles behind Magnys. He stabs her attacker in the side with such ferocity that he manages to kill him. Magnys is free again!

Tonks turns around and goes after her opponent with a melee touch attack that inflicts a lot of damage. As a reaction the guy stabs the gnome with a dagger. The Paladin – seeing that her friend is now in danger – deals the man a huge blow after which the Cleric finishes him off.

Darryl is also being stabbed by his attacker, and then the dude runs away. ¬†He shouldn’t have done that… the Monk chases and kills him.

Larryl quickly checks the bodies but – apart from 80 gold pieces and a bag of jewels – finds nothing of importance, no identifications. Darryl and his brother take their prisoner inside, while Tonks and Magnys haul the other one up.¬†‘What in all hells is going on here?!’ The inn keeper, awake from all the tumult, stares with big eyes at the battered group. They quickly inform him of the prowlers and continue to their rooms.

After a bit of threatening, the brothers’ prisoner is willing to spill the beans in exchange for his release. Apparently the bandits were sent to rob the Inn by a guy named Mutamin. Afterwards they are supposed to meet in the southern part of the Trades District, at Warehouse 352. Because the front door is booby trapped, they need to enter through a window. This kind of cooperativeness has earned the man his freedom and they let him go… he immediately flees town.

Meanwhile the women are having a less successful conversation. The guy is rude and won’t admit to anything. The Cleric releases the spell Chain of Eyes on the villain, planning to set him loose while spying through his eyes, but then Larryl and Darryl walk in the room with satisfied grins on their faces.

‘Too bad your friend told us everything we need to know eh? Now you have nothing to offer!’, Darryl says to the suddenly sullen captive. A pounding on the door interrupts and Magnys opens it wide to let in three guards, who have been alerted by the Inn keeper. ‘Do come in gentlemen,’ she says, ‘we have captured this gentleman who’s the representative¬†for the group responsible for a massive burglary!’. The guards tell them that other guests have also been robbed of their gold and jewelry tonight and are happy with the catch. Larryl hands over the bags of jewels he’s taken off one of the corpses and asks the guards to return them to their rightful owners.

The Monk explains the guards about Mutamin , the meeting place of the thieves in the Trades District and suggests they go there together to check out the place and end the thieves gang once and for all. Tonks and Magnys don their armor, Darryl pulls on his new boots and together they set out into the night again.

Drow Cleric

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For the first time ever I’ll play an evil character in our next campaign! Normally I prefer playing a ranger, druid or (like I’m playing at the moment) a paladin – defending the weak, trying to do good, healing and loving nature.

But after this one, no more goodie good doing. Nope, I’ll be Lilith, a drow cleric in the Underdark. We already rolled the stats:

Charisma: 17
Strength: 15
Constitution: 15
Dexterity: 13
Wisdom: 16
Intelligence: 16

A drow gets +2 on intelligence, +2 charisma, +2 dexterity and -2 on constitution.

To give you an impression of an evil drow¬†cleric, ¬†meet Viconia DeVir. She’s a character in the role playing game¬†Baldur’s Gate.