Web Strands

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The Xaniqos Drow make their way out of the city and pass the same Priestess who granted them access earlier. She does look surprised. The new outfits have their effect: people look with respect at them and make way. They soon arrive at the City Gates and head north. The route takes them through inhospitable sceneries with less and less traffic and rumors are that further ahead there is a large empire of Undead north of the Dead Wastes. Geographically, the area is changing rapidly. The road becomes narrow and high walls enclose them. Caves are everywhere, some used, some old.

Phaedra keeps a steady lookout for signs of the fight and when they arrive at the scene, she notices that most tracks of the caravan have been erased. A broken cart, demolished with great force, is all that is left. Behind her, the Scout sees the cliffs where Erelhei-Cinlu has been built against. This side of the cliffs is very high, covered in deep gravel that leaves no traces behind. Most caves in the area are inhabited by small tribes, but these specific ones are too high. Only insects would live in the ones on the lowest level. When Phaedra examines the cart, she discovers pieces of web strands. Seems like someone has been trying to hide them. Jharrath casts a spell to determine if magic has been used, but the spell comes up negative.

Is the lizard able to climb this slope, Alvra?

the Clerc asks. The Fighter is fairly sure of it and steers his mount up the pebbles. The others follow as quiet as possible. When they are almost at the top of the hill, they see the head of a Goblinoid. It raises the alarm.

Intruders!

Bugbears

Alvra quickly urges his lizard forward to get a better grip on the unstable ground, and at the top encounters two surprised Bugbears. They don’t even get a chance to load their crossbows. Next to them is a form that looks like a human spider; a half Humanoid with legs and poison glands. The Drow immediately attacks one of the Bugbears and calls out to warn his brother and sisters. When Phaedra arrives at the top of the slope, she grabs her spiked chain and lashes out at the second Bugbear, killing it with one hit. The first Bugbear panics, throws down its bow and bolts, trying to reach the safely of the cave. Alvra sees his chance and lashes out with his sword, while his lizard finishes the job. Two dead Bugbears are lying still at their feet.

The other two Drow are still trying to reach the top of the slope, but Lilith’s armor is rather heavy and she concentrates on putting one foot before the other. When Jharrath sees the half Humanoid, he recognizes it as an Aranea, the result of a magical Drow experiment. The Aranea is a spellcaster like the Wizard. After a tactical retreat, it disappears into the cave.

Aranea

The black maw of the cave opens up to reveal a path sloping upwards. Thought there are less pebbles than outside, the ground is still not suited for a charge. Alvra grabs his javelin and hurls it after the Aranea. When he follows with the Scout, smears of blood tell them that it is wounded. Be careful with this creature, the Wizard says, it is a Shapeshifter, beware of its spells. Further up, the cave widens and becomes higher. The Humanoid disappears into the distance. It is very dark and the floor of the cave is made of irregular stone.

Lilith, who has finally managed to make it to the top, walks into the corridor and goes after the Aranea. The trail of green red blood is still visible. Seated on his lizard, Alvra climbs the walls and manages to get in front of the Shapeshifter, but at the same moment he feels resistance, web strands touching his face. The Drow and his lizard try to break loose and warn the other Xaniqos about the webs, when two monstrous spiders sink down from the ceiling. Behind them a third spider-like shape appears, smaller than the others. It has long arms and a spider head. With one of his spells the Wizard tries to aid his brother by spreading a layer of acid underneath the spiders. When one of the spiders reaches the ground, the acid bites into its feet. Together, the Scout and the Cleric stand ready, while the Aranea casts mage armor on himself. A massive fight is about to start…

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A banquet, new piwafwis and… a new quest!

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The Lady Thandysha looks even more ravishing than before. She’s wearing elaborate expensive jewelry and an exposing outfit that leaves only very little to the imagination. The siblings are glad they have changed into noble clothing too. The Matron Mother enters with a pleasant demeanor and is accompanied by the pompously dressed House Wizard K’yorl. She is pleased to meet the travelers again and says

Welcome back, sons and daughters. You have returned at the right time. Things have quieted down since you left, and though we should still be wary, it is time for a great banquet. We have further established to be one of the top Eight ruling houses now.

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She walks them to the dining room, where K’yorl, Quarra and Taldinyon join them.

Please sit, you have performed well enough. Due to extensive work on my part but with a little nudge from you saving the House Vae male, House Vae has reopened negotiations with us. Your role in these development was, more by accident, helpful. But why have you only returned with ten lizards? That’s no army. Are there more to come? And did you have to arrive as beggars? Your attires have to change now our House is moving up.

Of course we will dress accordingly to the status of our House now we’re back again, Lady Thandysha,

Lilith says,

but our outfits were functional for what we had to do on our travels. The funds you generously provided us with got us the riding lizards. They are in excellent condition and have proven their worth on the road.

The dinner continues in a pleasant way. One of the servants comes to the table, holding a familiar chest jingling with gold pieces, and reports to the Matron Mother that it was found on one of the lizards. Lilith quickly tells him to take the chest to the treasury and add the gold to the House funds.

Quarra looks at Alvra, who is wearing his Gnashing armor.

What a grotesque outfit.

Excuse me, Mistress, as a male perhaps I don’t know how to dress properly?

Nobody taught you? I will!

With this tempting promise, they continue eating. When the dinner has been concluded, Lady Thandysha asks them to follow her to the Throne Room.

You shall all dress as nobles from now on. I have ordered new piwafwis for all of you, since someone has lost hers…

Lilith tries to bite back her mumbled Yes, but for a good cause!

I presume you still have your house brooches? I know you just arrived, but I have a mission for you to perform, since you returned sooner than expected. Recently one of our caravans has been waylaid along the merchant route. We have been unable to follow the tracks after they lead to one of the higher caves, but perhaps you can. The ambushers didn’t come from the city. Make sure we are not bothered by them again! We don’t involve the city guard and the goods can be carried back. The tracks were found north of Erelhei-Cinlu in a very inhabitable area with small roads and many caves, high on the rim. The goods are silk, piwafwis and a very special cloak for my consort. It HAS to be retrieved.

When did this happen, Matron Mother, how old are the tracks?

The attack occurred one day ago, Phaedra.

Can Alvra take a lizard, Lady Thandysha?

Yes, Lilith, he may, but bring them back in one piece. Alvra has a leading roll to fulfill in showing these lizards after.

They all receive funds to spend on their outfit and Lilith is allowed to take a new mail from the armory. Taldinyon provides them with their new piwafwis: made of silk, they are very beautiful and don’t hamper their movements at all. There’s a gray hue over the inside of the cloak, where their House insignia – the bolt – has been applied. The piwafwi’s outside shimmers when the light falls upon it. Jharrath recognizes them as magically enhanced cloaks of elemental resistance.

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The silver light suddenly reminds the Cleric of mithril and she strides back towards the Throne Room.

Pardon me, Lady Thandysha, but there is one more thing I wanted to tell you. We have initiated a possible deal with the Steelshadow Clan from Dunspeirrin, Phaedra can better inform you about the details but we await your approval to further negotiate.

The Matron Mother nods thoughtfully and tells her that she will ask Phaedra for more information.

Thank you, Lilith. That piwafwi looks good on you. As for the cloak that you are about to retrieve: it is very important to us, so do not fail. There are only three Cloaks of Consorts in the whole Drow world. Our prestige will go up because of this artifact and I have spent much money on it. If it doesn’t return, do not bother to return yourself.

When Lilith asks what distinguishes this garment from others, Thandysha describes it as a very light cloak that looks almost boringly gray, but the moment it is held up to the light, it shimmers and absorbs any light. It is highly sought after by the other Houses.

The Clerc bows and heads back to Taldinyon and her sister and brothers. On request, she is granted a satchel with six potions of healing. These potions will return your health in a reasonable amount, the Weapon Master says. Lilith gives a potion to each sibling and keeps the other three. They change into their travel outfits, get their packs and continue to the stables to pick up Alvra’s lizard. Back on the road so quickly…

Back Home

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After a while, the three barges that harbor the Xaniqos and their riding animals veer away from the other barges. Vuon and twenty warriors stay with them, while the other Kua Toas accompany the slaves – slaves who get only mediocre food and very short breaks. The Kua Toas move with military precision. Though Lilith immediately asks for Vuon, the Kua Toa waits a couple of hours before answering her call.

First you say that you were ‘heading this way anyway’, and now we are the only ones traveling in this direction? Where are the others going?

Are you worried, Priestess?

Lilith snorts.

Of course not. Just curious.

The Kua Toa explains that the other barges are headed for places around the Glimmersea and that all is going according to plan. Nothing else to do than sit back and enjoy the view, which is very boring. The journey continues smoothly and three times a day the Kua Toas dive with their tridents to catch fish and collect seaweed for the lizards.

Four days later they see Blessed Seahaven in the distance. Vuon asks Lilith if they want to debark at the village or in the vicinity, since they want nothing to do with the ritual. Lilith tells the Kua Toa to disembark nearby. Though it is a smooth landing, the lizards get a bit restless, so their chains are deftly removed. Everyone is glad to be off the rafts and they quickly say goodbye to Vuon.

May the darkness be with you.

Where upon the Cleric replies:

And may the Spider Queen kiss you!

Glimmersea

The Drow climb on their mounts and ride off. After two hours the familiar big gates of Erelhei-Cinlu rise up from the gloom and soon the bigger buildings are visible. Two more hours have passed when they are welcomed by the City Guards. The Xaniqos show their House insignias and are allowed to pass the gates, notwithstanding their looks. People make way for their party; whether that is because of their House insignias, the lizards or the intrusive sea scent remains unclear. With their hodgepodge clothing and armor they look a band of mercenaries. At the Noble Gate, they are halted by a female Cleric of House Thorntor, who denies them access. Lilith is fed up with the delay and it takes quite a bit of her diplomacy skills to gain access. They are allowed through under escort of the Priestess and ten of her armed guards so nothing happens on her watch.

When they arrive at the Xaniqos mansion, the Thorntor Cleric enters the house. Several patrols are guarding the premises, more than usual. Surrounded by the Noble Gate guards, the siblings impatiently wait until someone with authority acknowledges them. After an hour the Priestess emerges again, accompanied by Taldinyon, who has a big grin on his face. He nods to the Priestess and tells her they are Xaniqos alright. The guards move aside and finally the favored consort escorts them into the the house. Goblin slaves lead the lizards to the stables.

A lot has changed, Taldinyon say, please follow me. The House is bristling with activity. There are many Bugbear slaves and armed Drow patrol the corridors and hallways. Word of your arrival has been sent to the Matron Mother, so you might want to freshen up, Taldinyon suggests. But Lilith first wants to visit the Chapel. When she enters, her sister Quarra is leading a sermon for several praying Priestesses. Some seem familiar to Lilith from her time at the Clergy School, but others are strangers.

priestesslolth

After several minutes, Quarra turns around and greets her sisters.

We have prayed for your safe return,

she says and then kisses Lilith.

There are new developments. Our revered Matron Mother has assembled more of the lower Houses to our cause. We have had some rough times since you left, but the Lady Thandysha has made wise and strategic moves. We gained fifty warriors, five Priestesses and over a hundred slaves. Too bad you weren’t around when these great tidings arose.

Good news indeed, Lilith says, but we didn’t do too bad ourselves either.

The travelers all go to their rooms to freshen up – Lolth knows they can use it – until a ruckus downstairs tells them that the Matron Mother has returned.

By land or by sea?

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Warily the Drow again approach the portal, but this time all stays peaceful; seems there are no other drakes around. They lead the lizards through and for a moment, all are totally disoriented. When the sensation passes, they find themselves in a dark cave where several battle ready Kua Toa are waiting for them. When the guards hear that the Drow have been trading with the Duergar, they are allowed to pass. Once again they are back in the dark and gloomy city of Looblishar.

portal

At the temple they meet Vuon, who leads them to the throne room. In stead of Kerl Ooil, a Drow male is sitting on the throne – the one they met on their way to Dunspeirrin. Lilith tells him she needs passage to Erelhei-Cinlu overland with their cargo. Xothed Trizz ‘Lorlin makes her a better offer:

You can travel overseas, since Vuon is traveling with a big group to Blessed Seahaven anyway.

And how much will the passage cost us?

Because I have a special interest in your group, the passage will be free. All I ask is that I can call on you in the future, where you will have to hold your end of the bargain. The offer stands for two days.

The Cleric thanks Xothed with a curt nod and turns to leave. Vuon leads them outside. The Xaniqos are wary of the offer, but the sea trip will take them four days and by road it will take three weeks. Jharrath asks Vuon if there is a library. There is none, but there is a Kua Toa temple that has recorded history. Phaedra and Jharrath decide to visit it. Many eyes are watching them from the dark. At the temple, a priest dressed in gold reads the old tomes – necklaces made of seashells – to the Drow. On the wall of the moist and wet dome-like room the history of the Kua Toas is depicted in mosaic. The void, the nothingness, is worshiped in these scenes. The Priest tells them that Vuon was challenged to a duel and has won the right to lead the mission to Blessed Seahaven. These heathens need to join our cult, he says. Do you know that Looblishar means ‘Forsaken for Shar’, forsaken until the void comes? After the visit to the temple, the Drow go to the docks to take a look at the barges. Last time there was some activity, but now the port is buzzing with action. There are ten large barges, some of them are being loaded with chests and crates. Many Kua Toas are armed to the teeth. After observing the scene for a while, brother and sister go back to the Inn

Lilith has been questioning the bartender on the subject of the ritual. It seems that this year the ritual to persuade Kua Toas to come to the goddess Shar, is much bigger than usual. When the Clerk mentions the name Kerl Ooil, his expression becomes uncertain, and upon hearing the name of Trizz ‘Lorlin, a look of fear crosses his features. She goes to her room and prays for guidance to the Spider Queen, but the answer remains unclear. The Cleric is inclined to refuse Trizz ‘Lorlin’s offer for now and see how he will react. She doesn’t like to be forced into an uncertain situation and doesn’t trust the male one bit. There must be a catch to his offer.  After a night’s rest, where Jharrath and Alvra keep watch, the Cleric again prays to Lolth and casts a divination spell.

Will it be an advantage to House Xaniqos to embark with the Sharan Kua Toas?

After a long silence, the answer is

You will meet no peril on that journey.

Still rather cryptic, but Lilith makes up her mind: they will go by sea anyway. The extra 2.5 weeks would take too long, they need to get back to their House.

lolth

Phaedra and Lilith go back to the temple and inform Vuon of their decision to board. The Scout emphasizes that whatever happens in Blessed Seahaven, the Drow will be kept out of it! Vuon agrees and tells them to be ready in two hours. They pay the inn keeper and walk towards the port. Two barges are packed with cargo, three others are filled with slaves who carry crude weaponry, like javelins and spears. Three barges are still empty; it seems those are for the Xaniqos and their lizards. The animals are lead onto the barges – four per barge – and secured, while eight Hobgoblin slaves man the oars. Around fifty Kua Toas are in the water, swarming around the vessels. At the plateau above, the Drow male has appeared to see them off, accompanied by humanoids in cloaks. Vuon lifts his scepter and cheers, and is answered by the gathered Kua Toas – the exodus has begun.

The Portal

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The Matron Mother eagerly awaits their return, so the four siblings leave the Steelshadow mansion as soon as they have rested a bit, the men carrying the treasure chest and Phaedra holding on to the gems. They only stop at the Hammer & Anvil Inn to pick up their lizards. The beasts seem to be in excellent condition. They thank Ivar for taking good care of their animals and then set out into the Underdark, riding the big reptiles in single file. 

The Xaniqos cross the bridge, looking imposing but none too glorious. The Cleric is wearing shards of her burned robe and ill fitting dwarven armor. Still she likes the feeling of riding above the crowds in the streets; it is rather comfortable to travel this way. Alvra is an excellent rider and Phaedra and Jharrath also manage quite well. The lizards stay calm and are well trained, even in the ruckus of the busy bridge. They travel to the south of the town and set out into a remote area, south-east of Dunspeirrin. With the map, Lilith leads the way to the portal that will take them back to Looblishar and consults her sister every now and then to double checks if they still head in the right direction. Their mounts don’t seem to tire and the Underdark passages provide enough insects and fungi to feed them.

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After a while the path gets rougher and it leads them towards a passage: an arc, twenty feet wide and very high. It is surrounded by walls and there’s no other way to pass than underneath the arc. It seems like they have arrived at the portal. The siblings stop at a safe distance and first take a short break. They secure the lizards there. When they proceed towards the arc, their vision is blurred, the closer they come to the entrance. At ten feet distance, there seems to be a streaming curtain of mercury in front of it and at five foot distance it resembles a mirror. Suddenly a mouth, then a head becomes visible in the mercury mirror, though nothing else happens.

Lilith tries out several passwords, like ‘Looblishar’ and ‘Steelshadow’, but to no avail. Then her sister says ‘We want passage’ in Duergar. A voice answers from afar and tells them they first need to solve ten riddles. Seven will grant them passage, ten means passing without harm.

Question 1:
I can have no color, though there may be darkness within. I have no weight and hold nothing, and if placed in a container it becomes lighter.

The Drow decide on the answer Space, which alas is incorrect. The correct answer was Hole.

Question 2:
Of all your possessions, I am the hardest to guard. If you have me, you will want to share me. If you share me, you no longer have me.

To their delight, they have the right reply now: Secret.

Question 3:
Alive as you but without breath, as cold in my life as in my death; never a thirst though. I always drink dressed in a mail but never a cling.

Again they know the correct answer: Fish.

Question 4:
I am free for the taking through all of your life, though given but once at birth. I am less than nothing in weight, but will fell the strongest of you if held.

Their answer is assessed as positive: Breath.

Question 5:
They flow and leap, but only as you pass. Dress yourself in darkest black, and they are darker still. Always they flee in the light, though without the sun there would be none.

And again: Shadows.

Question 6:
They come to witness the night without being called, a sailor’s guide and a poet’s tears. They are lost to sight each day without the hand of a thief.

Their fifth good answer: Stars.

The Xaniqos breath a little easier at this point. But then…

Question 7:
The more that there is, the less that you see. Squint all you wish when surrounded by me.

After a long discussion, the Drow decide on Mist, but the voice tells them the answer should have been Darkness. They have only one mistake to spare to gain access to Looblishar, and the tension grows worse.

Question 8:
The life I lead is mere hours or less, I serve all my time by being consumed. I am quickest when thin, slowest when fat, and wind is the bane of the gift that I bring.

The answer Candle is correct!

Question 9:
A spirited jig it dances bright, banishing all but darkest night. Give it food and it will live, give it water and it will die.

Though their solution Flame is on the track, the right and only answer is Fire. No more mistakes!

Question 10:
Lighter than what I am made of, more of me is hidden than is seen, I am the bane of the mariner, a tooth within the sea. Speak my name.

Fortunately they manage to solve this riddle together, and tell the voice it’s Ice. And that is correct.

They have gained access! The mouth says ‘You may pass’ and then disappears. All that is left is a void. Alvra mounts his lizard and Phaedra takes hold of the others, which are connected by a rope. When the portal doesn’t open and nothing else happens either, Lilith walks towards it… and sees a small thorny head poking through that looks malignantly at her. When she consults the Wizard about the creature, Jharrath tells her that it reminds him of a portal drake, small dragons that live in and near portals. They love to attack travelers who use the portals. Seems he is right.

portal drake

The little creature flies from the portal, accompanied by two other drakes. They are light gray, four feet long and have razor sharp teeth, as the Cleric is about to find out. One of them is attracted by Lilith’s weapon and it bites her arm. Another uses its spell-like ability and shimmers in the air. They converse in Draconic, figuring out some kind of strategy, and laugh in anticipation.

Jharrath summons a salt mephit and orders it to attack one of the drakes with a ten feet cone of salt crystals. Though its victim is angry, it doesn’t seem hurt. Alvra’s javelin has more effect and hits one of the portal drakes. It counterattacks with a cone gas attack from its snout, but stops when it is hit by a bolt from the Scout’s crossbow. The animal is not amused. Another gas attack hits the Fighter and the Salt Mephit, and both feel weaker and seem to lose strength. Lilith’s flail scores a hit on the one that has been gnawing her arm.

Suddenly there are four drakes where first there was only one; seems they know the spell Mirror Image as well as Blur. Alvra takes his two-edged sword and steers his lizard towards the drake that is hovering over him. His mount attacks with its claws and all of a sudden the mirror images disappear: the attack has taken the drake by surprise. Now all go into a frenzy to hit each other but they alll miss. When the salt mephit’s opponent evades its attacks, the Drow Wizard sends a Kelgore’s Firebolt. Try to evade that! He wounds one of the drakes heavily and it warns the others about Jharrath. Seems like they are magical creatures indeed.

Lilith is still fighting ‘her’ drake and hits it well with her flail and a fire burst. In reaction the beast again bites her shoulder and its teeth sink deep into her skin. Big mistake! Enraged, the Cleric beats the creature to pulp, while another Firebolt finishes off Jharrath’s opponent. Alvra’s lizard strikes with its claws and takes down the last drake from the air. The Drow Fighter cuts the body into tiny pieces before it hits the ground and then jumps down to retrieve his javelin.

The portal is clear!

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They have an Efreeti!

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One of the Fire Elementals attacks Jharrath, while the other goes for the Cleric. Flames lick hungrily at her piwafwi, but fortunately the potion against fire saves her. This is not the case with the Wizard, who – stepping back – underestimates the reach of the monster and receives a second blow. He is severely wounded by the swing and the fire and his knees start to buckle. Phaedra and Alvra attack the flaming opponent to draw its attention away from Jharrath. Boldly the Fighter steps onto the solidified lava and lashes out at the Elemental – and kills it! The Wizard drinks a potion to recover some of his health.

Meanwhile Lilith again is hit by the second Elemental. She counterattacks and searing lights flow from her hands, straight into the monstrous giant, after which she takes herself to temporary safety and drinks a healing potion too.

A fierce fight develops between the four Drow and the Fire Elemental. A fight in which Alvra gets stuck with one foot in the lava, where hits are scored and misses are regretted, where mirror Scout images appear and the Cleric’s piwafwi disappears – Lilith can save her house insignia though. Phaedra’s piwafwi is scorched as well. A magic missile finally brings the monster down. One of Lilith’s potions returns a bit of vitality to the Fighter.

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Warily the four walk under the arch into the next chamber and see two Flamebrothers and a Salamander working the anvil. In an open casket mithril shines and shimmers. They decide to attack from a distance and take out their crossbows; Lilith under the protection of an Armor of darkness spell. Jharrath casts black tentacles near the creatures and manages to capture one of the Flamebrothers and the salamander. The other Flamebrother stays free but to no use: together the foursome attack and a javelin thrown by Alvra finishes off one, while Phaedra shoots the other.

Lilith activates her Spiderbound Buckler and her shield transforms itself into a small spider. A Yochlol spell wills her body to form eight tendrils. The Salamander goes under in a shower of javelin, crossbow, soundburst spell and the by now famous magic missiles from the wand of the Wizard.

When they walk towards the anvil, Phaedra finds a chest with gold pieces and pearls, but nothing that resembles a mithril staff. When she walks towards a wooden oblong case, a thundering voice calls out.

I wouldn’t do that if I were you!

The Cleric has had it with this expedition and sends her spider towards the case. When nothing happens, she walks towards it herself and picks it up. Immediately a twelve feet long floating red torso appears. An Efreeti! Its two large hands come together in a spell craft gesture and fire erupts all around them in a twenty foot radius – like fireworks. Thanks to their quick reflexes they manage to shield their eyes from it while their potions shield them from the fire. The Xaniqos stay safe except for Alvra, who is blinded by the bright eruption. The Fighter activates a globe of darkness as counter measure, so he’s not at a disadvantage.

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The fight rages back and forth. The Efreeti starts changing and becomes huge. Lilith attacks with her tentacles and scores several hits. The Scout’s spiked chain adds to the creature’s damage. A medium Shadow Viper appears and attacks, guided by Jharrath. When Alvra hears the monster scream, he lashes out and manages to hit the Efreeti. Enraged, it punches down on Lilith with a giant fist and floats upwards.

Unable to reach the Efreeti at this height, the Cleric holds the case with the staff safely against her chest, calls back her spider and walks towards the arch that leads back to the entrance: they have what they came for. Phaedra grabs the gems from the chest and joins her sister, yelling

Retreat!

to the still blinded Fighter. A shimmering wall of fire erupts in front of the sisters, blocking their escape. Jharrath fires another magic missile at the hovering form and Alvra – once his blindness lifts – hurls a javelin and manages to break the Efreeti’s concentration: the curtain of fire disappears. Heavily wounded and angry, the monster’s last words

I will be back!

bounce against the walls of the suddenly empty cave.

Besides the three green emeralds, two star rubies and three silver pearls she already found, Phaedra discovers another five hundred gold pieces in the chest. They decide to take these with them, but leave the large supply of mithril. Lilith finds a magic flail, which glows with fire, and of course a beautiful staff in the wooden case. The potion lasts long enough for them to escape the tunnels of fire.

When they report back to Thangarth, he is very happy to hear about the retrieval of his staff, which – as turns out – can call forth a Fire Elemental. The clan master is delighted to hear the Efreeti has been chased away and tells them they can keep all they have found. The Steelshadows will retrieve the mithril themselves. Thangarth hands Lilith a map with the location of the portal that will take the Xaniqos back to the vicinity of Looblishar. The use of the portal is payed by the Steelshadow clan. And though trade will always be possible, Thangarth hopes he will never lay eyes on them again.

Top Ten Signs You Just Met The Main Bad Guy

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😉 You’d better run when:

  1. Your assassin henchman just wet his pants.
  2. The ancient red dragon you had just been fighting says

    S**t, I’m out of here!

    and flies away.

  3. The bad guy just laughed evilly, and seven birds fell dead out of the sky.
  4. The DM chuckles, and says

    I spent seven hours rolling this guy up.

  5. The bad guy burps, and a human toe flies out of his mouth.
  6. The DM plays a tape of scary organ music, and starts talking like Boris Karloff.
  7. The bad guy is dressed all in black, but has one of those little yellow smiley face buttons (DMs can be sooo sarcastic).
  8. You point your wand of fire at him, and it melts.
  9. The bad guy keeps Elminster in a cage, and occasionally pokes him with a fork.
  10. After the battle, the only Player Character to survive is the one that stayed back in town with the flu.

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Source: 3rd Edition Palace of D&D