The Arena


“It is time.” Lilith takes her sister and brothers across the street. It has become quite busy with slaves, drow, and nobles. From afar they hear the cheering and screaming of the crowd.

At the entrance, they are stopped by a bugbear.
“Guests or players?”
“We come to participate in the fights.”
“Please follow me.”
The bugbear leads them towards a side entrance, where more warriors are waiting.
“You can sign up here.”

Behind the desk is a drow male, who is very interested in the Xaniqos.
“How are the opponents chosen?” Phaedra asks him.
“The rules are simple: you sign up as a team and fight three bouts. Everything has to happen inside the arena. No matter what happens, do not leave it. And if you survive, you have won.” He adds: “You are among the prime of the day.”
“Can we watch the other fights?”
The drow directs them towards a passageway.
“Lady Thandysha has one of the best spots. But be back in two hours!”

The huge arena is filled to the brim with almost a thousand spectators. Most are drow. The siblings are escorted to the noble area, where their mother is surrounded by a large entourage. A very large woman, broad and strong, is observing them. She is introduced as Thimeta Despana, the combat instructor of House Despana. Her armor is as black as night, marking her as a blackguard as well as a fighter.

The Matron Mother of House Despana, lady Sheihirae, is older than lady Thandysha. “Ah, so these are the chosen ones, Thandysha. You show courage to put four family members out in the arena. I have several enthusiastic warriors, waiting to take up arms against them. May the best team win.”
“Good luck, for the House!” Lady Thandysha nods encouragingly.

The arena is prepared for the tournament. It is a varied terrain, with hills and walls.
“Mistress Thimeta, does the outlay change with every round?”
“Indeed, Alvra, each fight will be a new challenge, in an ever-changing arena.”


“Let the tournament begin!”

Upon lady Sheihirae’s words, an expectant hush settles over the arena. The first gate opens and four warriors of House Despana enter. The crowd cheers. On the opposite side, one of the Fey folk and two svirfneblins step onto the sand. Where the drow tread slowly and carefully, the deep gnomes rush forward – straight into a trap. It soon becomes a massacre.

The Xaniqos are called to their quarters. Underneath his cloak, Alvra wears a new black breastplate, studded with sharp points. Soon a lower drow escorts them to the middle of the arena. The fighting area has been hastily raked to absorb the blood of the unfortunate victims who came before them. “Stop right here.” On the other side, a huge quaggoth enters, carrying a great ax. Five more follow.

Both Matron Mothers rise, and lady Thandysha announces her children. “Today, House Xaniqos will show its strength. Our brave drow will fight against these savage beasts.”


With a loud roar, the quaggoth leader charges at full speed. Suddenly the earth beneath his feet disappears, but he jumps aside. As Phaedra searches for traps, the wizard moves sideways and starts casting, a piece of bat guano in his hand. A bright fireball speeds towards the quaggoths and the stench of burned hair and flesh spread throughout the arena. The crowd stamp their feet to show their appreciation.

Then the fight starts in earnest. Alvra moves to get a clear line of sight and throws one of his javelins. Phaedra at first shoots bolts, but soon engages in a melee fight, her spiked chain tearing through the tough hide of their enemies. Three small earth elementals join in and engage the raging quaggoths, while magic missiles find their target. After several attacks, the Xaniqos cleric takes out the leader with her flail, the sparks of her added fire slowly winking out. Alvra’s sword whistles through flesh and bone.

Within minutes, all quaggoths are dead. Lilith bows to her Matron Mother. Two more rounds to go.

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.

About an unconscious Drow and fighting quaggoths


As both Drow try to fight off the effects of the bolts’ substance, Phaedra hears breaking noises on either side of them. She grabs an object and throws it towards the sounds on her right. The stone – for that was it – instantly radiates a purple light that blinds everything in a ten feet area. In the glow the Scout sees a male Drow in a spider kit hanging near the top of a stalagmite. Growling fills the air. Something else is bothered by the light. Lilith fights off the effect of the poison and manages to focus again: the beasts are quaggoths! Savage warlike monstrous humanoids who will berserk at the slightest provocation. And three of them! The Cleric gathers her breath and emits a mournful wail, sending out a pulse of magic imbued with sorrow and sadness. Of the three, one seems to be blinded by the aftereffects of the purple light as he stumbles straight into the stalagmite, another is affected by the wave of grief and simply stands there. The last one charges full at Alvra, while Jharrath slowly topples to the ground, surrendering to a deep darkness.


The quaggoth’s claws miss the Fighter, and Alvra returns the favor by hitting the beast with his sword. Jhael’min moves to the other side of the road to get a better view of the fight. He seems to be content observing rather than participating. For now. More crossbow bolts come flying from the darkness. Lilith collects another dose of the Drow knockout poison, but again manages to shake off the effect. She knows that this poison works very fast and very effective. Her sister is hit as well and takes a potion. The cleric attacks the humanoid and lays her hands on the creature. Instantly its fur crackles and blisters, the beast seriously wounded. A slash of the fighter’s sword ends its life. The other quaggoths try to come to the aid of their comrade and claws rake deep into Lilith’s armor. She notices that the skin of the creature is white, apparently the fur is painted. The other is still blinded and its attacks are uncontrolled.

Suddenly the area where the scout was turns pitch black. And not a moment too soon. Phaedra hears footsteps coming her way and sees a dagger hurtling towards her. Though perfectly aimed, it misses because of the darkness. Well, it doesn’t miss entirely, according to the growls of one of the remaining quaggoths. Lilith sees how a beautiful dagger embeds itself in the creature’s body. No complaint on her side, she takes advantage of all the help she can get, even if given by their opponent. She tries to strike fear in the heart of the quaggoth, but in its frenzied state it is not affected at all. The humanoid tries to reach and bite her, but somehow overreaches and misses. Lilith immediately strikes with her flail and hits. The other quaggoth joins in the fight, but – still blinded – is not of much use. Neither is the wizard, who sleeps through it all.