About Kobolds and Dire Weasels

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When Alvra, Jharrath, Phaedra and Lilith report to the City Gate of Erelhei-Cinlu the next day, several groups from different Houses are already assembled there. A cleric of Lolth walks towards them, big mace and adamantine shield in place. She introduces herself as Narcella, Priestess of House Despana, and group leader of the patrol team.

Their newest mission is to clear all caves plus less used paths in the north-west of the main cave. Regular patrols manage to supervise a lot, but still new creatures infest the area. The Xaniqos offspring has to travel four or five miles in that direction to get rid of the intruders or report back for help.

The group splits up into several smaller teams and the drow take off, in search of unusual inhabitants. Most footprints are already old and it isn’t until later that they encounter fresher tracks, small reptilian kind. Phaedra, who is scouting ahead, signals to the others that she is pretty sure they are dealing with kobolds. Alvra signals back that these creatures are driven by hatred for everything but dragon and reptilian related species. They are sneaky and love making traps, then try to overwhelm their victim.

In a long passageway the drow suddenly hear voices, and it seems like whoever is talking, is trying to hush the others. Phaedra climbs up the wall and takes a peek around the corner. She sees three kobolds, their eyes gleaming with evil and full of hatred. One is fiddling with a device – a trap – and the other two have slings. The scout relays the information to her brothers and sister. The cleric orders Jharrath to summon an elemental and send it forth to trigger the trap. The wizard complies and sends an earth elemental towards the kobolds. Together with Phaedra, it attacks one of the kobolds and they even manage to kill it! The other two reptiles run away.

Carefully Phaedra checks the trap: a thin wire covered with moss, leading to a nasty spike in the wall. Her attempt to disarm it succeeds and impatiently Lilith steps forward to go after the kobolds. But the ground beneath her feet disappears and she falls into a pit. Fortunately she lands on an upright spike… Cursing the cleric pulls herself loose and looks around. Another cleric is with her in the pit, but this one is half decayed. There is a symbol on her clothes, but Lilith doesn’t recognize it as one of the leading houses. The deceased has a whipdagger in her hand and a diadem on her skull. With a quick prayer to Lolth, she slowly takes the tiara from the corpses’ head and examines it carefully. At the front of the diadem there are two spiders holding a gem. Trusting in the Spider Queen, she slowly puts the spider tiara on her own head and immediately feels blessed by her deity. The whip dagger seems like a good weapon, so she decides to take it with her too. Her brother Alvra quickly offers his hand to help her climb out of the pit.

The four continue and – after the tumble of her elder sister – Phaedra checks their surroundings with extra care. At a bend of the tunnel, she again takes her position high on the wall to find out what is waiting for them. The path widens into an open space and there, in the middle, three kobolds are waiting. But in front of them stands a growling dire weasel!

The scout moves further into the tunnel and shoots her crossbow at the animal, while Jharrath summons another earth elemental. His brother charges the dire beast and the cleric casts dancing lights on the kobolds and weasel. Again the trap-making kobold tries to take off, while acid splashes all over the weasel: wizard in action! The beast fondly attaches itself to Alvra, who fortunately manages to push it away. The earth elemental finishes the weasel off; all enemies present are dead. Lilith decides they follow the tunnel to which the trap-maker was attempting to flee.

Further ahead another snare – this time attached to a stalactite – is dismantled by Phaedra. Around the corner the tunnel opens into a larger cave, and the silent scout spots two reptiles on a ledge on the right, and four more kobolds plus another dire weasel in the middle. One of them is wearing a head piece. The drow signals this information to her siblings, who carefully move ahead. 

Prepare the defences!

Apparently they have been heard, so Alvra steps forward and hurls a javelin at the leader of the kobolds. A sling bullet hits the drow in return, but does little damage. Then Jharrath unleashes a hail of stones onto the kobold group. As a reaction, someone from the ledge on the left throws a tanglefoot bag into the corridor. The goo glues both fighter and cleric to the floor. Lilith succeeds in fighting her way to freedom, but Alvra stays stuck. With huge eyes he watches an orb of fire rolling his way, curtsey of the kobold sorcerer.

Phaedra casts darkness in the cave, and suddenly nobody moves, except Alvra, who is still trying to escape his hot position. Then pebbles and cross-bolts fly back and forth, with little to no visible results. The scout moves up on the wall and tries to land on the ledge on the right. By now the whole cave is quiet. Finally the fighter breaks loose and heads into the dark, trusting his instincts to show the way. He even manages to hit the dire weasel fighting blind. The wizard stands ready to jump into action and Lilith heads towards the stairs on the left side, to climb onto the other ledge.

Then the younger sister feels something slithering up her leg and gets bitten in her arm. She suddenly feels very weak, but lashes out wildly upon hearing something, or someone, move. A dead kobold topples off the ledge. Meanwhile Lilith swings her flail blindly, and then hits something solid. Seems kobold flesh is not made to resist ferocious attacks. In the centre of the cave, Alvra kills the dire weasel.

Phaedra returns to Jharrath and dispels the darkness. Back in the cave, the drow fighter finally spots the kobold leader, a little snake flanking him. He strides over and attacks, but there is a kind of a magical barrier protecting the kobold: what seemed to be a certain hit, turns into a miss. Alvra’s vision is blurred by a counter-attack spell and he also gets bitten by the snake. Fortunately the bite has no further effects, except maddening the already enraged fighter, and with a mighty swing he kills the sorcerer and his snake. A second kobold on the right ledge attacks the cleric with his sling, who in turn releases a sleeping spell, alas to no avail. A newly summoned earth elemental finishes the last kobold off. They have cleared out the kobold infestation! Just to make sure, the drow check out the other tunnel at the junction, but is is empty.

Alvra collects the still usable javelins and finds a special one with a black shaft: a precise javelin. Searching the clothes and bag of the sorcerer, Jharrath comes up with a beautiful half-spear, a light crossbow of the same good quality – which Phaedra takes, together with a pouch with fifty gold pieces – a potion of magic weapon, of blur and a healing potion, a scroll of invisibility and also fifty gold pieces, as well as a very well made axe. He gives the weapon-potion to his brother and then picks up the axe. Fortunately his reflexes are good, because a split second after he releases the weapon, spikes flash out, retreating again with the same speed. Alvra looks at his brother and carefully picks up the masterwork axe. A weapon like that is made for a fighter, not a wizard. Lilith, searching the cave, has found a shiny magical ring.

The Xaniqos warriors walk back to Erelhei-Cinlu, where priestess Narcella is waiting for them. More groups are returning, some of which have had encounters with undead. The four report to the priestess and then go home. To healing and rest. The armoury is happy to receive the whipdagger and other weapons, and hundred gold pieces find their way to the treasury. The ring turns out to be a ring of protection, which the cleric gives to her sister. They all have performed well today.



Pox Bearers

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With the upcoming council of the ruling houses, the ambitious Matron Mother of House Xaniqos is determined to make the best impression she can to prove herself worthy of her position as part of the eight ruling houses. The new-found glory of the ambitious house is slowly building up with every repair and the atmosphere is almost undrowlike positive.

Three days of relative peace have passed when, after the evening prayers, the four warriors are once again called to the chapel in full armour. They are greeted by Matron Mother Thandysha. Their next mission has to be conducted in deepest secrecy. If they are caught, they will be on their own. The Matron Mother explains the situation:

A group of highly contagious pox bearers, commanded by Vorn, calls the shots in the Ghetto of Outcasts. This guild gets its income by threatening other inhabitants and visitors with contamination with the incurable disease. The so called Pox Tax. House Xaniqos demands a share of these taxes, like House Everhate did before them. And now someone is spreading the rumor that House Xaniqos has a cure for the pox. Of course this is bad for business! Leader Vorn is suspected to be the source and has to be taken care of as soon as possible! The guild’s second in command will then step in to take over the Pox Bearers Guild.

The siblings promise to take care of this problem, after which Solaufein opens the door for them. They cross the bridge and turn left into the Ghetto of Outcasts. On their way to Vorn’s mansion, they pass beggars of many of the lower races and even some drow, most are covered in boils. Finally they arrive at their destination: a mansion which is looking surprisingly good, especially for a guild of diseased. The mansion has an upper-surface look, with two big doors in the front.

The Xaniqos drow deem it better to enter in the least conspicuous way. Phaedra spots two dark shapes exit a service door in a side alley and moves in to have a closer look. The door is ajar and when she enters, she finds herself in a bar. Four people are playing cards, while others are slumped against the wall. There is a door at each end of the room.

When Phaedra returns from getting the others, she notices one of the men has gone missing. She questions a male drow who is still sitting at the table about it, but he denies. The scout lashes out with her foot, kicking the chair from underneath the impudent dark elf.

You say there was no one else here and I say there was. Apparently one of us is lying… are you suggesting it is me, male?!

Fear flashes over his scarred face and he stammers,

Upstairs, Mistress, he went upstairs.

With a swish of her piwafwi, Phaedra straightens again, earning herself an approving glance of the cleric.

They all head through the left door of the bar and find themselves in an entry hall, a staircase on their right. After a brief inspection they discover another door which leads to a storage room, filled with barrels. Lilith tells her sister to jam the door to the bar. Then the four drow move up the stairs together, stealth no longer useful now their arrival has been announced. And indeed, upstairs a voice invites them into a large room. A smooth faced man in a piwafwi and robes is sitting behind a desk, while the drow from the downstairs bar is sitting in a chair on the right side of the room. He’s playing with a knife, his face flawed by an advanced stage of the pox. Near the door is a big muscled orc, with only a couple of marks of the disease.

Lilith addresses the man behind the desk – assuming it’s Vorn – and demands to know if he is spreading the rumours about the pox antidote. Any pretence of small talk is destroyed by the impatient tone of the cleric’s questions. Vorn soon admits it and sticks to his tale that House Xaniqos is indeed withholding the cure. As neither of them backs down, the conversation soon turns into a fight.

To make matters worse, two bugbears come running up the stairs. Daggers whoosh with astonishing accuracy and speed through the air. Alvra buries a javelin in the bugbear’s stomach. It goes down and doesn’t move again. Phaedra manages to kill the orc, while Lilith whacks the drow to the ground, but not before one of his daggers hurts the scout. The cleric is also wounded. Meanwhile Jharrath summons two earth elementals, who throw themselves into the fight. The fighter busies himself with the second bugbear, and the three drow and the elementals attack Vorn with spells and in melee. Finally Vorn goes down. His features and form change and what remains is a Doppelganger!

The younger sister searches the dead drow and finds a wristsheet. No wonder he was that quick. She takes the magic object very carefully, favouring her injured shoulder where a magical dagger is embedded.

The wizard investigates the bookshelves on the left side of the room and finds a scroll and a wand to detect magic. A faint aura triggers his interest, and after careful examination he finds a strange slot on the side of the bookcase, rune shaped. Jharraths rids Vorn’s body of magical bracers and a rapier, plus a healing potion, a scroll of confusion and a dagger. Vorn’s ring fits perfectly in the bookcase slot and when the drow turns it, a stairway opens, leading downwards. He also discovers a book on node magic, faerzess magic.

Lilith searches the desk and finds a couple of letters plus the key to a big chest in the corner. Another treasure awaits them there: two hundred gold pieces, five malachites and three pearls. The letters, addressed to Vorn, clearly indicate that House Xaniqos has a cure for the pox.

The party decides to return home, taking the exit staircase. It spirals down into an alley at the back of the house… where a big ogre awaits them with a club. It attacks and hits the already wounded Phaedra hard. In stead of fighting the creature, drawing attention to themselves, they head back to the Xaniqos mansion.

It is obvious the scout needs help, so Lilith heals her sister. Phaedra still feels sick and feverish, and her arm itches. The cleric’s face also buzzes with an uncomfortable feeling, but that slowly subsides. In another book Jharrath has found, he reads that what the sisters are experiencing, are indeed the symptoms of the pox! But – according to the book – a cleric of Lolth can remove the disease, though they will stay a bearer of the disease for life. Doppelgangers seem immune to the pox.

When they arrive home, Solaufein is already waiting and directs them towards the temple. He then alerts the Matron Mother, who listens attentively to their story. When she hears there’s an ogre on the loose, she immediately sends investigators to clear up this loose end. Thandysha is pleased with the news of Vorn’s death, the letters and the gold and gems. Phaedra and Lilith remove their armour and are examined by their mother. A spell removes the disease from the cleric, while a vial, handed over by a minotaur, cures the scout. The Matron Mother confirms Lilith’s question: House Xaniqos really does have the cure for the pox!

The four young drow pray to the Spider Queen and then head towards their rooms. Tomorrow they have to report to the City Guard and patrol the surroundings. In two days the Council Meeting will be held.

The Bonegnasher Tribe

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Hide poor bastards, we’re coming to get you!

Sorry about that, roleplaying a female drow cleric brings out the worst in me. Which means ‘sausage’ in Dutch. Right, better shut my mouth and continue the story…

Having servants is actually quite useful at times like these: two bugbears start cleaning and repairing their armor. The Xaniqos siblings make their way to the chapel, where the weaponmaster and – hurrah – Quarra are waiting. The name Quarra has been chosen wisely, ’cause the first daughter likes quarreling. A lot. As she is about to belittle the group again, Thandysha appears from behind the back of the altar, wearing ceremonial robes. And she is smiling! Seems Lolth had blessed the House of Xaniqos. As a reward the four will receive an emblem empowered with the might of the house, a brooch that will aid them. Quarra seems not pleased with this at all.

The Matron Mother grants them another day for finishing this quest and allows them to return to their rooms, but then Phaedra speaks up.

We don’t need the extra day Mother Thandysha, we want to prove worthy of the gifts you have given us.

Lilith, knowing that they are all hurt and could need a bit of rest after the vermin debacle, almost chokes with indignation. How dares she without consulting her first?! When she turns on her sister, Thandysha corrects them, telling her daughters they will not mouth, feel or show disagreement in her house. Then the Matron Mother grudgingly agrees with the scout’s proposition. Lilith orders the other three to be at the armory at midnight exactly.

After a couple of hours in their rooms, they meet again. Lilith pulls her sister aside and tells her to never pull a stunt like that again. Ever! If she has an idea, she first has to bring it to the cleric’s attention. No further discussion.

Meanwhile Alvra has gone to the temple in the city. He intimidates the bugbear guards who demand a tribute to the temple, until the guards move out of the way.

I only pay tribute to Lolth!

In the middle of the temple is a statue of a spider, and an altar with priests chanting. The drow fighter starts praying too. One of the priests nears and asks what his wishes are. He grants Alvra his request for healing.

In the armory, a couple of surprises await them. Apart from the magic brooch, there is a new shimmering piwafwi with a crossbow bolt on a black emblem on the back, another healing potion for each and a pouch with hundred gold pieces. There is also a map with markings where the two goblin tribes will be.

At midnight they head out into the Underdark again and leave the city behind. There is no illumination and it gets real quiet. After a two and a half hours walk, they reach one of the goblin settlements as shown on the map. The soon-to-be-slaves abide in openings in a big cave wall. They follow the route to the entrance of the huge cave, that is guarded by two goblins, who sit next to a campfire.

Let’s get this over with as soon as possible, so we can take this riffraff back to the mansion. Tell them to get their leader!

Alvra obeys Lilith without question and walks towards the guards. He comes within fifteen feet before they see him.

Call out your leader, my mistress wants to speak with him.

The goblins look up and see a drow warrior standing there. To emphasis his ‘request’, Alvra moves forward, intimidating the goblins. Both guards are shaken, but backup is coming: five more creatures are nearing. One of the guards attacks Alvra, but suddenly loses faith as the cleric impatiently comes closer. He drops his weapon and runs back. Meanwhile more heads are popping out of the cave openings. The remaining goblin finally runs to get their leader. The four drow are waiting.

Soon Snarl, who is bigger than the rest, walks towards the drow, safe in the middle of the other goblins of the Bonegnasher Tribe. The drow fighter tells them all to surrender, lay down their weapons and come quietly towards the big city. Snarls answers that there is going to be doom upon their heads if they insist. He has a pact with all drow of the big city! Yet he orders his tribesmen to bring the weapons forward, which quickly are wrapped up in a blanket. The smirk on his face is very suspicious but when pressed, he just sticks to his story: they can not take them because of some pact. Finally Alvra shrugs and orders the goblins into a line: the thirty goblin warriors in the front and the females and young in the back.

The group makes its way to the city, while the goblins keep looking back, waiting and listening. Suddenly the drow hear the howling of wargs… and they are getting closer. ‘Doggies!’, the leader says, and the smirk becomes more apparent.

Wargs are often used by goblins as mounts. They are highly intelligent and evil and can hide like the best. The wolves can communicate with the goblins, and some even speak Undercommon.

The group is still hours away from the city. The cleric, who does not speak Goblin, tells Alvra to give Snarl the command to send the wargs away or finish them off when they come closer, but the leader refuses, even when they threaten AND kill a female goblin. The only thing they can do is hurry onward. They march for hours. Howling is all around them now.

Suddenly there is screaming among the females: two wargs have stealthily entered the group. When Phaedra spots the monsters, Jharrath casts a wall of smoke. The two beasts appear on the other side of the smoke, nauseated and sick. In a combined attack and aided by a conjured elemental, the drow manage to kill them. Snarl suddenly looks less sure of himself. After the fight, Lilith and Alvra go back to the head of the line, while Jharrath and Phaedra stay near the back.

Then they step out of the tunnels and see Erelhei-Cinlu in the far distance. The howling intensifies as they enter the big cavern, several shapes closing in from behind. The wizard casts dancing lights to form the message:

Warg attack.
Priestess demands assistance!

after which they force-march forward again. Five of the beasts are catching up. The fighter and wizard both cast darkness behind the group, as they run for the city. In response to the scout’s message, a group of drow races towards them from Erelhei-Cinlu. Two wargs attack the flanks and the three drow stop, make a lightning attack and then run on, while Alvra herds the group of goblins at maximum speed. The wizard, feeling the hot breath of a warg on his heels, grabs a goblin and throws it behind him. With a scream the creature disappears underneath the frenzied wolf. The city group is closing in fast, but not fast enough.

The warg attacks Jharrath again and manages to trip the drow. When Lilith sees this, she casts a spell of doom at the beast, which makes it back off, so the wizard can get up and speed on. All the wargs are attacking now and Alvra keeps prodding the goblins to make them run faster and keep them together. With crossbow bolts, spells of darkness and faerie fire they try to keep the wargs off their backs. The wizard again is attacked by the evil canine beast and this time Jharrath goes down, heavily wounded and unconscious. Luckily the city drow are very close now, and they start firing bolts at the wargs. What was a chase, now changes into a full retreat. They have made it!

The rescuing party is led by Solaufein, who tells them that the Matron Mother summons them home. The cleric heals Jharrath so he will survive and then the large procession continues to the city: they have managed to bring in eighty to ninety new goblins slaves, the former leader resigned to his fate. Thandysha is waiting for them at the chapel. She clearly is pleased and the siblings get the feeling that the whole thing has just been a test and both them and the goblins unwilling dupes of the scheming Matron Mother. Because they have passed this test of loyalty, the second quest is on hold for now. But more difficult tasks will be waiting for them in the immediate future. The siblings each receive 750 gold pieces, free to spend as they like, and are dismissed for the next couple of days…

Vermin Hunt

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In the morning they are greeted by weaponmaster Taldinyon, who is waiting for them in the chapel of Lolth. He has new orders from the Matron Mother of House Xaniqos. Lady Thandysha needs a lot more slaves and has given directions to a goblin tribe that is living further away. This tribe is better organized than the group they captured the day before, and they are to bring them in alive and in reasonable good health. There are also problems with the rothé herds on an island, which is pestered by a vermin infestation and they have to swipe the island clean of everything. The island rothé are herded by thirty goblins and two drow guards. There is also a small herd on the mainland. Both assignments have to be finished within two days.

Taldinyon hands Lilith eight bluish bottles and a pouch with money for the trip. She gives her sister and brothers each two light healing potions, so they have a better chance to stay alive and be of use. The cleric decides to take on the vermin assignment first.

This time the four Xaniqos drow take a left turn after the Great Gates, where there is a lot more traffic, until they arrive at a big lake. They find a boat, staffed by a drow and four goblins. The boat master, recognizing their Xaniqos badge, is willing to take them to the other side. He tells them that the north and west of the island is infested by medium sized cockroaches, six feet long. They are dangerous, fast, tough, and have tremor sense. Some can even fly. They like to make their lairs in damp warm places. Great!

The drow guards on the island lead them to the three entrances of the caverns, which are ten to twenty feet wide. Phaedra listens and hears scuffling feet at the second entrance, water in the third opening. When she peeks into the middle one, she can see a tunnel leading straight onward, decorated with many stalactites. They send one of the goblins into the cave, telling him to run and then quickly come back. After a bit of encouragement, he actually walks in and returns with another goblin! Frightened he tells them there is a dead cockroach inside.

The upper entrance is next. Now they send both goblins into the tunnel… but only one comes back out, chased by a very fast cockroach. It releases an awful stench but none of the drow are affected. The beast runs towards Alvra and tries to pierce his armor. Lilith attacks the huge insect and damages it with her flail, after which the beast transfers his attention. To her. Stepping back she casts faerie fire to distract it. The scout smashes her spike chain, while – protected by his mage armor spell – Jharrath casts flare. This dazzles the beast and the drow fighter immediately grabs this opportunity to finish it off. ‘Stupid bug!’

They decide to check on the third opening next. The ground slopes down towards a twenty feet wide space; in the middle they see two bodies lying. One is still moving. Not because it is still alive, but because of wriggling giant maggots underneath. Next to the wall there is a basin of water. The wizard pulls the body away and Lilith orders the goblins to spear the maggots. Suddenly one of the goblins is dragged upwards by tentacles, up to something that can be best subscribed as a floating towel: a magical darkmantle! After casting faerie fire on it, Phaedra even spots a second one.

With a fighting combination of crossbow bolts, a javelin and a hail of stones the drow manage to kill one and wound the other. Suddenly the surviving creature casts a globe of darkness. Damn! Everyone takes their melee weapons and stand ready. A very high sonar echoes through the cave, and immediately after the scout is attacked by the darkmantle. Fortunately she manages to shrug it off. The beast drops to the ground and after several misses, the cleric hits something, fighting blind. For long breathless moments nobody moves, then the drow and goblins slowly back out of the cave. When the darkness dissipates, they discover two dead darkmantles. One cave cleaned out.

Phaedra checks out the middle cave and finds a dead cockroach (just like the goblin said),  two dead goblins, crude weaponry and a small satchel with a few coins. Cave number two is also safe. Which leads them to the cave where the big bug came from. A big bug coming out of a big cave. Interesting possibilities…

Their anticipation proves correct: the tunnel forks into two separate, smaller passages. Soon clicking sounds resound against the walls and another cockroach scuttles closer. Jharrath casts dancing light on the insect and then releases Kelgores fire bolt, which hits the cockroach, destroying one of the beast’s mandibles. It immediately attacks the scout who happens to be in front and pierces her armor. Lilith calls upon the Spider Queen to give her strength and suddenly her empowered flail is dripping blood. She kills the cockroach with one hit, but soon another insect sibling decides to check out what the fuzz is all about.

Meanwhile another bug is attacking the rear of the group, but fortunately Alvra is alert and manages to damage it badly, even killing it in the process. The others are not as fortunate and miss attack after attack. They are very annoyed with themselves and drink healing potions to recover from their wounds. These cockroaches are as tough as their chitin armor! The drow fighter investigates the other corridor and finds himself at a crossroad. After a hit by Phaedra, the insect decides to retreat and finds itself face to face with Alvra, who doesn’t hesitate. Another bug down.

The drow regroup and move forward, only to reach another fork in the tunnel. Something is moving around in the left tunnel. As if the new walking cockroach is not enough, there is a second one there, flying! A bunch of bolts and javelin buzz through the air, but all miss, while the roaches do not. This is truly pathetic. The wizard suddenly summons an earth elemental, which powerfully attacks one of the bugs. Phaedra is so pissed about this late initiative that she crushes a cockroach in total fury. After more bumps and misses, Lilith finally shoots the last one. Deadly silence is the result.

They take care of their wounds as well as possible, during which the scout tells her wizard brother never to hold back a spell like that in the future. Lilith fills a couple of empty potion bottles with cockroach puss to make poison with. When they walk back into the ‘open’ air – if there is such a thing in the Underdark – the guards take further care of them. The youngest sister advices the guards to regularly check the caves, to prevent new vermin to nestle. Then the cleric leads them back to the city, wounded and filthy. Everyone moves out of the way for the party. It was a dirty job and a dirty retreat.

Recapturing Slaves

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Back at the mansion, Solaufein is already waiting for the young drow. He immediately sends them back out for the next assignment: finding a group of 40 or 50 goblin slaves that escaped from the previous House owners. They have been located by the scouts of house Xaniqos somewhere not far outside the city.

To leave Erelhei-Cinlu, they have to pass through the ghettos to make it to the Great Gates. On either side are statues of a male and female drow, with an image of Lolth above. Drow can travel into the city for free, non-drow have to pay their way in.

On the other side of the gates, there is a big cavern, with a small lake to the left. Lilith orders her younger sister to find the band of goblins. They march to the right for a while, where Phaedra finds a bloodstained piece of cloth. Seems they are on the right track. She soon discovers a cave and moves in stealthily. There is only one entrance and no guard. The scout sneaks closer still and then hears voices argue about the leadership of the group. She sees one taller – rather dumb looking – goblin and a group of smaller ones. Only a few of them are armed with crude weapons. Then Phaedra is discovered. The other drow quickly move in and are met by scared goblins, little ones in front.

Alvra asks Lilith if he is allowed to take action, which the cleric allows. He twirls his two-bladed sword and thus manages to intimidate the leader, who drops his spears and flees to the back. From there he tries to negotiate with the fighter. Alvra grants him his life and tells everyone to drop their ‘weapons’. In reply the leader hurls a javelin at the drow, and hits. ‘That’s it, attack the worms!’ Lilith growls en walks menacingly forward. Some retreat.

The wizard hurls fire at the leader and succeeds in hurting him. After a charge of Alvra, there is a headless corps decorating the cave. The others quickly surrender. Meanwhile Phaedra enters the cavern to check the rearguard, where she is attacked by a goblin who was defending the females and young. He ends up with a spiked chain in his skull. Phaedra then leads thirteen goblins from the cave.

They walk back to Erelhei-Cinlu in formation, the remaining thirty new slaves in tow. Upon the arrival at House Xaniqos, captain of the guard Solaufein takes over the goblins and leads them to the slave quarters under the mansion. The four drow proceed to the central hall to report to the Matron Mother and walk into a mass praying. Irritated by the low tasks they have received so far, Lilith remains erect at the entrance of the room. Perhaps not such a bright idea.

Indignant, the Matron Mother allows her eldest daughter to punish the disobedient cleric and Quarra makes the whole group go down on their knees to pray… long! After that they are dismissed without even a comment on the completed task. Lilith praises Alvra for his excellent fighting and heals him as a reward. Though a bit grudgingly. All four then go to their rooms to pray and prepare for the next day. Seems Lolth was satisfied after all, since all feel better prepared for the upcoming events.