||2020-10-03 10:47:34 - Update
Episode #7: Journey into the Underdark
The Scourge of the Underdark Campaign
NPCs mentioned in this Episode:
The original Scourge of the Underdark consisted of five individuals: Dhel, an elf hailing from Nesselentiss, who was reputed to be a member of the guild of stalkers; Tanamier, a half-elf also from the elven nation in the Duchy of Ulek, who was blessed with clerical powers in addition to being a fledgling wizard; Akira, a psionic warrior from the Jetai-Ryu order found in faraway Nippon; Kith Forester, a half-elven ranger also gifted with druidical abilities, and S'Thiss, a renegade dark elf. The group met in the country of The Yeomanry, near the villages of Milbourne and Thurmaster, located in the county of Haranshire. A failed kidnapping attempt brought the group together.
In Milbourne, the group encountered the mayor, Darius Carman, whose daughter Jelenneth, had been kidnapped. Jelenneth was a novice wizard studying with a tutor in Thurmaster, named Tauster.
The heroes were hired by Carmen to find his daughter. Through their investigations, they met the ranger Kuiper, the druid Oleanne (who would later be killed by drow hunters with their Shadow Circle druid leader), and the swanmay Shiraz. They soon discovered a plot to kidnap any being exhibiting magical gifts. Two such groups of evildoers were performing these kidnappings, apparently independent of each other. After defeating both groups, the Gifted One Tempus joined the group, and the heroes discovered the conspiracy soon led to the caverns of the Bloodskull Orcs, just beneath the surface. The soon-to-be Scourge routed the orcs in a series of pitched battles. At the end of the last battle, a svirfneblin priestess, Carmeneren, appeared to the heroes.
Carmeneren wanted to dissuade the heroes from venturing any further to investigate the conspiracy. She soon relented, but only after the heroes proved themselves in trials in the Underdark. Many adventures ensued, including meeting the dwarf berzerker Gorath, but two are worthy of special mention: the defeat of the Shadow Dragon Fandruzsch, and the conclusion of that battle, the discovery of the caverns of the Rockseer elves, who would play a greater role later on.
Kith Forester was the first to leave the group, feeling guilty about not confronting the Shadow Circle druids that he had seen on the surface. The remaining heroes pressed on, destroying an underground temple to the Tannar'ri Lord Juiblex, two tribes of Quaggoth and Hook Horrors, and a pack of Grell, with Dhel suffering serious injuries. However, after a battle with a beholder, the heroes found themselves too far from the deep gnome city to return to recuperate, and so Tanamier cast a Rope Trick spell, to hide while the heroes regained their strength.
It was an ill-fated move...
Forgetting that they carried a Leomund's Desirable Residence, an extra-dimensional magic item, the heroes entered the extra-dimensional space of the spell. A massive rift opened between the Prime Material and Astral planes, sucking the heroes into the Astral Plane. Tragedy followed, as they were noticed by the rulers of the Astral Plane, the Githyanki. In a ferocious battle, Dhel was destroyed and the heroes badly wounded, as the Githyanki mountain-fortress loomed in front of them. Then, through a stroke of luck or fate, a mysterious group of monk-like beings gated into the Astral plane and returned the heroes to the Prime Material just as another Githyanki party was about to arrive. The heroes later learned these beings to be called "The Order of the Lotus Flower". All this was at the beset of S'Thiss, who apparently had contacted them, though could not speak of them afterwards, apparently due to a mental block.
The heroes resumed their quest, and soon came upon Caelynn Silverleaf, a bladesinger who was the leader of an expedition investigating a drow party, but of which he was the only survivor. Rather than return to the surface in shame, the grey elf joined the band of heroes in order to discover who the conspirators were, suspecting the dark elves he had been hunting.
Caelynn was wrong, however. They discovered that it was, apparently, the kuo-toa, behind the kidnappings, and tracked them down to the City of the Glass Pool. They also discovered a paladin going by the name of Sir Darius Graymore. Sir Graymore informed them that he and his father had been bodyguards for a group of magi and had been attacked and brought down here. While Graymore had escaped the clutches of the kuo-toa, his father had not been so lucky. Graymore informed them of several inconsistencies within the City of the Glass Pool. For one, illithids were present, though they were usually mortal enemies of the fish-men; secondly, derro were also present, and the degenerate dwarf-race were also notorious for getting along with nobody. The heroes quickly determined that the illithids were administering potions of domination to the other two races, which gave them control over them, and had a side-effect of giving them a fish-like stench.
As they decided what to do, they also encountered a renegade group of derro, who had refused to team up with their contemporaries. Reaching an uneasy alliance with them, the Scourge of the Underdark mounted their attack upon the City of the Glass Pool. In an epic that is too lengthy to recount here, the heroes smashed the City of the Glass Pool with all its kuo-toa, derro, illithid, and ixzan inhabitants, while freeing the slaves present. Unfortunately, Graymore's father was not amongst them. The paladin determined that he had been taken further below, as the City of the Glass Pool contained a secret passage that was obviously a route to whomever was at the heart of the evil plot.
Other matters had to be taken care of. Caelynn Silverleaf led an expedition of Rockseer elves to the outskirts of Celene, his homeland, for what turned out to be a joyous reunion. They also met Brother Griften Insaith, a monk from the monastery of the Yellow Rose, here to investigate reported Scarlet Brotherhood activity. The most peculiar event was when the Scourge went to inform Darius Carman of their (lack of) progress in finding his daughter. Carman displayed only casual interest, which led the suspicious Tanamier to cast detect evil upon him.
The results were staggering.
The Gifted One left his meeting with Carman with a debilitating headache from the results of his detection spell. The Scourge set to arguing amongst themselves about a plan of action. Graymore favored an immediate confrontation with Carman; others suggested finding out about who had stolen their riches from the local bank, while others saw a need for urgent return to the Underdark. The latter side won, with the result that Graymore left the group to raise a force against Carman. Brother Griften, however, joined the group.