Hand of Light, Episode 15 – Prisoners of the Drow

Session Date: June 10, 2017

In-Game Dates: 22 Kythorn, 1367 DR

After taking a short rest, the heroes move across the bridge to the smaller stalactite here they believe Dona’s siblings are being held. In the first room, they find six cabinets and a hole in the ceiling leading upward.

After a short discussion, they decide not to mess with the cabinets, though Lyr is sorely tempted. There is a teleportation glyph on the floor that levitates people up and down with the command words levantame and bajame. [There officially written down. Many of heroes/players were constantly forgetting how to saw the command words, and I was holding them to the proper pronunciation. The shenanigans here were great, even after the players wrote down the phonetical spelling of the words…]

The heroes levitate up through the hole and find a small chamber with four doors. They discover that behind each locked door is a brick wall. Unsure how to proceed and believing the cabinets below hold some clues, Dunkle and Dexter head back down to the cabinet area.

Just as the others think to follow, Dunkle begins inspecting one cabinet, running his hands along it. As soon as the rogue touches the cabinet, however, his hands become stuck solid to it, and the cabinet doors open to reveal a toothy maw and pink gooey tongue.

And thus the encounter begins with four cabinets-that-are-definitely-not-mimics. The terrain and difficult battlefield is slightly challenging and some of the heroes take a bit of a beating, but ultimately they defeat the cabinets-that-are-definitely-not-mimics. [And now, in addition to mind flayers, Dunkle may quiver in terror at the sight of cabinets in the future…]

Once everyone is back in the room with four doors and brick walls, Lyr lobs a concussive grenade at a brick wall in a doorway. The grenade damages several bricks, and the wall implodes toward the heroes. Hot air, followed by flames, expand into the small chamber. Some Dona and Dunkle flatten themselves against a wall, while Lyr and Dexter dive down the hole to the cabinet room below. The flames fill the room, burning several of the heroes, and Lyr falls thirty feet to face plan in the cabinet room below. Dexter’s bat is immolated by the flames.

They next wall they try doesn’t explode on them as Dona runs at it and smashes through it. However, it does reveal a large construct standing in a long hallway that stretches beyond the sight of the heroes’ darkvision. The construct immediately casts a spell, causing black tentacles to sprout from the ground all around Dona. Chanting can be heard down the hallway, from the darkness, and a cloud of noxious green gas fills the area around Dona and the other heroes.

And so begins the battle with a construct that the heroes never quite identify and a drow mage. The construct has regenerative abilities and can take a pounding, but can’t really dish it out. The drow wizard, on the other hand, flings a fireball and other spells to good effect. Caught by surprise and with nasty spells complicating issues, the heroes have a tough initial go at it, but slowly fight their way down the hallway. They take out the construct, and the drow wizard follows soon after. [This was a sweet battle. When the podcast comes out, it should do it justice.]

The battle ends in the wizard’s bedchamber. There the heroes find gems, coins, and a bag of holding – full of hundreds of slippers! So, they dump the slippers out and put more interesting items in it. They also find lots of spell scrolls that Lyr and Dexter divide up.

There are two doors in the hallway yet, and their drow captive tells them that one holds the prison and the other is the wizard’s workshop. The heroes move into the prison, and discover a large chamber that stretches upward out of the range of their darkvision. [Anyone see a theme here? Drow have 120’ darkvision; other races only have 60’. Good stuff.] Starting ten feet above the floor, glistening spider webs stretch upward as far as they can see, and iron cages, most holding humanoid captives, are scattered about in the webs.

They move into the room, pushing the drow captive before them. Dona then stabs him in the kidney and shoves him to the ground so he’ll bleed out. The drow screams in Elvish, “These are intruders. Kill them!” Then a voice from above calls out, “Why are you here?” Then Lyr tells a grand story about the group being there to sell magic items to the drow. The voices above seem to believe him at first, and then remember what the now dead drow told them. [So, the DM forgot about Dona killing the drow and the drow saying that. And then Lyr’s player distracted us all with a desire to tell his story to the voices above, and began to roll very well on his deception checks. When I remember the dead drow and what he said, the voices snapped out of it.]

The heroes hear both the voices above tell something else, “Kill them!” and the drawing back of bowstrings. Thus begins the encounter with two driders and three giant spiders.

The webs make it difficult for the heroes to get at the driders, and it’s slow moving through the webs. Dunkle goes down from volleys of poisonous arrows, though Lyr brings him up with healing word. One of the giant spiders spends several rounds going back and forth with Lyr. Dona gets in close with a drider after a couple rounds of climbing through the webs and unleashes fury on the monster. The battle begins to go against the heroes at one point, but Dexter swings it back in their favor by casting banishment on one of the driders. Once the heroes kill the other drider and remaining spider, the surround the area where the second drider was banished from. When Dexter stops concentrating on his spell, the drider returns and the heroes unload on it until it goes down. [This was a cool battle. I always feel like I’ve done my job in a “boss” encounter when at least one character drops to zero hit points.]

The heroes rescue from the cages Selise, Quara, Grull, thirteen humans, four elves, eight dwarves, and nine goblins. Dona’s sisters tell her that but a day ago the drow took Umbero, Marta, Salazar, and Pieron through a portal that opens up in the middle of the floor of the prison. Grull expresses disappointment that his liege lord, Karn, was not there to rescue him from the cage.

Investigating that area, Dexter and Lyr discover arcane runes that appear to be part of a two-way teleportation circle. They learned that it leads to a place called the City of Spiders, and they believe that is in reference to Menzoberranzan. [I forget who they learned this information from. It was either a drow that squealed or one of the captives they freed.] Dexter believes that with enough time, he’ll be able to discover the passcode that activates the portal.

And with that, the heroes settle down for a long rest. They’ll need to do something with the captives (there is talk of using teleportation circle to send them back to Waterdeep), and then head through the portal to rescue the rest of Dona’s siblings.

 

The Hand of Light

Below are the famed members of the Hand of Light adventuring party.

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

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