Hand of Light, Episode 17 – Out of the City of Spiders

Session Date: July 8, 2017

23 Kythorn, 1367 DR

Karn’s player was not present for this session.

As the last of the drow chapel’s defenders falls, the chapel rumbles, and an otherworldly, feminine voice booms, “You have desecrated my unholy place. Take this as a toke of my dissatisfaction.” Then vertical slashes of darkness split the air, and two monstrosities resembling melted candles with tentacles exit the extra dimensional portals.

Dexter and Lyr identify the demons as yochlols, Handmaidens of Lolth, and the Hand of Light moves to attack. The yochlols fill the chapel with webbing, and as they attack the heroes, it’s revealed that their tentacles excrete an extremely dangerous poison. (Though Dona, of course, cares little about that.)

One yochlol chases Dunkle and Dexter about the room, and the other engages Lyr and Dona. After a pitched combat, where Lyr goes down at least once, the Hand of Light triumphs.

The Spider Queen sends two yochlols, Handmaidens of Lolth, against the Hand of Light after they slaughter her clergy.

The alarm horns that sounded earlier continue to blare form outside. The heroes gather the rescued captives – three of them are Dona’s brothers – and head into the courtyard.

However, they spend a little too much time discussing plans there, in the open, and a drow sentry spots them. He calls out that the intruders are in the inner courtyard, and a quick shuffle begins, with the sentry going down quickly. But the damage was done.

Thinking quickly, Lyr uses minor illusion to imitate the drow’s voice, calling out that the intruders are now in the outer courtyard. Then the heroes hurry through a door into a lounge, and then head up some stairs. They were told that the First Wizard Orond’s quarters were on the second floor and that he has Dona’s sister Marta.

As they are moving the rescued captives into a room upstairs, Lyr looks out the window and confirms that the drow bought his deception.

Then a door in the hallway opens, revealing three drow. Simultaneously, more drow arrive from the opposite side of the hallway, boxing the heroes in.

This battle involves a drow wizard, however, and turns out to be rather nasty. Various spells are flung about by both sides, including walls of force and walls of fire. Lyr, once again, comes very close to going down.

One would almost think the DM had it in for Lyr… However, when the bard climbs over a wall of force that is obstructing the hallway and takes on several drow, including the wizard, all by himself, stuff like that tends to happen. It’s actually surprising he hasn’t died at all yet.

Yet.

Drow warriors and a drow mage ambush the heroes as the try to find Dona's sister, Marta.

When the battle has finished, the Hand of Light has a brief discussion and concludes that must have been Orono, the First Wizard. Now they just need to find Dona’s sister.

Searching the rooms upstairs, Dona and Lyr open a cabinet, triggering a trap. Webbing expands to cover the entire room and much of the hallway, and poisonous gas begins to billow out of the cabinet. In the cabinet, the bard and barbarian see an extra-dimensional portal.

As Lyr dispels the webbing, Dona goes back to Dunkle and Dexter to tell them she and the bard are going to check out the portal. The wizard and rogue then round up the rescued captives and head down to the prison level while Dona and Lyr get Dona’s sister, who they presume must be through the portal.

Splitting up the party. DMs work so hard to split the party, and players generally resist it. However, from time to time, a DM receives a gleeful gift when the party splits up when the DM wasn’t even trying.

As Dona is gabbing with the wizard and rogue, Lyr jumps through the portal by himself.

See what I mean?

The bard explores a short corridor, the walls of which are covered with tapestries depicting four-armed demons conquering the enemy of the drow – elves, dwarves, and humans. As Lyr approaches the double doors at the end of the corridor, large four-armed demons walk through the illusionary tapestries and attack. Lyr identifies the creatures as draegloths and knows he is outmatched.

Just as Lyr is beginning to get his face smashed in, Dona comes through the portal. After a few sentences berating the bard for his foolhardiness, she pulls here silver great sword and begins to lay into the demons. Lyr, meanwhile, polymorphs into a tyrannosaurus rex.

Lyr and Dona, though their injuries are mounting up, aren’t doing half bad, all things considered. However, then the double doors at the end of the hallway open, revealing a drow wizard – the First Wizard Orono himself.

Orono first banishes Lyr and then sends in a shadow demon to help finish Dona off. After the barbarian goes down, the wizard allows Lyr to return from his banishment. The bard lasts only moments before going down as well.

Down in the prison area, Dunkle and Dexter wait for fifteen minutes for Lyr and Dona to catch up. As the time drags on, they conclude that their companions must be dead. Dexter, out of spells, suggests they leave the drow compound, take the captives to safety, and then return later to revenge their friends.

Dunkle, however, will hear none of that. He gathers several magical potions and prepares to head back, by himself, to find out what happened to his friends.

Then, pirate energy coursing through his veins, it occurs to Dunkle that the goblin and bugbear slaves in the nearby chamber might be willing to help. After some tense negotiations – assurances that most of the drow are already dead and that there is an armory upstairs where the slaves can be armed with drow weapons – the rogue convinces several dozen goblins and a handful of bugbears to help him and Dexter assault the remaining drow.

Dunkle and Dexter then lead their goblinoid battalion upstairs, outfit them in the armor, and then head through the portal in the cabinet.

They immediately find themselves assailed by the draegloths and Orono. As one draegloth falls, the heroes press their foes back and into the wizard’s personal chambers. There they can see several captive females lying on cushions. They also spot Lyr and Dona unconscious, manacled, and hog-tied on the cushions.

Dunkle and Dexter lead a battalion of goblinoids to rescue Dona and Lyr from the First Wizard of House Oussiryn.

When the remaining draegloth goes down, Dunkle and the goblinoid move in on the wizard. Meanwhile, Dexter is kept busy feeding healing potions to Lyr and Dona, trying to keep them alive while the battle rages in the room. The drow wizard is flinging around several nasty area of effect spells while he himself is chugging potions.

The wizard then turns invisible and attempts to flee. The heroes, however, quickly find him and break his concentration on the invisibility spell.

Orono, the First Wizard, pops back into view, his robes tattered and many nasty wounds bleeding profusely. The mage curses the heroes, and then drops a fireball at his feet, killing himself but catching everyone else in the blast, too.

Drow wizards that suicide by fireball is becoming a thing, I think.

The heroes are wounded by the fire, but it’s nothing too serious. The female captives, however, are caught in the flames, and to a one they are killed, including Dona’s sister Marta.

Quickly, before Dona can fly off too far into a rage…

And before Dona’s player jumps across the table to strangle the DM…

Lyr moves to Marta and casts revivify, bringing her back from the dead.

Then the party retreats to the dungeons where the destroy the drow teleportation portal to ensure the drow can’t easily find their way back to Skullport. Dexter casts teleportation circle, and the heroes and rescued captives walk through into Eltorchul Academy, back in Waterdeep.

The Hand of Light

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

Dona Falone - Barbarian

Dexter Ambrose - Wizard

Aelyrendar "Lyr" Fairsong - Bard

Dunkle Fledermaus - Rogue

Karn Mondel - Paladin of Torm

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