Imprisoned in the Drow prison camp Velkynvelve, the prisoners get to know one another and the party is formed. The party consists of:
- Alaer Rezial, Wood Elf Monk of the Open Palm
- Arizira, Half-Orc Thunder Cleric
- Bryn Liadon, Wood Elf Druid
- Gwyn Stormseeker, Half-Elf Warlock of the Great Old One
- Linwe Sparklehorse, Wood Elf Nature Cleric
- Faelookon, Bronze Dragonborn Bear Totem Barbarian
- Eldeth Feldrun, Shield Dwarf from Gauntlgrym
- Jimjar, Svirfneblin from Blingdenstone
- Prince Derendil, Quaggoth who thinks he is a high-elf prince polymorphed into a Quaggoth
- Stool, Mycanoid Sprout bullied by Sarith
- Topsy & Turvy, Svirfnebli twins from Blingdenstone
The party’s prominent Drow captors:
- Mistress Ilvara, Drow Priestess and leader of Velkynvelve
- Asha Vandree, Drow Priestess and second-in-command at Velkynvelve
- Shoor Vandree, Drow warrior and current patron of Mistress Ilvara
- Jorlin, Drow warrior and ex-patron of Mistress Ilvara.
- Various Drow scouts and Quaggoth enforcers
1. The party escapes from Velkynvelve after a distraction beset upon the prison camp and Faelookon breaks off the bars. They kill half a dozen Drow and leap down the waterfall to the water below, fleeing down one of the passages. Before they could escape, Eldeth and Ront are both killed. Eldeth asks the party to return her remains to Gauntlgrym.
2. In the tunnels of the Underdark, the party flees the Drow and tangles with the violent wilderness of the caverns. During their flight, Sarith is killed for betraying the party. His corpse explodes into spores, infecting Linwe with an unknown ailment. Later, Buppido becomes known as a psychopathic killer, and eventually kills Stool in the night. The party kills Buppido in retribution for his killing.
3. The party reaches the Kua-Toa city of Slubloodop, led there by Shushar. There, they are taken prisoner and the Kua Toa archpriestess tries to sacrifice them to a diety known as “Leemoogoogoon”. Demogorgon emerges from the Darklake and destroys the Kua Toa city, as infighting breaks out among the Kua Toa worshipping Leemoogoogoon and Blidoolipoop. The party kills what Kua Toa stand in their way between them and freedom, and flee the city in a Kua Toa longboat together with another prisoner, the Duergar Hemeth Steelshadow. During the flight, Faelookon narrowly avoids certain death by Demogorgon. Tragically, however, his brother Bryn Liadon is slaughtered by Demogorgon, as is Jimjar and Prince Derendil. Shushar was taken away and the party never saw him again after the chaotic events. Faelookon is afflicted with a curse or madness making him forced to do whatever anyone asks. Alaer discovers this, and tells Faelookon to only do what he says, himself. He shares this information only with Linwe.
4. The party traverses the Darklake and nearly avoid disaster when attacked by manta rays. They discover a svirfneblin stowaway: Ten, the svirfneblin wizard. Hemeth and Ten argue vehemently about whether the party should go to Blingdenstone or Gracklstugh. They decide to go to Gracklstugh, since Ten lies about Blingdenstone being destroyed. Pressing onward, the party narrowly avoids a watery death by a Darklake Tsunami as well as a horde of stirges. They enter a passage underneath the Darklake and get their first respite since departing Slubloodop.
5. Continuing onward, the party deal with the various dangers of the Underdark. In one of the smaller tunnels, they narrowly avoid being crushed by a collapse triggered by burrowing Purple Worms. The rockslide reveals a hidden tomb within the stone, which the party learns to belong to Brysis Khaen. By solving various puzzles and reading the hyroglyphs and murals upon the walls of the tomb, the party deduces that Brysis was a human mother who tragically lost her children to attacking demons. She banded together with four dwarves and ventured out into the wilds to fight back against these demons. At some point, she acquires a mace of sunlight known as Dawnbringer. The last mural depicted Brysis and her companions being defeated by a wraith in a burning scene depicting an encroaching demon army.
6. In the tomb, the party mistakenly released the wraith, and fought it and several ghosts. During this fight, Alaer and Arizira discovered Dawnbringer in Brysis Khaen’s true tomb, and Linwe uses the mace to fend off the undead creatures. Sadly, however, both Hemeth and Arizira are killed in the fight against the undead. The party then discovered a secret exit beneath the tomb, including a stockpile of treasure that contained, among hundreds of gold pieces, a Necklace of Fireballs. The party flees this exit into an underground river, though Ten is slain by the wraith just before he can depart from the tomb.
7. At the end of the river, the party discovers two rock gnomes, Rodney and Carrey, who knew Gwyn during their time of imprisonment on the surface. The party learned from Rodney and Carrey that they were also kept prisoners of Mistress Ilvara. They were heavily scarred from the torture the Drow Priestess put upon them after the party’s escape months prior. Faelookon saw his axe in the possession of Carey, and traded her for another weapon. Shockingly, Rodney also was in possession of a letter written by Alaer Rezial’s sister. She was imprisoned some time far before the party was captured, and had revealed that the Drow were disguising themselves as Dragonborn and raiding elven camps, inciting racial hatred between the Dragonborn and Wood Elf people. They exploited this chaos to capture slaves of the two races, as they fetched the highest prices on the Drow market. Alaer read this letter and shared these revelations with the rest of the party.
8. Continuing onward, the party traversed through an underwater passage into a sunken temple. They fought off various powerful oozes and ichors before being trapped in a room containing a statue of a faceless god resembling the patron of Gwyn. Gwyn recovered a Rod of the Pact Keeper from this statue, which fell backward to reveal a half-elf Bard, who couldn’t recall his name. Faelookon dubbed him Brad the Bard, Found in a Pitt. In the temple, Alaer befriended a sentient, intelligent gelatinous cube named Glabbagul. The cube assisted in their escape, as the party dove down into an escape chute just before two black puddings, and landed… back in the Darklake.
9. The party landed just a few kilometres shy of the docks of Gracklstugh, the city of the Grey Dwarves. They negotiated passage into the city with a Svirfneblin named Kazook, who had two goblin bodyguards, Yukyuk and Spiderbait. When being led into the city, Brad tried to pickpocket a Duergar while Brad’s arms were bound and he was blindfolded, resulting in him being caught and the Duergar stabbing Brad. Kazook saved Brad from being executed on the spot, promising the Duergar, Hagg Stonefist, that Brad would visit his Brawler’s Guild to fight (and die) in the arena, once Kazook “was done with him”.
10. In Gracklstugh, the party allied with:
- Captain Blackskull, leader of the Duergar Stoneguard, who asked them to learn more about the Grey Ghosts thieve’s guild and recover proof of corruption within the city. She asked them to kidnap the Derro Droki.
- Themberchaud the Wyrmsmith, the red dragon who asked them to recover a missing Red Dragon Egg. Kazook also had asked them to recover the egg.
- Elliandreth, the Seer in the Dark, a Derro savant who was fixated on knowledge and shared with the party some valuable information about the city and the Underdark.
- Jarlaxle, a Drow brigand who warned the party of the ‘Watchmakers’, a band of bounty hunters whose members included Kazook. He also agreed to smuggle the party out of the city in exchange for the party’s allegiance and a favour to be provided to him in the future.
11. The party discovered that Kazook planned to betray them to the Drow. They killed him and burned down his hideout.
12. They went to the Stonefist Brawler’s Guild, where they defeated Hagg and his family in combat, winning their slaves. They recovered 22 slaves, one of which was an old, haggard man locked behind three massive steel doors. They kept the slaves in Kazook’s hideout, and the old man in their room at the inn.
13. Later, they discovered where the Grey Ghosts hideout was, and in those tunnels fought off various Derro and creatures. They encountered a band of Myconids, who asked the party to “Attend a wedding”. They declined, and took with them a Myconid sprout named Rumpadump. Here, they discovered some evidence that Captain Blackskull’s lieutenant, Kula, was collaborating with the Grey Ghosts. They returned to Blackskull to provide this information. She informed them that the Drow were outside the city, and that she would keep them from entering Gracklstugh so long as the party agreed to purge the tunnels of the Grey Ghosts.
14. Afterwards, the party went to Elliandreth’s house, as Blackskull said that he could provide the slaves with paid labour while the party dealt with the Grey Ghosts. While speaking to him, Faelookon became suspicious of the Seer’s tattoos, a strange symbol that the party had seen throughout various peculiar places, and which was also tattooed on the backs of the slaves. They pressed Elliandreth for an explanation, and under duress, the Seer admitted that the symbol had to do with the demon lord Orcus. He admitted that he was constructing an undead army and was worshipping Orcus, guiding the demon lord to Gracklstugh so that he can study Orcus, and some of the most horrifying aspects of death and undeath, in person. He said that Orcus and his forces were several days’ march from the city. He then transformed into a Bodak, a hideous, terrifying creature of great power that is directly linked to Orcus. The party fought and destroyed the bodak.
15. In Elliandreth’s house, the party discovered that he had a large basement cavern that was magically locked. Linwe broke the lock, and inside the party discovered hundreds of zombies stuffed into the room. They could not re-lock the door, as it disappeared when unlocked and had to be magically re-applied. In a panic, Alaer sprinted to Blackskull, to inform her of Elliandreth’s allegiance to Orcus and the undead army.
16. When Alaer got to Blackskull, she told him that she knew of the ploy. She, too, had allied with Orcus, and was similarly guiding the Demon Lord to Gracklstugh. She believed that Orcus would drive the Duergar back into their ambitious, violent past, and could provide an undead army with which they could raid and destroy the Dwarven undercities in the mountains and their settlements on the surface. Alaer punched her in the face and sprinted to Themberchaud, who told him that he, too, was communicating with Orcus. The Red Dragon said Orcus promised him greater power and treasure, and domination and leadership over the Duergar and Dwarven populace.
17. Alaer sprinted back, and the party blocked the door before returning to the inn. They fought and killed Blackskull and her guards, in a violent battle that climaxed with the Old Man Prisoner remembering his identity and powers, after several lesser restoration spells from Linwe and encouragement from the party. The party, together with Rodney, Carrie, and the Old Man, fled back to Kazook’s hideout, where the slaves were kept. Here, they agreed to release the Undead as a distraction, and try to escape the city. Faelookon and Gwyn removed the furniture blocking the zombie door in Elliandreth’s house, and on their return to Kazook’s, incited a Derro insurrection.
18. Once back at Kazook’s, the party spoke with the Old Man about his powers, learning that he was a Warlock of Demogorgon, named Aaron. Aaron told them that he had vague memories of falling into blackness, and said that he may have inadvertently opened a portal to the abyss decades prior. He had no recollection of how he ended up a prisoner of the Stonefists.
19. Kula entered Kazook’s, and after a tense moment of confrontation with the party, told them that he was actually an undercover agent of the Empty-Scabbard Killers, hired by the Grey Ghosts to watch and eventually dispatch Blackskull. He told them that the slaves needed to be used to sacrifice in the Grey Ghost’s hideout, as their suffering was being used to fuel magic that was hiding the location of Gracklstugh from Orcus and his army. He rewarded the party for killing Blackskull and Elliandreth by providing them with a massive crystal, known as the Stonespeaker Crystal. He had no idea what the crystal was used for or valued at, and said he had no use for it, himself. He then departed the city.
20. A hidden trapdoor in Kazook’s revealed Topsy and Turvy, who had heard that the party was in Gracklstugh from their leader, a Svirfneblin named Goldwhisker. Kazook had informed Goldwhisker of the Party’s location, and having recognized the description of the party, Topsy and Turvy made for Gracklstugh to recover them before Kazook could inevitably betray them.
21. Topsy and Turvy led the party and the slaves through a hidden passage out of Gracklstugh along the Darklake. Aaron left the party, saying he was heading toward Demogorgon. Faelookon tried to stop him, but was unsuccessful.
22. The party eventually arrived in Blingdenstone, the ruins of the former deep gnome city. They discovered that the city was split into two warring factions, Wererat and Normal svirfnebli. The party spoke with the Wererat leader, Goldwhisker, who refused to aid the party after learning that they killed Kazook, his son.
23. The party then went to speak with the normal Svirfnebli, lead by a svirfneblin named Burrow Warden Jasper. They received a warm welcome once the deep gnomes heard of their experiences at the hands of the Drow and Duergar and, after a night of heavy drinking, were distraught to learn of the party’s encounter with Demogorgon and the Orcus plot in Gracklstugh. The Burrow Warden agreed to provide the party a route to the surface so long as they helped the deep gnomes. He wanted them to help him broker a truce with the Wererats, and investigate rumors of a high ooze population in the rear tunnels, and the existence of a magical ooze leader, known as the “Pudding King”. They agreed, and successfully negotiated between the two Svirfnebli factions. Goldwhisker agreed to a truce if the party disposed of a basalisk nest near the Wererat tunnels.
24. The party went through the tunnels and killed the basalisks, destroying their nests. While battling a Basalisk patriarch, Gwyn was slain. He was resurrected using a reincarnation scroll that he found in Elliandreth’s house back in Gracklstugh, and came back as a Wood Elf. However, Gwyn’s back now sported a tattoo identical to that of the prisoners.
25. Accompanied by a Wererat wizard named Chipgrin and a svirfneblin fighter named Rorack, the party then travelled half-a-dozen days into the rear tunnels behind Blingdenstone, after the rumored Pudding King. Gwyn told Carrie and Rodney to remain in the Svirfneblin tavern, as he didn’t think they would be safe coming along. They encountered many oozes and, eventually, the Pudding King. While fighting against the Pudding King, the party were surprised by a medusa. Gwyn and Rorack were turned to stone, and several members of the party nearly died in the tense battle.
26. The party then decided to leave Rorack behind, and began the (very) slow trek back to Blingdenstone, pushing the statue of Gwyn along the way. During their travels, Faelookon asked Chipgrin to investigate the Stonespeaker Crystal. The Wererat wizard claimed he could not exactly deduce the properties of the crystal, but did detect some scrying magic on Faelookon’s person. Upon further investigation, the party discovered that Faelookon’s axe had been imbued with a scrying charm, making it possible for someone, somewhere to easily scry the axe and reveal the party’s location, and hear their speech.
27. After nearly a tenday of travelling, the party encountered a saddled Carrion Crawler, which Brad was able to wrangle. Thinking the Carrion Crawler could carry Gwyn to Blingdenstone, the party tried to lift the petrified warlock ontop of the worm. While they mustered the most strength they could, and lifted Gwyn to the level of the worm, as they dropped him, he obliterated the creature, squishing it and spewing its guts all across the caverns.
27. Seeing that the guts reduced the friction of Gwyn as he slid across the cavern floor, Faelookon recalled an Oil of Slipperiness that he discovered back in Brysis Khaen’s tomb. He applied the oil to the petrified Gwyn, and the party rode the slip-and-slide statue at top speed back to the svirfneblin city.
28. When returning to the city, the party met with the wererats, and learned that a dozen gnomes were missing. Additionally, parchments appeared overnight across the entire city, inscribed with the symbol they had seen tattooed on Elliandreth and the slaves. Making little headway with the wererats, the party returned to the tavern where Burrow Warden Jasper was holding a tense meeting with the svirfneblin and the slaves. After an hour of tense discussion, the group agreed to have the Svirfneblin shaman investigate the symbol on the parchment and tattooed on the slaves, before she could restore Gwyn to flesh. While channeling a spell on the symbol tattooed on one of the slaves, a little girl elf, the shaman claimed she heard an undiscernable word in her mind. Faelookon asked if it was “Akashet”, and after uttering the word aloud, the prisoners suddenly transformed into 20 bodaks! The party took Gwyn and the Shaman and fled to the Earthcaller Circle, pushing her to save the warlock.
29. The party witnessed the bodaks flood the city, slaying Svirfebli and Wererats alike by the dozen. Several of the bodaks merged together, shapeshifting into a four-meter tall creature of torn bone and flesh that grabbed gnomes and put them in it’s chest cavity, digesting them and spewing out zombie gnomes in their place.
30. The Shaman restored Gwyn, and the party fled down the tunnels, following Chipgrin as he led them to the surface. They encountered several wererats, who blamed the party for the undead incursion.
31. After two tendays of hard travel, the party eventually reached upper caverns far from the gnome city. During their travels, Linwe had recurring visions of Bryn, Faelookon’s brother and the Druid killed by Demogorgon, being tortured by Mistress Ilvara. As they reached a final cavern, where they heard the sound of the wind, the party finally saw what they had been chasing the last half-year in the underdark: Sunlight!
32. But alas, it was not true! The sunlight was an illusion, created by Mistress Ilvara, who surrounded the party with her Drow war party. In an epic final battle, the party fought valiantly against the Drow. Mistress Ilvara claimed that she had been tailing the party for months, resurrecting their compatriots to torture them endlessly for information and pleasure.
33. Mistress Ilvara was eventually slain in an epic fireball, as Brad threw the entire Necklace of Fireballs at her and Jorlin, obliterating the Drow in a plume of destruction and death. The party then systematically eliminated each of the remaining Drow, fighting with the most skill they had exhibited since their departure from the prison camp. Near the end of the battle, Chipgrin shattered the mountain wall several times, revealing true sunlight, and the surface.
Finally, the party had arrived on the surface, after six months of torturous travel through the violent dangers of the underdark!