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February 28, 2018 Campaign Notes - Day 2 in the Underdark Edit
Steep Descent Edit
Just to be on the safe side, Dave sent a gout of flame down the steep descent where the gas spores had fallen. Several minutes later, Paul pulled up the hood of his camouflage cloak and descended ahead of the rest of the group. After Paul made it down some 600 feet and arrived at a landing of sorts, he heard and smelled something off.
By the odor and groans, Paul suspected it was a group of undead of some sort. Nothing too dangerous, but probably not wise to tackle alone. Soon the rest of the group was plummeting rapidly atop some telekinetic floating discs that Dave had conjured up. The ride was bumpy, uncomfortable, entirely too fast, and surprisingly safe. Shocked faces of cave lizards and other innocuous creatures whizzed past, lit by the soft radiance of Maggey’s rainbow scarf.
A Ghastly Encounter Edit
Now together, the group discovered they were facing a small group of ghasts - savage, semi-intelligent undead. They appeared to be . One Inferno a la Dave and a whirlwind courtesy of Paul later, and there was nothing left of the ghasts but foul-smelling husks and a strange metal disc.
Wisely, the group didn’t pick the metal disc up, but upon close inspection, Darius recognized it as abyssal bloodiron, a metal infused with the dark energy of the abyss. It was forged into an intricate unhoy symbol of Orcus, a greater demon lord. The group gave the demonic hunk of metal a wide berth.
Continuing through the tunnels, the adventurers bypassed yet another a field of piercers - creatures camouflaged as stalactites, and made camp at a lower landing area. They disguised Dave’s hat in cabin mode as another tunnel entry and went about setting watch.
An Unsettling Pair Edit
On Paul’s watch a pair of drow cultists came sauntering through the tunnel, chatting to one another in their language. Something was distinctly odd about the way they moved, but Paul couldn’t quite place it. Through a telepathic link with Maggey, Paul tried to provide a running record of the cultists’ conversation as they strolled through the area. They appeared to be aware of new creatures who had entered the Underdark from the surface, and were interested in learning more about them.
Later, on Dave’s early morning (or whatever passes as morning) watch, the drow cultists came walking through the area again, still chatting amicably. The two of them paused to look directly at the magically disguised Hat Cottage, made a couple references to it, and talked about needing to take the matter of the surface people to something named Yarina. After a brief pause to look around (they didn’t seem to notice Dave’s hiding place), the two cultists continued back on their course.
Over breakfast it dawned on Paul what was bothering him about the way the cultists moved. They looked perfect - quite attractive, really, if one has a thing for 5’ tall embodiments of cruelty and selfishness - but the distance they traveled when they walked didn’t quite match up with their strides. They were like extremely high quality video game renders with a bug in the locomotion algorithm.
Along Came a Spider Edit
Later, as they continued on their course, the group spotted a strange creature that looked like an anthropomorphic spider in a side corridor. When they looked again, it wasn’t there. Thinking fast, Maggey placed a True Seeing enchantment on Dave, and he saw the Man-Spider creature observing him from the Ethereal plane. Quickly, Dave cast an illusion on the material plane to show his friends exactly what and where he was seeing on the Ethereal plane.
Appearing surprised, the curious creature stared at Dave a bit longer before slowly, carefully moving under a vertical vent tube in the cave system. All at once, it leaped up into the tube and disappeared from even Dave’s enhanced sight.
Consulting Maggey’s Book and Darius’ song lore, they suspected that they had encountered a creature known as a “phase spider noble” - an evolved version of phase spiders regarded as actual royalty by creatures of the Ethereal Plane. There was a reference to them being somehow related to ethereal filchers, and possessed of a keen lust for magic talismans and enchanted items. The group worried that this wasn’t their last encounter with the being.
Dark Elf Patrol Edit
After a few more hours of travel, Paul - on point - spotted a drow patrol heading their way from a side corridor. The nine drow moved with the careful, military precision of a ranger squad. Edging closer under shadow cover, Paul saw the drow descend down the next tunnel on his group’s planned route. To descend, they used magical hand-gripped pitons that they noiselessly jammed into the walls of the vertical tunnel to rapidly descend.
A little spooked by the prospect of taking on a well-trained group of dark elves, the adventurers decided to take a short break to plan before continuing on.