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April 4, 2018 Campaign Notes Edit
According to my shockingly brief notes, the group:
Fast traveled for 40 minutes before encountering a type of Nightshade called a Nighthaunt. Paul wisely pulled the group out of the shadow plane.
The group eventually made their way to a passage that took them past a large, very smelly cavern. Magical scouting revealed that the cavern was filled with troglodytes and a family of black dragons.
The group opted not to tangle with any of the creatures in the cavern and continued on their bypass route around the drow cities.
Just a 20 minute walk through tunnels below the cavern housing the troglodyte masses, the humans and elves found a route that brought them within about 40 meters of Dave's original map predicted a direct path to the naga cavern where the abandoned city of Vaalki Tanni lies.
Paul spent the next 6 hours assuming earth elemental form and traveling through the rock below to find the right angle to reach the next cavern below. Having finally found it, Dave conjured up a series of earth elemental to follow Paul and the excavate a tunnel that the group could follow, and then created a well-disguised cover to put between them and the tunnel leading back to the Troglodyte neck of the woods.
The whole process took about 17 hours, sped up considerably by Darius and Maggey's magic work. When finally complete, they had bypassed at least five more days of travel that would have taken them through two Drow cities. Spending 17 days on the project would have been more than worth it.
After descending, covering their tracks with stone shape, and making camp, the travelers are just about ready to make their final descent to Vaalki Tanni.
They are about a two-hour hike from the entrance to the gigantic cavern that houses the abandoned naga city. They are pretty far under the surface of the planet, and it's HOT in this area. There is a strong (8 mph), dry, wind blowing upward through the cave system in this region, and as it whistles past, it carries the even greater heat to the travelers. Mirjah estimates the great chamber of Vaalki Tanni to be well above 125°F. The group is frequently using Create Water spells, and wearing armor has long since become uncomfortable and a little bit stinky.
Dave's magic map projection allows the group to see the most direct path to the Heart of Gold, but they don't really have a good understanding of the cavern they're about to head into except that it's very large, and that the original scrying done with the Orb of Palantha-Kawon about 2 months ago didn't turn up any signs of life.
Maggey reads aloud from her notes for a quick refresher - they're heading into the abandoned ruins of an ancient naga city, built back when the naga people ruled much of the world through their empire known as the Serpent Hegemony. The naga were based on the subcontinent of Sarvoda, which consumes and destroys all naga who return to their homeland.
The Heart of Gold - the artifact they're after - still beats within the armor of the dwarf hero who was killed in her quest to recover some dwarven relic related to geomancy. The dwarf's remains lay at the foot of a huge statue of a naga next to what looked like a temple.
The group hasn't seen any sign of creatures besides insects and small lizards since circumventing the drow cities and (lightly) sealing their entry point. It's very hot down here - way too hot for surface creatures to be comfortable.
If the path on Dave's map is as direct as it looks, then there is about 2-1/2, maybe 3 hours to go after breaking camp. Then the group hopes to recover the artifact, hightail it out of the cavern, and beat feet for the surface. If all goes well, they'll be back on their ship, sailing back toward elven shores in about two weeks.