Out of the Abyss - 5e

Blingdenstone - Total Drama Cave

The party, after meeting with the chief of Blingdenstone decides to head toward Goldwhisker Warrens to address the wererat issue there. On the way they stop by a residence that is rumored to be haunted which has prevented any families from moving into it. Once they set foot inside, they are accosted by a poltergeist. They pretty quickly dispatch the spirit and with some investigation determine it to be the ghost of a former resident and leatherworker. They find a hidden cache of eight gems thought to be worth around 250gp each.

The group heads on to the Warrens and eventually meets up with the leader of the wererats, Chipgrin Goldwhisker. He informs them that they only wish to be welcomed back into the Blingdenstone community, nothing more. He also tells the group that he has learned what is causing all of the various oozes and slimes to gather in Blingdenstone. He says something about a “Pudding King” controlling all of them and that it presents a very real danger to his clan and all of Blingdenstone. He suggests that the party go and look for themselves just what awaits Blingdenstone if nothing is done.

The party follows the directions given them by Chipgrin and happens on a very disturbing discovery. Outside a large round structure, some 80+ oozes, slimes, puddings roam around, clearly too many to take on themselves. The party retreats and heads back to Chipgrin. He tells them that if they can get him an audience with Chief Dorbo Diggermattock and maintain peace during the meeting, he will tell them all he knows of the slimes and the Pudding King.

The party agrees and heads back to Diggermattock Hall. They meet with Senni and Chief Dorbo who upon learning of all this news decide it is time to gather the council and discuss a plan of action. They also state that Chipgrin will be an invited guest. They suggest the party get a night’s rest and come to the meeting the next day.

Onto Blingdenstone
Deep Gnomeopolis awaits

After a several days travel through more of the never-ending Underdark and encounters with a maddened succubus (who was nice, polite, and all together pleasant) who the party helped clear out an ancient tomb containing a mummy and several undead, the party arrived at the gates of Blingdenstone.

The party was immediately stopped by the deep gnome guards as they saw the party’s drow comrade, Zaeshaar, with them. Ever untrusting of drow, even years after the destruction of the city, the sverfneblin do not let any drow enter the city unescorted.

After the party reveals that they are seeking shelter from a pursuing drow band after having lost them, the guards agree to let the party enter, escorted, and see the Chief Dorbo Diggermattock.

The Chief greets the party at his offices and after some conversation, agrees to let the party stay within the city after they agree to do some work for him gathering information on the increased presence of oozes in the northeastern portion of Blingdenstone and addressing the wererats in the Goldwhisker Warrens to the north and northwest. However, the chief states that they must earn confidence from the populous at large before he would allow them to travel with their full compliment of attack power. Specifically, the Chief casts his eyes upon the drow, Zaeshaar, requesting his spellbook be bound for a period of time. After some deliberation, the drow agrees, but only after insisting that the party’s warlock be bound and gagged in the spirit of fairplay. Chief Diggermattock agrees now knowing the party has a warlock with them.

The party set out to begin gaining the citizens’ trust and eventually came upon the Foaming Mug tavern where they learn a bit of information regarding both the northeastern area of Blingdenstone, the Warrens, and some place called Rockblight to the east. Additionally, they visit a temple called the Ruby in the Rough, dedicated to the deep gnome god of the earth. It is here they discover the place to take the hand of the deceased gnome from Gracklestugh whose ghost implored them to return his remains to his homeland. After doing so, another ghost, a former warden of the city, appeared agreeing to answer questions for the party provided they complete some tasks for him as well. The party tells the ghost they will return later.

From the tavern, the adventurers set out first toward the Warrens, with a stop along the way at one of the homes of a former resident of Blingdenstone, rumored to be haunted…

Drider, Drow, Danger...Dark Redemption

The party is heading toward Blingdenstone as it traverses the Underdark trying to make sense of now two demon lords having crossed over into the Realms. At the same time, it tries to stay ahead of what seems to be its original captors, drow of House Myzzrm.

While going through a network of tunnels, the party hears sounds of battle and scouts ahead a bit to discover a band of drow battling a drider! The party gathers along a ledge some 20 feet above them and is spotted by both the drow party and the drider. A member of the drow group beckons them to help them dispatch this beast and receive a reward. The drider asks for the party’s help in defending it from these drow.

One of the party notices a symbol worn by the drow party that Zaeshaar identifies as House Baenre. The party decides to help the drider and a dangerous battle ensues. The drider helps the party as best it can and eventually the party triumphs. The drider introduces himself as Ylfein and says he’s been hearing the call of Eilistraee and travels to a shrine purported to be near in the hopes that his this drider curse be removed. He explains that it was put upon him because he intervened when a drow priestess tried to kill a young gnome child.

While the drider told his story, one of the party examined one of the bodies and discovered the symbol bearing the House Baenre iconography was zurkhwood and poorly crafted, something Zaeshaar notes would not be done by any drow house as their actual symbol. Hearing this, Ylfein rips open the clothing on the body and sees a shining onyx symbol of House Myzzrm.

The party is asked to accompany Ylfein to the shrine and in return he’d give them an item of worth. They agree and forge on…

On the second day of the journey to the shrine, the party is set upon by an Umber Hulk which casts its confusing gaze upon all of them. The drider goes into a blind rage and begins attacking anything around him, including the party, but they are able to take the hulk down and settle down the drider. Shortly after, they arrive a the shrine to discover a drow female dancing in light…cast by the moon! The surface is above them!

The drider descends toward the drow who introduces herself as the Bright Edge of Darkness, a Dark Lady of Eilistraee. She hears the drider’s plight and asks him to dance with her in the light. Ylfein begrudgingly does so, and both are bathed in a soft glow of moonlight. Eventually, that moonlight fades, and the drider remains. His curse still intact, but his mind at peace.

The Dark Lady invites the party to stay as long as they need, and now the party must decide to continue to Blingdenstone, or to find a way up to the hole that lets in the moonlight to see where they are on the surface…

Neverlight Grove (cont'd)
The Fungi Queen is everywhere!!

The party continued its investigation in Neverlight Grove and bore witness to an odd and gruesome sight. A “wedding rehearsal” took place involving various spore servants and ultimately led to the revelation that another demon lord, Zuggtmoy, has crossed over into the realms and threatens it.

Sovereign Basidia decides it best to take those loyal to it and try to seek out a new location to start another myconid colony. The party bids them farewell and renews its journey, this time toward Blingdenstone.

Neverlight Grove
Something's amiss with these shrooms...

The intrepid party made their way to Neverlight Grove, a place easier left than found. With the help of their myconid companion, they soon found themselves in a small mushroom kingdom of sorts.

Something foul was almost immediately felt though as many of the myconids encountered spoke of some day of joy that was coming and that soon, all would feel that splendor.

One of the myconid leaders said there was something terribly wrong with the other and those that melded in rapport with him. There was some influence that was corrupting them and driving them mad.

The party began its investigation into the matter and eventually moved up toward a garden they were told about and invited to. Once there, they encountered what appeared to be a drow female that told of something disturbing in her death throws. The demon queen of rot, Zuggtmoy was here!!

Gracklstugh - fin

The party continued its exploration of the Whirlstone Tunnels encountering a group of duergar who appeared to be farming fungus. They were not interested in talking with the party, but the paladin and cleric both noticed them wearing very small pins bearing the insignia of a spirit. After walking back through the tunnels leaving the duergar to their own devices, the party (red dragon egg in hand) emerged from the tunnels little the worse for wear. They navigated their way back through the death stares of the derro in the West Cleft district and noticed the red dragon Themberchaud flying about the area again going around lighting the furnaces.

The wizard and paladin called to the dragon and for whatever reason, the dragon responded. They produced the egg and Themberchaud immediately told the guards to escort them to his lair. Once there, the red dragon told them to leave the egg, and for bringing it to him, he offered them one item from his massive hoard. They chose a flask containing a potion of longevity and went on their way. The warlock lingered for a moment long enough to hear the dragon say, “So, they think they can replace me?!?” before he crushed the egg beneath his great claw.

The party then returned to Eerrd Blackskull and reported their findings concerning the plot laid out by the cultists trying to sew chaos by turning stone giants crazy along with the second head. They also produced the notes pertaining to Demogorgon being involved in these rituals. Satisfied with their findings and ridding Gracklstugh of Droki the derro, Eerrd paid them the rest of their contract and had them escorted to the stone giant cairn.

Hraam the Stonespeaker thanked the party for their work in uncovering this plot and bade them warning that demonic entities are indeed influencing the Underdark and could very well make their way to the surface of Faerun unless they are stopped. He offered them escort to their next destination of Neverlight Grove as well as the Stonekeeper Crystal an item of some power among his people…

Whirling through Whirlstone

The party continues after a rest and the discovery of a quasit who apparently thinks of Gan Bataar as his master. The quasit is named Zim and reinforces the thought that the derro here were most definitely conducting a ritual to convert stone giants into two-headed chaos bringers in Gracklstugh. The party gather themselves and move on through the tunnels happening onto an area just outside the cultist’s chamber containing two more derro and a group of three caged brown bears. The party initially tries to talk with the derro, but the clearly mentally unstable derro rush to free the bears to attack the party. After a bit of a harrowing fight, and multiple injuries, the group dispatches both the bears and the derro finding only refuse and remnants of a ritual path that seemed to be used to calm the animals.

Continuing on, the group eventually comes upon a huge cavern that has a series of steppes (plateaus) which when viewing the peak, sheds light on a gigantic black obelisk, a derro paying homage to the obelisk, and a large red egg. As soon as the party steps foot into the chamber, they hear a shriek as a spectator descends upon them and attacks using its multiple eye stalks to project deadly rays at members of the party. The derro (apparently a caster) rubs her hands together and fires a lightning bolt into the party line dealing a great deal of damage to the entire group. On a couple of occasions during the battle party members are brought down near death, but manage to kill both the spectator and the derro. They begin to search the surrounding area and see what they can find…

Further into the Whirlstone tunnels

The party continues through the Whirlstone tunnels looking for more clues pertaining to the seeming demonic influence as well as what exactly Droki was up to here. They come up around a bend and into a chamber housing six derro cultists who are conducting some sort of ritual. Upon seeing the adventurers the cultists move into attack. The cultists release a death dog from a cage and an ettin moves in serving as some sort of guard.

Battle ensues and the party is able to handle the attackers having only one party member temporarily felled. Among the chaos and aftermath, the party finds several items of interest. First, they find some scrolls, one from Droki addressed to Narrak talking about the stone giants, a couple of statues resembling stone giants with names on them linking what they encountered in the bazaar to this place, and evidence within the ritual circle connecting the demonic influence to Demogorgon. The party also finds some items of use and decides to barricade themselves in for a bit of a rest. After healing up and preparing for the next leg of the journey, the party decides to investigate the small crevice in the back of this cavern so they eat the pygmywort mushrooms and shrink down to size. The monk scouts ahead and comes to a small clearing where she previously heard multiple voices, but instead only sees one creature, who immediately tells her to “Bring me the human!” She returns to the party and informs them and they decide to investigate together. Once they approach the creature, a tiny quasit, it leaps forward toward the human warlock saying, “Master!!!!!!” Fade to black…

Into the Derro depths

Avoiding the hate-filled eyes of the derro beyond the west gate of Gracklstugh, the party manages to stave off much in the way of attacks finding an opening that seemingly led into a cavern below. Slowly they made their way through what could only be the first portion of this immense space and found their target Droki, who ate a mushroom and disappeared! They determined that the mushrooms must change one’s size, but before pursuing Droki they chose to investigate other paths first. The party finds a fungus filled area with what looked like Myconids that the party chose to avoid. They pushed on into a circular chamber that smelled of fetid corpse and rot as bodies were piled high in various stages of decomposition. In the center, they also found a former travelling companion, Buppido the derro, who cackled at them claiming he was happy to see them accept their role as offerings to the derro god. He summoned skeletons and attacked, but the party quickly dispatched both the bones and Buppido as well. After finding a few items, the party turned their attention back to pursuing Droki through the crevice, ate mushrooms which caused them all to shrink. The pursuit continues.

In the Duergar City

Nightal 6th

We end up meeting with a captain in the city guard, who asks us to look into the affairs of a Derro named Droki (he with a tentacle hat). We leave the PCs at the shattered spire and do some poking about. The halflings follow Droki from the bazaar to the west Cleft, where foul miscreants (derro, worse than Duergar) seem to reside. Unfortunately, magic defeats the invisibility spell I cast on them so they did not ascertain the location of his exact hideout.

I’m also visited my a female drow from house XXX…she tells me I am being followed by Drow of House Mizzrym. I alert the party, who do not seem to understand how vital it is that we kill every drow of that house, salt their fungus fields, and generally obliterate them from the face of Faerun. Sheesh. Above Grounders. They have no concept of honor.

Despite the desperate and urgent need to grind these orc kissing drow to dust, we apparently are going to venture into this Derro barren to attempt to appease this Duergar captain and ferret out a Derro insurrectionist. Sigh. A powerful drow wizard’s work is never done.


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