Out of the Abyss

Leaving Velkynvelve

The characters have three choices for leaving Velkynvelve: the north, west, and south passages.

North Passage
Menzoberranzan and, eventually, Blingdenstone (see chapter 6). Most of the characters’ fellow prisoners discourage travel toward the drow city… 26 days plus 8 to Blingdenstone

West Passage
This leads most directly toward the Darklake 8 days

South Passage
This leads toward the duergar city of Gracklstugh, following a south-westerly route. 28 days

If I recall correctly I think the consensus was the Darklake but correct me if I’m wrong.


Yes, I think that’s right. Probably sensible as it is the shortest time and will give us a chance to take stock and think over our options when we’re there.

Thanks very much for last night’s session Julio, was much fun. Looking forward to next week!

Josh (Valarn the wizard)

Leaving Velkynvelve

word. super fun! despite all my technical issues… but should be good for next week. i just wont try to install new hardware the night of :D

Leaving Velkynvelve

Glad you guys had fun, I really had a blast myself, very pleased with the group we have. I’ll be posting an epilogue of the escape in the next day or so to touch on some elements I should have introduced last session but ran out of time.

Leaving Velkynvelve

If we head to Darklake, are we going up or down stream? If downstream it’ll be quicker sailing, but if upstream I was thinking I might make a little paper boat for those evil Lolth jewels and set them off in the opposite direction to us, just in case the Drow can trace them.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Great idea, however:

Shuushar informs you there is no wind in the Underdark and no currents on the lake, you’ll be rowing.

Leaving Velkynvelve

If we go north we are sure to run in to some heavy drow patrols. And with our captors closing in behind us we would surely be trapped and outnumbered.

South is the duergar city and they are to be trusted only slightly more than the drow, in my opinion.

It is my belief that west “might” be the wiser of the three options. The duergar told us as much himself, we are surface dwellers and will find no acceptance from any of the underworld races.

So, yes, west. Let’s find this lake.

Leaving Velkynvelve

haha… i was thinking the same thing Valarn… throw the jewels in the river… but i guess that ideas a bust>

Leaving Velkynvelve

heres those notes from the session i captured

session 1
PCs awaken in a cavernous cell somewhere in the underdark after being captured by the Drow to be sold as slaves. Each PC was captured under different circumstances and only 2 of them know each other; Valarn and Darren. They spend quite a bit of time learning about how they got here and talking with the other prisoners in the cell to plot an escape. Valarn is able to talk the large Orc into helping. The 2 deep gnomes in the back dont seem interested in helping, but after Raethios converses with them in undercommon he is able to sway them by promising ‘shiny things’. They decide that going to the Dark Lake would probably be the best option.

Valarn and Morric were able to scavenge a poisoned crossbow bolt during their 8 day tenure as prisoners. Morric picks lock on manacles but breaks one bolt. Second attempt is successful and PCs decide to keep one poison bolt to use against guards.

After much deliberation they finally are able to agree on what to do. The plan consists of the large Orc, Ront, the nonsensical rabble from Valarn, and the stealthy skills of Morric and Lutharius to surprise the guards. When the guards return to collect the food bowls the Orc will pull 1 guard through the cell bars while Morric sneaks around and takes out guard 2 with the poison dart with the help of Lutharius.

The plan works and they are able to use keys from guards to remove the rest of the shackles and free other prisoners. They leave the dead guards in the cell with the suspicious drow prisoner. The suspicious drow in the cell with PCs decides to stay and face his fate, but other prisoners are happy to help.

PCs arm themselves from dead guards and Raethios takes some hair from dead guard to disguise himself. PCs attack the guard tower to dispatch of the lieutenant and recover additional weapons. Raethios decides to bull rush the guard and attempt to take him out but ends up almost dead. Other PCs defeat the guard and Shuushar is able to heal him.

Valarn really wants his spellbook back, and other PCs want their equipment as well. Valarn summons his bat familiar, Guano, and spies on the stalactite tower where they are keeping their stuff. Tower has 3 levels; top level is a shrine to drow spider god and has a sleeping priestess and a giant spider, second level has their gear, and 3rd level has drow leader and her mistress.

PCs decide to try to distract the spider while the foolhardy Raethios attempts to assassinate the sleeping priestess. Valarn successfully distracts the spider and raethios sneaks up to the sleeping drow, but unfortunately assassinating a sleeping enemy is much harder than one would think. Luckily they are able to defeat her before she is able to awaken and take action. The giant spider makes a devastating blow to Darren who almost dies. They defeat the spider and are able to retrieve their equipment.

Shuushar is able to stabilize Darren. Raethios starts to take some gems found in the drow spider throne but Valarn warns against it. They search the rooms but do not find anything else of value.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Great write up! Thanks so much for allowing me to volunteer you.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Valarn / Morric / Darren / Lutharius – please keep me honest if i got something wrong.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Looks good to me. I think you’re the right man for the job Thorin.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Excellent stuff Thoringard. I was thinking I might do Valarn’s journal, but this would really not be entirely what everyone else in the group would remember so it’s good to have something more documentary! Here’s the first entry:

(From the journal of Valarn Carricad, researcher)

Date: Not really sure.

Location: Velkynvelve, somewhere in the Underdark.

What a relief to finally get my writing materials and books back! I’m so glad that everyone was willing to help get my books back. Including my spellbook of course. But more importantly my book of drow lore and my journal! This journal I mean. hmm.

This is the first entry for over a week. And what a week it’s been! Darren and I made contact with the drow, so that part of the research has been a great success. As expected, they’re surly and xenophobic. They particularly hate high elves it seems. At least they seem to take an instant hatred for me. But what a fantastic insight into their culture.

The rumours are true, they seem to be a matriarchal and theocratic culture. The power resides with the priestesses of Lolth, which is a bit of a stumbling block to understanding between their race and the surface races. This is because Lolth seems extremely evil and not interested in pleasant conversation in any way. Even the jewels in the statue of Lolth were cursed! Speaking of which, the statue was a remarkably fine example, I only wish I’d had enough time to sketch it properly. This hatred is reflected in her worshippers too, the guards were always rather rude to me whenever I tried to engage them in polite conversation about the soup or the state of the latrines.
But we’ve had many insights into their culture. They keep enormous spiders as pets or guards. They’re extremely venomous as Darren will attest as he was brought to death’s door by one bite from the one we met. Sadly we had to kill it, as well as Asha Vandree, the priestess who may have been the spider’s owner. I’m sure she would have been interesting conversation. Perhaps I’ll be able to talk to Ilvara, the high priestess at some point, although at the moment we’re running away from her vicinity at the maximum velocity allowable to us in our current circumstances. She seemed to prefer sneering to conversation, the couple of times I did meet her before.

One unexpected bonus of the capture is that I’ve also been able to study some other races of the Underdark, of which little is known. The Kuo-toa for example, often thought to be unanimously ferocious and to be avoided at all costs, are not. In our cell was one Shuushar, who is a pacifist and healer. How extraordinary! Also, the derro, a race I had only read about in footnotes, seem to be real. The only example of the race we’ve come across hasn’t opened up that much, I must attempt to get a good insight into their culture when I can.

I’ve also spoken to a Quaggoth who seems to be a pathological liar. He claims to be a prince of some fictitious elven land, (the name he gave me translated as plinky plonky ding dong land – I can imagine a Halfling country called that, but really, not an elven one). At the moment I’m trying to flatter him and go along with his delusions as, well, he’s bigger than me.

Also interned with us was an orc named Ront who seems to be amenable to flattery. He was crucial in our successful escape, although the animosity between him and Eldeth the dwarf may prove unfortunate.

As for other races, there are some sverfneblin, two of whom seem only willing to talk to each other. The third is much more affable, although he seems to have a hankering to wager on anything and everything. I wonder if this is normal for his kind? There’s a young myconid named Stool too, and they prove to have an extraordinary ability. He seems to be able to exude spores at will which act as some sort of universal translating device. How extremely useful!

Sadly, after our escape, most of the group decided that they didn’t wish to got to Menzoberranzan which would have been my choice to study the Drow. I suppose they may have a point as we might be captured again and research is made harder by the lack of materials one puts up with in captivity.

Speaking of my fellow inmates, what an interesting bunch! Morric seems extremely trustworthy, and handy with a dagger. In fact that goes for most of them. Raethor is a bloodthirsty assassin, but otherwise seems like a fine fellow. Darren has been a complete brick this entire time, and doesn’t seem to hold it against me that I dragged him down here. What a great companion! Lutharius is a tiefling and I haven’t had the pleasure of the acquaintance with one of that kind before but he seems honourable and efficient in his work.

I can’t wait to see what happens next to our little band!

Leaving Velkynvelve

Man… Maybe I should change my name. No one seems to get it correct.

How bout you guys just call me Rae – easier to remember and short for Raethios.

I’m not bloodthirsty, I just simply don’t like being held captive!

Nice write up Valarn :D

Leaving Velkynvelve

Sorry Raethios. You’re bloodthirsty to Valarn, just like Morric is trustworthy to him!

Leaving Velkynvelve

A bloodthirsty ranger and an extremely trustworthy rogue/charlatan? Valarn surely has an interesting perspective.

It’s good to see that Morric’s deceptive nature is working on him though.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Raethios is a good name you should keep it. Even in RL people often have trouble getting new names right. We have all only just met. I’m sure we will know each others names well soon enough.

Trust me you bloodthirsty ranger.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Haha true.

Leaving Velkynvelve

So… Fazakerley, what does it mean to be an absolute brick? Also Darren is getting paid by the week, so we can take our time.

Leaving Velkynvelve

It means to be a reliable, solid companion. It’s probably true about the pay, but I imagine that the wages for a 1st level man at arms are probably about 5 silver a week! You’ll have to ask Valarn’s Dad if we ever see him again…

Leaving Velkynvelve

Great write up Faz! I’m really happy to see the lively discussion. And yeah I’m sure we’ll be better with names, irl I’m awful at remembering and as you’ll come to learn about me I have to make the same error 3 times before I learn, dull-witted sob that I am :P

Leaving Velkynvelve

Maybe Julio can make a section on the site for Valarns Journal where you can post to after every session? That would be pretty cool.

Leaving Velkynvelve

Good call Thoringard! Maybe the easiest thing is I’ll place one of these posts each session and you all can put up your write ups, plans, reactions etc.

Leaving Velkynvelve

I like that idea Julio. Each session should have it’s own thread. I think it will be interesting going back through them down the road and seeing everything again in chronological order. Like chapters in a book.

Leaving Velkynvelve
gagsmith gagsmith

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.