Out of the Abyss

It's Good on Toast - Session 2

Herein you can enter your summaries and make plans for next session. Had a lot of fun. I learned:

  1. Unless they have the drop on you Oche Jellies suck
  2. Unless you are the top Gnoll, you also suck
  3. Meat Shield Ront isn’t bad at killing things

Comments

Day 1
-—————————————
• Traveling at a fast pace
• 35 days rations total
• NPCs Can come up with 5 days for themselves
• After travelling 9 hours come upon a large cavern with a drow symbol that means demons ahead.
• Raethios will navigate
• Darren will map
• Morric will cover tracks
○ Eldeth will be happy to help covering tracks to give advantage on roll
• Valarn was going to erase the drow symbol but received a fearful vision
• Raethios takes a close look at the cavern for hidden passages and confident that there are none.
• Lutharius attempts to divine sense but doesn’t find anything
• Made camp in the cavern. No incident

Day 2
-——————————-
• Travelling at fast pace
• Morric covering tracks
• Rae confident going in the correct direction
• Come to a large cavern and a fissure opens ahead of us and lava begins pouring out
• Everyone makes it across safely, although Valarn almost faceplants in the lava
• Darren drops caltrops on the other side of the fissure
• Only place we can find to camp is an eerie cavern with lots of creature bones. Maybe belonged to a predator.
• Cavern is about 4-500 feet across, circular. At the far end is a some smelly guy.
• A troglodyte Skriss who says hes a member of ‘the society of brilliance’ and says he protects the underdark, along with several other denziens.
• Says there are areas of magic in the underdark that can affect your mind, but in these areas divination magic cannot find you…. But you could go mad.
• He tells Valarn the other members of the society and gives us some guidance on travel ahead.
• Find Zircwood that can provide heat. Rae searches for anything harmful in the camp area.
• The night is uneventful

Day 3
-————————-
• Decide to drop to normal pace
• Come across the ravine Skriss mentioned. Goes 70ft down. Will slow travel pace attempting to traverse because the ledge is only 18in wide.
• About 3-400 ft from one end of the ravine to the other.
• Decided use pitons and rope to make a makeshift handrail along the ledge
• Rae spots a moving oozing thing situated itself about 60’ in on the ravine on the roof of the cavern about 30’ up.
• Swiftly defeated it with a rain of bolts and arrows finally put down by lutharius.
• Some illumination in the cavern with bioluminescence
• Decide to put down more caltrops
• We make it across the ravine without incident
• No incident that night

Day 4
-—————————————-
• Traveling at a fast pace
• We believe we shaved a day off to get to the lake
• Foraging blue cap mushrooms
• Valarn casts a spell on our boring bread
• Raethios forages 5 lbs of bread and 4 gallons of water
• No encounter

Day 5
-——————————-
• Traveling at a normal pace
• Raethios forages 5lbs of food and 7 gallons of water
• Ripple-bark is on the menu today
• Come across a tunnel with some sort of activity
• See 2 hook creatures, that Darren identifies as hook horrors, run across the cavern. Appears they are running from something
• PCs decide to hide but Lutharius’ tail is sticking out and they are seen
• Gnolls appear screaming something in gnoll-tongue
• Valarn is able to decipher and says they are invoking the demon lord who created all gnolls.
• We battle 2 gnolls and defeat easily
• Morric hears more gnolls coming down the path and says its probably less than 10
• PCs decide to fight them with Darren tanking in the front
• Battle is tougher
• We hear more gnolls approaching, but sounds like a lot more this time
• We ask Ront to help us with this battle
• See a meaner looking gnoll that Rae fires upon immediately
• Darren, Ront, and Lutharius block the passage and Morric begins to sneak around to flank the Pack lord
• Morric doesn’t get the surprise on the Pack lord and almost dies in the process
• Darren stabalizes Morric
• Finally defeat pack lord and rest of gnolls
• Gnoll pack lord – carries 3 gems for 100gp, 50gp, and 50gp

End of session
Party receives 480 xp each for session

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

I stand by my comment from the first session thread, you are definitely the man for the write ups Raethios.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Agreed, great write up!

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

cool thx. looking forward to valarns journal as well :D

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Here it is!

Valarn’s Journal, part 2.

Date Unknown, continued.

A cave with a “Demons ahead” symbol, The Underdark.

It seems that Ilvara, the drow priestess, seems rather irate now that we’ve escaped. Which is a shame as I was hoping that we’d be able to come to some sort of rapprochement. Although she was proving to be a rather tough nut to crack. In that “ball bearings are tough to crack” sort of way.

But our escape has proved rather successful thus far, in that we escaped and we haven’t been caught again yet. I spent some time today talking to Shuushar about his Kuo-toa heritage and how he came up with his unique pacifist worldview. It’s worth a paper on its own, and proves once again – as if it needed proving – that individuals are capable of making their own choices and don’t have to be defined by their race and culture. Although most of us are. I mean, is Lolth really evil? Hmm, I suppose she is actually. Bad example.

When it came time to camp, we discovered a large cavern with a symbol in it – it seemed to be the Drow sign for “demons ahead,” which caused some consternation among the group. Having never met a demon, I was rather excited that I might be able to observe one, but everyone else seemed to prefer the idea of not having to witness such a thing. Oh well. I attempted to erase the symbol, and the oddest thing happened: it was almost as if my fate split and I went down the path of not erasing it, while witnessing what would have occured if I had. I must experiment with this a little more, but I’ve no idea what brought it on.

That evening, Ront and I were put together on guard. He’s an interesting fellow I’m sure, but wouldn’t let me talk to him sadly. I must work on that too.

Date Unknown, +1 sort of day or thereabouts.

A cave with a lot of bones in it, The Underdark.

The big news today is that there are other research scientists down here, and I’ve met one! His name is Skriss and he’s a troglodyte. This is slightly unfortunate, as I can’t really go within 30 feet of him, but we did our best to share information with raised voices in a cave which seemed as if it were a drow burial ground.

Skriss is a member of the “Society of Brilliance,” which is a seemingly informal group of enquiring minds here in the underdark. I wonder if I could join? Skriss said he’d let me know. He also mentioned that there are areas of magic down here that might be able to hide us from all sorts of scrying and divination magic. That would be extremely helpful as I’m sure the Drow will turn to those eventually to get their “property” back. I’m rather torn about being a prisoner – it gives me excellent access and proximity to the Drow for study, but I prefer not to be treated as chattel. And it’s hard to keep your journal up to date when you’re on latrine duty so I think all in all it’s better to be free and able to document your findings really.

The slightly less appealing characteristic of these areas is that they can sap your intelligence and drive you a bit mad. But what is madness? Although not my chosen area of study, it might be interesting to see the effects on different members of the group. Particularly Topsy and Turvy, and Prince “not really a prince, more of a liar” Derendil. They seem the maddest of the bunch thus far, although Ront said I was mad last night.

Skriss also mentioned that we were coming up to a ravine of sorts, which is good knowledge to have. All in all, a fine fellow.
The other interesting thing to report today is that I had another split fate episode, jumping over a lava flow. I was worried, not being a natural athlete and once again two paths opened up before me in my destiny, the one in which I plunged headlong to a fiery death and the one in which I jumped nimbly across. I’m still here, so we know which was my choice, QED.

Date Unknown, +2

A rather unremarkable cave, the underdark.

Today we clambered around the ravine that Skriss mentioned. This was after using an ochre jelly as target practice. I must say it looked rather tasty as we’ve been eating dry rations. Minor illusion goes some way to making them more palatable but as I’m casting it myself it’s as if I’m trying to fool my own taste buds and only having partial success.
The jelly had been stuck to the ceiling above the ravine, and sharp eyed Raethios was able to spot it. Perhaps he was just itching to kill something, but everyone else seemed happy to oblige.

We were moving slower today, but we feel that we’ve put a bit of distance between us and our pursuers. I’ve just had rather an interesting chat with Ront as we were on guard together again. It seems that he is wracked with a kind of existential guilt. His tribe was killed by the Drow, but instead of fighting to the death he decided to take the eminently sensible course and surrender. But given his Orcish worldview, this is causing a crisis of conscience within him and he regards his capture and subsequent association with the fugitive band as just punishment. The complexities of the orcish mind! And most of my kinfolk would dismiss them as nasty and brutish. Which Ront is trying his best to be most of the time, admittedly.

I should perhaps mention that I’ve been learning about the flora of the Underdark. Raethios is very knowledgeable and has shown me various fungi that are edible, Blue Cap and Ripplebark being the prime examples. How fascinating!

Date Unknown +4

A cave passage, while taking a quick breather after battle.

A quick note to self – we saw some hook horrors hurrying down a cave passage – extraordinary! Also, we had a pitched battle with some gnolls and were able to triumph handily. Raethios was able to save Morrec’s life, which seemed rather out of character for him. Perhaps, like Ront, there’s more to him too. I must keep an open mind at all times. More later when we camp tonight.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

I think that we should start coming up with a plan of where we should go after reaching Darklake, seeing as how we are 2-3 days away and we covered 5-6 days last session. Also, this seems to be a good ‘out of session’ action we can do here.
Darren will start by asking Jimjar and Eldeth if they know of any settlements near Darklake that would good, relatively, to try. Darren is looking for a place that is preferably neutral, finding someplace ‘good’ seems to be a minor miracle down here, or at least lawful evil. He would think that Eldeth would be more trustworthy but feels like Jimjar would have better information. He is not yet sure what to make of Buppido, seems kind of quiet so far. Derendil claims to be a cursed elf, making him unlikely to know where to find anything in the underdark. Ront is more agreeable than most orcs he has come across, though that is not a very high bar, but Darren doubts that he could lead them back to yesterdays camp let alone anywhere else. Darren really does not want to meet with anyone from Shuushar’s race, seeing as how the few stories he has heard lists them worse than orcs as hosts. Stool seems to be to child-like to know where to go. The twin deep gnomes come across as creepy and unhelpful, Darren makes a mental note to keep an eye on them.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

we also need to think about who we take with us to our destination. If we roll up on a somewhat neutral town and they hate orcs… well, then we probably won’t get the welcome we were looking for, same for the deep gnomes, myconid, kua-toa, etc.

But yes, i agree we should figure out where we are going, and that getting some information from the NPCs would be helpful.

Did anyone else take the alternative underdark backgrounds? just trying to figure out who between us has knowledge of the underdark in any capacity.

Julio – if no one else has knowledge – is there any safe places that I know of at dark lake? maybe where i have sold some treasure before? I think dark lake is somewhat near the area under High Forest, where Raethios is from.

I wish we would have thought to ask Skriss before leaving that cave… also on that note… did anyone ask where he was going? or is he just hanging out in the bone cave for the rest of his life?

ALSO – before setting out again I think it would be good to spend a little time scouting the area. Me and Morris can sneak around and scout for any treasure the gnolls may have stashed, etc. or anything else that may be of value in the area.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

As far as keeping the NPCs with us, honestly we only said that we would help them escape from the drow. So at this point, Darren feels that the agreement has been reached on both sides and would have no problem splitting off. That being said, at this point we do not have a direct reason to leave them behind and there is little harm in keeping them with us right now, mostly just an increased drain in rations. As far as backgrounds, Darren is a mercenary so he could find us work once we got to a town but not too much help in finding one.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

same with Raethios – he views them as extra baggage and slowing them down. he would be ok with keeping a couple but doesn’t like the idea of scrambling around in the dark with all these stragglers. kinda hard to be sneaky.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Like anywhere else in the realms, there are many races and factions in the underdark. It might be wise to have allies to act as liaison for us should we find ourselves relying on some local aid.

Also as Raethios pointed out if we are to figure out where we are going once we get to darklake, who better to ask for direction and info than our local companions?

Besides, if we send them all away, who would Valarn have to probe for his underdark studies?

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

I hear ya Jerric. having people who can help in the underdark would be helpful, but 2/3rd of these people probably live down here and i would imaging they are eager to get back to where ever it is they live, whereas our goal is to get out completely. maybe we talk to the NPCs and figure out the best place to go at darklake and then decide if we part ways with anyone.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Sounds reasonable enough to me Raethios. We all want to get out of here alive. We must consider the possibility though that our getting out just might depend on the help of these underdark races and their helping us might depend on our helping them.

Not saying that one or more of them wouldn’t rather eat us for dinner but we shouldn’t make any decisions to hastily.

I agree that we should get to the lake first and then see how things stand then.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Lutharius thought we were heading to dark lake where there was a kuo-toan town. He decides to pump Shuushar for information about the town. If we’ll be welcomed, tolerated or neither? Can we get supplies? Who rules there and what group(s) hold power?

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Some reactions to your comments above:

Darren will start by asking Jimjar and Eldeth if they know of any settlements near Darklake that would good, relatively, to try—

Eldeth is no help. She’s very far away from anywhere familiar to her.

Jimjar – “ I thought the deal was to get Stool to his home, if you abandon him I guess I’ll just take him to the Neverlight Grove. As for a way out any of the major cities may have one, maybe even the Grove. But you could also try Blindingstone or Gracklstugh.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Thoringard
if no one else has knowledge – is there any safe places that I know of at dark lake? maybe where i have sold some treasure before? I think dark lake is somewhat near the area under High Forest, where Raethios is from.—

Give me a Nature check. While you know the Underdark well, this area is unknown to you.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Skriss before leaving that cave… also on that note… did anyone ask where he was going? or is he just hanging out in the bone cave for the rest of his life?—

If asked, and he had no reason to hide this, he intends to continue his wanderings. No specific place, just into the unknown.

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

before setting out again I think it would be good to spend a little time scouting the area. Me and Morris can sneak around and scout for any treasure the gnolls may have stashed, etc. or anything else that may be of value in the area.—

Sadly between the two of you you find nothing of interest, just a lot of Hook Horror droppings

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Djacob
Darren feels that the agreement has been reached on both sides and would have no problem splitting off.
Thoringard
same with Raethios – he views them as extra baggage and slowing them down. he would be ok with keeping a couple but doesn’t like the idea of scrambling around in the dark with all these stragglers. kinda hard to be sneaky.—

As word of this starts going around the NPCs react:

Ront – “I am mighty warrior, you will take me to topland!”

Buppido – “I would happily pay you once if you escort me to Gracklstugh. I come from means and can pay…50gp to the main party for the trip? I can also connect you to the Deepking himself!”

Prince Derendil – “I will double what the Derro offers and you will all sit on my court, with parcels of land awarded for your service to the throne.” The beast starts to emerge from Derendil as his breathing becomes ragged and claws start scrapping on the cavern floor.

Eldeth Feldrun – “I believe I’ve proven to be a valuable asset, and will continue to be in our journey to reach the surface”

Jimjar – “Hey guys I thought we were having fun! I bet if we break off, my group and reach the surface before you can.”

Shuusar – “If you intend to travel along the Darklake, I believe you have no better navigator than myself. Also if you intend to return young Stool to his home, I would like to help.”

Stool – has a panic attack “PLESE DON’T LEAVE ME, I’M SCARED!”

Topsy and Turvey – consult each other for a while and Topsy says “We will leave. Better for all.”

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Irondog

He decides to pump Shuushar for information about the town. If we’ll be welcomed, tolerated or neither? Can we get supplies? Who rules there and what group(s) hold power?

Shuusar – “I’ve been away from Sloobludop since youth, I was banished for my deviant thoughts. However when last I was there the tribe did trade with all but the Drow, and most mundane supplies can be found there. When I left the leader of the community was the Archpriest of the Sea Mother: Ploopploopeen. I suppose he would still be in charge.”

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Morric tries to console Stool. “Even if all the others leave I will stay and help you Stool.”

Morric is surprised and conflicted by his own thoughts and feelings on this matter. Thinking to himself, “Here I am, having lived my whole life looking out only for myself. Indeed I can not think of anyone in my whole life that I would not have abandoned to save myself. And now here I am risking everything to save this sentient albeit helpless mushroom child.”

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Darren faces the group and says, “relax guys, alright. The main question here is where to go from Darklake. We just need to get stock of who and what we have so that we can all know who is going where once we hit Darklake because we don’t know whether or not the drow have managed to get there ahead of us or not. I know that I have been on both sides of such a hunt to lie in wait at a natural chook point like it sounds like. And don’t worry stool, I would not abandon a kid in a place like this.”

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
 

Raethios shakes his head. “ok, ok… i’m not totally heartless… it won’t be easy though” he lets out a sigh and the side of his mouth creeps up halfway into a smirk as he snorts “and who knows… maybe i’ll find an artifact or two along the way… just as long as we can stay one step ahead of the drow”

“Settle down Derendil, don’t get your stockings in a bunch”

“Ok, so sounds like were taking stool somewhere at least.” He turns to the other NPCs “whats the closest settlement on darklake that won’t try to kill us or eat us? Someplace we can at least find rest for a day and resupply for the next leg of our journey? Sluploodop or Gracklstugh?”

It's Good on Toast - Session 2
gagsmith gagsmith

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