The Consulting Team

The Path to Freedom Part IV

You were at the bottom of the cavern. Looking around you saw exits leading to the north, west and south.

Sleeves suggested going to the North, but Sarith Vehemently disagreed. “That way leads to MenzoBarazzan and certain doom, ye fools. I will not go that way.”

As everyone hesistated back and forth a Vrock fell wounded but still alive to the south, and you could hear Ilvara’s voice shrieking and echoing in the Cavern

“Fetch those Surface Dwelling Scum”

You fled to the West, through twisty tunnels, terrified. Not stopping, for fear of being caught. For at least 3-4 hours, running up and down, occasionally stumbling or failling, sobbing with exhaustion. Passing one fork, then another, then another, maybe a dozen in total just following the lead of whomever is in the front at the time….

Then you pause for breath. All is silent, you are in a larger cave tunnel, and you can feel heat and see some light ahead…

== Letter Follow ===

First of all well done, you have escaped from Velkynvelve. A more dramatic full writeup on obsidian portal will follow, but in brief FYI eric:

  • You have your pick of chain shirt / studded leather armor / short sword / dagger / hand crossbow (depends on what you want, what you have proficiency in)
  • You defeated a couple other enemies, looted the armory, and then fled as both the Quaggoths loomed and the Drow had nearly finished dispatching the demons.
  • You crawled out of the river only to find
  • 3 exits, North, West, and South
  • an ENORMOUS (3x size btw) grey ooze launched out of the pool towards you proclaiming “Hail to Jubilex the Faceless One”
  • a vrock (vulture demon) fell near the south exit and was eying you

Initially several of you considered the North, but Sarith quickly convinced the panicked group that heading towards the provincial Drow capital was not a good idea, and you ran to the west, hearing Ilvara’s threats echo in the cavern

You ran panicked down twisty lava tubes terrified of pursuit and passed multiple forks more or less I guess randomly choosing them
(Imagine how terrible the lighting for the non dark vision folks, sleeve’s cup cakes only illuminate a short radius and bouncing frantically as he ran!)
You ended up in a somewhat larger cave, panting and catching your breath
You feel a significant heat source nearby
And you are tired, worried about pursuit, injured (in some cases, I assume) and with almost no food or water.

But you are free!

Shuushar gives thanks to Blibdoolbloop the sea mother for his deliverance.

=====

A LOT of points to ponder, I will no doubt think of others. Feel free to ask questions, clearly the more of this that is thought out the more we can hit ground running (or walking!)

- I will need both a single file and 2×2 marching order as standard marching (obviously in some cases its wider, and we can wing that)
- I will need everybody’s AC, passive perception, and such interesting matters. Please update character sheets
- Don’t forget the NPCs – in particular Sarith, Buppido,Jimjar should get full weapons and armor if you trust them

SURVIVAL MECHANICS
=======

- You will need to choose a single navigator and a group of foragers. You may switch these off at short or long rests.
(These will affect your ability to get around without being lost and to feed the party, but navigators and foragers can’t as effectively watch for ordinary dangers)
- You will need to choose a PACE. I assume this first leg was FAST since you were fleeing. In brief you will learn more about this aspect of things but

- Going FAST makes it easier to avoid pursuit and gets you to your destination, but completely eliminates stealth, and significantly harms foraging and perception checks,.
- Going NORMAL is, well normal ;). Average on pretty much everything (I need to check if you can do stealth or not, can’t recall)
- SLOW is a lot slower (which is problematic without good food supplies), and increases the chance of pursuers to catch up, but significantly increases foraging, stealth, and perception checks.

Food and Water
====
Assume you need 1 lb of food per person per day and 1 gallon of water. (Yes prince derendil probably needs more but say a ferro and deep gnome need a little less, so it averages out).
I will generously assume you had eaten food and drunk water right before so no worries for through the next long rest (which you will want soon, see below)
After that you will start to gain levels of exhaustion (See PH, condition appendix – short version is you DON’T want to be exhausted!)

Level
====
Once you have a chance to do a long rest you will level up to level 2. So be prepared for this – in particularly scrawl in some free portion of your sheet what will change – hit points of course, special powers, spell slots, etc. Would love for this to be efficient. Remember the NPCs will not level up this time – they level up slower than you.

Metagame: I will offer a potential location for a long rest very shortly – probably within the first half hour of gaming or less.

NPCS
=
This is whom is currently assigned. I have now assigned Stool to Gabin since Tennyson liked him ;) . I’ve made some changes but feel free to argue

Gabin – Stool
Zoldren – Jimjar
Sleeves – Sarith
Ajax – Buppido
Crod – Prince Derendil
Mike – Shuushar

All of these NPCs can be very valuable to the party’s survival. Let’s start getting into role playing them, and realize that if you mistreat them, they WILL not treat YOU well. I recognize you may have regular characters
that may mistreat or dislike them. That’s fine, but there will be consequences to that – they might leave, they might attack you, they might betray you or lead you into a trap. Of course treating them well doesn’t guarantee a good result either ;)

Let me know if you don’t like these assignments, otherwise in a couple days I will mail out “dossiers” – expanded bios and info.

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The Path to Freedom Part III

Ajax used his magic to destroy the bridge leading to the rest of the complex (good move!)
Gabin moved over to heal the grievously wounded ajax.

Meanwhile the ignoble and dastardly Crod, showing his Orcish roots bashed mindlessly at the helpless unconcious Drow warrior. A moment later he was joined by Derendil and Sarith.

And so perishes the last flower of the house of Rina, cadet house of Do’Urden, Klylad Va’lta Sinosera Rina. Whom, had the player characters only given a damn, could have turned to the side of good. And right now we could be hearing the tales of the “Light of the Drow”, as Kylad Rina – renamed Coreillon Raina, and a champion of Desna, helped defeat Lolth and free her people. But that won’t happen now, you selfish pricks.

Ilvara and many of the great elite warriors had levitated into the cloud of Demons and had begun cutting them to pieces.

Zoldren and Jimjar rushed in. Zoldrens spellbook and components were recovered, and the armory was entered.

Much rejoicing! Much loot was found – studded leather, chainshirts, short swords, daggers, caltrops, rope, etc

DM NOTE: I gave some to Sarith and buppido, make sure Jimjar and yourselves are equipped

In the flurry, everyone was prepared to go down the stair and get out of there. This is great because the battle had clearly turned the tide for the drow, and they were bound to notice you soon.

As Ajax and Sleeves and gabin rushed down the stairs they found some Very Bad Things.

  • There were about 1 dozen quaggoth down there
  • There was no exit.

Panic ensued, but fortunately Shuushar and Stool showed them the way, jumping through the hole the firebolt had made. Zoldren quickly cast feather fall on every one, and after a few fairly boring misadventures people leapt into the darkness and into the cold waters below FREE!

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The Path to Freedom Part II

Balok struck Crod pretty hard and things were looking pretty grim. Fortunately two things happened:

  • Ajax hit Balok with a spell and killed him. Actually I think he was hit by 2 spells before dying, but who cares.
  • Sleeves threw a spell on Quaanar who became overcome with incredible hunger as the vile magics of the Gastronomicon completely consumed his brain. He turned and attacked the drow and Quaggoth behind him. Which was mostly good except there were drow and Quaggoth behind him!

A spider (Boris) attacked Ajax and injured him. Meanwhile Gabin, Crod, Sarith and Derendil rushed into the tower to confront Kylad Rina.

Kylad looked undaunted and warned them all to surrender. They confidentally surrounded her.

Only to MISS REPEATEDLY. I think they were all shocked as all their attacks whirled by as Kylad moved with preternatural grace and speed to evade these surface dweller scums. She laughed at them and began slicing away, hitting Crod once, and dropping Sarith to the ground.

Fortunately the brave Gabin healed Sarith, and he stroke Kylad for the first damage slashing her and poisoning her. But she remained on her feet.

Meanwhile Boris was dispatched and Quaanar killed the drow and held his own against the other Quaggoth. He was peppered with spells by Sleeves, and somehow NEVER GODAMN SAVED (The DM’s lament)

It sill looked pretty grim. Kylad had been wounded but clearly looked strong, and it was obvious a single stroke of her blade would have a good chance of killing one of you.

Fortunately Derendil struck another blow, still Kylad fought on.

And then Sarith hit again and knocked her unconscious. (I think it was him?)

To the west you could see Ilvara having appeared and taking control of the fight pepering the demons with spells you can only dream of you low level scum, including Insect Plague.

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The Path to Freedom Part I

Note: Since it’s been a few days I may have switched folks back and forth in their roles, feel free to comment.

When we left our intrepid adventurer, things had a gone a little weird.

Yes, Jorlan had unlocked the doors to the slave pen. And had walked off telling them to make their move in a few minutes. That had all worked out pretty well.

But what was unexpected was that a small group of Vrocks and Chasmes would appear in the area of Velkvynvelve mostly fighting each other, but also taking out a few drow. Alarms clanged, people running around, and as Borim stuck his snout out of the cage, he was whisked away by a Chasme to an almost certainly horrible fate.

Meanwhile folks realized belatedly they were still in chains. Multiple people tried and failed to escape or break their bonds. It looked like this escape was doomed before it even started.

Fortunately the dextrous Jimjar got himself free, and began to free others one by one. More than half the group is freed when they decided to make their move.

“Halt!” — only to find Balok ready and waiting for them and telling them to get back into the pen. Crod and Derendil rushed up to confront him, but were unable to hit him.

Zoldren let loose a fire bolt but it missed, burning a hole in the web. (this might have been gabin?)

Sleeves began moving down the stairs as they agreed, only to see to his horror a menacing Quaggoth (Quaanar)

Meanwhile you could see the bulk of the battle was taking place on the larger platform near the drow barracks and main hall. Chasme and Vrock circling above and drow warriors shouting and firing cross bow bolts and aiming corruscating rays of energy. This was terrfying to see, these flashes of light in an almost dark cavern revealing horrid creatures circling above. Fortunately it WAS distracting the drow for the most part and at this point you only had the attention of 3 creature

  • Quaanar
  • Balok
  • His superior, Kylad Rina in the guard tower.
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Velkynvelve behind the scenes: Getting out
  • They could escape of their own volition and power

Tough to do , but let them try. Most likely recapture, but be rewarding of good role playing. Stealth would be their best friend here.

  • Hint at the pool when they empty chamber pots etc. Jorland should mention too probably
  • Jorlan could set them free
  • Demons could show up, distract

(DM note: I combined these two in the end, which only sort of makes sense but definitely ups the stakes)

  • They could suborn Qaanar or Nym or Balok
  • They could somehow regain some of their magic
  • Shuushar could meditate them out of their – but only if no one treats him badly and steals his clothes (DM Note: Ok, I’m really having fun teasing tennyson on this)
  • Goddamn this is a nasty place – I sure hope they don’t just hit a guard and run for it

VARIOUS EXIT PLANS REDACTED UNTIL YOU ESCAPE

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Velkynvelve behind the scenes: Drow

Let’s start with the obvious big 4:

  • Ilvara – daughter of an important house (the top 3 houses in drow culture) – Massrym. Imperious, cruel, and extremely powerful. Carries a tentacle rod with her, and can throw a mean insect plague. She considers this outpost beneath her and chafes to leave, but wants to do well (meaning no prisoner escapes, high profits to her house) to rise in the esteem of Lolth.. Life means little to her, especially non drow life. Power, and success not loyalty are what matter. Sex is fun, but males are really good for not much more than that, so why take it seriously. She doesn’t hate Jorlan, but he is of no use to her anymore. Shoor is cute, and worth a few rolls in the hay. She kind of despises his flattery and his annoyign whiny voice, and is finding him tiresome more quickly than she expected.
  • Asha. Junior priestess. She is plotting to smear Ilvara and take over. But she does so carefully as Ilvara could kill her with her eyes closed. And might do that for fun. Ironically right now she is egging Jorlan on, to the detriment of her own cousin, Shoor.
  • Shoor – Shoor is young and handsome and pretty dumb. But he is a pretty powerful warrior, and he does have the wand of viscid globes lent him by Ilvara. That’s super awesome. He really is enjoying being the number one male her, and already about half the drow males heartily hate him. He’s likely to take a “bad step” at some point. Ground is slippery around here.
  • Jorlan – He was top dog. He liked it. He missed it. And he had stupidly fallen for Ilvara. Imagine his horror, when after a rather nasty black pudding incident a couple months back, she dumped him for Shoor! And treated him pretty shittily. He will crack pretty easily and either attack Shoor or fuck over Ilvara – really depends on how things go. Remember he has disvantage on attacks and skill checks of a physical nature – he was pretty fucked up.

==

The other ELITE drow

  • Valren Darke Evil, cruel, destructive, even his fellow warriors are frightened of him. Enjoys the sounds of bone cracking in the morning, evening, or whenever. Scared of bunny rabbits.
  • Kylad Rina (female) She is caught between the priestesses and her fellow warriors jealousy. (Female = power in this society). Comes from a cadet house of Do’urden, could possibly be turned towards good. Her distaste for Lolth frightens her.
  • Marqad Kalin Has taken a dislike to craig’s character and will do anything to make his life miserable

“We’ll get along fine Dwarf as long as you remember your place
On your knees
Digging your own grave
With my dick up your ass”

(DM note: I dropped the Marqad thing – he had fought at Gauntlgrym but then Craig went with another backstory).

=
The regular joe schmoe drow

  • Balok This is the one that snagged Russ’s dagger and the Gastronomicon. He is slowly being driven to insane fits of hunger by the Gastronomicon – Prisoner Guard
  • Guldor Bright capable, hiding a secret. Could be blackmailed Usually Barracks or lift area
  • Malagar Been here for months, sick and tired of it, lazy and indolent Usually Barracks or lift area
  • Bemeril Skilled warrior, excellent with a bow. Even better with a dagger, and hates Shoor. That might be bad news for Shoor Usually a prisoner guard
  • Honemmeth Merchant’s child, looked down upon by other drow for it, not a “gentledrow” Wandering
  • Nadal Family connections, conniving, excellent with dice Wandering
  • Imbros ?. Q Quiet introspective, not well suited for this life. Would rather be a reader
  • Jeazred ???? Braggart arrogant, cwardly
  • Nym Barracks 1 Female. Wants to rise higher, and become an elite warrior. Young impetuous
  • Jevan Barracks 2 Father was weak, turned into drider. Eager to show his mettle
  • Kalannar ??? A bit of a dandy, overdresses, this place is not like Menzobarran! He wants to leave
  • Sorn Prisoner Guard Sadistic, cruel, likes feeding prisoners to spider
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Velkynvelve behind the scenes: Quaggoth

The quaggoth are big shambling very strong, very violent, and not too smart. They are more or less second rate lackeys of the drow.

Here are their names

Qaamar Qaanar Qaahar
Qaabar Qaatar Qaajar
Qaagar Qaazar Qaspar
Qaalar Qaakar Qaa’o’ar

Honestly they are mostly non descript except Qaanar.

Qaanar is actually fairly intelligent for a Quaggoth – about average human intelligece. He was part of a breeding experiment that didn’t go too well and was discarded and shipped to work in Velkynvelve. Think of him as as the “Caesar” of the group. He would like to foment rebellion, but its hard working with brutal morons as your troops. Probably he won’t get too far. But if anyone can be suborned it’s him

Note: They will NOT obey Prince Derendil – they know he’s a prisoner. Similarly Sarith

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Velkynvelve behind the scenes: Spiders

“Every spider deserves a name, and some are well beloved pets of the drow dwelling in the webs surrounding the outpost. It is possible, albeit improbable that should a prisoner sneak bits of meat, or such that they might befriend a spider, and they might not attack him/her/the party if they descend via the webs. DC 17 persuasion check, but give advantage should a party member manage to feed them live food [rats? god knows what that fucking russ will come up with]

Here are the spiders names. Bazass’l is the largest matriarch of the group, followed by her daughters, T’ling, C’za. Boris and sssl are male mates, smaller, and generally not treated as well by other spiders. Marquand Kalin often plays with with ca’edna. The only drow that more or less avoids the spiders is Jevan, due to the unfortunate fate of daddy.

Bazass’l T’ling
ssssslz ca’edna
Boris c’za

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Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part VII: Decision Points
  • How will this affect your plans – decide quickly
  • I will layout the drow this weekend
  • What will you do about your restraints – or since we all forgot about them since it was late at night shall we retcon? Jimjar had a pretty good chance of getting them loose.
  • Where are you going? The most likely places are Darklake (closest by far), Gracklstugh (very far), Menzobarran (almost as far, drow), Neverlight Grove (no one seems to know where this is, but Stout would love it), Blingdenstone (Jimjar THINKS he can find it)

N = Menzo
W= Darklake
S = Gracklstugh

  • The drow are distracted mostly. Hopefully you will only have to face a few.

A reminder of what you learned about the outpost forces:

  • 19 drow – Ilvara, Asha, 5 elite warriors, 12 shock troops
  • 12 quaggoth
  • 6 spiders

Weapons I know you have:

  • rusty iron rod (ajax) – treat as a club
  • shiv – treat as a 1d4-1 dagger (jimjar)
  • knife – 1d4 dagger (sleeves)
  • cut off point of a crossbow bolt and poison (sarith)

You recovered some spell components etc
Pastry is over 24 hours old (you failed to grab at second dinner), so is good for only food now

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Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part VII

So some things happened that weren’t expected

  • Some kind of buzzing noise. Really loud and above you
  • Loud alarms sounding from the drow.
  • One of the buzzing creatures came down and you had a real good look

chasme2.jpg

  • But the reason you had a good look was a HORRIBLE dice roll which resulted in Borim Bruinthor, the KING OF THE BRUINS being carried away to his doom.

Now seeing or hearing several of these creatures was bad. But they are fightiing a bunch of these creatures:

vrock.png

That can’t be good.

  • What IS good is this is occupying a lot of attention from the drow and quaggoth.
  • So you gotta ask, is this the best distraction ever? Is Jorlan not the MAN? Or is this incredibly terrible luck for everyone?
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