The Consulting Team

Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part VI

Oh the sweet taste of freedom! It excited you all so! (Ajax actually splooged but he convinced me not to tell you all).

Sarith had already revealed he had poison which could coat the knife and shiv. I assume you guys did, though I don’t think you said so. But you would have been stupid not to.

Gabin stole Shuushars clothes, traumatizing a poor pacifist gandhi-like kuo toa. Way to go Gabin. (Ok I think I can let it go now, finally)

You all talked about what you would do.

Borim volunteered to go first, and clear the way. Since he looked pretty tough that sounded like a good idea. It probably wasn’t for Borim. Fuck godamn I had plans for you Borim. But a natural 20 must be obeyed.

The basic idea was this:

  • Get out
  • Charge the tower asap. Didn’t sound like subtlety made sense
  • Quickly overpower guards.
  • Possibly cut the bridge ropes to the rest of outpost
  • Get your shit and weapons and armor
  • Run up the northern steps.

A classic pincer movement! It couldn’t possibly fail against a 12 year old. Of course these are tough experienced drow warriors, with an aggregate some of 150 years fighting.

Actually TBH it sounded like a desperate and ill thought plan. How about subtlety? How about getting out quickly? But the DM is always obliging in allowing the horrible drawn out deaths of player characters. I have prepared various disgusting surgical photos for the next session.


Well it started okish I guess. Jorlan showed up, he unlocked the door and whispered Wait 10 minutes and I’ll create a distraction.

It felt like an eternity.

It was about 10 minutes, you guys opened the door and Borim poked his head out.

And then….

All Hell Broke Loose….

Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part V

Gabin as I recall was an excellent conversationlist with the fellow gang of NPCs, particularly sprout, and stuck the fish hook in his toe. Way to go for the team

Ajax was insulted by a couple of the drow but sadly didn’t activate his fun little side hook. He could have had a deck of many things, but no go.

Crod carried boulders to and fro and generally was miserable. But he was smart about testing for magic. Good Crod.

You noticed the whole place was dimly lit by mushrooms and such by the way.

Most of the mushrooms and herbs you aren’t familiar with, good thing Jimjar helped out a bit.

So what did you think of your companions in the slave pen? Feel free to correct me but this was my impression

  • Sarith – a drow and we can’t trust him…..hmm
  • Buppido – seems ok I guess
  • Jimjar – also seemed ok
  • Shuushar – seemed useless and fodder. Heck gabin stole his clothes, because he is a racist pig. (That’s not me Tennyson, that’s the considered conclusion of a sober court of the underdark)
  • Borim – looked like he would be pretty useful. Alas, the dice did not permit…
  • Derendil – a nutter but strong….
  • Sprout – Some looked down on him, but Gabin liked him, possibly compensating for his virulent racist behavior towards kuotoa. (Ok, ok, I’ll drop it)

Anyway, you guys chatted away the days, hoping for a chance towards freedom. Certainly we were edging towards a prison break and such…

Jorlan, egged on by an ambitious Asha (none of you talked to her or seemed particularly into watching the drow except for one brief interlude) made his move. He decided that he wanted to fuck over Ilvara. A black mark on her record could get her shipped out, then he could perform the traditional assassination on Shoor, and all would be well with the world. BTW Asha ironically is Shoor’s cousin, but that’s another matter.

He sidled up to Ajax and asked him “So if this door were to be unlocked at night, would you guys GTFO?”. Ajax stupidly tried to bargain him. (Honestly this came very close to him changing his mind, since giving access to the armory would NOT be a win for him) He was laughed at, since he had about as much leverage as my asshole on a hots summers day.

Anyway, Jorlan said he would unlock the door, and create a distraction. He recommended that they all dive into the pool and make his escape.

Everyone huddled together and debated what to do….

Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part IV

Zoldren does a bunch of cleaning tasks and cases the joint (not all of this was Zoldren, but hey who’s telling this story). I believe he and his companions get a whole bunch of component stolen, albeit not everything they wanted. Also a fish hook.

I digress to mentioning that Ajax had already obtained an iron bar and Crod a gold coin.

The find many interesting aspects to Velkynvelve

  • Two main “landings” – one next to the slave pen, and one further to the south.
  • Anti magic field inside slave pen and beyond – not sure how far. Later on another landing Crod tries out magic, and it works but he is noticed, hit violently and returned to the slave pen.
  • There are several towers all made out of stalactites.
  • The closest one is a guard tower, and he notices to his excitement that his spellbook is lying in a pile (damaged, I fear but we’ll come to that), along with his pouch of components on the bottom floor, near the gaming table. The upstairs is accessible via a ladder leading to a trapdoor. It is revealed (I believe by Sarith) that this is an armory – weapons and armor!
  • The towers are connected via swaying bridges, that you all find difficult to traverse.
  • Beneath the towers are a large number of spider webs and nasty scuttling spiders., You’ve seen them eat people. The drow like them and treat them as pets.
  • The middle tower you didn’t go into but it becomes obvious that Ilvara, Asha (the junior priestess), and Shoor all live there
  • The other two towers next to the southern landing are where the elite warrriors live, and they are clearly reasonable well stocked.
  • There’s also regular barrack space (two caves) and a main hall (where the cooking occurs).
  • There’s a mechanical lift, used for transporting people and things down to the cavern floor. There are always 2 quaggoth guarding this.
  • There’s a small waterfall falling into a pool far below that is located in a cleft in the rocks more or less in the center of the outpost.
  • There are stone steps leading south and north. You haven’t been allowed in those spaces, although you notice there are a fair number of quaggoths coming to and from the northern space.

Note Sleeves and Gabin were awarded inspiration because they rock.

  • Sleeves outsmarted the DM too who forgot about the 15 people rule ;)
  • Gabin had a big cojones moment (details on next post)
Lazy Days in Velynvelve Part III

(Please feel free to add stuff I may have forgotten)

The drow are generally arrogant and cruel, occasionally bordering on abusive. However since you are all valuable merchandise actually killing you isn’t in the equation unless necessary.

Ajax in particularly is not well liked, being a dwarf. The elf is hated on principal but well he’s an elf, so that’s GOT to be better. Human? Surface dwelling scum sure. Orcs, dumb bastards of course. But DWARVES. Holy fuck we hates them.

Sleeves quickly notices that one of the Drow is acting strangely agitated. Balok is constantly eating something and seems haunted by some trauma.

Sleeves convinces him to allow him to cook. Jimjar comes along, and is fairly knowledgeable about spices and cooking, but constantly chattering away until Sleeves no doubt considers knifing him. Nonetheless a triumphant meal is to be had, and Sleeves cooks a meal for 15!

Even Ilvara is there and impressed, though to Sleeves discomfort she happily muses about how much money he’s going to fetch on the market.

Sleeves puts aside a couple pastries, and on this and another cooking expedition helps obtain some spices, a shiv (jimjar actually), and a knife.

Sleeves also gets the Gastronomicon the next morning – his cunning plan has worked, and the cursed book has teleported back into his arms, and freed Balok from the curse that was driving him mad. (Too bad, within a couple of days he would have attacked another drow and tried to eat him)

Lazy Days in Velkynvelve Part II

The dawn rose and the sun was shining.

Oh, but I lie! You are all slaves locked in a crowded pen

You have witnessed other prisoners being tortured and killed and have been informed that your fate will be to be sold at the auctions of Menzobarran. If you are lucky.

Ilvara Massrym runs this place, and she runs a tight ship. Her syncophantic and nearly constant companions, Shoor Vandree and Jorlan Duskryn hover over her.

Shoor is a handsome young fellow, arrogant and proud. You saw him use a wand that fired a viscous blob of SOMETHING at an escaping slave – and freeze him in his tracks.

Jorlan would be handsome but has some nasty scars all over his face and limps somewhat. Ilvara and Shoor treat him contemptuously – and he doesn’t like it.

You took turns trading off your turns as players and learned many things about your cell

  • You are “restrained” by collars, manacles, etc. Keep that in mind.
  • You are fed on a starvation diet of a thin mushroom gruel

You have several companions, most of whom do NOT speak Common

  • Sarith, a drow – surly, standoffish, arrogant like most drow. He says he was framed for a murder he didn’t commit and cannot remember and wants revenge
  • Stout, a myconid sprout that communicates though telepathy and whose spores allow you to communicate with each other (Gabin gets along pretty well with Stool). Stool desperately wishes to return to Neverlight Grove, his home, although he has no clue where that might be.
  • Borim – a humanoid bear-warrior who comes from the surface.
  • Jimjar – an excitable, over talkative deep gnome from Blingdenstone. He constantly jabbers, gets on peoples nerves, but is fairly smart, and has a “quick pair of hands”. Jimjar would like to return to Blingdenstone but is adventurous so willing to try out other places
  • Shuushar the Awakened – a Kuotoa from the Darklake. He is quiet, meditative and a pacifist. He says he has learned (via Whitney Houston) that love and spirituality is the answer and wishes to bring this philosophy back to his people.
  • Prince Derendil – Physically a Quaggoth, he speaks in elegant elvish and claims to be a prince of some kingdom no one has ever heard of. He claims to have been polymorphed/cursed. Zoldren’s careful questioning quickly reveals that Derendil is in fact insane and has never been to the surface – a mention of the blue sun is eagerly seized upon by Derendil. He wishes to reclaim his homeland.
  • Buppido, a derro from Gracklstugh. Calm rational, measured, and fairly helpful in planning and discussing escape.

On a regular basis you are all taken out to do “chores”

  • Cleaning chamber pots
  • Cleaning rooms
  • Cooking
  • Piling boulders for no reasons
  • Operating the lift – actually none of you asked to do this, so you didn’t get that fun chore.
Lazy Days in Velkynvelve (intro)


At Velkynvelve, we take pride in hospitality! In fact, we insist on it! On this pleasant rest stop on your journey to Menzoberranzan, to be sold like the filthy surface dwelling scum you are, we provide
the finest of accommodations, and such resort activities as

cleaning chamber pots
being tormented
being eaten by spiders
games of chance (as in wagers we bet on you)
and all forms of menial labor designed to break your well, and adjust you nicely to a lifetime of servitude

We look forward to making a profit off you.

Your Mistress

Ilvara Massrym

PS Remember, in the infamous words of Douglas Adams “Resistance is Futile"

Regarding magic and equipment and sundry

Magic – We know you are tricksy! And Magic is best left to the Drow after all!

Remember the slave cave has anti-magic on it – no spells inside the cave/cage and some distance (you don’t know how far) beyond.
Remember you have no material components or focus – these spells need to be noted as such and excluded for now! That affects most of you spell casters. Obviously something like water is not a big deal, but use your judgment and consult me if you really have doubt
Remember if you normally have a spell book, you can still cast and regain spells, but not change them. (This doesn’t apply to the Gastronomicon – if you don’t have it, you can’t cast the cantrips it grants, though other things…. may be happening)

Weapons/Armor/Equpment – Thank you for your Donation to House Massrym!
Remember all your weapons and armor are currently missing – perhaps forever! This means your AC is currently 10+DEX (unless you have some other bonus), and you can only use fists, improvised weapons or ones you somehow obtain.
Because you might obtain armor and weapons be sure to note on your character sheet your full weapon and armor proficiencies for speed
We issue complimentary slave collars, manacles and an iron belt. So you are limited to a little bit of hand and arm movement, feet, etc.

On leveling

I will let you know when you advance a level. Don’t worry, I track these things. But I am of the school of thought that in GENERAL slow advancement in levels is a good thing – you learn to appreciate ins and outs of characters and their limits. (That being said, level 2 isn’t too far away)
NPCs that you might be handed control of will advance at HALF the “normal” rate. (Mark a .5 for all even levels) initially, and ONE THIRD past level 5 This makes their importance in raw power greater earlier on (when you need more oomph) but let’s your “real” characters increase in importance. My guess is by level 5 when they are only level 3, they will matter more for flavor, role playing, navigation, etc. I will reassess this table as things proceed to see if it balances out nicely.

Example of Advancement

You vs NPC
1 1
2 1.5
3 2
4 2.5
5 3
6 3 1/3
7 3 2/3
8 4
9 4 1/3
10 4 2/3
11 5

Tentative plan is for NPCs to mostly “fade” into the wood work during battle (perhaps not in early sessions). They have their battles, that our mystical camera doesn’t catch as we focus on you intrepid folks

Remember this is an UNLEVELED adventure. What this means is it is totally possible, and in fact not uncommon for it to be easy fro low level characters to run into extremely high level monsters and NPCS. Don’t be pussies, but don’t be idiots either! That doesn’t mean don’t take risks (unless you enjoy being a slave for life), but it does mean that a bad slave is a bad investment, and there are extremely efficient garbage collectors aka spiders lurking nearby.

The Insidious Threat

—Vassago and Lydia departed on a trip around the world with a stocked bag of holding, rings of warmth and a flying carpet. Some of those who know Lydia well observed slightly odd behavior from her. She seemed to stare off into the distance a lot and had little of her normal vibrancy. Perhaps it is because Vassago wouldn’t agree to marry her before the trip?

With the Crow destroyed heavily damaged, the Consultants were temporarily based in the Pediment Building, where the Mayor’s offices are located. This allowed them to have access to information about what was happening around the city.

Once plans to rebuild the Crow became widely known, a fierce opposition has risen up against it. Led by a paladin and priest of Iomedae named Tira Ronnova, a mob of people have appeared each day outside the Pediment building, chanting scornfully. The gist of their message is:

  • If the gods cleansed it and punished the city for our pride, then rebuilding the Crow will certainly incur their wrath.
  • There is a known infernal in the Consultants’ employment (Baz)
  • Among the slogans chanted by the crowd, were "rebuilt with rot” and “take heed, take heed!”

Streetside soothsayers and priests gathered nearby also seem to believe that the world was going to come to an end at the next eclipse. References to “when the sun rises at midnight” were frequently heard. Several members of the Consultants recognized these lines from a prophecy so old that its author is long forgotten. However, enough events from the lengthy work have come true to give it credence.


The Sihedron and King Xin

The following are the events which took place during the marathon gaming session in Reno, NV from 3/17 – 3/20.

Sardis and the Devil

Recruiting the Skylarks

A Dark Summoning

The Herald of Alaznist

The Source of the Summoning

The Runelord’s Army

Van der Meer and the Hombres del Toro

Into the Boneyard

The Fortress of Ceraphalomedes

The Horreum and the Tapestry

Van der Meer Returns

Assembling the Sihedron

The Rise of King Xin

The Battle of the Menagerie

At the end of the Battle, the Sihedron fell from Marlin’s crown, once again broken into seven shards. However, their magic was different now. As Xin’s twisted undead form finally found peace in the afterlife, the Shards of Sin once again became the Shards of Virtuous Rule.

Days Six Through Eight: The Heist at Heidmarch Manor

At the dawn of day six, the Skylarks considered their next steps. The golden chest, stolen on the previous night from the Chimney Sweeps, proved to be impossible to open without the key, and based on the note recovered with the chest, the key was located at Heidmarch Manor. The party decided to use their Nolzur’s Marvelous Pigments to bury the chest under the floor of the small warehouse in their offices, as well as to conceal the body of Barbas, their recently deceased guild leader.

The Contract
Because Heidmarch Manor was on the list of list of sites and monuments whose cleaning contracts are managed at the Ordellia Embassy, Fraud and Kiara paid a visit to Augusto Zanca, the embassy clerk who handles those contracts. As it turned out, Heidmarch Manor was on the list to be cleaned and painted, but the contract was not due for another month. A bribe convinced Augusto to pull some strings and escalate the timeline of the contract, and he awarded it to the Skylarks. The Skylarks departed that day for Heidmarch Manor in the far northern section of the city.

Heidmarch Manor
At Heidmarch Manor, the party met with the Major Domo who informed them that all of the windows and doors to the manor were protected by powerful glyphs. He would disable the glyphs room-by-room as the Skylarks were ready. Also, a guard would follow the Skylarks around the manor and be present in the rooms being cleaned “to answer any questions you might have.”

The next morning, the party arrived to begin work. Most of this day was used to scout out the location and to learn the schedules of the inhabitants of the manor, particularly Sheila Heidmarch and Van der Meer, the wizard. Later in the day, a safe was discovered in Van der Meer’s room, and the Skylarks focused more on his activities after that. Also, during the course of the first day, Odie Phrexen of the Washside Ringers and Jaster Frallino, the guild leader of the Gallowed, separately arrived and met with Sheila and Van der Meer.

Fraud used his Earring of Eavesdropping to listen in on the conversation between Sheila, Van der Meer and Odie Phrexen. During this discussion, Odie was questioned extensively regarding the theft of the golden chest and his role in it. He admitted to stalling the Esmeralda in customs but no further involvement. Van der Meer threatened Odie with a fate worse than death if he failed to recover the chest quickly. Odie then left the manor, stopping to vomit on the sidewalk, before going on his way.

Jaster Frallino visited later in the day. The Skylarks were unable to eavesdrop on the conversation, but as Jaster was seen leaving in an obvious fury, Malachi used Detect Thoughts on him. What Malachi gathered went something like this: “I’m going to find them, and then I’m going to kill them. No, wait. First I’ll find them, then I’ll feed their feet to my barracuda, then I’ll kill them. No, wait. I’ll feed their families to the barracuda first. Yeah. Kill their pets, too. Oh, and burn down their houses…” His thoughts continued in this vein until he walked out of range of the spell.

During this time, the Skylarks kept a constant eye on Van der Meer. In the early afternoon, they saw him attempt a scrying spell. The scrying was viewed from outside his window by the Skylarks, and in it they saw an image of Sheila Heidmarch in another part of the manor walking down a hallway with a woman who appeared to be a servant. They approached a tapestry, at which point Van der Meer leaned forward intently. However, the vision suddenly went dark, and Van der Meer dismissed the spell with an angry gesture.

The Skylarks left the manor at the end of the first day and returned the next morning. They had discovered that Van der Meere was in the habit of taking long walks around the manor grounds in the late morning, and the Skylarks saw this as their opportunity to break into his room and attempt to open the safe.

As some of the group cleaned the windows in a separate area, and Kiara distracted a guard outside, Varo Pavan used the Nolzur’s Marvelous Pigments to paint a hole in Van der Meer’s wall, allowing Dol’oren to enter. Dol’oren detected and removed a glyph from the safe and managed to pick the very complex lock with some difficulty. Inside the safe, Dol’oren found a small box and a bag. Finding the key in the box, Dol’oren took it, but he returned the box and left the bag in the safe. Varo Pavan painted over the hole in the wall, and Dol’oren left the room without detection. With their tracks reasonably covered, the Skylarks remained onsite to finish the job before departing for Ordellia late in the afternoon.

Opening the Chest
Arriving at their headquarters, the Skylarks immediately recovered the chest and used the key to open it. Inside they discovered that the chest was larger on the inside than the outside, wherein they found a shard that appeared to be a part of a larger whole. It clearly had magic properties. In addition, there was a large bundle of items with another note attached. It implied that these items were to be used as a payment (supposedly by Van der Meer) for some unknown service performed by an unknown party. It also implied that the items would help this third party in their next endeavor. What that might be was unclear.

Among the items found were:
10,000 gp in gems
Staff of Thunder and Lightning
Staff of Healing
Luck Blade
Wand of Wonder
Adamantine Armor +1 of Fire Resistance
Vicious Shortbow, +2
Bracers of Defense
Cloak of Protection
Helm of Comprehending Languages
6 Honing Stones

Potions and Oils:
Superior healing x5
Greater healing x10
Vitality x5
Invulnerability x5
Heroism x5
1 jar of Keoghtem’s Ointment (2 doses)

Day Five - The Shipment Heist

Planning and Interruptions
The Skylarks awoke one the morning of the fifth day, and began preparing for the upcoming heist. The plan, once hashed out and agreed upon, was to intercept the crate at the rendezvous point on Pier 4, kill Orsino and Nestore, and frame Saffo Bria for the theft.

The planning was interrupted by the bell ringing in the hideout to inform the party that there was trouble at the front office. Kavi Jas was minding the store front when a guardsman came by asking after Malachi. Kiara went to determine what the problem was, and discovered that the guard was Priam Calcaro, Malachi’s city watch contact. He informed Kiara that the watch was coming by to question Malachi and Dol’oren regarding the robbery at the Rose and Rake the previous night. “You tell that infernal bastard he owes me one,” was Priam’s parting shot to Kiara before leaving.

The watch did arrive about half an hour later, but they were turned away claiming that Malachi and Dol’oren were not there. They returned several times throughout the day.

Knowing that the watch was looking for them, Malachi and Dol’oren adopted disguises with the help of Kiara. Dol’oren was disguised as an old beggar and made his way to Pier 4 to scout out the location. Once there, he discovered that some makeshift repairs had been made to the docks, apparently by someone hired by the Chimney Sweeps or the Washside Ringers in preparation for the rendezvous. Kiara spent a considerably longer time that morning working on an intricate disguise that would allow Malachi to move about the city freely, while covering his sawed-off horns. The result was an elven lady with an elaborate headdress.

Skorpa went to the magic shop to purchase supplies while Kiara remained in the hideout. Fraud, also remaining behind, spent the morning preparing a forged document – seemingly instructions from Saffo Bria to Orsino – to double cross the Washside Ringers, and showing his knowledge of the plan to steal the crate from the Gallowed in the first place.

The Heist
The Skylarks moved into the alleys near Pier 4 and set up a watch from a hidden position. As the party predicted, the wagon – occupied by Nestore and several of his men – arrived at the pier first. Once the wagon was on the pier, the Skylarks moved into position to attack.

Using silence and sleep spells, the party evened the odds and helped to ensure that the encounter would not be overheard at the other distant piers where the flotilla was unloading their cargo. The following attack was swift and brutal, and the end saw all of the Skylarks’ enemies dead, including Nestore.

Soon, however, the distant splash of an oar warned the party that the Orsino’s dinghy was nearby. The Skylarks quickly cleaned up the area as best they could, and attempted to deceive the men aboard the approaching vessel. The ruse was partially successful in the fog, and the small boat tied off at the pier before realizing that all was not as it seemed. Another brief fight followed as Orsino and his men were killed.

An extremely heavy crate was aboard the vessel and had to be offloaded to the wagon. The party also found a number of enchanted items on the bodies of Nestore and Orsino, as well as the remaining missing items from the robbery at the Skylarks’ office.

After planting the forged letter on Orsino, the party quickly quickly made their way back to the Skylarks’ office nearby, driving the wagon into the storage area of the building. Once there, the crate was opened to reveal a chest inside, which appeared to be made of solid gold, seemingly all of a piece except for the very finest hint of hinges and lid. The craftsmanship was superb. It wasn’t made of a shiny, brassy gold, but rather it had a yellow, buttery gleam, almost as if it is emanating its own light. Upon its surface was etched many panels, and within each was an exquisitely carved sigil in the language of magic. At the border of each panel were many additional tiny runes, thousands in all. The chest weighed approximately 500 lbs and was estimated to be of incalculable value.

Also inside the crate was a short letter, which read:


Enclosed is the object you have commissioned me to acquire. The task came with great difficulty and loss of life, so believe me when I say that you did not overpay for my services. I trust the key was safely delivered to Heidmarch Manor on schedule, and that you will have no difficulty retrieving the contents of the chest.


Day 4


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