Gary Gygax Tribute Campaign

Session 50 (Vault of the Drow, part 2)

Played on 9-25-20

Per the agreement with Drow Commander Trysik, Torc and Mardak were about to select Night Shadow to join them to slay the subterranean lizards, but the chaotic evil Trysik nixed it, saying they had to choose between their 2 escaped slave prisoners, Dug Rocktoad the dwarf and Hemdar the human fighter. Begrudgingly, Torc and Mardak chose Hemdar, but Trysik decided to send the gimpy-legged Dug Rocktoad with them anyway, expecting both of them to die fighting the lizards. Mardak and Torc provided Dug and Hemdar with weapons, but both had no armor.

So the lizard hunters went down the narrow side passage with Mardak and Torc’s light rings illuminating the way clearly. After about a mile, near small caves to either side, they found a pile of rubble against the wall that fell from above. After nothing was discovered in the rubble, Torc went onward. About 30 feet beyond, they came to a 3 foot step down in the tunnel with a much deeper crevasse by it. There Torc was surprised by 2 huge blind lizards emerging from the crevasse and below the drop in the floor. Torc was savagely bitten in the leg by the lizard emerging from the crevasse, but managed to avoid being dragged down Into the pit in its vice-like grip. The party was quick to rush in to help, and in a flurry of blows, one of the lizards was slain and the other wounded. Suddenly 3 more subterranean lizards came up the passage in a feeding frenzy. Torc and Hemdar each bravely and skillfully fought the monsters as warriors. With an axe strike, Hemdar prevented 1 of 2 lizards he faced from climbing up the wall next to him and around him to attack from the rear. One lizard stretched across the crevasse to attack Mardak, but his heavy mace struck its skull and it dropped into the 30 foot crevasse. Mardak struck it hard as it climbed up the crevasse again, but Dug was not so lucky – his sweaty hand losing hold of his hand axe and dropping it into the crevasse. However, Dug was able to recover his hand axe after the battle. Lopping off the heads of the 5 slain giant lizards, the party began to trek back to the Drow fortress. But near the lizards’ lair, Dug saw a glint in a side cave that caught his curiosity. Creeping in, he saw the bony remains of a recently eaten giant pack lizard. In the torn packs, he found 40 silver ingots (4,000 sps) and 18 smoky quartz gems worth 50 gps each (900 gps). Collecting the treasure, the party returned to the Drow fortress.

Trysik was pleased with the party’s success (and delighted that all returned bloodied), and per their agreement, the rest of the party was released and free to enter the Drow homeland. Night Shadow, Jadis, and the 3 pack bearers were treated reasonably well as they were held captive by the Drow, except for a hand crossbow bolt “accidentally” shot in Night Shadow’s direction. Mardak was given the black metal medallion that symbolized their evil goddess, Lolth, both female Drow elf and spider. Tyrsik told Mardak to present this medallion at the black tower at the end of the tunnel, and they would be given access to the homeland. Avoiding registering at the black tower would be at their own peril.

The party delved onward in a well worked wide passage with phosphorescent lichen and the encountered no other travelers or dangers that day. Dug and Hemdar went with them. Camping in the passage that night, they learned that Dug and Hemdar joined together to explore the riches of the deep earth. From the dwarf settlement on the Great Ridge, they took rarely traveled tunnels to this place, fighting reptilian troglodytes and Kuo-Toan fish men along the way. Eventually, they joined a Drow merchant caravan as guards. These merchants were allied with the Drow noble house of Godeep. The merchants later betrayed them and sold them into slavery. Dug and Hemdar escaped, but were recently recaptured at the Drow fortress when the party found them.

The next day, not long after the party started on their way again, they ran into a large Drow merchant caravan going in the opposite direction. The caravan consisted of 6 pack lizards (15 foot long with wide backs), 2 small carts, 7 male Drow merchants, 15 male Drow guards, 16 bugbear slavers, and 21 motley slaves (orcs/half-orcs, hobgoblins/goblins, humans, and elves/half-elves mostly) chained together and bearing various loads. The party made way for the caravan, hoping for no interaction, but peace was not to be had. One of the bugbears seen sniffing intoxicating, perhaps hallucinogenic, snuff suddenly ordered Jadis in common to stop waiving his staff at him. The hairy bugbear then flew off the handle and demanded a “blood circle” (apparently a duel) with Jadis, and the caravan stopped and chanted “blood circle” over and over again as the bugbear got a long stick of his own to fight with. Torc attempted to keep Jadis out of the fight by insulting the intoxicated bugbear, but although the bugbear now wanted to fight Torc, it insisted in fighting Jadis first. Torc drew his sword, and a battle was commenced. Six bugbears attacked Torc and Jadis, and another 2 joined in when Night Shadow assisted Torc. Jadis struck first with a spark shower from his magic ring that electrified the 3 bugbears (including the bugbear who initiated this confrontation), but they remained standing. The bugbears pummeled Jadis with morning stars. Jadis was able to time his Magic Missile spell after their initial onslaught and fell one of them. A second pummeling brought Mardak in to defend and heal Jadis twice. From behind Mardak, Jadis fired off 3 more Magic Missiles and took down the leader of the attack. Meanwhile, Torc and Night Shadow slew a third bugbear. Although Torc was a pillar of defense, Night Shadow was wounded in the fray. Aguilar, Dug, and Hemdar drew their weapons but did not engage with the other 8 bugbears that drew their weapons and held back as well. After 3 bugbears died, the Drow merchant leader demanded the combat to stop. He then ordered his men to surrender the offending bugbear’s head to Jadis, and it was hacked off the thrown to Jadis as a triumphant souvenir. The caravan moved onward again, and the party went their way as well, collecting 16 gps from the fallen bugbears.

In another mile, the party of 10 and a mule entered a huge cavern known as the Vault of the Drow. In this enormous space, a hazy plum colored moon eerily glowed far ahead and above them. Humans could see without any light source clearly 40 yards ahead of them and 80 yards out dimly. Dwarves, elves, and halflings with infravision could see double that distance. Human vision was limited to blacks and grays with bluish tints. Infravision was also impacted, with the color palette only consisting of black, grey, blue, purple, dull red, and an occasional green. The road continued down into the cavern between 2 grim, foreboding, steep cliff walls on either side. The road bed was strewn with crushed crystals that faintly glittered, sometimes with a bluish tinge. The gorge was filled with abnormally large lichens, crystalline growths, and fungi of all sizes, shapes, and description (shelf fungi, morels, puffballs, horsetails, and mushrooms, including yeasts, smuts, blights, rusts, and molds that grew upon them). Truly a dark fairyland was before them. If they kept following this road as Trysik told, ahead would be the black tower.

The party’s general treasure is 348,000 cps; 291,300 sps; 40,000 eps; 125,916 gps; 9,000 pps; 34,660 gps in gems (21-10gp + 43-50gp + 23-100gp + 16-500gp + 12-1,000gp + 2-5,000gp diamonds); 6 rings (8,250 gps); 5 jeweled figures (4,680 gps); 10 peridot gems (4-100 gp, 2-500 gps, and 4-1,000 gps – stitched on the ToEE Water cloak); a gold necklace (1,000 gps); a platinum ring with small ruby (2,000 gps); Dracock’s emerald jeweled dagger (5,000 gps); 7 fire beetle glands (4 days of light); 6 flasks of oil; 2 vials of holy water; 20 incense sticks (300 gps); +1 studded leather; +1 halberd; +1 hand axe; 1 cure blindness salve coated cloth; 5 potions: invisibility x 8 uses; unidentified pea green silver flecked potion; unidentified potion of pink color like Drow horsetail mushroom pendant; fearie fire spider blood (4 uses); a loadstone (worth 25 gps); silver helm with 15 blue quartz gems (250 gps); a silver amulet on a blue ribbon (30 gps); Pewter tableware (216 gps); Small golden chest (500 gps); Tapestry (80 gps); Ornamental bottle with moonstone stopper (1,000 gps); 1 wooden neck charm (poison resistance?); a manure soup recipe; 7 bronze Earth temple rings set with jet (350 gps); 2 gold Water temple rings set with peridot gems (1,500 gps); 5 ToEE black cloaks of the fiery eye, 1 ToEE black cloak of the golden skull, 1 brown cloak with 2 black triangles on it (earth temple), 2 red robes with purple lining and embroidered gold skulls (fire temple); and 1 Drow elf pink horsetail mushroom brooch. Also 2 riding horses (11, 7 hps).

Night Shadow has the following items: Leather armor +1 (gold thread on interior); +3 buckler; Boots of Elvenkind; Ring of Invisibility; poisoned needle (Zert’s chest); Darion’s dandy shoes (5 gps); Zenopus’s golden neck chain and pendant (300 gps); Zenopus’s +1 dagger; +1 longbow & 6 +3 arrows & 2 +2 fire arrows; 2 longswords; a short sword (giant’s knife); and 2 sugared fruits coated with Ichor of Intoxication.

Torc Ironwolf has the following items: +1 falchion chopper sword (1 failed weapon save); One-handed war hammer +1 (marked with silver glyphs, 1 failed weapon save); +5 small shield with 5 black fire gems; +1 small shield with wolf insignia; Ring of continual light; potions of growth & extra healing; and 2 medium warhorses (Furnok, a rare pure white stallion and excellent for breeding, 15 hps, worth 450 gps).

Mardak Chorster has the following items: Cloak of Protection (+1 AC & saving throws); +1 Ring of Protection; +2 platemail; +1 small shield with runes; 5 flasks of holy water; Scroll of Protection against undead; Cleric scroll: Death’s Door; 1 healing potion (4-10 hps); 4 ornate gold chalices with gold tray (500 gps); and the abbey’s fire opal (1,000 gps).

Jadis Varda has scroll spells of Enlarge, Sleep, Push, Levitate, Stinking Cloud, Run, and Fly; healing potion; clairvoyance potion; wand of petrification (2 charges); +3 Staff of Striking (8 charges); Staff of the Evoker (13 ch: unseen servant, armor, burning hands, magic missile, detect magic [1 ch]; invisibility, Leomund’s trap, locate object, whip, zephyr [2 ch]); +1 dagger; 2 throwing daggers; a Chime of Opening (22 charges); and a Ring of Shooting Stars. He also has a small-sized magical Cloak of Elvenkind (approx. 95% invisibly when not in combat).

Aguiler has a healing potion.

Carnage Meter (in war)
Monsters/enemies
Slain: 268 (210)
Wounded: 80
Total casualties: 348
PC’s/Friends
Slain: 14 (80)

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