Gary Gygax Tribute Campaign

Session 52 (Vault of the Drow, part 4)

Played on 10-23-20

Halfling wizard Jadis Varda awoke with a start as his back was deeply scratched by the whore he was sleeping with. The woman he had lain with transformed into a succubus with fangs, tiny horns, and bat wings. She appeared to be in a state of sexual ecstasy. She voiced that although Jadis was small in stature, he could resist her dark power and he was destined for greatness. As if she read his mind while dreaming, she knew who he looking for, Lareth the Beautiful. On the condition that he agree to do her bidding when summoned, the succubus, Ladrizel, imparted the following information. Lareth had been a repeat customer at this brothel, last visiting only 2 weeks ago, and even had known her once. She knew Lareth’s plans, and he stayed at the noble clan of Everhate’s 3-story guest house not far from the brothel.

Ladrizel gave a history of the Drow noble clans and their dealings with the Temple of Elemental Evil (ToEE). Twelve years ago, the Drow noble clan Eilservs allied with the ToEE and began to worship a god other than Lolth, known as the Elder Elemental God. Clan Eilservs recruited Drow noble clans Tormtor and Noquar to join them in their planned conquest of the Gygaxlands with the ToEE. However, after the ToEE was defeated, only clan Noquar was interested in continuing the fight. Noquar has since gotten Drow clan Everhate to join with them in their plan of conquest of the surface world. Lareth hopes to gain something from clan Noquar that will aid the ToEE in their resurgence, but that something was unknown to Ladrizel. The Drow noble estates lie across the river known as the Pitchy Flow immediately west of the city wall. Only one bridge crosses the rapid running Pitchy Flow, and it is guarded by female Drow warriors. Only those that present a noble clan brooch and state their business are permitted to cross the bridge to the noble estates.

Aguiler and Jadis rejoined Mardak, Torc, and Night Shadow at the tavern and they shared information. The party felt danger all around them, and wanted to find Lareth and be done with their mission. This wicked, decadent city was home to all the dregs of Drow elf society, and the better Drow elves only came here for their evil pleasure. The “Wild West” town lacked much order of any sort. Leaving the tavern, they went a quarter mile further up the crazy twisting main street to the 3-story black stone guest house of clan Everhate marked with the clan’s device of 2 crossed silver daggers. The 3 floors were irregular and set back. The front facade only had 1 great door and 3 narrow windows on the first floor. Peering into the windows, a wide entrance hall with shadowy murals could be seen. A short side alley only led to wooden stable doors. Because the adjacent 2 story buildings were flush against Everhate’s guest house, the party decided to go around the block to locate a back alley. Finding a back alley, they were only pestered by a Drow beggar with a thrice broken nose as they went around the back of Everhate’s guest house. From the rear, they could see a light from a window on the third floor. There was also a back door flanked by 2 narrow windows on either side. Peering through the windows, the party could see a long hall running behind the outer wall. They also could see 2 doors in the hall that had light shining beneath them. The party decided to use stealth to investigate inside while Mardak and Torc guarded the back alley.

Night Shadow picked the lock and entered in with Aguiler and Jadis. They were quiet and invisible with Night Shadow using his Invisibility Ring and Boots of Elvenkind; Aguiler invisible with Jadis’s spell and quiet as an elf thief can be; and Jadis invisible in his Cloak of Elvenkind and quiet as a halfling can creep. They found 3 sleeping female Drow warriors in 1 room and 3 more female Drow warriors relaxing in the kitchen. Without alerting them, the party moved to the front entry hall to seek the stairs up. Off the front hall, Jadis found a mundane side storage room and the dining hall. Night Shadow and Aguiler entered the great hall from the front entry hall and were nearly detected by the Drow guards from the kitchen doing their nightly rounds as Aguiler closed the door behind him. A female Drow warrior opened the door to the great hall that Aguiler and Night Shadow entered through, but seeing no one, closed it and went on. Jadis met up with Aguiler and Night Shadow In the great hall through a door from the dining hall. The great hall was 3 stories tall with 3 long sky lights in the ceiling. A grand stairway across the room led to landings with doors to the second and third floors.

Singular in purpose, the group climbed the stairs directly up to the third floor. The third floor door opened up to a hall that went around in a C-shape with several doors to the right and at the end. Only the farthest door on the right had a light coming from beneath it. Stealthily entering, the party entered a bedroom with a human woman curled up asleep in a comfy chair near a small coal burning fireplace. With a knife to her throat, the woman did not resist when awakened. She identified herself as Jerisha and told the party that Lareth had left 7 to 10 days ago to the estate of clan Noquar across the Pitchy Flow. She also told them that her man, Statinstor, was in the study on the first floor, and they could make a deal with him for her life. The party tied and gagged her, but left her behind. They moved on after one of the whistling Drow guards patrolled down the hall and left, presumably back to the kitchen.

Aguiler led the group back down to the first floor. Outside the lit room they did not investigate before, Aguiler and Night Shadow listened, but could hear nothing. Jadis opened the door next to it and found 3 sleeping slaves/servants (a half-elf, hobgoblin, and a human). They sleepily aroused when the door was opened, but quickly fell back to sleep again when the door closed. As the invisible party waited outside the study door, they heard Statinstor exclaim, “Damn!” and slam a book on a table. They then overheard a magical conversation between Statinstor and Lareth in a coded language that sounded like CB radio slang. The party could gather that Lareth was speaking remotely from the estate manor of Noquar. Lareth stated that he expected that the deal with the Noquar would be done soon, and Statinstor stated that the “Smokeys” had not shown up in “Spider City” yet.

After the conversation ended, Statinstor exited the door of the study, and the invisible Aguiler pounced with deadly precision, skewering Statinstor through his heart from behind in one thrust. Statinstor could only manage a throaty gurgle of a failed spell before his untimely death. The party dragged him back into the study and began looting. They found 3 atrociously evil books on a central study table, including the following titles: Book of Vile Darkness, Necromonicron of Mad Alhazarid; and a Manual of Delightful Atrocities. Laying next to these books was a brick-shaped wooden box with a metal cone above a round dimpled metal plate on the top side of the box and a switch on right side of the box. On a side table was a tall rune stoppered bottle with an ashy liquid sloshing continuously in it. Leaning against the wall was a magic +1 triangular small shield. The party took all these items, including the 3 books by Mardak for later destruction. On Statinstor himself they recovered magical Bracers of Defense (AC 5); a +2 footman’s mace that sparkled between the flanges; a pouch with 4-50 gp gems, 30 gps, and 10 sps; and a brooch of the noble clan Everhate. Last, Aguiler sliced off Statinstor’s head and dropped it in a wineskin filled with pure alcohol to pickle it, secured it tight, and carried it with him.

After looting, the party decided not to try to locate Rannos Davl and obtain the stolen ruby studded chalice from the lesser temple of Lolth. Instead, they carefully made their way out the back door, met with Mardak and Torc, and fled back to reunite with the rest of the group at the stable near the city’s front gate. Mardak insisted in washing each vile book recovered from Statinstor with a cloth soaked in holy water before burning them in the alley. The burning books erupted in thick black smoke and spread an awful stench before they were reduced to ashes. However, smoke and foul stenches were not uncommon in Erelhei-Cinlu, and other than attracting a curious troll or troglodyte, it caused no attention. The party rested 6 hours until the next morning, July 8.

The party’s general treasure is 348,000 cps; 291,310 sps; 40,000 eps; 125,940 gps; 8,985 pps; 34,660 gps in gems (21-10gp + 47-50gp + 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; 20 incense sticks (300 gps); +1 studded leather; +1 triangular small shield; +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); 1 Drow elf pink horsetail mushroom brooch; and 1 Drow brooch of the Everhate noble clan. 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: footman’s mace + 2; Cloak of Protection (+1 AC & saving throws); +1 Ring of Protection; +2 platemail; +1 small shield with runes; 4 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 Bracers of Defense (AC 5); Healing potion; Bottle with ashy liquid sloshing in it; Brick-shaped wood & metal magical box; and Statinstor’s pickled head.

Carnage Meter (in war)
Monsters/enemies
Slain: 269 (210)
Wounded: 80
Total casualties: 349
PC’s/Friends
Slain: 14 (80)

Comments

“Vault of the Drow” by Gary Gygax is a sandbox adventure that lacks a lot of detail. In this part of the adventure, I used the mansion from Lankhmar City of Adventure, “The Karvian Elephant” adventure (Nesmith/Niles/Rolston 1985).

 

The campaign ended here, partly caused by issues gathering caused by the ongoing pandemic. The players were also ready for a new game, which Gygax’s Vault of the Drow did not cure. Although I thought it would be a refreshing change, the new setting did not appeal to the players. It was quite a change of scenery from the earlier campaign and much more dangerous, and the players were adverse to risking their high level characters at this time. So perhaps the best stopping point would have been after session 47, but we did not have another game world ready to play in, so I introduced them to Gygax’s Vault of the Drow.

KuboTwo

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