Out of the Abyss

Welcome to Gracklstugh

The long journey on the Darklake is over, for now. The party has arrived in Gracklstugh, greeted by the warmth, smell, and smoke of its forges. Finding a small outcropping as a makeshift dock, the group quietly docks their boats. Greeting them was a group of Stone Guards. One of them stepped forward as the party thought he may be a harbormaster or someone looking for docking fees. He was, but in the form of a bribe. He asked for way too much, then all of a sudden, seemingly forgot what he was talking about and just turned around and left. Hmm… strange.

The NPCs stayed with the boats, some of them because they didn’t want to travel in the city and others out of responsibility. The PCs began their shopping trip, making their way to the Blade Bazaar. As they were nearly done, something large came crashing through a gate: a stone giant with a second head. Not like an ettin, where it seems like it’s meant to have two heads. This was more like an extra head off one shoulder. The PCs took down the giant and killed it. Soon after, some Stone Guards showed up and started asking questions. Another stone giant appeared, this time with a single head, asking what happened. The PCs explained that they had to put him down, then the Stone Guard “invited” the PCs for questioning.

The Stone Guard took the PCs to Overlake Hold, put them in an room and locked the door. They were in there for a few hours before Captain Errde Blackskull showed up to give them an offer they couldn’t refuse: track down a derro named Droki, find out what he is doing, who he is talking to, where he goes, and if the opportunity presents itself, capture him alive. The Captain gives the party some badges that should allow them to move more freely through Gracklstugh, maybe even into parts that that are normally off limits to outsiders. The Captain tells the PCs that Droki is usually spotted in the Blade Bazaar and chased to the West Cleft District, which is off limits to duergar such as herself and her Stone Guards.

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Nightmare on the Darklake
Is this a Dallas moment?

The party had been traveling for 4 days in circles. They’re lost. They should have found Gracklstugh by now. There’s also this thick fog that makes navigation difficult. They start bickering. The boat repair begins to fail when the boats go down some minor rapids and the end up beached on an island. A bit of a blessing in disguise since it will make repairing the boat easier.

The group makes repairs to the boat and camps for the night. During the night, a group of duergar come from the far side of the island and it looks to be the same group of duergar they met a few days ago on the empty ship. They reveal that they have brought Ilvara Mizzrym with them who wishes to recapture the party. She begins by thanking “her” for helping out. A traitor! Ilvara asks the traitor to step forward to claim her promise of delivering her to the surface. Eldeth Feldrun takes a few steps forward and then all hell breaks loose.

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An Empty Ship

Traveling in a medium-sized cavern with high ceilings, the party hears a crash and splash ahead. Then a second one. Two umber hulks were burrowing overhead when they fell into the cavern and begin attacking the party. The party killed one and the second one fled.

The party came across a whirlpool about 50 feet across. They had to power through, with good navigation in order to get both keelboats past it to the locks on the other side.

In the huge cavern below the whirlpool the party came across a large ship, seemingly empty. Turns out it was a duergar ship with some drow passengers. The groups parted ways after a tense standoff.

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A voice is calling

Starting with Gerald, the party begins hearing a female voice call out to them.

Hello? Is someone there … ? Oh please, I need your help! I have been trapped in the dark for so long … so very long. Please, won’t you help to free me?

The voice is accompanied by an impression of the direction and distance to the voice. May only be a two or three hour journey away. The PCs take one of the boats to investigate the voice.

TODO – finish first part of story to the lost tomb

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Defeating Murk
we could live here

The party decided to take on the four animated armor in the hallway storage closet and perhaps turn them into functional armor. They were able to salvage two of them, making some nice armor for Harbeck and <someone>.

The party also went back upstairs to check the four corner towers for more weapons and supplies.

Something about the helmed horrors.

Finally, the party decided to take on Murk after much debate. They found a secret passage leading down below the second level to a cave at water level. What looked like a pond was actually connected to the lake outside, and Murk was waiting. A few kobolds were also down here.

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Duergar fort part 2

The party took some time after the battle in the hall to take stock in what happened once the fight was over:

The party, wiped out from the fight, took a long rest in the hall and keeping an eye on the two sets of stairs. The next morning, they went downstairs to find:

  • two of Hemeth‘s former business partners’ bodies were stashed in the WC
  • a hallway closet with animated armor guarding the storage room
  • eight more kobolds took defensive positions in their barracks
  • a carrion crawler locked in the kitchen
  • a pair of helmed horrors guarding the brig with two fresh(ish) bodies: a kuo-toa and a drow
  • a sculpture of Tiamat that didn’t take kindly to being picked up, spraying acid, cold, fire, lightning, and poison at Leona
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R.I.P. Sloobludop
or how the party arrived and left Sloobludop

The party encounter another group of kuo-toa, this time they aren’t looking to pick a fight. Ploopploopeen is glad to run into the party because he needs some help. Inhabitants of Sloobludop have lived in harmonious service to the will of the Sea Mother for some time. There were occasional “visionaries” who stirred up trouble, like Shuushar the Awakened, but nothing of great concern. A few weeks ago, Bloppblippodd experienced a powerful vision of Leemooggoogon the Deep Father, proclaiming him the new god of her people. She has backed up her claims with a great increase in her magical power, and new followers have flocked to her.

TODO – finish story of the destruction of Sloobludop

sloobludop-cartoon.jpg

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Traveling to Sloobludop part 2

The party come across a pair of drow who do not speak. They seem to comprehend the party, but something is preventing them from speaking. The party asks Stool to “juice it up” in order to communicate telepathically, but instead, everyone just hears mad screams. The screaming is too much for poor Stool who falls unconscious.

Ilvara Mizzrym and her crew of drow catch up to the party, attempt to recapture them but are thwarted by a lava swell.

Later, the party encounter a carrion crawler who takes a few party members down with it when a sinkhole opens up.

Finally, the party gets close to Sloobludop and is met by a party of kuo-toa. A strange stand-off at first, but then they try to capture the party, nearly running off with Stool before being beaten back and running the last few off.

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