Out of the Abyss

Chapter 6 Tomb of Khaem Found
The Party finds the crypt and a new member

Using the Society of Brilliance's vague directions, the Party continued spelunking for a few days, hoping the detour to the Lost Tomb of Khaem wouldn't take them too far away from their eventual goal of Bringdenstone. During this travel, Gilligan bid goodbye to the group, claiming that he'd prefer to strike it alone from here on out.

The escaped slaves eventually did find the tomb; a solo outcropping of strange stone below a vaulted chasm. Far, far above, eagle-eyed members claimed they could see stars penetrating a distant fissure, giving hope that the surface will eventually be found for the surface dwellers. But for now, the verdigris-and-marble entrance beckoned their investigation.

Before they entered though, they ran into another lost soul, a Celestial named ___. While his masked visage made him immediately untrustworthy, it became apparent he had the same interest in investigating the Tomb, for he was plagued by psychic cries for help. Begrudgingly, the Party accepted his help.

The Tomb itself proved to be a modest in stature in size, but grandiose in art and architecture. Mosaics scenes of floating islands, script describing Nethernese culture, and decaying tapestries filled in the life that once was Brysis Khaem.

In one chamber, the Party thought they found the sarchophagus of Khaem herself, but the stone coffin proved to be a trap. In another chamber, the buried remains of Khaem's servents attacked the Party when they were disturbed. Jimjar fell from the resulting battle, and his soul was torn away from him, dragged into the floor. Reading this as a clue to secret chamber's below, the celestial found a secret passage under one of the coffins; the true resting place of Brysis Khaem.

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Chapter 5 Blingdenstone Bound
The Party make landfall from Darklake

The Party narrowly escaped Leemoogoogoon's attack on Sloobludop. Equipped with kuo-toa keelboats, the Party opted to make landfall as soon as possible.  While direct aquatic travel through the Darklake would be a faster means for their current destination of the deep gnome city of Blingdenstone, navigating Darklake sounded too perilous without an actual local guide. With Sloobludop behind them and firm land under their feet once more, the Party made their way though the 'Dark.

While the tunnels and caves continued to have their own dangers, the Party has learned to adapt against their subterranean foes. Over a week of travel, the Party efficiently dispatched a pack of drow traders, a few ochre slimes, and deftly avoided the dangerous terrain. In fact, they were even able to help a fellow dwarf slave who had escaped Mensoberranzan and was just about to poison himself on poisonous yellow mushrooms. Whlie he was hedding a completely different direction, the dwarf did spark hope in Balthier, when the dwarf vaguely confirmed a human boy was held in enslavement within the drow capital.

At one point in their travel, however, the Party ran into the full Society of Brilliance, who seemed to be waiting for them on a massive bone pile. Grazilaxx explained they had stationed themselves to defend the escaped slaves from their Velkynvelve pursuers, however their hunters never came. Irritated by wasting time on a wild goose chase, the Society meant to collect a debt.

Thankfully, the Society was quickly placated when the Party offered to return the favor for them. To even the scales, Grazilaxx explained a lost tomb of a bygone ruler is stirring up trouble in the area, and while the Society could purge the location themselves, having the Party take care of it instead would be a much more efficient use of time and resources. If the Party returns with proof of the completed quest at Entemoch's Boon, they will consider the score even once more.

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Chapter 4 Sloobludop's Civil War
The Party find a new threat in Darklake

The Party finally made it to an edge of the Darklake, hopeful to find some respite in the kuo-toa settlement. While it is well known the fishfolk and the Party share a common drow enemy, a kuo-toa ranging party immediately attacked them before they could reach the Sloobludop gates. After Ront, Topsy, and Turvy were captured, a second kuo-toa faction intervened and struck a bargain with the outsiders; pose as captured slaves, and their leader will give them a great reward (possibly a guide through the Darklake and their final destination, Bridgenstone.

The ruse seemed to be working, until the resulting confrontation between kuo-toa priests summoned a kaiju-like monster from the 'Lake. As all the kuo-toa praised the coming of "Leemoogoogoon!," the Party tried to make a hasty retreat on rickety boats, gambling survival in the waterways instead of witnessing what the two-headed creature would wrought on the settlement.

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Chapter 3 Escape to Darklake (part 2)
The Party finally arrive to the Darklake

The second half of the retreat from Velkynvelve proved to be far smoother than the previous days of travel. By pushing their speed the last few days, the party was able to make it to Sloobludop within a week's time.

The most notable bump in the road was when the party was crossing a rope bridge. When only half the group was across, a swarm of fire beetles rose from the glowing depths, right when a sizeable cluster of quaggoth spore servants accosted the lead half of the party. While the beetles proved to be easy to dispatch, the quaggoths proved to be a legitimate threat.

However, Stool saved the day. Identifying the quaggoths as corpses animated by myconid spores, he exerted his own will via rapport spores over the creatures, rendering them inanimate. With the physical threat disabled, the group was able to pass through unharassed.

Now, it is close to "night," and the party is at the entrance of the Kuo Toa settlement. What awaits? Time will tell…

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Chapter 2 Escape to Darklake (part 1)
The Party seek solace in Darklake

With Velkynvelve still fresh on the minds of all the escaped slaves, the party elect to make their way to Darklake as quickly as possible. Before they got far, though, they were approached by Prince Derendil and Sarith Kzekarit, who both wanted to join their team seperately. Preferring the quaggoth over a drow, Derendil joined the team.

The party has been traveling for four days now. The first two were at a fast pace, but Balthier had time to try covering their tracks. The need for foraging has been completely removed by the use of goodberry, which has simplified the arduous travel.

However, it hasn't been completely without danger. The party avoided a fairly larger duergar trader envoy one night, but nearly got ambushed by a rocktopus in one large cavern and a carrion crawler during camp. While deftly navigating a labyrinthine network of volcanic steam tubes, the party met a member of the Society of Brilliance for the first time. While Grazilaxx was originally off putting, the party was able to parley with the strangely pleasant mind flayer, and even convinced him to possibly hold off the Velkynvelve search party.

While it may seem it has been slow going, the party has made massive distance towards their goal of Darklake. 28 miles down, 20 miles to go!

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Chapter 1 Prisoners of the Drow
The Party escapes Velkynvelve

We start in a stuffy slave cell within the drow outpost of Velkynvelve. Deep underneath the surface of the suntouched surface, little light nor hope can reach the clutch of Priestess Ilvara's section of the Underdark.

The cell contains a motley arrangement of surface species and Underdark races, and the occupancy is only growing. Several svirfneblin, some humans, and other Underdark and surface natives comprise the holding pen. After days, if not weeks, of slavework (ranging from menial, repetitive labor to cruel, backbreaking work rewarded with poor food and incomplete rest periods) around the outpost, the slaves begin to craft an escape plan. A few smuggled spikes from the armory here, a stolen jewel there, the slaves begin amassing the resources to mount a resistance.

However, their activities must not have gone unnoticed. Jorlan, one of the more common drow guards of the pen, offers them escape, for he has something to gain if Velkynvelve becomes an embarrassment. Fully willing, the plan is set in motion the following night.

With the door left unlocked and a demonic distraction made, the drow completely ignore the slaves while they repel an attack of chasme and vrock. The slaves raid the armory (downing three lingering drow) and Priestess Ilvara's vacant quarters, retrieving weapons and their own possessions when they were captured.

The escape isn't without casualties. Gilligan is mortally wounded, but is saved by the sacrifice made by Eldeth.

Once the small band of escapees winch themselves down to the cavern floor, they repulse the attack of the final mortally wounded vrock and beat feet towards the direction of Darklake.

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