City of Splendors

Episode VIII Recap

Ashes to Ashes

Standing over the ashes of their slain foe, the vampiric dwarven cult leader Drexlyn, the party debated how best to continue their journey into Belkram’s Fall. Aystra recalled the promise made to the bizarre Myconid people, to rid their domain of these evil intruders, and suggested they return to the mushroom caves to report the news. Needing rest badly, her colleagues were none too eager to follow along. By employing the arcane device salvaged from the body of the cult’s cleric, the group was able to easily navigate the twisted structure and its reanimated bridges.

Upon returning to the Myconid lair, the tribe’s cool hospitality seemed not to be roused by the party’s victories. The elder was reluctant to allow the interlopers to impose upon their domain, but, acknowledging that they had done a service for the Myconid by defeating the cultists, he offered the party respite — albeit in the exotic traditions of their peoples.
Despite their most humble efforts to negotiate with the Myconid respectfully, the seemingly macabre offering of live Myconid larvae to recharge the party was too much for them to handle. Betrayed by their own weak stomachs, their involuntary reaction to the ritual ensured that they would never be welcome in the Myconid lair again.

Nonetheless, the party soldiered onward, repairing the broken lift and making their way to the next level of Belkram’s Fall, whereupon they discovered the ruins of the ancient dwarven Citadel. Carnage and destruction was all that could be found among the ashes, with little more than rubble and charred corpses to be uncovered. But in the party’s most desperate moment, Aystra’s piety seemed to be rewarded, when a lone patch of un-scorched land finally gave them the peaceful rest they so badly wished for.

Realizing that their quest could only continue by navigating through the ruins, they continued their journey, uncovering a few choice artifacts that had survived the destruction. Among these, Harvard found an ancient tome of wisdom that detailed the early history of the Melkairyn dwarves and their conflict with their eventual Drow conquerors. Before long, though, the party was ambushed by the unholy scavengers lurking in the shadows of the ruins — a telling sign that no corner of Undermountain ever truly sleeps.

As they came within sight of the Citadel’s exit, the group was confronted by Zhallandra and Xanderdross Valenz, the Drow siblings they had met in Spiderhaven. Demanding the return of their people’s artifacts, Zhallandra showed little patience for the party’s resilience, and attacked them on sight. The duo was defeated after a hard-fought battle, and the party began their final descent into the lowest reaches of the lava tube, nearing Belkram’s Tomb itself…

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