City of Splendors

Episode XIV Recap

Balance of Power

Ambushed a second time by the reticent spirit Fidelio, the party was teleported to an underground glade, populated by strange foliage, a trio of ogres, and a reclusive hag. Fidelio had tasked them with retrieving the hag’s cauldron, but his motives remained unknown. Exercising trademark stealth, Laire attempted to sneak attack the beasts, only to trigger an all-out brawl.

In the chaos, the hag cast a spell, filling the room with a cloud of fog, concealing herself, her cauldron, and her ogre guardian. While Havard and Vyruek wrestled with two of the creatures, Aystra ventured into the fog, attempting to locate the hag before she could conjure another trick. Although the ogres were vanquished, the massive hag managed to wrestle Laire and take him hostage, bargaining his life for her escape, while offering her cauldron as collateral. The party cautiously agreed, and after a quick sweep of the area, made off with the cauldron — which Fidelio quickly commandeered before teleporting them back to the Drow Compound.

With the prisoner manifest in hand, the party proceeded to the far end of the compound, where they discovered an underground mushroom farm, tended by groups of imprisoned slaves. Amongst a group of goblins, they met a lone human named Edgar, who graciously offered to join their cause in exchange for his freedom. No sooner had Laire attempted to pick the locks of Edgar’s shackles than they were ambushed by a quartet of Drow guards. As Laire and Edgar struggled to break the chains, the rest of the group rushed forth to fight the guards, who were using a group of human prisoners as shields.

Managing to knock the guards unconscious, Havard discovered that the missing Brother Barjin was amongst the group of captives, otherwise composed of Malvar’s missing expedition. The party freed the prisoners and escorted them back to the guards’ quarters to retrieve theirs — and Edgar’s — gear. Norros Arroway, the group’s leader, explained that they had been sent on a mission to cull the ever-growing Drow threat, and that this compound served as a vital hub in the dark elves’ underground network. Though great in numbers, the morale of the zealous Drow relies heavily on the leadership of their high priestesses, and eliminating the High Priestess Luk’Tharin would deal a massive blow to their operations in Undermountain. With Barjin and the expedition safe, the party knew this would be their best chance to uncover more about their mysterious foe and gain a taste of vengeance for the murder of their dear friend Gyudd…

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