Mischievousness abound last session when we jumped right in as soon as we all made it to the meeting place. Thinking fast, the party actually managed to semi-avoid detection by huddling together and disguising themselves as rocks from a cave in. How? Serenity cast Minor Illusion around them as the soldier who had discovered them climbed a rope up to the tunnel. He almost saw through the ruse, but then Viara charmed him, ordering him to tell the captain that a cave in had caused the wood barrier to fall.
Doubting this greatly, the captain followed the soldier up into tunnel. Hoping to distract the captain from the situation, Serenity used prestidigitation to strip the soldier of his clothes. Unsurprisingly, the captain grew angry and confused with the soldier, who was still charmed and kept insisting that it had been a cave in. Melon took care of this by implanting a hallucination of a beautiful rock nymph in the mind of the captain. The captain dismissed the soldier, who climbed back down into the camp. Then the captain continued his conversation with the rock nymph, voiced by Melon, who seduced him into giving them some information about the rebel encampment and how to find their way out. The nymph promised to meet him later, and the captain descended.
Without many other options, and not wanting to cross the camp, the characters backtracked through the dungeon, this time discovering a secret passageway that they had missed earlier. This led them into a humming tunnel, which in turn deposited them into a deserted Drow city. Carric warned the party that any Drow city is dangerous, even an abandoned one. But before anything could be done, an old Elf poked his head out from one of the many stalagmites. Amazed that anyone had found their way to him, he questioned them on their purpose in the Underdark. The characters discovered that the man’s name was Deliak and that he had been banished from the nation of Skiesdale for some 75 years to wander the Underdark searching for the Artifact.
The group then showed Deliak the charm they’d discovered in the mural room, and he told them that it was blessed as a weapon against the Chaos. He asked if the Shaman had sent them, but when hearing that they had not yet gone to her, he requested that if they ever travelled to Neddwan, they would ask her to set him free from his wandering.
The party decided to explore the city, put at ease by Deliak’s words and the emptiness of the cavern. Amber wandered into old residences, finding little more than dust, but Viara had more luck, stumbling upon an old eyeglass. Serenity took an old weathered cloak, but Carric found himself in a large building filled with bones. He knew instantly that this had been where the Drow slaves had been abandoned when the Drow fled the city. However, Carric did find a gold ring with gnomish scribe on the finger of a skeleton hand. Meanwhile, Melon wandered off from Carric’s side and pocketed three ancient health potions.
The party continued on, crossing the city to another tunnel. As they moved through, some of the party began hearing the voices of taunting spirits who had been tormenting poor Deliak for years. They then came upon a long chamber with a door so far away that it seemed tiny. They moved through one by one, becoming immediately separated and unable to reach each other. But Amber, focusing on her feet, realized that if they were looking on their target location, they could never make it there. But if they walked with their eyes closed, they could reach the end. Once on the other side, the spirits teased them, promising they were just playing harmless games, and granted them an exit back to the surface.
Relieved to be back, the party soon realized that their horses had been stolen. They split up to hunt them down, finding all but one of the horses they had borrowed from the Renauls. Meanwhile, Viara stopped by a shop to have someone look at the eyeglass she’d found, and when entering the shop, a gnome greeted her. Seizing the opportunity, she asked the shop assistant to read the script on her robe. She dropped off her eyeglass and then joined the others. Now, the party weighed with information about the rebellion, they immediately set off to report to Commander Delia what they learned. She thanked them greatly and understood that the information they gathered, although scarce, was valuable. About an hour later, on their way to the Renaul house, Viara stopped by the shop again, this time requesting that the shop assistant read her ring. She picked up the eyeglass and Serenity dropped off some of her own things for personalization. The shop assistant also promised Amber that there need not be any bad blood between them.
The group then went to the Renaul house to pick up Derek, arriving right before 7pm. But then, as the bell struck the hour, a great earthquake began. Laura, moving quickly, saved Paul Juan from being crushed by the rocks, but not without getting hurt herself. The party gathered up Paul and Laura and found Renaul taking cover in his study. He showed them to a shelter underground, and Carric sent Derek out to collect servants and guide them back. He reported to Carric that a mob of people was headed their way.
As the earthquake continued, Amber, Melon, and Serenity picked their way up to the roof to investigate what was happening beyond the estate. They saw smoke and a group of about 30 rebels and civilians headed toward them, lead by a single human man. Amber and Serenity went back to the shelter to warn the others while Melon kept watch. They then tried to escape in their cart with the Renaul family along with as many servants as possible, but a section of the rebels caught up to them, attacking the party. The group quickly dispatched one of the more trained men and several rebelling commoners, and Carrick gave his two daggers to two servants, who joined in the fight.
But then the rebellion leader stopped attacking, shouting above the mayhem to ask directly for Renaul. Amber demanded to know if he had caused the earthquake, to which he scoffed and told them no, but he was willing to use it for his gain.
The party now has a choice. Do they hand over Renaul and leave peacefully with his servants and family, or do they fight to defend him against forces they know little about? We’re meeting again tonight right before Thanksgiving break, so we’ll know soon enough.