Underdark Campaign Log #17

This post has been a long time coming. I've actually been a few weeks behind on posting campaign logs, so this week I'll be posting two in order to get caught back up.

More of Jake's artwork here.
  • Blue, Human Fighter (Jake) 
  • Rurik, Dwarf Barbarian (Stetson) 
  • Mercy, Half-Orc Ranger (Jammie)
  • Temerith, Tiefling Wizard (Andrew)
  • Himo, Drow Fighter/Cleric (James)
  • Rasa, Nagaji Cleric (Rurik's Cohort)
  • Beltin, Aasimar Summoner (Temerith's Cohort)

When last we left off, our heroes were in Mantol-Derith, their guide and business partner assassinated, looking for a way back to the surface. After talking to all of the factions in the trade post, they determined that they had several options:
  • Try to retrace their steps on Hadrogh's secret trade route without Hadrogh.
  • Take the ogres' route back to Skullport, then Waterdeep, and then travel on the surface back to Daggerdale.
  • Travel to Menzoberranzan and hope to make it to one of the earth nodes there. Unfortunately, all of the ones there are claimed by powerful noble houses. 
  • Visit the steel sage, a human mage who has recently come to this region of the Underdark and has been trading with passing caravans. Rumors suggested that she might have arrived through an earth node.
Naturally, they chose to investigate the steel sage, as it was the closest option. They got directions, and left to find the steel sage. On their way, a dark naga and its bone golem ambushed them, hoping to steal the snake flute

When they finally arrived, they found a human woman who seemed to recognize Blue. In fact, she spoke of knowing his grandfather when he was young. Despite her youthful appearance, Blue remembered hearing tales of a beautiful blonde who visited the family when his father was but a child. According to the story, his grandmother did not appreciate the visit, so it seemed to hold at least some truth, and none of our heroes could detect any hint of treachery in her tone or demeanor.

The steel sage went on to reveal that she did arrive through an earth node, and she waved away an illusionary cavern wall that concealed its presence. She allowed the group to stay the night, and assured them that the place was safe. As they talked, she shared with the heroes why she was there and some of what she had learned thus far.
  • There is a prophecy among the drow, that Lolth will steal the power of Lathander and blot out the sun long enough for the drow to conquer the surface world. This prophecy is called many different names, the most common of which are the Darkening and the Shadow's Apex.
  • The steel sage is from the Coldlands, and came to this region to investigate drow plans when their numbers and activity increased drastically over the last few months. She believed they were coming from here, but she now believes that they were not. The drow in the Coldlands believe the prophecy will soon come to pass, but most drow in this region do not.
  • Most who have studied the prophecy believe that it will not be fulfilled for at least a century, but the drow of Maerimydra, a drow city below the Dalelands, believe they can help usher it in earlier. The drow of Menzoberranzan are curious, but aren't convinced that it is possible yet.
  • When the group asked her about the snake flute, she seemed horrified that they had it. She explained that the flute was the only way to open a magically sealed chest that was believed to contain an orb that would allow its owner to control dragons. She begged them to leave the flute with her so that she could destroy it, and while there was some argument among the heroes about whether or not to do so, Blue gave it to her while the rest of the group slept.
The next morning, the heroes touched the earth node and traveled to the Coldlands, emerging in a frozen cave infested with ice trolls. They defeated the trolls quickly, and Himo even raised three of the creatures as hulking skeletal servants. 

The group then navigated their way through the cavern to the outdoors, where they saw an open plain of snow stretching before them as far as they could see. A few evergreens dotted the landscape, but otherwise the only thing breaking the horizon line was a small hut a few hundred feet ahead of them. A trio of frost drakes circled overhead like vultures, and as the group walked out onto the plain, they swooped in to attack.

Two of the three fell to the might of the heroes, and the last managed to flee into the skies. Seemingly alone, they started walking toward the hut. 
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