Dungeons & Dragons: Out of the Abyss

This is a recounting of my D&D campaign. It will spoil Out of the Abyss, by Wizards of the Coast.

We’ve played four sessions; this report covers two. This is an Underdark campaign with four, sometimes five, players and the Dungeon Master. I’ll refer to players by their characters’ names for anonymity’s sake.

Zular is a human paladin of Torm.

Kepesk is a lizard-man druid of spores.

Xarion (Ex-ZAR-ee-yon) is a human warlock. He has an evil sword named the Seven Blasphemous Deaths that talks to him. He’s Zular’s troubled brother.

Fladnag is an older human wizard.

Mirilar is a drow ranger. The DM plays him when he can’t make it.

We’ve all been abducted by drow, evil elves who live in the Underdark. We’re in a cell hollowed out of a giant stalactite with a menagerie of fellow prisoners. There’s a gruff, dim orc called Ront, a dwarven woman, Eldeth, gnomes named Topsy and Turvy, a grim Underdark dwarf named Buppido, Jimjar the betting gnome, Shuushar, a fish-man pacifist meditating away, Derendil, a cat-person who claims to be an elven prince transmuted by his nemesis, and Stool, a mushroom-man child whose spores enable us to talk to each other.

Velkynvelve
Art from Out of the Abyss, copyright Wizards of the Coast. Artist unclear. Via http://www.epicwords.com/escape/

Some of us have managed to secret away minor items that might help us. Xarion, Kepesk and Fladnag all roll rusty iron rods. Fladnag proceeds to lick his like a popsicle.

Kepesk howls for the guards. When a pair enters and approaches, we dogpile them. Alas, our hands are manacled, so we attack with disadvantage with our improvised weapons. One of the drow shoots Kepesk in the face with a hand crossbow, knocking him out (ah, D&D). Bloodied, we bludgeon the drow down and take their weapons. More guards appear outside the cell, drow and their quaggoth (cat-man) hatchet-men. Drow poison floods our veins from doused crossbow bolts and we all fall asleep.

The drow priestess Ilvara is displeased and whips us. Then she assigns us tasks for the coming day. Xarion, Mirilar and Ront are to fetch water. Zular and Kepesk are to amuse the guards. Fladnag is to dance for Lady Ilvara.

Xarion uses minor magic to distract the guards by the waterfall, then his group tries to shove them over the precipice. The quaggoths are fur mountains, but one or two fall and Xarion books it.

Zular and Kepesk provoke each other. When Zular grabs a battleaxe from the armoury racks, the drow raise their weapons, but he explains that they wanted amusement and fighting Kepesk will provide it. The drow allow him to proceed – he brings the axe down on Kepesk’s manacles, proffered to block. Now the drow cast faerie fire in turns to illuminate their revolting prisoners, and one looses a crossbow bolt. Just then a boom and roar draws the greater part of them off.

In Lady Ilvara’s quarters (down a floor by rope ladder in a third stalactite), Fladnag congratulates the drow overseer on her perspicacity in finally elevating him to his rightful position as court wizard. An amused Ilvara instructs the wizard to demonstrate a spell. For that, he says, he will require his spellbook and crystal. She bids her lieutenant provide them from a locked chest by her bed.

“What kind of spell would you have me cast, mistress?” Fladnag inquires.

“Cast for me an illusion,” Ilvara commands.

Fladnag knows but one illusion. He flexes his fingers toward her lieutenant, Shoor, and blinds him with strobes of colour. He grasps his sword, but Ilvara chuckles and bids him stay himself.

“Cast for me a divination,” Ilvara says as Shoor blinks away his tears.

Fladnag knows but one divination. “For that, my lady,” he says, “we will require a magical item of unknown properties.”

From her chest she draws a thin, crystalline wand.

Fladnag places it on the floor and draws about it an arcane circle. He capers around it, incanting.

“Hurry up, mage. You’re boring me,” Ilvara chides.

Fladnag stoops and retrieves the wand. “This, my lady,” he says, eyes all white, “is an artifact of immense power and sublime properties, knit by eldritch tendrils to the planes of Chaos. It is a Wand of Wonder!

“I propose that we test its puissance immediately!”

“Very well, mage; you have amused me thus far. But I warn you, any betrayal and you shall live to feel my lash.”

Fladnag pivots to face Shoor. His hand strays to his sword. Fladnag’s wand-arm extends.

“What are you doing, mage?” Shoor demands.

I have no idea … !” Fladnag intones in glee.

BOOM. From the wand spouts flame and concussion. Ilvara’s quarters roil with a blast of inferno. She shrieks. Shoor cries.

Fladnag darts for the rope ladder, somehow unscathed. Up he clambers. Hugging his spellbook to his chest, he casts Tenser’s Floating Disk behind him. The circular plane of translucent golden force tries to hover after him through the ceiling hatch, but cannot fit – it bars the trap-doorway behind him.

In the room above, Ilvara’s fellow drow priestess and her many guards are shaken from their blasphemous matins. A spider-form stirs in the shadows. Fladnag is riddled with bolts, and their venom veils him in black dreams.

On the causeway by the waterfall, the quaggoths batter Ront unconscious and subdue Mirilar. Xarion attains the mechanical lift and is dismayed to find it only travels down. He boards it. As he does, he passes beyond a certain distance from his magical sword, stowed in Ilvara’s chest, and his bond to it causes him to crumple, unconscious.

Illumined by faerie fire, Zular and Kepesk are beaten down.

Thus ends our band’s second attempt to escape captivity in the Underdark.

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