Ravens Bluff, The Living City

Dark Maiden

LC 3-58

From the private notes of Bela

Don’t you know it. barely joined the city forces during the war, and we get leave. Of course, things aren’t ever exactly what you might expect them to be. Out of the three “packages”, it seems the “fun time at the Temple of Sune” was sold out. Not sure it’s exactly my wavelength, but it sure avoided some awkward discussions with the rest of the Menagerie. We settled for a lovely thee day spell at a forest glade, with promised star light. Guess what? We spent much of it underground! Ah well, I’m sure they tried. It’s not easy pleasing the dogs of war.

We arrived at said glade without problems. Lovely place, surrounded by quite a few massive stones that ended up being altars to Elistraee. I’m just about to explain this to the others when we get ambushed by a pair of landsharks. A call far too close for comfort – broke a leg and tore a muscle in my right arm, but by the grace of the Starlady (and the hands of Sir Dresden), we all survived. We end up dragging those ridiculously big corpses away from their dancing place, just as the drow arrive.

So, this is where things get funny. Seems the leader of these drow, a priestess called Phyrra Dalael, got herself abducted by their less wholesome kin, and they;‘d like to see her back. So far, so good – I can work with that. But they somehow think it inappropriate for us to doubt them somewhat, given that we can hardly guess which sides of the drow people we’re dealing with. Bit of a tense moment, there, but we acquiescence to helping them. Can’t really gainsay people trying to be free to dance under the stars.

It’s a pretty long trek to the cave system that leads to the priestess’s whereabouts. There’s the usual cryptic notes and puzzles (a rather entertaining cypher, translating to “I suggest the right passage when the number is prime”), and a slugfest with a purple worm. Given the number of those things around, you’d wonder whether they’ve made those entrances to the Underworld in the first place. Bunch of ghost spiders after that, but we brush them off; we have more important things to do, and time was becoming an issue.

The big finale was more than a little hazardous, and when we finally made it, it was by a hair. We got hammered, and that’s no joke. Big cave system where we are stopped, first, by a few knaves with polearms that we need to work our way past, while several wraiths suck at our souls. Painfully, the Menagerie’s own lovely Tepal (a fellow faithful of Lady Mystra) was unable to take leave of her temple work, so we lacked her gifts in fighting these menaces. We made it, but it was a harrowing experience. Of course, while we were battling those undead menaces, a false priestess (presumably the captor of Phyrra) was slinging her unholy gifts at us from the far other end of the cave. Not an easy way to get there without exposing ourselves to the undead.

In the end we make it, and manage to re-unite Lady Phyrra with her dancing troupe; they were even thankful. In all fairness, I cannot blame them for their reaction. They have been persecuted for their faithful conviction, meaning to harm; a measure of suspicion is probably what has kept them alive all these years.

Well, that was our R&R. I think we’re about ready for some nice, relaxing trench warfare at this rate.

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