Expedition to Undermountain

 

     Session 1

     Story - The adventurers made their way to Waterdeep and sought out The Yawning Portal Inn.  After some awkward glances and the revelation of the Palm Pieces they were each sent, Marco the Blade and Landslide ‘invited’ the adventurers to join him at the main table near the stage at the inn.  After some discussion it was revealed to them all that they shared the same bloodline through many odd occurrences and that their father’s (Captain Longshore) soul was in the possession of Halaster, the Mad Mage; who is now dead.  Through powerful magic, the adventurers, now a party, have been tasked with recovering their father’s soul before it is lost or ends up in the hands of someone he doesn't want it to.

 

     NPCs of note -

     Marco the Blade

     First mate of Capt. Longshore, Human in dark leathers

     Landslide

     Half-giant with an attitude, crewman of Marco the Blade

     Jared

     Human mercenary

     Hired to descend with the party, got too drunk to go

     Dirge

     Half-ogre bouncer @ The Yawning Portal

     *really* likes Dorcassandra after she showed him some kindness

     Durnan

     Owner of The Yawning Portal Inn

     Tamsil

     Human, cook/bartender at The Yawning Portal Inn

     Luranla (Lurry)

     Human, waitress/kitchen maid at The Yawning Portal Inn

     Marrauda (Marra)

     Human, waitress/hostess at The Yawning Portal Inn

     Errya Eltorchul

     Human, daughter of Lord Thesp Eltorchul

     Hired Bantam to follow the party and discover why they were going into Undermountain and inform her the next time she was in the Yawning Portal.

     Unknown Human SellSword

     Followed and spoke to Bantum about visiting an encampment on level 2.  Gave information about how to access the Ghostgate in the Sea Ward

 

     Info on Undermountain you have gathered so far

     No one can teleport out or in

     No scrying out or in

     Demon’s Maw – Bas-relief of a Pit fiend that hides a particularly nasty trap on the Dungeon level

     Page of ‘The Seven’.  Names of all of Halaster’s apprentices.

     Arcturia

     Jhesiyra Kestellharp

     Muiral the Misshapen

     Nester

     Marambra Nyghtsteel

     Rantantar

     Trobriand the Metal Mage

     Ghostgate

     Connects a back alley in the Sea Ward to ‘Helmwatch

     Tomb of Bereg Whitehelm

     Map to the ‘Blue Mermaid Passage’ connects a tavern in the Dock Ward to Skullport – destroyed after copying it

     Map to the ‘Hall of the Black Helm’ – destroyed before any other information could be attained from it.

 

     Campaign - Recap

     In an evening of personality conflicts and drinking with new friends and comrades, the party took to their own accomodations in effort to gain some privacy from each other.  There was some inquiry about the local amenities and it was discovered that the Empty Keg Tavern, two doors to the west offers no lodgings or bath options, but Mother Salinka’s House of Pleasure, located between the Empty Keg and Yawning Portal Inn, offers *many* luxurious options for its patrons. The party decided to descend into the well, first thing in the morning.

     After resting, the party sought out a hired mercenary, only to discover he was in no condition to adventure being still blacked out drunk from the night before. Safely at the bottom of the well the party discovered a couple secret doors, one of which seemed to not be able to be opened from this side.  The other which seemed to have goblin voices and noises coming from the other side.  Some attempt at stealth was made only for a voice to call out from the other side.  A short conversation in goblin later, the party leapt into action as the fooled goblin opened the door for them in the promise of treasure. A hard fought battle with the party still learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they were able to kill all but a single goblin who fled down the corridor to the west.

     Session 1 - end

     39% experience gained, level 1.39

     Session 2

     Campaign – Recap

     After the battle with the goblins, the party decided to attempt to pursue the one fleeing goblin and encountered a poorly disguised Halfling by the name of Bantam, whom had killed the fleeing goblin.  After an exchange of purpose and discovering that Bantam was hired to find out why the party was delving into Undermountain by Errya Eltorchul, after some discussion about Nobility, it was discovered that she is the daughter of Lord Thesp Eltorchul who fled into the depths of Undermountain in disgrace after squandering his family’s fortune.

     While exploring a room of pillars, the party was set upon by what was discovered to be a Caryatid Column, during the battle the construct stuck a critical blow and thus ended Kira’s life.  Upon death, her Palm Piece seemed to shatter inside of her pack with a loud pop.  Using the information given to him by Dorcas’ knowledge of the construct, Bantam courageously disarmed the sword from the column’s grip, rendering it inert.  Some discussion about what to do with Kira’s body was had and it was decided that it was time to return to the surface and sell their loot as well as take Kira’s body to the Church of Helm.  After an uneventful night, the party returned into Undermountain.

     Further exploration brought the party to an old larder with a pile of what was discovered to be mostly eaten corpses.  A fine blade was found at the bottom of the pile after some gruesome searching as well as a finely crafted frame of sorts that had some value. Around the corner, many more frames were found in a long hallway with many alcoves, one of the frames which seemed to be more off-putting than the others prompted Truffel to chuck a javelin at it.  The javelin sticking into the alcove itself with a wet thud, revealing the alcove to be a creature known as a Mimic.  The creature latched onto the newest party member, Bantam and offered to let the party go if they would only let the creature feast on Bantam.  The party did not take kindly to the creatures offer and continued to fight it. Seemingly out of nowhere, a half-orc brute appeared and handily dispatched the mimic with a mighty swing of his sword.  Bantam was saved from the clutches of death and the half-orc warrior, after some questioning of motives and doubt surrounding his purpose, was offered a spot in the party for a share of the treasure.  Which with many mirror frames in it, looked to be substantial. As the party moved down the corridor collecting the heavy frames, they found one that seemed to be intact. Truffel detected some powerful magic on it and warned the party to stay clear of the frame.  After some ingenuity by the party, they were able to drape bedrolls over the mirror to avoid triggering its magic and decided they would take it back to the city and try to sell it.

     After selling their loot and inquiring around town to find a buyer for the enchanted mirror, they returned to the Yawning Portal to have a meal and rest and return to the Expedition in the morning.

     Session 2 – end

     71% experience gained, level 2.1

     Session 3

     Campaign – Recap

     After a calm uneventful night, the party woke and decided as a group to honor their fallen comrade, Kira and attend her burial ceremony at the Sanctuary of the Silver Hand, the Temple of Helm in Waterdeep.  During the procession to the crypt where she would be laid to rest, Kira miraculously awoke and explained she had been visited by the spirit of their father and he had told her that since she was forced to take the mission to recover his soul, now he granted her the freedom of choice as well as great rewards should she so choose to take up the mission once again; now that she was not bound to the task.

     After rejoicing in the return of their stalwart sister, the party prepared provisions and headed back into the well.  Carefully they surveyed the areas they had already visited and made note of the directions they had not ventured into. Deciding to go down the long passage to the north, they set out again.  After walking hundreds of feet down a seemingly endless dead end corridor, they decided to back track and use some survival tactics to determine if there was an alternative way out of this corridor. Following the slime trail they had found (and tasted) before, they again walk through a few odd corridors to find themselves back in the entry well.  After further discussing the matter and using their wits to discover that they hadn’t walked far enough to actually be in the entry well, they began to curiously investigate, after some inspection, they discovered the area to be under an illusion that masked it to look like the entry well, but was actually the home a creature known as a Metal Master.  Hrars refused to believe it and was an illusion as was set upon by the creature.  After a pressing battle with the odd creature that had the ability to manipulate metal using its own magnetic fields they were victorious.  After dislodging a body the metal master had been munching on, they also found some loot in its lair in the natural chimney.  Further exploration led them farther down the corridor to the secret door that actually led back into the real entry well room.

     From there the group went to the rope bridge leading across the western corridor. Truffel’s keen dwarven darkvision discovered two creatures lurking in the shadows of the uneven ceiling that were slowly moving towards the party.  With a coordinated strike the party dispatched one of the creatures without it making an attack, the other swooped down into the light at which point the party identified them as Darkmantles and was quickly dispatched as well.

     Some careful investigation of the rope bridge proved it to be safe to cross as long as you were careful and a victim of the Darkmantles was found dangling from some cut ropes with some loot to be taken.

     After crossing the bridge, the party found a passage thick with sludge of some kind and upon disturbing the water they were attacked by an apparition of some sort that was dispatched somewhat easily, after a single solid hit on the dwarf.

     Further down the corridor on the other side of the filthy water, the party noted what seemed to be a wall of darkness. Some experimenting pointed to it being a powerful darkness spell with a pit under it. After tying a rope to Truffel, Kira and Hrars began to lower Truffel down into the pit at which point the rope slipped from their grasp and Truffel plummeted to the bottom.  It was at this point the swarm of aberrations made their entrance.  A mass of 10,000 small beholderkin looking eye balls enveloped the party and began to sew chaos.  After a hard fought battle and almost losing a couple members, the party prevailed against the aberration swarm.

     Session 3 – end

     54% experience gained, level 2.64

     Session 4

     Campaign – Recap

     Some trial and error later, the party made their way past the pit of darkness and set some pitons and rope in the floor to allow future access across the pit. Proceeding forward the party found a bas-relief of a demon that seemed to be able to sense their presence and deter them with deafening magic each time they approached. 

     After some discussion it was decided that returning to the surface and asking around about the demon carving was the best course of action.  The party returned top side and spoke with many people around town attempting to glean some information about their adventure.  They discovered the subject of their research was called the Demon’s Maw and that it might be able to be bypassed by feeding it scrolls, though no further information was learned.  While around town, a few of the party discovered that they were bieng followed.  After a brief confrontation the incident was passed off as mere coincidence.  Bantum, being a bit stealthy himself, decided he would investigate further.  Upon following the man for a bit, he simply vanished, only to confront Bantum a few moments later.  After some discussion, the man not only changed into Bantum’s shape on a whim and changed back again, but offered bartering services to Bantum and his party should they find them in the Storeroom level.  He gave Bantum a small scrap of paper that served as a map to a location in the Sea Ward of Waterdeep.  He was also told a phrase in Undercommon to use that would open one of the many gateways that lead into the depths of Undermountain.

     Bantum shared his encounter with the suspicious figure as well as the information he had learned and the party decided to investigate this new lead.  After some trudging through the back alleys of the docks district, the party did indeed find the location they sought and spoke the words needed to gain entry.  Before their eyes, a crack in the material of space and the smell of burning ozone revealed a 15’x15’ pink/purple doorway.  With almost no hesitation, the party jumped through the portal and was pulled deep into Undermountian to a place known as the Hall of the Black Helm.  As they took a moment to gather their senses, they noted a sphere of white light across the room near what looked to be a collapsed portion of what was once a grand hall. With almost no warning, 9’ tall suits of soot black armor animated and advanced on the party with unhuman speed. It was at this point that everyone ran back through the portal back to the Sea Ward, and immediately set off in search of clean underpants for the party.

     After returning to supper at the Yawning Portal Inn, Kira and Sparrow spoke with Marra, Durnan and Tamsil hoping they might have some more info about the Demon’s Maw or other portions of the dungeon level, to no avail. The party was relaxing a bit when Errya Eltorchul and two rather large bugbears walked into the Inn and demanded Bantum’s attention.  The party didn’t immediately take kindly to this noble throwing her weight around and a short encounter occurred with Dirge quickly splitting up the party and Errya and her entourage. Errya pressed Bantum for information on the party to which Bantum obliged(mostly & vaguely) after which Errya seemingly dismissed Bantum and told him she would seek him out should she ever need his services again.

     After a good night of rest the party headed back down into the well. With craftily used Silence scroll they were able to make their way past the demon carving and Bantum (with some assistance) discovered how the device functioned and was able to disable it allowing free passage in the corridor. Noting that it was a particularly deadly trap that took all of his skill (and some aid from magic) to defeat.

     Next the party came across an oddly narrow corridor that cut off the main path and then promptly returned to it. After some amount of searching the party discovered a secret door leading to what they learned was on old library.  Long since devoid of anything of value, the party looked about a bit and found a sole piece of paper left behind.  The paper detailing the names of The Seven, the apprentices of Halaster was found to be of great importance.  Some would kill have this info and some would kill to keep it a secret.

     Session 4 – end

     48% experience gained, level 3.12

     Session 5

     Campaign – Recap

     Using fate as a guide, the party explored deeper into the Storeroom level when out of seemingly nowhere the sound of a cave-in echoed through the halls.  While investigating, Bantum‘s keen perception noticed another secret door.  After some debate about where to go and whom to follow, the door was shoved open only to reveal a horrific skull attached to a shadowy body and lit up in flame. The crazed Flameskull and his undead champions pushed the limits of the party’s healing capabilities but the adventurers were victorious in the end.

     Further exploration of the rooms behind the secret door revealed the Tomb of Bereg Whitehelm and its dwarven riddle. Through some trial and error along with a bit of luck, the party did indeed activate the ‘guiding light’ within the tomb.  The reward?  …items left within a secret chamber of reflection for those who had the ability to look within and recognize errors of past actions.  Sparrow and Truffel both being able to consider past deeds and purify their thoughts proceeded into a small chamber holding some useful items as well as old but detailed maps.  Some of the information was recovered and all of the items were taken. Though none of the other party members dared venture further into the sacred chamber due to uneasiness overcoming them as their thoughts edged toward that of vanity, greed and pride when looking into the magic mirror.

     The party discussed their state of body and mind after the encounter with the Tomb’s protections and decided it best to continue exploring…

     Session 5 – end

     52% experience gained, level 3.64

     Session 6

     Campaign – Recap    

     Through further exploration the party discovered an oddly shaped font, seemingly long dried up with a passage etched into the sandstone above the font that read:

     She guides our way, surrounded by darkness, she still shares her light.
Freed from her vigil, her power unharnessed, for just one night.

     After some deliberation and discussion the party seemed to agree that it was somehow related to Selune and the phases of the Moon.  Specifically the new moon, which was just over a day away.  After some experimentation the party left the font behind to pursue other ideas with an agreement in the party to return closer to the rise of the new moon.

     Exploring further down the corridors the party was ambushed by a couple creatures they were able to identify as some sort of aberrant Choker.  Not of the normal choker variety but no one could discern how.  After some hijinks ensued the party finally defeated the pair of chokers and discovered some very useful treasure secreted nearby.

     The next point of interest the party would find was determined to be a magical place referred to as the legendary “Room of Respite”.  The rumors of this room state that this room offers aid to those in need at the most opportune time. Though the party was unable to determine the true nature of the room they decided to rest after the long day in the font room nearby

     Session 6 - end

     40% experience gained, Level 4.04

     Session 7

     Campaign – Recap

     After a brief rest in the font room, the party decided to look around a bit more prior to the new moon’s rise that night and returned to the “Room of Respite”.  After a fair bit of experimenting with how the room affected them and their surroundings the dwarf and the half orc decided to try and physically bridge the two areas after activating the magic, causing it to utterly discharge its magic and be rendered useless.  Fortunately, the magic dissipated into the surrounding stone with a crackle of energy and didn’t obliterate the two party member that dared to push the limits of the powerful magic.

     Shortly after the failed experiment, the party discovered the source of the cave in they heard previously.  The rumors about it and its obvious nature led the party to believe that they had discovered the “fallen stair”.  After some odd interactions with Kira’s inability to navigate what was clearly an illusionary obstruction the party was attacked by what were identified as Living Spell – Flaming Spheres that descended from higher up the stairs.  After a fairly quick fight, the party continued up the stairs without Kira and found an odd occurrence that they could not explain. 

     As they neared a passage way near the top of the stairs, some sort of entity seemed to present itself with silvery spider webs and an invitingly warm center point of light.  Everyone attempted to interact with it but didn’t seem to retain its interest for long.  Though the party discovered that whatever the entity was it did not want them to pass, providing a sort of magical deterrence each time they tried to pass by it in the corridor atop the stairs.

     Deciding that they were running out of time before the rise of the new moon the party left the stair behind to return to the rest of the corridor that they had left unexplored.  The party discovered an oddly shaped room with a well in the center similar to the entry well but going down instead of up.  After a few minutes of being attacked by fiendish spiders that incessantly kept crawling up out of the well, a summoning ooze made its way to the top of the well and attacked.  Fortunately, the ooze was no match for the party and it failed in its final attempt to bring forth a terrible challenge for the party.

     After pulling some valuables from the bottom of the well, the party ventured back to the font room and casually passed the time awaiting the occurrence foretold by the font’s passage.  At the rise of the new moon, the air bristled with ozone and the smell of pine sap and a gate opened into a forested area beyond.  Without any discussion or regard for safety, the party marched through the gate only to find out that it was closed on the other side and their immediate return was barred.  Now exhausted from staying up too late waiting for the event to happen, the party decided to make camp right on the side of their arrival and hope that the gate might reopen at the end of the new moons passage.

     During their rest, the party was approached by a large humanoid, in the darkness.  After a brief understanding the party befriended a new ally in the form of the Hill Giant, Gord the farmer.  Some discussion was had amongst the party in effort to decide whether they wished to venture further into the forest with Gord to meet his employers, Marvin and Annie at a place called Half Path Farm.  After some disagreement and the reminder of the pull of the Palm pieces, the party reluctantly agreed to wait near the portal and hope for it to reopen.  At the break of dawn and the passage of the new moon, the gate did indeed reopen and the party ventured back through the one way gate into the darkness of Undermountain.

     Session 7 – end

     76% experience gained, Level 4.8

     Session 8

     Campaign – Recap

     Now back in the environs of Undermountain, the party decided to do some back tracking and make sure they left no stones unturned.  After some time spent venturing into the darkness of a pair of long hallways it was decided that they may not be up to following them to their final destination and decided to head back to further investigate the fallen stair.  After some effort and some bravery on the part of Kira, they were given a magical ring of sorts from the entity that continued to block their entry into the up to what they deemed to be the Citadel of the Bloody hand. After some attempts to identify the ring it was determined that they would discover that information once they returned to the city above.

     One the way back to the well, the party decided to explore the area below the rope bridge, literally diving head first into the darkness of the natural chasm, they discovered the nest of the dark mantles and proceeded to dig through the excrement in search of treasure.  Though quite vile, the effort did pay off with some valuable treasure.

     Deciding now that it was time to journey to the city above so as to not waste the day, the party made their way to the market and looked for a merchant to tell them exactly what the ring was.  Upon an interaction with a merchant, he seemed to act a bit strangely to a couple of the party members and an argument occurred over the honesty and reputation of the merchant after he oddly asked the party to leave the ring with him in order to properly appraise and identify it.  After the negative interaction with the merchant, he kicked them out of his shop and close it up.  Finding this curious Bantum decided it wise to tail the merchant.  Bantum hid nearby the shop and witnessed the man carefully sneak around the back alleys for bit only to seemingly scare him off when Bantum cast a spell.  Bantum stood his ground and attempted once again to follow the merchant as he exited his shop, only to end up face to face with him as the merchant summoned a Dire wolf and a Giant Wasp to attack Bantum.  Bantum fled through the back alleys and was able to get out of range of the merchant and his summoned minions without being harmed.

     Meeting up with his allies, Bantum explained what had happened and the party reasoned that the ring must be very valuable or important that they would identify it themselves with the help of a scroll.  This was able to determine that this ring was one of the fabled Horned rings, that allows teleportation travel through Undermountain through the wards placed by Halaster and that it was a minor artifact that allowed the wearer access to some other great powers as well.

     With some ideas on what the ring was, the party decided to ask Durnan what he knew about it.  Durnan, having some wit about what type of attention the ring may draw, quickly escorted the majority of the party upstairs to have a private discussion about the ring in the luxury suite. During the discussion with Durnan, Truffel and Hrars went to have a little chat with Jared about the money he owed them.  This quickly turned into a bit of a shoving/wrestling match that Dirge quickly defused with little harm done save a bit of a head ache to both Jared and Hrars. Unfortunately, all of the money owed to Truffel was not recovered and Jared left with zero coin once again.

     It was after a good night’s rest and some planning that the party decided that they were now ready to venture through the Ghost gate and engage the Helmed Horrors in the Helmwatch area of the Hall of the Black Helm.  As expected, preparations allowed the party to be ultimately victorious over their enemies and the party now had successfully gained access to the next lowest level of Undermountain, the Storeroom level.

     Session 8  - end

     60% Experience gained, Level 5.4

     Session 9

     Campaign – Recap

     Making their way into the Storeroom level the party quickly discovered the Hall of Floating Pillars.  After some considerable experimentation, the party was able to successfully move the pillar off of their bases using a piton and some keen rope work.  The accomplishment seemed to yield nothing immediate and after further experimentation the accomplishment was foiled and the rope snapped only to have the floating pillars snap back into place.

     Pushing forward, the party found a group of oddly behaving dwarves who didn’t seem to act quite right either.  Not only did they not speak Dwarven but they only spoke in a broken form of Undercommon.  Deciding that they may not be enemies, the party parleyed with the dwarves and accepted their suggestion to head north away from the described masses of undead to the south.

     Heading north the party discovered a room filled with Thickmist and decided to wade through it in an effort to discover if anything was hidden in it.  After a few minutes of poking around, a carrion crawler descended from the ceiling and was quickly dispatched by the party. Post combat with the crawler, Truffel decided he had enough of these perceived dwarves and their trickery and made the decision to confront them.

     Upon returning to the room with the odd dwarves in it, Truffel made his intentions clear by enlarging himself and the odd dwarves seem ready for a fight.  After defeating the odd dwarves, they seemed to simply fall apart into a pile of gooey plant based matter.  No one seemed to have any ideas about what kind of creature these may be and the party dismissed it as an oddity of Undermountain, though some highly useful items were found on the dwarves and put to good use.

     Deeper into the southern passage the room went dark as the party was ambushed by some drow who were easily dispatched by the party and their hearty fortitude.  After discovering that the drow also fell apart in a pile of gooey plant based matter they party though it best to delve further to the south in order to confirm or deny the information about the masses of undead as soon as they had split up the loot the drow were carrying.

     Session 9 – end

     30% experience gained, Level 5.7

     Session 10

     Campaign – Recap

     Session 11

     Campaign – Recap

     Session 12

     Campaign – Recap

     Session 13

     Campaign – Recap

     Session 14

     Campaign – Recap

     Session 15

     Campaign – Recap