From Ashes... Reborn

Into the Dark

(Darkness Falls)

It has been a month since the encounter with Kix Rockgroin and Evil Tavor. Rock was incommunicado for a significant length of this time.
A cloaked man, wearing baggy pants, a vest which had seen better times, and a knife at his side, appeared at some point and has been seen only, albeit rarely, with Eliza. He is quite muscular.

Calthus woke up in a privileged person’s home (the former elder’s house) where he had been staying. He dressed and emerged to hunt for breakfast. He is enthusiastically greeted by an older woman who gives him his breakfast fruit without charge. Apparently the whole party has been elevated to hero status by the town (on account of raising so much money for them and doing so many good deeds) and so pretty much everything is pro bono.
Paelias woke up as well and got himself food as well, taking care to leave a tip with the old lady. The two passed one another in the street and exchanged hellos.
Shamash woke up in the basement of Eliza’s house, where he has been staying for the last month. He, like everyone else, has seen very little of Eliza, but when he has, that mysterious man has been with her. He went out and headed to his usual food joint, and got food from a friendly dwarf. He glimpsed Eliza with the mysterious man, and reminded himself to find them later.

Screams echoed from the infirmary. After a moment of startlement, everyone went back to business. This is not uncommon.

Rock awoke the usual way, with lots of screaming. His bones have been steadily removed and magically regrown by a team of clerics from Brymacia. Physical therapy is going well enough, but as it is he can only take a few steps at any given time. Orderlies rushed to his side.

Later, Calthus was helping an old person extend his shop when he saw Eliza and the man. He was distracted by the sight of Rock’s recovering form trying to walk across the garden, and winced when he stumbled. As he finished, he turned to see Eliza and the man watching him. He greeted them and inquired about the man (who he learned is named Kylar) and about their recent actions requiring they be not around. Apparently Kylar is knowledgeable about black dragons, and they have been investigating the black dragon’s appearance. Eliza leaves the two to awkwardly talk and make “aw yeah, he’s tapping that” faces. Dragons are mentioned, which perks up the not-too distant Shamash. He speaks with Eliza for a moment before heading over to the two. Kylar is interrogated by the two in a not necessarily unfriendly (but hardly glowingly) manner. Kylar says that he is just a traveler who is more knowledgeable of dragons than most men… and dragonborn (oh snap!). Paelias then joins the conversation, and poor Kylar explains his dragonseeking adventuring self again.
Eventually Kylar departs and the three stand around discussing nuances and dragons and whatnot.
They go to visit Rock. He looks looped. He addresses the group by different names, and it becomes fairly apparent that he thinks he’s somewhere/when else. Calthus gives him the sack of things that were left in his room and then they left to give him some time to recover.
As they left the building they saw Kylar running up to them. He greets them and tells them that he has found new information in his notes that may be of interest. They plan to meet that night at Eliza’s.
Later that niiiiight: The party is welcomed by a dressed-down Eliza and a shirtless (and pleased-looking) Kylar. Many collective eyebrows are raised. They sit down and begin to discuss. Kylar tells the group that he has constructed a hypothesis regarding the black dragon. He believes that it emerged… from the Underdark. The party knows that it is a deep, vast, horrible place that should probably never be explored by a surface party, as no one who enters, leaves. It is home to numerous monsters and horrible races and bad things. Very few individuals of deep races emerge and successfully build homes on the surface. When asked, Kylar says that he came to this conclusion because he has some knowledge of the place (this is a strange things to say) and there were signs. The plan? Go down into the Underdark and find a place (which Kylar mysteriously knows) that would let them determine the location of the black dragon. Calthus expresses concern about this plan, and questions why the party would want or need to do such a thing anyway. He is overruled by Bahamut logic and Adventurousness. They depart to their respective places, Kylar heading upstairs with Eliza. So much eyebrows.
The next morning, people awake to the sound of the door slamming open. Going downstairs, the party finds Rock, mostly recovered but still not at full capacity. He unwraps shows them his fancy shield, which has deep significance to him and his history. They tell him of the impending Underdark trip, he shows off his morbid shield, everything’s groovy. Eliza, Kylar, and Shamash enter the building and say hello. The party will be gathering their whatevers and leaving by nighttime. They are advised to bring all the money they have, and the Elfish fellows are warned to remain cloaked for the whole time. The group dissipates and gets the necessary supplies. They return to find Paelias turning his longsword into dust.

The wagon arrives, and Eliza dismounts and ushers the party in. Eliza says a heartfelt goodbye to Kylar and they depart. The trip is a little awkward, but Kylar reveals that he is a dragon blood(?) sorcerer. The rest of the members of the party divulge their respective roles, except maybe Shamash.
Finally they reach their destination, a cliff face with a crevasse in it, just large enough to crawl through. The wagonman gives Kylar a package, which contains a lantern which is implied to be magic. They enter the hole, and crawl for a very, very long time. Eventually they come out the other side into a large cavernous chamber. It is dark with crawly noises. Kylar suggests to the party that they be silent as possible and lights the lantern, which creates a dome of light. They are quiet for a while, until Calthus trips and swears loudly (nat 1!).

Shapes move past the dome, squinting at the party. Some small amount of light can be seen outside the dome, which emanates from crystals. Various sounds echo throughout, and sounds can be heard within the party’s heads. They stop and sit silently for a short while and gaze into the darkness. Only Calthus can see what lurks in the shadows. He is greatly disturbed by what he sees. There is much gesticulation. They continue quietly, and soon the whole party can see the denizens of the underdark. They begin to see a light ahead of them, and then Shamash trips.

The sounds grow louder and more intent, and creatures begin to move in their direction. The party makes much haste and ends up in a Drow city. This is only slightly less disconcerting. Pulling up his collar, Kylar leads them into a cantina. “This is where we’ll be getting the information”.
A duergar comes up to Kylar and speaks to him in a language that no one else recognizes. Kylar turns to the party and asks for money, about fifteen gold each. He returns with some chips. “Let the games begin”. They are led up to a room where there is a drow, who addresses the group. He recognizes the Elven members for what they are, and then sets up a game between himself and Kylar. Shamash is visibly uncomfortable at this development, gambling being against his morals.

The Drow and Kylar begin to play Dice Poker, a filthy Duergar game. Much initial loss occurred. Rock supplied 150gp to the cause, and Calthus paid in 100gp for Shamash to buy in. Many chips changed hands, but in the end, victory was achieved with Rock getting the Drow’s last chips.

DARKNESS FELL.

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SgtDuckman

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