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#14354899 May 09, 2020 at 02:24 PM
Veteran DM
211 Posts
This thread is for discussion and in-character posting for the next module in the "Assault on Aldera" evil-characters campaign. The module begins as the party returns to the Underdark. I anticipate that this module will give us at least three months of play, perhaps longer, and should see the party rise to the mid-teens in terms of level.

The module uses the same haks as Assault on Aldera:

CEP 2.3:

Community Tileset Project (ctp_common and ctp_dwarf_hall):

Worms' Seasonal Forest and Mirkwood (wrm_seasonalv10 and wrm_mirkwood):

BloodMonkey's Rocky Mountains (v1.02):

#14357165 May 13, 2020 at 11:04 PM · Edited 8 months ago
97 Posts
There they were, a little bloodied and staring at a hole in the ground. It shouldn't have been so foreboding (they were no strangers to the underdark) but Vot kinda felt like it absolutely was. Maybe it was because this time they had their own agenda down there.

Well, the drow had the agenda (go figure, right?) and Vot was mostly just along for the ride. Not that he was with them altruistically of course. The group had become extremely deadly together, and Vot was wondering, or hoping, that they could do something amazing. It sounded like the drow were steering them toward something like that.

And, of course, looting.

They'd need to do it on a full stomach. Vot had just the never before tried recipe in mind to fill 'em up. It was gonna be stuffed, baked axe beak tonight. With extra stuff. It was the last of their poultry for now, best make it memorable.
#14357649 May 14, 2020 at 07:51 PM
79 Posts
Darsin gazed at the shaft. So, they were going back into the Underdark; he wondered what reception they would receive if they returned to their former haunts? The expedition to the surface had been interesting, but not all that profitable for him. Perhaps his luck would turn back underground; he could only hope.
#14357704 May 14, 2020 at 11:04 PM
93 Posts
A "metamorph" dilemma.

The group took the fort with little effort it seems. They got close to the wall from the West. Those unable to fly climbed it with a rope and proceeded to remove all the creatures on their path. Not much treasures were found in there or may be Gog did not see.

The guy who asked them to raid the fort showed up and they had to pretend to flee as part of the deal to learn the location of the tunnel or portal leading to "Under the Dark" or Underdark as the others mentioned.

The way down was guarded by a tribe of troglodytes and giant lizards. They had potent magic. Gog the goblin summoned lightning from the plane of Air but that did little if anything. Before the fight was over the "Trogs" summoned a number of Demons. They were not as tough as "Mary the Lith" but still. MinoGog sharp axe would only cut them a little bit if at all. He was soon replaced by DriderGog, a creature of the Underdark sort of cousin of the Drow. A creature half-drow of giant spider who could fight with a poisoned magical spear. The first wave of Demons was dispatched but as they were searching the area more demons came including succubi who cast their dark paralysing net. In the ensuing fight the Drider fell and felt life sleeping away but the Gods would not let that happen and the Drider rose. Perhpas all was well at that point except that one should never forget that Drows, distant cousins of the three huggers called elves are never happy. So they complained about the drider who practically saved or at least helped to save their lives. May be they lack wisdom even if they could live for centuries their longevity was nothing compared to a metamorth that by essence would hardly ever age.

Once sure that the danger had passed the goblin came back...
#14357798 May 15, 2020 at 03:47 AM
Veteran DM
156 Posts
The dark had increased as they descended the the pit, slowly easing the ire Tian'ith had felt at the goblin's latest transformation. She'd had no idea how it had learned of the form and lived but the creature obviously did not understand the intensity of insult the use showed. She could only assume Ravillion too had passed the test but her ire was the same regardless, and Tian'ith had seen Zau'lann's expression. A flicker of the dread any mage would feel. Still, the goblin had been warned, more than she might have done if they hadn't needed numbers. Next time the insult would be addressed differently.

Now the dark caressed them and she'd been able to locate a cave spring near where they first camped. A chance to bathe in water free of the detritus and litter of the disgusting level of contamination caused by the sheer quantity of vegetation on the surface. Clean and relaxed they had talked privately. While in one way they felt safer back in the familiar environment there was no way of telling where they would emerge and how well they would know their surroundings if at all and she had no desire to end up in the Lowerdark by accident. Tian'ith suppressed a shudder. One visit had been enough.

Their direction remained uncertain but for now Tian'ith was certain there was benefit in remaining as a part of a group and Zau'lann was correct in one respect, a group survived better with purpose. Thoughts rose and fell in deciding how to achieve that but there was information she needed to make any decision. Her consort had also made a good point in that it was likely only she could get a reasonable answer. Until now it had mattered not but it was time to change that. Taking the first opportunity for reasonable privacy the drow approached her 'sister'.

"You speak of revenge," she said, opening the conversation with the one thing of which she was certain, "but we know little of your anger. Tell me, against whom? Where was your House located and why were you cursed?" She gave a thin smile. "We may be in a position to help one another, and if not us then whom?"
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14357872 May 15, 2020 at 07:20 AM
73 Posts
The traitor had asked of them a simple task and perhaps they had put too much effort into planning the assault on the rivvil, but it went off smoothly and soon enough they had conquered them. If the idiot had left it at that then perhaps his dog and home would have been left alone, but the insult he dared to make was the deciding vote.

The path to the Underdark and the reptiles were easily found and murdered, albeit the demons were unexpected. Although at the end of it there was something even more insulting than the stupid beasts thinking they could challenge her and their group. It was the ryld deciding to take the form of a drider and then even having the gall to suggest that it was /necessary/. It would die the next time she witnessed it in that form.

The path down was soon found and soon taken, but that was to be expected. What wasn't was Tian'ith... or perhaps it was once, but then time suggested it was not going to happen. Regardless, she did not take long before answering her in response. "Xas, revenge. Against Usstan's house, Usstan's sisters... And what of what dos seeks? Do dos know what dos want?"
#14357887 May 15, 2020 at 07:43 AM · Edited 8 months ago
Veteran DM
156 Posts
"Plot the downfall of a House?" Shaking her head Tian'ith snorted a little with what might be amusement at the idea. "By now mine will no longer exist and I believe my mother and sisters are at best dead. My surviving the extermination was .... unforeseen and I have no way of knowing if others who may remain loyal. So the closest answer I can currently give to that question is 'not yet'."

"You however do, and I believe a purpose is something this group needs to continue - at least for the short term." She shrugged a little and lofted a brow in query. "And while I remain in a state of contemplation I am open to suggestion. Though first?" She gave the same small smile. "First we need to learn where we are and finding civilisation may be all the aim we need."
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14357900 May 15, 2020 at 08:17 AM
71 Posts
Miiq gazed down into the abyss.

It was, at the moment, doing very little in the way of staring back, but he had the sneaking suspicion that this was likely to change in short order.

Was this really where his path led? The surface world still felt strange to him; alien and uncomfortable, but there was an undeniable allure to it as well. To the sky, in particular - should a dragon not soar?

And yet, he could not deny the pull of the world. Those who had laughed at him; those who had thought him small. How pleasing it would be to show them what he had become.

"Yesss," Miiq hissed, at Tian'ith's words. "Do not know where we will emerge. Question is still good one to ask. Once we do know... what is our plan?"
#14357917 May 15, 2020 at 08:45 AM
91 Posts
Zau'lann raised an eyebrow at Miiq's words. It is as he'd said to his mistress, in an aside not long earlier... "I'm not sure if our little arrangement with the others will persist. The kobold already lost one chance at... whatever it was looking for... without anything else to direct its frantic energies on, I can imagine the pesky little lizard fermenting a little trouble."

And she'd agreed, that without that something, the two of them and Ravillion likely couldn't keep strength of the others yoked for long. First it had been reward that had kept them together, the promise of payment from an employer... and after that, survival. What next?

Revenge? Would they follow Tian'ith and Ravillion directly? What would it take for them to do so? Miiq was the rebel, he was sure... win over the kobold, and the others would follow. He watched the kobold carefully, as it asked its question... nodding to himself. He played his part.

"The door suggests we're coming out close to 'settled' underlands. That means townships, places we can gather news. I believe we - my mistress and I - will be seeking word of our kin; what will you be listening for? There are always opportunities, and if not, we can make some."
#14358038 May 15, 2020 at 01:14 PM
Veteran DM
211 Posts
Session 1

+1500xp for full-party IC posting this week.
#14358465 May 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM
Veteran DM
156 Posts
((Server is up, usual details.))
Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14359671 May 18, 2020 at 08:29 PM
93 Posts
And down the rabbit hole they went.

The trip down took hours. It was hard to tell. Mino wondered how one could tell the time down below.

They moved through some tunnels, a little maze perhaps where the minotaur could feel at home. They were attacked by Shadow creatures. Mino did not know what to think of that. They seemed to attack randomly. Where they targeting the drows? At least he was sure they were not after him. Since he never mentioned his connection to the Shadow realms he decided to keep that to himself. After all his new friends were easily getting upset.

They reached something like a huge cave system. As they ventured further they faced a tribe of "Underground Giants". They were like other giants Mino had seen or run away from but their Earl had magical powers and a lot of acid related spells...
#14361389 May 21, 2020 at 09:45 PM · Edited 8 months ago
97 Posts
The foreboding feeling Vot had experienced earlier turned out to be pretty prescient of him after he was trampled by a massive cave bear and it's cowardly, rock throwing giant masters. Seriously, they just had so many rocks lying around. And they had some legendary accuracy too. Vot didn't see them miss even once. Well, except the drow women. But that didn't count. And it was all enclosed space. Like, what in the name of kebabs were they doing there, just minding their own business?

ANYWAY the point is he was glad they were dead and also he was going to eat some of them, even if they tasted bad.

They found a magical ape statue thing, which almost made the trampling worth it. Seriously, Vot was pretty sure he would be able to lift a whole barn with the magical strength this thing gave him. It may have been the best piece of loot they ever found, and it was allll his.

When they had settled down, Vot made sure to cut some chunks out of a few giants to make... giant steaks? He'd have to keep it simple since he really wasn't sure how it would go.
#14361402 May 21, 2020 at 10:42 PM
71 Posts
Miiq glowered as he tore away at small strips of giant flesh with his fangs. It was not, in truth, a particularly good meal - whatever diet these dark-dwelling giants subsisted on did not lend itself to a satisfying flavour profile - but it was certainly a cathartic one, so that was almost as good.

He had imagined their return to the World Below to be a thing of triumph. Instead, they had almost gotten themselves killed by the first tribe they encountered. They had been victorious, of course, but it has been far closer a thing than he had imagined. A stark difference from their assault on the human fortress, which had presented an amount of resistance only slightly greater than might be posed by a larger-than-average anthill.

It was a stark and, more importantly, extremely unwanted bit of perspective. And so, he continued to glare at nothing in particular as he chewed, pondering the travels ahead.
#14361531 May 22, 2020 at 03:25 AM
Veteran DM
156 Posts
They had been attacked, it was a simple as that. Not by some beast acting on instinct in the search for food or for the protection of territory but by humanoids. Sentient creatures with the ability to thoroughly assess a situation and plan appropriate actions as a result, albeit to a variety of levels of capacity. Yet despite that inherent ability the giants had chosen to attack them.

It was likely that they had been passing through a region the giants claimed as their territory but that was the point. They had been passing through and may well have walked right on by the stronghold if their attention had been drawn to its existence. Journeyed past with no contact. In some ways their time on the surface had been a blur but she could think of no time where sane, thinking humanoids had attacked without provocation. It was they who had been the aggressor, even if only by virtue of invasion.

Not only that but the giants had posed the most complete threat they had faced since the first time she had transitioned to the surface world. They had been over-confident in their approach and Vot had paid the price. Certainly they found treasures, that ape was something she felt sure was significant, but it could have been greater. She did not participate herself but she could well understand the desire to consume their flesh as a simple statement of dominance over a foe who were now able to hear one. In many ways the surface world had been soft and now they had to step with greater care.

As now? Now they were back. Back where attack was an expected method of defense. Back where you gave no potential threat time to consider you prey. Back in her world where, for any number of reasons, simply being a Drow gave its own very clear, oft unspoken message to all other races. It was likely that some of them had been seen seen as they traveled, and that the sight of just one of them had delivered that message.

She smiled to herself. A cold smile but her eyes sparkled with a little fire as she murmured a single word.

Old enough to know better, too old to care.
#14361554 May 22, 2020 at 04:23 AM
73 Posts
Another night, another victory.

Their return to the Underdark was met by shades and giants who all met the same fate that most who challenged them met, death. However, despite what her inner monologues would tell her Ravillion knew it was not as easy as just stating they killed them. Vot fell and was snuffed out entirely. Several of the others took near fatal wounds. She herself took a few bad hits. By all accounts this was the closest match-up they've faced in a long time. One that wasn't horribly favored by a single side before the fight had even begun.

On the one hand, there was something about defeating a foe of near equal strength in fair combat. That feeling of knowing that you were superior even in a fair fight. But no, that feeling simply could not compare to brutally crushing a foe of near equal strength with sabotage, assassination, or other foul play. Yes, that feeling of knowing that despite the fact that they should be as strong, or even stronger, they still fell because you outplayed them. To see them at her feet, yes, that was a far greater feeling.

It was something they could easily utilize against the surface world, but now that they were down below again, back in her world, this was simply par for the course. Indeed, she would have to actually put effort into it again now that they were facing foes that mattered.

Foes who would do best to see her and beware.
#14361669 May 22, 2020 at 07:54 AM · Edited 8 months ago
91 Posts
While some glowered and others smirked, Zau'lann gnawed on a tough giant-steak, seeming less than impressed with it. "This needed stewing," he says, likely earning a hard look - or perhaps a nod of agreement? - from the chef. His earlier cheer at returning home had faded somewhat, it seemed.

"I had forgotten how... unpleasant life in the under-world outside the cities was," he admitted, rubbing one of the shade stabwounds from earlier. "Or maybe it's life above ground that was turning us soft. Much longer and we'd start worshipping trees and skipping gaily in fields, no doubt." He sniffed, trying to chew another gamey mouthful.
#14361731 May 22, 2020 at 10:01 AM
79 Posts
Darsin chewed on the tough steaks and contemplated their progress. They'd been beset by shadows, mauled by cave bears and stone hurling giants, the Underdark was as deadly as ever for the unwary and overconfident. He'd been forced to call upon the powers of fire to restore the life fire to Vot. He'd almost died himself a time or two; he was going to have to be a lot more careful now that they were down here again.
#14361818 May 22, 2020 at 12:33 PM
Veteran DM
211 Posts
Session 2

+1500xp for full-party IC posting this week.
#14362358 May 23, 2020 at 10:09 AM
Veteran DM
156 Posts
((Server is up. Usual details I believe.))
Old enough to know better, too old to care.