The next few sessions are a dungeon crawl, so I will be compiling them as one chapter and making additions to it as we go along
Having earned the surrender of the derro guard party, the adventurers stated their business in the West Cleft District. They informed the captain of the guard that they were tracking a derro named Droki who was couriering messages to the Gray Ghosts. They demanded to know where he ran off to, and the captain said that he did not know, but that if Droki was colluding with Duergar, than he was a traitor and should be tracked, captured, and brought to justice. It seemed like everyone in Gracklstugh had a reason to hate Droki. They offered any assistance they could muster, and helped the party track Droki’s footsteps to a narrow crack in the stone walls, covered thickly with Faerzress. The party bid the derro farewell and were warned not to double cross them, and to surface with Droki in tow.
The tunnel descended and the glowing fungus grew brighter and more prominent. The party struggled to maintain their sanity and Sarith expressed concern that their minds would not last long in such a hostile environment. Attempting to retrace Droki’s journey, Aaron noticed that he had wandered to a patch of fungus and disappeared. The party searched the area to find a tiny narrow passageway, too small for any of them to fit. Various mushrooms had been picked, and Stool told the party that two complementing varieties were called Pygmywort and Bigwig, which, as their names implied, could reduce or enlarge anyone who consumed them. The party gathered a sizable collection of both, shrunk themselves down, and squeezed through the passageway.
When they emerged, they could hear gently running water to their right. They explored and found a small pond with a light current. Seabear threw a Bigwig mushroom into the pond and the waters expanded. The party split in an effort to escape the rising tides, and those touched by it suffered a poisonous effect that scrambled their minds. Among these was Ganon, who, in a stupor, wandered off from the rest of the party.
At a crossroads further down the path, Ganon thought he heard Aaron’s voice coming from a different pathway. Rather than follow it, he struck off on his own. He could hear chanting from around a corner, turned himself invisible and cast his magically imbued armor, and attempted to stealthily enter the room. Unfortunately, Ganon had significantly worse than 20/20 vision, and failed to see the poorly concealed pit-trap leading into the room. He fell twenty feet into a puddle of green slime and began to disintegrate.
With his magic abilities spent for the day, it looked like Ganon was doomed. He fortunately remembered having a few fire lichens, and used a cantrip to set one ablaze. It exploded in his hand, dealing significant damage to him but also killing off the green slime. As the dust settled, he could hear the chanting grow closer, and shrieking, and the low growl of two massive canines. He cried out in fright as loud as he could to attract the attention of his companions.
They arrived just in time…
A tremendous fight broke out between the party and a pack of derro cultists of Demogorgon backed up by a two-headed death dog and a fearsome ettin. Otto Sylvester was incapacitated, but the party barely managed to survive. They found a statue built in the crude likeness of the cursed stone giant, Rihuud. They theorized that the Stonespeaker may be able to reverse the curse should he be brought the statue.
The party continued their delve through another narrow tunnel, and sneaked up on a pack of quasits playing in the dungeon. Aaron quickly dispatched all but one, and the party captured the wounded demon, recruiting it as a familiar.
The party heard snarling in the distance, and found several cave bears held captive by derro. They killed the derro and calmed the bears, recruiting them for further exploration
Armed with the metagame knowledge that bases are usually located are located at the spot furthest from the entrance of a dungeon, the party set forth for the northeast corner of the tunnels. They were battered by a diseased waterweird, and reached a massive gate. The bears tore down the gate violently, unfortunately causing a loud commotion which would prove devastating to the party.
They continued past the gate and found a large, seemingly empty room. At the center of the room were two mesas, one hosting a solid obelisk and the other a small bed with a large, red-speckled egg on it. Concluding that they’d found Themberchaud’s egg, Aaron rode his eagle to the top of the platform to grab the egg. As he picked it up, a large number of duergar, formerly invisible, unleashed a hailstorm of crossbow bolts. Aaron passed the egg on to his eagle to swiftly escape, but the eagle was hit by a paralysis blast from a spectator. He lost hold of the egg and it smashed into a dragonny, yolky mess on the cavern wall.
The party swung into gear, dispatching their enemies as quickly as possible, and tried to come up with a way to make up for the lost egg. Otto cast mend to restore it to its proper shape, but could not restore the structure of the insides.
The party examined the obelisk and determined that it was possessing of strong, but wild, teleportation magic. They all laid hands on the stone structure, and channeled magic energy into it, activating the stone and sending them off to parts unknown…