Session One Hundred and Seventy-Seven Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 177, April 17 2024



We continue at 2:00PM on the 26th of Anurilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party having successfully convinced a majority of Dun'Khel's dwarven clans to evacuate through Lolth's web portal to a place of refuge before the DVL attack. This was accomplished via a careful mix of persuasive argument and targeted violence. The group next plans to convince the gnome refugees of the same need to flee, although that should prove somewhat easier given the reputation of Glompus. However, can the inhabitants of Dun'Khel gather their belongings to leave in a scant nine hours? Will there be any repercussions for the death of Olman Thuridan? What will the dwarves and gnomes think when the portal appears? Where exactly will Lolth find safety for the refugees? Find out next time; or not.

Larry's Summary

Malthus congratulates Thorfus on his victory before heading back with the Torvenkul clan.

Yuri is hanging around in case we need anything.

Anxo and his people are looking at us with daggers.

Thorfus asks the junior secretary designated to take him to the clan hall.

The rest of the party asks Glompus if they want them to join him.

Yuri is listening. Do you need help or directions?

Yuri leads them to one of the residences being used by the gnomes. Then I will need to meet up with Malthus to decide what to do.

Glompus presents the situation at hand and the need to evacuate in about 8 hours.

Glompus challenges them to show up the dwarves in efficiency in preparations.

Most jump to getting ready but a few stand around looking shell shocked.

Glompus encourages them that he will help them.

We just barely got settled and now we have to leave?

Show me where you live and I'll help you pack.

Velkin resists checking out the ring Jarlanna was forced to give to him.

The Feldmark people are talking to the humans to take care of them.

As more gnomes arrive they get filled in and begin to pack.

The gnomes question why aren't all the dwarves leaving? Does that mean that we don't all have to leave.

Glompus explains that the dwarves are kinda dumb, they are looking to their own personal power instead of the good of all.

Some gnomes asks if they can convince the others to go.

Glompus says if you know any dwarves, perhaps you can convince them to come, even if their clans stay.

Velkin makes it to the residence where the Midmark people are.

Velkin suggests making a space where when the portal pops in, there will be plenty of room.

The docks are pretty full with lots of stuff in barrels and crates.

Velkin finds a room for privacy and checks out the ring from Jarlanna.

It looks familiar. Nothing happens at first, then there is a knock on his door.

Velkin opens the door, standing outside is Vikram.

He bows and says Velkin Herig, correct? Yes, Vikram? You traveled with the companions of Laris.

I have been informed by Lolth and Jarlanna that I am your servant and he bows.

Velkin asks if he was bound to the ring after his freedom?

Yes, it was done after I was taken from Laris.

Is that a problem?

I had issues with my service to Jarlanna. Her being the favored of Lolth, see ensured I could not abandon the service.

Velkin asks Vikram what he knows about Mephistopheles. I don't know him personally. He is the chief among those who serve Asmodeus. They often refer to each other as brothers, but I don't know in what sense they mean that.

I server Lolth and her servant who holds the ring. I'm not opposed to Lolth, much like you, she is an antagonist to Asmodeus.

Are you aware of the events leading to my having the ring. After a slight smile that he soon hides he speaks blessings on the marriage to Jarlanna, formerly of House Thule.

Nigel Arkenstone is running around trying to get things ready.

Uh, Velkin, and new guy. So the rumors are everywhere that we're going, it's happening now?

Yes, packing up and heading out in 6 or 7 hours.

My thought is to move to the Bronze Wizard and head out sooner rather than later.

Just to clarify, Alesta is going with you guys, correct? She went with Baswick Telman to organize the Feldmark survivors.

Velkin goes to the docks and gets the gnomes who were first to clear an area. As more gnomes, some dwarves and humans show up, the early gnomes tell them where to stand.

Velkin suggests using the crates and barrels to enforce the line and they are all over that.

Nigel is getting the Bronze Wizard ready to leave. Glompus is still with the gnomes, many have taken it to heart to make ready faster than the dwarves.

Glompus finds Velkin coordinating the ones clearing the main area.

Thorfus is brought through the tunnels to a well guarded door of militia in Clan Thuridan regalia.

This is the Marshall's residence.

Um, did you wish to take possession of the Marshall's chambers.

I'd like to meet his family and get it over with.

I suggest that is best be done in a dining chamber or the balcony, rather than in your private chambers.

Why do you suggest that?

Currently those private chambers are currently occupied by the family of the former Marshall.

Thorfus suggests meeting on the balcony. They have been informed of your ascension.

Follow me. He leads past the guards. It is set up similar to where the Midmark people are staying. Not as bare bones, well decorated, and designed to receive visitors.

Banners with Thuridan symbols, and evidence of chairs in the audience chamber.

The balcony is similar, but with more living plants.

The secretary indicates a large chair. That would be the Marshall's seat there.

It is a table and chairs with Thorfus at the head.

He asks if there is something Thorfus would like to drink. Ale, it has been hard to come by in my travels.

Servant shows up with a pitcher of ale and a stein and pours and backs up.

Thorfus tells the servant to sit down and tell me about yourself while we wait for the others.

Me? Did I stutter. I'm just a junior servant here in in clan Thuridan. My name is Axel. I had a good friend named Axel. I'm quite new here sir.

I was pledged. My family is part of clan Thuridan and I was sent to serve in the household of the Marshall. My family lives a few levels down. I've been here a couple of seasons. Have you enjoyed your time here, yes. Have you been well treated. Yes.

You know what's going on? Your the new Marshall and we'll be leaving to take refuge from an attack.

Do you have many belongings to prepare? No, we're not allowed to have much. Are you trained in weapons and armor? Yes. Do you have your own weapons? Yes sir.

The secretary comes around the corner and clears his throat, and the servant almost hops out of the chair until seeing

The former Marshall's family is here. Thorfus asks Axel to stand to avoid upsetting things even more.

Thofus stands in politeness.

First a dwarven matron comes out dressed in black and stands at the chair opposite Thorfus, and a number of male dwarves, mostly adults 7 dwarves followed by three dwarf maidens behind the matron.

Please have a seat, as he sits. All sit except maidens behind the matron.

Thorfus tells them to make preparation.

What is the normal method of selection when there is a vacancy? The heads of the families in the clan elect the new Marshall is typically runs through the primary branch of the family unless there is reason to skip over someone. Probably the oldest.

Who was expected to be the next chief?

They look to the mother and one of them stands. That would be I, Marshall? My name as was my father's is Olman. I have much to learn about your clan, I would be honored to be my advisor.

The secretary and he seem confused. I explain that the current advisor will keep his place.

He looks to his mother who nods. Marshall Thorfus was it. I'm afraid I will need to decline this offer. I must decline this honor. As eldest male of the primary family of Thuridan, I have come to a decision. He looks around the table. With heavy heart, I must inform you Marshall that I am withdrawing my family from clan Thuridan. I have been offered a position with clan Morthil.

He carefully undoes a breastplace with the fist for clan Thuridan, and his brothers help him and he rests it on the table.

I wish you the best of fortune, but my family cannot go with you.

You understand what is coming, you cannot stop.

If it is acceptable to be given leave to begin our move to clan Morthil.

The widow now has a smile.

So you don't know how many others will join you.

Thorfus looks to the widow. I am widow Thuridan. Soon to be Widow Thuridan-Morthil.

Marshall, we will not take anything that belongs to the clan, we will only bring what is ours.

Thorfus looks to the maidens and says that he shudders to think of the fate awaiting them in a few days.

Marshall, are we excused?

So you feel that you wish to stay here to try to fight and die? As a junior member of Clan Morthil, we will follow the lead of our Marshall.

I wish we had met under better circumstances, I hope you die an honorable death. They then file out.

The secretary comes back, yes, it seems that Clan Morthil has been reaching out to several families and many have been receptive. He leans over after looking at the servant.

Anxo Morthil plans to spin off a new clan since he is Lord Marshall, a rival Clan Thuridan that will remain here.

Yes, so how many? Maybe half the clan intends to join Morthil.

I will be staying with you sir. There are many others who understand what you are trying do and see the wisdom in it.

As Lord Marshall Anxo does have the authority to create new clans and any family can renounce their membership in a clan to join another.

As you know, it doesn't happen very often.

For the most part, they are just slinking off. Their actions seem less honorable. If you give them a venue to speak, that might change things.

Shall I continue preparations to leave. Thorfus asks to see his chambers. Of course sir, I will ensure they are gone.

Glompus makes it to the docks and sees a large number of gnomes ready to go with all their possessions and other gnomes under Velkin's direction are using crates and barrels to organize things.

Feldmark refugees are showing up.

Nigel asks if all those going to the Bronze Wizard arrived. He thinks it best to leave before it gets more hectic.

In a whisper, Velkin asks if some of the gnomes want to go, can you take them? anyone in mind.

I worry though, do you want me to make an announcement.

Velkin pulls Glompus over and asks him how to approach it. All to web portal or some to ship?

Glompus asks one if any are too scared want to go on the Bronze Wizard.

Glompus suggests able bodies gnomes and any rangers might be good to go. A gnome named Abel says by definition, I'm Abel bodies. In the end 9 gnomes, 6 former rangers, 2 other gnomes, and Abel.

Nigel says farewells to all that are staying for the portal and plan to head to Port on Serpent's Tooth. Last time we were there is was lacking in DVLs. So if you need us or the Bronze Wizard, send word to Port. Best wishes to you all and congratulations to Thorfus.

There is some muttering when the last ship leaves and there is still no portal as they stand in line with all of their possessions.

It is getting more an more crowded.

Thorfus is brought to the well-appointed Marshall's chambers.

Secretary asks if Thorfus needs anything and will get a more exacting count.

The former Marshall's family has been true to their word and only taken their personal belongings.

You wish the clan records and treasury packed up. Thorfus recommends all the guard have an extra shield, and a keg of ale. Two body guards and as a Marshall of a senior clan that you will have priority and make your way forward to the portal.

Thorfus re-does his beard to reflect he is a clan chief of a senior clan. Olman's beard care set is there.

The secretary grabs servants to help with his beard. Two servants are brushing out his beard and braiding with the decorative touches. The full shebang.

This takes a while, it is near 6:00 PM.

There is a crowd and the body guards have to push their way through.

Malthus Torvenkhul is there with Bogdin Silveril and Farkus Tolan and their men as leaders.

While the crowds gather, Druul wanders among the crowd playing songs to soothe and comfort.

Malthus says, Well, it's a good turnout and a lot less wild than I thought it would be.

The gnomes have a knack for crowd control.

Malthus asks what do we do? Thofus suggests that the party go first to check the orientation as we could be upside down on the other side.

It will inspire confidence if the Marshalls and other leaders go first.

Malthus suggests that each Marshall spread among the crowd to form a rear guard or less likely last minute changes of heart.

Thorfus looks for Lady Em and baby Aubrey. She gives you a nod. She says, Thorfus, we're going to be fine, right? I will do my best to ensure that.

Velkin asks Vikram about Jarlanna's plan, it involves the Dark King who is not quite the Dark King the party encountered way back. He remembers all that but is not actively under control of the mask anymore. It could be used to betray and cause the downfall of the Dark King since he is not truly what he was. He is more like a clan leader of the interior.

Vikram explained things about the City of Brass to Jarlanna.

The place we last saw Lolth is part of the heating and cooling system in the City of Brass. That is one of the junctions.

As 11:00 PM people get more and more antsy and people get quiet. Everyone looks around. Exactly at 11:00 PM there is a buzzing in the air and these silver lines appears shooting across like a giant circle the point of which is the tip of the landing jutting into the bay and over the bay.

In maybe two minutes it is completely filled in. We see the spiders jumping around until there is a solid mass of web blocking out the rain and the night sky.

As the last few strands fall into place. It is a web and suddenly it is not a web but a portal. It appears to be a dank sewer in the City of Brass with lots of other portals with Lolth and her priestesses and driders. It is fuzzy looking.

They are not upside down from us, the floor is oriented to our floor.

Velkin walks through and it is like walking through a mirror.

The party with the other marshalls of the clans and the guards hold back the crowds.

Probably about the size of the prior chamber, but it has a solid floor. There are dozens of portals that can be walked into. Most are finished, some being made, and others being taken apart.

Jarlanna beckons us to step forward to Lolth.

There are a lot of spiders in here. Each portal has thousands working on it and tens of thousands on the floor and all over Lolth and the Spider Box is open before her as spiders go in and out of it.

Jarlana says, Darling, Velkin responds Sweetheart.

Velkin kneels in front of Lolth.

As Kauri comes in, he sees that there is something up about her. Obviously she is a DVL with the blue aura, but this is all over the place. It is flickering. It is light blue then white, all over the place. Almost like she is giving off a different frequency of non-spatial energy. The spiders are uncolored.

Lolth does a quick nod to Velkin. A whole mass of spiders converge on her mouth and she swallows about ten in quick succession.

"Greetings, wardens, I see you have brought the ancient enemy here. Are they ready to head to their place of refuge."

they are. Good, I am ready to bring them to where they will be safe. It will bring them to a dead place, but safe.

What do you mean a dead place? A place Asmodeus' kind have abandoned. It was known by the name of The Necropolis. Do you means the dwarven Necropolis abandoned by the DVLs after they were freed. My kind will not think to look there for dwarves. There is still much in the way of supplies that were gathered there by the Silverthrones.

And now, and now, I have enough of my sisters, no not sisters, I am mother of spiders, and daughter. These my children, my me, and Jarlanna stares daggers at Velkin.

My spiders now, the infinite number of them, we can once again bring life to the machines in the Necropolis. Power. Yes, you have shown honor to myself and my sisters so I show power to you as well.

You, um, are willing to consume the power?

What does that mean?

The power is in my children. You must partake of them. Of the infinite number, those that you take in, they carry the power of myself and my sisters. They will provide the power to call on the magic that can be taken.

Please and she gestures with some of her arms and says take.

A wave of spiders comes out of the spider box in Kauri's direction. Ten spiders in a slot.

Limiting factor is how fast you can eat spiders is on par with memorizing spells. 1 spider per level of spell to memorized.

Large Sack 8 slots but weighs 6 slots. Small Chest 15 slots and weighs 10. Large Chest 30 slots and weights 20.

Vikram can create 1,000 sacks which means 8,000 spiders.

The process by which Lolth turns on the Necropolis is to pump it full of spiders so will be crawling with them.

There are two web cocoons on the ground behind Lolth that are humanoid shaped.

Yes, I was able to find some of your missing companions....

Ask Velkin to have Vikram to go tell Buzz we have power, if Buzz doesn't already sense it.

Suggest Vikram take a sack of spiders to Aldus so he can protect the ship.