Session Seventeen Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 17, October 28 2020
We continue at 4:00AM on the 15th of Tenrilden with the party having just finished their river journey and learned from Jharlixus that the drow they pursue will reach the city of Vilgrim before they can be caught ...
After much discussion we elect to go to the trading post to at least gather information and perhaps get the sponsorship of a drow house.
Jharlaxis plans to go around the drow territory via the rivers to get to the Necropolis to see if the ancient dwarven machines still work.
We come to two spiders guarding the route with a few gnomes as food. Rallion uses the sceptre to speak with animals and we avoid a fight.
We pass a side passage with a rotting smell like mushrooms, but keep going.
We get to the trading post gatehouse and each are asked 3 questions before we are allowe in. The trading post has strict rules about when and where to trade and 10% tax.
We go to the waiting area reserved for deep gnomes and meet part of a gnome caravan, the rest is in the trading area.
We go to the trading area and buy 12 healing potions from a gnome trader, Khargim of Clan Karst who is sponsored by the drow house Herig. He mentioned introductions.
We talk to dwarven traders from Xenilum Khel who speak broken ancient dwarven and say everything is fine in Xenelum Khel and they have coughs, so we steer clear of them.
We then talk to a drow armorer Gurum of House Herig. the plan was to buy drow armor, but the cost of 5,000 GP would have cleaned us out. This turns the trader cold to us. We tell him we plan to come back.
Our thought is to use the letter from the Silence as information to trade for sponsorship to get to the drow city, Vilgram. House Herig is in the lower city and wants to move to the upper city.
We do business with a drow alchemist and we get two vials of sleep poison for Laris.
We talk to the three cloakers and they are hunters for hire and will kill anything for a price, some cost more than others.
Finally, there are two tall cloaked humanoids who are from outside. They have magic swords that no longer work. They cut the fabric of reality and allow them to travel between worlds. They would give one of their swords to someone who can get them home.
So far, we purchased 1,400 gp of goods, so have to pay 140 gp in tax before we leave the trading area.
Our idea is to use the parchment we found on the mind flayer to bargain for sponsorship. (Larry, i think this is what you had here, sorry i mucked the last part of your summary up!!!)
The past few journal entries were entirely ruined when Felix figured he’d use them to make a fire. Dammit man! It’s because of you we just can’t have nice things!
We are headed toward a trading post just outside of Vilgram in hopes of arranging sponsorship by a drow house. That’s needed to enter into the city as we continue our pursuit of the drow party that absconded with Vikram, the infinite box of spiders and the two monks from Greybeard. Jharlaxis parts ways to make his way to the Necropolis in hopes of restructuring his body. The dwarven machines there may still work… or so he hopes. I doubt it. They were fueled by DVL’s and those days are over. But good luck to him.
As we make our way to the Trading Post, a couple really, really, big spiders with nice pretty red hourglasses on their abdomens are securing their dinner…. a few cocooned gnomes that are still moving a little. Rallion uses his scepter to have a nice chat with the chitterers and after some debate, we move on without conflict.
As we get closer, about an hour from the trading post, we pass a side passage with the almost unpleasant odor of fermentation and decay. Braadlur and Harisep say is smells like fungus, yummy fungus they say. Right. We make our way onward.
At the gates of the trading post, Braadlur’s challenged by guards behind a stout stone gateway complete with arrow slits high and low. There’s chatter in deep gnome and we’re given the rules of the trading post of which the only punishment if not followed is death. No sense of humor these Drow. We all have to answer 3 questions before entering. They don’t seem so concerned about the answers, just that we are able to mumble something coherent. I didn’t point out that it was more accurately 1 task, 2 questions and a recital. Hey, it’s their house and they make the rules. Who am I to argue. They might decide I’m on the menu.
The task is to describe our faces in detail and the recital is a verse from Lloth’s holy writings. (No, I’m not sure it’s from there, but it sounds good.) “Llolth's web ensnares the (S?)ilence; her strands of fate vibrate with the laughter that will break them.”
I caught some of our party members’ answers for the 2 questions of what do you love and what do you hate.
- Peronell loves battle, the hunt and killing. Hates being frozen in a stasis tube for centuries
- Lambertus loves not being noticed by the enemy, and hates the feeling of helplessness that came with the end of magic.
- Oskar Loves tea, hates uncouth behaviour (as he eyes the entire party but Kauri)
- Gath Gaf is the Troglodyte’s name, he says something to our hosts, but nobody knows what it is.
- Hariseb: Loves finding a vein of valuable gemstones, hates losing them
- Felix loves fire (no kidding!), hates water
- Braadlur loves human flesh (!!!!), hates trog flesh
- Kauri loves: a good tea Hates: bad tea
- I love the good things in life, and hate getting the bad end of a deal.
I get the impression that these are to screen for spies from the Silence.
The two guards, turns out they’re Drow, open the gate, and one of them guides us down the tunnel. We come upon a couple guards as we go down the tunnel and they give us a passing eye, but no hard scrutiny. Our guide takes us to an area where we may rest safely. Reiterates the rules of the Post: no trading to be done except at the marketplace which is open for another 3 lanterns. 10% tax on all transactions done at the marketplace to be paid on exit from the Post, or you die.
We’re in the ‘deep gnome safe area’ and some of Braadlur’s folk are here. They have stories to tell which he fills us in on: they are of Clan Karst of Malgrim sponsored by House Thule. Both are quite powerful in the array of houses and clans down here. They’ve seen the drow party we’re following and say they left about 2 lanterns ago… and Vilgrim is 2 lanterns away. They made it to the city. That’s probably not that good, I feel our chances of successfully getting Vikram back are dwindling. Of course the box is a concern to Rallion, but, well… anyways. The gnomes are trading and looking for information on what’s going on between the Silence and the Drow now that the Drow have left the Necropolis.
We head to the marketplace after Braadlur, Harisep and the lead gnome in the safe area chew on some raw mystery meat. It seems like it’s akin to sharing an ale...they all seem happy during and aferwards. I’ll stick with the ale.
The gnome caravan leader is here, Kargrim of Karst. A tall robust looking gnome, almost dwarflike in stature. He’s a friendly chap and we (Braadlur) chat’s him up for information on sponsorship, buy some healing potions for some gold and a promise to treat him to dinner next we’re in Malgrim.
I keep track of our transactions and tax owed.
The dwarves look a little sick… we’re leery of trading with them as the plague that turns the living into the unliving is know to our party to be prevalent where they came from. Xenilum Khel.
The drow armorer, Gurum of House Herig, is excited that we’re interested in his wares, however they’re at the edge of our funds. Especially if we’re to use those funds to try and acquire papers to enter Vilgrim. He’s seems put out.
Eddarnonn, a drow alchemist sells a couple vials of sleep poison. I’m happy.
Kauri identifies a couple outsiders, tall skinny skeletal, almost, beings with giant swords that they say aren’t sharp anymore. They can’t cut the fabric of space for them to return home. We can’t help them at the moment but we do have some ideas that may make their swords work…If we can get them back to their world, they can offer us great riches. Pretty tempting to me.
The walking rugs, now they were interesting. Cloakers they called themselves. A derogatory name but we can’t pronounce their proper name. They are assassins for hire.
This underdark is starting to make my neck hairs stand up. It’s a dangerous place for a surface dweller. Being eyed as a snack is starting to get under my skin. The sooner we get our friends free/back, or whatever, the better. If not, we may end up dinner, or worse. Maybe we should throw in with Lloth and work together to make Medea safe from Asmodeous. I bet Rallion’d love that idea…. Strange bedfellows make those with common goals though. Especially if Apocalypse Number Two for Medea is around the corner.