After Kendrick took his leave of the party to investigate some troubling reports coming out of Ulmt (or to seek out one of those ever-elusive wenches in the local tavern, or perhaps both), the rest of the rest of you find yourself standing on the Critwall bridge, face-to-face with the Shade once more. Because of the increasingly disturbing intelligence that you have been gathering, suggesting that Iuz is raising a massive army of strange and terrible monsters, the Shade tells you that the Drinkers urgently seek additional knowledge regarding Iuz’s plans—-knowledge which can only be obtained from inside Doraaka itself. Knowing the great peril that you would face, the Shade assures you that no one would think any less of you were you to decline this quest…but foolish or brave, you all accept. The Shade gives you all many warnings: not to pray for spells, not to attempt any divination, to avoid direct conflict as far as possible, and above all, not to say the name “I-U-Z” under any circumstance. Each of you is given a ring of mind-shielding to protect you from discovery.
The first trouble is how to get inside Doraaka in the first place. The shade provides you with a wagon carrying ore and special materials to deliver to a blacksmith named Saljin, whom they can recognize by asking the question, “Is the wine in this city any good?”, where Saljin will reply “No, but the ale makes up for that by being terrible.” But to even get inside the city, you must cross the Devouring Bridge, and the demon that guards it demands a sacrifice. The party, reluctantly, refuses to offer Panea, a gnomish serial killer, and opts to find their own way across.
After several days of travel (and after dispatching some werewolf lords), the party is met by a party of demons from the Castle of Foul Breezes. who offer to take you into the city safely and provide you with an alternate way out, provided that you share first with them any information you acquire. The party accepts and the demons lead you through the city by way of the Abyss.
Once inside the city, you make your way to Saljin, who correctly answers your challenge and takes you to his quarters, which he offers you to use as your base during your time in the city. He only begs you that when you are ready to leave, that you take him with you, for he is exhausted from the long years of serving undercover in this foul place.
As your days in Doraaka drag on, you have an encounter with the city’s Drow enclave, where you find a bit of information about the city, and where Jarik finds out a lot more about Drow royalty than he ever wanted to know. You find an empty tower in the Orc encampment, where you can spy on parts of the city. In the end, all of your searching leads you to a warehouse full of coffins. Jarik wants everyone to toss a body and take its place in a coffin, but the rest of the party was reluctant. Instead, the party leaves a card of the sharp in one of them, and Brottor follows them when the coffins are picked up for delivery to who knows where—-until the card mysteriously vanishes. Eventually, everyone decides to hitch a ride in a coffin, and you find yourselves in the Greater Boneheart Null’s pocket plane. You make your way into Null’s laboratory. As you begin to search the place, Null himself appears and demands, “What are you doing in my secret place?” He proves a powerful opponent, casting spells to create a blinding storm and to confuse Jarik, to the point where he almost killed Brottor by mistake! Eventually, to your surprise, you manage to bring the wizard down, but his body then dissolves into a pile of ice and snow! You realize that the reason you’re still breathing is that this was not Null himself, but merely a simulacrum.
You search and loot the laboratory and the Boneheart’s library, finding notes and various magical books…and a room, previously hidden, containing thousands of demundead. The whole place begins violently convulsing, and you quickly take the hint that it’s time to leave. You return to pick of Saljin, but find him slain and raised as a zombie. It’s a trap! Your rings of mental resistance shatter, and swarms of Iuz’s forces begin pouring in all around Saljin’s house. You decide it’s time to leave, and use the items the demons gave you for this purpose.
You find yourselves standing in an open field in Furyondy, standing before the demons from the Abyss. You keep your end of the bargain, telling the demons what you have learned. Being demons, they decide to leave a few of their company behind to kill you for your trouble, but you just manage to defeat them. As you prepare to leave, you all hear Null’s voice in your heads: “O yes, you have certainly gained my attention now.”
You tell the Shade all you have learned.
XP: 4800 to Brottor, Illene, Jarik and Maethil
GP: 6200 gp in loot
- +1 Animated Darkwood Heavy Wooden Shield (Claimed by Brottor)