What Lies Beneath
3 Mirtul 1373 – ???
Deep underground, Drall, Faridoon, Dynff and Vuutharak slept nervously. Faridoon’s dreams were haunted by Asb’el once again, this time more vividly than ever before. He found himself floating in the air, disembodied and surrounded by thick smoke. Through the cloud he could hear chanting, and as it grew louder, the smoke faded away and transformed into a raging fire. As the chanting crescendoed the fire bubble burst apart and Faridoon found himself in a circle a cavern floor, a half-fiend chanting and his childhood gang standing behind the creature—all of them staring at him. The voice of Asb’el boomed around him as a transaction took place between the demon haunting his dreams and his childhood gang. He awoke as the deal was sealed.
When the rest awoke from their sleep, Faridoon was already awake nursing a small flask of liquor. Faridoon inquired with Drall if dreams were real, to which Drall dismissed as the ramblings of an early morning drunk. After packing up, the group headed out to find Boric the Grey, who the svirfneblin said might help them. As they passed through the mines heading back to where they last saw him, they noticed the bodies of the monstrous animals that had attacked them the day before were gone.
Drall was the first to approach Boric, who greeted him friendly. After he saw Dynff and Dabien, Drall’s “dog”, Boric’s attitude changed for the worse. He told them it was likely that the different sections of the mines were connected deeper below, but not on this level. He explained he “over looked the area and his friends” but no one inquired as to what exactly he did or was doing in the abandoned mines. Dynff had asked about the tapestries hung on his walls, ones that were similar to the murals found in the ruins they stayed in, to which Boric explained were depictions of the ancient kingdom of Netheril. Netheril, he mentioned, was a empire of powerful wizards whose cities floated in the skies by magic. He knew the cities fell when the magic stopped, but he wasn’t sure why or why the ruins were here.
Unsatisfied with his answers the group departed to the path they found the day before that descended deeper into the mines. Moving down that twisting tunnel for several hundred feet, the group came to a large cavern with three sets of mine tracks and three mine carts setup in a row on the closest one. Seeing it as an easy way down, the group jumped in and shoved off. The rusty wheels screeched as the carts began to move, but then faded into the sound of the carts moving quickly down the track. The group used the hand brakes to maintain a reasonable speed. After several minutes the tunnel opened into an enormous cavern—the track suspended in the air about the darkness below. At some point while riding around on the tracks, a group of Sharite Priestesses and what appeared to be an undead miner came up next to them in another cart. A battle ensured, leaving the Sharites injured and quickly fleeing in their cart.
The track continued on. After clearing the enormous cavern, the tunnel narrowed down, so that now the walls were only about a hundred feet away. As the cart whipped down the track, the group began to see small fires burning in holes and tunnels along the vast cavern walls. Around the fire, dozens of figures stood methodically mining at the walls. The scene passed quickly, and the track finally came to an end at a much lower level of the mine. After exploring the area, the group came across an other Sharite Priestess tending several undead as they mined away. The priestess put up quite a fight with her half-dozen minions, but was ultimately felled. A map on her indicated that the area was expecting a “shipment of four individuals, due three days ago.”
Drow slaver inspects his catch
Exhausted from the mine cart ride and the battle with the Sharite, the group left the area following the map to a level even deeper below. At a point several minutes walk from the Sharite and her miner cohorts, a band of Drow slavers jumped from the shadows and overcame the group. In the midsts of the battle, Drall collapsed unconscious from a poisoned dagger wound. His final thoughts left Dabein defending his master furiously. After an intense standoff, one of the slavers finally picked up Drall’s own mace, and with a mighty swing, landed the final blow that shattered Drall’s beloved friend to pieces.
When the four began to regain consciousness, they found their hands and feet bound by heavy iron manacles and that they were suspended from the ceiling above a large metal grate. The only light came from embers of a smiths furnace burning in front of them. Along the walls were various smithing tools and some others – pokers, saws, tongs, hammers. No more than a moment after the group regained consciousness the the only entrance to the room, a heavy iron door, opened. A large scared drow entered, followed by a familiar face: Aaron Klinhelm of House Samreich.