Alphys and __________ briskly rowed the small skiff as far and as fast away as they could. Navigating the Darklake was pretty irrelevant: when the Prince of Demons shows up in town, you really don’t care where you’re headed.
When one intends to hire passage on a boat, usually one hopes to get a ship’s captain who knows how to navigate to where you want to go. When you instead sprint for any boat that’s handy to escape a rampaging demigod, you reduce your expectations. This meant our heroes had a boat, but no idea how to get where they ultimately wanted to go. The good news is that in the immediate term “anywhere but here” was fine.
As we left our previous adventure, much of the party had been struck mad by viewing Demogorgon. Fortunately, most of them recovered after a few minutes. Alton, however, ranted and chanted “Leemogoogooon!” over and over for three solid hours.
The first problem was noticed well before it could be seen. Wynn was the first to hear a roaring ahead. The Dragonkin found it easy enough to paddle against the current while they took stock of their surroundings. As they explored the subterranean river, they found that it was arranged much like a canal, with a well-worn but quite dusty towpath off to one side. Continuing downstream, they encountered an ancient Duergar lock system.
While none of the group were familiar with shipping locks, they sorted out how to make it work, and continued downstream. A small group of hobgoblins, camped out on the path, were not expecting a naval assault on their campground. This mistake was deadly for most of them, but one hobgoblin threw down his sword and was spared. [editor’s note: If someone remembers why he was spared, please remind me.]
In a section of the canal mostly covered by a patch of faerzress, the group finally met someone friendly in the Underdark. Skriss, a Troglodyte who claimed to be a member of a group known as the Society of Brilliance, was studying faerzress. It seemed to him that faerzress was not behaving as he expected. He tricked Wynn into casting a spell, which had entirely unexpected behavior. He also gave the party directions to Gracklstugh, which, fortunately, didn’t require much more than the non-existent underground sea navigation experience they already had.
Another lock lay in their path, which was quickly sorted, then they broke out into a massive underground sea. A brief encounter with a water weird was all that lay between them and their goal. Soon, they saw an orange glow across the water, and as they approached, they began to smell acrid smoke.
We’ll pick up as the party approaches Gracklstugh, the City of Blades.