A new day dawned and the Death Knight, Monk, and Barbarian Warlock went to the other two allied houses to learn more about them. The three also desired the ability to sit in on council meetings. The only way to do this was to gain approval from 4 of the 6 noble houses. Only 1 house, Metalbuckle was willing to invite the group inside.
They selected house Icegut first. This house was known for its insane military training workouts. When the group entered, they were greeted by Kadmic, one of the 4 Battlemasters that represented the house. To gain access to the council with their blessing, the Dwarf indicated that the three would need to survive one of their workouts. The three all were eager to try.
First, the three were brought to a tunnel with minimal features. Once inside, they were commanded to keep running until instructed to stop. It was obvious from this simple exercise that the Icegut workouts dealt with mind and body. The three managed to make it through this first step, but the next part would test them far more harshly.
Next, the three were force into a dark and cold cavern. Filled almost completely with water, this workout was just like the other, only now hypothermia was a factor. An issue that all three were unable to overcome. Despite their best attempts, one by the Death Knight, then the Barbarian/Warlock, and even the Monk succumbed to the intense cold. Told by Kadmic that the workout required a full day, the three would need to return tomorrow before they could try again.
Angry at the waste of time, the three decided to try House Trollbreaker instead. The party braced themselves. This Family was known to be eccentric and powerful. Any words from such a Family could be true, false, or both at the same time. However, the request from this family was far more reasonable.
There was no love lost between Houses Trollbreaker and Runebrewer. The enemy house allegedly was working with the Trollbreaker’s enemy, the Drow. The party had already faced these Drow and was ready to fight them again. Back into the tunnels the party dove. This time knowing that if they could wipe the encampment out, that they would be allowed by the Trollbreaker’s to enter.
On the way to their newest destination, the group encountered a lone Wight. Like all the others the party had fought, this one served Nihilin. Also like the others, this creature sought to find the Necromancer. Finally, and once again, the Necromancer was not present. This enemy was quickly dispatched as the group had gained an understanding of how to fight this variant of Undead.
After the creature was killed, Gonk appeared informing the group that he had heard about the Drow encampment and could lead the party right to them. Following the Dwarf Warrior, the party soon stumbled into a deeper cavern. Lit by the same mushrooms as in the upper tunnels, the biggest feature of this area was the floor being flooded.
The Drow Lair:
Carefully, the party crept through the tunnels, with only a long stain of blood to guide their footsteps. Eventually they reached a split hallway with only option of where to go. A mystical wall blocked the way forward and using arcana checks resulted in the Death Knight realize that the life of other creatures was keeping this barrier active.
Conveniently, the being powering the barrier were in this dungeon and so the party went the other way to hunt down and kill the creatures. After finding a hallway that resulted in the group circling around almost the entire outer perimeter of the dungeon, they finally found the first of the required creatures to slay. More Zombies and Wights. Once again a minimal challenge to the party.
However, the door ahead managed to cause a much greater problem. First the Monk decided to try blasting it down. Instead, he activated a teleportation crystal. Not only was he separated from the party, but found himself in the worst place in the dungeon. The blocked room and a regiment of Drow with crossbow’s trained on his now dangling body.
Next the Barbarian/Warlock decided to use a creature conjured from his Bag of Tricks. The summoned creature this time around was an Owl. The creature found the crystal and once again an ally vanished. This time, it was not long that soon after the Owl Screeched in horror and then was killed by something in a nearby room.
The remaining members became afraid to touch the crystal, unsure of the fate that would befall them. The Barbarian/Warlock, feeling braver than his two companions though, tried his luck. As fate would decide, he ended up with the Monk. Now both were tied up and trapped with a small army of Drow.
Gonk and the Death Knight, decided not to get separated from each other. Despite the Death Knight’s reservations, the two elected to hold hands while Gonk triggered the Teleportation Crystal yet again. This time they were warped to another room, and found that the water on the floor was at a much higher level than before.
Inside this new room, the two found a large amount of treasure. The Death Knight, once again was compelled to gather all the treasure in front of them, but Gonk did not mind. The Dwarf was far more interested in what lurked in the next room. As it turned out, the two found the source of all the water. An Elemental was inside this area, and was guarding another chest that the Death Knight was certain contained even more treasure.
After avoiding the treasure when they realized the Elemental would attack if they tried to touch it, the two found a double hallway that led to another room. Within this dead end, Gonk motioned towards the far corner. Within sat a terrifying creature. The Dwarf mouthed “Grell” indicating what this tentacled monstrosity was named.
While certainly a formidable foe, and after it managed to grapple the Death Knight, the creature was slain. Now free to inspect the room, the two found even more treasure. Once again, the Death Knight was compelled to horde it all for himself. Notable items included an Elven Cloak, and even a couple healing potions.
Knowing that the Water Elemental would need to meet its end for the final door to be open, Gonk and the Death Knight hoped that their allies were all right as they prepared to face a deadly foe with diminished numbers.
Time continues to countdown to Apocalypse. The Dwarven Crisis seems far from resolving itself. Worse, the party is split up and in the lair of their enemy. Just what does fate have in store next?