Campaign Date: Month of the Griffin 15th – 16th
Right as night falls, the heroes reach the shop of Gladstone Harthec. Due to the strange nature of the drow’s curfew, Gladstone is just opening up as the sun goes down. He greets them cheerily, and in short order the heroes ask him for any old maps of Hightower, specifically those that might have forgotten, unknown or secret passages and tunnels around or below the city. After a little back and forth bartering, including Gladstone asking for Emmy’s stuffed bear (which was met with strong resistance), Riban convinces Gladstone to give them the maps for free, with the offer of a favor from one of the noble houses of Arcantion. Gladstone accepts, requesting that, once the drow have been defeated, Bondin allows him access to a specific tome in the restricted section of the Sunken Library. Bondin remembers the tome, titled the Foul Syllabus, as a collection of histories and descriptions of many demon lords, but can’t imagine what secrets the book would hold that would interest the strange dwarf. He agrees, and the heroes take the maps.
Returning to Osbert’s safehouse at the Broken Arrow, Bondin and Brakis study the map while Emmy sleeps. They quickly find evidence of several secret tunnels below the city, both into Dragon’s Chamber, but also those that look as if they might lead to the Underdark. If these tunnels have collapsed, been sealed off, or just forgotten however, who can tell?
Riban meanwhile goes to meet with Baela Kentlar, a drow noble with whom Osbert has secured a meeting. Despite her haughty attitude, she softens to Riban’s charm and constant compliments. By the end of their conversation, it is possible she might even be a bit smitten with him.
At Riban’s request, Baela agrees to aid the heroes in sabotaging Family Ousath‘s ritual that keeps the dragon in its slumber. Family Kentlar has long been at odds with Family Ousath, and would gain from whatever fall the Ousath’s suffer.
Baela knows little of the ritual used to enslave the dragon, but believes the answers lie in the drow city of Ungenthal. She assigns one of her attendants, a drow male named Berg’dorl to act as a guide as the heroes descend into the Underdark.
Before departing from Hightower, the heroes stock up on supplies, including a visit to the secure vaults where Bondin’s family keeps a variety of magic items. Slipping past the guards, Bondin is able to open the vaults easily, but they must move quickly. Riban intercepts a drow patrol, stalling for time, and allowing his comrades to grab three magic items. Regrouping outside the keep, they find they have found a +1 Shield, a Ring of Jumping and some Pipes of Haunting.
Feeling as prepared as they can be, the heroes make their way into the tunnels below Hightower, saying goodbye to the sun, hopefully not for the final time…