D&D 5E Out of the Abyss IC



Credit: pinterest.com Artist: Unknown

It had been two days since The Flaying, as His Highness Prince Derendil liked to call it. The Flaying. They took the runty deep gnome, the one with blackest skin. Shoor had laughed his wheezing high-pitched glee at the gnome's panicked bleating about needing to live, wanting to serve. But Mistress Ilvara had been bored that day. Bored with Shoor. Bored with her command. Bored, perhaps, with the drudge of life in an insignificant outpost. The gnome lasted an hour, dinner theater, his screams stretching from the drow's dining hall, tendrils of misery creeping across the rocky cavern wall into the inky dark of the prison cell. His end was punctuated with laughter. Cat-calls in the queer gutteral tongue of the drow.

Fifteen prisoners, stuffed in a natural cavern. Iron bars and a lock the size of a fist sealed the entry. A prison. Everyone knew by now to avoid His Highness Prince Derendil. Oh, he could be urbane. Witty, even. He liked to lift a pinky finger as he talked, raised as if he were taking high tea. But, as Sarith discovered to his woe, refer to the great hulking shaggy beast as a "quaggoth," and you would know suffering. Sarith still flinched a little when His Highness drew near.

Buppido was the first to make introductions, shaking hands all around. The male derro was particular in his habits, refusing to piss near his bed, always wiping his hands in a futile attempt to clean them before eating. He was friendly, though. Harmless. A font of knowledge and information, once you got him talking. A foil to the brutishness of His Highness and Ront the Orc who moped sullen in the corner.

Inside your prison, the spark of magic died. There was no light, certainly no warmth, and it was not dry. Though your feet were free, your hands were manacled, a chain running from the manacles to an iron belt clapped at your waist. The slave collar at your neck, though. That chaffed. Just where your gear had gone, well, that was a mystery. The drow had taken it when you were captured.

And always, always, always, the sound of rushing water roared somewhere in the distance, never to be seen, always heard.
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GM: Roll a d20 and post the result here, all of you. The rolling convention is contained in the OOC. And, please, feel free to post whatever you like of your character's actions and speech.

[MENTION=23484]Kobold Stew[/MENTION]



Kago had found his own corner to mope in, at least as far as anyone knew. In truth, he listened and he prayed. He listened to the mad rumblings of the other captives and learned plenty about them in the process, and prayed for the strength to keep from smashing all their faces in. He may need them later should an attempt at escape present itself, or at least as fodder to keep the drow from taking notice of the brooding orc in the corner.

His thick knuckles cracked as he tightened his fist, and he forced a slow, even breath to quell the building rage. He knew it wouldn't take long before this prison became a bloodbath, either by drow hands or his own. He had to get out of here!



CB, when the grate was unlocked and they took the deep gnome away, how many guards were present?

It felt very odd, being disconnected from the Weave..Kamael could not remember a time in his life when he had not been able to feel the magic, to manipulate it with his will. He could not see anything obvious about the cavern or bars that was causing this..blindness, but he knew that it must have been deliberately caused by the drow. Part of him eagerly anticipated leaving, hoping that the connection would quickly return; but another part dreaded leaving since that would likely mean a similar fate to that of the deep gnome.

Kamael took a deep breath, and distracted himself by following Buppido's lead and talking to each of his fellow prisoners. He was accustomed to hunger and struggling to survive and knew that dwelling on his situation would not resolve anything. Instead, his mind was occupied with constructing a mental image of the surrounding area and finding out if any of the others knew where they were, and where they could go, if they got out of the cell..

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
OOC: [roll0]

Solace was hungry, and her hair was clotted with other people's blood. She didn't complain, though. This is what this world was like, and she had faced worse smells than this. Not worse by far, admittedly.

The former occupant of what she generously called a mattress had haemorrhaged profusely, and the film left behind was still wet, all these days later.

She found a routine for herself. When people returned from the torture she would go to them, offering what little first aid she could without other resources. Pressure points for pain management. Flushing wounds of contaminants where possible. She did not low what good it did, but it established a pattern so that the gaolers would not be too suspicious each time she approached that fist-sized lock. By now she knew where they kept their keys; knew the sound of the mechanism turning; sensed the resistance that the metal offered. Soon, she would be ready.

OOC: Medicine rolls (with disadvantage?) -- cover more than anything else, but if it offers comfort and doesn't make things worse, all for the better.
Roll 1: [roll1] (if disadvantage, worse of that and [roll2].
Roll 2: [roll3] (if disadvantage, worse of that and [roll4].


Kamael's heart lightened as he saw Solace's actions.
OOC: [roll0]

Even in her own misery, she was one of those rare people who thought of others and cared for them. Kamael felt gratitude for the fact that Solace was with him, and then immediately felt guilty, wishing that she was safely back on the surface. Tssh, he chided himself, deal with the situation you're in and keep trying to find out what the others here know about this "Underdark".
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Raza Thulcandra

Raza watched. The wrinkled, old halfling woman seemed weighted down by her chains and moved about sparingly, just enough to avoid the insane quaggoth and the moping orc-bloods. The quaggoth’s delusion could be manipulated, if necessary; the orcs too unpredictable to be useful.

The derro, Buppido, and the one who introduced himself as Kamael (interesting how that one watched the girl) she might be able to work with. At the least, it was fairly easy to prompt them into talking when she got bored. The others… there was time to learn about the others. Despite appearances, there was always time; like everything else, you only had to manage it.


Raza had been in the cell longest. In the dark, time stretched interminably, making it hard to tell just exactly how many days had passed, but she guessed it was twenty four. The pair of drow who captured her handed her off to a caravaneer who brought her to this place. The drow here dumped her in the cell and promptly forgot about her. She had been neither fetched for service at the outpost, nor mentioned in the intervening time. Left to die, a shriveled thing deemed worthless. Brinn arrived hours after Raza. However long she had been here, he'd been here the same amount of time, or very nearly. He was strange, had strange ways, and kept to himself, she observed. On Brinn's third day, a myconid sprout he hadn't noticed sidled up the Haruchai warrior. The sproutling lacked features that might permit it to form words, but nevertheless stayed closed at Brinn's side. It didn't speak, but he sensed it watched him.


Stool, Myconid Sprout
Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Perhaps ten days into Raza's and Brinn's stay, Kago, Kamael, and Solace arrived. None of the three had been conscious when the drow upended the litters to deposit their bodies on the uneven floor. There they lay, waking a day later, groggy and disoriented with poison.

The food prisoners were given, what little of it remained after Bront and His Highness helped themselves, was a thin mushroom broth in small clay bowls passed through the bars of the gate once a day. The broth tended to arrive mid-day. Solace noted the cook was a creature with features highly similar to His Highness. A quaggoth. Tall, covered in a pelt of thin shaggy blue-grey fur, forearms roped with muscle, the claws affixed to her digits razor-sharp. Cook was escorted by two drow armed with short swords, one with a light crossbow at his back. She pushed through the broth through the bars with the pair of guards stood ten feet away, then turned and left. She never spoke. Or looked at the captives, even.

Three clay chamber pots lined the open space of one of the cavern's sloping walls. Once per day in the morning, three armed drow guards accompanied by a quaggoth unlock the cell gate and direct three random prisoners to take the full chamber pots and upend them over a cliff into a pool. Each of prisoner had done this duty at least once, and so in this way learned that the outpost was named Velkynvelve, and that it sat perched high amidst large stalactites hanging from the ceiling of a chasm. Narrow rope bridges connected rooms built in secret niches carved into the hanging stalactites. At the far end of the outpost was a ledge perhaps twelve inches wide. It was along this ledge the drow guards pointed prisoners, directing them to dump the chamber pots into a pool on the chasm floor, some 100' below the outpost. More than one prisoner had contemplated the fall as potential reprieve from their suffering. So far, however, no one had jumped. The outpost relied on a waterfall in its center as a source of fresh water. It was this waterfall that produces the ever-roaring sound of water.

[sblock=OOC]Raza and Brinn have been in Velkynvelve 24 days. Kago, Kamael, and Solace have been in Velkynvelve 14 days. If you think your character would know the precise number of days, feel free to roleplay it that way. I posit that it would be hard to tell the passage of time in the dark in an unfamiliar environment. For ease of reference, however, we're going to have to use terms like "morning," "afternoon," and "evening." Those of you who have discovered a discarded item inside the cell have received a PM. Feel free to interact with the environment and with any of the Velkynvelve Prisoner NPCs listed in the Community. [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], I think it's time for Jorlan to make an appearance.[/sblock]
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Solace has been able to provide comfort here and there to those inmates who have suffered beatings at the hands of their drow masters. She helped Eldeth Feldrun, a female shield dwarf, recover after a savage kick to the head. Eldeth survived, but lost an eye from the blunt force trauma of the blow.


Kamael goes over to Buppido, "Hey there, you got any idea how many drow there are in this place? And is this in the middle or the outskirts of drow territory?"Kamael is happy to talk a little about his life if the gnome expresses any interest, or to listen to Buppido talk about his life if he prefers, but tries to steer the conversion towards geography & political topics if he can...
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A troupe of five drow pass by the prison. They are not shadows, for there is no light down here. Instead, they are fleeting shades of grey for those with darkvision. Those without, whose eyes have been plunged into darkness, can only make out murmurs spoken in their insidious under-tongue.

[sblock=Undercommon]"Who shall she have flayed next? The mad quaggoth, perhaps?"

"There better be one soon. My sword arm hungers for the blood of men and elves, yet we are kept waiting until the slave-takers from Menzoberranzan arrive."

"Mistress Ilvara has been kept... occupied... by Shoor of late, so it may be a while before another flaying. Unless she decides to finish what the ooze started on old Duskryn."

A chorus of vile laughter comes from the drow, then abruptly stops as they pass quietly.[/sblock]

Quiet footsteps scrape along the stone passage leading to the prison cell door, as if someone were dragging an injured leg. From the still darkness outside the cell, a brooding older drow watches the prisoners with his arms folded, his piwafwi (drow cloak) wrapped tight about his shoulders. The only glimmer of color comes from his haunting red eyes. Half of his face looks partially melted with numerous scars traversing his ghostly flesh. He speaks in rusty Common:

"I expected the orcs would have eaten at least one of you by now."


Jorlan Duskryn
Credit: uthrandir.einjin.com Artist: Kyorlin Dyrr Special Effects: Quickleaf
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The derro wrung his hand and nodded at Kamael. "Nineteen drow in this god-forsaken outpost, m'boy. Plus their slaves. I can't get a good bead on how many slaves. Or what kind; their number fluctuates." A scream of pain from somewhere beyond the prison cell rent the air. Buppido offered a cheery grin. "I'm sure you understand why." He nodded a second time, his smile fading. "It'll all work out according to plan, m'boy. When the God rises and all is set to rights, is will be as it was intended. Or perhaps it is as it was intended, even now." The small derro eyed Kamael up and down as if sizing him up. "Yes, you'll do nicely." He smiled, revealing a set of crooked teeth, then continued, "Ah, but you were asking after the outpost, where it's situated. Couldn't say. Nowhere near Menzoberranzan, the great drow city of the Underdark. Oh, no. Nowhere near." He shook his head in emphasis. "It's why our Dear Mistress is so bitter. Far from home, she is. Far from home." He repeated the phrase more than was necessary.

The myconid sprout perked up a hair at Brinn's attention. It had no discernable features, no eyes or mouth, or face, yet it managed to convey thought and emotion. The softening of its mushroom hide, a slight puff of inflation...or deflation when it met the lick of Ilvara's scourge. Brinn thought once again that it had been watching him.


The derro wrung his hand and nodded at Kamael. "Nineteen drow in this god-forsaken outpost, m'boy. Plus their slaves. I can't get a good bead on how many slaves. Or what kind; their number fluctuates." A scream of pain from somewhere beyond the prison cell rent the air. Buppido offered a cheery grin. "I'm sure you understand why." He nodded a second time, his smile fading. "It'll all work out according to plan, m'boy. When the God rises and all is set to rights.."Yes, you'll do nicely."
"What God are you referring to; and I'll do nicely for what? You sound like a priest, are you following some kind of plan?"Kamael is starting to suspect this gnome is as crazy as the quaggoth..


Maintaining his stoic silence, Kago fiddles with a live spider he's managed to capture in his corner of the cell. It was his corner, because no one had yet attempted to take it from him.
"I expected the orcs would have eaten at least one of you by now."

The comment stole Kago's attention from his spider, and he found himself instinctively offering a deadly glare to the drow shadow. So much for the low profile... Even more infuriating, perhaps, was that that very thought had occurred to Kago more than once.



Complete darkness envelopes and blinds Raza, forcing her to rely on other senses. She strains her ears listening for the speech and movements of her cell mates as her fingers search the cave crevice by crevice. Her diligence is rewarded and she tucks the thing her fingers found into her clothing: hidden but within easy reach.

Buppido is near, she can tell by his breathing, and she wonders if the chatty creature noticed. She shrugs (a strange action when you cannot see yourself make it) and is about to whisper to him when the one who named himself Kamael approaches Buppido. Raza wonders if he can see her then decides it doesn’t matter.

”Those sound like the questions one who is planning escape asks.” She would say more but the quiet scrape of footfalls without, and the voice of one of their captors stills her voice. But only for a moment.

”Raza is an old piece of gristle; not to their liking.” She laughs, an odd sound in this prison and wonders what he may have overheard.

[sblock=Raza, in brief]
[size=+1]Raza Thulcandra[/size], halfling Druid 3
Initiative: +2; Inspiration: Yes
AC: 13; HP: 24/24; Speed: 25 ft

Str 8 (-1), Dex 15 (+2) , Con 14 (+2), Int 11 (+0), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 12 (+1)

Saves: Intelligence +2, Wisdom +4
Skills: Insight +4, Perception +4, Religion +2, Stealth +4
Senses: passive Perception 14

In Hand: nothing
Spells Prepared: (5) (Grimoire)
  • 2nd level: 2/2; Darkvision, Flame Blade*, Spider Climb (circle), Spike Growth (circle)
  • 1st level: 4/4; Cure Wounds*, Faerie Fire, Goodberry
  • Cantrips: Druidcraft, Mold Earth, Produce Flame
* can be cast at higher level

Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Naturally Stealthy, Natural Recovery 2/2
Wild Shape 2/2 (1 hour duration)
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Buppido nodded at Kamael, eagerness in his smile. His eyes flicked to the side, to Solace. Then back to Kamael. He lowered his voice two notches. "Why, our escape, of course. Bright lad like yourself, surely you thought of it. And I'm not a priest, no. I haven't any use for those. The God is not yet named and has not yet shown his divinity. But his time is coming, and all must be in order when it does. We'll want out of this outpost, and away." The derro looked around on the sly. "Perhaps our ends match and our mean can intertwine for a time, yes? You want free of this place?"

Brinn turned around and nearly tripped over the myconid sprout. The thing had crept close to his legs without his hearing. Eldeth--the female shield dwarf--lay on a bundle of rags in the middle of the room. She turned and groaned, in obvious pain. Solace tended her, but it was unclear whether Eldeth slept and dreamed, or lay in a fevered stupor. "Noooo. No. No." The dwarf shook her head, her words limpid. Ront the Orc growled in ire at Eldeth's bleating. Ront rose, anger etched on his brow. He made to cross the cell for Eldeth, barking as he strode. [sblock=Orc]"Shut up, wench! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!"[/sblock]

A rasp of a voice carried lowly from the far reach of the cell. A shadow there stirred, shifted in discomfort. "Leave us be, Duskryn. There's naught here to interest the likes of you." The owner of the voice, a male drow, hadn't moved in the last day, but chose now to address his drow captor. Buppido'd whispered his name. Sarith. He spoke again, slowly unfolding his lanky body and rising to stand. "Or has Ilvara once again found use for you?" There was challenge in Sarith's eyes. He ignored the circus unfolding in the cell, his bearing fixed on Jorlan.


Sarith Kzekarit
Credit: Wizards of the Coast Artist: Unknown
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The older drow cradles an arm as if it were mangled, attempting to hide the extent of his injures which include an awkwardly bent foot. While his poise is that of a skilled warrior, his injuries clearly have crippled him. His eyes trace from the orc Kago to the bald human Brinn. A fleeting wry smile passes over the drow's mutilated face, a garish image in the dark.

"Unfortunate for mad Sarith then," he gestures toward the insane drow with festering skin and matted hair that shares the prison cell with you. There is a cool sarcasm in his tone as he leans against the wall opposite the prison door. "Velkynvelve has held many orcs over the years. They gnash their teeth, promise bloody vengeance, but they all meet the same fate: enslavement to the great houses of Menzoberranzan. Will your fate be any different, human?" He asks with arched brow, sneering slightly when he speaks of the noble drow houses.

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