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Nov 23 2012

Chronicles of Netheril, November 17th, 2012

Endless Caverns

According to the map we had to travel much deeper into the Endless Caverns in order to reach the realm of Aumvar the Undying. At the moment, the only clear path further into caverns was to follow the stream that becomes the Unicorn Run River; so follow it we did.

After quite a few hours of travel we reached a dead end. The stream led us to a cave with no exit. A large pool of water in the centre of the cave was the source of the stream. Clearly, the water must be coming from somewhere. Seeing as he doesn’t breathe, Voulge ventured underwater and discovered that there was in fact a large network of tunnels submerged under the water.

Upon his return we looked through the ritual book given to us by Yder Tanthul and discovered a powerful water breathing ritual. It would allow us to breathe water for several hours, and would keep us and our possessions dry at the same time.

Dirty Pig performed the ritual and we proceeded into the pool of water. Using the map we were able to make our way through the network of submerged tunnels, and after a few hours we emerged on the other side.

At this point, rather than become simpler, our situation became much more complicated. After exiting the underwater tunnels we found ourselves at the entrance to a maze of tunnels. This second tunnel network was so complex that its details weren’t laid out in our map. The various sections of the maze were only shown as vague areas; only the waypoints in between sections of the maze had any level of detail. So we were on our own for all intents and purposes. Luckily for us though, Ash had purchased a stick of eternal chalk some ago. This allowed us to keep track of which tunnels we had already explored and avoid getting lost. {Use of eternal chalk grants 1 free success in the skill challenge.}

When we finally made our way out of the maze we ran into a patrol of Mind Flayers. But these weren’t like the other ilithids we’d encountered before; they mental powers were incredibly powerful. With no effort whatsoever, they were able to enthral us and take us to their stronghold. Although we were aware of what was happening around us, everything was foggy and we had no control over our own bodies; it was as if we were trapped in a waking dream.

Endless Caverns – Mind Flayer Stronghold

Once we reached the ilithid stronghold, we were placed into some cells. There were no bars or doors to the cells; we just didn’t really feel like escaping. It was the Mind Flayers’ mental influence at work. At least we got to rest for a bit.

At some point later on we left our cells and headed for some unknown destination. It felt like the natural thing to do and we somehow knew where we had to go.

Suddenly, it was like we woke up. We were back in control; more or less. We were in the centre of a large arena and all around us, in high balconies, were ilithid spectators. At the other end of the arena, a large purple worm was released from captivity. We were to fight it for the entertainment of our captors. Even though we were back in control, it somehow never entered our minds to attack our captors directly.

Our opponent was not the usual kind of purple worm. Whenever our weapons hit it and cut off a piece of its flesh, the piece would immediately turn into another smaller worm upon hitting the ground. Despite this we won with a fair amount of ease.

After our victory things became foggy again. We returned to our cells and about half an hour later we made our way back to the arena. This time we were facing a group of drow warriors. They were a much more difficult opponent, but we were eventually victorious.

After returning to our cells we felt the Mind Flayers’ hold on us diminish. Our last two fights had apparently satisfied their bloodlust for the time being and they were now focusing their attention on other matters. As a result of their distraction we managed to break free from our thraldom, albeit with great difficulty.

We left our cells and began looking for a way out of the stronghold. We eventually made our way to a somewhat secluded area that seemed like it would lead us to freedom; but just as we neared the exit, we were intercepted by a group ilithids and their servants.

After defeating all of them, which took a while, we finally made it to the exit tunnel. Unfortunately our way was blocked by another obstacle. A platoon of drow warriors was at the end of the exit tunnel. They were here to rescue their captured allies, but upon seeing us they decided to try and take us as slaves, because we would be worth more than their allies.

As they approached us, a gaping maw opened up in the ground and nearby a large hand clawed its way out from beneath the soil. The hand grabbed the drow and threw them into the waiting maw.

Whatever this creature was, it was doubtful we could defeat it even at our full strength; let alone in our current condition. But since it appeared to be quite busy masticating its meal, we took the opportunity to sneak by.

Now that we were out of the ilithid stronghold, we ran as fast as we could for as long as we could. We wanted to put as much distance between us and them as possible. When we couldn’t run anymore, we walked. And we kept walking, never stopping to rest, until we reached the edge of Aumvar’s realm.

This part of the caverns appeared relatively safe. So, completely exhausted, we all collapsed to the ground and went to sleep.