The Veiled Vanguard

The Eldritch Inferno: The City of Vulcan

As the party came to the end of the dark tunnel beneath the ruins, they stared at a breath taking city carved into the Cliffside. Seven stories of chiseled marble lay before them, carved in styles of the First Era. In the center of the city, a great obelisk hung inverted from the ceiling. But this city did not lay silent. Peering over the ledge, the party saw the lower levels of the city swarmed with Drow. On the first floor, slaves were put to work smithing weapons. Further into the city, the Drow had erected great barricades to completely seal the far side of the city. The upper floors were mostly deserted, with the occasional guard patrol making rounds. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Zuri, Clever Girl, Mentula, and Olisha decided to stay hidden in the tunnel while Angeilos, Aleysia, and Kilimar (the races that could be taken as normal in the Underdark) would scout the surrounding area.

Removing his mask, Angeilos lead the scouting trio up a flight of steps toward the keep of the outer castle. At the top of the steps a courtyard separated the group from the inner doors of the keep. Before the door sat a red headed drow girl, two armored duergar, and a worg. Choosing to not go that way, the trio headed down the set of steps on the other side of the courtyard and across one of the bridges that spanned the city. At the end of the bridge, they were confronted by a guard asking why they were on the upper levels of the city. Thinking quickly, Angeilos told the guard that he was a merchant here to pick up the smithed weapons from the matriarch of the city (since he originated from a royal merchant family before leaving the Underdark). When prompted how he entered the city, Angeilos stated the hole in the wall of the third floor. Shocked, the guard demanded to see where this hole was. He followed the trio back to the tunnel they entered from, where he was promptly murdered by six adventurers, and one very hungry raptor.

Heading back to the guards post, the trio found a door to the upper floor of the city’s lecture hall. As Kilimar looked inside, he was horrified to see that the drow had converted the room into a laboratory for fleshwarping. Two drow, one in robes and one armored, stood inside over a writhing mass of pale flesh. Unable to restrain herself, Aleysia barreled down the stairs to defeat the torturers, prompting a battle amid the shelves of alchemical agents. The trio slew the pair of drow, but not before the armored drow was able to call for reinforcements. Knowing their time was short, the trio attempted to retreat to the 4th floor door they had entered from. On the way, Kilimar thought to knock over the chemicals as he went. With the city’s guard rushing to the lower entrance, and the others out of the room, Kilimar lit a spark with magic, detonating the alchemical mixture in the room with an explosion great enough to blow out the walls of the lower levels and kill tens of drow. With the entire city’s population on high alert, the trio ran for the tunnel but were blocked at the courtyard. The young drow and her guards blocked the stairway. She stared at them with a smile only a devil could make.

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