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Out of the Abyss - Part 4: The Princess Heresy

Out of the Abyss is a Dungeons and Dragons (DnD 5e) game set in the Underdark. Play takes place every Friday night at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club in Chislehurst South East London. The Dungeon Master is Joshua.

Cast of Characters

  • Janek Boone - Human Champion (Tony)

  • Targonis - Wood Elf Ranger (Steve)

  • Aur - Aarakocra Rogue (Suresh)

  • Selya Skag - Vedalken Alchemist Artificer (Daniel)

  • Sunna Mortas - Tiefling Sorceror (Jo)

Orcus Rises

The terrifying face of the Demon Lord Orcus, Prince of the Undead, looked down upon the corpses of the battle weary heroes with scare acknowledgement. A wave of dark, depressing, life draining energy washed over them and everyone save Janek and Sunna was left feeling exhausted.

To Suu-Shaar's horror the hulking form of Orcus turned in the direction of his home Sloopdidoop and began wading through the darklake. Before anyone can stop him, he runs off down the tunnel shouting

"My tribe, I must save them!"

The remaining heroes notice that the bodies of the cultists are twitching and writhing in a sickening dance as their various body parts begin to reanimate. It is time to leave this cursed beach. Janek grabs a large plank of Zurkhwood and begins to paddle out onto the lake. He urges his comrades to do the same and before long they are all paddling away in their makeshift canoes in the opposite direction to Orcus and Sloopidoop.

Upon the Darklake

A couple of hours later they encounter a family of Kuo-toans in a row boat headed towards Sloopidoop. Janek tries to communicate with them and tells them that the town is about to be attacked by Orcus but the Kuo-toan man dismisses him as an idiot. Aur flies down to warn the fish people but the man mistakes his concern for an attack by an aerial monstrosity batting away at him with his oar. The party give up and leave the Kuo-toans to their fate.

They hug the coast as they travel and after some time reach a small island which looks like a good place to spend the night. Targonis forages for food among the sparse vegetation and finds some Ripplebark which despite it's rotting smell is suprisingly edible if roasted. Sarith is noticeably worse and his face is showing blotchy white ringed marks. Skag examines him and Bupido confirms that he has a fungal infection which needs urgent treatment. He adds that there is a Duergar Outpost a couple of days away along the coastline where help might be available. Skag administers a sleeping draft and the drow falls into a deep sleep.

Targonis claims that Sarith is afflicted by an evil curse and should be left on the island or his body burned. Janek muses to himself, perhaps that is what happens in the Endless Chasm but he is not ready to give up on Sarith so easily. Whilst on watch he tries to engage with the deep gnome twins Topsy and Turvy. They are reluctant to speak but tell him that they are headed in the direction of Gracklstugh where they used to live and where they fled from an orphanage some time ago. They would prefer not to return.

During the night Aur has another nightmare but this time his beloved Allekra is accompanied by her kidnapper Kazra. Aur is almost convinced by his soft welcoming words "Join Us Sister" as he stares into the void of Kazra's black and empty eye sockets.

In the morning Aur appears to have been joined by a friendly Tawny Owl which she names Hedwig. Sarith is still ill and Derendel agrees to look after him on his large canoe. Before leaving Skag espies some glowing weeds deep in the water and after quaffing a potion, dives down to investigate. He returns some moments later with a handfull of torchstalk. Stool tells them that it will burn like a torch for 24 hours, but sometimes it explodes.

They continue to paddle along the coast and after a long day find a small bay in which to land and rest. Targonis notices that a troglodyte nest dominates the small beach. Janek hopes that this might be a camp for some of the Council of Brilliance who might be able to help Sarith. Skag administers another sleeping potion and Sunnar bids them goodnight with another gloomy dark poem.

During the night three Troglodytes emerge from the lake and attack them. The stench of the creatues is so bad that several of the heroes begin to retch. Targonis shoots a warning shot into one of the troglodytes feet which only enrages them. Sunna emerges from her drunken stupor and blasts two with firebolts. Despite Targonis being injured he slays one with a might swipe of his shortsword and flourishingly sheathes his sword. Janek slashes another to pieces before killing the last by blunging his sword through its back and out the front.

As the bodies of the troglodytes fall to the ground a large Duergar ship hoves into view.

All Aboard

A burly sailor calls out "are you alright? Do you need help?". Janek entreats the Duergar for aid and transport but the seamen are distrustfull of armed strangers. Pointing at Aur, Janek explains that they are transporting this performer to Kaethra the Trader. The Duergar let them aboard the ship but say the Aarakocra must go below in the slave pen.

Escorted below, Aur is very surprised to see the familiar face of the relentlessly cheery inveterate gambler Jimjar. Jimjar explains what happened to him after the escape and how he ended up in the clutches of these Duergar slavers.

The Princess Heresy is a large vessel crewed by a dozen or so Duergar and captained by Rothram Bonebattle and his first mate Bangram. Above deck Rothram explains that there are strange goings on at Gracklstugh and the Deepking has ordered all the boats to return. They should be sailing into the harbour in 2 to 3 days.

On the morning of the third day Janek awakes and briefly mistakes the orange glow on the horizon for sunrise. It is in fact the firely glow of the furnaces of Gracklstugh kept alight by the firey breath of the great red dragon Themberchaud...

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