Chapter 21


Underdark. 7th day of the 1st week of Ches.
After the nights rest, the party is summoned back to Andhova after 12 hours, which surprises them , since they expected to rest for only 6 hours.
She excuses herself for it , but justifies it, due to the difficulty of the rituals involved.
As Andhova talked before , for her help in getting them to the surface,and further helping in establishing a secure location on the surface , she asked in return for theirs , in retrieving the two stones she knows the location of in the Underdark , and so , she offered them two choices, to go to the ancient underground city of Maerimydra , or to the Drow city of Sschinalydiryn .
After deliberation , the group decided to go to Maerimydra first. And so Andhova prepared the portal for opening into the city , using a neglected portal below the Temple where the stone lies , with the Giant Queen not knowing the importance of the stone , and therefore leaving it with few guards , but , to the Company misfortune , the Temple as it is , is impregnated with old Lolth magic , making it impossible to use teletransportation in it. So they´ll have to go thru the portal in the sewers of the city , and make their way up into the Temple , without attracting the attention of the Giants. For this they receive from Andhova a replica of the stone , so they can swap them without anyone noticing.
As they step out of the portal in Maerimydra , they realize the stench of decay is overwhelming , and so they quickly climb thru a chimney that leads them to the Temple´s bathrooms , and from there they finally arrive at their destination.
But, as they lay their eyes upon their prize , they see it´s more heavily guarded then they expected, by 2 Azer Soldiers.
Without wanting to stay long in this dangerous location the party lays out a battle plan , that consists of drawing attention upon Nermathed, Aethan, Mindartis and Znog , while Perryn lays back in support , with Brastil stealthly going around their enemies and swapping the stones. Unfortunately the plan goes bad and they are surprised by 2 Hill giants , 1 Fire bat, 1 Hell Hound and 1 Macetail Behemot. Nevertheless , they stick with their original plan , and let Brastil steal the stone. It´s a fight of epic proportions for the Company , with them having to use all of their cunning and resources against the , apparently superior enemies. The bravery of Znog stands out among them , with him securing the two larger enemies , the Hill Giants ,so that his comrades can attack them safely . Even the two Azer soldiers , superior in strength , aren´t able to use their strenght , due to the well placed tactics of Nermathed and Perryn , that delay them enough , so that the rest of the party can deal with the res of their foes , and then focus all of their might upon the 2 , now, sole fighters.
With the battle won , they quickly leave the Temple , and Maerimydra , back thru the portal and to Andhova , who is happy with their efficiency.
After a well deserved rest , it´s time for the second part of their job.For this mission Andhova has a new gift for them , and after a small ritual , she manages to make them all look like Drow fighters , members of a force that tried to get into her tower some weeks ago , and that she captured.
This time , they are transported to a portal outside the main part of the Drow city of Sschinalydiryn , but still within it´s confines , and relatively close to the Estate of House Fenre where it´s being held the stone.
The Company tries to take advantage of their disguises ,and when they are already inside the city , the plan , sadly goes wrong , due to the continuos waring politics of the Drow , that make them fall prey to some errors in the current layout of power in the city.
Dispite that , they manage , due to their disguises , to meet the Matron Mother of House Fenre.
She quickly shows them that she is on to their ruse , but Nermathed , skillfully tries to lure her into an arrangement for a coalition beneficial for her. An agreement of sorts is made , in which the group would serve as an liaison on the surface for the House Fenre , in exchange for money and the stone.
The Matron agrees , if , they pass a test , on the Arena , against her best slaves. Nermathed , in behalf of the Company , agrees , and even raises the odds set on them by the Matron.
After an imposed rest by a magical fog , each of the Company finds himself alone , on a wide room , facing an enemy.
Nermathed fights Troglodyte Savage . Znog faces a Quaggoth Berserker. Mindartis battles a Goliath Warrior. Aethan goes against a Minotaur Thug. Gonsarth has to restle a Foulspawn Mangler . Perryn fights a Dolgaunt Monk . Brastil a Genasi Hydromancer. And finally Nebin goes against a Bugbear Hunter.
The Company beats the odds , and Nermathed, Znog,Mindartis, Gonsarth and Aethan win their fights , while Brastil, Nebin and Perryn loose theirs.
The group is awarded with the acceptance of the agreement with House Fenre.
But , while they are in another imposed rest on some rooms that look like cells , they are surprised by the appearance of Zakfein Du´bren.
The Drow quickly tells them that he is here to set them free , in exchange for the rescue made by them some days earlier. Zaknein informs them that House Fenre is currently being investigated by the other Houses , in suspictions with dealings with Demons , and so , it´s currently not to be trusted. The party senses he is telling the truth , because his information coroborates what they already suspected , and also because , to their surprise , he presents them with the Stone they were after.
Zaknein then sets them free , and leads them thru some tunnels to the outskirts of the Estate , and near the portal. There , he informs them that they will see him in the future , because he will retake the mission interrupted earlier by the Duergars, and he will be going to the surface , where he has instructions from the Houses of Sschinalydiryn to keep instigating the fight against Demons in Lyrabar thru the “Luminous Society” , and with orders fromh is Du´Bren band to expand their business on the surface , and with new partners.
The party then departs Sschinalydiryn thru the portal.
Back in Andhova´s Tower , they put her updated on everything , and then , goes to their rooms to rest .
Some hours later , they are back at Portal´s Room , and there , after receiving some rewards for their effort and for better preparing the attack on Lord Bronlin´s Stone , they make arrangements with Andhova for their future dealings.

And so ,after some days , the Company of the Swift White Dragon finally returns to the surface, in the outskirts of the Gray Forest….



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