JOURNEY THRU THE SEA OF FALLEN STARS

Chapter 21

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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