Shortly after fleeing the chaos in Velkynvelve, Abrioxiell caught up with the rest of the Evening Group, gathered some distance away from their captors. There was a great argument about which direction was best to travel.
The arguing came to a head. Possible destinations for the escaped prisoners were Neverlight Grove the home of the Myconids, Sloobludop the city of the Kuo-toa, or Gracklstugh, the city of the Duergar, or Blingdenstone, the city of the Deep Gnomes. Sarith pointed out (in a irritated and rude way) that the best way to any of them was through the city of the Kuo-toa, as it sat on the edge of the Darklake, which would have to be traversed to reach any of the other locations. Exasperated, he walked off, presumably in the direction of that city.
One by one, everyone followed behind. Alcyce agreed to regularly cast darkvision for Rue, the only party member without his own means to see in the lightless Underdark. As they walked, they established a walking order and scavenging schedule.
While searching for food, the party came across a variety of odd, exotic fungi native to the Underdark.
- Fire lichen, which can be made into a spicy, mustard-like paste, added to soups or stews, or fermented into liqour.
- Torchstalks – large mushrooms that burn for 24 hours when lit.
- Ormu – a bioluminescennt moss that glows until plucked.
- Ripplebark – a shelf-like fungus that looks like rotten meat but is surprisingly edible.
Abrioxiell stopped them at one point and killed something in the darkness. He disappeared into an off-shoot of the tunnel. *crunch*crunch*CRUNCH* He reappeared, wiping his tentacles clean of his meal. Along the way, Anton and Rue began to squabble and jib.
The group settled in for a rest period in a cavern filled with large, glowing mushrooms called Nightlight. Buppido immediately touched the ‘shrooms around him, extinguishing their light, and he lie down to sleep. The others followed suit except for Abrioxiell, who stood watch, and Rue, who was darting through the air and tapping the mushrooms on and off in rapid succession (to Buppido’s annoyance).
Alcyce noticed that Sarith seemed to be suffering from a nightmare in his spot away from the group. She cast a detect thoughts spell to detect if anything was wrong with him. Horrors and agony enveloped her mind as the demonic spores inside Serith extended to Alcyce, causing her to pass out. Abroxial watched the mental exchange in silence.
When the group awoke, they set out again. They scavenged more food, and traveled a good pace. They were passing one of the skinnier tunnels when the ground around them began to shake. A large crack in the wall gaped wider and wider until it revealed a monstrous creature. Some of the group recognized it as an umber hulk, a insectoid abberation that burrowed into the ground with its scythe-like claws. It immediately attacked the group.
The monster nearly killed Abrioxiell within seconds. The melee fighters in the group leaped over the others to defend the illithid. They slowly chipped away at its health. Rue, after nearly shooting off his own foot, finally managed to hit the umber hulk. The bolt passed through one of its eye sockets, ricocheted around in its carapace, and the splinter that was left of the bolt popped out of another eye socket. The great beast fell to the ground, dead.
Anton walked into the cave behind the umber hulk. Rue, suspicious, followed. Abrioxiell observed that there was nothing edible left in the umber hulk for himself, and followed into the cave hoping for food. The others stayed behind and scavenged meat from the corpse.
Anton grabbed some valuables and was on his way out as Rue entered. Abrioxiell found the skeletons of past victims and used necromancy to fashion two skeleton minions. As the skeletons rose, they displaced a pile of refuse and shattered bones to reveal an unconscious Uroq. He was none the worse for wear and had a bag filled with food tightly held in his grasp.