Black Heart

Into the Depths . . .

. . . of the Underdark

Following the battle with Caly, the Raven Queen’s clerics teleported Damakos and Lonys Evensong to the palace in Latherna. Lonys, upon being teleported in and seeing a shadar-kai in the same room as him and the rest of his party members immediately drew his falchion, ready for a fight. The cleric though did not seem concerned and instead proceeded to update Lonys and Damakos on what had happened to the rest of the party. The cleric then told the party that they were free to explore the palace and to peruse the various vendors there and that once they had made a decision as to where they wished to be sent, the clerics would return.

The party debated their options, with the two main considerations being Vandresca where they could seek out another void crystal and Dorsten where they could look for the next shard of the Dyrnnentine. Vandresca, because of its remote location and the unreliability of teleportation magic to and from the isle received some consideration, with many arguing that this might be the best chance to get to the isle. Damakos; however, suggested that perhaps the party could at some point travel to Ranath and make use of the tiefling sailors to try to get the island. Ultimately, the lure of the Dyrnnentine, combined with the fact that nobody knew for certain where Dorsten was, convinced the party to agree to ask to be sent there.

Moments later, three clerics of the Raven Queen, all shadar-kai, arrived to begin the ritual to send the party to Dorsten. They were told though that the magic of the Queen’s brother shielded what remains of Dorsten from teleportation in or out but they would get the party as close to the city as possible. The party knew that the gods often referred to each other as brothers and sisters and thus, they reasoned that it was likely Moradin who had shielded the city. Before completing the ritual, one of the clerics approached Damakos and Lonys, spoke softly and touched them on their foreheads, removing the curse that had been placed upon them in [[Mistmarsh]. She then turned to the party and reminded those who had been saved by the Raven Queen that they would be expected to uphold their end of the bargain. They would be expected to seek out and destroy Caly and were warned that there may be other tasks down the road as well, though they were again assured that it was not expected that they hunt down the dragon immediately.

With a flash, the party found themselves in a completely dark, rocky tunnel. There was no natural light of any kind, though Lonys was not affected due to his dark vision. As Lonys began to look around, Goeban, Elexara, [[Elana, and Adiah all noticed that they felt chilled and that their skin was cold to the touch. They realized that this chill was a reminder from the Raven Queen, also known as the Goddess of Winter, that they did have a mission to carry out at some point. Aside from being a bit chilled though, the four of them felt no other adverse affects from the Queen’s reminder.

Lonys soon picked out a path that appeared to be headed toward civilization of some sort. As they walked, the party recognized that they were definitely within the Underdark, and were in a tunnel that made up the King’s Highway as evidenced by the God’s Blood visible along the path. After about an hour, the party came to an opening overlooking a cavern. Looking down, they could see a small city lit with torches, both magical and mundane. In the city was a wide mix of creatures, everything from goblins, orcs and kobolds to elves, humans and eladrin. The party cautiously made their way into the city and were soon told that they had come to Gareth’s Hollow. An elven woman informed them that they could talk to Gareth Ham Hands if they wanted more information, or they could head to the Laughing Dragon, the only inn the town had.

The party headed first to the Laughing Dragon where the clientele took a quick look at the newcomers and then returned to their drinks. A bard was performing in the tavern portion of the inn and the party asked him to tell the tale of Dorsten and what had happened since it disappeared. The bard warned them that it was a sad song they had requested but that he would honor their request — particularly since the group was now picking up his bar tab. As the bard sang his song, the party learned that during the height of the Race Wars a large battle was waged between the dwarves of Dorsten and the combined forces of the drow and giants. As the battle waged, Torog, the god of the Underdark and of prisons reached his hand up and grabbed the entirety of the city and the surrounding region, and pulled the city down into the lower reaches of the Underdark, known as the Deeps. As the city fell, it broke into several main sections. One of those sections is the cavern wherein Gareth’s Hollow now rests. A second section has been taken over to make up the drow city of Veldrinshaar. Another portion of the old city of Dorsten is now occupied by a large force of aberrant creatures and the final major section of the old city, known as the Citadel, was the region where the dwarves primarily holed up after the city fell.

The dwarves of Dorsten did not fare well following the fall of the city into the Underdark. The dwarves were still beset by the drow and giants, but more importantly, the dwarves were now spread out throughout the Underdark, for when the city fell, the different sections of the city were spread out by as much as a week’s travel. The section furthest from Gareth’s Hollow is the Citadel, and lies about two weeks away from the small settlement. Sadly, this separation of the sections has resulted in few dwarves remaining in the region as most were eventually killed off.

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