Harlan met Darian and Draskillion at the Dock Ward at sunset. He came with two very large goons, who insisted on covering the priests’ heads with sacks before taking them on a walking tour of Waterdeep.
When we arrived at Martheep’s base of operations, the Illithid stated he had all the information we needed, but it was going to cost 500 GP. Luckily he took a writ from the church of Kossuth. Here’s some of the information he gave us: (Handout)
Lord Duraathor has been ruler and overseer of this particular stronghold and mining operation for 137 years.
He is brother of King Menghol who rules the Duergar city of Vil Uhlum. King Menghol appointed Duraathor to this stronghold to keep him out of the city and from overthrowing his rule. He supplies Duraathor with soldiers and supplies in return for Duraathor’s ore and intel. Duraathor resents the fact that he does not hold a more prominent position with the ruling family and constantly plots against his brother when able.
The stronghold mines platinum from and adjacent cavern.
Duraathor also oversees trade relations through this portion of the Underdark, with drow, troglodytes, and svirfneblin as well as surface races such as orcs, ogres, and a tribe of mountain giants.
His current hold over the stronghold and the surrounding area is tenuous at best. This has Duraanthor on the edge of paranoia and willing to take chances to better secure his foothold and status.
Duraathor is not highly intelligent but is wise and can be reasoned with. He is extremely prideful and subject to flattery. He takes even the smallest slights personally and will not hesitate to escalate a situation.
The entrance to the stronghold is accessed through a large cavern that is very defensively fortified. His soldiers will not hesitate to engage unknown enemies or those who have not been cleared to enter the area.
Duraathor’s total numbers of duergar soldiers inside the stronghold near 60. There are also three 15 person mining crews who can fight if pressed. Outside of the stronghold are roughly 40 more duergar protecting the entrance. He also employs several patrols of duergar who wander the surrounding tunnels.
The gates into the stronghold are made from iron and stone and reinforced with magic. The gates are constantly closed unless trading runs are made and are barred from the inside at all times. There are sentry towers, 1 on each side, at the entrance.
Duraathor also employs 2 earth priests who act as bodyguards. His 3 lieutenants each oversee a 20 man battalion and 1 mining crew within the stronghold. These 3 divisions rotate 8 hour working shifts in order to maintain a constant mining operation and security.
Duraathor, despite his age, is a very cunning and capable fighter who is well versed in tactics and combat.
For the promise of obtaining some of Durathor’s records regarding mining operations, the pacts he has with other races around the area, and anything else regarding the area, Martheep arranged for a guide to meet us at the entrance to the Underdark. When we get there, we just have to call out his name, Ulathor.
Finally, there is an amulet of psionic reflection that Durathor has in his possession that Martheep will pay extra for, if we can get it for him. We were let out the same way we came in.
The main plan, at this point, is to infiltrate Duraathor’s stronghold as traders. While in there, Braden will be invisible and go after the records and amulet. Toward the end of arriving as traders, we did some more shopping.
In Waterdeep we acquired the repeating crossbow attachment. If we can trade that for the 3rd key, Duraathor could use it as a blueprint to make more. This will bolster his stronghold’s strength.
Darian stated he had to teleport to Calimport to see his contact so he could obtain more powerful spells. This is something we all wanted to experience, so when our final plans were made in Waterdeep, we all went to Calimport.
While in the desert, we picked up some silks and ale for trading purposes. Darian’s head priest agreed to teleport us to Baldur’s Gate instead of back to Waterdeep. He also gave us some money to hire another teleport from Baldur’s Gate.
In Baldur’s Gate, we met Odiamrous and gave him the 3 keys. We were explicit on which key came from which statue, and which key we believed actually unlocked the box. He didn’t tell us of his efforts to retrieve the box, but stated they were none of our concern.
We told Odiamrous of the assassins on our tail. He stated that Jericho Cross doesn’t retrieve objects, he kills people. Chances are one of us is on his kill list. It would be a prohibitive amount of money to get us all on his kill list, so there’s that at least. Odiamrous stated the church of Kossuth would do whatever they could to call Jericho off. We were paid for the second key, and we left.
Trielle was able to obtain some more items to help us see in the Underdark. We also bought some magical arrows for Ryfon. She gave us a great deal, but asked that Draskillion bring her back something special from his travels. The current plan is to get the amulet for Martheep, and then ask Martheep for something special or unique to give Trielle.
The party asked to be teleported not to Waterdeep, where Jericho Cross was known to have numerous connections, but instead to Silverymoon to the north. It was a similar distance from the entrance to the Underdark, if not a little closer, and, again, it kept us from Jericho.
In Silverymoon, a city of elves, we joined a caravan heading south. We noticed one night that some of the other travelers on the road were 3 evil gnomes. We kept our eyes on them, but they didn’t try to pull anything.
However, when we finally broke from the caravan to head east into the High Forest, we were ambushed by the same 3 gnomes. They demanded all our money. When we attacked, they transformed into the size of a large ogre or a small giant. At first we dubbed them Weregnomes, but the proper term for such creatures is Spriggan.