The Drow Lair, The Backwater Gambit, Campaign Diary 23


The Drow Lair 
Chapter 22


After enduring The Gauntlet, the party awakens from a long rest before a large, circular iron door. They suspect that on the other side they will find the Drow mastermind Kolo Illrym. However, in order to get to Kolo they first must unlock the puzzle of the door.

The circular door is ring with runic symbols, which they recognize as being very similar to the runes used on the teleport pads and planar gateways they’ve already encountered in their campaign. In the center of the door are three embedded cylinders each with three spinning sections marked with three images on its three sides. The sections are embossed with an image of Eilistraee, a Drider, and human figures. In fact, one section in each pillar bears three human figures on all three of its sides–one sitting, one standing, and one running. The party realize they must turn the sections to make the correct pattern to unlock the door.

The party makes several attempts but none of them seem to work. The party then turn the sections so that from bottom left to top right the sequence is of the human sitting, standing, and then running. They turn the top left sections above the human figures to show only Eilistraee and the bottom right sections below the human to show only the Drider. A pulse of light envelopes the door. Briefly, the group see an image of a crescent moon enter into a radiant sun. Bright light illuminates the doorway which is now clearly some kind of planar field. The party pass through it.


Once on the other side, the party seem to be in some kind of stone keep. The squat passageway before them is well lit and as they step forward they all notice they’ve broken a silvery looking thread that was stretched across the floor. Suspecting they’ve sprung a trap, they freeze however nothing happens. Continuing on, they come to an open archway presenting them to a large chamber with incredibly high ceilings. There is a narrow obelisk standing to one side of them covered in runes. Opposite the obelisk is a large golden pyramid seemingly made up of intricate looking gears. At its tip is a space that is the outline of a palm. Beyond these pieces of furniture, the party see arrayed before them five Drow.




With the exception of the woman Drow (whom they suspect to be Vistra Xiloscient, Kolo’s top lieutenant), the party have encountered these Drow before and recognize them–the warrior Praag who was forging teleport pads and gateways in the labyrinth, Dandelene who had infiltrated the council of alders in Foxon, and the mage Amraki and warrior Kel Oxbo who led forces to capture Monton. The three warriors face the party in a flying-v formation with the spellcasters behind them. Farther back, the group see two towering figures looking like giant suits of armor.


shield guardians

Between these two Shield Guardians stands Kolo Illrym.


The party decides to forego any discussion since it looks as though the Drow have been waiting for them and attack. Asher casts Silence on Amraki while Nym throws down her recently created magical staff calling forth a Treant to her aid.


John creates a Wall of Fire as Roben engages the Drow warriors as Jorg lurks bidding his time to rush in with sneak attacks. The party realize the Drow warriors are all wearing some kind of amulet granting them some kind of restoration of damage and that they’re weapons are coating with a severely damaging poison. As the group pushes back into the chamber, the Treant serves as a tank taking large amounts of damage. From afar, Kolo casts Blight nearly crippling the creature as Vistra is able to cast several healing spells allowing the Drow to continue fighting the party unabated. Of the two Shield Guardians flanking Kolo, only one seems to be animated (the other appears to be rather dusty looking and long inactive). As John and Jorg attempt to strike Kolo from distance, they notice what damage he does take seems to be partially absorbed by the construct defending him.

Nym decides to use her Staff of the Python to call forth a Giant Constrictor Snake using it to attack Vistra to mitigate her healing abilities. The Drow Warriors and mage take significant damage between Asher, Roben, and Jorg. Soon Amraki and Dandelene both collapse bleeding out but not before they reduce the Treant to a pile of sawdust as the group closes in on Kolo. As they approach, Kolo sends several Eldritch Blasts dealing a good amount of damage to delay the party’s progress. Vistra breaks free of the Giant Constrictor Snake and between herself and the Shield Guardian are able to defeat it. Kel Oxbo is defeated by the tag team of John and Nym. Nym then casts Conjure Animals to bring forth another Giant Constrictor Snake, this time to go after Praag, the only remaining warrior.

Now concerned for his safety, Kolo casts Invisibility on himself disappearing from view. Vistra and Praag continue to fight the party and although they deal significant damage are ultimately over-matched by the group. In what seems like a pre-planned maneuver, the active Shield Guardian releases the spell Banishment sending Roben out of the battle. The others continue and it soon becomes clear it will be a war of attrition with the remaining Drow. Suddenly, Kolo reappears standing next to the golden pyramid. He curses the party announcing he’d rather die than allow them satisfaction of victory. Placing his hand on the palm outline on the pyramid, it activates. It’s gears begin to turn and the walls of around them all suddenly seems to vibrate as thought they are phasing in and out of existence. Huge portions of rock and stone begin crack and crumble falling down as Kolo seems to have hit some self-destruct mechanism for his pocket dimension. A piece of stone strikes Nym, but she immediately feels a warm glow against her chest as the Barabad amulet glows momentarily. She realizes she isn’t as hurt as she should have been while noticing the inactive Shield Guardian receives a fresh dent.


With the chamber collapsing in on itself, John calls out to the party to rally around him as he can teleport them to safety before they’re entombed. Just before he casts Dimensional Travel, John grabs an elaborate looking tome that had been resting on a reading desk near him. As the members take hold of John, he whisks them away just as a huge amount of stone comes crashing down on the place they were standing.

The party re-appear instantly just outside the front door of the Moncrief Mansion. Although banished when John cast his spell, it seems to have pulled Roben out of whatever dimension he was in bringing him with the party as well. They each suffer damage from dimensional sickness. As they recover their senses, they see in the distance a thin line of black smoke coming from the direction of Bas Eldritch. Celia bursts out of the front door surprised by the group’s return. There is an ominous, echoing boom nearly deafening them as an instant later a furious wave of force blasts by throwing them all to the ground. Looking up towards Bas Eldritch, where the crack and blast came from, the line of smoke is now darker and thicker.

The party members, each at differing stages of recovery, stare out towards Bas Eldritch realizing they just barely escaped…



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