Caught by the drow! In one way or another, each of the characters have become a prisoner in the Underdark outpost of Velkynvelve. Some have been prisoners for close to two weeks and others for only a couple of days. They find themselves manacled and collared, degraded in a cell with over a dozen strangers. They are told by Mistress Ilvara, the head priestess and commander of the outpost, “Accept your fate, learn to obey, and you may survive. Some of you may even become prized slaves when you are taken to Menzoberranzan.”
Velkynvelve itself is located high above along the top of a cavern, split by a waterfall that empties into a pool. Unsuspecting from the bottom, the outpost is built 100 feet above the rocky floor. It consists of a series of small caves in the cavern walls and four “hanging towers” – hollowed-out stalactites connected by walkways, stairs, and rope bridges. The towers are concealed by the thick webs of giant spiders stretched below them, so that only the lowermost parts of the stalactites are visible from the cavern floor.
On one eventful morning, the prisoners were separated and half of the group was taken down to empty the chamber pots into the pool at the base of the waterfall. In the lift to the bottom of the cavern, the dwarf Dukat and half-elf Cylchoedd attempt to talk to the deep gnome twins, Topsy and Turvy about the situation and the possibility of escaping. Dukat immediately attempts to break the shackles, but to no avail. Topsy, clearly the more social twin, balks at the others, not wanting to draw attention to herself or her brother.
Meanwhile, the next group consisting of Anselm, Grall, and Jimjar begin to empty their chamber pots. Watched over by a drow and a quaggoth, Jimjar calls Anselm over to point out to him the presence of something interesting in the pool – an aggressive gray ooze preying on unsuspecting poolside visitors. They make a bet to see who could convince Dukat to bring a drow to the edge of the pool. Anselm wins the bet and Dukat starts an argument with the drow. A fight ensues!
The uprising is quelled, but not without some casualties in Dukat and Anselm falling unconscious. The lead male drow, Shoor, drags the prisoners back to their cell, and Asha, an outpost priestess, heals the injured despite her disgust. The prisoners are told that due to the actions of the few, the whole group will suffer without a meal for the day. In addition, Mistress Ilvara herself will dole out the punishment.
Although a few of the prisoners are upset over the PC’s actions (namely Ront, who has managed to earn the distrust of Kosvir when he laughs at Kosvir’s attempt to break the cell gate, and Dukat, when Ront hungrily declares that they eat Stool), most are willing to join forces to break free of the cell and escape Velkynvelve. They learn a few important pieces of information from the other prisoners:
- Buppido tells Kosvir that there are approximately 19 drow stationed in the outpost and that their equipment is likely being held in one of the guard cells.
- He also tells them that there is some sort of anti-magic effect over the cell.
- Sarith Kzekarit tells Cylchoedd that it’s only a matter of days before a contingent from Menzoberranzan arrives to take the prisoners to the drow city to be sold as slaves. However, a supply patrol from the city is a few days overdue.
- Jimjar keeps to his word and gives Anselm an iron bar he found and has kept in a small alcove in the cell.
- Grall and Dukat find out that Stool has the capability to speak telepathically by using his rapport spores. In fact, anyone within the affected area of his rapport spores are able to communicate telepathically.
- Cylchoedd enlists the aid of the kuo toa Shuushar the Awakened who proclaims to be a pacifist, but will help in other ways, and the largest creature in the cell, a peculiar quaggoth named Prince Derendil who responds to Cylchoedd’s attempt to converse in Undercommon in High Elven.
Mistress Ilvara arrives and demands for the person responsible for the rebellious act at the pool. Initially Cylchoedd steps forward, but Shoor claims that Cylchoedd stood down and even convinced the others to stand down when the prisoners were overcome. Mistress Ilvara slaps him aside and again demands for the leader, or she will select a random person to pay for their transgression. Anselm pushes Jimjar forward and he is immediately taken up to Ilvara, despite his protests of being innocent. “Let this be a lesson to all of you!” warns Mistress Ilvara, and the drow toss the deep gnome over the edge, screaming his protestations until he falls into the webs of the giant spiders.
In the midst of the action and shock of the punishment, Kosvir is able to stuff cloth from his undergarments into the gate’s lock without anyone noticing. The prisoners are left to brood over the cruelty of their captors, even more determined to make their escape. With the cooperation of everyone in the cell, they hatch a plan to escape that very night…