Deep below the surface of Golarion lies the dangerous and wonderous darklands. In the bowels and bones of the earth stand empires of shadow, the greatest of these empires is that of the drow. The seat of their power, the last home of the elves, Zirnakaynin is where a new chapter will begin. Not only for the drow but for the world above.
The drow summoner known as Spider sits in one of countless taverns, this one holding more then just drow patrons. The door opens, eyes dart out of habit not expectation, and a wispy drow with a dark feathered cap strolls in. He spots the Spider in a moment, removing a wax sealed letter bearing a insignia he drops it before him his hands open and empty. Without word and a departing bow he leaves as quickly as he came. The wax seal is the insignia of the Wovirl, a skull over a crossed dagger, wand, on a circle. The only question was what to do?
If he opens it, it is a invitation to join the Wovirl and directions to one of their bases with a time.
Having just finished a mission for the Wovirl, one of the commanders told Elrivor he was to report to one of their bases in the city. He gave him directions and a time. He hinted that it was important and not to be late. It had been some time for Elrivor inside the Wovirl, he learned they were involved in just about everything. At times they even worked both sides of a conflict, with both sides aware no less. He had also learned that their were more of them then anyone knew, most of all they were secretive, careful, and dangerous.
Fresh from the school of fighting and yet to be a full member, none the less Elbennon's skill had gained him some notice in the Wovirl. Never passing up the chance to throw would be recruits into the fires of battle, he was informed to report to one of their bases at a certain time. They made it clear if he was even a moment late that he would not be allowed in. It took more then skill with weapons to become a full member of the Wovirl.
Yasaen showed up to one of the recruiting locations for the Wovirl. After some questions and simple test, he was handed a sealed letter and told to go to one of their bases at a certain time. He was to show up fully prepared for his final test, if he proved himself then he would also recieve his first assignment at that time as well. If not then he would be dead or maimed in which case it would no longer be their concern.
A dark fortress like mansion with a 15 ft. tall black iron fence around it stands before you. The gate is flanked by two 20 ft. guard towers inside and a pair of standing guards outside. At the center of the main gate is the symbol of the Wovirl, a skull over crossed dagger and wand atop a circle. This was one of their more "public" bases, where customers and such would come to speak with a representitive of the Wovirl.
Raising an arm to call for a drink and using two more to break the seal on the letter. Interesting. This might presage opportunities. Draining this latest drink, Brang'el stands and goes to leave the drinking house. On the way out, two of the lesser races bumped him while engaging in a brawl. A few moments later the Spider completes his exodus and leaves the two of them behind. The pile of parts intermingled to the point where telling one from the other is difficult.
Elbennon packs all his gear and leaves the fighting school hours early to report for his first assignment for the Wovril. He makes his way to the base described in the letter, and approaches the guards at the gate about half an hour earlier than he was told to arrive. "Greetings cousins, my name is Elbennon Morosi. I was told to report here for duty. Here I am."
Elbennon is tall for a dark elf, about six feet by human reckoning. He wears a black leather cuirass with armored kilt, and an ornate buckler strapped to his left forearm. His cloak is cut to waist length so as not to get in the way of quick movements, and there is a katana at his belt. Over his armor are two crossed bandoleers with shuriken in them.
Brang'el is lead to a group of other drow who were waiting as well. None of them seem to have anything in common. A sort time later one of the large doors open wide, a centaurian fusion of drow and spider walks thru and towards the group. The drider, as the creature was known, is a male with an unexpected drow face. Speaking in a deeper voice then any dark elf should be able to produce he addresses them.
Without another word he turns his strange body around back the way he came. The rustle of his many legs against the stone floor.
Any questions, he is the one to ask ;)
The drider twist his upper body around to look at Yasaen as his lower body kept moving.
"That is not my concern. Your fate will be decided by the master."
He twist back around. After a few more moments they arrive at a pair of large doors. Unlike the others you have passed these are carved with symbols and runes. The drider opens the massive doors, the light of candles sting's the eyes of those not used to them. When your eyes adjust you see a number of drow gathered and a lone drow in the center. By the looks of him the lone drow is a mage in the midst of spellcasting. You can feel the power coming from him. The drider in an attempt to whisper speaks to you.
"Remain silent, they are not done yet."
The drow mage completes the spell, light washes over the room. Many drow avert their eyes in pain while a few, the mage among them seem unaffected by the bright light. Once your eyes adjust enough you see a number of seated elves looking at the mage in shock. A split moment later a number of the elves begin drawing weapons but a seated female with a circlet of vines and tiny leaves raises a hand, the elves freeze then put their weapons away. The drow mage gives a slight bow then speaks.
"Greetings Queen Telandia Edasseril of Kyonin, I am Nathmir of Zirnakaynin. I would beg your forgiveness for imposing upon you but it seems the only safe way."
Nathmir makes a point of looking at the elves who had nearly drawn their weapons. Before he can speak again another elf, one who had not drawn a weapon speaks.
"How did you get around the wards?"
The elf male wore green robes with blue trim and had no weapons. Nathmir gave a slight nod towards the queen before addressing the elf.
"Your wards do not block the ley lines of power that flow into Kyonin. The spell I used made use of that, the price is its many limitations."
The elf nooded and remained silent. Turning his gaze back onto the queen, Nathmir spoke once more.
"I am informing you that the drow of Zirnakaynin will be recliaming Celwynvian. I would ask that you remove your forces."
This time a male elf, one of those who had drawn a weapon and was still holding on to the hilt of his longsword rose up and spoke before the queen could respond.
"You have no claim to Celwynvian. You were forced out and we will not allow you to return."
Nathmir's face remained impassive but his eyes gave away his anger.
"We have no claim, as I recall we are both elves. The major difference is that the drow remained while your people fled to another world. At that point your people abandoned everything on this world. The drow have a greater claim then you, more to the point we claimed Celwynvian before your people did. Your response was to annex the city, then you invaded it. If you were in our position would your reaction have been different then our own?"
The elf had not returned to his seat and looked even more furious.
"You were driven out drow, your people pushed back into your dark holes."
At this Nathmir's voice took a deadly edge, their was no emotion or rise in volume yet still it had a clear warning in it.
"Make no mistake, the forces you dealt with before were simply a small detachment from a single house. You are overstating your ability."
With that the queen instructs the elf to return to his seat without another word. As he does she replies to Nathmir.
"We will have to refuse your request."
Nathmir's expression is unreadable, he signals with his hand to one of the drow standing near by. He is handed a sack which is promptly thrown towards the elves, with a shimmer it lands at the feet of the queen with a wet sound. A elven head rolls out of the end with a few of its fellows waiting with in.
"I expected that answer. They will have many more to join them sortly. We have already regained a foot hold in Celwynvian."
The queen's face betrayed nothing but her intense gaze made things clear. Nathmir waved his hand and the elves were gone along with the painful light. A number of drow in the room started speaking among themselves, a few even spoke to Nathmir. He quickly dismissed them, turning to your group he signaled the drider to come forward. The drider looked over its shoulder at you.
"Do not speak unless spoken to."
Once you stand before him he nods to the group.
"Well I am sure you understand the reason you have been called by now. If not feel free to ask."
Nathmir waves a hand.
"You can be properly outfitted once you reach Celwynvian, the quartermaster there will see to it. Your targets will also be assigned there. The main goal will be retaking the city, how you go about that is of little concern. All of you will be working as a unit."
He reaches into a pocket and removes some items which he holds before you.
"These are Wovirl Insignia's. They are proof of your association with the Wovirl. If you accept them their is no turning back, your fates are mine. Choose now."
You cant read Nathmir at all. This leads you to believe that everything you just bore witness to was an act for the surface elves.
Once you take the insignia you feel like something wraps around your core. A moment of tense pressure bordering on pain then it is gone. Nathmir stares for a moment.
"Well I guess now you know one does not give their word lightly with in the Wovirl, even more so when it comes to me."
Clapping his hands.
"Now then, those insignia are not just for show. They allow high ranking members of the Wovirl to keep track of you and speak with you. You can send a message once a cycle to someone or someplace you know of. They are also keyed to each other so as long as you are with in range of each other you can speak to one another. Finally due to the nature of this mission they have a special spell added on. Once per cycle it will allow you to take on the appearance of a surface elf along with their eyesight. Your physical appearance will be unchanged except for your skin color, you will still be recognized by those who have seen you before. If you understand then you will be escorted to our supply caravan. They are headed to the elf gate that leads to the city. Once there your mission will begin in full."
He thinks for a moment.
"Another thing, make alliances were you can. Taking a city is simple work. Keeping a city is another matter. Any questions or regrets before your off?"
This small unusually shaped amulet bears a silver skull over adamantine crossed dagger and wand atop a circle.
Caster Level is equal to character level unless otherwise stated.
at will Message (limited to PCs)
1/day Whispering Wind
1/day Ancestral Regression
You will have the chance to add to your insignia's as the adventure goes on. They are also a slotless magical item so you can put them anywhere, among the Wovirl it is best to keep them out in the open.
The drider bows with the upper half of its body to Nathmir. Then motions for you to follow, the drider picks up a weapon you did not notice earlier. A dark metal bardiche that it wields with easy skill.
The drider leads you down a number of halls and doors until you exit in the back of the fortress. You see a number of drow with carts and wagons. While they all bare weapons of some kind on their person, it does not take much for you to notice they are not warrors. Many seem to be crafters, laborers, and merchents. You spot the odd Wovirl member here and there but they are few and far between. The drider explains.
"This is the caravan, the trip to the elf gate is three hours from the nearest city gate. The route has been used enough that its safety is not as great an issue."
Leading you a ways from where you exited, you arrive at a stable of sorts. You can see a number of riding gecko's saddled and ready.
"Choose one and prepare to leave sortly. Each also has a pair of spider sac's in their saddlebags."
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Elbennon will approach a riding gecko that stands out to him. It's scales are a dingy turquoise color, with a pattern of orange spots. He stands in front of the creature staring at it for a moment, before offering his hand for it to scent. Then he gives the lizard a few strokes behind its tympanic membrane, and climbs into the saddle. He is smiling and looks to be excited. How much better than the fighting school is this? To engage in battle with our hated foe, and to see the surface finally. I've never been to the surface before. Yay! Suddenly he realizes what his facial expression might be and it instantly returns to staid placidity.
Elrivor walks up to one of the lizards. He gives it a good once over checking the saddle and pack attached to it before mounting. He shifts uneasily for a moment before moving next to the rest of the group and addresses them.
We don't know each other....within the Wovirl we leave the strife and intrigue of the houses behind for we must learn to work with each other and to some degree, depend upon each other if we are to be successful. We must learn to work as a team!
The simple truth is we care little for each other's lives. What I do know is that we all care about the riches and power this can bring each of us.
Again we must do this together if we are to succeed. We will fight all manner of creatures on the surface, including the daylight. The people sitting here are not the enemy.
He let's his speech sink in for a second.
I am Elrivor and this is my pledge to each of you. I will protect and defend this group, even at the cost of my life. If we each pledge the same, our word being our bond, then we don't have to look over our shoulder's at each other and can focus on the enemy. That is what makes the Wovirl stronger than you can imagine.
Think on it...when you are ready to make such a pledge, then you will truly be Wovirl.
They may understand in time...yet they are Drow, not of the Wovirl. Hopefully they will come to understand. he muses to himself.
Speaking to Elrivor, "You sound like me, whatever your name is. I believe that if all Drow could understand that concept we would have taken over the world above, and the below a long time ago. My name is Yasaenn."
With a smile on his face he then says. "I do see that I will have to convert two members of this group though."
Yasaen then checks to make sure the other drow are ready before taking off toward the surface.
The caravan leaves sortly. The drider you met earlier is at the front. He placed your unit around the middle of the caravan. Your movement thru the city is silent and brisk, people getting out of the way of the Wovirl.
You notice a number of stealthy dire bats following the caravan from the air.
Once the caravan makes it thru the great northern gate of the city. The tunnels are winding things with fungus forest and glowing darkland plants. You make out few living creatures along the way, none of which are a threat.
Near one of the branching tunnels about 90 ft. from the caravan you spy something large watching. (You can make a Knowledge (Arcana or Dungeoneering) check.)
The moment Yasaen speaks and points the creature opens it's maw a line of crackling purple black energy fires his way. Yasaen's body is wracked with intense pain.
10d6 ⇒ (2, 1, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 2, 5) = 30
Reflex DC 19 for half dmg.
Fort DC 19 save on failed reflex save.
Rounds Stunned for failed fort save.
1d4 ⇒ 2
perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
knowledge dungeoneering 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
Elrivor will draw a scroll of Fly and cast it. As a free and swift action I make my blade +2 & Keen.
Well gentlemen, looks like we have our first challenge!
If it is CR10 or less I possibly know what it is and 1 useful thing about it...
Perception 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Elbennon was caught unawares by the attack, his thoughts on the coming challenges of the surface rather than here and now. He snaps back to reality and instantly disappears.
Swift action to use Vanishing Trick (1 Ki Point)
Attempt a fast dismount 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19 Failure, by one! So move action to dismount
Move action to move 30' closer to the creature, my goal is to end up 20' from it if possible.
Perception1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21 Missed it by that much
Dismount 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17 as a move action.
Brang'el turns to Elrivor.You were right my brother, there is plenty that we can handle together. Let us rend this beast apart.
The Spider gestures and the entire party is quickened Cast Haste
HP 52/52 THP 42/42
AC 25 T13 FF23
Fort +5 Ref +7 Will +8
Effects: Eidelon, Haste
I forgot mage armor this morning. Will not make that mistake again.
This is a Deep Drake, a subterranean dragon kin that has been warped by life in the darklands into a alien looking predator. They are known for their unique poison from their stinger that makes their victims easy to turn into undead.
Poison (Ex) Sting—Injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Con; cure 1 save. When animate dead is cast on creatures killed by this poison, the caster does not need to use onyx gemstones as a material component.
The drake with a mighty leap closes the distance with Elbennon being the closest. The caravan mean while is quickly putting distance between the battle, you do not see any aid coming as the caravan comes first and your unit is expected to guard it. The drake unleashes a number of attacks upon Elbennon.
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (5) + 15 = 20
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (2) + 15 = 17
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
1d20 + 16 ⇒ (17) + 16 = 33
1d6 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
While Elbennon is surprised the beast could detect him while invisible, his fast reflexes save him from all but the deadly stinger of the monster. Its poison flowing into his own blood, doing its vile work upon his person. Just as suddenly a number of strands of what appear to be webbing fall upon the beast from above.
The strands are coming from a number of dire bats above. You notice now that they are lower, drow are riding them with sac's that mirror those upon your own mount.
Elbennon takes 10 dmg, make a Fort DC 19 every round for 4 rounds or save. On a failed save take 1d4 Con dmg. Yasaen is stunned for 1 round. Players actions are up.