"I see no way of moving it. And it's all moot when compared to the prospect of finding Dammerhall, after all. If we succeed we'll be easily able to retrieve it, and I am not willing to contemplate failure as an option."
"I concur." Dasur intones as he tops off the fuel of the air boat for their first and hopefully last flight. "The submersible is far too heavy to carry with us. Unless Erebos can generate an extradimensional space to store it, we will have to leave it here."
"Let us depart. The lower Azathyr, and our road to Dammerhall, awaits." The wizard says while motioning the rest of the group to get the balloon in position for filling.
GM, before we leave, can we re-fill the 6 oil flasks we used to power the submersiable from the oil tank?
Erebos can also cast Feather fall, ummm, a lot.
You can certainly refill the flasks you emptied, and the balloon engine has a reservoir of 15 flasks.
Iverna stares with much suspicion at the gnomish device, but she takes her turn at clambering over the net that holds the envelope and making sure everything is ship shape. As you load up to drop into the gaping hole, she prays under her breath:
"Nivi, if this contraption doesn't drop us to our deaths, I promise to avoid gnomish madness in the future, and to lead these friends away from it toward dwarvish solidity."
Erebos remains more practical: "I am able to cast the slow falling spell should someone need it. Regardless of how well our descent proceeds, we should be sure to prepare for danger. If the Drow did come this way to wreak havoc on the gnomes, they would have left behind some sort of hazard or guardians either in or at the bottom of is well. They would have wanted to make sure any who tried to escape destruction this way, any who might have survived, would meet a grim fate."
Okay updated the group loot!
Hopefully no one falls. Because feather fall is not going to last until the bottom.
"In addition, we will be at the mercy of Air as we descend." Dasur speculates as he makes final adjustments to the burner intensity to begin takeoff. "While we are in its domain, it will do everything to stop us from succeeding."
Opening the flame valve to its maximum, the fully loaded balloon wobbles and begins to lift off the floor. The sensation continues to be foreign and disturbing to the earth-worshipping and grounded wizard.
"And may all the gods who watch over the brave, the determined and the foolish watch over us." says Snorr, uneasily stepping on the vessel.
Do we want to tether ourselves to the ship? Harder to fall off but harder to get out if something goes terribly wrong.
The boat-like vessel sways with every movement, whether yours or one of your companions. Compared to the steady sway of a watercraft, this seems chaotic and somewhat maddening. Using a combination of vents and guide ropes, you maneuver the delicate contraption over the gaping earth maw. Disturbed by your approach, a swarm of bats rises from the gap beneath you, momentarily filling your vision with flapping madness. As the bats clear, Iverna pulls a rope and allows cooler air into the envelope. Silent but for a slight creak of rope on rope, the baloon sinks into the hole, and your world shrinks to the nearby walls and the darkness beneath you.
I'll give everyone a chance to check in with any precautionary spells or preparations and then I'll go on tomorrow.
The sudden swarm of bats overtaking the balloon causes Dasur to bbriefly lift his staff in self-defense, a spell on his lips in case they attack.
When the flying rodents disperse, she watches them go with a frown. "Snorri, Hammer and Tongs; The Forging of Metal and Other Good Works specifies that bats are the invaders of Torag's underground, creatures that moved from the surface into his domain without permission, correct? They are loathed by Torag's faithful, for they carry disease in their bites and make mockeries of structures with their excretions."
"I believe bats are also the favored animals of Zon-Kuthon. I do not know which of the gods we want on our side right now, to be honest. Without the protection of the Earth we may have to rely on our own wits and strength." The wizard drones in his usual monotone, carefully watching the edges of the hole so they do not scrape the side during their descent.
Snorri's stomach twists as the vessel descends, but he steadies himself. "Wits and strength have carried us this far, and I'll accept no destiny but our destination! Bravely downwards!"
Keeping detect evil up during the descent, looking all around to be forewarned of any menace.
The baloon drifts downward, seemingly without end. After what must be 11 feet, you see what must be the bottom, but then realize that the hole bends slightly before continuing down. As you maneuver the baloon into sideways, careful not to scrape it along the spiky projections along the top of the undercut, the gondola suddenly stops moving. A moment's confusion turns to dread as you see a ropy gossamer strand of spider silk clinging to the side of the gondola.
Oh my Gods I'm gonna get to fly! Pausing for a moment but there is to abuse thrown her way. A wide smile erupts on her lips while she is staring at Regnir before doing whatever Dasur tells her to so the contraption be launched.
Taking up the end with the red tinted Regnir. Keeping on hand on her now drawn axe and the other on the side of the airborn boat. Her wide smile never fading.
"Come on then!" cries out Snorri at the unseen arachnoid attackers. "We faced things with far more than eight legs!"
Snorri's challenge echoes across the walls of the great well, returning mockingly to your ears.
Bluff check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Dasur looks back and forth between the assembled speakers with a look of confusion. Unfamiliar with the tongue of the dark elves, he merely hears the Dwarven half of the conversation.
"I do not know what is happening, but if there is no objection I will set fire to this web-like obstruction so we may continue unimpended." The wizard says calmly in Undercommon admist all the yelling.
"It appears the Air has found a spider-like ally, or perhaps this web is an ancient structure from an arachnid predator long ago." He theorizes, pointing his hand over the starboard side of the ship, fingers splayed in a fan in preparation to cast a spell. Words that sound like popping embers in a glowing fire form on his lips...
Unless someone stops him, Dasur will cast Burning Hands on the web directly north of himself. 15ft cone and 3d4 ⇒ (2, 1, 3) = 6 fire damage to each sqaure of web in the cone.
Is there a problem magic can't solve?
Resuming his position at the engine after they break free from the strands, Dasur silently adjusts the flame during their descent.
He occasionally looks over the side of the gondola, hoping the ground willl appear soon.
You sink another 500 geet into darkness before you see what might be the bottom but turns out to be just a rim around the edge of the pit.
Before you realize what is happening, a long barbed thread of webbing lances out of the darkness to strike at Glenda.
Spider Harpoon: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Grab: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
The barb catches her like a sticky grappling hook, yanking her out of the gondola before you can react.
Glenda Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Nalnera Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Snorri Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Torvi Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Spider Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
The dice are hot today.
Grapple check: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
So Glenda is yanked from the gondola and is falling in an arc toward the wall, attached to this long thread. Your darkvision is back to normal distance here, so you can't even see the other end of the cable at 60 ft.