I found myself on the verge of fainting. Wyrmfall, Nick the Gift-Giver, a levitate potion—My excitement levels were at an all-time joyous high. I was twisting and turning my tiny bottle of Levitate potion, watching it glitter in the light and daydreaming of dropping unexpectedly onto evil-doers’ heads.
I was abruptly pulled from my most gratifying daydreams with Xrng nudging me. Xrng moved among us while Violetta began to make gracious excuses to Nick, explaining that we had to be on our was as we had an appointment that was vital for us to keep. Just as I began to open my mouth to ask, “What appointment?” Xrng hissed “Drow” in my ear. I began to glance around. I didn’t see a single drow anywhere, just ourselves and Nick. Nick? Oh no!
We started down a tunnel of ice and I hastily armed with my mage armor spell. If there were drows about, I wanted to be prepared. We came to a split in the tunnel. From the left came mysterious sounds while the right-hand tunnel led to our ship. Suddenly, a tinkergnome came from the left-hand tunnel. Cazimir hastily hailed the creature but after Cazimir asked, “So why is Nick a drow?”, the charming tinkergnome changed into a female drow! As the drow took shape, she raised her arm and the moment she became corporeal, let lose a blast of undead energy. As I stared in shock at what was happening to the tinkergnome, the blast of undead energy hit me square, severely injuring me and knocking me to my knees. I managed to dig a healing potion out of my pouch and get to my feet again.
Xrng had in the meantime gone to attack the drow. When Xrng withdrew her fighting blade, darkness flowed out from the drow, plunging the cavern into darkness. Suddenly Violetta’s voice rang out, persuasive and strong and I recognized the Infernal tongue though not what she said. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw the drow was motioning us to follow her while Violetta sand what sounded like a lullaby.
I felt one of my companions grab onto my tail. Under normal circumstances I would not endure such rough handling and would snatch my tail clear of the grasping hands, but as whoever had grabbed it was most likely unable to see, I patiently endured it. I heard a commotion ahead of me and Violetta’s voice suddenly ceased. Xrng cast a light spell to reveal Violetta sprawled out on the ground next to the Void Skimmer. I was surprised. I had always assumed that Abysal creatures had excellent night vision. I spotted three more drows coming, or rather floating towards us from the shadows. At my startled yow and pointing finger, a mad dash for the ship ensued. So much for carefully securing the ship before take-off.
We decided to go back to Dragon Rock, but we first gathered together the suddenly suspect gifts from “Nick”. While flying back, a Crimson Fleet War Bird began to give chase. A hole opened in space, the inside of which looked like a reddish sky. Cazimir noted that it looked like a layer of the Abyss.
On our way back to Dragon Rock, Lemmy suggested having Nick’s gifts checked for safety. Once we arrived, Cazimir asked the Harbor officials to go over the Void Skimmer thoroughly. As we readied ourselves to leave the ship, we heard furitive footfalls in the remoter part of the ship. Lemmy began to scan the area psionically and spotted psionic traces leading out of the area. He immediately began to track the traces out of the harbor and gave chase with Xrng following. A short time later, they returned with the news that we had inadvertently brought back a stowaway who was now loose in the city.
Ibid was handed all of Nick’s presents and the pins found in Vanth’s rooms and agreed to take the items to the Temple of Ptah in order to check their safety. The rest of us went to the Lady Lavinia’s compound, now under heavy guard by a private guard guild. After being disarmed, we were ushered to Lady Lavinia who attended us in the library. As Cazimir began to tell Lavinia about our adventure on Nick’s asteroid and spotting the Crimson Fleet on our return journey, Lemmy went over the property looking for more psionic traces. Lavinia seemed baffled by the news Cazimir delivered and could make neither head nor tail of it. Xrng and Lemmy called us up to Vanth’s rooms where psionic traces led us to a secret hollow in the wall. Using the ivory key found with the pins, Cazimir opened it, revealing another black pearl. I tried a detect magic spell on it and was temporarily blinded for my trouble. It was decided to meet Ibid at the Temple of Ptah and find out about the pins and gifts. Cazimir pocketed the pearl and Lemmy led me from the room.
When we arrived at the temple, we found Ibid in a study room with everything spread out before him. The pins were some kind of fortune-telling device, revealing the past, present and future to those who could read it, but was otherwise harmless. The gifts on the other hand proved to be cursed excepting Lemmy’s crystal teardrop, a psionic third eye. It increased Lemmy’s psionic talents greatly and granted him fifth order kinetic ability, allowing him to disincorporate in a burst of flame. I found it as flashy as his sword and was enchanted, forgetting my pique at receiving cursed Levitate potion.
The pearl turned out to be a Chaos Bomb, capable of spreading chaos across a large city merely by smashing it against the ground. With the advice of the Servants of Ptah, Cazimir took the pearl back into his custody and it is planned to leave it with the Guardians of the Chalice, a Paladin group located in the trailing end of the tears of Selune. But first, back to Lavinia’s to clean up and rest.