Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













The City of the Spider Queen - Day 0 - Dagger Falls

Marpenoth 27, 1372 DR Dagger Falls

"Let me do the talking," says Brianna. The party boldly approaches the gate and knocks.

A small flap opens in the door and an eye peers out at them. "What's your business in Dagger Falls?" says the guard.

"We're just travelers, passing through on our way to Shadowdale," says Brianna, hoping the road they were on wasn't coming from Shadowdale.

"Unless you have business in town, you can't come in."

"Oh, come on," wheedles Brianna. "We're no threat to you. We want an inn, and tankards of ale. What are you worried about?"

"You know...dangerous things. I can't let you in. Wait here."

A few minutes later, he returns with the Captain of the guard. He looks the small party up and down. "You don't look dangerous."

"We are too dangerous," says Igor. "But not to you."

"Are you heroes?" says the Captain. "Can you help us?"

"Of course we are heroes," says Brianna.

"Wait here." The Captain closes the gate and goes away. Soon he returns and says "Randal Morn, the Lord of Daggerdale, wishes to see you at once. Follow me."

The party follows the Captain and is shown directly into the presence of Randal Morn. He looks at them doubtfully. "Heroes, eh? What have you done?"

"Why do you care?" says Igor.

Brianna turns to him. "Let me do the talking, Igor." She turns back to Randal Morn. "Let me sing you a song of our deeds and you can judge for yourself."

Randal Morn smiles. "That seems like as good a way as any."

Brianna pulls out her lute and starts tuning it. She considers which song she should sing to Randal Morn. The only feat of this party that she was qualified to sing about was the defeat of Vecna. Unfortunately, Brianna's ballad in praise of Veracity would not do: although that was by far the most popular ballad in Sigil about that deed, it really didn't praise anybody except Veracity - who was not present. She'd have to take the artistically inferior effort of one of her colleagues and modify even that. From what she knew of the prejudices of the Dalelands - of all of Faerûn, for that matter - she would be wise to modify any references to the race of Hazen and Elvira and Veracity.

Satisfied with the tuning, Brianna raises her eyes and begins to play. "I sing of the fall of Vecna ..."

Brianna finishes her balled. Randal Morn sighs. "If only half of what you sing about is true, you are mighty heroes. I need your help. I can summarize our problem in one word: drow. You know - dark elves."

"Not all drow are bad" says Kress.

Randal Morn peers at him. "I know of no good ones," he says. "The drow used to emerge from the Underdark and raid in the Dalelands, but the last such raid was many years ago. Recently, however, several parties of drow have emerged from the Underdark and attacked the farms near the Dordrien Crypts." The party shifts and looks at each other questioningly. "I need a party of brave adventurers to go down there and stop these raids. These are worse than typical drow raids: rather than bursting forth and seizing goods and slaves to take back to the Underdark, These drow just seem intent on slaughter. Help us, please."

Brianna speaks: "We will be delighted to help you. Can you give us directions to the Dordrien Crypts?"

"Of course!" says Randal Morn. "They are a mere ten miles from here. You will go there and stop these raids?"

"Yes," says Brianna.

Randal Morn gives her clear directions and offers: "you can stay here tonight and we will be happy to equip you in any way we can."

"We need to go," says Igor. "Our companions await us - and we are fully equipped. Thanks anyway."

Brianna protests. "Oh, surely we can stop at the tavern and hoist some mugs of ale and talk to the locals, Igor?"

Igor shakes his head. "Think, Brianna. There are parties of raiding drow out - and parties of drow hunters as well, I warrant. We should get back to our friends."

Brianna nods. "You are correct." She turns to Randal Morn. "We must rejoin our companions - several of whom were mentioned in my song."

"Ah," says Randal Morn. "I had thought your party was a bit small. This makes me more hopeful. Good luck!"

Brianna, Igor, Kress and Hazen return to the drow. "They want us to go on a drow hunt - in the Dordrien Crypts!" says Brianna.

"You guys didn't even ask for a reward," says Hazen.

Tebryn turns to the grey dwarf. "These random drow incursions may be connected to Maerimydra," he says. "Lolth being silent and all - something is wrong down there. We might stop the raids, although they're not our concern, but do you think that we'll come marching up - drow and all - and say "we did it for you! Pay us!" after we are done? I think not."

"Aww, maybe not," agrees Hazen.

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Copyright © 2004 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
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