Waking up refreshed after a long rest, you called for Gravillax to begin the ceremony. You had agreed to accept gifts from the stone golem dwarf leader that would help you escape the Underdark in exchange for a geas spell that would require you to deliver a warning of the demon problems to Gauntylgrim. Moments later, Gravillax appeared and bid you to follow him.
Down, down, down you went. Descending stairs that wrapped this way and that, past stone gears and counterweights and other mechanisms, you finally arrived in the bottom-most chamber of the floating rockmote outpost. To your surprise, it seems that all the ghosts in the outpost also followed you down, making for a crowded room.
Next, Gravillax bid Elanelis step forward. As he did so, some 12 ghosts surrounded him. As Gravillax intoned a formidable spell in his gravelly voice, the ghosts were swept in a whirlwind around Elanelis as crimson dwarven runes appeared up and down the blade of his rapier. The whirlwind of ghost disappeared slowly as the runes flashed and then faded from view. The rest of you watched as Elanelis's nose grew slightly broader, much like a dwarf's.
Gravillax then turned to Lancel. Repeating the process, 12 more ghosts dissolved into a whirlwind of light around Lancel. A helm with short horns completely composed of dark gray dethek runes forms around his head, flashing with brilliance and then fading from view. As you observed this process, you saw that Lancel's eyebrows grew bushier like a dwarf's.
It was then Varis' turn. Gravillax performed a similar ritual. 12 more ghosts stepped forward. 12 more dissipated into a spectral whirlwind. Purple Dethek runes appear down the length of his scimitar blade. His fingers grew thick and callous, like a dwarf's.
Then it was Blanton's turn. More ghosts stepped forward and dissolved into the whirlwind. A number of ghostly blue Dethek runes come to lay on the skin of his forearms, making the shape of thieves tools. These runes fade over a matter of minutes. His feet grew broader and hairer, almost bursting out of his boots.
For Erdan, after Gravillax performed his ritual with ghosts stepping forward and disappearing, white runes overlaid his plate armor moving in slow synchronous patterns. He immediately sprouted thick stubble, all the way up his cheeks. It seems Erdan is showing the beginnings of a dwarven beard.
Ralxus was next. Gravillax performed a similar ritual, with the final 12 ghosts encircling Ralxus before disappearing. Emerald eerie dethek runes sprang to life across his armor in complex combinations. His eyes then turned light gray, like that of a dwarf's.
With all of the rituals complete, there was no denying that Gravillax had embued your weapons, armor or even your own skin with powerful dwarven abilities. But you also feel the compulsion of the geas to deliver the warning to Gauntylgrim. And beyond that, you can hear the whispers, those of the dwarves you now carry with you.
Leaving the Outpost
With the ritual complete, Gravillax led you up, up and up to the entry level of the outpost and then out and across the open drawbridge. There, he performed another ritual. With his voice a mixture of stone scraping against stone, his volume rose higher and higher. Runes on the huge chains holding the dwarven outpost in place grew brighter and brighter. When they were nearly blinding, the chains snapped in a tremendous cacophony, echoing through the cavern. The dwarven outpost then fell, noiselessly, for some 10 odd seconds before hitting the bottom of the abyss in a monstrous boom.
Gravillax then turned to you and stated it was time to go. It seems you have gained a traveling companion.
Ambushed and then … Welcomed?
From there, you continued your travels towards Sloobludop. I was long before you found danger: a group of Kuo Toa sprang from a nearby pool and attacked your party. It didn't take long to defeat the group, but Ront was grabbed and taken into the depths of the pool. You are now down one member of your party.
Distraught at the thought of one of your group being taken captive, you pressed on towards Sloobludop. You hoped to be able to save him. It wasn't long, however, before you met with another group of Kuo Toa, these covered in blue markings on their body. Holding a hand up, the leader started casting a spell. Ralxus, sensing that this Kuo Toa meant no harm, called out for the group to wait. It turned out that he was right. This priest cast a 'speak tongues' spell so you could communicate.
Speaking through gurgles and clacks, which you were able to understand, the Kuo Toa leader introduced himself as Ploopploopeen. He then proceeded to tell you his story. He had been a priest for his people, leading them in the worship of the All-Mother. He had led his people successfully for years, until several months ago. At that time, his daughter Bloppblippodd started spreading heretical practices by worshipping a new god, Lemeegoogoon, the Deep Father. Surprising, as she exhibited powerful new abilities, Kuo Toa flocked to her side.
Ploopploopeen then asked for your aid. He wanted to offer you as a fake sacrifice to his heretical daughter, only to get close enough to attack her and her most close followers. Not recognizing your arms and armor as any kind of real threat, he saw no reason to disarm you as part of this ruse. Asking what you would want in return, you asked for safe passage across the Darklake. Ploopploopeen agreed and offered a number of items that he had recovered during his time as a leader of Sloobludop.
Arriving in Sloobludop
After coming to an agreement, you spend the next day traveling to Sloobludop. You entered the city, passing walls that were nets with sharp fish teeth meant to ensnare intruders. Ploopploopeen led you to his hovel near the shrine to the All-Mother. Not far away, you can see the new shrine to Leemeegoogoon, the Deep Father.
Ploopploopeen then provided the items he had accumulated. Then, turning to face you, he motioned that it was time to confront his daughter.
Steel yourselves. You are about to enter battle.