To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk
Mother and Father:
Please forgive the water stains and smudged ink. I’m afraid it couldn’t be helped at the moment for reasons that will become clear.
The sewers of Yartar, while still relatively new, are solidly constructed. I’m rather impressed at the complexity of their waterworks, given that while it’s a city, it isn’t a metropolis like Waterdeep. Clearly they city elders realized the value of building something to last. While not quite up to the best of Dwarven construction, it’s still impressive, and for anyone from the clan who might make their way out this direction, worth a look.
We were not there for sightseeing, unfortunately. With Rin, Thorin, and Journey bringing the Lady Italia to the lady-thieves, we went in with 2 other members of the Grey Hand, another warlock and an alchemist.
While well built, the sewers were slick with slime, and we had to be very careful moving along the narrow walkways. Bran’s limited vision was mitigated by spending a bit to send his raven flapping around. He described what it saw, and the first thing that caught our attention was a doorway not too far from where we were, so we shuffled our way over. After passing through a short hallway we came to a room with a half dissolved body, numerous hand wheels and levers, and 4 slimes. They were obnoxiously resistant to most of our magical attacks, but succumbed readily to being bludgeoned to death. Our Grey Hand Alchemist assistant figured out how to use the mechanics to lower the water in the sewer, so we did… probably by sending it all out into the river.
Then we heard… something from out in the hallway, and glassy eyed fish-things gargled at us. Wanting to get out of the stinky sewer as quickly as possible, I charged out, lined the two of them up, and blasted them with a lightning bolt. Sadly it didn’t immediately slay either of them, and then they attacked. The first one failed to get me, but the second one tossed a disgusting net over me. Joda used the Giant’s fan to blow one away, and then the rest of the party charged out. They were carrying little besides their weapons, and knowing that sometimes creatures swallow their treasure, I gutted one, which the alchemist found disgusting oddly enough… But no treasure.
Sending the raven back out to scout when the water level dropped discovered 3 more fishmen looking annoyed in what had been a full pool. We went over to them, ready to blast them apart when Bran revealed that he could talk to them. While I didn’t understand a word said, Bran didn’t look or sound thrilled with the answers he was getting, so I charmed the talker. Bran translated his more helpful responses. O’O’Sooth is their god, and an aboleth, who has been making people from the surface into fish people, but not like *these* fish people. Oh, and those Bat-clowns the “Howling Hatred” are involved too. They also warned us about the walls on the way into their god’s lair.
While they were talking one of the fish-things went on ahead. So… no surprise. Not that there was a great chance of that anyway. So, leaving the fish friends behind (the one would stay charmed for a while longer yet) we went deeper into the lair of the aboleth.
To set the scene… The aboleth’s main chamber was a massive hemisphere half full of dark water. The flat wall was to our backs. Spanning across the middle was a bridge, leading to a great iron door on the far wall. In the center of the bridge was a circular platform with 4 wheels mounted to short pillars. Circling halfway around the outerwall were 2 stone walkways.Sitting at the end of each was a glassy eyed merrow next to a wheel set into the wall.
I was first down the ladder into the chamber, and on my way down spotted the Glyph. With a frustrated wave I dispelled the ward, and we continued down…
There is something particularly slimy and cold about an aboleth speaking directly into your brain. It welcomed us in, and invited us to join it in a more civilized setting. THe far door opened, and 2 fish-men came out, walked to the disk, and bowed us toward the door. We cautiously made our way and looked through the iron door. A table and chairs were neatly arranged, along with several small piles of folded clothing, and a small mound of treasure. We declined to enter the small chamber with the large iron door.
“Very well, I’ll have you as slaves instead.” and the Merrow turned the wheels. Water came gushing into the chamber, and we all ran for the center disk. Bran got their first, injuring one of the fishmen. Joda arrived next, grabbing Bran, and thunder-stepped over to one of the Merrow. The blast killed one and injured the other fish-men. Our other warlock ran up, injured the remaining fishman, and I was right behind to finish him off with poison spray. We grabbed the wheels, and started turning as the water was quickly approaching my neck.
From out of the water, tentacles came out slapping me, the warlock and the alchemist who’d followed behind. I felt something… slither in me… but knew I didn’t have time to deal with it.
Joda and Bran attack the Merrow, and his glassy eyes clear. Sadly it was a stunning blow, and the creature was unable to do anything. The alchemist ran to toward the other merrow, while the warlock and I blasted at the aboleth. With the Great Digger’s lack of give-a-damn I empowered my witch bolt, and landed a solid hit on the overgrown sewer-guppy. It laughed at us… and then swatted down Joda. He hit the wall hard… I swear I heard his skull cracking against the wall echo in the chamber.
Bran tried to swim away, and got slapped by the aboleth’s tail. Thankfully the merrow went at the aboleth, though with little success. Across the way the alchemist tried to snap the other merrow out of his charm, and only succeeded in getting it angry, and he took a painful bite from it. The warlock shot it, and that damage was enough to wake it up, which allowed the alchemist to turn off the water. The merrow jumped in and joined the fight against the guppy. The guppy then attacked, and dropped the warlock right next to me. Bran joined in and shot the Aboleth again and again, smoky black arrows sinking into the monster’s hide.
From the now draining waters we felt more than heard the rumble of something large and heavy being shifted. The alchemist began to dash around the room, trying to reach Joda, I stood next to the fallen Warlock, continuing to pump the Great Digger’s rage into this self important sewer guppy, knowing there was nothing I could do to save either Joda or the warlock, or possibly even myself… As the waters were nearly gone from the chamberI could see the escape passage now open, and the aboleth thrashing away from the merrow who were harassing it.
I was going to be sick. It was going to get away. With a mad cackle I poured every last bit of energy I could into the abomination as Bran fired off more arrows and the merrow jabbed their harpoons… and it spasmed, flailed in the muck, twitching toward escape… and died.
The alchemist cried out. Joda was dead. The warlock breathed next to me. He would recover. Then I *was* sick. Things have been a little blurry since. I’m oozing something that burns if my skin dries, so I’m sitting writing this on the muddy bank of the river, praying that there is someone who can cure me… praying more that they can do something for Joda. And if not, I pray his soul finds rest.