We finally near the end of our journey across the Darklake. Our ship approaches Mantol-Dereth; a twisted cavern, rising out of the waters of the Darklake itself. We moor our ship nearby and approach the waterfall-laden shores via our skiff. Upon landfall, we spot a door set in the rock above us, we make our way up the series of small cliffs and waterfalls leading towards this location. While on this journey, we spot a tent up ahead, between us and the path to the door. We make to walk around it, but suddenly stop upon noticing the field of tripwires that surround it… (Tired of writing, entering summary mode:)
Upon entering Mantol-Dereth, we note several strange things: First, and most apparent: there are no people. The place looks as if it has been recently and suddenly abandoned. Fires are still burning, and wares have been left unattended. Second, we spot a smattering of a variety gemstones across the ground along the main road. No discernable path to them. Did not remind us of the gemstones found in Sloobludop.
While inspecting these gemstones, we are interrupted by a commotion -the sounds of fighting. Bursting into the plaza are two small fellows (gnomes?) who are being chased by enlarged dwarves. The small folk send arcs of magic back at their pursuers as they make to escape. As this group begins to run past us, we wave in greeting and, to our surprise, both those fleeing and those chasing stop in their tracks and reply to us in kind - the chase seemingly put on hold.
We speak to the lead gnomish figure that had been throwing magic back at the enlarged dwarves. He introduces himself as "Peebles." He has reservations about telling us the true reasons he and his companion are being chased. After Necalli takes him out on a brief date to his Deals Dimension w/ Donaar, however, Peebles quickly tells us that he and his companion are being chased for stealing gems from the dwarven guild. He quickly follows up that admission to clarify that the Dwarves had stolen (? Slighted in some way) from his own guild prior to this theft.
Note: the gems that Peebles showed us were of moderate size, but not magical.
While this discussion was had, the dwarves had been huddled a ways away, discussing amongst themselves.
After we conclude our conversation with Peebles by way of the remark: "Well, it would be rude of us to interfere in these matters…" the chase resumed, and the group ran back the way we'd come from (? I think).
We inspect the plaza some more and note that the place is littered with orbs that suspiciously resemble eyes. We assume these to be "security cameras" of some sort and decide against stealing anything from the plethora of abandoned stalls… to the dismay of some. One of the stalls had weapons designed to impart maximum pain on the target. Don wanted some. The particular item he was interested in was listed for approx. 65,000 gp.
We look around and spot footprints leading away from each cluster of stalls. Footprints in abandoned plaza:
We end the session following one of the sets of footprints. (westward)
Note: we started this session by discovering (via a call to Jessamine, describing his symptoms) that Necalli had been affected by the "Feeblemind" spell (Demagorgon). We use Greater Restoration to heal him… with some difficulty :P
Note: Nemzie was drinking a mushroom tea. We theorize that maybe this is the cause of her madness, but we are unsure.