I previously posted some warts-and-all email summaries of the ‘Curse of Strahd’ campaign I ran in 2017-18, and the ‘Tomb of Annihilation’ campaign from 2018-19. CoS was the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Here’s another campaign – 2020’s ‘Out of the Abyss’. Each session was approximately 4-5 hours long. Some of the summaries may be amusing, but don’t forget these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar. If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them. And maybe even if you aren’t.
Session 29 – The Labyrinth, The Gallery of Angels and Maze Engine
The party saved a Modron called Barry from the Beholder Karazekar’s prison, who informed them it could lead them to ‘the Orderer’ (or Maze Engine). The party looted the Beholder’s treasure trove, took everything back to Vizeran at Araj and dropped off the components they had already collected.
Back out into the Underdark and a few weeks later they entered the Labyrinth, where they met a Gnoll called Gash (also known as Shannon), who said he could guide them through. He did – into a trap! The party killed six Minotaurs and moved further in, where they came across a shanty town called Filthriddens. The people were cultists worshipping Yeenoghu, who attempted to ambush the party with the aid of several Ghasts. The battle was suitably brief.
On to the Gallery of Angels, where the party recovered six feathers from petrified, tormented angels, frozen in stone.
Next up, off to the cavern where the Maze Engine, a 20-foot mechanical ball of brass containing a map of the multiverse, rested 40 feet down a 100-foot chasm over a river of magma. A huge Goristro attacked, maiming Kane’s Paladin!
Next Week: Demon Battle! And Menzoberranzannanznanwananman…
Session 30 – The Maze Engine and Menzoberranzan
The party finished off the Goristro and then fought several other demons. During that battle Belinda’s Bard activated the Maze Engine and it started to produce some bizarre effects. At one point her bard was knocked unconscious and Peter’s Rogue heroically leapt to the rescue, saving her from sliding off the Engine into the magma below. Unfortunately, a bit later he let go of her and she fell in anyway, but nobody’s perfect. She survived – burnt, scarred, shaken, but otherwise okay. It’s not every day you can say you survived falling into magma. One of the last Maze Engine effects (before it toppled into the magma) was a huge energy blast that sent all the demons in 100 miles back to the Abyss. (Hmmm, Baphomet and Yeenoghu were hunting in the labyrinth – they would have been in the 100-mile radius…)
Back to Araj to dump the Goristro’s heart and then off to the fabled Drow city of Menzoberranzan, site of the original summoning, to find Gromph Baenre’s grimoire. Grin Oustl, Vizeran’s apprentice, led the party through a 72-mile long secret passage which opened into a rift in the middle of the city. On the way he informed the party he wasn’t happy that the ritual would summon the demonlords back to his home town – seems he was still a bit attached to it. Awwwww…
The party met up with Jarlaxle Baenre, head of the Bregan D’Arthe mercenary company and brother of Gromph. He wanted the demonlords gone as well, so offered to hook the party up with the Council of Spiders, a group of secret mages attempting to undermine the city’s matriarchy. Off they went to the tower of Sorcere, equipped with a password and some greater invisibility spells.
Into the tower and Gromph’s sanctum, where they fought a Fire Elemental and four-armed Stone Golem, then into a secret room where a Drow imprisoned in a magic circle unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to free her. Turns out she was a soon-to-be-dead demon.
Back to Araj and a lengthy discussion about why the Dead Heart (the focus of Vizeran’s ritual) needed to be left in Menzoberranzan. After agreeing to place it into one of the rifts to minimise damage to the city, the party headed back out on the secret road back to Menzoberranzan. Soon, they received a vision from Basidia, the Myconid Sovereign from Neverlight Grove, pleading with them to save Araumycos!
Next week: Araumycos! And the final battle!
Session 31 – Araumycos and the Final Battle with Demogorgon!
The party journeyed to Araumycos, a fungi the size of a country hidden deep in the Underdark. On the way they encountered masses of myconids marching to the wedding of Zuggtmoy and Araumycos. These myconids were attacked by oozes, heralding the arrival of Jubilex, demon lord of oozes.
When they arrived at Araumycos, Basidia informed them they would encounter some resistance from Araumycos itself, as it was dazed after Zuggtmoy’s spore assaults. The party defeated several fungi beasts, passed out and awakened inside Araumycos’s mind. They found a giant skull and destroyed the black tumour within. Waking up, they confronted Jubilex and defeated him.
Off to Menzoberranzan to deliver the Dark Heart into a rift in the center of the city and summon the demon lords from across the Underdark. As the demons appeared, each fought for dominance. Soon, only Demogorgon was left. The party took the battle to the immense demon prince, with everyone contributing to wearing it down so that Kane’s Aasimar Paladin could deliver over 200 HP of damage in one round to finish Demogorgon off and send it back to the Abyss.
The party celebrated, knowing they had saved the Underdark and the surface world from the rage of demons. The world was safe again, until…
Hope you enjoyed these session summaries. I’ll post some more from other campaigns soon.
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