The party double backed toward the half destroyed merchant district. They were having a difficult time finding a store that would have climbing supplies, such as rope, due to all the fires and all. Finally, Peldu noticed a shop that had mining equipment, the only problem was that it was currently being looted. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” was their logic as they began to break and steal stuff. Peldu decided to stay outside for no reason at all. While inside, Urth noticed a long piece of rope coiled up neatly. The other looters took notice when he sprang for it. They too made a break for the item, as they felt that it must be valuable (this happens daily at Wal-Mart). Urth smashed the looters hand breaking more than a few bones. These looters were not seasoned warriors and they ran out of the establishment and fought back the only way they knew how, like cowards. The butt-hurt looters threw a Molotov cocktail at the building causing it to go up in flames – like so many other building in the area. All the heroes fled the building, except Urth who knew he needed to find more climbing gear or his days were numbered, or stay inside and his days were a number, 1. Every moment he lingered he took fire damage and risked death. Outside, Annabelle decided to slaughter all the looters without any hesitation or remorse, while Cavanaugh watched. Tim decided to help the brave cleric of Umberlee by casting frost spells upon the blaze to reduce the fire damage he was taking inside. Finally, Urth found what he was looking for, a grappling hook, climbing claws and shoes! His heroism sure paid off and he leaped out of the blaze in slow motion taking minor burn damage.
Peldu the pyromaniac, was bored and decided to start his own fire upon the corpses Annabelle had made. He pulled out his flint and steel, but the bloody corpses just weren’t lighting on fire! He struggled and struggled but it was no use. If only there was something close by, maybe right next to him that would help him start a fire, maybe a GIANT BURNING BUILDING???!?!?!?!? Come on man! Or maybe “PUT THE CORPSE INSIDE THE BURNING FIRE!!”
The party jaunted back in the direction of the climbing obstacle at the dam. Peldu decided to give up on his fire and decided to get some loot of his own and jumped inside the blaze! Only this time without Tim cooling it down, because he left.
On their way back, the party (minus the self destructive barbarian) noticed the barkeep from before pointing them out to a couple of thugs, who approached rapidly. The thugs demanded more gems, in fact ALL of their gems. This was not a suitable deal for them, so Urth decided to murder the thugs and waste more valuable spell slots. Inside the burning building, Peldu kept taking more and more fire damage as the building burned out of control, almost every items inside was turning to ash right before his eyes. Luckily, it was not all for not as Peldu found a lock-box! After a couple of rounds, while his body was burning, Peldu vigorously tried to pick the lock-box. He finally opened the darn thing, and not a second too soon as his life had just about ran out! Unfortunately for him inside was a large bag of powder explosives. The last place you want to be in is a fire while holding EXPLOSIVES! Peldu jumped through a window and took a little glass damage, instead of the 100+ boom-boom damage.
Peldu caught up with his friends about the time they were cleaning their weapons from the thugs that just got dead. Peldu tried to swoop in and loot wondrous treasures off the thugs, but to no avail (If they had treasure they wouldn’t have needed to fight you guys over a silly little gem). Now they were off to the great task at hand, climbing the slippery dam. Urth tried to tie his spider-silk rope to Cavanaugh’s magic rope and shoot it in the air, but for some-odd reason it didn’t work. Finally the bard-monk had an idea, he put the little tiny crown he had got from the rope-master upon Urth’s big head, and handed him the parchment of victory. And for reasons only known to science, it worked, kinda. Urth found that he had to hold on to the magic rope and would still have to climb a little. While using the climbing claws and shoes, grappling hook and magic rope, Urth was off. He attached more rope to the ends as to create safe passage for his comrades. About ¾ of the way up he noticed a small band of cultist’s doing some sort of ritual on the side of the dam. It was the same side Tim “tried” to swim over to hours before. He gathered that they were maybe, sorta, probably going to blow up the dam. But he was almost on the top of the thing, and… it is a long climb down, and… well, he ignored it and kept on climbing. Once he got to the top he saw a vast subterranean ocean! For once in the Underdark he felt as peace, he felt Umberlee’s presence breathing on his face as the humidity touched his skin. This was surely her domain, a sacred place.
Urth searched for something to anchor his line to, and the only option was part of a ship-wreck. He climbed in the water and proceeded to pull up his friends. Umberlee blessed him as one foot stood in the waking waves. Without Umberlee’s blessing this task would be impossible as he was feeling quite exhausted from missing the surface sky, and the kiss of the sun. The true curse of the Underdark was in fact, all the dark. One by one they climbed on top of the huge dam that was probably, maybe, sorta, soon to blow up at any minute! Each person did notice the band of cultists below but none of them wanted to bother them, that is until they all reached the top and realized their mistake. “Maybe being on top of this thing when it blows might not be a great idea”.
Annabelle thought about using ranged weapons from on top of the dam, but this idea was dumb for every reason possible. So they settled on trying to find a place to sleep instead. Peldu was again almost about to perish due to burning himself alive. Tim also was close to death by offering himself up as fish food. The rest of the party were badly injured due to their unnecessary brawl with the gem-thugs. But, isn’t there multiple inns in town below? Yeah, well, that WAS a long way down (unless the dam blows, then it is a fast way down).
Why was it so important to go up here anyway? There were other exits out of town, other places in town that haven’t been discovered yet. No one even questioned what apocalypse cult it was. Were they referring to the same “end of days” they have heard before, over and over again? Does it have anything to do with the migrating kobolds? Or maybe the whereabouts of the missing city of Baulder’s Gate? And why does Tim keep bleeding? These, and many other questions will not be answered in the next chapter, “No Bard left Behind.”