In this episode, our heroes continue to search the drow enclave to find the research that Queen Sharisa wants. However, upon discovering the horrible truth behind it, they instead plan a rebellion with the duergars, myconids and svirfneblins.
First Round of Battle
With his dagger still impaled into the severely wounded quasit, Cam slices it upwards through its chest and up to its head. The quasit is flinged up into the air and lands flat onto the ground. Green ooze flows out of its body and pools around the dead quasit. As Nimbus is a magical dagger, the acidic blood does not affect it. Cam moves to the doorway to block it, then directs his dagger at the other four spiders, warning them not to move.
Three of the spiders morph back into quasits and attempts to invade the minds of Elora, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar. The three affected adventurers manage to fight off the attack. The fourth spider moves to Cam's leg, morphs back into a quasit, then attacks Cam by sinking its teeth into Cam's arm, poisoning him by its acid.
Jiǔtóu moves past Trellimar and attacks a quasit on the desk, decapitating its head with her guandao. Elora moves back a little and then draws out an arrow, aiming for a quasit on a crate. She fires at it, piercing its chest. It then snaps the arrow off itself. Trellimar fires his Eldritch Blasts at two quasits, one on the bookshelf and the other beside Cam. It disintegrates both quasits.
Second Round of Battle
Cam tries to attack the last quasit by throwing Nimbus at it, but due to his poisoned state, he fails to aim at it. Seeing his weakened state, the quasit leaps of the crate and claws at Cam with limited effect. Jiǔtóu takes a moment to enjoy the sight of a poisoned Cam being attacked by a quasit. She then casually walks up to them and ends off the last quasit by stabbing it with her guandao.
End of Battle
Cam forces himself to vomit out the poison and he is fine after a while. However, as Cam vomits onto the corpse, it splatters onto Jiǔtóu's guandao. Annoyed, Jiǔtóu takes off the guandao and flings the vomit off it towards Cam. Some of it lands on Cam's boots. Cam takes his boots off to clean it, but the foul smell from not taking his boots off for days causes Jiǔtóu to gag and cover her nose.
Cam wonders on the quasits being weak despite believing that they are protectors of something in the drow enclave. Elora guesses that those quasits may have tagged along when the drow matron Kalex summoned other demons into the plane. Crownrend clarifies to Jiǔtóu that the quasits are no protectors but once served as assistance to Kalex. He says that they are driven mad after being kept in the enclave for centuries. When Jiǔtóu tells the rest of what Crownrend said, Cam does not like that an object that is able to communicate with another person. He then wonders if he can talk to it, which prompts Crownrend to say hello in Cam's mind. Cam then no longer wishes to talk to it.
On Cam's request, Jiǔtóu asks Crownrend about Tatyana, the drow that was awakened from her long slumber. Crownrend recognises the name as one of Kalex's daughters, but it expects her to be either dead or old by now. When Jiǔtóu asks Crownrend if destroying the spellbook can get rid of the demons, Crownrend does not have knowledge on it, claiming that it is a weapon, not a wizard. Cam comments to Jiǔtóu on how she looks like talking to no one when she is communicating with Crownrend. Jiǔtóu gives back a remark of how it feels similar to Cam receiving no response from his goddess Avandra whenever he tries to communicate with her. Cam remains quiet and tries to cover his tears.
Cam asks Jiǔtóu if Crownrend knows about the magical double doors guarding a powerful being in the room. To ease the conversation, Crownrend speaks to all four adventurers in their mind, saying that it has only been into the room once when Kalex summoned a demon it was attached to. Unable to wield the power of the bracer, Kalex then stored it in the study ever since. Crownrend have also seen how Tatyana looks like, and reckons that it will recognise the drow if she is actually her. Crownrend also adds that she is the least favourite daughter of Kalex.
Trellimar knows that the spellbook could be valuable, taking into account that there are few practicing wizards left after the Lightfall event. He then takes the book. Cam now doubts Tatyana's request to destroy the spellbook, pointing out that destroying it may have unknown consequences. Elora and Trellimar also doubts that the drow may not be the real Tatyana but an impostor. Trellimar adds that with their encounter with the quasits earlier, demons can also morph, shape-shift or transform into another being. Cam guesses that given the fact the drow enclave still have an active ward to prevent Underdark creatures like the duergars from entering, the ward may be preventing whatever is inside the enclave from leaving, fearing that the spellbook may be linked to the ward.
Cam casually comments that the bracer may be the key to unlock the magical double doors. Jiǔtóu hears this and starts to walk out of the room. Cam, still standing by the doorway, stops her and tells her of what he shared before they entered the drow enclave, of them working as a group, not as a lone wolf. Jiǔtóu simply ignores him but does not walk out of the room. Elora suggests showing the bracer to Tatyana, thinking that she might know something about it. Cam and Jiǔtóu think that she might not know. Nonetheless, the adventurers walk towards Tatyana's room, with Jiǔtóu leading the way. She also covers the bracer with her sleeves. It however does not hinders its vision.
Jiǔtóu knocks on the bedroom door. Tatyana answers and let them in, unaware that Jiǔtóu has the bracer and Trellimar has the spellbook. Cam explains that several quasits attacked them and shows the bite mark on his arm. Tatyana walks over and starts to treat his wound. Jiǔtóu then telepathically asks Crownrend if the drow is Tatyana. Crownrend tells her that it is not.
At this point, upon gazing at Tatyana's eyes, Cam feels a force to try to want her affectionately but manages to fight it off. She senses Cam fending against her spell. Just before Cam whips out his dagger Nimbus and points it at Tatyana's throat, she tries to do the same to Trellimar, but to no avail.
Tatyana tries to back away but Cam is quick enough to restrain her on the bed. Tatyana's form now morphs into a succubus. She has been trapped in the room for centuries, explaining that it is the spellbook that allows the matron to bind her into the room. Destroying it will set her free and allows her to go back into the Abyss. On the magical double doors, the succubus does not know what is behind it, saying that she would have sensed a demonic being behind it if there is one.
Cam offers the alternative to just leave the succubus trapped forever. She gives in and offers to aid the adventurers, in return for her freedom. However, as Cam is not convinced that she can aid them, the succubus extends her nails into claws and tells them that although she is not strong in combat, she may tries to fight with them in case of an attack. Nonetheless, the succubus is only concern of leaving the plane and her attempt in charming either Cam or Trellimar was for them to convince the rest to free her. She also explains that she have the ability to turn herself ethereal for a limited time to go beyond the room.
By now, Elora knows from others that whoever holds the spellbook a being is bounded to can controls that being. After she voices out to the succubus that the spellbook she seeks controls her, the succubus growls. Cam says that it is a good thing that the spellbook is in the hands of an elf, a strong-minded race. Elora also states that there are two elves. Yet, the succubus grins and stares at Trellimar. Meanwhile, Jiǔtóu casually grabs the mirror on the dresser.
The adventurers are keen on asking the succubus to open the magical double doors but she says that she cannot open it, whether in ethereal form or not. She suggests Trellimar to try it, since the matron is also a drow and can open the doors. The succubus also begs the adventurers to at least allow her to aid them so she can be freed. On this, the adventurers prefers to discuss about it away from the presence of the succubus. They then walk out of the room and close the door. The succubus pounds on the door, demanding the adventurers to release her. Elora tells Trellimar to shut her up, since he can control her, to which he did. The pounding stops and the succubus remains silent.
On the mirror, Jiǔtóu shares with the rest that they can break it up, hide it and then use it against Queen Sharisa. Cam suggests that they can make use of the succubus to attack the Queen, although Jiǔtóu, on Crownrend's advice, voices out that the succubus is weak and of not much use. Elora adds that the succubus may still try to charm the person in control of the book to do her biding. Cam, with Trellimar, believes that having a succubus will ease the conflict with the Queen, only with proper handling of commands to the succubus. He also points out that by giving the research to the Queen, she may do bad things instead. In any case, the adventurers are at a severe disadvantage if they do not find the research, given the fact that the duergars are still camping outside.
Overthrowing the QueenEdit
The adventurers decide to open the magical double doors first. Trellimar walks up and cautiously opens it. Red dim light fills the corridor through the gap. When opened fully, it reveals a 30 by 30 feet chamber, with the walls and floor cracked and other doorways sealed by fallen rocks. At the centre is a huge black-red, round and smooth crystal with a smoky interior. A female drow half-trapped in the crystal, with a posture as if she is escaping. Her skins have aged over time for about four centuries. The adventurers can sense that the crystal houses a lot of power. Although not strong enough, Crownrend senses great demonic power from the crystal. Cam guesses that it might be the final works of the matron that gone wrong.
Cam whips out his dagger Duracell and casts light on it. When the adventurers take a closer look, the drow seems to be clutching a book with a scroll case on her belt. Claw marks are seen going across her chest, just misses the heart. Elora also sees a large monstrous form behind the drow, with exoskeleton, large legs and a humanoid face. Its eyes open and focuses on Elora. Elora guides Cam's hand that is holding Nimbus at the creature, revealing a spider-like creature with horns sticking out of its head and red armour. Trellimar knows how a drider looks like, but this creature have demonic features that are not drow-like. The adventurers now face another dilemma: break the crystal to obtain the notes, but risk getting slaughtered by the creature.
Cam and Trellimar suggests having the succubus to fight alongside them, with a fail-safe to banish her if the creature can control her. Elora voices out that should the creature be able to control the succubus, she may no longer be bound to the spellbook and they have to face another enemy. Trellimar proposes that they fight the creature, only summoning the succubus if things go haywire. He later proposes an alternative, which is to chisel enough crystal to free the drow. Cam thinks otherwise, fearing that it have shatter the whole crystal.
The adventurers now come to their realisation that giving the research to the Queen will potentially cause more harm than good. After Jiǔtóu explains who the Queen is to Crownrend, he reckons that she will not give them the Scroll of Greater Restoration. Elora proposes to unleash the creature outside of the enclave so that the duergars can see the type of evil the Queen might bring upon the world. Cam suggests to have the succubus to smash the crystal while they have a head start to run away. However, Jiǔtóu disagrees with both plans. Nonetheless, they agree that getting the duergar to their side will be advantageous in defeating the Queen.
The adventurers walk out of the room and to the entrance of the enclave, standing behind the protective ward. Reznak sees them and asks of their progress. Elora tells him that they found some notes but warns him of the potential danger the Queen seeks to obtain. Reznak walks closer and tells Elora that the Queen have given them good life despite the torments in the early days. Trellimar then tells Granamyr to project the image of the creature into Reznak's mind. Cam and Jiǔtóu adds that the Queen may replace the duergars with these demonic creatures.
Although Reznak is now feeling worried, he is still against fighting the Queen, fearing that his men are no match for her. The adventurers assure him that they will fight with the duergars in defeating the Queen. Cam and Jiǔtóu also tell him about the mirror they obtained, the item that the Queen has gotten rid of ages ago according to Reznak.
After a deep thought, Reznak agrees to rebel against the Queen given the fact that she has killed his kind. He shares that his men are all loyal to him and will stand by him. Yet, there are a pocket few that are loyal to the Queen through their duergar wizard, Fandrel. He thinks of a possibility that the Queen and Fandrel may be after the research in the enclave to further their plans. Before all parties draw up a battle plan to rebel against the Queen, the adventurers group up to have a discussion while Reznak updates his men of the latest development.
Cam suggests that the succubus morph into the demon to cause a ruckus that will lead Reznak and his men to investigate, yet not engaging her. With the silence, the Queen will begin worrying and hopefully send Fandrel to investigate. The duergar will then engage with Fandrel, while the adventurers engages with the Queen. With a piece of mirror inside the research, the Queen will open the book which hopefully results in her turning into stone.
Crownrend likes the plan of killing the Queen. Fearing that Cam's plan may go wrong, Elora suggests having some sort of army inside the chamber with the Queen. Cam suggests that Reznak allows a few of his loyal men to be in the same room. He also suggests each of them having a piece of the mirror as a back-up in case the mirror-in-the-book plan fails.
Cam volunteers to break the mirror. Despite being careful, Cam unintentionally smashes the mirror into tiny pieces. Only one piece is big enough to see a full reflection, yet is small enough to slot it inside the book. With only one mirror, Cam then tells Trellimar to casts Hold Person at the Queen should she finds anything suspicious once she opens the book. Jiǔtóu proceeds to grab some notes, the mirror and her cape to binds them all into a book.
On the succubus, Elora, Jiǔtóu and now Trellimar suggests now having her involved. However, Cam tells them that they need a distraction for their plan to work. Despite numerous argument back and forth, the adventurers apart from Elora decides to bring the succubus as part of their plan.
Trellimar walks up to the bedroom door and gives the following commands to the succubus: follow Trellimar; do not attack himself, his companions, and any of the duergars; do not do anything unless he commands her to do so; no charming of anyone else unless he says so. Trellimar then opens the door, revealing the succubus glaring at him silently. Cam walks up to Trellimar and tells him to show the image of the demon she is to morph into later. With Granamyr showing her the image, Trellimar commands her to remember the image to use it later. When Cam notices her wings, Trellimar also commands her to not fly and stay on the ground. All these while, the succubus remains silent.
The adventurers, with the succubus, rejoin with Reznak. Cam proceeds to tell Reznak their plans. Reznak adds on that he will ensure that only the duergars loyal to him will be in presence of the Queen and to aid them in the rebellion. Trellimar tells the succubus not to charm any of the duergars as well. He also tells her not to speak unless spoken to by him, to which the succubus replies back that he did told her to keep quiet earlier on. He also assures that she will be free once their plans are done. With all parties in agreement, they start to make their way back to the Queen's palace.
An hour into their journey, the convoy is now travelling through a valley with a mushroom forest on its ridges. However, a large mushroom seems to have blocked their way. Reznak halts the convoy and orders his men to clear the obstacle.
Without warning, stones start to plummet on them, injuring the duergars. One of the rocks crushes the head of a centipede. As the adventurers look up, they see a contingent of myconids and svirfneblins on the ridge of the valley headed by Gurli. Elora shouts at Gurli to stop the attack. Gurli orders the contingent to stop but tells Elora that she is trying to free the adventurers from the duergars. Elora replies back that the duergars are now their allies and are to rebel against the Queen.
Gurli slides down the valley, together with two myconids whom Gurli calls them Mushroom and Shroom. Cam and Elora explains to Gurli the reason for the rebellion and their plans, to which she now understands. At the same time, Elora tells Trellimar that the succubus is not to charm any myconids and svirfneblins. Trellimar relays the command to the succubus. Unknown to them, she has already charmed Gurli before the command.
Gurli comments that the succubus is pretty. The succubus grins at Gurli, then looks back at Trellimar. He now asks her if she has charmed Gurli. She shrugs but says that any charm will last until the next day. Trellimar asks one more time, in which the succubus smiles and says yes. Cam and Elora tells Trellimar to banish the succubus now. After much bickering and with Gurli attempting to steal the spellbook from Trellimar, he has no choice but to banish her. Cam comments that their plans are now ruined. Gurli is back to herself.
The adventurers, Reznak and Gurli discuss the rebellion plan. Gurli and her contingent will fake an attack against the duergars, which will force Fandrel to investigate the commotion. However, should Fandrel sees the trick, the duergars will attempt to hold him back. Cam also informs Reznak that, should the Queen is defeated, he will have to lead the people in her place. With that, the convoy continues their journey back to the palace.
After another two hours, the convoy reaches the palace gates and drops Reznak and the adventurers off. Trellimar sends Granamyr to Gurli as a way for him to tell her when to start the false attack. In proceeding with the plan, Reznak says, "May the forge-fathers be with us."
Guiding the adventurers from the gate to the hallway, Reznak whispers to his men along the way in preparation for the rebellion. Standing in the hallway is an elder duergar Fandrel with black robes and clutching a staff. Upon his query, Reznak tells him that they have found the research and will see the Queen now. Fandrel is pleased and walks back into his room. The group is now by the door leading into the chamber. As Reznak knocks, Cam whispers to him to not be afraid to be rough with them.
The door opens and Reznak shoves Cam inside the chamber. Cam lands on his knees. Reznak then informs the Queen of their return. The Queen is pleased, then asks the adventurers of the experience inside the enclave. As Cam shares the experiences to the Queen, Trellimar telepathically tells Granamyr to begin the rebellion.
A moment passes, then a war horn can be heard. A duergar guard runs into the chamber, ducks his head and calls out Reznak and the Queen of an attack by the myconids and svirfneblins. Reznak orders two of his loyal men to guard the Queen. He turns around and bow to the Queen, seeking her permission to leave. Queen Sharisa, with a curious look on her face, allows Reznak to quell the attack. Reznak then leaves the chamber, shutting the doors. He can be heard shouting for Fandrel's assistance with the attack.
Cam, looking down at the ground, tells the Queen that the demon inside the enclave may have followed them back to the palace. The Queen stands up and walks towards the adventurers. She orders them to hand over the research. Trellimar takes it out and hands it over. The Queen takes the book and starts flipping through the pages. As the adventurers are still looking at the ground, they hear a shriek coming from the Queen. She drops the book as her arms start to turn into stone.
First Round of Battle
Cam reaches for the book and directs it in view of the Queen. Using her hands to block her view, the Queen casts Suggestion on Cam to destroy the mirror. Fortunately, Cam shrugs off the effect, yells "Fuck you!" and holds the book at her.
The Queen opens her eyes, looks towards Cam and screams out "NOOO!" She now fully turns into stone.
Crownrend rejoices while commenting that the Queen is destroyed by her own power. Jiǔtóu says that it is not over and wishes for Crownrend's power. It can do that but only if she gives it her life blood. Jiǔtóu gladly does that and her blood starts seeping into the gem on the bracer. The others watch as the gem violently flares bright and bursts into flames. The bracer grows and covers her arm in sharp, black metal up to her shoulder, ripping off a bit of her tunic. Jiǔtóu's horns grow slightly longer, her eyes glow vibrantly and her teeth are sharper. With her new-found power, Jiǔtóu smashes her fist through the centre of the stoned Queen Sharisa, leaving a hole.
The two duergar guards in the chamber rush over and rejoice that the Queen is dead. However, Elora hears stone erupting from the earth behind the double doors, with a warning coming from a duergar that Reznak betrayed them.
The door starts to open. Elora and Trellimar then ready themselves for the next foe, with Elora getting ready to casts Moonbeam.
Second Round of Battle
Cam uses Invoke Duplicity on himself, creating a duplicate of him. He commands his duplicate to stand in front of the door and pull down his trousers.
The door is fully open, with Fandrel standing there. Behind him is a wall of stone, blocking the access into the hallway. Upon opening the doors, Fandrel realises that Queen Sharisa has been turned into stone. Now in rage, Fandrel raises his hand. The ground rumbles then erupts into churned earth and stone. Everyone loses their balance and take severe damage; the two duergar guards die. Only Jiǔtóu is quick enough to dodge the sudden eruption and get out of harm's way.
Still, Elora manages to cast Moonbeam on Fandrel but he counters the spell. Jiǔtóu plummets Fandrel with her fist empowered by Crownrend. With a kick and a Flurry of Blows, Fandrel is left battered, bloody and bruised. Trellimar finishes him off by using Vampiric Touch, sucking out the remaining life Fandrel has left. Fandrel falls to the ground lifeless.
End of Battle
A New NormalEdit
The earthen wall that was blocking the hallway crumbles onto the ground. Cam casts a Prayer of Healing for everyone. Jiǔtóu lets out a loud roar of satisfaction. The effects from Crownrend ends. Its black metal recedes from her arm and slides back into the bracer. Jiǔtóu is now extremely exhausted.
Trellimar telepathically tells Granamyr that the battle is over. Behind the throne, Elora notices a thin line of light coming out from a section of the wall.
A while passes and Reznak with his duergar guard and Gurli with her contingent funnels into the chamber. Reznak is glad that the Queen is dead and agrees to take up the task in leading his people, as well as developing a partnership with the myconids and svirfneblins. Gurli will give some thoughts, while the myconids agree with Reznak's proposal. Meanwhile, Cam ransacks Fandrel and takes two potions.
On the Scroll of Greater Restoration, Reznak informs the adventurers that it might be inside the Treasure Room and points to a secret door that Elora saw earlier. Reznak also shares with them of four drows bartering with the Queen for passage through her kingdom. The four drows choose not to go to the drow enclave but, through an unknown service to the Queen, are given passage to access the area deeper into the Underdark underneath the surface of Grimfang's Keep. The duergars have since sealed off the access and keep it warded to prevent anything dangerous from spewing into their lands.
The adventurers approach the Treasure Room and Elora check for traps. No traps were found but it was once warded by runes placed by Fandrel. With the runes deactivated, they open the door and see a room filled with treasures, most of them damaged in some form possibly from the Queen's rage. On a work desk, they find several scrolls, a white gemstone with lightning crackling inside it and 1500 gold pieces. The adventurers keep half of the gold pieces, with the remainder for the duergars to use. Two of the scrolls are Commune (Level 5) and Mass Cure Wounds (Level 5). The third is Greater Restoration (Level 5). Elora takes all of them and hands over the Scroll of Commune to Cam.
Jiǔtóu, still extremely exhausted, begs Elora to allow her to hold the Scroll of Greater Restoration. Cam and Elora decide to err on the side of caution and not allow her to hold it with her arm with the bracer. Yet, Jiǔtóu continues to beg at Elora. Just to keep her quiet, Elora hands over the Scroll to Jiǔtóu. Jiǔtóu takes the Scroll and is satisfied.
- Auto-Glass: After Cam voices his concern that chiselling the crystal may shatter the whole crystal instead, Matt says "auto-glass repair", with both Mark and Trott saying "auto-glass replace" shortly afterwards. This leaves Kim facepalming. Mark, Matt and Trott are referencing to the giggle from Autoglass British commercial.
- Halfling Camp parody: A parody of The Halfling Camp, featuring svirfneblins, was played during the break. It is sung by a fan of High Rollers D&D, AccidentalLegend on Twitch; BrilliantlyLouise on Reddit. Click on this link to listen to the song.
- What-If: In response on one of the donator's messages on the demonic drider, Mark shares that if Trellimar talks to it telepathically, the only reply he would get is that it wants to get out and eat them.