The night is difficult for some members, the gnomes tunnels echo with the clang of shovels and picks as they work nonstop. Tiberius Hammersmyth is able to talk to Zarlagand Garnetgetter and gather some information about the area.
1-There is a huge Kuo Toa city to the west (your direction of travel has been south west)
2-The Gnomes burrowed down here from the Gnarley Forest (North of Zulern)
3-There is a great undead king down here, if you see mouths speaking on walls, beware
4-Drow (Dark Elves) have been an increasing problem in the area
5-Druegar (Evil Grey Dwarves) have also began showing
6-Drow, Kuo Toa, Druegar, have all been fighting recently
Zarlag also relates that he’s seen a book written by Iggwilv (Iuz mother) which contains all of the history of the abyss.
After a long rest Zarlag gives you a map, it looks to be mostly gibberish, but you can make out a few areas of it. Zarlag seems to be obsessed in his quest and most likely a bit mad.
You give the gnomes a small gem you had acquired (10 gold) in payment for your stay. You climb back out of the tunnels and back into the fetid swamp. Zarlag conjures an orb and image of 7 figures in flat bottomed boats, navigating the waters of an area that looks like it is near you. “There is another group we must hurry” Zarlag tells you he is sure that Coldstone is in this direction he begins trudging off.
Raif Windgate (Mourning Storm) sees a large column of Kuo Toa moving away from you, in a nod to the chaotic nature of the group, you decide to attack them. Zarlag is angry, “No!” he shouts, “we need to get away, not attack!” Zarlag flees as the group starts its attack.
There are at least 25 of them and the group begins raining arrows down on them. The Kuo Toa turn, it is an organized army and they divide into 2 groups, a dozen Kuo Toa each and rush your position.
There are larger Kuo Toa in the rear one calls forth a wall of water which moves at your position, the characters scatter as the small tidal waves threatens. Spears are thrown from the Kuo Toa without much affect on the characters who return fire with arrows and magic missile. Mourning Storm has turned into a swarm of kipper, as the Kuo Toa rush to hand to hand combat.
Kuo Toa nets and man catchers are turned aside, many of the Kuo Toa now dead or incapacitated as blows from Turok and Tiberious fell them. Vincent Rhodes stands away, loosing arrows which take their toll. Armand Tanzarian has gotten himself too far forward and Kuo Toa have wounded him gravely.
There is a large Kuo Toa with a staff which crackles with lighting, Tiberious stands between the huge Kuo Toa to protect Armand. The Kuo Toa is more than a match for Tiberious, trading hits toe to toe, Tiberious can feel his strength fading.
The Kuo Toa slips, on a patch ice (rolled a 1) and then falls on his face (double 1) Tiberious is able to finish him off, lucky as he wouldn’t have lasted much longer. The others have gotten rid of the rest of the Kuo Toan soldiers, but many spells were used and several in the group are very hurt including Tiberious and Armand.
(note the Kuo Toa would have killed both Tiberious and Armand if not for some HORRIBLE dice rolls)
There is a considerable amount of time as Helm assists with healing and the fight is cleaned up. The Kou-Toa bodies lay in stinking heaps before you, black blood oozing from some and mingling with the water that covers most of this area as a swamp. Several members of the party examine them, pulling a few trinkets and weapons off them, moving them into the bag of holding for later examination or sale..
Zarlag the wizard is impressed with your deed, “I know I have chosen well, you are indeed strong to have defeated a party of Kou Toa…..” Zarlag’s voice trails off and his eyes blank for a second as if he is deep in thought. “I fear the others have too much of a jump start on us, they are moving through the swamps by skiff” He waves his hands and a globe of light appears, in it you see shadowy figures using poles to propel 2 flat bottomed boats through the swamps.
The orb ‘zooms’ in on on one of the men with the poles, Helm recognizes him as the leader that he spoke to in the market weeks ago. “Stay heading on this bearing” says a raspy female voice form one of the other figures “Yes Ma’m” the man replies.
The orb zooms back there are 2 skiffs with 3 people in the front boat and 4 people in the back boat. Both times that you originally saw the Knights there were 6 of them. It looks as if they have added a seventh member. You also don’t recall any of them being female.
“We must make haste” Zarlag says. the party agrees but puts Zarlag at ease saying “you get us to cold stone keep, we can let those idiots find the Embrace, then take it from them when they exit.” Zarlag agrees with this plan