Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1

Anyone who touches the gem risks falling prey to
delusional madness. A ducrgar ale merchant named
Krimgol Muz.gardt found the gem and took it to Mantol-
Derith. By the time he arrived, Krimgol had succumbed
to the delusion that he was a calassabrak- a duergar
without honor. He paid Yantha Coaxrock. an honest
svirfneblin mage, to appraise the jewel, hoping that
he could use it to buy back the goodwill of his clan.
Touched by the gem's madness. Yantha lied to Krimgol
and told him the gem was worthless. She offered a lump
of gold in exchange. whereupon Krimgol suspected
treachery and demanded the gem's immediate return.
While Krimgol and Yantha argued, one ofYantha's
apprentices tried to hide the gem for his mistress but
succumbed to its evil power. The apprentice, Flink.
rook the gem to the drow enclave, hoping to trade it for
some rare spell components that he imagined Yantha
needing to make Krimgol go away. A gargoyle assigned
ro watch for thieves spotted the gem and wrested it
from Flink, who hid for fear of incurring Yantha's
wrath. Soon thereafter, the delusional gargoyle laid
eyes on a drow assassin named Kinyel Druu'giir and
was instantly smitten by her. The gargoyle gave her the
black gem as a token of its devotion, which she, in her
madness, mistook as a payment from the drow enclave
to assassinate Lorthuun, a maimed beholder allied with
the lhentarim.
Yantha's theft of the gem led Krirngol to leave and
return with duergar reinforcements. They attacked the
svirfneblin enclave and captured Yantha, triggering
open conflict between the two enclaves. With the
fragile truce in Mantol-Derith finally broken, the drow
are preparing to take out the weakened duergar and
svirfneblin forces. Meanwhile, Druu'giir has infiltrated
a drow delegation sent to meet with representatives of
<he lhentarim enclave to discuss how best £O divvy up
~1antol-Derith between them.
Finding and destroying the gem prevents others
:"rom falling prey to Fraz-Urb'luu's madness. While
imprisoned inside the gem, Fraz-Urb'luu retains his
alignment and senses (see appendix D), but loses all
of his other attributes and can't take actions. The gem
is as big as a human fist and has AC 10. 1 hit point,
immunity to poison and psychic damage, and immunity
to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from
noomagical weapons. It is also immune to any spell
effect that requires a saving throw. While inside the
gem, the demon lord can't be attacked, harmed. coerced,
or heard. He can be contacted via telepathy. however.
Shattering the gem releases Fraz-Urb'luu's life force.
which instantly returns to the demon lord's body in
the Abyss.
Any creature that touches the gem must succeed on
a DC 23 Charisma saving Lhrow or succumb to a form
of indefinite madness, as determined by rolling on the
Indefinite Madness of Fraz-Urb'luu table in appendix D.
A c reature that succeeds on the saving throw is immune
w the madness-inducing effect of the gem for the next
14 hours. The madness lasts until cured.
If the characters destroy Fraz-Urb'luu's gem, award
each of them I ,000 XP.

Characters encounter the following features inside
Climate. Mantoi-Derith is chilly and damp thanks to the
waterfalls and streams flowing through the cavern and into
the Darklake.
Light. Mantoi-Derith is brightly lit by continual flame
spells and crystals in the walls that reflect the light. A
network of walkways and small plazas crisscross the rocky
ground of the outpost, paved with crushed crystals that
also reflect light.



lf the characters reached an agreement with Davra
Jassur in c hapter 8. they can travel to Mantol-Derith
along one of the many routes the Zhentarim use to move
merchandise to the trade hub from the surface world.
The Black Network doesn't reveal the shortest route for
security reasons. Instead, its representatives lead the
adventurers to a remote cave in the Surbrin Hills, about
180 miles east of Gauntlgrym. Black Network sentries
(six human veterans) guard the cave, which leads to a
series of tunnels. These tunnels descend sharply as they
wind their way east for another 200 miles. Check for
random encounters as the party's expedition makes its
way to Mantoi-Derith, using the tables in c hapter 2.
lf the characters are traveling with faction
representatives (see chapter 8), these NPCs help the
characters overcome random encounters. Whenever a
random encounter check yields a "no encowlter" result,
use that opportunity to roleplay some of these NPCs
and develop their personalities as you see fit.
Mantoi-Derith abuts the Darklake and is roughly six
days' travel from Blingdenstone and Menzoberranzan,
and 22 days from Gracklstugh via the Darklake locks
(see the overview map of the Underdark in chapter 2).
Characters accompanied by Zhentarim guides approach
Mantol-Derith via a subterranean rift. A narrow trail
winds up the side of the rift, ending a t a secret door in
the northwest corner of the trade hub (area 1a).


Population: Approximately 140 (drow. duergar, humans,
and svirfneblin)
Governme nt: Informal council comprised of four chief
negotiators (one per enclave), recently dissolved
Defense: Private guards
Commerce: Rare and exotic goods; see each enclave for
information on the goods traded by the duergar, the
drow. the svirfneblin, and the lhentarim
Organizations: The drow. duergar, svirfneblin, and
Zhe ntarim enclaves
Thousands of years· worth of trickling water carved
out the cavern where the drow. the duergar, and the
svirfneblin established Mantoi-Derith. Four warehouses
have been excavated at the corners of the cavern, each
controlled by an enclave and containing offices and
temporary lodgings for its merchants.

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