Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1

The newest circle in the colony, the Circle of Masters is
fonned exclusively by myconids touched by Zuggtmoy.
These myconids share Phylo's vision of happiness
spread through Zuggtmoy's spores, experimenting
on the carcasses brought to them by the hunters-or
on live prisoners they hunt in their own expeditions
outside the grove. Their mound lies at the center of an
obscene garden.
Yestabrod. Mutated by Zuggtmoy's spores, the
circle leader has become an abomination. No longer
recognizable as a myconid, it looks like a fungal larva
slithering along the ground. Mold and lichen grow in
hypnotic patterns along its ringed stalk. and it puffs
clouds of spores from a slit resembling a mouth. It can
use this orifice to actually speak, rather than depending
on rapport spores. Tt no longer attends melds with the
other leaders, instead sending its representative.

As the characters enter the garden. they make a
frightening discovery.

The low muttering grows louder as you reach the top,
turning into a symphony of moans, cries, and hisses.
The only light comes from a few glowing mushrooms
along the edge, but even in the gloom, you can't miss the
source of the sounds. The heads of creatures of a dozen
humanoid Underdark races peek from the ground, mold
and fungi growing around them.
One voice calls out loudly in Undercommon- a
female drow fighting to speak. "Please ... for your gods
of light ... kill me!" She manages to stir within her living
grave, raising a spider medallion half·embedded in the
bloated growth that was once her hand. Half her face is
rotten and pustulate, a bed for the sprouting of scores of
tiny mushrooms. "The Great Seeder ... trap ... she's here
... the Lady of Decay ... Zuggtmoy ... "

The drow is Xinaya, a young acolyte of Lolth. She was
leading a routine scouting patrol out of Velkynvelve
before Tlvara contacted her with a sending spell. The
patrol was ordered to search near the grove for the
characters, anticipating thalthe escapees might seek
shelter among the peaceful mushroom folk.
Upon her arrival, Xinaya made the mistake of
accepting Phylo's invitation to visit the Garden of
Welcome, where she and he r patrol quickly became
>ictims of lhe myconids' madness. She begs the
adventurers to end her suffering and warn her people
about the presence of the Demon Queen of Fungi
m the Underdark, unaware of the madness that has
already erupted in Menzoberranzan and throughout the
l:nderdark (see chapter 15). Xinaya is too far gone to be
saved. and any amount of damage kills her.
After the characters speak with Xinaya, Yestabrod
appears (see appendix C). The master of the foul garden
•akes delight in toying with trespassers.

The moans of the garden's victims suddenly take on a new
tone of fear as something moves across the foul ground. A
disgusting larval creature rises up before you, showing only
vestigial fungal growths that hint that it might once have
been a myconid.
"Welcome, travelers." The aberrant myconid's voice
gurgles and spits as it speaks both aloud and in your
minds at once. "Are you here for the wedding rehearsal?
Friends of the bride or her intended? No matter! Let the
love of the Great Seeder embrace you as you become one
with her chosen, the Great Body!"

As the garden comes alive with screams from its buried
victims, Yestabrod raises two drow spore ser vants (sec
appendix C). At the same time. two m yconid adults
from the Circle of Masters emerge from the surrounding
growth. all of the creatures following the circle leader as
he attacks.
If Sarith Kzekarit (see chapter 1) is still with the
party, he screams in agony as Yestabrod at£acks. The
characters can only watch as the drow's head splits
open, releasing a cloud of infecting spores and turning
him into another drow s po re servan t that joins
the fight.
IfYestabrod is slain and there are still drow spore
servants active, they go limp and stop attacking, at
which point the myconids from the Circle of Masters
attempt to flee.

Xinaya's equipment is piled 1n a heap not far from where
she was buried. Characters searching the pile find a
suit of +2 studded leather armor. a +2 shortsword, and
a bag of holding containing two spell scrolls (remove
curse and spider climb), 40 days of rations, and 320 sp.
The drow spore servants wear chain shirts and carry
shortswords. All of the armor and weapons found here
are of drow construction (see the "Drowcraft Items"
sidebar in appendix B).

Tn addition to the normal creature XP for this encoumer,
the characters earn a special award of 1, 000 XP
(divided equally among all party members) for defeating
Yestabrod and its minions.

After the confrontation with Yestabrod, the characters
can hear sound and movement from the cavern to
the northeast. Read th e following boxed text if the
characters investigate.

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