Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1
The drow divide their prisoners into three roughly
equal-sized groups and put them to work for a third
of the day. supervised by the quaggoths. Their menial
tasks include filling and hauling water barrels. operaring
the lift. cleaning any or all parts of the outpost (whethe r
they need it o r not). emptying chamber pots, food
preparation and !>ervicc. washing dishes. and laundry.
The prisoners arl' also giwn cruel or pointless tasks. to
occup) them. and for rhe dark c·lvc..,· amusement. Such
labors indud<' moving or stacktng rocks. coiling ropes.
and organrzmg supplies. with prboner!> forced to redo
work that doesn't meet tht> dro\v 's arbitrary standards.
Charactt•rs might or might not work together.
depending on how the drow split them up. Prisoners
known to be frit-ndly to each other are usually kept
apart, nnd no more than two o t· three prisoners are
allowed lo work at a s ingle tnsk at once.
Thl" drow and quaggoths are cruel and capricious,
but also somewhat bored and looking for amusement.
The quaggoths are poor conversationalists. hateful and
mistrtt'>tful toward the prisoners. The drow are more
inclint'd to talk. if only to boast of their superiority.
Character<. mir;thttrick them into dropping useful
bit!. of information. such as how long the journey to
\len.wberranzan is expected to take. or that the outpost
t'l relatively close to the DarkJake.

The characters' sleep in the slave pt'n is troubled and
fitful, filled with strange dream~ and disturbing images.
Dark shadow'> seem to move and reach out toward them
as the character-; wander lost through endless mazes of
tun ncb. Oily tt'ntacles slide to bru!.h up against them.
whill' a gr<'at buzzing and howling rises in the distance.
Suppuratiug wounds burst open in clouds of spores or
crawling ma!>ses of maggots or insects. At least one or
more o f the characters should wake in a cold sweat from
these nightmares arter every rest, feeling as though
stlrnething is out there in the dark depths-something
far worse> I hrrn the drow.
You need not explain the cause of these dreams and
images at this lime. Character s can chalk them up to
the conditions in the slave pen. or to the aftere ffects of
drow poison. but they a rc omens of what is happening
in the Lnderdark Spclleasters, particularly clerics and
warlocks. mi~ht be most prone to these dreams. but
the} can visit any or all of the characters.

\lost oft he other prisoners a r en't looking for trouble.
and even killers !'.uch as Buppido are careful to bide
their time·. Still. both Derendil and Rom ha,·e quick
tempers. and Sarith the drO\ is prone to bouts of
\JOience a5 Zu~~tmoy's spores take over his mind. It's
posstble the characters could provoke a fight. If they do.
<;orne of the prisoners (including the deep gnomes) egg
on the fighters while others keep their distance or even
1ry 10 break up the brawl.
Any violent conflict draws the at lent ion of the d row
guards. who initially order any prisoners to s tand down

from a fight. threatening them with hand crossbows
from outside the gate. If necessary. they shoot prisoners
with poisoned crossbow bolt!> to rncapacitate them.
(Sec chapter 8 of the Dungeon \.laster's Guide for
information on drow poison.) The guards let any
fight play out for their own amusement as long as the
prisoners don't seem likely to aciuall) kill one another.

lf a prisoner becomes too much trouble. or if the drow
need to mete out a lesson on the price of disobedience.
they make a gruesome spectacle of feeding a malcontent
to the giant spiders in the webs beneath Velkynvelve.
Drow guards or quaggoth servants throw the bound
prisoner over the edge into tht' webs. where the spiders
quickly converge to bite the victim, injecting their
venom. Once the victim is pnralyzed. lht> spiders wrap
the ir meal up in webbing.
This event is a conven ient opportunity to get rid of one
or more of the other prisoner:'> before the escape attempt
if you don't want them around. Aq well. you can drive
home the l'ruehy and threat of the drow by eliminating
an NPC with whom the characters have formed a bond.


The garrison at Vclkynvelvc consists of twelve drow.
five drow e lite warriors , a junior drow priestess named
Asha (usc the priest stat block in the Monster Manual.
but add rh c Fey Ance try. Innate Spellcasting. and
Sunlight Sensitivity featurcl> of the drow stat block). and
the outposc·s commandcr. a '>t'nior d r o w priestess of
Lolth n<~mt·clllvara. The dro\\ haH· the assistance of a
pack of twelve quaggoths and s•x trained giant spiders.

llvara Mizzrym

Asha Vandree
Shoor Vandree

Jorlan Duskryn


Drow priestess and commander
of the outpost
Junior priestess
Drow elite warrior. llvara·s lieutenant
and lover. ahd Asha's distant cousin
Maimed drow elite warrior. llvara's
former lieutenant and lover.

The commander of Velkynvch·c is an ambitious drow
priestess looking to rise in the esteem of Lolth and her
house. She considers command of a mere outpost a
stepping stone in her asccn ion. Th<· posting is beneath
he r, and she treats both it and her prisoners with
contempt. But s h e also knows the posting is temporary,
and she tntcnds to wring every advantage from it in
the meantimr.
A member of a drow hou'>e with a long history as
slavt'r. ll\'ara is a cruel mistress who enjoys taunting
and tormenting enemies and underlings alike.ln
addition to a scourge. she wields a cemacle rod.
Although s he has taken Shoor \'andree as her lover.
llvara cares no more about him than she did abour
jorlan Duskryn. the lover she discarded due to his
cripplinJ;( injuries.

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