Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1
The kuo-toa are aquatic creatures. As such, they have no
real need for the boats they use to ply the Darklake, even
as boating remains a significant part of their culture.
It might well be that the kuo-toa's former masters- the
mind flayers- used them as ferry pilots and navigators in
the Underdark, and the fish-folk continue to do so out of
habit or some deep-seated need. Certainly, their relative
usefulness to the other races of the Underdark has served
the kuo-toa well. Only the duergar have shown any interest
in navigating the waters of the Darklake on their own, and
not even they do it as well as the kuo-toa.
There is a persistent myth among the inhabitants of
Sloobludop that the maze of tunnels, passages, and pools
of the Darklake is a kind of meditation- a spiritual journey.
Kuo-toa who navigate that maze long enough will awaken
to a great revelation for their people. As with many of the
strange beliefs of the kuo-toa, this one might only need
time to become a reality.

"We are split in two.'' Ploopploopeen explains,
'·fighting among ourselves." The followers of the Deep
Father have been making an increasing number of
offerings on hjs altar- killing blood sacrifices then
casting bloody chum into the waters of the Dark lake,
where it is consumed by ... something.

The archpriest of the Sea Mother tells the characters
he wants to use them as bait. The archpriest of the
Deep Father needs humanoid sacrifices. and the
party represents a prize collection in that regard.
Ploopploopeen will offer the characters as a "token of
peace and reconciliation" to get closer to the archpriest
of the Deep Father- except the adventurers will not
be helpless prisoners, but infiltrators. Ploopploopeen
wants the characters to disrupt the upstart faction's
rituals, allowing his true believers of the Sea Mother to
cut off the head of the cult. The archpriest promises that
the characters will be "well rewarded" for their aid.
If the characters refuse, Ploopploopeen tries to turn
them over anyway, still using them as bait to get his own
kuo-toa loyalists closer to his daughter's cult. However,
he no longer depends on or supports the characters as
allies, leaving them to survive on their own.
No matter whether the characters approach the final
encounter as willing participants or prisoners, the kuo-
toa make no effort to bind them or take their weapons,
believing in the power of their superior numbers and the
divine might of their competing gods.


Sloobludop is enclosed to the north and south by outer
"walls" of heavy netting with sharp bone hooks woven
into them. In the middle of each wall is a gate through
which creatures can safely pass. Any creature wishing
to crawl through the nettillg can do so with a successful
DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. On a failure, rhe
creature takes 1d8 piercing damage and becomes
restrained in the netting, requiring a successful DC 12
Strength check as an action to break free.
Stationed outside each gate a re four kuo-toa whips.
They confrom anyone who approaches. Party members
escorted by other kuo-toa can pass through the gate


unchallenged. lf the characters are uncscorted. any kuo-
toa they meel attempt to capture them. Roll a d20. On a
1-7. captives are taken to area 3. On an 8 18, captives
are taken to area 4. On a 19- 20, the guards are evenly
spHt and immediately begin to brawl for the right to take
the characters as prisoners.

  1. DOCKS
    A half-dozen kuo-toan keelboats are moored here.
    Although kuo-toa will negotiate terms for ferrying the
    characters across the Darklake. none leave without
    permission (see below). Party members can attempt to
    steal one or more of the boats, but doing so requires a
    successful DC 16 Dexterity (Stealth) check (and the kuo-
    toa are able to sense invisible creatures). The kuo-toa
    pursue any stolen boats, intending to capture the thieves
    as offerings to appease their gods.
    Five groups of three k uo-toa monitors led by a kuo-
    toa whip patrol the platforms at the water's edge. They
    ensure no vessel enters or leaves without submitting to
    "auguries" to determine if a crew's actions are pleasing
    to the god of the hour- in this case, the Deep Father.
    The auguries consist of a half-hour ritual. during
    which the whlp casts bones, shells, and other tokens
    and reads the resulting omens. Roll a d20. On 1-8, the
    whip finds the omens favorable; on 9- 18, he finds them
    unfavorable; and on 19- 20, the auguries are unclear,
    and the whip feels the need to consult the archpriest of
    the Deep Father (area 4).
    lf the characters met or spoke with the archpriest
    of the Deep Father before coming here. the whip
    automatically refuses their· request to leave.

When the characters arrive here. on their own or
escorted. read the following to the players:

A nine-foot-tall statue stands here. Its body is roughly
carved from some kind of wood in the shape of a
humanoid female, its head and forearms formed from
the severed head and claws of a giant albino crayfish.
These parts are lashed on with strands of gut, and emit
an overpowering s tench of rotting shellfish. Shells,
brightly colored stones, mushrooms, and rotting fish are
piled at the statue's feet and strung in garlands around
its neck. Four stern kuo-toa slowly circle the statue, alert
and on guard, while a few others mill about, gazing up at
the statue and bowing repeatedly while chanting.

All creatures that come here are expected to make
an offering to the Great Sea Mother Blibdoolpoolp. A
successful DC 13 Tntclligence (Religion) check recalls
that Blibdoolpoolp is a scavenger goddess, meaning that
discarded and recovered items are worthy offerings-
and the more personal the better. Rcgurgilating at the
goddess's feet is considered a sincere show of faith
(and a behavior faithful kuo-toa might display if the
characters wait long enough).
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