Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1
buy more useful equipment. Additionally. the duergar
trade actively with other subterranean and surface-
dwelling races. Gracklstugh's Blade Bazaar might be
the ideal place to find traders or explorers heading to
the surface world.
Tf Buppido or Hemeth isn't with the party, others
can provide the above information. Sarith resists
plans to travel to the city at first, conscious of the low
regard the duergar have for drow. He changes his mind
quickly. however, as Zuggtmoy's spores drive him to
<;cek a densely populated area where he can spread his
It's also possible the party arrives at Gracklstugh
tn\'oluntarily. Duergar slavers scour the Underdark in
,earch of new "merchandise," and they might deceive or
c 1utright capture the characters and bring them to their
ny's slave markets. The random encounters in chapters
2 and 3 can easily set up this scenario.

Taking refuge in Gracklstugh has its advamages. Each
day they spend in the duergar capital, the characters can
anempt a DC 16 group Dexterity (Stealth) check to move
around cautiously, with success indicating that they
a' 01d drawing attention to themselves. The characters
cc n also attempt a DC 13 group Wisdom (Jnsight) check
assess the mood in the city. with success allowing
1 em to avoid trouble before it starts. Characters who He
\\ for the day have advantage on this Wisdom check.
Success with either check reduces the party's pursuit
\el by I (see " Drow Pursuit" in chapter 2).

:-~c Darklake District is a likely entry point to the city
or the characters. whether they arrive via the water or
""1\'CI one of the many tunnels leading to the district's
_ trs. Non-duergar arriving from tunnels that lead to
•her districts are stopped and escorted to the Darklake
r. trict under heavy guard, as every other district is
curmally off limits to outsiders, and trespassers risk
~x'ing confronted by an invisible patrol of four duergar.
The party's fellow escapees know that trying to
emer through the main entrances is a sure way to get
en-..laved, unless one of the characters is an epic liar
"'ho can convince the guards the party is a legitimate
rlomatic or trade delegation. Anyone with a merchant
riminal background has heard rumors that the
Zhentarim trade in the Underdark, but posing as
Z entarim has its own risks. as such claims are bound
be questioned. A character who is actually a member
rhc Zhentarim can buy the adventurers a couple of
s inside the city before the ducrgar s lavers start
"ing their measure.
,\rriving by way of the Darklake Docks is easier and
re discreet. If the characters arc traveling by boat.
Buppido can guide them to a deserted pier where they
!! dock quietly. He warns them that they have to
p a low profile and head directly to the only inn in
e c·ity devoted to outsiders. The Ghohlbrorn's Lair

  • r('quentcd by merchants. mercenaries. and other
    1gners who can offer information about traveling

Sweltering heat and cloying smoke cling to every corner
of the duergar city, spewing from smelters housed inside
massive stalagmites and stalactites. These protrude
from the cavern's floor and ceiling like the teeth of some
great maw.
Light. Gracklstugh's glowing forges and smithies operate
continuously. Most of the city is dimly lit by a hellish red
glow, with patches of darkness here and there.
Noise. The clanging and clacking of hammers and
machinery echoes constantly throughout the city. Wisdom
(Perception) checks made to listen in Gracklstugh have
Smoke and Haze. Despite vents dug into the walls and
ceiling of the city's great cavern, fumes from smelters and
forges linger at ground level (as does the gas tapped in
Laduguer's Furrow). Visitors might contract the illness
known as grackle·lung (see the Grackle·lung sidebar).

e lsewhere in the Underdark-or perhaps even to the
surface world.

With routine patrols of heavily armed gray dwarves
who can turn invisible. Gracklstugh is a relatively safe
place for those who know where they belong and stay
there. However, tensions are rising because of the
influence of Demogorgon, and the characters have many
opportunities to participate in events unfolding in the
city. At the end of each long rest. roll a d20; on a roll of
17 - 20, an encounter takes place. Roll another d20 and
consult the Random Encounters in Gracklstugh table;
if the characters are outside the Darklake District, treat
any entry marked with an asterisk as a "Duergar Patrol"
encounter instead.

d 20 Encounter
1-2 Abusive duergar guards
3-4 Deep gnome merchant*
S-7 Derro rioters*
8-9 Drow emissary*
10-12 Duergar patrol
13-14 Mad duergar
15-16 Ore mercenaries*
17-18 Slave caravan
19 Steeder handlers
20 Themberchaud

The characters come upon two duergar guards beating
a duergar merchant and shouting accusations of heresy.
Any Underdark native accompanying the party urges
the characters not to intervene on the merchant's behalf.
telling them this isn'ttheir business and warning them
that any interference might get them arrested or killed.
Bystanders look a liule surprised or concerned but don't
intervene, not even to aid the unconscious merchant
once th e guards leave.
Jf the characters investigate the circumstances
leading to the assault. bystanders tell them that one
of the guards noticed a golden pin the merchant was

Free download pdf