fell down the hole,
bumped her head
and bruised her soul”
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Infamous throughout Faerun, the Underdark is a vast network of twisted tunnels and caverns deep beneath the world's surface. It is known as a hostile, alien pit of madness which few dare venture down into and even fewer scramble back out.
Despite the oppressive, sunless environment, countless creatures and races call these caves home. Among the foremost of them are the dark elves, the drow.
Hated and feared even by their fellow dwellers in darkness, the drow raid other settlements in the Underdark as well as the surface world, taking prisoners back with them. Rendered unconscious with drow poison, then collared and shackled, these prisoners are eventually sold as slaves or entertainment in the dark elves' subterranean cities.
Unfortunately, you've had the misfortune of falling to such a fate.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hello! Welcome to the thread!
DISCORD HERE: https://discord.gg/RcBE6Rb
Out of the Abyss is an official D&D 5e adventure which takes place almost entirely in the Underdark and has a big picture of Demogorgon on the cover so you can probably assume he’s involved somehow. You’ll be starting as level 1 characters recently captured by the drow and awaiting transfer to Menzoberranzan to be sold as slaves. As such, your first mission will be conducting your daring escape!
We’ll be using roll20 for the combat and either use discord or post in the game thread for OOC stuff, depending on the group’s preference.
I plan on taking about 5 characters, give or take, and I’m cutting off applications on Sunday, May 20th, two weeks from now.
- Use standard point buy to get ability scores
- Start at 1st level
- Any official race and class should be fine
- In addition, feel free to use the character options found in the Unearthed Arcana article “Light, Dark, Underdark!”. Otherwise no UA content.
- Any alignment is okay so long as your character cooperates with the party to escape to the surface.
- Just about any background allowed, plus those listed here.
- Along with your character sheet, paragraph or two told about your character's life and how they came to be captured.
So I think that’s it! Its been a while since I've run something in pbp, but I'm excited to get back into it. If you have any questions you can PM me, pop into the Discord chat (https://discord.gg/RcBE6Rb), or just post in the thread!
Hardcordion fucked around with this message at May 8, 2018 around 03:28
|# ? May 7, 2018 03:59|
|# ? Oct 15, 2018 17:42|
Even for growing up in the Underdark, Jalnastee (or frequently just Nasty) had particularly rough life. Abandoned as a child when his impure half-drow blood started to show, he raised himself on the outskirts of drow and duegar outposts. He attempted to venture towards the surface, perhaps to find the other side of his heritage, but looking like a dark elf did him no favors. One particularly helpless time, injured and bleeding out from a failed attempt to beg from a Derro who beat him senseless just for asking, Jalnastee turned to prayer. Against all hope, deep under the earth, The Light found him, and answered, and filled him with strength. In return, he swore to bring The Light into the darkness.
This has not gone particularly well. Still an outcast, still scrounging for food and coin, the urge to fill the Underdark with Light has gotten him in trouble a couple of times, most recently landing him in chains. As it turns out, getting drunk and casting light all over a drow patrol is frowned upon. Go figure.
|# ? May 8, 2018 03:33|
Vess of the Shifting Forms
For a long long time, years even, Vess was much like the other kobolds. Weak, cowardly, forced to band together to survive. Forced to rely on sheer numbers to overcome the many trials and tribulations of life in the underdark. But that was before the terror times. Before death and destruction. That was before the drow came and slaughtered his people for fun and profit. Vess survived, yes by being cowardly, by hiding, by cowering in the mushrooms and refuse, hiding among the dead kobold and beast alike. It was a harrowing experience. The child grew into a man by surviving this raid.
His ties to his home were cut. With no home he began to feel a wanderlust inside him. A desire to see the world, or at least the Underdark. In part it was a desire for revenge, in part it was a change within him that wanted him to experience as much of nature as he could, and part of it was simply a coping method for all the fear and sadness that had filled him on that fateful day.
Something had changed in Vess that day. No longer a simple kobold, no Vess felt a oneness with the world around him. With the mushrooms, the lichen, and various other plants, with the spiders, the occasional bear, the bats, and the others animals that slithered, flittered, stalked and shook the caverns. Deep within him he could feel the power of the animals growling to be unleashed. Though he has not fully done so yet. Still the power of the plants and animals flows through him, and he has learned how to turn that power to his use. He has learned how to heal himself, or even others, how to strengthen a simple twig into the power of a mighty log, how to bring forth the rush of thunder or even call forth the essence of fire.
Now he is a mighty and powerful kobold, in the full bloom of his life at eight years old. He is strong and confident in his power. Well okay not strong of arm. And he felt he could take on anything. Even the hated Drow. And so he ambushed a Drow patrol. He entangled them in the very lichen that cushioned their footfalls, and went about trying to take them out. But he had vastly overestimated himself. He realized all too late that while he may be more skilled than many Kobold, he was not capable of taking on the Drow on his own. He would need allies, perhaps even friends, to truly take them on. Sadly he learned this too late as the Drow escaped his trap and took him down. Perhaps he was lucky that they did not simply kill him out of hand, but captured him to put him up for sale.
Switching out the normal Wanderer background feature for Outlander with the Deep Delver one which makes more sense for a Kobold born and raised in the Underdark.
Ryuujin fucked around with this message at May 8, 2018 around 08:59
|# ? May 8, 2018 08:45|
Grunk Threepaws had been lucky to find the cave.
Seven days was a long walk. It took a long time for his family to get to the nearest village, and frankly that suited the nearest village just fine. The podunk town had always had a love-hate relationship with the small half-orc community that lived a week through the woods: They Loved their strength and willingness to help with the harvest, and they Hated the fact that they were Half-Orcs. Still, Grunk Threepaws hadn't expected to be chased out of town quite so quickly.
He'd been there looking for help, as laughable as that seemed in hindsight. After a long hunting trip, Grunk had come back to his ramshackle cottage to find that his young sister had been kidnapped and his Grandfather, well... Papa Shattertusk had put up a fight. That fight had given Grunk his only clue: A piece of silk, a flimsy little thing, that was embroidered with a strange spider pattern. Grunk had found it clutched in his Grandfather's meaty fist.
Now that he thought on it, it wasn't him that the townsfolk had been scared of, it was the cloth. Their fat, sneering faces had quickly turned pale when he produced the swatch of cloth, now well-faded and threadbare from the sunlight. It didn't take long for the bravest of them to grab their pitchforks and turn Grunk out of the warm stable that was set aside for him into the downpour. They watched him warily from their doorframes until he was hidden by trees and darkness.
If Grunk's mind hadn't been consumed with anger at the fearful peasants, he might have remembered Papa Shattertusk's advice regarding caves: "Don't never sleep in a cave you ain't seen the back of, 'cause you won't know what's sleepin' with you."
If he wasn't sick with worry over his little sister, he might've noticed that the brush outside the cave had been disturbed. Recently.
If the rain hadn't been drumming steadily against the stone outside, he might have heard his captors.
Grunk Threepaws had been lucky to find the cave.
|# ? May 9, 2018 01:43|
Vanriel 'Vee' Iennore
A tribe of wood elves stumbled upon an orphaned air genasi baby. Believed to be a blessing from a forest spirit, given the girl's natural green complexion, she was adopted by the clan's Elder. Given a proper elvish upbringing, the girl flourished under their care. They treated her like one of their own. As the years passed, she ingratiated herself into the tribe's hunting party: performing simple tasks such as being a lookout or helping to track the next meal. A sense of community and helping others was paramount to the secluded society where Vanriel belonged. It helped to instill a sense of pride and a willingness to help others. Her aptitude helped to assuage the fears of her tribesmen that she was too young, or too inexperienced to help. As the girl matured quickly in their eyes, she was soon seen as one of the finest of their tribe.
The idyllic and peaceful living of the Iennore tribe was disrupted sometime in Vanriel's 26th year. While they had gnomish merchant visitors and trespassers alike over the years, nothing compared to the recent threat of the nearby Drow. Hunting parties became more sparse as each hunt ended, a different tribe member would mysteriously disappear. "Killed in combat," some would say, "captured," others. An uneasiness grew among the tribe. Vanriel's adoptive father, Elder Iennore, made the decree to stop hunting parties altogether. The tribe would make preparations to relocate: their current home was untenable. As the Iennore rationed food and supplies over the next few days the Drow had a plan of their own: they would simply overtake the small forrest community. The lack of hunting parties was seen as a weakness, making the poor Elves a ripe target.
In the dark of night, Vanriel could hear the screams of her tribe as she ran through the moonlit forrest. She wiped away tears as she recalled the words of her adoptive father. "Get as far away from here as you can. Our best warriors will hold the attack off as long as they can. Join up at our meeting spot upon the dawn. I.." Too pre-occupied with her thoughts, she didn't even hear the arrow which pierced her shoulder. Everything became quiet, all at once.
Harlock fucked around with this message at May 13, 2018 around 17:28
|# ? May 9, 2018 18:19|
Also interested, may make a War Domain Cleric with a halberd and a grudge.
Edit: Am I able to use variant human or just the traditional one?
Edit 2: I might also do a demure seemingly helpless enchanter wizard who tricks big nasty things into doing his or her business.
DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at May 9, 2018 around 20:38
|# ? May 9, 2018 19:43|
Tharivol was so tired. He'd never expected the journey to take this long, but there was no way he was going to give up. For six months he'd been dreaming of that strange, stone library hidden away in the Underdark and no matter what he was going to find it. He had even gone so far as to find a merchant that sold him a map that allegedly led to the library. Still, all those years spent scribing missives and books for the archmages at the academy certainly hadn't prepared him for the hours he had spent walking, climbing, and once even crawling through caves and tunnels deep under the surface.
"I'm beginning to suspect this map is a fake. And how long have I been wandering around down here, anyway?" Tharivol wondered as he passed a stalagmite formation he was pretty sure he'd seen a few hours before. There was almost no way to tell time in the Underdark, and he was starting to believe he had gone and gotten himself lost when he heard the voices. They were harsh and low, but thanks to his years of study he was able to discern that they were speaking Goblin. "Goblins are small and treacherous, but they have been known to work for gold. I'll offer them a few pieces if they'll give me any direction towards the library. I've got my rapier, they'll know I'm not interested in any funny business." Tharivol placed his hand upon the hilt of his rapier and stepped toward the direction of the voices.
A short time later, with very little recollection of what transpired due to a throbbing head injury, Tharivol woke up and discovered he was bound, gagged, and lying in the middle of a group of hobgoblins and drow. From what he could tell he was being sold, along with his belongings, to the drow. Money changed hands and the lead hobgoblin smirked as he looked down upon Tharivol and grunted, "Keep him gagged unless you like listening to someone drone on about books." Tharivol was then lifted up by a couple of the elves and carried off further into the depths of the Underdark.
"Well," Tharivol thought, "There's always a chance they're headed towards the library."
Mr. Humalong fucked around with this message at May 9, 2018 around 23:37
|# ? May 9, 2018 22:53|
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 21, 2018 around 17:36
|# ? May 9, 2018 23:57|
Edit: Am I able to use variant human or just the traditional one?
Sorry I missed this question earlier. Either human is fine.
Great apps so far, folks!
|# ? May 10, 2018 21:03|
Druidic/Arcane/Religious Natural Scientist
Davamir Walrith was never a conventional fellow. By all accounts he could have had a comfortable life taking over his family alchemy business, but instead he was inspired to greater and greater experimentation. He sought out new ingredients and combinations, ranging around his home city for what he could gather. This curiosity soon spread beyond chemical mixtures - why did the mushrooms grow in rings? Why did some trees shed their leaves for winter, while others didn't? Anyone could tell you that a wizard can cast a bolt of lightning - but what were thunderstorms? Was there a secret magical war raging above their heads, with them none the wiser?
He had to know, and so he abandoned his comfortable life to find his answers. The wizards broke all the rules, so he sought them out first. But they had no interest in learning about the way the world works. The Druids were his next choice - they were one with nature, so they said, and could tell him all he wanted to know about the world. He was an apt pupil. Then he started asking more questions, that shouldn't be asked. Why was metal considered unnatural? What of bog iron, found in state and then formed into useful tools? When he showed up to the next druid council wearing meticulously harvested and formed scale armor made of bog iron, the druids were less than pleased. So Davamir set to wandering again, full of questions and hope in his heart that he would find the answers and tell the world. Of course, exploring alone around a deep, dark cave looking for a rumored medicinal herb was not wisest decision, in hindsight.
professor_curly fucked around with this message at May 19, 2018 around 07:08
|# ? May 13, 2018 03:29|
I am intolerant and hostile to those who seek to take advantage of the innocent
I have spent my entire life in a crumbling temple and have no experience dealing with the outside world or society.
Responsibility - It is my duty to protect the innocent, especially dwarves.
I protect those who cannot protect themselves, I will always warn nearby peaceful settlements of danger.
Once someone questions my faith or devotion, I never back down no matter what the circumstances.
Found under the mountain during the wanderings of an elderly cleric, Uzas was raised in a crumbling temple dedicated to Gorm Gulthyn on the upper edges of the underdark. The temple sat in what was once a strategic choke point in a struggle long forgotten. Few living things passed through the temples surroundings for long years and Uzas passed time in constant prayer, physical exertion or training as he grew from child to young adulthood. The priests of Gorm Gulthyn slowly died of old age in their devotion to eternal vigilance. As the last priest failed to open his eyes, the watch of the Priests of Gorm Gulthyn had ended. Uzas took the holy amulet from around the old priests neck and within found a folded note.
"Go forth, and be the Light. Do not watch for shadows, but drive them from you. Defend, Protect and Keep safe all dwarven kind from the hostiles of the Underdark.
Cast Light upon those who seek to shroud themselves away from The Eternally Vigilant. You are the bulwark against darkness. You are a defender of the dwarven people. Bear the Light"
Uzas Lightbringer clutch the amulet to his chest and put it over his head. He prayed, gathered the few meager possessions left in the abandoned temple and set off. After days of wandering, Uzas saw shapes moving in the darkness ahead. Raising his hand to greet them, he felt a sting in his neck and as the darkness encroached upon his vision, he knew no more.
My character will be very driven to escape the underdark and warn the dwarves and other goodly people's of the Drow menace
Waroduce fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 18:35
|# ? May 15, 2018 05:15|
Human - Variant
It boiled down to the uniform. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves here, it really boiled down to the stupid braided epaulets. Those stupid, glorious, golden epaulets, offset so strikingly by the crimson tunic.
Hawk saw the way Emmylou Dabnet looked at Franky Miller when he joined the Criers. And their uniform is crap, at least compared to the Watch. A fierce determination to protect the Valley from the horrors of the world was born in Hawk that day. Or at least that was what he told the fat recruiting sergeant. Sure, he had to spend the money he knicked from mama’s drawer on the customary uniform deposit. And affix his mark to a seemingly unending stack of waivers and declarations. And attend three hours of weapons familiarization. But by the early afternoon, Hawk was a newly minted member of what was surely the most elite force in all of the southwestern portion of the tri-towns regions of Mill Run Valley – the Watch.
The fat sergeant told Hawk to join a patrol to Dunberry. Fat chance, fat sergeant! Hawk had official business to attend to, and ditched the patrol at the first opportunity. First things first, lunch with mama. “Oh no, Hawk, the Watch! You’ll catch your death of a cold out there! Take these extra scones; you’re looking awfully thin. And don’t forget to wear your armor!” Thank you very much, mama, hugs and kisses all around. And can you pass over a few more coins?
And now the most important task of the day – parading by Emmylou’s house. Make sure she sees this uniform. Have to make the citizens feel safe, after all.
But Emmylou wasn’t helping her ma with the wash. A dark suspicion forming in the back of his brain, Hawk decided to investigate the caves near the river. There, observing from the bushes on the river bank, Hawk saw a crime that demanded immediate Watch action. That little poo poo, Franky Miller, was making time with Emmylou. Hawk grasped his spear and prepared to put a stop to this travesty. Make an arrest, or whatever the Watch does. Suddenly, three dark figures emerged from the cave. They fell upon Emmylou and Franky, bound them, and dragged them toward the cave entrance.
Hawk’s multiple minutes of training immediately took over as he sprang into action. He tumbled backwards into a mud puddle, collected his feet under him, discarded his spear, and began sprinting towards town. He should tell the fat sergeant. He should go hide in his cellar. He should definitely not be here. Alas, a net wrapped around his legs, a club fell upon his head, and the world went black.
Giodo! fucked around with this message at May 19, 2018 around 13:07
|# ? May 16, 2018 18:27|
The Dwarves know two things. First, they know that to find quality metals and gems, one must dig. Second, they know that their past lies upon them, history their constant companion. And, while the Gold Dwarves focus their worship on Moradin Dwarffather and his consort Berronar Truesilver, they know not to ignore Dumathoin, the Silent Keeper, even though they do not love him as they love their divine parents. It is the clerics of the Silent Keeper who stand guard over the tombs of the dead, and it is the clerics of the Silent Keeper who delve deep, looking for the deposits hidden deep into the earth.
This, then, is Thurgar. He is dour and quiet, as befits a priest of Durmathoin, but how much of that is the real man and how much the mask he wears is hard to say. Still, he loves his wife and his children, He loves his god, and he loves the deep ways and respects them, and is cautious, because he knows that being incautious can get you killed. After all, it almost did.
It shouldn't have been so hard, really. This was a simple scouting trip, like one he'd done plenty of times before. Oh, it was at the top of the Underdark, but it was a region far from hostile settlements. It was just bad luck that he ran into the Drow patrol. What were they doing there, ranging so far from their underground cities? He resisted with spells and steel, of course. Cowardice was not in the dwarven heart,or at least not in his. But he was outnumbered, and even though he had slain one of them, and seriously wounded another, in the end, they took him down. He had hoped, at least, for a clean death, but it wasn't to be. Drow were enthusiastic slavers, after all. They embraced slavery with an enthusiasm matched only by the humans, and, as much as the drow who Thurgar wounded wanted Thurgar dead, his companions convinced him that he would be much more valuable to sell. So they did, to a slave trader they knew of. They were cheated, of course, but they were happy to get what they did. None of the patrol were from a family of note, and none of them had anything in the way of friends or influence to intimidate the slave trader into dealing fairly with them.
So now, Thurgar finds himself as property, being taken to Menzoberranzan, from which there is no escape. IF he's going to get out, he knows he has to do it before he gets there.
Epicurius fucked around with this message at May 20, 2018 around 05:42
|# ? May 18, 2018 02:55|
Heads up, I'm making picks tonight. Get those apps posted if you haven't already!
|# ? May 21, 2018 17:33|
|# ? Oct 15, 2018 17:42|
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and call it there. There were some tough choices to be made but I've made my picks. Thanks to everyone for submitting!
The drow's latest victims are:
Grunk Threepaws the Half-Orc Barbarian, played my Yamtaggler
Tharivol Galanodel the Elf Fighter, played by Mr. Humalong
Davamir Walrith the Human Cleric, played by professor_curly
Jalnastee Ghuan’lua the Half-Elf Warlock by Relentless
Vanriel "Vee" Lennore the Air Genasi Ranger Harlock
Game thread is up!
Hardcordion fucked around with this message at May 22, 2018 around 04:08
|# ? May 22, 2018 01:35|