Paithen Elvenstar met with a shady contact of his in Undumoor, parting ways shortly thereafter with Lyr, Gunder, Bodin, and Elisanada. His connection led him to another contact, a shady fellow who provided him a lead on a missing relative of his, now suspected to be in the Underchasm.
A letter brought him, Nick, Aulder, and a new companion Nalkir to a city on the Thayan coast, where Paithan was surprised to find his cousin Immeral. At one moment, she interrupted and became suspicious, claiming that Paithen’s double had just walked into the tavern, then left just as quickly. She wasn’t able to spot him outside, however, and the party did not pursue him.
Eventually deciding to head down to Eartheart, they hired onto the Parttisa, a ship in a small mercantile fleet. The ship was attacked en route, and Immeral was lost at sea, pulled overboard by tentacled monsters. Nick and Paithen were especially heartbroken, and the skies seemed to open up and weep with their grief.
In the rainstorm, resting in a camouflaged campsite in the woods near Eartheart, the party found a strange eladrin woman standing in the rain, soaked to the bone, staring at them. They broke cover and invited her closer. She appeared to be tall, extremely underfed, and filthy, but dressed in almost absurdly form-fitting red leather armor and extremely impractical laced boots. A heavy steel collar ringed her neck. If not for the rain washing rivulets of dirt off her skin, it would be hard to even see the strange tattoos around her collarbone. She carried a longsword with the Elvenstar crest on it, a weapon lightly tarnished with age and disuse.
After a long, almost painful pause, she looked at Nick and said “Desidero Nicola Cassini.” It was half question, half statement. Nick seemed surprised by her comment, then introduced himself as “Nick.” The woman seemed stunned by his nickname, but the party began to gently interrogate her about her past. When asked, she said the drow called her “Nindel Ushdui’el,” and she seemed not to recognize the name Paithen called her, “Gwendolynsee.”
Indeed, despite the ruin of her body and the distraction of her mind, Paithen recognized her as his cousin, missing now for over 50 years, and presumed captured by the drow several decades ago. Gwendlynsee had been a swordmage herself before her capture.
The party offered to help her with whatever she needed, but Nindel seemed not to understand the offer in the slightest. She also seemed to have no real sense of time, or memory. As she and Aulder talked, however, she indicated a couple of stealthily-moving figures in the shadows, moving in for the attack.
The party fought a group of drow, including a priestess, and a pair of monstrous spiders. During the fight, it became clear that Nindel was no slouch— though she was nowhere near as formidable as Nalkir and Nick. Partway through the fight, one of the drow immolated himself in service to Lolth, and the resulting explosion flayed Nindel. She screamed, a wordless, soundless howl in the minds of allies and enemies alike, falling prone and momentarily dazed by the pain that had coursed through her.
When the fight was over, and the party was attending to their wounds, they noticed tattooed words scrawled over Nindel’s arms, back, and chest. The words, written in drow, addressed Nick by his full name and invited him to attend upon one of the drow matrons in the Underchasm, and to kindly return her “toy” when he came.
Nick’s reply came in the form of an elegantly written note, drawn in ink on one of the captured drow warriors. In brief: it declined the invitation. Nick has no intention of returning a slave to the kind ministrations of the Underdark.
The session stopped with the party preparing to interrogate the drow warriors. It is clear, however, that they do not belong to the same house as the matron who sent Nindel.
Leads: Paithen’s double. Entities moving against the Elvenstar family. The sahuagin attack. The sahuagin crown and the Parttisa’s role in transporting it. The drow attack. Nindel’s tattooed message. Immeral’s disappearance/death.
Rewards: XP and treasure to be posted later by Will.