The party continues with the mundane and terrible task of dealing with their dead, taking care of the wounded and ensuring the innocents in the cart are safe.
After some travel, they reach the intersection were they camped last time.
Under the ledge is a faintly glowing blue hemisphere, inside is a striking female darkelf in dark metallic dress.
The edge of the sphere appears to be a magic circle with slowly pulsating magical script.
“So you defeated an ambush, saved the children, and defeated my demon assassin; I hope your numbers have thinned out, I would hate to think I have been summoning these slaves for nothing. Anyway, I have a humble request…”
“I have been instructed to watch over this quadrant from the new city Kiranzess, formerly Maerimydra. I would rather not waste my resources on yourselves; you can return to your Dwarven ruins unmolested but you are not to encroach on this land again.
If you fail to do so, I will send demons not to kill you, but to kill your humans, and now your gnomish pet; their deaths will be on your heads.
I believe the top of those ruins you hide in leads into a dwarven city in the upper underdark, that is not in my quadrant and I could care less what you do there.
Do you understand, and accept?"
After some deliberation, the party accepts the ceasefire, though their dragon companion V’reck queried their sanity in talking to a hobgoblin zombie.
The group discover that the image of the drow is nothing but a figment, an illusion (albeit a powerful one). They soon make short work of the zombie and continue on towards the dwarven outpost they call home.
Questions/comments posed by the group:
Lyle: “She seems powerful enough to have already killed us a thousand times over. Why hasn’t she? She seems to be toying with us. Let us get out of here and back to safety.”
Saestra: “I wouldn’t suggest an alliance by any means, but a non-aggression or ceasefire while we get the dalesmen to safety is a good idea.”
Kilvas: “Is this drow a servant of the Lich the svirfneblin spoke of?”
Shevall: “We’re not here to defeat evil or even to destroy undead. We’re here to bring the Dalesmen to the surface. A truce with this thing could be a blessing.”
Belgost: “That sending was powerful magic, at least more magic than I can throw at range. As to the motivations of one serving a lich. I doubt we’d find out more by discussing it in the dark.”
After their conversation in the dark, the party find the rest of the trip back uneventful, though there is some blood where the minotaurs were.
Thrip the elder gnome is actually quite a powerful cleric, though a pacifist.
With some prepared spells he provides food for everyone, though it takes most of his magic.
The quarters are now clean, though sparse of any furnishings.
Renner’s nephew, Callum (son of his sister now dead) has been spending a great deal of time with Ghot, he has demonstrated and affinity with nature is apprenticing with Ghot to become a Druid. He is half-Drow (he was the product of a Drow raiding party), but his appearance does favor his mother’s side with pale skin with a touch of grey in his skin.
V’reck tells Shevall that he is concerned over the their companions who went with the cockroach woman. As the treaty is with the party, V’reck is cutting ties with the survivors so he can investigate without risking the ceasefire, but enable him to spy on the the cockroach woman and maybe eat some delicious KuoToa.