Rage of Demons

Demon Seeds
1486 - Escape from Neverlight Grove

The Scent of Rot

The core crew: Rein, Siqy, Kito and Melfen stood with their jaws dropping eye to eye against the great Zuggtmoy, the Lady of Rot and Decay, Demon Queen of Fungi and one of the rulers of a layer in the Abyss only known as Shedaklah.

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They stood almost paralyzed by the scent of rot and decay, aswell as the madness of the Demon Queen’s spores. Inside the Yggmorgus, the giant mushroom tower of Neverlight Grove, spiraling stairs and balconies are carved into its walls, with the interior lit by phosphorescent patches of mold growing in whorls.
In the center of the open space floats a humanoid figure, womanlike in form, but made entirely of fungi and mold. She is easily three times the height of the fungal bridesmaids that move up and down the spiraling stairs, tending to their giant mistress.
They croon a strange, soothing song as they weave the substance of Zuggtmoy herself into delicate lichen veils and a long, mycelium train like a bridal gown.

Not long thereafter, one of the bridesmaids of Zuggtmoy went down head on to the crew, meeting their gaze while puffing out its spores while conveying telepathically that they are not welcome here since it is rude to see the bride before she is ready…
And while she was in deep meditation, they could sense that she was very much awake and aware of their presence.

Siqy started pushing Rein out of their, turning back to exit the giant mushroom tower, as Kito noticed Melfen totally captivated by Her grace. The dragonborn was just about to call out to his “new mistress” until Kito managed to drag him out of there by force…

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On their way out, for some unknown (mad) reason, the entrance appeared to be blocked by two Chuul Spore Servants that had otherwise welcomed them into Yggmorgus in the first place!
Rein, recalling his studies in Nature, know that he had heard of these abberations once before. A Chuul were not a natural creature to begin with – created to serve their previous ancient masters, they now roam the world as abberations ready to fight by grabbing and piercing their target with their enormous claws. After the unfortunate victim was trapped within the strong grip of a chuul’s pincer, it was either simply crushed or brought towards the creature’s mouth tentacles, which grasped and exuded a paralytic secretion…

Even though these were mindless spore servants, the crew surely felt the hurt as they battled the two monsters. Rein, paralyzed and almost lost to the eternal dark (yes, death almost incoming) was saved in his last breath as Kito and Siqy (almost dead as well) eventually won the battle.
In the meantime, Melfen went on rambling high and loud in fluent draconic in the back, acting not like himself (for who is he, really?) during the whole fight and almost managed to help the monsters instead of his friends… Melfen calmed down after the battle was done.

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Outside the giant mushroom tower, the wedding rehearsal was in full effect, as more and more myconids and spore servants joined in on either madly dancing in ecstasy or rehearsing as bride and priests. The view was maddening itself.
Sarith Kzekarit, their old crew mate, winked to the crew to join in, but before even Melfen had a chance to consider joining them, they left as fast as ****** possible…

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Crawling back to the “lighter” side of the grove (still dreamingly beautiful to behold) that wasn’t fully decayed, the crew met up with Sovereign Basidia and her circle leaders, as well as Eldeth, Stool and Rumpadump just as they were gathering for the day to start melding together with the rest of the myconid community.

After making their best effort of describing the madness they had seen at Yggmorgus, together with Basidia, they all decided it was best to flee for now and try to amass an army of sorts and come back later to overthrow and kill the Demon Queen of Fungi before she wed herself and merged with Araumycos, whenever or whereever that was to be.

With the help of eachother, the crew and the myconids, the crew finally left Neverlight Grove, to once again embrace the darkness as the bioluminescent fungi of the grove became less and less a natural sighting, and the chilling harsh nature of survival in the Underdark, on the run from drow pursuers, became their reality once more…

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On the Dark Path… Again

A few days later, in the silent care of their myconid friends, even sleep was hard as the accumulated madness they had experienced was not easy to let go off. They all experienced wierd dreams of either past events, godlike figures or post-apocalyptic sceneries.

One of these times, Siqy remembered that she had looted a dark pyramid once, and as she brought it forth and noticed it was covered in glyphs and writings in the infernal language of devils.
Reciting the infernal code, she unknowingly called forth a pact devil that had been locked within the artifact.
Long story shorter, they didn’t accept its promise of unlimited power in exchange of their souls. So they killed it.

A day or so later, Sovereign Basidia announced that its remaining colony that was saved from the grove would now stay here and be ready to commune once the crew had got more help from others in order to have a chance to fight of the growing menace they had witnessed…

The Way to Blingdenstone

Lastly, Glabbagool, their ol’ ooze friend that wanted to become a great adventurer, had carried Melfen inside of himself from time to time (as the dragonborn was dimly awake or just hallucinating madly), and proposed to lead the crew to Blingdenstone! Apparently, the gelatinous cube knew the way there even though he’d never visited the deep gnomes himself.
The ooze also mentioned he had seen the ruins of a drow city, that should be on the way to Blingdenstone.

With that, they let the ooze (who was damn proud of itself) take the lead and lead the rest of the crew through the darkness with his 10 feet fast slimy path…

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The Fungal Journey & Wedding Rehearsal
1486 - Meeting the Bride of Decay

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The party, a clearly defined motley crew, continued their journey through the Underdark. As they headed towards Neverlight Grove, fungi patches of both edible, inedible and bioluminescent mushrooms became a more and more usual sighting in the otherwise dark and seemingly lifeless and hostile caves of the underdark – indicating that they were getting closer to the myconid’s home in the grove.

Taking a short rest in one such cave, they noticed themselves eye to eye against nothing less than a mind flayer…

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The mind flayer, seemingly friendly (or at least non-hostile), told the crew that it was part of a group of creatures native to the Underdark that called themselves the Society of Brilliance that sought to save and bring balance to the otherwise chaotic nature of the Underdark, and that it was currently studying the mystical faerzress present nearby.
Meanwhile, Eldeth was paralyzed by the pure fear of just viewing the otherwordly creature, Melfen took up a defensive position behind her, failing to hide in plain sight.

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The mind flayer, a.k.a. Grazilaxx (which it relayed to the crew through telepathic means, even if no one listened really), asked the crew to report back to it, should they ever come across the following mark etched into the cavern walls, especially if it were present alongside any faerzress mist.

Shortly thereafter, the creature disappeared, leaving the crew with a dark taste in their mouths before they continued to venture forward…

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A few hours pass, and the crew find themselves in a crossing where the caves lead to four different routes. While Stool and Rumpadump tries to sense which way their home might be, they all get surprised as a small party of drow scouts attacked them!

The crew managed the scouts fairly easily, as luck kept saving them from falling unconsious from the drow poison that had been coated on their enemies crossbow bolts..
Just as the battle ended and Melfen was to attempt a victorious melody, more drow appeared – this time, it was their long time pursuer, Mistress Illvara Mizzrym who showed her cocking face attempting to herd her “cattle” (yes, you) back into the fray…

The myconids relayed through their spores that they all needed to run, FAST, and Rein used his nature magic to cast Water Walk, and the crew managed to escape through a deep waterfilled tunnel, leaving the Priestess of Lolth cursing and casting spells behind them..

They succeeded in evading the drow that still pursued them from their captivity in Velkynvelve, clearing their path of water and once again back into the dark caverns that were to lead to Neverlight Grove…

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The crew randomly met with three myconid adults that were just walking aimlessly about, as they drew closer to their goal. One of them, calling itself Dunkrunk, “accidently” used one of his spores on the crew… Claiming it be the “lady’s gift”
Shortly afterwards, life in the underdark became a bit more colorful for some time. And not only because the general fungi was getting more and more dense the closer they got to the myconid community.

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Before they even realized it, Stool and Rumpadump had led them into Neverlight Grove.

As they entered the community through a hatch of fresh water pouring down into the cave, a sense of complete tranquility completely showered them all while taking in the magical view of thousands of different mushrooms and fungi in all different bioluminescent dim lights that covered the large hidden cavern from top to bottom.
The largest zurkhwood mushroom they’ve ever seen had caps almost covering the cavern seiling…

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After some time spent awe, the crew met with Sovereign Basidia, a large myconid sovereign that was one of the two myconid the ruled the grove and its shared community.
They also met with Sovereign Phylo, a similar built myconid, who were praising the “new ways” and “coming celebrations” that was to become of Neverlight Grove “soon enough”…

Basidia gave the crew a tour around at a given time, showing off the sheer alien and different way that myconids live out their life. A day passed being 8 hours cultivating the fungi in the grove, 8 hours of melding (the myconid way of meditating/sharing consciousness) and 8 hours of resting, then repeat.

A day or so passed, and the crews memories became more and more dull as some of the spores they had been exposed to seemed to alter their perception of reality…
They know that they came to a choice of helping the myconids, taking care of an infestation of a pair of umber hulks in the mushroom forest present in the cave…

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A few days more pass, or maybe it was only hours, the crew could never tell..

Memories fading, they remember they had seen, not only myconids tending to the fungi in the grove, but also quaggoth and drow spore servants.
Most notably, the came across a familiar face (familiar enough with all the fungi on it) – Sarith Kzekarit, their old crew mate, were harmlessly tending to some of the fungi at one time.

Eventually, a distressed Basidia asked the crew to investigate the northern part of the grove, which the other Sovereign Phylo had restricted any other myconid of passage.
Their sovereign friend were anxious that some of the new spores of Phylo were different than they had used to be. Every time the community melded together, more and more myconids joined Phylo’s new cause and dream of a “new Neverlight Grove”…

Kito promptly told Stool and Rumpadump that this mission is not for small sprouts to witness, and the party ventured forward to their inevitable doom (?)…

What the crew were about to witness next, they couldn’t even fathom in their darkest dreams…

Climbing up on a ledge, they came upon a dreadful sight – a plain filled with heads peeking up of different creatures from the Underdark, all being melded into spore servants slowly…
One of these, a drow named Xinaya, reached up to the crew and said with a dying voice:

“The Great Seeder… trap… she’s here… the Lady of Decay… Zuggtmoy…”

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A maddening wedding rehearsal could later be witnessed near the giant mushroom tower known as Yggmorgus,

From rocky bed to the toadstool rose,
From chaos dark, he love She shows,
Wish! Yearn! Laugh!
The Lady will be wed!
Crave! Hunger! Dance!
Her joyous spores will spread!
Youth is gone, beauty rots,
Araumycos and Zuggtmoy!
Joined together, heart to heart,
Becoming one ’til death do part!
Hail! Hail! Hail!

As they ventured inside to witness the Lady, everything became dark.
What happened next, could only be told through madness

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The Legacy of a Witch
1486 DR - Eve of halloween

Waking up after taking a long rest in the presence of the ever dancing myconids… The party recovers and starts to don their gear and are about to get going, as Rein gets thoroughly interested in the two quaggoth spore servants present in the far end of the cave…

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As Rein closes in on the bear-like (or ape-like) creatures covered in yellow and brown mold aswell as fungi, he tries to figure out a way to save the poor monsters out of their sealed fate, remembering the now deceased Prince Derendil, his former quaggoth companion.

Meanwhile, Melfen starts behaving unrationally wierd, for some unknown reason, staggeringly walking up to the creatures and eventually draws his dagger – stabbing the quaggoth furiously as he breaks a laugh of pure madness. The dragonborn then turns to his newly found companions, and starts to stab them too.
Kito joins the fray and quickly disarm Melfen with a few round-house kicks and efficient blows with his abnormally small fists. Rein and Kito both apprehend the crazed dragonborn and put him down, tie him up and tries to calm him down.

All the while, Siqy sits by herself, enjoying the spectacle show as she turns the pages of her mysterious book devoted to her otherworldly god…

As Melfen got himself together and started acting normal again (or as normal as they’ve known him before), he starts crying – terrified over what he had just done. At the same time, Eldeth starts crying too – for unknown reasons but nobody really cares.
Rein then decided to try and actually save the poor quaggoths once and for all. Voosbur (the myconid adult) present that was dancing in ecstacy as he was talking about “the lady’s gift”, turned against the party as Rein used his clerical powers to purify the grounds.

The party actually got away, leaving the myconids sleeping with a nature spell, but taking Stool and Rumpadump with them. Heading back to their main goal, into the darkness of the Whorlstone Tunnels…

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They followed the tunnels they’ve gone and known before, back to the caves where they met the earth elemental Xorn, and which tunnels was also suffused with faerzress.

Although this time, the purple faerzress mist was gone.
Thankful, the party ventured forward and found the supposed way towards the Grey Ghosts hide out – a tiny fissure in the wall of the cave – a passage only available for someone the size of a foot.

Within the hidden caverns – the party encountered a few duergar guards, both visable and invisible, and even though they used their innate enlarge-ability – the duergar seemed to be no real match to our rising heroes…

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They made their way to a duergar alchemist, whos name they will soon forget, and sneaked up on him to slice his throat – blood squirting about – and try to sieze the red dragon egg once and for all.

But fate was not kind to them, as a witch appeared in a portal within the alchemist cave, claiming to have struck a deal with him and taking the egg with her to another plane of existance…

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The party followed the green witch back to her home, a magically created plane made of a marsh with ever lit orange-white will-o’-wisps and her secret home for centuries.
The Witch attacks them as they get near her house, summoning a strange but huge pumpkin monster of doom.

A deadly battle ensued, but as the party quickly incapacitated the witch herself – stunning her in mid air and killing her as she hit the ground – only her vile creation wasn’t too spooky in the end without its master.
Surviving the deathtrap, the party gathered around her magical hut and went in to rest and loot the shit out of this place.

Meeting the dead witch’s cat, an elegantly white cat with crystal blue eyes, claimed it wanted to be freed from its chains.
The party agreed (thinking no harm could be done by releasing the soul of something inside a strange cat in a whole ‘nother plane), and as they lifted the magic, destroying most of the witch’s hut, the cat transformed into a extra large form of a phase spider

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The phase spider/ex-cat-thing admitted it was a demon follower of Lolth, the spider queen, and that it once defeated and caged by the witch in the polymorphed form of a cat, bound to do her bidding. Thankful for being rescued, it offer not to eat anyone of the adventurers or party members.
Rein, not being able to tolerate such abomination being left alive, took his call for Ehlonna and shook his left (and only) hand, drawing his staff to smite the monster.

The battles continued… And in this, our heroes prevailed. Still, there is a chance they will someday see the World Above once again.

Escaping the other plane, as well as screwing Gracklestugh and just leaving with the red dragon egg for themselves, they ventured on – guided by Rumpadump and Stool to the otherwise secret location of where Neverlight Grove

The dark was ever present again. The true face of the underdark, the pitch black darkness and almost mind numbing silence. A silence that grows only paranoia in what actually lurks behind every stone, every ceiling, every stalagmite, every wall…
In their minds, they can sometime hear Rumpadump, when he releases his rapport spores, and his anxiety over the so called lady’s gift

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The Planar Upheaval
1486 DR - A draconic demonic apparition

Short Resumé:

As the party keep escaping their former drow captors from Velkynvelve, they flee across the blackness and dangerous network of the Dark Lake, and eventually stumble upon the industrial duergar city Gracklstugh.

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One of the most established cities in all of the Underdark, the City of Blades remained a very dangerous place to hang out, especially for non-duergar. The army of Gracklstugh was one of the strongest in the Underdark although the duergar lacked arcane or divine casters.

The fires were maintained by the fat red dragon Themberchaud, the wyrmsmith.
Of all the different “employers” in the city, the wyrmsmith eventually employed the party as his agents in finding a hidden red dragon egg, that was supposed to challenge his grand ascension as the greatest of all red dragons.

Hopefully, they party thought, this would all lead them one step closer in getting their hands on a map and find their way home back to the surface, or the “World Above” as the natives to the Underdark called it.

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Current Path:

As Kito, Rein and Siqy ventured forward – they found clues of a duergar renegade group called the Gray Ghosts that was hiding the red dragon egg, who made their hideout somewhere in the so called Whorlstone Tunnels – and as further digging gave way through the derro (a mad and twisted race of half-dwarves) foul smelling districts, to the opening cave that lead to the swirling tunnel network.

Just shortly after they had properly killed their former companion, Buppido, the party found themselves in an encounter with a demonic presence…
Moments later, they were captured in a dreamstate, unknowingly of how they even got there in the the first place.
Moreover, as they awoke from their dreamlike states, it was noticed that they had been saved by a new soul that also seemed to become their new companion, the red dragonborn Melfen. A fight against some local troglodytes ensued, but even as they emerged victorious, no new knowledge could be gained on how the **** they ended up at some trog’s religious ritual.

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The enhanced party ventured forward. The dark tunnels eventually became infused with the strange (and probably dangerous?) purple-like haze they come to know as faerzress (the name had been heard once before by the now deceased drow Content Not Found: sarith-kzekarit-dead)…
Furthermore, except encountering a hungry and quite wierd looking Xorn, the party learned that they needed to learn how to emulate the Enlarge/Reduce spell in order to pass through the small openings in the caves before them.

Taking another tunnel, the party found themselves in a cavern illuminated by the dim light of hundreds of light purple and blue mushrooms and fungi, in the presence of a group of mindlessly but somewhat friendly dancing myconids… One of them, a friend of Stool, the myconid sprout apparently.
While the dancing myconids were more than strange in their behavior, they learned that there are some special mushrooms in the caves that could help them on their quest, and also that they agreed to be guided to the myconid city of Neverlight Grove by their new party member Rumpadump in order to help Stool get home. Another step in their goal of getting the hell out of this place.

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But first, they had to acquire that blasted egg once and for all… And maybe decide the fate of the City of Blades.

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