No one is coming out of this battle unscathed. One isn’t coming out at all.
Ambushed by the drow, the Good Intentions adventuring troupe fought valiantly, reducing the dark elves to half strength. However, most of its own members were down, with only the following still standing:
Rhymyr: summoning a mystical mist, she attempted negotiations with the drow
Nebes: many drow were dead at his hands, but his strength was starting to fade
Aeislun: scalped by an Umber Hulk, his head was bloodied but unbowed
And in the distance, the march of drow reinforcements could be heard…
Rhymyr had barely come out of unconsciousness, in the midst of a melee. Seeing her party members fall, she attempted a final attempt at a truce. She knew that time was growing short, with her friends bleeding out.
It was then that she perceived something crucial: the drow reinforcements were not warriors at all. Their footfalls did not sound like the disciplined march of soldiers. It sounded more like the shambling steps of slaves.
With the mist and her robes billowing behind like the wings of a vengeful sorcerer king, she proclaimed, “We both know those are not your reinforcements,” offering her party’s loot. After all, a corpse would have no need of it.
Slowly, the remaining drow hunters agreed to her terms.
THE STANDOFF & A SPOT OF SELF-SURGERY
Nebes had been felling drow left and right, which actually probably helped the negotiation process, as even though the dark elves spoke Gulgan, the only language they understood was force. The Stone Guard stood down.
The drow did likewise, lowering their crossbows…but only so far as to point them at the prone party members, Nizhoni and Drenn. It was a tense, temporary standoff that could be set off at any moment.
Nebes stood at the ready, but his strength was subsiding. The dark elves had injected some sort of mysterious bug in him. Taking his steel dagger, with critical precision, he stabbed his arm and flicked out the parasite.
Meanwhile, the Umber Hulks started collecting the group’s treasure.
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED
Aeislun was on the other side, up to his neck in trouble…literally. An Umber Hulk had buried him in the sand earlier. As the towering bugs finished taking the loot he carried away, he was digging himself out.
Cleverly using his powers to alter his body density, he floated to the top of the sand like a skimmer on the Sea of Silt. To help his comrades, he ran down the tunnels to their position, shouting a warning.
Although it was meant to help, the sound set off the drow. One slit Nizhoni’s throat. Another shot Drenn through the heart. Rhymyr used her mystical powers to prevent Nizhoni’s death…but it was far too late for Drenn.
The trio exploded into action, slaying the drow, but the Umber Hulks were gone with the loot.
Rhymyr, as if demonstrating the written word was indeed mightier than the sword, repeatedly bashed a dark elf’s head with her iron-bound tome. Thick red fluid and grey matter mixed with the dark sands below.
The pounding only stopped once Nizhoni laid a hand on her shoulder, as if gently guiding her back to reality. Rhymyr then went to Drenn, holding his body, stroking his hair like a mother to a child.
Nebes and Aeislun cut down the drow, then sought the reinforcements: a dozen slaves with two winged drow slavers. Fleeing before their wrath, the drow fliers impaled themselves on ceiling spikes, leaving the slaves.
Good Intentions won, but it was a pyrrhic victory, with a member dead and their treasure gone.