Session 33: Into The Kuo-Toa Hatchery

The group faced the crowd of kuo-toa in the grand hall, waiting to see how they would respond to Turenim.

The apparent leader of the kuo-toa in the room came towards them, yelling as he swung his spiked club and gestured to the doors. As it approach Lee, the ranger drew Talon and swung it menacingly, but he lost his grip and it went flying flying a dozen feet to his right, clanging harmlessly on the stone floor.

As the sight of the ranger dropping his weapon, the kuo-toa brute halted his advance and continued gesturing to the doors. At Turenim's prompting, the all backed out of the room, with Lee retrieving Talon on the way.

Once they cleared the doorway, the kuo-toa quickly closed the door behind them.

In the corridor, the group debated the best way to deal with the large group of kuo-toa, most of which were obviously not yet full grown, but in apparent combat training.

Albrecht grumbled sarcastically that they should all sing the praises of Lathander to the kuo-toa and enlighten them as kindred. And eventually they agreed to return and Turenim would use his magic to speak with them and try to see if they could find out where the caped kuo-toa had gone.

But when Turenim tried to open the door, he found it would not budge. Pippin checked the lock and concluded that it must be barricaded. Together the forced the door open, pushing aside the tables that had been stacked up behind it.

Once inside, they found no kuo-toa, but the quaggoth that had been chained to the far table was now free and charged at them.

Lee advanced, interposing himself in the quaggoth's path and opened it up with two swing from Talon. Pippin dashed to its side, and sliced it open, killing the beast, but lost his grip on Yag in the process.

Kuo-toa streamed out of two doors on the far side of the hall. The brute in the lead dropped Lee with a strike from his spiked club and struck the downed ranger again for good measure. A thrown kuo-toa spear hit Pippin, and five others landed harmless on the ground. Moriarty swung Fiendburn at the brute, but could not hit his mark. Atilius blasted the brute with three magic missiles. Ten juvenile kuo-toa threw their spears. Moula dodged the spears of three juvenile kuo-toa, but was unable to act. Two more spears hit Pippin, and two hit Lee's prone form. Turenim cast cure wounds on Lee, reviving him, and cast mass healing word on Lee, Moula, Moriarty, Pippin, Albrecht, and himself.

Lee rose and swung at the brute, catching it once. Pippin, trying to avoid the kuo-toa spears, retrieved Yag from the floor. Moula hit the brute with her staff, but lost her grip on the back swing, sending her staff across the room. With a head kick, she broke the brute's neck. Three kuo-toa spears stabbed her in retaliation. Moriarty hit one of the kuo-toa with Fiendburn. Atilius cast fireball at the eight kuo-toa that emerged from the farther door, apparently incinerating them all. The wizard than cast shield as the five closer juvenile kuo-toa threw their spears at him. Only one made it through the barrier. Albrecht cast eldritch blast, but missed. Turenim smashed Lightbringer into one of the kuo-toa attacking Moula.

Lee hit another of the kuo-toa with Talon. Pippin finished the kuo-toa Turenim had hit with Yig and the kuo-toa Moriarty had hit with Yag. Moula, attacking unarmed, finished the last of the grown kuo-toa, that Lee had hit. Broward hit one of the juveniles with a fire bolt. Atilius hit another with a fire bolt, killing it. Moriarty killed a another with Fiendburn. Albrecht killed one with two eldritch blasts. Turenim struck one with Lightbringer, and Lee finished it off with Talon, and the last as well.

The group explored beyond the doors in the back of the room and found they were connected by a surprisingly civilized elaborate kitchen area. They explored a side passage off the grand hall and found another of the stone seats with a hole in its center.

The group decided to return to the tiny hut and recuperate. After more than eight hours, the group awoke to find that Moula had fallen asleep on her watch, which was fortunately the last watch.

Feeling refreshed they decided to return to the landing and explore the other double doors.

The double doors on the left of the landing opened into a 10 foot wide hall that sloped up for over seventy feet. The long corridor ended in dimly lit room, from which they could hear kuo-toa voices. Atilius found he was able to make out their undercommon speech, and whispered that they were ridiculing a slave and demanding that it work harder and faster.

At the top of the ramp, they saw a fifty by forty foot room. On the far and right walls were ten foot wide tunnels leading into darkness. There were a few large tables around corners of the room and some crates and barrels were stacked near the right side hall. Of the seven kuo-toa in the room, several stood around the tables, and others appeared to be standing guard near each of the halls. A lone slave was chained at the ankles and was spooning some sort of drink out of one of the barrels.

Acting first, Albrecht struck the brute in the room twice with eldritch blast. Lee charged in and hit the same one twice with Talon, killing it. Moriarty killed a kuo-toa with fire bolt from Fiendburn. Moula struck another with her staff, and finished it with a head kick, while she dodged the spears of the other four. Pippin dropped one of them with Yig, and stabbed another with Yag. Turenim hit another with Lightbringer. Broward hit one with a fire bolt, but Atilius missed with his.

Albrecht hit another kuo-toa with eldritch blast. Swinging Talon surely, Lee dropped two of them. Moriarty smashed Fiendburn into the one Albrecht had hit, but couldn't finish it. Three more kuo-toa charged in from the northern corridor, one of them a brute, which caught Lee with its spike club. Moula hit the new brute twice with her staff and once with a kick. One of the new kuo-toa caught Pippin with its spear. Pippin retaliated, slicing it open with Yig and finishing it with Yag. Turenim hit the other new kuo-toa with Lightbringer. Then Broward hit the same one with a fire bolt. Atilius tried to hit the new brute with a fire bolt, but missed.

Albrecht finished the last of the original kuo-toa with an eldritch blast, but missed the new brute with a second one. Lee swung Talon at the new brute, but could not get passed its defenses, as it slammed the ranger twice with its spiked club. Moriarty smashed it with Fiendburn. Moula smacked the brute in the head with her staff, dropping it, and turned to the last kuo-toa, hitting it once with her staff and finishing it with a head kick.

They spoke to the slave, who was grateful to be freed. He introduced himself a Corbin and explained that he had been there for what felt like years since he was captured mining around the Sword Mountains. He told them there were at least two lower levels, and that he had seen other slaves, but not any in days. When asked, he told them he had seen a caped kuo-toa pass through to the lower levels.

Corbin told them that the corridor to the right led to the lower levels, and the other seemed long and he had never seen anyone go in or out of it. He agreed that he would follow behind them, but would hang back if they got into any fights with the kuo-toa, as he was not much use in battle.

Turenim cast locate creature and determined that the caped kuo-toa was on a lower level.

Moriarty suggested that they should explore the unknown passage since they knew the caped kuo-toa was on a lower level, but the rest of the group agreed that would be counterproductive.

They ventured to the right, and after twenty feet the corridor opened up into a forty foot square room. On the left was a ten foot wide corridor that was completely blocked by rubble. Further in the room, on the left, were a set of low bars that surrounded a metal plate built into the ground. A twenty foot opening divided the right wall, opening up to a sixty foot square chamber. In the center of the chamber was a twenty foot square hole that went down into the darkness. Surrounding this hole was a massive set of stairs, twenty feet wide, that seemed to go down for many levels, with twenty foot square platforms on every corner.

Atilius cast arcane eye, and gradually determined that the stairs went down three levels. The next level down opened into a single large chamber with dozens on kuo-toa. The level below that had a single set of double doors to the west. The last level had a set of double doors to the west, and another to the north. Both sets of double doors were held closed by great chains and large padlocks. Four kuo-toa stood guard at each set of double doors. In the center of the stairwell was a pile of smashed and ruined machinery that Atilius determined must have once been some sort of lift. Among the debris was a drider.

The group decided to descend the grand stairwell. One level down they all hid along the wall beside the entrance to the large chamber, while Turenim and Atilius revealed themselves. The large room, over eighty feet square, was dimly lit from a few torches and candles. From where they stood, they saw a ten foot diameter hole in the ceiling. Throughout the room were a series of ten foot high metal bins. The bins looked like they were once tied to pulleys that allowed them to be moved to a large grinding machine in the room, but none of this looks still serviceable. Before the grinding machine was a large pool that seemed to take water from a spillway. From there the water ran past the rusted gears and down a drain under the machine. Past the sounds of the rushing water they heard what sounded like fighting. They saw shadowed forms of kuo-toa, past a few old bins and rolling ore carts. Looking closer they saw twenty-five juvenile kuo-toa training with spears under the supervision of three kuo-toa soldiers, each armed with pincer staffs.

Speaking in undercommon, Atilius commanded the kuo-toa to lay down their weapons in the name of Lathander, urging them that violence was not the answer.

Hearing this, the kuo-toa began to close in on them aggressively. As the backed out of the room, Turenim cast spiritual weapon, and Atilius cast web on the entrance from the stairwell.

The kuo-toa advanced on the webbing, trying to cut through it. Atilius cast fireball through the webbing, incinerating the webbing and all the juvenile kuo-toa, and scorching the three soldiers.

Lee rushed in and slashed the first of the guards twice with Talon. Turenim followed up on the same kuo-toa with his spiritual weapon. Albrecht finished with an eldritch blast, but missed a the second guard. Moriarty rushed in and hit that one with Fiendburn, and Broward hit that same one with a fire bolt. It responded by hitting Moriarty with its staff, grappling the barbarian in its pincers. Moula rushed in at hit that guard twice with her staff, dropping it and freeing Moriarty. Pippin snuck around and hit the last guard twice with his short swords.

Lee cut the last guard with Talon, Turenim hit it with his spiritual weapon, and Albrecht finished it with an eldritch blast.

With the battle over, Moula checked the bodies and ensured they were all dead, and they searched the burned bodies for treasure, collecting a bunch of copper, silver, and gold coins.

Atilius used his arcane eye to determine that the hole in the ceiling went up at least forty feet into the darkness before ending in a metal barrier.

The group descended down to the next level. Using locate creature, Turenim could tell that the caped kuo-toa was on this level, in the room beyond. There, Moula quietly opened one of the double doors a crack, just enough to let Atilius' arcane eye through.

On the other side Atilius saw dim light shining from several hanging lanterns and candles, illuminating a sixty foot square chamber with a forty foot domed ceiling. The pitiful light reflected upon four large pools on the left wall, nestled in front four large smelters, giving off wisps of steam. The right wall opened up to a another large chamber. Massive forges shed pale light from dim embers that heated the pools. Lying within the pools were dozens of rubbery eggs each roughly the size of a small chest. The pools were being tended by several slaves who were rotating the eggs around the pools and by several kuo-toa guards and brutes. A large kuo-toa, the size of an ogre, straddled a pool near the far end. The closest pool contained a dozen kuo-toa hatchlings feasting upon a slave body suspended above on a metal cage. In the large room to the right were several anvils and bellows, and several more kuo-toa gathered around tables.

Atilius did not see the caped kuo-toa until he moved the eye behind a crumbling wall that sectioned off the far right corner. There he saw a caped kuo-toa, apparently hiding.

When Atilius was done describing what he saw, Moriarty suggested that in order to prevent the caped kuo-toa from teleporting again, Atilius use invisibility or polymorph to enter the room unseen and surprise the caped kuo-toa with a spell. Broward pointed out that Moriarty's strategy did nothing to prevent the kuo-toa from teleporting, suggesting they would need a better plan.

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