Since we’re near Mantol Derith, we decide to go check on our investments. On the way there, we find a scene of a battle between a fire giant and some duergars. Rodrigo goes to study the battle, and he finds that the fire giant is only mostly dead, so he casts spare the dying and heals him. Krethos the Gnome Eater now owes us a debt. He tells us that he was attacked by the duergar who had attacked him with their sharp shark teeth (!). He takes us to Manthol Derith and promises to not eat anyone inside the city, but only on the inside, so we can send anyone we don’t like outside and they’ll be taken care of.
There, Emjitus carouses and gets her money back, Felo’sial botches a research roll for 100 gold, and Rodrigo earns 30 gold baptizing a snvirflebin convert (who then spends the next hour asking questions about banging drow in Elysium). A duergar comes up to us during the week and lets us know that duergar have been driven out from Grackleslug by “Traitors to the flesh”. He offers to have us meet with the Resistance to these traitors. The traitors were a group of duergar who came after the rage of demons and promised immortality to the duergar. Those who first resisted them were boiled into soup. Now only a few duergar are fighting them. The “Traitors to the Flesh” have a tabard of a goat head. Orcus. Fuck.
Also, Rodrigo buys a potion of greater healing for 150 gold.
On the barge ride over with our giant buddy, we encounter two herezou corpses. We dispatch one and we get to the warm air of the Darklake docks, and we go to a secret jetty underneath the docks and gives us a map to Themberchaud’s Cavern. There, he says, we’ll meet the resistance. There is a constant smell of decay here, and what life we see is a mockery of actual life.
We get told that the pearl we were offered as payment is our key in to meet with the resistance leader. We walk a mile into a cave until we come to two guards who brandish spears at us and tell us to speak to Themberchaud. We see hundreds or dozens of duergar looking like starved refugees but also soldiers. We also see children and the elderly, and eventually we go into a large dragon’s hoard, with a large red dragon with his wings ripped off. He is Themberchaud. He explains that the darakul have infested his city and while Orcus is gone, now is the time to strike his ghoul prince down. He offers us his servant to aid our cause after this is over. It’s Metal Boots!
In preparation for the fight, Rodrigo offers to hear Felo’sial’s confession about Gren and offers to hitch Felo’sial and Piernon. He also offers to throw a Quincenera for Emjitus. Piernon refuses the wedding until after the assault on that. So we have a Heroes’s Feast for breakfast.
We go through the teleportation circle into the city, one at a time, five minutes at a time, and the alchemist who we are here to meet is dead. We check his pockets for “clues” and we find two healing potions. We avoid a pit trap and we meet the ghoul prince floating in his mediatations, bathed in white light. And then we see his face and oh shit, it’s Emjitus’s Dad!
So we attack the guy and it’s a big fight with reactions and regeneration and paralysis and it’s very challenging, but then Piernon stabs the paralyzed Rodrigo in the back and rips off his face. He’s not Piernon, but Gilbert the French Fuck! So anyways, Emjitus asserts her dominance on her dad and knocks him down and bites him and steals his mace and beats him with it. Felo’sial shoots Gilbert’s face so full of magic missiles it explodes. And Rodrigo gets knocked out, but he gets up again and he then smashes his spiritual weapon on the head of the ghoul prince. We find 3 5,000 gp gems and his mace was a profaned rod of resurrection. We shove Gilbert’s body into the bag of holding along with 42,000 gp.