Kinyel murdered you and I had to watch, petrified, as life left your eyes.
The heroes of Velkynvelve and their semi-willing drow defector Jorlan Duskryn arrive in Mantol-Derith to find assassins on the loose, mad beholders, insanity-causing gems, and creepy-but-well-meaning Zhentarim. A battle goes very badly, bringing into sharp relief certain emotions.
Chapter End Notes
You can read my as-it-happened tweet-along of the events behind this chapter here. Many capitals. Much feels. Wow.
Also I have a problem: I have too much fun with the Drow language. I hate to be one of those authors where every third word is a completely unnecessary fantasy word, but the nouns in Drow are just SO DANG DESCRIPTIVE of the culture as a whole. (The morphology, though? Leaves something to be desired). Also I found this Drow Dictionary, which is one part the glossary from 2E’s The Drow of the Underdark, one part fan-created. Reader, I married it.
Phrases not pulled directly from that dictionary:
– vlos’calin is a compound of “vlos” (blood) and “cal” (to eat). So, “bloodsucking,” basically.
–har’shebali is a compound of “har” or “harl” (under) and “shebali” (rogue or non-noble drow). I use it to mean a lowest-of-the-low commoner, which should give you Jorlan’s opinion of the guy. Basically DM-as-Jorlan called Zilchyn an “underside leech” and I was trying to figure out how to translate that.
–k’lavulin is entirely my own invention; I was just thinking of Clavulinopsis fungus. And hey, what’s a Drow word without a few apostrophes among friends?
– waela jalil = “foolish woman”
Many “DEATH BY SNU SNU” jokes were made (mostly by me) about the fact that Mavash is in fact at LEAST a foot taller than Jorlan. Drow are small, folks, and kalashtar are pretty tall. Canonically Mavash is 6’4″, and drow vary from 4’7″ to 5’5″ in height. You do the math.
In case it’s not obvious, the PCs are:
– Mavash no-last-name (she/her), kalashtar druid (Circle of the Moon).
– Gaulir Turac (he/him), dragonborn paladin of Bahamut (Oath of Devotion).
– Umbra (she/her), presents as drow, plays as Mark of Shadow elf, actually shadar-kai sorcerer (Shadow Magic)
– Luxan Grey (they/them), changeling blood hunter (Order of the Lycan).
Our fine DM Nixon who TOTALLY MURDERED MY WAIFU changed a lot A LOT about Mantol-Derith, apparently. But it meant we got to fight Xazax the Eyemonger on the shores of the Darklake instead of in a warehouse, so that was pretty cool.
Ana’Ise is a yuan-ti wizard from the Zhentarim who is meant to take the place of Davra Jassur from the RAW adventure.
“Vash,” btw, is the name of Mavash’s quori. Yes, I think of Trigun every time I write it. Look, I didn’t think I’d get this far with this character.
Finally, while this is trending in a romance-y direction, it is gonna be slowest of slow burn, not just because Jorlan is a Very Broken Dude, but also because a) I’m ace spectrum, and my elf-fancying is mostly of the mind, and b) at the end of the day I have to play D&D with these people, and I’d rather not make it awkward. Romance, yes, steamy smut, no. Sorry not sorry.