October 13th, 15,827
Upon passing through the northernmost exit of the BlackWall fields, BobJoe informs the party of one last settlement they must visit to deliver goods at before arriving at AnvilGuard. The caravan arrives at the quaint town of BlackLake. Upon arriving, BobJoe leaves the party while he delivers goods to the local businesses. The party is left to rest at the Axe & Mug Inn. On their way to the inn, they encounter some vagabonds, and decide to ask them if they know of a place where they may bath. The vagabonds suggest a place in the opposite end of town called Bertha’s BathHouse. As the party heads for the inn, they notice the vagabonds laughing amongst themselves as they watch the adventurers walking away. Once they settle in, the members of the party set out to take care of their individual chores. Martelm and Oscar set out to aggravate the owner of BlackLake General while Grognak finds a nice grassy hill by a horse stable to sleep on while in the form of a dire badger.
Eventually, the party regroups. They finally decide it’s time to seek out the bath house. Upon arriving, they notice three skulking figures huddled closely, with faces pressed against the fences for the outside bath area. Grognak calls them out, instructing them to leave the area. The sounds of frightened women can be heard exiting the pools, scurrying indoors. The three figures turn to acknowledge Grognak and the party and both sides step out into the light of the moon. The three figures turn out to be an orc wizard and two rogues, one elf, one orc. The two sides do battle and Oscar decides to leave combat using the spell Expeditious Retreat, in order to gain altitude by accessing the roof of the bath house, however, his plan fails when the women of the bath house deny him entry, as he soon learns that it is a women’s only bath house. He notices that the women are unusually hostile in their demeanor towards him, and as his persists to be let in, one of them throws the door open, nearly hitting him in the process. After the party wins the battle with the perverts, resulting in some of them nearly dying, the voyours surrender. Grognak and the orc wizard (named Fairy by Grognak after the surrender) make peace, and the party is awarded with potions. Later, the party heads towards the bath house entrance when they bump into a guard as they turn the corner round the bath house. The guard questions them in regards to why they are out and about so late at night, especially near a women’s only bath house. The party is instructed by the guards to hop on to their wagon for a trip back into town. As they do so, potato sacks are flung over their heads containing a knock-out agent that instantly sends the entire party into a black haze of unconsciousness.
The party awakens to find themselves stripped of all but their undergarments, chained to the walls of a cold stone cell. A woman, one recognized by Oscar as being the tenant of Bertha’s BathHouse, is sitting outside the cell, commanding the party to head her words. She quickly reveals her true form, a lizardfolk, and explains the situation to the party. They have been captured by the lizardfolk as an offering to their king, Githdread. They have been taken far from the town of BlackLake, down a secret chamber, and into the depths of the Underdark, in a giant cavernous chamber with a single mound at its center. The party is taken by wagon over a massive land bridge that crosses the space between the prison halls at the edge of the chamber and connects to the central mound. Atop this mound is a shanty city, with several tall megafungi, which provide a dim purple illumination to the city below. Upon arriving, the party is quickly transported to the center of the mound. They arrive at the ruins of a colosseum of some sorts, which appears misplaced in contrast to the shanty town. It’s architecture is reminiscent of a long lost ancient culture of the surface world.
At the center of the colosseum, atop a stone thrown, awaits Githdread. The party is thrown at the base of his throne. Githdread reveals that the party has been chosen to participate in a game in which they select a single fighter from a series of slaves, and that their fates rest on the slave’s ability to kill the other combatants in a tournament. When presented with their options, the party quickly notice the soulless expression of the slaves, their mangled bodies; starved, heavily scarred and maimed. As the party looks through their choices, they come across a single healthy choice. A giant human with a monstrously muscular body, covered in demonic tattoos which extend up to his face. The man has a devilishly violent grin and piercing yellow eyes that reveal an entire life dedicated to murder and other atrocious acts. Feeling that he is the obvious choice, the party is quick to select this savage as their fighter. The man is brought forth, and a quick flash of terror crosses the face of the other slaves as he moves through them towards the party. Without a word, he stands before them. Githdread, with a similarly murderous grin as the human man, the lizardfolk king tells the party that it is too late to change their mind, and that the man that stands before them is their chosen fighter, but before he can finish, the man suddenly falls to his knees yelling in pain. Bright white light shoots forth from his eyes and mouth. As he yells an unearthly scream, the party can see the night sky within his mouth, and two hands come out of the man’s now dislocated jaw. As the hands struggle to spread the mouth of this man, his throat thickens and his entire body contorts violently, ending in a violent eruption that coats the party and lizardfolk king in a red mist. In the spot where the monstrous man once stood, lays a human man, writhing in pain, with a hot steam flowing out of his person. He attempts to stand, but he continues to fall due to fatigue. The lizardfolk king snaps out of his initial shock, and suddenly lets out his horrid laugh. He tells the party that it is truly unfortunate that they lost out on their previous fighter, but that he will allow this weaker looking man to take his place. Githdread orders that the man be stripped of all his possessions and clothing. The mysterious man is placed in shackles, and the king orders that they all be taken into the prison in order to better acquaint themselves with each other. In the prison cell floor there is a plate with a single piece of meat.