A trail of recruits made their way to join the army we were trying to destroy. We joined them and made our way to the encampment. We noticed races and monsters camped everywhere. Many of the races would normally be violently opposed to the sight of each other, let alone camping with in bow shot.
We wondered the camps gathering as much information as we could. The army was a few thousand strong. There was a dragon with a rider. They had sea going ships that were modified to fly through the air. The atmosphere was very easy going. Most here were happy to be free of their crimes and happy to be making a lot of coin.
We agreed to attempt to join the army and then sabotage it form with in. There was a tent for potential recruits. We entered the tent one at a time and were asked our crimes. Xanth was told to go to the arena. Kits, Tarl and I were sent to the pit.
None of us knew what happened in the arena or the pit. Xanth did not like the idea of being separated so he neglected to go to the arena, following us to the pit instead. We made our way to the giant hole in the ground and waited for the next step.
Three male dryder scaled the pit walls up to us. They pointed to the pit and said something about, “go in and be purified.” I took a quick glance over the side and realized that the armor I was wearing would make climbing down these walls impossible. I waited to see what would happen.
A Half-elf decided he would have no part in climbing over the side of this pit and began to leave. One of the dryder cut him down where he stood. A gnome voiced his inability to climb and the dryder knocked/threw the gnome off the edge to, what sounded like, a long fall to a quick stop.
I guess I would climb over the side and wait to see what would happen. Xanth tied a rope around me and I quickly climbed/fell the length of the rope. The bottom of the pit could not be seen even after I was at the ropes length. I could not remember a time I had been this terrified.
Xanth made his way over to me and we debated about me going further down. Xanth was a trusted friend, a skilled climber, and absolutely CRAZY if he thought I would try to climb down any more. Xanth retied, re-anchored, and then cut the rope the rope above me. I had no choice, but to climb/fall the length of the rope over and over until we reached the bottom.
This pit was very deep and the suns light could not reach the bottom. I knew I had a glowing coin that would show the way. That may draw too much attention. The dryder threw the rest of the, ‘would be,’ climbers into the pit to their deaths. Then the dyrders climbed down and began herding the rest of us down a huge shaft.
Xanth had the elven ability of seeing through darkness. He found a nook and at a whisper, we tried to hide form the dryders. I could not see and my breast plate scrapped the wall. I heard Xanth ready for combat and the dryder rushing towards us.
I set off a sun rod so I could see. Kita and Tarl had disappeared, Xanth rolled out of the nook and made ready. I turned to the dryder and pretended to be stupid saying, “This is not the right way. It’s my fault. Very sorry.” I pointed stupidly down the shaft saying, “I can’t see very well in the dark.”
Xanth held his action and realized the dryders bought my bluff. I helped him to his feet and we continued down the tunnel. Tarl and Kita had used a climb potion to scale the walls and hide in the recessions in the celling. They followed along behind us in silence.
We passed a group of nude, gloss black eyed, things that looked to be once normal humanoids. The tunnel continued for a few hours, then opened into a huge cavern. There was a makeshift building holding up an enormous caldron. The caldron poured a never-ending swirl of green liquid to a pool at the base of the tower. Top the tower sat a demon looking figure.
The other members of our group were being pushed up the stairs and forced into the caldron. One at a time they screamed and then spewed out into the pool at the base of the tower. When they landed they were bald, gloss eyed, and healthier looking then they were when they went into the caldron.
I knew it was time for a fight. I would exhaust every spell I knew and die before going up those stairs. Xanth rescued me again by helping me duck behind a boulder. He began talking about me getting out of my armor and being more quite. I was sure I was going to need my armor to fight my way out of this hole.
Tarl used the walls and shadows to sneak over to Xanth and I. Tarl gave me a potion and I drank it as he said, “This will make you invisible, but only for a short time.”
I silently thought, “People often wonder why I put up with all of Tarls faults. I would love to show Those people, This moment.” With a little guidance I crept along the sand and reached the shaft.
I bolted back up shaft. I did not know how, but I was getting out of this hole. ArGhAaaaA!! Kita scared the CrAp out of me. In all my excitement I forgot she was even in this godforsaken tunnel. My heart was beating out of my chest.
Kita had used a makeshift shelter that blended into the walls. She seemed to step out of thin air. My nerves were obviously showing. Kita calmed me and showed me the shelter. We waited inside and met up with Tarl and Xanth. By now, my nerves were so fried I needed a good night’s sleep. Kita insured me that the shelters camouflage would last the night. I slept.
The next morning we woke and I prepared spells to allow us silence and limited flight to get out of the tunnel. Tarl made more potions of invisibility. We escaped the pit, the tunnel and the demon. Each of us blended back into the chaos that was the camp area to discuss our next move.