Descending the winding stairwell with their goblin captive in search of the Dark Market the party found a twisting and turning passage leading them deep into The Dungeon. Nasharr realized suddenly that the passageway had turned to some sort of soft wax. Finding no reason for the wax the party continued. Strangely the entire passageway became glass and then a few feet later a strange metal that nobody recognized. Vola fell into a pit and almost landed on a strange glowing orb. Thus began, “The Hour We’ll Never Get Back,” as described by Vola in which the party played with the strange metamorphing properties of the orb. It seemed that any material that touched the orb was changed somehow. The goblin insisted that it was the doorway to the Dark Market but if he were to go through it he’d be killed. As the party had promised not to kill him they were on their own from this point. The cleric decided that the goblin was lying and tossed his ass on the orb to see what would happened. Strangely all that happened was he disappeared. The party spent an hour experimenting with the orb when its power began to overwhelm them. Nasharr grew as big as an ogre and Vola shrunk to the size of a halfling. The party decided this was a dead end and headed back to the stairs to find another path to the Dark Market. Sadly, Nasharr was now to large to navigate the stairwell. A short trip to Delver’s Square had the monk running back with a potion of shrinking so Nasharr could get out of the Dungeon. The party went to the Delver’s library to research the location of the Dark Market and the strange orbs as Nasharr believed they were a reoccurring problem. The Warmage discovered a recently-written text by dwarven explorer Utgardt Bronzehelm titled “The Pits of Insanity: Chaos Shows its True Nature.” This work provides many details of the phenomenon, most of them seem to be accurate. From it he learned “The Pits of Insanity are a phenomenon found throughout all Dungeon areas beneath Ptolus (except, perhaps, for the magically sealed Banewarrens) and even in the interior of the Spire. The pits are pools of raw chaos spun off from the Entropy Sphere in the Spire near Goth Gulgamel. They first appeared thirteen hundred years ago, when Sokalahn the halfdemon lich used his power to destroy one of the sphere’s Gates of Delirium. Adventurers in the Dungeon often find these chaos pools down at the bottom of pits—over time, the pools slowly sink into the bedrock, eating their way through the rock by annihilating the nearby matter on a particle level. However, sometimes the pits are sunk into a wall, and other times they appear as spheres floating in midair. The roiling chaos looks like a thick, greyish goo that shines with every color imaginable—a horrible riot of hues. The Pits of Insanity gain their name from the mind-warping way in which the raw chaos randomly changes matter. People can tell they’re near a Pit of Insanity due to the obvious changes the chaos makes to everything nearby. Rock walls become glass, metal, or unmelting ice. Furnishings become unrecognizable as their shape, color, and consistency changes. Clouds of inappropriate vapors or inexplicable puddles are everywhere. Local inhabitants become twisted mockeries of their former elves. Proximity to a Pit of Insanity may bring about strange and horrible hanges, while direct contact with the raw chaos proves even more dangerous.” The writer proposed that the changes made in people might be changed with powerful magics. What magics he didn’t say. There was a cryptic note in the column that said Cultus Delirium might know more. The Warmage could find now reference to the Dark Market in the library. Asking around the party discovered that the Dark Market was near the Undercity Market. There, they discovered a tiefling, Singriosh Notorison, selling small blades and after some convincing she directed them to SCOUTS, GUIDES, AND PORTERS and told them to speak to Travinor Rem. She asked that they keep her name out of it. After some talking with Travinor the party found they needed someone to vouch for them and not knowing what to do they dropped Singriosh’s name. 50gp later they had entrance to the Dark Market. The party seemed a bit out of its depth in the Dark Market and pretty much kept to themselves. They found the slave market with Hans’adventuring party already being auctioned off. Most of the party went to a couple of vampires who were buying pretty people. Hans came to the block last and the party managed to buy him for 1600gp. As his party was being led off Hans indicated through gestures (as he had been rendered temporarily mute) that he would pay the party back if they were able to secure his parties release. After some negotiating the party was able to buy back the other adventuring party for almost every gold they had and some of their blood. It seems that getting bit by a vampire isn’t as fun as it sounds and many of the party gained negative levels. After being presented to the Delver’s guild for payment Hans took his leave promising to pay the party as soon as he could. His group looked a bit embarrassed by the situation and after a little prodding they let the party know that Hans was an inconstant fellow and they doubted that he would ever pay them. Hans’ group felt indebted to the party and made several offers of aid to the party but pointed out they were broke after being enslaved and couldn’t pay them back immediately. The party did make some good friends even if the mission of financially a failure. Nasharr recovered from his tryst with the vampire but Jason didn’t. Seeking out Amelia at Petunia’s to cash in on Hans’ discount Jason received a free healing for the agreement to take up Hans’ quest.
New NPCs of Note:
Kimber Heartstring: Half Elf Bard
Onad: Human Monk
Brother Nodar: Human Cleric
Ilindililia: Elf Evoker