Where our heroes are in the caves of the Underdark, fighting driders and losing party members down big old mushroom holes. And also, a Triton tries to get it on with a Drow Matriarch. It’s Part 2 of “The Time The Triton Seduced The Drow Matriarch”.

If this is your first time checking out our little D&D Adventure Blog, you might want to check out this post that explains the setup and format of the game. You can check out all “Big Fish” content on this nifty landing page.

We mix things up a little bit this week since one of our player’s Eric will be taking the helm of the storytelling. He’ll be in black, Jon (our DM) is in blue, and if I’ve got anything more to say, I’ll be in red.

Where Were We?

Oh right, the Bard had fallen into a D&D Sarlacc Pit. Waiting for him at the bottom of the pit? An unspeakable sight!

This became an unexpected boon as he polymorphed the vicious hook horror that waited to ambush him, and then discovered a magic wand. The rest of his companions disposed of the third drider. Jim proudly proclaiming that he had struck the killing blow on each of the driders.

While they figured out how to rescue him, Giddeon pulled himself out of the pit.

God dammit you’re lucky Giddeon. Woad just told us not to run in there, I gave up equipment to know that.

That was a new Lightning Round.  Side quest in the middle of combat.  Typed-up Choose Your Own Adventure where you have to make a decision and test every round of combat while your party is off on the side.  Possible outcomes include death and the wand he picked up.

Jim cut off the drider heads as trophies and the party noticed bizarre spiders watching them.

Giddeon recognized them as myrlochar… demonic vessels of Lolth herself. He threw them a scrap of meat.

Returning to the matron, the party bragged of their victory, boring her with the straightforwardness of their attack. Giddeon told her of Woad, and horrified, the party feigned ignorance. For failing to slaughter Woad, Giddeon was whipped with a triple headed snake.

Can’t have a Drow based DnD night without someone getting whipped by an angry Drow priestess with a three headed snake whip.  You just can’t.

This was the first of many bad rolls I made to try to impress the matriarch. And god dammit Giddeon. We’re lucky Jon didn’t have us all punished for that, which I wouldn’t have begrudged him for.

En route the group encountered the youngest of Irelda’s three daughters, Trielle. Stopping the heroes, she made them grovel. Tidus returned her dropped sword, cleaned it and heeded her whim of “a drawn sword must not be sheathed unbloodied” which he drew painfully across his hand.

6 points of damage to my hand! I’m surprised it was still attached. I’m also surprised Giddeon didn’t proudly give her our names and postal code. Giddeon having next to no guile or cunning is the real big bad of this campaign.

She’s just a mean little girl.  And she intimidated a group of 4 level 7 adventurers.

The party returned to the barracks to lick their wounds and plan their next steps. Explaining their situation to the somewhat sympathetic barracks master, they were surprised to find Woad was the son of the master-at-arms and former consort to the matron.

Cool! What did we miss here? I am also interested in knowing what we missed, this was really a “let’s go look for a needle in the haystack” part of the adventure.

At the return to the Drider caves?  There was nothing else there. That was a red herring, other than the Myrlochar getting you back on track.

So the plan was for us to find the Myrlochar again?

The plan was for the Drow to waste your time with pointless errands.  The Matron recognized that Woad was a legitimate threat and wanted him dead before the ritual, so that was why she sent you back.  But by that time Woad had watched you guys kill the other driders and then feed a servant of Lolth so he figured you guys were working for the Matron for real and taken off.

Also to get another stab at finding the fake silver dragon eggs.

They clumsily went hunting for Woad, but found nothing. Instead the myrlochar spoke to them, and identifying them as “surface-dwellers” and speaking of the “price of foolishness” lead them to large silvery eggs! Amazed at their luck, the party rushed back to see Vitilistrix and presented her with their find. The dragon was briefly thrilled, but quickly identified the eggs not as her own, but instead purple worm eggs.

Oh Lolth, you really are a bitch, aren’t you? Jon, kudos for this twist. It was so perfect.

She really is.

However, the resemblance was uncanny, and gave the party an idea…

Laying Some Triton Pipe

They returned to the tower of House Seerear and set out to find the eggs. It wasn’t long before Jaxo rappelled off the tower to carefully peer into the matron’s quarters… finding the eggs!

The heroes came up with a hasty and brash plan: Jaxo, Jim and Giddeon would sneak in and swap the eggs from the window and Tidus would distract her with claims of treachery against his own party. He would present the wand Giddeon had found to her and somehow keep her attention while the party replaced the eggs.

It was hasty. It was brash. But it was a good plan. (Was it? I brought this up at the end of the game. This was one of those times where the game structure kind of dictated another course of action than the one we ended up taking. Sending in one of the characters with more Charisma than Tidus would have made a lot more “in game” sense, but because this was already pre-destined to be Tidus’ story, we kind of meta-gamed that it would be Tidus to do the seduction. Jono, is this something you’ve thought about? Personally, it’s fine, even if it’s a little meta, the framework is already a little meta so I think it works).

We’re playing tennis with a net.

Tidus groveled at first and choked on the praises of Lolth, but he gained his courage and told the matron of how he inflicted suffering on Woad and how he betrayed his failure of a party. While initially impressed, the matron’s attention waned. He went on to describe the poison they inflicted on Woad, and her attention was once again renewed, but she quickly grew bored again at his clumsy storytelling.

Tidus described a disease that he plagued his enemies with. Once again, the matron as initially interested, but grew bored. Two eggs had been maneuvered out of the window and the unimpressed matron was ready to dismiss him. Tidus played his final gambit. Woad was her former consort, was he not? She was looking for a replacement, was she not? He would replace Woad. The matron mocked him. What could he possibly offer her? The last egg was being carefully replaced behind her. This was it, the critical moment!

Tidus undressed. (And revealed himself to most of the party skulking in the back of the room).

The matron laughed him out of the room. But Jaxo teleported away. The final egg had been replaced!

I think I did all I could here. Gentle reader, if you haven’t figured it out, that’s four failed rolls in a row. I used my inspiration to get advantage on my first performance roll which resulted in me rolling a 1 and a 5 (modified to 6). Then a deception roll of 13, which was better than average for me, but not going to cut it for a drow matriarch. Pat gave me his inspiration, so I rolled a 7 and another 7, and finally when it came down to the titular roll, the actual seduction roll…

Another fucking 5.

Dice, I’m not mad. I’m disappointed. After the session, we talked about what we could have done better. How could we have buffed Tidus?

Buffed?  Buffed?  How about exchanged more than 3 words with any of the NPCs in House Seerear?  They each had a reason and a plot to betray the Matron. They each had seduction information about the Matron.  Maybe it’s my fault and I intimidated you too much (and I mean that Jon intimidated the players) when I was introducing them with their mini-scenes.  You could have walked in there with enough planning that I wouldn’t even have asked you to roll.  That was supposed to be the story.

Yeah, in the early goings of the session both in and out of game it was heavily emphasized that if a male even talks out of turn they’re as good as dead. From a role-playing standpoint it was enough for me to actively dial down Jim Clocks’ shenanigans, perhaps a lighter hand would have emboldened us towards higher risk courses of action? For all of Jim’s swagger, self-preservation is almost always highest on his list of priorities.  

You guys didn’t really try.

We talked about how any other character was better suited for this story, but ultimately if I had rolled well at any point in that final confrontation we would have succeeded. Bummer. But this is D&D and there’s always an element of chance. We still rescued the good dragon’s eggs. I stand by my decisions.

The Aftermath…

Tidus had not seduced the drow matriarch Irelda. But he had escaped with his skin and his life. The party beat a hasty retreat and returned the eggs to Vitilistrix, who admitted she did not know a route to the surface, but would introduce the party to Svirfneblin, a good race that might help them.

Thinking back to the time, his friends realized that the event had changed the Triton. Afterwards he was never as cavalier with his dalliances. Perhaps he realized that he didn’t have the same spark that Deep Sashelas had, and perhaps he did not need to emulate his divine patron in every way.

I don’t think you have to take this as a failure.  In fact, I think that you could have Tidus proud when he tells this story.  He builds and builds to the climax where he doesn’t bang the Matron, but he does distract her and the party saves the eggs.  

I mean, yeah Tidus failed miserably at seduction and was more or less humiliated in front of his friends, but he also ate up that humiliation on purpose to save the day.  What more selfless act is there?

Maybe when Tidus says “seduce the Drow Matron” what he really means, is putting yourself in a miserable position to best help your friends.

I’m going to take this story and have it change his personality a little. While I had him acting like a carouser much like the god he worships, he’ll learn and grow from this experience. My eventual goal is for Tidus to become a god, so it makes sense to me to have him be distinct from Deep Sashelas, who’s an elf after all. I hoped you guys enjoyed the story we told even though I failed.

I enjoyed it Eric! And that’s what matters.

Tune in next time to read about “Jim Clocks the Rogue and The Svirfnbelin Smugglers”.

Hook Horror art by: Graphic Geek
Drow Matron art by: Seraph777

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

Jon is a Master of Dungeons of the highest caliber. He podcasts with me over on 9to5 Entertainment System and occasionally blogs here in Jon’s Junk.

Eric plays a Triton Cleric in Big Fish and also once went to Otakuthon for us and interviewed Hamlet Machine.

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