After spending the rest of the day in the market at Erelhei-Cinlu, the party made their way back to the inn to have dinner. Underneath Sarril's plate was a note instructing the party to meet with two wizards of the black tower at a specified location in the city. The party decided not to wait and to go directly there.
Inside seemingly abandoned building they met with two wizards who explained that the party was to pass through the Noble Gate of the city and go to the manor of House Eilserv. No non-drow are allowed through the gate and even then, only those who are members of the royal house or on official business may pass. Disguises and illusions will not work, so the only option is to polymorph each party member into a drow - which, of course, comes with risk of death or of losing one's identity. The party agreed to the terms and the two wizards polymorphed everyone, one at a time. Each PC made their system shock roll and intelligence check to remain alive and retain their self identity. The party was given a platinum token with the symbol of House Eilserv on it, which would get them through the gate and up to the manor house. The party, now each a drow, headed there immediately.
The party made their way to the manor house and showed their token and were invited inside and offered some fine drow wine while they waited. Eventually, Viconia came out to speak with the party. She was not interested in a long drawn out conversation. She made stated that she would provide the party with a means to access the Fane of Lolth through a secret passage underneath the temple. If the party would go tonight, there will be minimal guards to deal with. She provided simple instructions on how to get to the upper level where they can use the egg to open up a portal to Lolth's lair in the Abyss.
Sebastian asked what Eilserv would do in return for the risk the party is undertaking and she laughed, saying merely that they would allow the party to live to accomplish their mission. "Is there not a large black bubble on your surface world spewing out demons?" She asked.
"Fair enough" replied Sebastian, who then went on to ask about the Elder Elemental God that House Eilserv seems to worship. Viconia offered to introduce the party to her god if they would like. They declined and went on their way.
The path to the secret entrance required taking a special boat docked beside the Pitchy Flow, an underground canyon and river that leads to the Sunless Sea. The Pitchy Flow consisted of fast moving rapids that would not be navigable by normal means, but the boats provided were magic boats. Stepping inside the boat, the party invoked the name of Lolth, which caused a Hezrou demon statue to come to life and call forth a crew of ghouls to operate the boat and take them down river, stopping at a cave entrance which was their destination.
Just as Viconia said, the cave led to a long tunnel that eventually came to a narrow flight of stairs up to a secret door. The secret door was easily opened from this side and the party found themselves in a large room with a sacrificial altar in an alcove to the south. The altar had recently been used, as there was fresh blood all over the altar and floor.
To the west was a web filled passage which the party chose to avoid, choosing instead to go north where they found a staircase going up. Dammac used his Ring of Invisibility to invisibly and silently sneak up the stairs and scout. The stairs were covered in spider webs, making it difficult, but not impossible, to push through. About halfway up, he was attacked by a giant black widow spider. The spider wasn't much of a match for Dammac, but it did manage to wound him before he killed it and he was no longer invisible.
Dammac returned down the stairs and explained what happened. Sebastian decided the two of them should sneak up the stairs together and scout things out. At the top of the stairs they could see a large hallway going left and right. To the right, the hall opened into a large diamond shaped room with an amber pool in the middle. Floating above this amber pool was a large black spider with a female drow head. Listening checks revealed that there were others in the room, though they could not see them from where they were. They headed back down and reported what they saw to the rest of the party.
Believing the spider may be Lolth herself, the party decided to rush up the stairs and face whatever was in front of them, without casting protective and enhancing magic first. As soon as they entered the main temple area on the first floor, a drow woman stepped forward from behind the illusory image of the Spider Queen. This woman was finely dressed and wearing the broach of House Noquar. She also held aloft the golden idol of Lolth that Sebastian had previously traded to her house. As she spoke, two driders came to join her from side hallways, and the back hallway behind the party began to fill up with drow soldiers. Another drow priestess, wearing a broach with a golden spider on it, and a drow male wizard could also be seen.
The woman directly in front of them spoke "Did you think we did not know what the traitorous House Eilserv was up to? We will deal with them soon enough. But as for you, thank you for returning the egg to us."
"Oh, we will be holding on to this egg" replied Sebastian as the fight broke out.
The very first thing that happened was Dalron focused all of his effort on the drow wizard. Any other wizard would have been dead from the amount of damage put out, but drow wizards typically have fighter levels, and this one had more hit points than the average wizard. He was nearly dead, but not quite. Sarril cast Haste from his ring (at-will) and placed a Wall of Force to block off the southern hallway, allowing the rest of the party to focus their effort on the two drow priestesses. Fen rushed up on the High Priestess of Lolth and did a significant amount of damage to her before she cast a Lolth priest version of Repulsion to push him back. Still, that consumed her spellcasting for the round, which made a huge difference.
The matron of House Noquar cast Hold Person on four of the party members. Only Shan-Ju failed his save, and was now held in place. Tyril was able to then rush up on the matron and begin savagely attacking her, rolling three 18s in a row and nearly killing her in the first round. The wizard, seeing that he would not survive another round, cast Haste on the priestesses and driders before, at the top of the next round, Dalron finished him off. Dalron then turned his attention to one of the driders while the other attacked Tyril.
In the southern hallway, the female leader of the drow guards dispelled the Wall of Force, allowing the guards to flood the back row. Sarril responded by summoning a hydra while Sebastian summoned a Fire Elemental. That kept the drow guards busy and bought the party more time to keep their focus on the priestesses. The matron, now nearly dead, tapped her demonic staff on the ground and transformed into a Glabrezu demon, healing herself as she did so. Tyril was now facing melee with a hasted Glabrezu and hasted Drider, which began tearing into him hard.
Sarril cast Dispel Magic and successfully dispelled the Repulsion on Fen, who, now hasted, was able to rush back up on the high priestess and do some more damage to her. She responded by casting Blade Barrier, which forced him to back away (for now).
DM's Note: I'm missing a lot of details as this was a chaotic battle that went for three rounds. At some point, the high priestess attempted to cast Slay Living on Fen, but failed, and Sarril was able to get out a lightning bolt. Other attacks back and forth were made and some of the drow guards were killed, as was the hydra. At the end round three, two drow guards are dead, the summoned hydra is dead and the drow wizard is dead (or dying). None of the party are yet dead, but a few are close. The battle took so long that we ran out of time, so this is where we leave off.
It is the middle of "night" (whatever that means in the underdark) on the last day of Ready'reat, CY 580. The party noticed that there is at least one more drow hanging out behind a tapestry and a few more driders coming up the side hallways. There are also temple guards outside that could rush in at any moment. This is not going to be easy.