Eviana and Kaerishiel request the you to attend breakfast with them. Eviana sits quietly while she lets Kaerishiel, not one for delicacy, lay things out as the meal comes to a close. They explain that even though Celwynvian has been reclaimed, they now have a unique opportunity to send spies into the heart of drow territory via the corrupted elf gate, which should be ready to open quite soon. But such a task would require not only unorthodox disguises, but also brave heroes — heroes like you.
“Holy runes of Aroden lay beyond the gate. We shall go” Kaer says. “But how sure are you that the elf gate connects to a drow city?”
“We’ve used divination magic, including a commune spell, to investigate what lies on the other side of the portal, and have confirmed this research with information gathered from battlefield discoveries of notes. The portal once led to Kyonin, but the drow have somehow rerouted it to one of their cities in the Darklands. A place called Zirnakaynin, to be precise.”
“What do you know about the city Zirnakaynin?” Logen asks
“Alas, very little. We can guess at the type of civilization it might be by observing the dark elf mentality and behavior we’ve seen over the past several days, but as for exact details on what to expect in Zirnakaynin—we simply don’t know. Gathering intelligence about the city should be a primary goal of whoever goes through the portal, I suspect.”
“We’re not drow, how can we disguise ourselves?” Sofia asks, “The tieflings might pass assuming the drow allow them in their city, but I doubt the rest of us can maintain disguises for extended periods of time.”
“Magically. We have no estimate of how long your efforts beyond the gate might take, and the drow themselves are no strangers to deceptions. Mere illusions or simple transmutations won’t stand up to scrutiny, so our plans call for something with greater longevity and subtlety than most magics. Something more unorthodox. We’ve called in an expert to handle this.”
“What about our gear?” Amelia asks looking at Logen’s and Kaer’s gear inscribed with holy symbols.
“And what about familiars?” the stone statue appearing beside Amelia asks.
“Most of your equipment should be okay; as drow, you’ve been stationed here on the surface for a while, so it’s not unusual that you might have looted some of your victims up here. You might want to think about cashing in coins for gems, since gems don’t have minter’s marks on them. And if you’ve got anything that’s obviously sacred or holy, you should keep it hidden. At the very least, be ready with a story about it being a trophy or something. As for familiars… again, you’ve been stationed here for some time. If you don’t want to leave your animals here, or don’t want to secure a more regional Darklands minion, I suggest you prepare a story about how you find the exotic creature amusing or something like that.”
“Back to the disguises, who is this expert?” Sophia inquires.
“A Mordant Spire wizard of some repute, and unfortunately, some infamy. A necromancer named Girseal Voslil. He is a friend of the Shin’Rakorath and has proved most useful in the past. He will explain more of the spell he will be casting when he arrives.”
“That’s great talking about getting down there, but what about returning. How can we get back through once the gate closes?” Murgash says bluntly.
“Another concern. Certainly, the portal won’t be functional for quite some time after you use it, and we hope to remove the link to Zirnakaynin before then, in any event. I shall see to it that an elven priest contacts one of you via sending for regular updates — if you have similar capabilities, you can use them to keep either of us apprised of your needs. But make no mistake — you may need to improvise a method to escape should things turn sour.”
“Why can’t you or other elves accompany us?” Kaer asks.
“Many of my best soldiers are wounded and won’t be in top shape when the portal activates. More to the point, you are much more experienced than all of my men… I suspect even I wouldn’t last long against you if we came to blows. If this is to be done, we need to send our best. And right now, you are our best. We would call upon the government for assistance, alas, things move slowly at the government level. The leaders of Kyonin have been informed of the situation, but it could be some time before they settle on an official plan. It pains me to admit, but sometimes the elven ways are not best. There is no time for long deliberations — we need to act now. We’ve secured the aid of Girseal Voslil, and that, for now, is all we can expect. Any other questions?”