The party travels along the underground bedrock of the Heart district in the Ethereal plane, moving in the direction of the mage’s flight path. So far, they have remained undetected this far beneath the ground in the Ethereal plane; any closer to the surface and they risk being noticed by the mages or their invisible dogs. They locate a large structure up above them and guess it is the mansion. They float up hoping to move directly inside, by-passing the multiple guard patrols walking around outside the structure.
Their heads hit the structure on the Ethereal plane and they cannot penetrate through it. They glide around the foundation, trying to push inside but something will not let them in. “This is very odd and never seen before,” says Royce. The party agrees to move away from the structure and return to the bedrock. Nong and Naismith stealth up toward the surface near the mansion and poke their heads up. Naismith sees two guards in black plate mail, one riding a strange beast mount to the side of another dragging a female leather clad human in chains behind him; Naismith notices she’s wearing a Harper pin on her lapel. Nong fails to notice he popped up right behind a patrol when he suddenly hears a familiar barking behind him; he quickly turns to see two mages with glowing eyes, their dogs and the mask wearing assassins running towards them.
The Drow’s Bane exit the Ethereal plane to fight.
A long battle ensues between the Drow’s Bane, the guards and the patrol. A third mounted guard joins the fight as soon as the party frees the human female from her captor but not from her bindings; she still manages to do a good job of disappearing from the scene. The party sees two black dogs manifest from the shadows and attack; they also endure the masked assassins’ cube of darkness ability that explodes right next to a party member causing significant damage; the mounted guards charge the party and use smite attacks with reach.
The mages are the first to fall, followed by their dogs then the guards and finally the assassins. The woman emerges from the shadows and introduces herself as Cat Swain – a Harper agent on the same assignment as the Drow’s Bane. She joins the party to look for a way inside the mansion.
When they use the key found on the guards to open the front door, they do not notice the Sleep spell trap upon entering. Naismith in bat form falls to the ground and so does Cat Swain, sound asleep. Inside the entrance is thick with heavy gray fog preventing sight beyond two feet in front of you. An awakened Naismith uses his echolocation but cannot make sense of what he hears – as if each echolocation call produces a different room layout each time. Walking into the gray fog causes the party to get confused as they try to make their way around in the obfuscation; the only clear path is back toward the main entrance. Eventually the party dispels the magic in the foyer to gain sight and walks in; they are surprised to hear loud laughing within the foyer. They turn around and see a large mouth positioned on the wall behind them making the noise. “So much for sneaking in,” Cat says sarcastically.
The foyer is a small room that opens up to two doorways South bound, both filled with the same gray fog. Royce’s locate creature spell is pulling him in the direction of both doorways. “I’m sensing the beholder is through the doorways. Now let’s pick one and go,” says Royce. Naismith flies into the doorway on the left and this time his echolocation makes out the shape of a long hallway that opens up into a large room; the room contains tables and chairs. The party forms a chain and follows Naismith into the gray fog. They stumble about but sense their direction does not change as they move deeper into the fog this time; the room eventually leads to a doorway East bound.
Naismith flies through the door way into a dark hallway that contains no gray fog. He transform back into himself and can see at the end of the hallway another doorway that leads into a room filled with humanoids. He calls out to the party while he notices the dark figures ahead move towards him. Seconds later one of the humanoids is dead on the ground with a Naismith dagger stuck into his neck.
Naismith begins to feel a magical tug pulling his body away from the party towards the doorway. Nong enters the hallway from the fog to see a great sword connect with Naismith, taking him down.
Nong’s eyes move from Naismith’s body to the Gith walking out of the room on the opposite side of the hallway dragging his great sword on the ground until it crosses over Naismith’s unconscious body. Royce and Mordrock peer into the hallway from the gray fog but it is completely dark; only Mordrock sees the Gith by way of his dark vision. Nong notices this Gith is wearing plate mail and wielding a great sword which is a different style from the Githzerai he met awhile ago.
The Gith speaks to the party, “Why do you attack us? What is your purpose here?” but only Nong can understand the Gith language. The Gith continues, “We are next in line to see the Xanathar, not you!” as he stabs his sword into Naismith’s body in anger. Nong responds trying to calm the tense situation as he sees behind this Gith, eight more Gith forming a semicircle near the doorway. Nong replies, “We come as friends and mean no aggression. We have fought alongside the Gith known as Sithka and her army helping to defeat an Elder Brain.” The Gith takes a moment to register the name Sithka, and then Nong sees a new anger wash over the Gith’s face. “Sithka? You helped the Githzerai Sithka!! You are no friend of the Githyanki you traitor!!!” screams the Githyanki knight as he stabs Naismith’s body one last time.
And Naismith’s body goes limp.