Over the past few weeks on the Thursday game...
With Trinity leading the way, the party follow the tracks of the mindflayer all the way into the Underdark, where they face off and defeat the illithids. Unfortunately, Mordai goes down in the fight, and before Bob the cleric could get to him, he bleeds the last of his lifeblood out into the dirt.
Although Bob could not Revivify Mordai, he could slow down the decomposition of his body and divine the nearest source of resurrection. As it turns out, that source was located a good distance further into the Underdark; and so, without further ado, the party heads towards the fringes of Menzoberranzan without knowing it themselves.
About two weeks away from the fabled drow capital, they encounter what seems to be a train of drow refugees beating a fighting retreat from the city. There, they are introduced to the Matriarch of the House of the Claws that Rend and Rip, and she negotiates a deal with the Knights: in exchange for bringing Mordai back to life, all they will have to do is head to the Menzoberranzan and murder the matriarch of the House of the Sands of Time. They agree, and the tiefling's soul is dragged from across the dry lands and back into his body.
The capital appears completely deserted by the time the party arrive, but they manage to corner and interrogate a drow beggar attempting to flee the city. From him, they learn that the House of Sands - after gaining control of the adult black dragon that was once under the control of the House of Claws - has rid the city of all their political rivals, and is currently celebrating the success of their coup.
After confirming the truth of the beggar's words with Bob's Arcane Eye, the party decides to take the back roads to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. As they head through the slums of the city, however, they walk straight into an ambush laid out by what appear to be disaffected males of Menzoberranzan. Mordai manages to talk the self-styled rebels out of killing them and, after learning that they are also planning to assassinate the Matriarch of the House of Sands, convinces them to work with the Knights.
The rebels tell them that they have three assassination attempts planned: the first a simple knifing by a servant that is doomed to fail (but will at least hopefully put her off guard), the second by the cook who will poison her food, and the third by an attendant will stab her in her sleep. The party is drafted into the assassination attempt as a fourth assassin, and they are expertly made to look like drow by the rebels.
After convincing the guards at the House of Sands that they are all mindless puppets who serve the will of Trinity (the only female elf in the party), the party manage to make their way into the mansion. There, they warn the matriarch about the three attempts in an attempt to win her favour, and when the first attempt goes off as predicted, the party are welcomed to the main hall as guests.
Following a bout of politicking amongst the three factions within the House, the party manage to get their hands on a few drow child-slaves that they use to demonstrate to the matriarch that poison in her food is the second assassination attempt. As a reward, the matriarch favours them with a private audience, and the party take this opportunity to attack her.
The battle is long and bloody, but they eventually manage to defeat the matriarch and her many spider pets. Eventually, however, she succumbs to her wounds, but before the party is able to make an escape, the black dragon suddenly turns upon the house guards. As it turns out, everything - from the black dragon falling under the control of the House of Sands to the House of Claws retreating from Menzoberranzan - was all a ploy: the dragon was never feral at all and has instead been working with the matriarch of the House of Claws to overthrow the House of Sands.
Now returned to her rightful place in the drow capital as the sole ruler of the city, the matriarch of the House of Claws allows the party to not only leave without harm, but to also pick any single reward they wish from the fallen House's treasury. They select a Bag of Holding with 10 magical arrows in it, and they are escorted out of the city with a stern warning to not return.
As they make their way through the Underdark in the hopes of finding an exit, they eventually come across a beholder who cordially invites them to his lair. There, they learn that the beholder has been having some problems with some of his illithid neighbours because a blind man has been going through their territory and stealing mindflayers from the Elder Brain. If the party will find this blind man and kill him - and bring him a beautiful crystal ball that is currently in his possession - he will allow them safe passage through his lair and back out into the surface world.
The party agree, but when they reach the edge of the beholder's territory, the gauth sent to show them the way demand that one of them volunteer an arm "to be marked". The party hesitate, and instead of allowing themselves to be marked, they choose to attack the gauth. Before the beholderkin dies, it sends a psychic signal back to its master, and the party quickly flee the scene.
Blundering through the Underdark with neither guide nor place to rest, they eventually stumble across what seems to be a large pit where a demon is chained within. The demon invites them in to rest for a while, and while they do so, he offers them information in exchange for a number of small sacrifices.
Bob the cleric smashes his shield - emblazoned with the symbol of Vuloas - with a magical hammer and is allowed to keep the hammer as a reward. Bob also accepts the offer of a familiar - which turns out to be a face stitched onto his chest - who can, once per day, answer any question he poses to it. Borock the barbarian also surrenders his sword and receives, in exchange, a silver githyanki greatsword.
The demon then proceeds to not just share the safest route out of the Underdark with them, but also warns them that there are a pair of Talons currently hot in pursuit. The Talons have currently stopped for some other sinister purpose, it says, but they will soon catch up with the party: in fact, they are just one day away right now.
Hearing this, the party decide to make haste and follow the route out of the Underdark. The route proves safe as promised, and within four hours they find themselves back on the surface world: specifically, they find themselves in a large cavern in Mt Amarath proper. They encounter a bunch of orcs who demand a show of faith that they mean no harm - which they promptly do by magically constructing a door of iron on the cavern doorway - and, from there, are introduced to another group of adventurers.