The return of Smoke On The Water

Session 6 March 2022

“Attack the Vrock!” I shout, waving the rod of rulership. All the Drow turn their heads to the Vrock that is gnawing on my wall of force, and approach. Behind me, a red dragon appears. I almost shit my pants, because I know they’re evil-aligned. Luckily, I’m in my wall of force area, and that’ll stay up for almost 10 minutes. After that 10 minutes, I’ll have to think of something else. The Drow under my rulership shoot the Vrock down, so that’s awesome. When I look at the red dragon more closely, without focussing on the battle for a minute, I can see it is an illusion. I sigh out of relief and turn my head at the task at hand. Who the hell is that figure in the back? Is it really one of the leaders of House Freth? If so, I cannot let the Drow attack him or her, because that’ll go against their nature and break the spell. Farryn stands next to me: “Flee or fight?” he asks. 

“Fight! These drow are under my control, so we only have to deal with that Drow mage back there. I cannot drop my wall of force right now!” 

Farryn and Grond dash towards the mage. The mage snaps his fingers and then teleports. Also, time seems to stand still and a giant mosquito crawls out of a hole in the ground that has just appeared. Shit: that mage is very powerful. I look at Farryn, who is VERY confused, hear a ‘pop’ and he just disappears.

Fuck. The mage banished him! We have to do something! I command the Drow to attack the mosquito, and use thaumaturgy to shout “HO STOP!” to the mage. Suddenly, to my biggest surprise, a giant bat flies in, with a black figure on top of its back. The black figure is a Tabaxi. It is Smoke on the Water! The bat starts biting the Drow mage, and the Tabaxi jumps off, hitting the mosquito right in the face. Together with Smoke on the Water, the Drow kill the mosquito. The mage knocks on a door near me and incinerates Grond with the same gesture. Grond falls to the ground, visibly dead, but opens its eyes immediately after and stands up again. How did that happen? That’s super weird.

Smoke On The Water

I command the Drow to protect me, and they regroup around me. I am preparing to drop the wall of force to be able to cast spells again, but I need protection from any melee attacks. I wait for someone to exit the door the mage just knocked on… I’m afraid it is another powerful wizard of some kind, making it harder to get out of here without any other casualties. Suddenly, a vial with some green liquid smashes against the door I’m looking at, and it is grown over by plants. The bat has gone, and I see a small creature walking around the courtyard shouting: “Farryn! Farryn, where are you?!”

I don’t know who that creature is, but it might be able to help since it is looking for Farryn. Smoke on the Water jumps over the heads of my controlled Drow to the mage and puts his immovable rod to his chest to restrain him. The second the rod touches the mage, fire engulfs Smoke, originating from the mage. I smell burnt fur, so it must’ve hurt Smoke on the Water.

The door opens – with difficulty and a female Drow steps onto the courtyard. Maybe this mage and new Drow are the brother and sister Freth?! We have a BIG problem on our hands… The controlled Drow now surround me and my wall of force, but suddenly, the mage teleports in front of me, and we’re almost standing nose to nose. I gasp in surprise and fear. In the corner of my eye, I see a couple of eldridge blasts and shout: “Help, Valentine, help!!”

I drop the wall of force, poison the Drow mage, and yell: “Seal the place!” to my subjects. Valentine teleports next to me and asks: “Fight or flight?” 

This is is the SECOND time this question is asked to me. I hate it. Why do I need to make this decision? I look at her, scared. I know Farryn is still banished by the mage, and we cannot leave him like this. Not after what happened to Zeph. “FIGHT,” I say resolutely. Valentine nods, and waves her hand: she banishes the mage to his own plane of existence. “Follow me!” she yells and runs to the female Drow. I follow her obediently.

Farryn isn’t back yet, I kind of expected him to return because the mage was banished himself, but I guess he’s more powerful than I thought. Suddenly, insects cover the place where Valentine and I run. They pinch me very hard and I try to slap them away, but the only thing I can see is Valentine collapsing as she runs off.

With a ‘pop’ the mage returns to this plane because Valentine got unwell from the insect attack. I use misty step to get out of the insect-swarm and run to Valentine to heal her with a potion. The female Drow, in the meantime, gets attacked by Smoke and faints. When I search for my enemies, I see newcomers stepping onto the courtyard. First, I need to stabilize Valentine, then, I’ll command my subjects.

To my biggest relief, Valentine comes to, and Farryn appears a couple of meters away from me. We look at each other, happy to be still alive. Then, our heads are turned to the Drow mage: he steps out of the insect swarm and casts mirror image: 4 mages approach us. The mage prepares to attack, and Valentine tries to suggest to stop fighting, on my turn: I command my subjects to attack the newcomers in the distance. The mage isn’t affected by Valentine, and uses a cone of cold, knocking Valentine out again. I almost also faint as well, but the warmth from my skin protects me from freezing to death.

Valentine has revived again, and I tell her to get to safety. I teleport myself behind a barricaded door to catch my breath. I attack a Drow that looks like a priestess, and Smoke finishes her off. I can see the Drow mage being very agitated by that because he casts some lightning spell and shouts very loudly. Now, it is only him that’s left: my subjects killed the newcomers, and I’ve just sent them on their way. I’ve commanded them to walk off and pretend nothing is happening here. Smoke chooses the mage as his new target and starts punching him. His claws are jabbing him rapidly after each of them hits, but every time he hits the mage, Smoke is exposed to the fire armor the mage has. Smoke just keeps going, I can see his fur is burnt to his skin, but his teeth are visible in his grimace in utter concentration. Then, from all the fire and effort, Smoke falls backward, knocked out by his own punches and determination.

The mage is visibly panicking. He’s looking around for an exit. He is trying to cast a spell, but Valentine counterspells him. However, the mage turns invisible: he counterspelled Valentines’ counterspell. The mage vanishes and takes the dead priestess with him.

Valentine and I look around and see no enemies anymore. We both get to Smoke on the Water. I use thaumaturgy: “Maday! Maday! Man down!”

The unfamiliar creature approaches and heals Smoke. After, it runs to Farryn and shakes his hand. “Where were you?! I’ve been looking for you EVERYWHERE!”

I am very curious who this creature is and how it knows Farryn. However, there are other priorities: getting Zeph out of the Vrock and saying our goodbyes.

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