The Lorothim Letter

Summary
After defeating the vampire and its minions, the town and the churches reward the adventurers. Clare is awarded the Singed Iron Sword, Wittr receives the Bear Staff. Desdamona is gifted a suit of enchanted leather armor and Roskva is given a pair of Bracers of Defense. Dastan gets the Grieving Blade and Wylie is rewarded with a Belt of Health. They are also given gold. The church of the High Lord shows them a letter written in an old and foreign tongue, they have translated it. Dastan recognizes it as an old language from the far north east. The letter says "Merius- Jabeer is on his way to Lorothim to speak to the Web Queen's servants. If you wish to help us, join him there or seek out Sorinna in Ifoss. Until the Blood Dawn, Lord Tymon". Apparently the vampires are up to something and are in contact with the drow or some of Lolth's priests. Lorothim is a half-elven village in western Tsaia near the Ladysforest. Ifoss is a southern city state near Opal. The party decides to follow the clues to Lorothim first, since it is closer. After getting supplies, they set out on the northern trade road.
When the party comes to the split in the road to head west, they spot an unusual item on the roadside; a bundle of sticks woven together. Wylie recognizes it as gnomish trail sign, the message is "monsters, danger, west". Some gnome must be following the vampires also. Along the way to Lorothim, they spot more trail markers.
A few days short of Lorothim, the party is ambushed by bandits. They fight and kill the bandits and Roskva goes into the woods to find their horses and camp. She finds it… and two more bandits. The rest of the party rushes to her aid. They kill the last bandits, loot them and take their horses to sell at the next town.
When they arrive at Lorothim, they circulate through the taverns, looking for information about missing people; if the vampires are here, they may have taken some victims. A few people have disappeared, a merchant heading home late at night after drinking and a baker on his way to work early in morning. One innkeeper says a gnome stayed with them a few weeks back, he came in early as if he had been travelling at night and had an owl, a raccoon and a bat sleeping on his arm. He also asked questions about disappearances. Asking local hunters, they hear that the hills north of town near the orc held mountains are particularly dangerous. In the morning, they follow the country farm road heading north and spot more trail markers. Wittr summons a couple of coyotes to help follow the trail. When they get to the hills, the last trail marker changes to "danger, close". They make camp and send Wylie's owl Pidgey out top search. Pidgey returns before dawn and has found a cave. When they approach the cave, there is a smell of dead animals. Stray strands of spider silk lay on the ground. They enter the cave and Desdamona scouts ahead and finds a larger chamber with two giant spiders, they seem to be sleeping. She makes a noise turning back and the two spiders attack. They fight the spiders with weapons, spells and flasks of oil, two more spiders join the battle from deeper in the caves. Roskva uses Web to slow them down and Desdamona throws her last oil flask onto the webbed spiders to help burn them. Clare kills the last with a flame strike from the Singed Iron Sword.
But as the web burns away, two more spiders attack from deeper in the cave. The party attacks , but the spiders are swift. Dastan, Wylie and Desdamona are all bitten and paralyzed. Clare and Wittr smash the wounded spiders and care for their poisoned comrades. Wittr uses Neutralize Poison and revives them. Once they are up and around, Desdamona finds a secret door and leads them into a hallway lit by bundles of glowing mushrooms in wall sconces. There is a door at the other end, but its a trap. When She opens the door, a Glyph of Warding blasts fire into the party. They fall back and re-examine the hallway and find another secret door leading to another door. Desdamona checks it carefully and sneaks it pen, beyond is a well lit room with tables and chairs and a pair of human and drow warriors. One of the drow spots the door moving and yells an alert. The two humans and one of the drow charge the party, the other drow jumps onto a table and fires bolts from hand crossbows at the party. Roskva casts Combust on one of the drow who drops to the floor to try to put out the fire. Wylie casts Heat Metal on the other drow, Roskva shoots some Magic Missiles. Wittr, Clare and Dastan go hand to hand with the fighters while Desdamona shoots arrows before drawing her sword to join the battle. The human fighters are slain, but more drow come from adjoining rooms. One tries to cast Shocking Grasp, but misses Clare and hits another drow (GM's note: I botched). Outnumbered, the drow are killed and the party searches for more dangers. There are three bedrooms off the main room for the humans and drow. Another door leads deeper into the temple. There is an attached kitchen and storeroom, a pair of slaves are hiding there. They thank the party for saving them, they have been slaves for years. But they warn the party there are more dangers, including a pair of priests; a human and another drow. The party gives them some gold and clothes and tells them to run for the nearby town.
The party is badly wounded and exhausted. Roskva fills the next hallway with a Web spell and they barricade the door with furniture and such. They split up to take rooms and rest. A few hours later, they are awakened by literal thunder. Coming into the common room one by one, the barricaded door has been blown apart by a Lightning Bolt. Two driders move into the room and attack the party, one has a bow, the other is a mage. Clare and Dastan are struck down. Wylie tries to slip past the driders and meets the two priests. The drow priestess polymorphs into spider form and Wylie tries to snare her with a rope and tie her legs together. The male priest casts Hold Person on Wylie and she is paralyzed. Roskva casts Invisibility on Desdamona and the thief flees to the hallway leading to the cave. Roskva casts Invisibility on herself to flee as well and Wittr reluctantly fall backs to run away too, leaving their comrades as prisoners of the drow. To be continued…

(GM's afterword- I didn't plan a disaster when we sat down to play. I could give you my analysis of where the party went wrong, but it doesn't matter. Halfway through the last battle, I realized we were headed for a Total Party Kill. I had two player characters down and the rest of the party was being overwhelmed. With only a slight change, none of the player characters would have escaped at all. But the characters who were down were only a little below zero hit points so the drow could capture them and heal them just enough to keep them alive. Drow are known to enslave fallen enemies and even raid surface settlements for slaves. Wittr, Roskva and Desdamona have escaped and there is the town of Lorothim nearby.
How are we going to salvage it? Everything came together quickly for me as the drow were mopping up. The characters who escaped will go to town to hire help. There they will meet temporary characters played by MC, Kimi and Matt and they will return to attack the temple and rescue their friends. Kimi is going to play a half-orc barbarian and Matt will play a dwarf fighter/cleric.)

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
The first hour or so was nothing but dick jokes and a lot of gnome puns. Not writing that down
Matt and Chmiel led the pack on dirty jokes
Chmiel "Why do we go to the same dark, dirty places?"
Jim "Because you're both dark, dirty people"

Matt's bard keeps missing
Jim "The pointy end goes in the other guy"

Lots of bad rolls, one good dick joke
Natasha "I feel like we're just waving our dicks around, no one knows where to stick it"

The party captures the bandits' horses
Matt "Meat's back on the menu boys"

Roskva is doing her fortune telling schtick
Chmiel "You will meet someone tonight, he will be… (rolls friend/foe die) a foe. He will come from… (rolls direction die) the East"
Jim rolls a weather die "It will be partly cloudy"
Matt does a nice fake fortune
Matt "I'm not just telling fortunes, I'm weaving fates"

Trying to follow the bad guys' tracks, but no one has tracking skill
MC "I have Intimidation; I'll intimidate the trail into telling us"

Matt's texts are legendary. Not in a good way…
Mike "It's like reading the DaVinci Code"

The paper mini design for one of the bad guys was a bald human fighter with a huge red mustache. He was referred to as "Mustachio" and "Gingerstache"

I know there were some other good quotes, but once the combat got hot and heavy, I forgot to take notes. There was an interesting side discussion about the sexual ramifications of various body piercings, but we'll let that slide.