Six students of Tier Breche are chosen to represent Menzoberranzan in the annual cross-city race. The race starts at the steps of the Academy and runs through the crowded streets of the city to the center of the cavern, and finally up to the of Narbondel.
Three of the students of Melee-Magthere each receive a mysterious brass key, labeled 666. They keys lead to a weapons locker located outside the great hall in the center of training facility. Vhadria (played by John), a female in the final stages of training for the Dread Fangs of Lolth, is the first to try the key in the door, and is rewarded with a fire trap the explodes the moment the door is opened. Vhadria in the split second before the trap explodes manages to leap backward, burning only her hands. Inside the locker is a magic portal. The portal leads into a secret meditation room for the weapon masters of Melee-Magthere. In the center of the room is blademaster-general, Uthegentel Barrison Del’armgo. He informs the young warriors they have been selected to compete the games, for their city, and the glory of Lolth.
Meanwhile, Sinzyr’d (played by Will), an adept of Sorcere, returns to his room in the tower, which very much resembles a broom closet, to discover a potion of a mysterious magical substance, labeled “drink me.” Having gone through far too many years of paranoia and suspicion at the tower, Sinzyr’d pockets the potion instead. After a time, Gromph Baenre pokes his head in the door, half expecting to see the young mage dead on his cot. Instead, he explains that Sinzyr’d had been selected to compete in the annual race during Open Days, and then in an unexpected gesture of generosity asks if the young mage needs anything. Sinzyr’d, not wanting to look the gift horse in the mouth, answers well. “Information,” is all he requests, and Gromph supplies it.
Two priestesses are lost in prayer in the great temple of Arach-Tinilith, when a first year student from Sorcere approaches them. He relays a message from the Matron Mistress herself, that they have both been expelled are to leave immediately and return to their respective families in shame. Tiffanie Millithor (played by Jenn), immediately reacts to the impudent male with her whip. The young wizard in training tries to fight the priestess but it quickly over matched by the unholy power given to her by the Spider Queen. After subduing the male and making plans to torture him to find out who sent him on this false errand, they find Triel Baenre waiting for them outside the chapel. She informs them of their sacred duty in the upcoming games, that every year they allow the neighbors of Menzoberranzan to send six athletes to race six drow from the academy, offering a large cash prize to the winner. She also informs them that an outsider has never won the race, and this year must be no exception.
All the students are collected in private apartments, sequestered for the purposes of training and housing those selected to compete. Every comfort is provided here, and they are expected to use the two days before the race to prepare themselves for this test. They meet Carcelon Millithor, second daughter of Matron Ki’Willis Millithor, chosen to be Mistress of Ceremonies this year. The students hear a rumor that Tiffanie has been selected to compete because of influence exerted by her older sister.
Krondar (played by Rocky), a male warrior, gets word to his brothers in the Vahadarr clan, and learns a little about the different routes one can take during the race. He also gets his brothers to arrange for a trap be rigged along one of the routes, ensuring a nasty surprise for one of his competitors.
Nadaer’Jss (played by Jason), another male warrior from the Vahadarr, does likewise with his contacts in the clan. He discovers that six-time competitor, Wurgoth, a half-orc ranger from the Northdark, is expected to race again this year. Each year he has gotten closer to victory. Last year he lost only due to a foolish mistake on his part. Wurgoth stopped to catch one of the drow that was falling from an Overway. All the other racers had fallen far behind. Apparently the ranger did not want to run the final leg of the race without honorable competition. He is a favorite to finish in the top three.
Tel’lyr (played by Cat), a priestess from the Vorguryn merchant clan, immediately sent word to her servants in Narbondellyn, and opened book for all manner of bets on each of the racers. To her horror, she realized too late that 10 to 1 odds were accidentally offered on Tiffanie Millithor not finishing the race. Fortunately for Tel’lyr, her ally in the Academy is not likely to discover this fact, since nobles rarely place bets on such low games of chance.
Vhadria, daring to venture out of the Academy, decided to do some scouting of her own on the different options and avenues to Narbondel. Upon returning to Tier Breche, in order to get past the guards at the steps, Vhadria rounded up a quick traitor from the house Symryvvin, known to the temple as a heretic follower of the Jaezred Chausslin. It was a risky move but between half bounty being used to bribe the guard at the steps, and the other half going to the priestess that took custody of the traitor from Symryvvin, it worked.
At the end of the day, a specialist hired by Cercelon to brief the students on their competition, entered their quarters, drunk from revelry in the festival. Clearly this was going to be less useful than one would have hoped…