There is a knock at the backdoor. When it’s opened by Malphas, the new guy Raven Queen paladin (Ross,) he and Leiche the Deathlock Wight are equally surprised but not equally frightened. Leiche wants to move into the LOLS tower basement to shelter. He complains that The UnderCity has become a battleground between githyanki, Orcus cultists and drow. For payment, he offers a sealed container. It’s decorated in the githyanki style, with the emblem of House Emerald Wheel. Inside, wrapped in black silk, is a tiny white fragment. Leiche says he got it off a dead drow. The group identify the fragment as very similar to two others they recovered and have reason to believe (from a tortured cultist) it’s another fragment of the actual Wand of Orcus.
There are a lot of githyanki in the city. Rommie (Paula) knows someone in House Emerald Wheel – G’Art, the corrupt, upwardly mobile brown-noser who almost did for her a while back. The rest of the party consists of Durka the monk (Colin), Prax, deva cleric of Erathis (Carl) and Maze the minotaur warden (James). They go out to see what’s up. VC is a market driven town so someone has quickly put together a githyanki themed bar called The Red Dragon near to the portal and it’s become a favourite already.
Blundering around the mine field that is inter species diplomacy, the party uses alcohol and questionable diplomacy skills to learn the following: The githyanki are soldiers, not Far Travellers (ie, not pirates) who have been co-opted by G’Art; they are digging for a skiff, which was mapping the astral plane (the one previously found under the City); they are looking for it’s mapping records; they have been fighting mad undead-loving cultists but are now in the ascendancy; they have a shakey alliance with some drow but don’t trust them; G’Art is a now a ‘ghustil’ and is commanding from the other side of the portal. (A ghustil is a kind of priest of the githyanki lich-queen, Vlaakith, who directly interprets her wishes into action. They speak directly for Vlaakith and implement her will and as such have enormous power but sometimes, the differences between the will of the queen and the will of the ghustil are blurred.) Rommie sniffs.
Back at HQ, Tamurello is interested in any portal mapping. He regrets the death of Rake, whose specialist knowledge would have been handy. He wonders at what common ground the githyanki and drow might have? Common hatred of mindflayers? He wonders if it is possible to drive a wedge between them, possibly even doing a deal with the mindflayers? The LOLS look at him in appalled silence.
The party decide to scout out the skiff. It’s been further excavated and there are githyanki there. There is a fight, ending with LOLS victorious and the surviving githyanki told to leg it. Rommie did not want to kill her fellow species. The party searches the skiff and uncover a boxy, camera like device with crystal lenses. At that point, some flameborn zombies, some thugs and a cult leader show up. Prax pops a daily to give everyone resist 5 and once the radiant damage kicks in, the fight is over.
Back at the HQ, Rommie has an invitation to dinner, at midnight. It’s Sable, from the Velvet Order, who has brought a date, a dominated cultist who just eats the breadsticks. Her date, once prompted, says that the Cult have retreated in the face of the drow-githyanki onslaught but have now engaged the necromancer Philatros, who is setting up a ghoul farm to generate reinforcements.