A bloodied, beaten and ultimately defeated shadar-kai came stumbling aboard the Blade of Destiny saying that the crew sent to rout the assassins guild spared his life on the condition that they take him back to the Shadowfell. Fix-it and Auberic wondered what exactly in the nine hells was going on down there in the muck and filth, so they ventured into the dark to take a better look. There they found that Hadarai, Fayte, and Erevan were snatched and hauled off by the shadar-kai further into the lair of the guild leader while leaving the mighty Asteron to fend for himself against an Oni and the gelatinous cube that had him swallowed whole.
The cube sank beneath the sewage with the minotaur inside while Mr. Fix-it and the Captain Auberic were left to deal with the oni. They fervently kept it distracted while trying to free Asteron, who hacked away at the cube from within. Once the cube-like mass of semi-solid digestive acid was sufficiently frozen, burned, slashed and zapped enough to the point that it stopped moving, the crewmen then turned to surrounded the mace-wielding, poison breathing, horned ogre-like creature and pummel him to within an inch of consciousness.
Vanishing in a cloud of smoke and slipping beneath the sewer grates, the Oni fled for its life before it too ended up a prisoner of the Blade of Destiny. The warden, now freed of his sticky situation, gave a rousing speech about everything being completely under control and tromped back off through the sewage to rescue the paladin, wizard, and warlock, while the artificer and the sorcerer scratched their heads, shrugged, and returned to the ship.
Meanwhile, in the heart of darkness surrounded by the foul stench of the liquified waste of an entire city, the three snatched and sapped crewmen awoke about the same time that the minotaur came hopping out of a large sewer pipe. The only other companions in the large juncture of two streams of filth was a barrel floating in the eddies and a patch of mushrooms growing in one corner with a pile of shiny copper coins scattered amongst them.
The crew gathered around and stooped over to get a better look at the bizarre looking mushrooms, realizing it was a trap a split second before the caps burst into a cloud of corrosive acidic spores. That however seemed to be the least of their worries, as none other than Lady Nightshade herself erupted out of the sewer water to lay seige to the PC’s. The mastermind of the assassins was no less than a terrifying adult black dragon, who tore into the crew with a fury. The Oni and one of the Shadar-Kai Gloomblades, loyal to the end, (but more likely out of fear of their master) peeled out of the shadows and fell upon the crew as well, despite grievous wounds from the previous battles. Those two didn’t last long, but then again, the real threat was the massive black dragon bearing down on them with a wide breath of acid, vicious fangs, magical clouds of gloom, flesh-rending claws and a large barbed tail for that occasional extra head-thumping. She blinded them and melted flesh, knocked them around and tore into the Warden, Warlock, and Paladin, who made slow and steady progress in bringing down the beast who had dug-in at a corner behind a pile of rubble while the Wizard Hadarai kept a fair distance and turned her very mind against her. The dragon would occasionally smash her own head against the wall of the sewer seemingly for no reason. Finally having enough of that business, she left her defensible location and lunged at the wizard with reckless abandon in a desperate gambit to put some pressure on the orb-wielding eladrin. They kept her pinned down solid fighting position, nowhere to run, half on the ledge of the muck, while Fayte threw foul warlock hexes at her from across the room (remaining largely untouchable), Hadarai wiggling his fingers (and not doing anything particularly flashy, but obviously seeming to cause all sorts of trouble for the dragon) from the other, while Asteron and Erevan kept the pressure on and her attention away from the two casters with blades, lighting, and divine energies.
In the end, the battle was hard fought and won with persistence; the characters pushed to the very limits of their abilities. Finally the black dragon stopped lashing out and roaring. Her dark eyes fluttered and with a groan and one last roar the Lady Nightshade was no more. The crew fished out the innocuous barrel floating in the muck and cracked it open only to have gold coins come spilling out of it, as well as a large emerald and a magical mask, which the dragon was no doubt using to manipulate the guild.
The crew also found several letters from a Kurkar Randred, and contracts placing a 10,000 gold bounty for each of the heads of the Blade of Destiny. It seems that the Five Companies has it out for the crew in a bad way…