The Drow Matron tells Illeah and Zeeboo that these “slaves” have information to help them find the priestess’s son. The Matron offers to interrogate them. Sophia is singled out. Sophia says that Thorbin knows something. The Matron goes to Thorbin who then touches her with the glove she was given in the cell. The Matron screams out in pain and is turned into a pile of ash. Talbot pulls his weapons and the Demon that brought them in smiles at him and then attacks. The group tries to convince him that they aren’t worth his time and that they can find him more worthy foes. Sophia convinces him to join them in finding Mind flayers and that killing them would be more fun.
Just then the Demon grabs at his neck and falls to on to all fours. The Female Drow that had captured half the group appears and seems to be controlling the Demon. Illeah has Zeeboo tell the Demon that she can remove his collar. The female Drow hears her and challenges her to try it. Sophia tries to talk the Drow female into telling them where the mind flayers are. She says that the group’s suicidal tendencies might be useful to her. Sophia, the female Drow and the Demon all disappear.
With Sophia, the female Drow tells her that there is an easier way to get to the Mind flayers. If she helps the group she would like a favor in turn. She wants information on where the Mind flayer city is weakest and where it is strongest. She plans on making an alliance with one of the other houses and attack the Mind flayers. She wants to send the other house to the strongest part of the city while her clan attacks the weakest part. Sophia tells her that the group want’s the Mind flayers dead as much as she does and if giving her this info will kill a bunch of them then she is more than willing to help. The Drow then tells her that there is an old Mind flayer, he’s a bit off and has been cast out from the Mind flayer city. He may be able to help them. There is a second option, there is a merchant in Sigel that sells “grafts” They are mutated pieces of the Elder Brain. They burrow into your skull and will allow you to pass as a Mind flayer, however, they sometimes (*cough*most of the time*cough*) make the user a bit strange.
Sophia and the Drow return to the group. Sophia tells the group their options. No one is keen on having bits of the Elder Brain put in their skulls so they decide to check out what the old Mind flayer can do for them. The group ask the Drow for some directions to the old Mind flayer and if there are any obstacles they should be aware of. She tells them there is nothing to worry about but little things that run around in the Underdark. The group ask if she means Mychonids. They also tell her of Talbot’s penchant for eating them and wearing them as hats. She shares some recipes with Talbot where the main ingredient is sentient mushrooms. She tells the group they will have to go down to find the old Mind flayer. She gives them a map and general directions.
The group stays the night to heal up and regain spells. The next day there is a knock on their door. The group is given a backpack, inside is a map and some rations (some of which looks like mushroom). The group leaves the city and follow the map. Eventually the group get t o a point on the map that leads to a giant cavern that is very deep with no easy way to get down. Sophia sees a humanoid figure crawling on the wall across from them. Thorbin calls out to it. It starts coming towards them. Illeah hears scurrying but not from the figure they have seen. She casts light on some fabric and throws it in the cavern. The group see many other figures climbing towards them . They look like Mind flayers but emaciated. Illeah turns all but Zeeboo in to gaseous creatures and Zeeboo turns into a falcon and the group quickly move past the Mind flayers. As they pass them Sophia gets an image in her mind of a Mind flayer eating someone’s mind and drinking their blood. It seems that these are Vampire Mind flayers. Once the group is at the bottom of the cavern Zeeboo turns into an earth elemental and the group keep following the map. The tunnel narrows considerably after about 1000 feet and then opens up into a cavern.
There seems to be a structure in the middle. The group decide to investigate. Inside the structure there are tons of books. Thorbin finds a room with a bunch of bones, some human, some Mind flayer. Talbot knocks over a bunch of books and is suddenly on the floor paralyzed. Thorbin checks him out. Oskar senses there is an additional person in the room. It’s a Mind flayer Lich! He claims that Talbot was trying to steal his books. The group tell him they are looking for the Mind flayer city and a way to get in undetected. He asks what they can give him. they give him a calculus book, a geography of the planes book, and the diary of the wealthy merchant with the Kwalish device drawing in it. He just puts them away in their proper piles and sits down. He plays chess with Zeeboo and Thorbin for a while. they tell him they could introduce him to Brandon and Timere. He seems uninterested. He says he will help them, but they have to give him a better book. They give him a book of forbidden knowledge. This seems to be good enough because he motions for them to follow him down some stairs. There are more Vampire Mind flayers down there but they are caged up. He takes the group to the side of a room filled with junk and gets a large solid Iron cup. He instructs the group that if they drink something out of the cup the Mind flayers will not be able to detect them. There are symbols on the side of the cup, it seems to be the symbol of the god of death. Drinking from the cup will turn one undead (therefore undetectable by Mind flayers). Wanting to give everyone the option of drinking the group want to unparalyze Talbot. The Lich Mind flayer will only allow it if they tie up the “book thief” first. Talbot is told about this option for entering the Mind flayer city. He says that he’s game and drinks from the cup. He immediately dies. A few minutes later he rises, undead.