Belmarniss can now sorta muddle along in the local common thanks to aggressive use of comprehend languages to hand-translate books after roping a local into teaching her the alphabet. Also she hates teleport traps with every fiber of her being. Also she has figured out at this point that she somehow leveled in sorcerer instead of wizard during the business with the pirates and has no idea why that happened or whether it will happen again. And she has sold this stupid arrowhead to two different curio shops and given up as it seems to be cursed. And she just needs to keep doing what she does, she guesses, till she can teleport herself home. The Yawning Portal is a nicely ironic name.
"Am I your fearless leader? Yes, go right ahead."
The golem shrugs. "Not like any of these other ninnies have stepped up."
"I'd object, but he's probably right."
"Is there anything else?"
"Last-minute intel about the avariel? Otherwise no."
"I'm afraid not. Safe travels."
"'preciate it. Come, my fearful underlings." And she leads the way to the boat.
Cavallas is still there, creepy as ever. "Off to the ssstrange town?"
"You guessed it."
And off they go.
"I've never seen an avariel before."
"Neither have I, actually. They're rare even on the surface, mostly live in isolated mountain communities. Or so I've heard."
Deekin nods. "Deekin used to live in mountains, but never meet avariel. Avariel on peaks, kobolds in caves at base, not really big overlap."
"I guess if you can fly that'd appeal, living up on a mountain."
"Nice if warm-blooded," Deekin agrees.
The island of the avariel grows on the horizon. The geography is interestingly different from most of the islands on the Black River; it rises precipitously out of the waterline, like someone cut off a mountain peak and dropped it into the water.
Cavallas makes landfall on a snowbank, which appears to have been partly melted away by the lapping tide.
"Snow normal in Underdark?" Deekin asks.
Cavallas shakes its head wordlessly.
"Good to know."
Belmarniss looks up for clouds or any other suspiciously weatherlike features of the area.
None visible. There's the standard underdark mist, which might perhaps be a bit thicker here than usual.
Once the shore party has disembarked, Cavallas punts away. Garrus shivers. "Snow," he says with some disgust.
"I didn't prep Endure Elements. There aren't supposed to be any elements!"
"I'll be alright, it's not that cold and I'm only partly coldblooded. But it's still annoying!"
"Deekin not feeling cold at all. Maybe that be same thing giving Deekin occasional frost breath."
Belmarniss tucks her evil robe around her a little more snugly and casts Root on everybody when they go by icy-looking sections and they can hunt for avariel.
The avariel turn out to be pretty straightforward to find! There's a couple of them wandering down a path towards the shore, holding hands and looking slightly dazed.
"Hello!" says one of them, smiling vaguely. "We don't get a lot of visitors, living... where we do..."
"Underdark," Deekin offers.
"Yes," the elf says, relieved. "The Underdark, where we live."
"Do you happen to know why exactly you live in the Underdark?"
"Well, traditionally the kind of elf that lives in the Underdark is drow, and you're avariel. Not that I'm not pleased to have you, personally, if you like it here, but you have wings, not darkvision."
"Yeah, avariel usually mountain-dwellers," Deekin says.
The elves look at each other dubiously. "It's true that we can't see very well in the dark," one says slowly. "I've often thought that was odd."
"But..." His companion shakes her head. "But just think. To have the sun shining on your skin, the icy mountain air in your lungs, soaring through the painted clouds at sunset... wouldn't that be terrible?"
"Terrible," the first agrees wistfully.
"How long have you lived here?"