A cruel fate has befallen the party, as they have, each in their own way, been captured by drow raiding parties. Dragged deep underground into the lightless world of the Underdark, stripped of all belongings, and bound with shackles and irons, the adventurers are thrown into a stone prison in the drow outpost of Velkynvelve, awaiting some unknown fate.
The party consists of a male drow fighter, a male tiefling paladin, a male halfling monk named Merric Thorngage, and a female human sorcerer named Apone. And they arent alone in the cells. There are other prisoners with them; a motley assortment of characters consisting of a talkative and boisterous male derro named Buppido, a quaggoth named Derendil who claims to be a polymorphed elf prince, a gruff and intolerant female shield dwarf named Eldeth, a cunning deep gnome named Jimjar who has a severe gambling problem, an orc bully named Ront, a male drow named Sarith who is accused of a murder he doesn't remember, a pacifistic Kuo-toa philosopher named Shuushar, an inquisitive myconid spout named Stool, and a pair of silent, brooding deep gnome twins called Topsy and Turvy.
Subjected to the cruelties of Mistress Ilvara, the drow commander of Velkynvelve, the party seeks a way to escape. They discuss tactics with the other prisoners for a bit, before a short skirmish breaks out between Eldeth and Derendil. Jimjar quickly wagers on the quaggoth flattening the dwarf, a bet that Merric accepts. In the meantime, Stool is drawn to Apone. He begins following her around like a lost puppy and won't leave her side.