Reviews for Out of the Abyss
Lumen del Mari chapter 60 . 1/19
Well, you're probably not going to believe this but I finished this last night. I've been getting through several chapters a night and haven't been reviewing a) because I was reading on my Kindle and typing on it is a pain in the ass on it and b) because the story was flowing so nicely that I just wanted to keep reading instead of stopping and analyzing every little detail. SO I do want to go back at some point and leave some reviews on certain chapters but for now...just an overall review of the last few story arcs.

Also, I agree with CyrusJ that you should not be so harsh on yourself in your author's notes! You are a good writer! Believe me, this story has been a real pleasure to read. And the fact that you typed so many chapters on your phone also gives credibility to you as an author. I definitely could not do that, small edits and little drabbles sure, but full-blown chapters? No way.

Wild Hunt arc. I am curious to see if anything comes of Kuhl giving away his ring. I'm guessing that is somehow going to bleed over into what I'll call "campaign 2" LOL.

I was very intrigued by the addition of your alchemist and also that he stuck around! I giggled at all the potion "side-effect" banter with the townspeople. At one point the Sherrif said something like, "Shut up, Gerald" to one of them compaining-such a minor thing, but I laughed out loud. When you said the alchemist had slits for eyes and a long forked tongue, I was immediately guessing he is yuan-ti. I played in a Roll20 homebrew game with yuan-ti sorceress PC and boy was she nasty, we called her "evil snake bitch". I was thinking that Shurash might have ulterior motives but that has yet to be seen.

Carnvial/Necromancer Arc. So, when I realized you were going the carnival route I got extremely nervous, not because I hated the idea of a carnival but because we also had a small side quest involving a carnival. And so I thought you might've found the same source material DM/husband used. It wasn't in RAW. However, when no one got impaled to a post by a sword, devoured by harpies, or anything else disturbing, I realized it was NOT the same carnival. (To tell you the truth, I liked yours better. Ours was a straight-up horror show).

The idea that the carnival were worshipers of the Raven Queen was really cool, and that you were able to weave that in with Orcus's attempt to find a foothold on the surface really worked story-wise. That was such a fun arc to read. As I said, I wasn't even thinking of reviewing by that point because I REALLY wanted to find out what happened next. I'm curious as to whether or not the Raven Queen accepts the necromancer's soul. Maybe they'll pop up again sometimes.

That being said, after reading that arc it got me thinking...the demon lords are loose in the Underdark and the adventurers have been on the surface for a while, going on side quests and now, traveling to Waterdeep. What will they return to? As you said, you did plan to eventually do the second half of OOTA. I think in our game the characters had a six to eight-week gap in between escaping the Underdark and being summoned back for the Council. In that short time, things had gotten SO MUCH WORSE, and spread, affecting the surface as well (some of that was in consequence to our own actions but that is neither here nor there). So I am curious to see how you handle that in the new story, whether we see a foreshadowing of events going on down below, and how you plan to weave OOTA back into the characters' lives.

Derendil's Ashes Arc. I was not expecting Avaere to be Derendil's granddaughter. I actually had suspected that she was his sister also being reincarnated, or that she had befallen the terrible fate of other gold-elves and somehow survived 5000 years. I had some things right, at least. But it's always nice to be proven wrong when trying to guess what direction the author is going with a character, keeps the element of surprise. I'm glad Derendil got a "happy" ending and was able to be reunited with the soul of his sister. I do think you did his character justice by giving him something more than "deranged quaggoth" and weaving so much Forgotten Realms lore into it. I'm sure that took a lot of research.

Lastly, Price of Beauty Arc. I won't lie, this one threw me for a loop. Not because I did not enjoy it, I thought it had a very good plotline and interesting characters. I mean a half-demon, a medusa, and a polymorphed kobold being the "heroes" of the arc is awesome! Overall, a good read. But it just felt like more of a side-side plot that could have been posted separately from the rest of the story since Avaere became the central character instead of Kuhl, Jhelnae, Aleina, or Sky. That's just me being finicky though. Probably because I was hoping to see what trouble Kuhl, Fargas, and Surash got into while visiting Kuhl's grandmother. :D

Phew, that was a lot of typing. I shall certainly follow you over to Waterdeep. I love these characters and can't wait to see what else you have in store with them. (Sky with a detective agency, OMG I can't wait) But I'm almost a little sad. Now that I am caught up, I have to be like everyone else and patiently await updates LOL
Lumen del Mari chapter 38 . 1/11
Op. I don’t like the fact that Ilvara still lives. Her and Asha AND Jorlan. I guess that will make for an interesting plot when they make they’re way back to the Underdark again. I’ll admit, I had worried when you posted the epilogue, though I haven’t read to that point yet, that you might be giving up on the second half of the campaign. I’m glad to hear you’re going to play around in Waterdeep, the drag them back down. Gives plenty of time to spread the demon lord’s influence on the surface, giving more prominence to the Council (if that hasn’t happened already, I have no idea lol)

“Even my mother, for all the vile things she has done, is worthy of dance. If she would but do so, as she once did, the multiverse would be a happier place.”

Ah. Eilistraee. Beautiful. I look forward to your continued depiction of her, as I’d had some thought she’d interfere with Jhelnae’s pact. And it does make sense that she would show a more prominent presence on the surface. As she did in our game :D :D :D

I don’t think you need to worry as to an explanation for the naked dancing. That is part of Eilistraee’s lore and though I get it may be a bit awkward to write, I think less “rational” is better. It’s not rational, it just “is”.
Lumen del Mari chapter 37 . 1/11
I choked at “level 5”. We were level 8. And though there were some major differences to our escape from the Underdark, I still couldn’t imagine being only level 5. Phew.

I liked the depiction for the old elven bridge leading to the portal!

And I also really enjoyed Jorlan’s bit. maybe it’s because I made him more of a character in my story, or maybe it’s captainecchi’s fic, but it’s made me a little more partial to the fate of his character.
Lumen del Mari chapter 34 . 1/11
Made it through the Blingdenstone arc at last. I haven't been commenting, not because I didn't have anything to comment upon but because I have enjoyed the last few chapters so much that I just wanted to keep reading! Not only was this a refreshing take since things transpired much different than how I played, it also brought up a lot of good memories. :) So overall, a job well done. I know you'd mentioned you felt this part might be a drag or not live up to its hype, I did not feel that way at all. Aleina and the others coming to the rescue at the last moment was just want the story needed. And this last bit, a tribute to Derendil. Very heartfelt. Like when the hobbits all sit together at the Green Dragon for a final time in Return of the King, where they are happy to be home but altogether changed. That's how I think the party feels at this point. Curious to see how the party will split ways after this... Besides, you can't go wrong with a tavern sit down after a long battle. I'm glad Fargas was able to help Tappy out by brewing ale. And that it got Ront a little drunk.

I'm trying to think if there anything specific over the last few chapters I want to make mention of.

I thought you described the basilisk battle well. Looking back, I too feel bad that it was a slaughter and that we left eggs behind. I'm glad you found a good purpose for them in your story as future protectors of Blingdenstone. DM/husband never told us about their potential, the imprinting, so that was an aspect we were unaware of.

High pitched screaming started. It took a moment for Kuhl to identify the source. It came from Senni, the chief's wife.
I love Senni to pieces. This part made me giggle.

It's funny, I find myself often being annoyed by Ront's behavior, and then also enjoying it because I feel like every party needs that bit of negative influence, the thing that sparks conflict and keeps things from being all sunshine and roses all the time. Plus, it's just Ront's character. He can't help it.

Oh! So, I swear I am not making this up...we also named our earth elemental Rocky when we were gifted the Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals. Probably not canon, but I decided it summoned the same earth elemental each time, and he had to be given a name. We had similar thinking on that.

I thought the rainbow bit, where they were all talking about what they would want to do given they made it out the battle for Blingdenstone was a nice touch. You always need that bit of emotion and build up prior to a big battle.

When Kuhl suspected the Turvy was speaking to someone...I wondered if he was inflicted with some sort of madness.

The Pudding King turning into an ooze after his defeat was a very nice touch as well. That didn't quite happen in our battle due to certain circumstances, but something similar did happen in another battle we had without a foe empowered by a demon lord. I had always thought that idea interesting, that the demon lord can still influence them beyond death.

I am afraid I will forget again, and this body was made for deep dark places. Not the surface.
I teared up. I can't believe Derendil is dead. And to say, I don't think his story is silly or an info dump at all. It's a new refreshing take and though I am so sad over his death, I look forward to seeing what the party will do to fulfill his last wish and spread his ashes.
Makareth chapter 60 . 1/5
I like it!

Oh Ront. Grouchy as always! XD Wonder what he's up to...

Them doing housework isn't really boring, because you get to focus more on what the characters are saying, rather than doing! I think it worked really well.

I will definitely read anything else you post!
Daxxers chapter 60 . 1/3
I see that Ront has not mellowed. Now with what does an Orc need help?

Loads of fun! Thanks.
She Who Loves Pineapples chapter 60 . 1/3
Ooh, I wonder what Ronny could possibly want with the rest of the group now… and that was autocorrect but I’m keeping it.

Cute epilogue! These two have more than earned a moment of relaxation
GerryWright chapter 60 . 1/3
I liked the epilogue. It's cute and the characters get a break from danger. :) And Waterdeep is not such a bad place. My characters will be spending a lot of time there during the course of my story.
Lumen del Mari chapter 31 . 1/2
You know, I find it ironic that we both write a four person “main” party and yet, we only really see into the mindset of three of the four characters. I don’t think we’ve seen a chapter from Sky’s perspective…. I personally find it all too easy to slip into Zelyra, Kazimir and Fraeya’s perspective and for some reason Balasar I struggle with. I laugh because in the chapter I am currently writing I made a point to give him some screen time. And now as I’m reading your story I’m like, “Hey, this guy does the same thing!

“You stand in one of the wonders of the Underdark, and your first thought is to loot a body.”
“It wasn’t my first thought. I did notice the colorful lights. I did notice they were quite fetching. Then I thought of looting the body.
Haha. Love Fargas. I laugh because our depiction of the NPCs varies but Fargas, I feel our two versions could’ve been brothers. And literally every quip he makes I’m like, yup that’s our Fargas, the lovable guy.

I would expand upon the ruby spell gem and hallow spell stored within it, even if it’s just a short paragraph. I know what it is because I played the game, others might not.

You’re going to laugh at me but I honestly can’t remember exactly what you described Rhianne looking like. But in my head, every time she sings or does something bardic, I picture her as this beautiful redhead 1920s-esque singer hidden beneath a dark cloak, cowl and goggles. Literally, do not ask me why. I’m probably so far off from the truth.

As much as I hate splitting the party in game, I do think from a narrative standpoint it makes things more interesting. You’re always wondering what mischief and trouble the other group is getting into when you alternate chapters.

I’m still a bit salty over learning the priest can give a blessing of protection to the ENTIRE PARTY. DM/husband was very stingy with magical items/bonuses/loot in our game. We really had to earn them. I am disappointed by knowing some cool stuff we missed out on but also respect that, considering I’ve since played in other games where magic items and gold are given out like candy. Somehow, it’s not as fun.
Lumen del Mari chapter 30 . 1/2
Greetings! Hope you had a happy holidays. I’m trying to get back into reading and writing again. Every time I think I’m catching up, you post another chapter!

Let’s see…I was deep in the Blingdenstone arc.

I found Aleina’s remembrance of Sarith at the beginning of this chapter to be very touching. Sometimes I kinda think the NPCs get killed off and then the party just forgets about them. But I can’t imagine it being that way. They’d have to have some impact.

I also really enjoyed your opening paragraph about the atmosphere in general, a variance is temperature without a sun to warm you. Beautifully written.

Also, note from the previous chapter. Brilliant idea to use basilisk stomach as an ingredient in the antidote for petrification and your explanation makes sense. We similarly used basilisk blood but for a much less clever reason—it was used in campaign one of critical role, so we kinda borrowed the idea. It’s been a hot minute since I looked at the Blingdenstone portion of the module. I have no idea what they expected players to use if they didn’t have access to Greater Restoration.

“He understands our urgency. He doesn’t want to waste time either. That petrified gnome is his son.”
Ooh snap.

Your description of faerzress and it’s interaction with the crystals was very well done. My next chapter deals with faerzress quite a bit and I really struggled with coming up with a way to describe it in a way that would be compelling to someone not already familiar with it. There’s so little information out there and even the module is quite vague other than: causes insanity, spells misfire, BAD!

So…they found crystal firecrackers. Love this.
Daxxers chapter 59 . 12/31/2021
ha, ha . and Happy New Year to you, too.

Keep it as is. It works. And Sky is Sky.
Makareth chapter 59 . 12/31/2021
Nice! Your description of the hags were really interesting, and I really like how you describe the paintings!

Sky, you wonderful little goofball... XD
She Who Loves Pineapples chapter 59 . 12/31/2021
I like how it ended where it did. I like seeing how things wind down and loose ends tied up.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with part 2!
GerryWright chapter 59 . 12/31/2021
Phew! I was in fear for the characters' lives! I liked this chapter.
Lumen del Mari chapter 28 . 12/22/2021
And now we are to the wererats. Your party is handling things much more efficiently than ours did. I swear. We probably spent 3 months worth of sessions in Blingdenstone trying to fix their problem :D
I write this now before I read the rest of the chapter. We never did find out what happened to Topsy and Turvy. I wonder….
Aaaand I was right.
Your wererats think of their condition as a gift, we treated it as a curse. And so I believe again our storylines dealing with this issue will be much different. We’ve all said it before but I find that mere aspect so captivating! I have read fanfiction for years. I know what a single writer can do to throw off a particular mindset. But when you throw in a group of people who are only given broad direction and are controlled by the role of a die…that just fascinates me.
Again, the order in which we separate how the writers handled these obstacles makes all the difference. I have very much enjoyed reading the party’s encounter with Chipgrin! So many good plot threads and ideas. And the fact that we learn so much about the oozes too in this chapter…
This is all I can get through reading and commenting tonight but I look forward to reading more!
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