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The Drow Summoning Ritual is a side quest available in chapter 5. It can be considered as an integral piece of the Recover the Silver Dragon's Eggs plot and overarching quest.

The player's journal tracks both quests using these entries, even though they are linked by several purposes.

Journal entry: The drow summoning ritual

Matron Ardulace has sent me to get the blood of one of the elder races that inhabit the Underdark with the drow. I either need to go to the beholder tunnels in the southeast and kill an elder orb, go to the illithid city in the southeast and kill an elder brain, or go to the kuo-toan ruins in the west and kill a kuo-toan prince. Once I have the blood, I am to return to Ardulace forthwith.

— First journal entry for this questline

Aquisition[]

To get the first journal entry and subsequent updates to this quest - it is initiated with a mandatory audience with Matron Mother Ardulace Despana in the Temple of Lolth. Phaere will demand this action when closing out the final parts of the Inside the Drow City questline.

Meet the matron mother[]

The party must travel to the Temple of Lolth where Matron Mother Ardulace Despana and Phaere are waiting for your arrival.

Enter the Temple and seek out Phaere, who's next to the matron mother. Begin dialogue using Veldrin. She introduces you:

""Ah! Here you are! Matron... this is the <PRO_MALEFEMALE> that I spoke to you of, Veldrin."

The matron mother doesn't seem very eager about Veldrin and snaps back:

"I can see <PRO_HIMHER> well enough, fool girl. You think I am blind? Ehhh... I see nothing special about <PRO_HIMHER>. What fascinates you so?"

Phaere puts in a good word for Veldrin and reports your prowess. The matron mother then addresses Veldrin directly:

"Ehhh... perhaps. Let <PRO_HIMHER> prove it, then, if <PRO_HESHE> is to become so favored in the eyes of Despana. You, <PRO_GIRLBOY>! You there... Veldrin, is it? Pay attention. Now, Veldrin... you have proven yourself as competent. This is good. House Despana needs competence, a rare commodity when one is surrounded by fools. House Despana is about to embark on the path to greatness, Veldrin. You can tie yourself tightly to us. Mother Lolth approves of the successful".

She continues:

UN Matron Orders
"But I require something rather rare to begin this path. You might acquire it for me. So I shall give you the task and see if you can earn Despana's favor. I need the blood of one of the neighbor races, Veldrin. The noble races only, and blood from one of their most powerful members. A dangerous task. Your first option is to acquire the blood of an elder orb, most powerful of the eye tyrants. Its blood or its eye. I bade the fool girl do this, but she failed."

Phaere protests about the Beholder comments, but is quickly silenced by the Matron, who continues:

"Your other options are to gather blood from the elder brain of the illithids or from a prince of the kuo-toa. Either would be as difficult as the elder orb. The elder brain is guarded in the illithid city, through the southeast caverns. An old ruin of the kuo-toa lies in the western caverns, ruled by a mad prince. Go, then, Veldrin. Bring me the blood of one of these creatures. House Despana awaits your return... but do not tarry. This is my command."

The Player's Journal will update under the header "The Drow Summoning Ritual".

Note: There is dialogue and mentioned timer element which is no longer used in the Enhanced Edition game that at one time allowed a three-day time limit to bring the blood to Ardulace. There is no time limit anymore - even though the dialogue says to expedite this mission. Any mentions of a time limit can be ignored.
Note:To maximize experience and treasure, be careful with speaking to the matron mother again if the party already has possession of any of the items she needs. If the party does speak with her with one or all of those items, it will set the game to a path that will interfere with two additional triggered quests. It is recommended that the party wait until the Intrigue with Jarlaxle and the Find the Worshippers of Ghaunadaur quests are finished before handing over the item(s).

If the party has not obtained at least one of the necessary items, then now is the time to do so. Visit the Eastern Tunnels, Southern Tunnels, or the Western Tunnels. Better yet, visit and do all three areas. Much experience, treasure, adventure and danger await. A Journal Entry will be present, revealing the following text:

Matron Mother Ardulace wishes me to prove myself by bringing back either the blood of an elder brain, an eyestalk of an elder orb, or the blood of a kuo-toan prince. I'll find each of them in the various tunnels within the Underdark caverns. Once I have the blood, I am to return to Ardulace forthwith.

Remember to finish off any other quests before returning any of the items the Matron Mother seeks.

Deliver the items to the matron mother[]

As long as the party has obtained at least one of the required items including Kuo-toa's Blood, Elder Brain Blood or Eyestalk of an Elder Orb the party can return to the matron mother and speak with her. She will say:

"Ahhh... the Spider Queen smiles upon us. Our gamble does not go unwasted, daughter. Your champion has brought us the blood that we need!"

Phaere will also be pleased and say:

"You have the blood! You have done it! Outstanding, Veldrin! Praise Lolth! The ritual may finally be begun! Despana will rule Ust Natha without question as the preeminent House!"

The Matron mother now expounds how she must safeguard her plan for a special ritual, which can now be undertaken with the special blood component. She also makes known that she shall seal the city to prevent anything from interfering with the plan. Some of what she says is paraphrased here:

"Indeed. But we must be cautious, daughter, ever cautious. The ritual may be disturbed before it is completed. The silver one may get desperate. Yes. We cannot be disturbed from the outside. I shall go now and begin the proper preparations. This shall be a glorious day indeed!"

She also addresses Veldrin:

"Veldrin. You have done House Despana the greatest of services. You will be a <PRO_MALEFEMALE> without equal... riches and slaves shall be yours. I shall see to it as soon as the ritual has been completed. Now is the time for you to rest, strong one... there is nothing more for you to prove to me."

However, Phaere then looks at Veldrin and says:

"Well, I am not done with <PRO_HIMHER> just yet. Veldrin... come to my personal apartments. I expect you to meet me there within the hour... this is not a request."

Experience Reward: For delivering one (or more) Noble Race components to the Matron, each party member receives 22,000 XP.

Note:The party cannot leave Ust Natha at this time. The city has been sealed by the matron mother.

Meet Phaere in her quarters within 1 hour[]

UN Phaere Plot

Back in the Female Fighter's Society structure, speak with Phaere and find out what she wants of Veldrin. She'll say:

"Veldrin? Good. I have a plan... a plan that will place me as the head of House Despana even as we take our place as the rightful ruling House of Ust Natha. In order for this plan to be successful, however, you must betray the matron mother. Are you willing to do this? Think carefully on your answer."

Regardless of what you may think of Phaere, it will behoove the party to agree to betray the matron mother.

This does not mean that at a later period afterwards that the party cannot change its mind or pursue a different path.

If, however, Veldrin is hesitant in the answers to Phaere, or says no (there will be several other dialogue options) then, in the end, Phaere will not be confident that she can trust you and that will lead to hostilities. for instance, if Phaere says "Hmmm... no. No, I do not trust you, Veldrin. You will betray me for your own benefit to the matron mother, I think. It is time for you to die." Then Veldrin has failed his mission. Another indicator is if Phaere says "Then die, fool. If you are not with me in this plan, then you are only a danger to me. Darkness take you for your stubbornness!"

If Veldrin does agree to help, then Phaere explains:

"You heard Matron speak of the ritual? Matron will summon a demon of terrible power, Veldrin... one to aid the drow in our attack upon the surface elves. The blood is a component in this ritual, used to draw the demon's attention and bring him before us. But, most gloriously, House Despana has acquired the eggs of a silver dragon. The one guarding the route to the surface that we drow descended from so long ago. Holding these eggs hostage keeps the silver dragon from interfering. Even better, Matron plans to use them as an offering to the demon to enlist its aid. Indeed, what demon could refuse? House Despana will have opened the way for the war and summoned its most powerful warrior. We shall become preeminent."

Phaere continues:

"But there is no rule that states Ardulace must still be matron mother of such a powerful House. Go to the treasury, Veldrin... steal the dragon's eggs and replace them with the convincing fakes that I have had made. You will then bring the real eggs to me. Matron will offer the fake eggs to the demon and be killed. Then I shall offer him the real eggs. The ritual will be completed, and I shall be matron mother."
UN PC gets Treasury Key

Phaere gives you the Despana Treasury Key to be able to enter the treasury storage area in the Temple of Lolth and concludes with:

"Here... here is the key to the treasury room and the fake eggs. Take them. Return with the real eggs before the ritual is ready to begin. I give you one warning... the guards will try and stop you in the treasury, if they see you. Kill them only if you must. Use stealth, Veldrin... now go."

The party now knows its next action. Note that while Phaere is alone in her apartment, killing her after receiving the fake eggs still fails the quest and raises the alarm in the city.

The Temple of Lolth treasury room[]

As soon as the party is prepared to venture to the Temple, then set out and make haste to the building. Perhaps the player should formulate a plan on how best to get past the treasury guards Phaere warned you about. Or perhaps the player may be thinking of turning on Phaere and taking a chance to report the whole plot to the Matron?

UN Solafein Gives Fake Eggs

On the way to the temple on the main pathway there, a teleport animation appears before the party, and to your surprise, appears Solaufein. If the party killed Solaufein earlier in the quest, then obviously this won't occur, and keep reading past the part where Solaufein introduces his scheme and then departs.

Solaufein immediately says:

"Veldrin! Excellent, I have found you. I have been watching you for some time now here in the city."

He continues his remarks:

"I do not know your purpose, or if you will listen to me. But I have something to offer... something to give that treacherous wench, Phaere, what she deserves. I followed her and saw that she had duplicates of the dragon's eggs made... and I have surmised her plan. I have had a second copy made. Phaere had her copies marked so she would recognize them, but these have no such mark. They will fool her if you give them to her instead of the real eggs."

Solaufein then asks:

"Will you take them, Veldrin? Will you take them and give them to her?"

The party can accept these phony eggs and use them later or keep them as a possible option for future use as the plot unfolds. If Veldrin declines the eggs, then Solaufein will have one final remark and then depart. If Veldrin accepts them, Solaufein concludes with:

"Good. Whatever your purpose in this city, I don't care. But since you spared my life... well, I only wish I could be there to see the look on her face. Fare you well, then... and good luck."

This will be the last time you will encounter Solaufein in a game, without specific Mod content installed. With (or without) Solaufein's fake eggs in hand, continue into the Temple and retrieve the Dragon's eggs.

Note:At this juncture of the quest, the player has some decisions to make regarding what path they take. If the player wishes to side with matron Ardulace, and report Phaere's betrayal, then this can be accomplished by speaking with the Matron and selecting the correct dialogue options. If the player wishes to side with Phaere, then get the real Dragon eggs from the treasury room and substitute those with Phaere's fake eggs. If on the other hand the player wants to hinder both the Matron, and Phaere, as well as recover the real dragon eggs for Adalon - then retrieve the real eggs, place Phaere's fake eggs in the treasury, and then plan on giving Phaere the fake eggs from Solaufein - pulling off a clever double-cross.
UN Egg Guards

If the player has decided to enter the treasury room, then recall that Phaere has warned that the guards near the chamber's doors will attack you if an attempt to open the doors is observed. Stealth was advised and is possible since you have the key to the room. The party can decide how it wishes to undertake this task. Perhaps a Sanctuary spell would suffice, or a sneaking party member, or use of Invisibility?

UN Treasury Eggs

Within the Treasury room are a number of egg-shaped containers on the perimeter of the space. Three Stone Golem and two Clay Golem guardians are in here - neutral at the moment.

Remember to swap the real dragon eggs in the treasury room - place Phaere's fake eggs in the treasury container if planning to help her take down the Matron. The golems will activate if attacked or the Dragon Eggs are removed.

Assuming the real Dragon Eggs are obtained - return to Phaere, or the party could decide at the last minute to report Phaere's planned betrayal to matron Ardulace, if desired.


Return some eggs to Phaere[]

UN Phaere gets Fake Eggs

If the party has reported Phaere's betrayal to the matron mother, then this section does not apply. Also, if Solaufein's fake eggs weren't obtained by the party then that path is closed off.

With the real Dragon eggs in the party's possession return to the Female Fighter's Society building as she commanded. At this stage, Veldrin needs to decide if the real dragon eggs will be presented to Phaere, or if the convincing fake eggs obtained from Solaufein will be given to her. Choose wisely.

Phaere will greet Veldrin, paraphrased here:

"Ahhhh, you are a marvel, my brilliant <PRO_MALEFEMALE>. You are indeed. You have done as I asked and returned to me with the eggs. Where are they? So these are the silver dragon's eggs? Yes, they must be. Thank you, Veldrin... you have performed well."

She then says the following, and then departs for the Temple of Lolth:

"I will go to the temple for the ritual... I expect you to be present for my victory. Go to the temple to meet me and do not delay, or I shall be most angry."

Phaere departs, and few seconds pass when a strange teleport animation plays out before the party.

Adalon's Imp

An imp of some kind has transported to the chamber and begins to speak in an odd cadence, and unnatural speech pattern. The imp says:

"Ahhh, here am I, here am I. Wondering you who I am must you be, yes? Servant loyal to the silver one forever! The silver one serve you, or her bidding do you, matters it does not."

Further dialogue delivered will differ depending on whether the party has given Phaere the real eggs or Solaufein's eggs. The reason for this is that if Phaere has the real eggs, then there is one last chance to get them back during the upcoming ritual, if done properly. If not, then the eggs will be lost forever. However, if the party is planning to do the double-cross trick on the two drow then the Imp continues its message:

"Watching you, have I been. Most interesting a time, watching you. Tricky, tricky, tricky! Deceit upon deceit, the silver one's eggs safe from immediate harm they be. But get them out of city you must! Closed magically, sealed, the city is. Dead the Matron Mother Ardulace's first must be, if leave you wish to. Once dead the matron mother be, fleeing with eggs you should. Much anger from priestesses there will come... minutes you have, maybe, before revealed your disguise is. Quickly leaving you must be."

If Phaere has the real dragon eggs, the imp says:

"Shhh! Quiet must I be! Coming, someone is! Ritual beginning soon, thinks I! Wishing you luck I am, manling!"

If Phaere has the fake eggs, the imp closes with a final message and teleports away:

"To the matron mother's daughter, go you must... waiting in the temple for you she is. Of the essence, time is very! Wishing you luck, am I, manling..."

Experience Reward: For providing Phaere the real eggs 10,000 XP. For providing Solaufeins fake eggs 20,000 XP.

The party must go to the temple of Lolth and find Phaere.

Prelude to the summoning ritual[]

There are basically three outcomes for the Summoning ritual, all determined by actions the party has taken before.

Supporting the matron mother[]

This path means that Veldrin has convinced the Matron that Phaere was planning to betray her. Through actions and dialogue options Veldrin is able to earn the Matron's trust.

The Matron will ask for proof of Phaere's betrayal, and proof can mean showing the Matron the Despana Treasury Key, or Phaere's Dragon eggs (or even the real Dragon eggs). Choose wisely. To do this, Veldrin should take the eggs to Matron Ardulace (x=520, y=1150) and show her both the real eggs Phaere required you to steal, and the fake eggs Phaere planned to replace them with. If the Key was used to provide proof, there are dialogue options for that as well.

The Matron will believe you and have armed guards arrest Phaere and bring her before the party and the Ardulace. Phaere will be killed after some heated verbal exchanges. Note that Veldrin may opt to give the Matron Solaufein's fake eggs instead of the real ones - the trickery can continue. Of course, if the party already killed Solaufein, this won't be possible.

This choice leaves just the Matron and the party to be present during the ritual. Knowing that, Veldrin can decide if he wishes the Matron to offer the real eggs, or Solaufeins fake eggs as an offering during the ritual. If the matron has the real eggs after Phaere is killed, then the upcoming summoning ritual will only have one outcome, and there cannot be any trickery or subterfuge from the player.

Supporting Phaere[]

If the party wishes to let Phaere triumph over the Matron, then follow Phaere's plan, and retrieve the real dragon eggs and place Phaere's phony eggs in the treasury room. When the summoning ritual is commenced, the Matron will not know the dragon eggs she has are the fake ones. Phaere will have the real dragon eggs, and present those during the ritual as an offering.

Double-cross both the Matron and Phaere[]

Veldrin will keep the real dragon eggs all along. The Matron will have Phaere's fake eggs, and Phaere will have Solaufein's phony eggs.

This path leads to both Ardulace and Phaere being destroyed during the ritual. The last persons standing will be Veldrin and party, and the summoned demon.

The summoning ritual[]

UN Begin Ritual 1

The actual ritual rite will take place in a fairly large room in the Temple. The doors are closed, and the Matron leads the ceremony she has some commands and remarks before beginning:

"Very well. All preparations have been made... it is time for the ritual to begin. In moments the drow will stand supreme with House Despana first among them. Ensure nothing disturbs my casting. When the demon appears, do not interfere. Mistakes from any of you will earn you a quick death and eternal torment."

Soon, after some on-screen animations and magical effects are displayed, the abyssal gate is opened and the Lesser Demon Lord appears before the drow and party. The demon booms out an opening remark:

UN Ritual 2
"** I HAVE COME... YOU HAVE WRESTED ME FROM MY PLANE, DARKLING... HAVE GOOD REASON, OR I SHALL TAKE MY PRICE IN DARKLING BLOOD... **

The Matron and demon have an exchange, and she offers eggs to the demon.

Note:If the Lesser Demon Lord ever receives the real dragon eggs, they are lost forever and cannot be reclaimed by the party.

If the Matron has the real dragon eggs to offer, then the demon accepts them, and also knows the party's deception and reveals this to the drow, thus exposing the party as intruders. Some shouted remarks will occur from those present, and then the demon, and all drow will become hostile and attack the party. The player's cover is blown.

UN Ritual 3

If the Matron has offered fake eggs to the demon, the demon will say:

"** FOOLISH DARKLING. DO YOU THINK I WOULD BE TAKEN IN BY SUCH A SIMPLISTIC DECEPTION? I? **"

The demon will now smite the Matron dead as she screeches curses and other last words.

An Abyssal Flame strike will roar down upon the matron, slaying her in one fiery stroke.

UN Ritual 4

If Phaere is present, she will then engage the demon, and offer eggs to the fell lord. If she has the real dragon eggs, the party has one last chance to interrupt the ritual. A dialogue box will present that gives the party a chance to say nothing or to make an announcement. See the Screenshot.

If the party interrupts, Phaere will curse Veldrin and she and the demon will turn hostile. A journal entry will also present indicating the party has blown its cover, and the entire drow city is now hostile as well. This action is the only way for the player to be able to actually fight and destroy the demon AND to get the real Dragon Eggs. Remember, the real Dragon Eggs can be recovered from Phaere's body - assuming she and the demon are defeated.

UN Ritual 5

If, however, Phaere provides the real eggs to the demon, then the demon will reveal that the party are surfacers and that results in both Phaere and the demon becoming hostile and attacking. The real eggs will be lost forever. The city will immediately turn hostile.

If the real dragon eggs are in possession of the party, then they can just remain silent or tell the demon to go back to its plane, and the beast will leave with a few final remarks. However, if Gorion's Ward is evil aligned, then a additional dialogue option is present - and if selected will allow the PC to offer the real Dragon Eggs to the Lesser Demon Lord.

If the party decides to go down the "evil path" with the demon it can do so at this time. The drow must be dead, and then Veldrin can attempt to bargain with the demon by offering the real dragon eggs - the demon will reply:

"** IS THAT SO? I SEE WHAT YOU TRULY ARE, BHAAL CHILD, AND I AM AMUSED. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU REQUEST FROM ME FOR YOUR TITHE? **
Note:This bargaining will fail, and the demon will leave if either Keldorn or Jaheria are in the party - both will object to this bargain and in-turn become hostile to the remaining party members. The demon will then say "** BAH! I HAVE NO PATIENCE TO PUT UP WITH PETTY MORTAL CONCERNS! DRAW YOUR OWN BLOOD IF YOU WISH, BUT DISTURB ME NO FURTHER! **", and it departs for the Abyss.

Assuming no party member objections, then the bhaalspawn may ask for one of several different favors from the demon in exchange for the real dragon eggs. These are simplified as:

'Vast amount of wealth' - resulting in the demon denial and then it attacks.
'Power beyond belief' - resulting in angering the demon and it attacks the party.
'Aid in escaping' - The demon agrees, escorting the party throughout Ust Natha, slaying any in your way.
'A powerful magical item' - the demon agrees and provides the Blackmist halberd.

Experience Reward: For tricking the Matron and Phaere and their destruction by the demon 25,000 XP for each party member.

Final actions[]

With the death of the Matron, the gates to Ust Natha are now unsealed. The party can make its way to the city exit and should do so quickly. If the party has engaged the Matron and or Phaere in combat, then the entire drow city will be hostile as the party travels to leave the city.

There is an opportunity to slay everything in the city now, and accumulate more sellable loot, and gain experience points for combat actions. At this stage of the saga, the party is most likely able to pull this action off with little risk. The game didn't really include any epic city defense script at this juncture, and it may feel anti-climactic.

Note: With modded content, especially Sword Coast Stratagems improved drow component, the city defenses and multiple attacking war parties with escalating power will spawn very soon and could impede escape and even kill the party - so best make haste.

If the party is in possession of the real dragon eggs, return to Adalon to finish the quest and receive assistance leaving the Underdark and a treasure from her hoard.

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