Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

Seal of the Earth: Part 1
Session 135

24th Sunsebb, 593 CY

The heroes leave Pest’s Crossing, travelling through the Hornwood and into the Barrier Peaks, hiking along the lower reaches of the mountains,and after several days arrive at the place known as The Teeth of the Earth (also known as The Spires). The small valley ends in this mass of jutting crystal spires, opaque quartz that surrounds ruins and a stairway leading below. Somewhere down there, according to the Duke’s Advisor– Malachi– is the Vault, wherein the Seal of the Earth lies. Not knowing what to expect, Sidniinvisible as usual– scouts around the spires, then begins to make her way through them: no sooner has she set foot amongst the spires, the very earth itself opens like a mouth and tries to bite her! She leaps back, narrowly avoiding a painful crunching. She tries again, this time with a rope tied around her, and Halmary tries to test the ground ahead by using his 10’ pole; both step foot inside, are nearly bitten by suddenly appearing stone mouths, and quickly retreat. The heroes circle the spires, looking for another way in, while Xellos keeps mentioning the various potions of flying that they have, and wouldn’t it be a good idea to use them?

Instead, they decide to rush in, and hope that they reach the safety– what they presume to be safe– of the ruins in the middle.

Sidni clicks her heels and hastes herself: she runs in, but one of the mouths opens and bites her leg off! She collapses, unconscious and bleeding, as the mouth disappears, taking her leg with her.

Calibos leaps to what he hopes is a safe spot, but a mouth opens beneath him: luckily, he lands with his feet planted on either side of the maw. Ungrid uses his Ring of Haste and is luckier than Sidni: the dwarf leaps over an opening mouth and finds himself seemingly safe in the ruins. Xellos rushes over to help Sidni, dodging mouths that open up beneath their feet, Halmary following on his heels: they manage to make it to the centre, Calibos too, and a timely Lay on Hands cauterises Sidni’s wound and brings her around. She’ll missing a leg though, but refuses to have it restored until after they have completed their mission: it’d take time to recover, and now that they are here they may as well continue; so she uses her spear as a crutch, and the party head down into the vault.

With lanterns and torches lit, a Find Traps spell cast by Halmary, they descend into a large, angular chamber dominated by a many-armed plinth of stone in the middle, with a jagged piece of amethyst sticking out of the centre. On the walls are mosaics of stone, showing caverns, hills, mountains and a raging volcano. A passage leads off, to a series of more angular chambers: the first has mosaics of obsidian; the second, quarts, and the third of different coloured marble. In each stands a granite plinth, on which is a sphere of stone matching the mosaics; and each depicts a hill, a mountain, and a volcano, in order of size. Expecting trouble, they ready their weapons, receive a blessing from Halmary, and lift the spheres off their plinths: when each is removed, the mosaics shatter and reassemble, forming humanoid earth elementals of varying size.

The obsidian elementals fall to the combined strikes of Halmary, Sidni, Calibos and Xellos; the quartz ones fall to strikes by Halmary, Ungrid, Calibos and a combination of axe and magic missiles from Xellos; and the marble ones all swiftly fall to blows from them all. Each time they take the spheres and place them in their bags of holding before moving on.

The follow the corridor to stairs going down, down, and down: it opens into a cavern, split by a chasm with a river flowing past. The plinth lies on one side, the heroes on the other. Piles of rubble too. Sidni quaffs a potion of flying and heads over the chasm: she grabs the limestone sphere, and the piles of rubble come together and attack. One disappears into the ground as Sidni is grabbed by another: she pulls free and the elemental follows, also passing into the ground, and the two join their allies on the other side; but the battle is over almost as soon as it has begun, with the heroes smashing their way through the elementals. They bag the sphere and follow a curving, sloping tunnel to another cavern…

End of Session

Kills: 4 small earth elementals, 4 medium earth elementals, 4 large earth elementals.

Injuries: Sidni has lost a leg.

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Goblin Hill
Session 134

The heroes move into an old, mouldy, damp library. The shelves are sagging under the weight of ruined books. On a stone lectern in the middle of the room is a more intact book of dwarven prayers (essentially a book of divine scrolls), which Halmary appropriates. Following the passage out the heroes come to another room with walls and ceilings covered in slime. A large pair of battered bronze doors stand slightly ajar, the hinges pulling loose with the cracked stone around them. Something lies beyond the doors, a faint sound of whispers and slurping noises. Sidni burns away some of the slime and narrowly avoids a green slime landing on her head.

Ungrid then decides to go in, and using his hammer, pummels the door open. The doors fall down under his onslaught, revealing a chamber with a floor of slime, with a monster the likes of which they have never seen before: a mass of slimy flesh, full of eyes and mouths. As soon as the doors fall open, those mouths begin to gibber and babble madly: Ungrid is terrified and turns and runs, while Halmary suddenly sees enemies everywhere and grabs his mace, ready to bash the first one that comes close. Then the monster spits a globule of sparkling goo that explodes as it hits the floor: a blinding flash illuminates the room; Halmary is blinded, but everyone else averts their eyes in time.

Halmary prayers to his goddess and his eyes clear. Sidni clicks her heels and is hasted, and runs into the room, thrusting with Biter, the spear digging deep into the monster’s fleshy mass. It continues to babble, biting Sidni and Calibos as the paladin moves in to help: he swings his sword, cutting deep enough to reach its heart, and slays it. The madness and fear it induced fade, and the party gather, tend to their wounds, and search the place for loot. They find nothing, nor any secret doors using the wand they have. They finish clearing the dungeon by investigating the cavern of mushrooms, slicing apart the shrieking ones that howl as they enter; and destroying the ooze that comes out of the party.

With the dungeon cleared and the source of the blight removed, the heroes head back to Pest’s Crossing and spend a couple of days relaxing. Halmary enjoys himself too much, accidentally setting fire to the inn, the same one that Sidni decides to graffiti. Calibos finds himself waking up next to her in the morning, and as neither knows what happened, they speak no more about it. Ungrid, in a drunken stupor and possibly due to misjudged gambling, finds them he has lost his magic plate armour and can’t find it anywhere.

After recovering from their hang-overs, they head off to Goblin Hill, where some giants have holed up. No sneaking this time, the heroes confidently wade into the caves after Halmary blesses them. Xellos kills a goblin straight away, and Ungrid wounds a hill giant so that Calibos can finish it off, then cleave into a couple of rather surprised goblins that barely have time to widen their eyes. Across from them, in the other cave, Sidni wounds a hill giant, and a couple of goblins race up and somehow manage to find the weak spots in Ungrid’s armour and actually wound him!

Then a rather large fire giant ducks under an arch and walks in, throwing a stone at Xellos, then pulling out his sword and cutting him badly. Xellos decides the other giant is a better target, killing it and draining its life force to heal himself; Ungrid and Calibos take out some more poor, pitiful goblins; Sidni kills a couple himself; and then Halmary simply points at the fire giant, utters a quick prayer, and the giant promptly falls down dead!

They loot the caves, kick the corpses on their way out, and head back home.

9th Ready’reat, 593

Back home, the heroes are paid a visit by Malachi, the Duke’s new advisor. The Duke wants the heroes to embark on an important quest…

During that time, the Duke’s new advisor rides in with an escort of a dozen knights, to meet with you and tell you about the quest. His name is Malach and he comes from chain of islands in the South, where his kingdom is plagued by pirates and agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood (evil monks). In exchange for the Duke’s alliance, he has brought word of a hidden vault of ancient war machines buried within the realm. This vault needs four Seals to open it: a Seal of each Element; these seals are located in their own vaults scattered around the realm. The whereabouts of two are currently know: one is in the Barrier Peaks, in a valley known as The Teeth of the Earth or The Spires, and the other is a cave at the base of the highest mountain of the Crystal Peaks. The third is believed to be accessed via a river, and the fourth is said to lie inside a volcano. Malachi is currently looking for these through old books of lore.

Also, just to note: in this Grand Duchy, the highest level (i.e. the Duke) is level 10. The level 9 and 8 heroes of the realm are you lot. There is currently no one of a higher level.

…and in the six weeks before they head off, Xellos embarks on a bit of spell research with his henchman Phildor, and Calibos receives orders from the Duke to start building a wall along the borders of the Hornwood, and increases the taxes to double.

End of Session

Kills: 3 green slimes, 1 gibbering mouther, 1 grey ooze, 3 shriekers; 8 goblins, 2 hill giants, 1 fire giant.

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The Blight
Session 133

7th Ready’reat, 593 (Autumn)

As the leaves on the trees turn to different shades and start to drift into piles across the Hornwood forest, the party of heroes head out of Pest’s Crossing into the forest, towards an area reported to be withered and blighted by some unknown malignant presence. A crumbling ruin surrounds a spiral stairs leading below, to some foul smelling underground. Sidni, invisible, scouts ahead and descends, followed by the others as soon as she can see no immediate danger: the stairs open onto a cavern, dark, musty, damp. Slime glistens on the walls and ceiling, dripping into puddles on the floor. Halmary lights a torch and Xellos his lantern, shining their light into three passages. One leads to a stream, across the other side of which stands an old bronze statue of a dwarf; in his hands are a rusty hammer and key. Sidni, using her Ring of Water Walking, crosses over and after prodding the statue a few times, wrestles the items from the statue’s grasp. She crosses back, hands them to Calibos, and then Xellos calls out: there’s someone in here with them!

Sidni heads into the cavern, and a blob of green slime drops on her: at the same time she spots a few elves inside, each partially dissolved into slime, armed with spears and wild-eyed. They attack, jabbing at the heroes. Sidni cuts one down, after Halmary tries and fails to hold person it. The green slime is vaporised by Xellos’ fiery magic missiles, saving Sidni from any damage. Ungrid joins in the fight, swinging his hammer, distracting another elf so that Sidni can step in and cut it down too. Halmary and Xellos, another torch lit, start burning away the slime on the walls, and Sidni lights her own lantern as no more elves come out from the darkness. She side-steps some more slime and enters the lower cavern, right into the middle of more elves, who turn and start thrusting their spears at the intruder. Ungrid follows, and spots the elves: he throws his hammer, crushing one of the elves, then follows them up with more throws as he cleaves through the rest, wiping them out in a matter of seconds: and then the dead elves suddenly decompose into pools of green slime, which start to– slowly, so very slowly– ooze towards the warm-blooded creatures that have entered their domain.

Halmary flame strikes a couple, and Sidni, Xellos and Halmary then lob a few molotov cocktails at the others, burning the slimes to sticky patches.

While this is all going on, Ungrid stands guard, as does Calibos. The paladin discovers a passage into a manmade corridor, and is surprised when a virtually invisible gelatinous cube bumps into him. He backs off, allowing Xellos to web it in place. The rest of the party regroup, burning a few more slimes as they do so, and as soon as everyone is well back, Sidni lets loose a lightning bolt from her shield: unfortunately, it does nothing to the cube or slimes, but it does burn away the web holding the cube in place. Instead, Halmary lays down a glyph of warding as Xellos and Sidni chuck molotov cocktails at it, and Ungrid hurls his hammer, splattering the cavern with jelly. The cube moves surprisingly swiftly, but before it can do any harm, it collides with the glyph and is incinerated.

A sword falls out of the mess. The party carefully make their way through the cavern, avoiding the areas where there is more slime, grabbing the sword on their way. They enter the tunnel, finding a ruined and disused room, a priest’s quarters that they loot some treasure from, and a shrine to the dwarf goddess of birth and death. They take a breather, then move off towards another tunnel…

End of Session

Kills: 1 gelatinous cube, 7 green slimes, 5 slime-elves.

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Attack on Kargyraa Fort!
Session 132

5th Patchwall, 593 CY

Scouts reported that a contingent of fire giants, escapees from the liberation of Pest’s Crossing are held up in the fort just beyond the edge of the Hornwood. The party, determined to slay some giants, and also help make Baron Calibos’ domain safer, headed off to exact revenge on the giants.

The fort lay in the hills, atop a pinnacle of rock that gave good views all around. Sidni, invisible as usual, scouted ahead and found high walls, a single gate in, and giants poking their heads over the wall. The party camped out, keeping watch, hoping to ambush the giants when they came out. The giants seemed happy to stay put, eating and drinking, and hunkering down for the coming winter.

On the following night, as it begins to rain, the party, under cover of darkness, skirt the hill and come up at the fort from the rear; except for Sidni, who hangs by the gate, scratching at it to get the attention of the giant on watch, hoping that it’ll open the gate and allow her access. While Calibos quaffs a potion of climbing and helps the others up, using Halmary’s collapsible ladder to get down the other side, Sidni gets the giant’s attention and the sentry walks down to the gate as the rest of the party make their way over the wall and across the ramparts, towards the front.

The fire giant on guard (the other three are inside the central keep, no doubt sleeping off their dinner) opens the gate and Sidni sneaks past: at the same time, Halmary tries and fails to silence it, and the giant spots them approaching and yells a warning. Ungrid hurls his hammer, breaking the giant’s nose, and uses his new magic ring to haste himself. Sidni uses her new boots and hastes herself, and giants come out, and battle is joined.

Calibos enlarges himself, and then battle is over swiftly: the giants dead, the heroes barely scratched. With the fort emptied, they head back to Pest’s Crossing.

End of Session

Kills: 4 fire giants.

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Vault Lord Ungrid
Session 131

The party continues to explore the tombs below the sunken temple and discover a mosaic on the floor: glazed ceramic tiles forming the symbol of the goddess Johydee, with a keyhole in the centre. Urns and sarcophagi sit in alcoves, and part of the wall has collapsed; inside Sidniinvisible again– finds a living area, that seems to double as a torture chamber. Inside a man slumps chained to the wall, unconscious and wounded. Halmary manages to unlock the manacles, and Calibos uses his Lay on Hands to restore him to health. He tells them his name is Ivan and that he was captured by a mad wizard, chained and tortured.

Meanwhile, the singing that Ungrid heard comes back, louder than ever.

The party spread out, looking for the wizard, who they expect is hiding nearby. The wizard suddenly appears as he webs Calibos in place, whilst Sidni– using his sword that detects invisible creatures– bumps into something, that attacks and is revealed to be some sort of black serpent with a barbed tail: to Ungrid’s eyes it looks like a beautiful dwarven child and Ungrid is compelled to protect it!

Halmary spots the now visible (and tramp-looking) wizard and promptly holds him. Across the other side of the tomb, Ungrid attacks Sidni after she stabs the serpent, and before the dwarf can do any further damage, Xellos blasts the serpent with magic missiles and destroys it; the charm is removed. They find that the wizard is also free of the serpent’s influence and remembers little of what happened. They agree to escort him and Ivan back to Hochoch. They search the tombs, finding several secret chambers full of treasure, which they take.

With the vision quest complete, Halmary re-dedicates the temple to his goddess, and then uses the silver key he found on the mosaic; it melts away, and a mask is found inside. He takes it.

The head back to Hochoch, and discover that the Duke is holding a celebration to mark the end of the long war: over the feast of Brewfest the party are honoured and afterwards relocate to Pest’s Crossing, where Calibos is now ruler and Baron of a small domain within the Hornwood. There they learn of a couple of giant strongholds nearby, as well as a possible quest on behalf of the Duke. They rest, train, and a couple of weeks later prepare to deal with some giants.

Current Date: 5th Harvester, 593 CY.

Local Rumours and Gossip

  • The Duke and his pregnant wife have retreated from public life as his wife is having a difficult pregnancy and needs rest.
    The Duke has ordered an immense wall to be built all around the borders of the Duchy. The first stones are placed at Hochoch.
    The Duke has let it be known that he seeks heroes to embark on a quest into the Barrier Peaks. His new advisor, Brother Pasha, is the one to approach for details.

End of Session

Kills: 1 akestic, 1 wizard defeated.

Levelled-Up: Ungrid is now level 9!

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Baron Calibos
Session 130

In the webbed tunnels, giant spiders swarm to attack, but are easily defeated despite a few close-calls when the spiders bite back– thankfully their poison does not kill anyone. As the dead bodies lie strewn across the room, the party decide to call it a day and leave the tunnels of the underdark alone. Instead, they make their way back to the surface and through the forest, back to the Black Rose. They sail back to Hochoch and spent a few days carousing–Ungrid spends 1,000 gp on buying drinks for his new ‘friends’ and manages to insult the Duke at the same time; Halmary finds himself betting on an arm wrestling match; Sidni spends thousands at a series of dice games; Calibos pledges to steal a relic from a temple, although that was just the drink talking; and Xellos had a one-night stand with a rather expensive escort – and identifying magic items. Sidnii donates her old Werebane spear to the Duke, and takes a new spear instead (Biter) to go with her new cutlass.

With the drow and their mind-controlling spiders finally defeated, Calibos has time to finish off the keep he was rebuilding in the reclaimed town of Pest’s Crossing, and with the completion of Fort Liberation, the Duke officially and publicly grants him the title of Baron of Pest’s Crossing, with the lordship over a 6-mile domain. He finds a band of mercenaries, mostly ex-soldiers, and a few paladins come calling, seeking to join his cause. Meanwhile, the others are given a place to stay in the town, which will now become their new base of operations going forward.

Now that they are able to pursue their own agenda once more, the party gather together and head off back to the Rushmoors, following Halmary’s vision quest and after a week of travelling and searching, they come across a ruined and partially sunken temple to Halmary’s goddess. It is night as they approach, so they find a place to camp and settle down for the night. During that night, Ungrid hears childlike singing that it seems only he can hear. It intrudes on his sleep and in the morning the dwarf is grumpy. In the morning they explore the temple, finding a couple of fissures in the ground, with caverns below; a weathered and battered statue of the goddess Johydee; and a chipped and worn sarcophagus, wherein skeletal remains lie. Halmary examines it, carefully and with reverence, and finds a secret compartment: inside is a tarnished silver key that he pockets.

Ungrid can still hear singing, which seems to be coming from the caverns below. No one else can hear it.

Using rope, they abseil down into the caverns, and follow the tunnels to a broken wall that leads in to the tombs below the temple. Ungrid hears the singing from ahead, which suddenly stops as they draw nearer…

End of Session

Kills: 16 giant spiders.

Levelled-Up: Xellos is now a Level 8 Ruinguard (Father of Ruin_), while Calibos has now reached Name-level: he is now a Level 9 Paladin (_Paladin Lord) and the first to claim a domain.

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Yet More Spiders
Session 129

In the aftermath of the fight, the injured party tend to their wounds and loot the dead. They find a chest full of treasure too. Sidni– back to being _invisible_– climbs down into the lower cavern, spots another dark elf and some spiders, and everyone goes down and has another fight: Calibos gets poisoned by a spider, but is saved by Xellos, while Ungrid, Sidni and Halmary finish them off, and Sidni slays the last dark elf. They explore the caverns and find a passage leading deeper into the earth.

They decide to head back to the Black Rose and rest overnight, and in the morning return and descend into the caverns below. They follow the natural tunnels, Sidni scouting ahead invisible, and after several twists and turns, find another tunnel webbed and home to spiders. Slowly the party enter the tunnel, Halmary and Ungrid setting fire to webs; this provokes the giant spiders, and they attack…

End of Session

Kills: 1 dark elf, 5 giant spider.

KO’d: Calibos was poisoned but save by a timely neutralise poison potion.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Session 128

Descending the stairs from the two buildings, the party find themselves in a cellar with a partially collapsed floor, down which is nothing but smoke. Sidni scouts it out first, finds a locked and quiet door, and leads the others down. Ungrid uses his Mountain Sledge hammer to smash open the door, to reveal a pair of dark elves all ready for battle!

Calibos enters the room, only to be repelled by a barrier (Protection from Good), allowing the protected dark elf woman to spider climb away, down into the smoke. Her male companion lets loose with a crossbow, but the quarrel just pings off the paladin’s armour. The dark elf is then swatted by Ungrid’s hammer, and hewn in twain as Xellos leaps over an old table and hacks away with Hewer. Calibos heads after the dark elf, sliding down the slope into the smoke. All is dark and coughy below, and as he feels his way out, he hears a tremendous groaning and sundering of rock; indeed, everyone hears it, as it echoes from below.

As Sidni and Ungrid climb down after him, Calibos walks out of the smoke and finds himself in a cavern with half-a-dozen or so dark elves, men and women, as well as a giant earth elemental standing close enough to strike. The paladin turns on the nearest dark elf instead, wounding him, as Sidni and Ungrid follow him into the cavern. Meanwhile, Halmary and Xellos climb down as well, but before they can join the others, a wall of fire erupts, cutting them off.

In the cavern a flurry of magic missiles strikes Calibos, who then enlarges himself using his magic shield and goes head-to-head with the elemental. One of the dark elf women hastes her allies, and crossbow bolts fly across the open space. The wall of fire is swiftly dispelled, as is the haste on the elemental, and as Halmary and Xellos join the battle, more magic missiles fly through the air, pelting Xellos; the poorly armoured– compared to the rest of the party– Ruinguard finds himself the target of several bolts and swings of swords, as the dark elves realise he is an easier target.

Sidni takes the fight to the dark elves, exchanging blows, as the others concentrate largely on the earth elemental. It proves to be a difficult creature to wound, as its hide is rock-hard and most of their blows bounce off. Halmary scores the first hit, blasting it with a flame strike. Calibos keeps the elemental busy, as Ungrid, Halmary and Xellos take out some of the dark elves. Sidni takes care of her opponent, then goes after the matriarch who seems to be controlling the elemental and is multiplied by rotating mirror images. She takes out one image after another, as the other dark elves fall one-by-one.

The elemental hits and batters the paladin, slowly wearing him down and forcing him to expend healing magic on himself. Xellos tries, unsuccessfully, to disintegrate it, and has to be healed by Halmary as the surviving dark elves concentrate their attacks on him. Then the elemental goes berserk as its control fails; the matriarch blocks Sidni off from her allies as another wall of fire erupts behind her. She continues to take out the mirror images, and despite being struck three times by a dismember spell, the explorer suffers mostly scars as she manages to defeat the last mirror image and hacks the older dark elf down.

Then the elemental, worn down by the combined attacks of the rest of the party, is smashed by a final swing of Calibos’ sword.

Dust settles, and the dark elves are no more.

End of Session

Kills: 1 earth elemental, 9 dark elves.

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Burning the House Down
Session 127

Gathering in the hull of the crashed Spelljammer ship they explore the upper floors, finding bedding where the mind-controlled elves and a metal chair at the front, with manacles attached to the arms. A pit descends below, and they lower an invisible Sidni down; she spots another elf, and quickly knocks him out, squashing the mind-controlling spider beneath her heel. The others follow, then Calibos is lowered down further, into a large cargo-hull room wherein a giant, bloated, 20’tall decaying Neogi sits chained to the hull. Tubes and needles cover its body, pumping fluids into a vat of the mind-controlling spiders, and laboratory equipment occupies most of the room. After a search for anything valuable, they decide the best thing to do is blow it up. As the others exit swiftly, Xellos fires off a fireball, setting alight to the ship and its contents, leaping out just in time as the flames billow out of the windows and hole in the hull.

Leaving the now burning ship behind them, the party head towards the old stone buildings nearer to the forest edge, taking the two unconscious elves they knocked out with them. A trio of spiders attack from webs around the building, and more mind-controlled elves inside are attacked as some of the party move into the smaller of the two buildings: in the larger one, some spell-casting elf starts throwing web spells at those outside, but is temporarily blocked by Xellos and a darkness spell. Outside, spiders are swiftly dispatched, but Halmary, Ungrid and Xellos are caught in the web spell; they set fire to it to escape, and Halmary manages to resist it all thanks to his newly acquired ring of fire resistance; Ungrid takes some burns, but tears free.

In the smaller building, Calibos knocks out an elf and squashes the mind-controlling spider, then takes out another as the others struggle out of their webs. Sidni climbs the roof and skirts the other building, looking for a way in; shooting bolts at the elf inside every time he sees him through the building’s arrow slits. He takes the elf out as he tries to move out of the way, failing. Everyone joins up at the main door of the larger building, bursting in, attacking and quickly dispatching the other elves inside.

Stairs from both buildings lead down, and the party splits up and gets ready to descend into the darkness below.

End of Session

Kills: 3 giant spiders, 5 mind-controlled elves (2 KO’d), 1 mind-controlled spell-casting elf, 1 undead Grand Old Master neogi.

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The Spider in the Woods
Session 126

As the party of five (Phildor has been left behind) hike along the overgrown trail, they cannot fail to notice that the treetops are strewn with cobwebs; webs that grow thicker, spreading outwards, the further they follow the path. Sidni is sent ahead, invisible as is often the case, and she reaches the edge of a clearing and looks out: in the centre is a huge spider-like object, reminiscent of a ship, its legs broken, the hull pierced, lying in a crater. Webs litter the place and spiders– giant ones, naturally– cling and scuttle. Fortunately, none of the spiders seem particularly interested in attacking, by they have spotted the party and appear to be keeping an eye on them. Sidni reports back, then heads further into the clearing, scouting about. Elves– wood elves by the look of them– stand guard in the spider-ship, and after temporarily lending Calibos her ring, the paladin checks them out with a detect evil and decides that they must be mind-controlled: he picks up the same sort of mixed feelings that other mind-controlled minions had.

A plan is formed. Sidni, invisible with a pocketed light coin and a silence coin, heads off to the ship. She climbs up into the ship, alerting the guards to something being amiss as silence falls over them. Inside are more webs and more spiders too. She throws down the light coin, signalling the others to make their move, and gets ready to attack the elves. However, one elf steps away from the silence and takes a whistle to his lips: he blows, high-pitched wail; and as the party begin moving across the clearing, the spiders start coming out of the trees all around them.

Battle is joined.

Outside, the fight against the spiders is definitely one-sided as Ungrid and Calibos slash and smash their way along the clearing, taking out spiders here, there and all over the place. Halmary and Xellos head straight for the spider-ship, climbing on top to reach what turns out to be the access hatch: they cut down a few spiders on the way. Inside is another matter: Sidni finds herself caught between several elves and a few spiders, some crawling up from outside. A failed attempt to push an elf out of the broken hull renders her visible and in danger; but despite being outnumbered, it is only the lucky bite of a spider that manages to wound her and take her out of the fight. Unfortunately, that bite is not only poisonous (Sidni drops unconscious, and starts dying) but it also sends her tumbling out of the ship, a couple dozen feet down to the rough-floored crater below. Halmary sees her fall, and valiantly leaps after her! He suffers a few bruises but rolls to his feet as spiders descend on him. Ignoring their bites– his magic armour is just too sturdy– he chugs a potion down Sidni’s throat, neutralising the posion and bringing her round. Together they take care of the spiders below, as above Ungrid and Calibos reach the ship, having slain most of the spiders. Inside, Xellos drops in, taking out the remaining elves and spiders; he knocks one elf out, for later interrogation.

The dust settles. No more spiders come from the trees. Everyone climbs up into the ship, and stand over the unconscious elf, the mind-control spiders squashed to pulp all around them.

End of Session

Kills: 34 giant spiders, 4 elves, plus one unconscious elf.

KO’d: Sidni, for a few rounds only. She’s better now.

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