The group began at The Dead Nations with Daleria joining them mysteriously (he was imprisoned by The Mercykillers back topside on Sigil during the previous session). Strangely no one asked where he was or how he got there, allowing him to keep his purpose concealed for the time being. With a minor amount of threats and bargaining (when threatening failed) the group decided to leave the city in order to remove the threat of a priestess of Lloth that was causing trouble for the undead.
They left without any type of plan and neglected to buy torches which resulted in half the party being completely blind. Luckily Ricky had bought one earlier despite the fact that he had darkvision, the rest of the party was quite gracious. Upon approaching the cave where the priestess resided the party was beset by three spiders.
The spiders sprang into action and webbed half of the party from a safe distance. Ricky, being webbed, instructed Daleriato use the torch in order to burn the webbing off of him. He did not count on the fire being quite so deadly and the damage from being burned dropped him to -3. The spiders shied away from the fire while still webbing Hannah.
Ricky’s burns were so severe that the hair on his face (nose, eyelashes, eyebrows) were burned away and most of his body suffered from serious burns. Mazrym moved in and put the fire out (of course after a meta-game bargaining session) but did not yet have the time to stabilize him.
After putting the fire out on Ricky the group decided to remain in range of the spiders’ web ability while attempting to come up with a strategy. The group’s decision was to burn the webbing along the ground in hopes that it would catch fire and scare the spiders off while clearing their path of webs. The result was significantly more than they had hoped.
The webbing caught fire and spread across the floor all the way through the cave destroying both the landscape and most of the inhabitants of the cave. The fire burned brightly enough in the dark underground environment that every soul in The Dead Nations were able to witness the blaze.
When Ricky regained consciousness he screamed in agony until able to use an inflict wounds spell to heal the damage done. The magic was soothing, but his body was still heavily scarred and the his lack of hair still quite noticeable.
The group then watched the blaze in anticipation that the occupants would attempt to run out in panic. After waiting a quarter of an hour they decided to investigate. The inside of the caves was burned to a crisp and they encountered the carapace of a few spiders as Mazrym boldly took the lead.
His brazen nature backfired as he encountered a pit trap that dropped 20’ onto a bed of spikes. He fell the entire way and broke both ankles, barely having enough strength to fetch out his wand of Cure Light Wounds. His haste cost him, though the magic was able to ease things, his ankles were still broken at sharp angles and when the crew finally pulled him out they spent another 20 minutes simply trying to set the bones. Ricky and Hannah’s skills proved to be sufficient, but he would need a few days bed rest before his limbs were protected from the risk of re-breaking.
After the minor feat of healing was accomplished, the group decided to return to The Dead Nations. Lodging is a strange thing in The Dead Nations because the undead have no need of sleep, thereby there is a noticeable lack of inns. Being hurt and desperate, Mazrym decided to try his luck and attempt to contact the Archbishop who had equipped and directed him to confront the priestess (though he needed little extra motivation after she stole all of his possessions and sent him webbed back into town riding on a spider).
The Lich (whom no one has yet to ask the name of) was a tad surprised to see Mazrym back so soon. “Well, broken your legs? You’ve turned out to be a poor investment.” His gravely voice croaked. Mazrym pleaded his case, but to no avail. “You won’t find rest here after making so bold a statement of war against the Spider Priestess.” Mazrym’s unbelief was apparent, but the Archbishop explained that it was absolutely impossible to miss the flaming spectacle.
Left with little choice, the Mazrym convinced Hannah to fashion a type of riding basket to her back and allow him the use of his hands at least. Using an Eldritch Blast as a bargaining tool, Mazrym ushered the group back to the cave for his pride and belongings. The group got back into the cave and noticed a set of lights down a path that they had not yet tread. None of them put together the fact that Drow did not need light, but it did not matter because it reminded them that half the party was blind, so they returned to The Dead Nations for supplies.
Upon returning (again) to the cave they found things in a very different order, it seems their quarry had taken the time to remove the bodies and clean the place up a bit in their absence. Armed with the gift of sight Daleria strode forward across the ground they had tread so many times before. This time, however, there was a bit of a surprise waiting for him.
Daleria’s boots snapped a tripwire that triggered the release mechanism for a cleverly concealed wall trap containing a monstrous spider. Thanks in part to his recent stint in the gladatorial arena, Daleria was able to easily dodge away from the spider and prepare to counterattack. Poised and ready, Daleria noticed that there was something a bit odd about his foe. A quick prod with his spear revealed that his adversary was actually a corpse of a previous spider that had been cleaned and anointed with a very rich smelling burial oil.
The situation was quite puzzling to the group and they took the time to discuss matters before continuing on. “Let’s not mess with it, I’ve had my share of surprises for today,” voiced Mazrym. With Daleria again on point they decided to investigate the area in which they noticed a light previously.
The cramped corridor had obviously been swept in the time they were gone and they followed the hall until it took a sharp turn to the right. Not necessarily wanting to expose themselves to any more unnecessary danger Daleria used his spear to prod the area in front of him before continuing on. His prudence, though certainly clever, did not produce any results and the group was able to continue on until the hall took a sharp turn to the right. After a minor discussion as to who would be the brave soul that turned the corner first Ricky took hold of his weapon and turned the corner to come face to face with a large wardrobe.
With things growing stranger by the minute, the group quickly checked the area for traps before even thinking about opening the oddly placed furniture. Finding nothing remiss their attention turned to the Ornately designed and masterfully carved dark wooden bureau. With no one obviously wanting to open it directly, Daleria tied a bit of rope onto it and they all turned the corner to pull it open. Following such precaution Daleria dared to take a glance at the ghastly horrors that lie within it.
From top to bottom the closet was filled with hanging clothes! The group proceeded to investigate the contents via detect magic and other means, but it would seem that the clothes were quite mundane. Daleria decided that there certainly had to be a reason for the wardrobe to be placed so deliberately and decided to move it to see if there was a hidden space behind it. His hunch turned out to be correct and after just a tiny bit of moving the furniture was knocked over (trapping Daleria inside) by the bodies of several spiders.
Trapped inside with the door facing the ground Daleria had no choice but to wait for his friends to uncover him. Midway through the endeavor, the group began to hear rather beautiful music and all but Ricky stopped what they were doing in order to listen. Ricky’s faith training had made his mind incredible strong against bewilderment and he quickly assumed something was wrong with his teammates. Looking back around the corner he noticed a living spider carrying something stuck to its back with webbing, he immediately proceeded to smash the remaining spiders off of the wardrobe and righted it. To his dismay Daleria was also affected by the song and seemed oblivious to the world around him.
When it abruptly stopped, those affected simply spoke about how great the music was for a few rounds while Ricky poked his head back around the corner. There was now a large amount of burning liquid spreading down the corridor toward them, prompting him to run back to where the wardrobe was and realize they were trapped in a dead end. Thinking on his feet Ricky quickly pulled out the pitons from his climbing kit and affixed two of them in the area where the spider bodies were once concealed. This allowed him to perch while the fire reached the rest of the party.
The burning flames quickly brought the party back to their senses, albeit in a state of panic. Few were spared from the initial flames as the oil spread to the party’s location. Daleria immediately dove back into the wardrobe and closed the doors while Hannah and Mazrym attempted to climb on top of it.
The fire and heat got to Daleria and he fell out of the wardrobe and ignited prompting Hannah and Mazrym to take his spot in the closet and Ricky to ignore personal risk and jump down to extinguish the blaze on his partner.
After the flames died down, the hauntingly beautiful song started up again and Ricky was once more the only one to be immune to its charms. He did try to bluff that he was under the effects which prompted the drow to take a closer look and move out of her obscuring mist, but she saw through his ruse and hit him with a Drow poisoned arrow, thereby rendering him unconscious. Mazrym hit her with an eldritch blast that had been infused with mortalbane (a feat that adds 2d6 to an attack against any living creature 5x/day). She took the blast and countered by throwing an inhaled poison down that engulfed them and the rest of the party. Mazrym lost consciousness along with the rest of the party.
They awoke some time later wrapped up in spider silk cocoons attached to the backs of medium sized spiders. The priestess had stripped them of their belongings and they hung injured poised above a rushing waterfall that stretched on into the darkness. The four were covered from head to toe leaving only their eyes exposed so that they could see the fate that awaited them.
“Though you succeeded in delivering my message, you also destroyed my home, my pets, and MY ALTAR!” the priestess fumed. She angrily mused to herself and began pacing, “you’ve cost me much so consider this to be my final parting gift.” She paused following that sentence and raised her arm as if to command the spiders to leap to their death with the party in tow but suddenly an epiphany crept across her face.
“Though I am yet faithful,” she stated, digging furiously in her belongings. She produced a small cup with bones in it, began burning incense and cast a divine spell which Mazrym identified as Augury. Her eyes looked with crazed anticipation into the cup that would determine the fate of the party. Only the briefest hint of surprise played across her face before she hurled the bowl and its contents into the water below.
“Well then,” she said with a distinct tone of exhaustion making its way through her body, “onward.” She then ushered the spiders onward up a slope and through more caverns. After what felt an eternity, she activated a portal at the edge of a cliff and the party was ushered through. What greeted them on the other side was nearly as opposite as an environment could get from their previous location.
They were in a beautiful forest with lush gren leaves and healthy grass as far as the eye could see, broken only by places where roots or small plants had grown out of the soil. Deliberately without making eye contact with any of the party, she removed them from the spiders and left them to die on the grass wrapped up and weakened by their trappings.
Hoebagger’s observation: “They would not have survived to tell the tale had Juhlang Aste not failed at her augury, she was never very skilled at divining, her talents lay in….other areas”