June 16-28, 2016
Going on a Spider Hunt
Soladain 3 Klarmont
Camping with the Mutts
|Camping by the stream|
It is dark and still hot when the group arrives in the same location as the previous night. Quickly and efficiently the Grey Company and the Hutaakans begin to set up camp. Seemingly very trusting, the Hutaakans have given everyone back their weapons and give no indication that they are worried about treachery from their new traveling companions. Everyone pitches in and helps set up camp and though still a bit awkward, the Hutaakans are polite and gracious. Hoping to stave off another undead encounter, Remar is just about ready to cast his Mystic Mist spell over the entire area when two Hutaakan soldiers rush up in a panic. They are speaking very fast and in Hutaakan. One of the two minor priests, a female named Kifein, speaks to the warriors and they rush off. She turns to the gathered group. “It is as we feared, the hunter-spiders have come down the slope and attacked us. They are large, bigger than a riding lizard and with many legs. The Rhagodessa, it is called in our tongue. A pair of them assaulted one of our scout groups and carried off a warrior. We must move fast if we are to save him. Please excuse me.” She turns to head off.
Draven frowns, taking an unconscious couple of steps following Kifein before realizing what he’s done and stopping to look after the rest of the group.
“They seem in need; helping would both illuminate our souls and serve to reinforce our alliance, temporary though it may be. Shall we help?”
Previously resolved to unloading a lot of magical energy, the battlemage is now unsure if he should continue and seems to look a little pent-up. “Uh, well yeah. These Hutaakan at least seem good. I’d probably help them even if not actively trying to get on their good side. I mean, if Griffin is OK with it. I could magic-up some flight for those like me that would rather stay at range when dealing with a sizable arachnid when we get closer.”
Rack-nid? Is tha’ sum sorta magic spell-word?
He then seems to add off to the side, “It means spider, silly.”
Ya know suma them leap, right? All tha many, grippy legs, and nasty, drippy fangs. And I hate it when ya walk inta those iky strands of web…”
And then adds again, “Oh good point,” and turns back to the others in the company. “Some spiders do jump, and if these are of that species and huge they may be able to jump high...flying up a little ways rather than lower for a flaming, straff, bombardment may be safer too. Anyway, I’d much rather do that sort of magic than a mystic mist.”
Why stop at one or tha otha?
Remar snaps his fingers and looks excited. “Yeah, right, right! I could always rest up a little bit when we get back to still do a mist if I get too spent.” He beams at everyone.
Iris seems about to answer Draven when Remar jumps in. She watches him and her brows furrow as he begins to mumble (to himself?) when not directly addressing the group. Good point about that fly spell though. Guh, I don’t even like your everyday spider. Iris clears her throat and says, “I believe we should help. They’ve shown us great trust by returning our weapons and apparently doing nothing to stop those of us with access to magic from using it.” And if this is a test...well...I’m certain that not helping would be considered a solid failure by our Hutaakan hosts. No need to mention that, though. “Remar, I very much appreciate your offer of flight, though I am able to create that for myself,” she ends with a half-smile.
Griffin grabs his crossbow and cocks it while he looks around the camp. “Well, okay then. Marcel, Stephan, stay here with the Hutaakan non-coms. We’ll follow Kifein, see what we can do to help.” He thinks for a while. “Remar, Iris, if you’re going to fly, I know it takes a lot out of you. Let’s get closer before you start doing that stuff.”
Draven hefts his shield and murmurs a quiet prayer, then turns to follow Kifein with Griffin, Iris, and Remar.
“Draven. You seem to be able to communicate with them.” Remar jerks his thumb in the direction of the jackal-people. “Could you ask them for more details on these giant spiders? Do you know if they spin webs, live in trees, cliffs, or crevices, if they have any weaknesses, where the spiders are generally found when not ambushing prey, where the spiders take prey once they have it, etc. Based on what they say, I might be able to narrow down where they went.”
Draven translates in Traldar for Remar and the young mage realizes that he is beginning to pick up some of the words and basic ideas of the language. Kifein relates that the Rhagodessa are not web spinners, but hunters and jumpers. They prefer to live up in the rocky crags around the lip of the valley and only occasionally come down into the valley. They are believed to normally feed off the hardy mountain goats that populate the area and are sometimes known to drag off their kills. Other than that, the Hutaakan do not know much else about the large and aggressive creatures.
The gathered members of the Grey Company head off into the darkness after Kifein. The various enchanted items of the Company illuminate the rocky ground in the darkened valley. She leads the way up the slope toward where some torch lights can be seen moving along a ridge.
After a few minutes, two of the Hutaakan warriors approach. One of them gives a slight bow to Kifein then gives her a report. She turns to the Company and translates. “They followed some tracks and blood but have lost the trail in this area. The Rhagodessa are insects, but dangerous and tricky. When they hunt in pairs, they work together. If the warrior was not killed immediately, he may still be alive. They would drag him to a safe place to feed or possibly hide his body somewhere then come back for him later.”
She says a few things to the warrior Hutaakan and the pair of them rush off up the slope into the darkness. “It looks like that end of the ridge full of searchers. We can search along this end if you will help me,” she asks in her heavily accented Traldar.
“I’m no tracker” the young priest says “but should we get close enough, it may be that the divines will show me where your man is - and, at great need, I can petition that they might lend me the gift of prophecy, that I might see where he lies wherever he may be. If nothing else, I am another set of keen eyes.”
“Let me give it a go first, Brother. Let’s see if Eran’s lessons rubbed off on me.” Griffin begins scanning the ground for any trail sign. “Remar, keep your eyes up. If they’re like spiders, they could try and ambush us from above.” And Draven, let’s go with mundane solutions when we can. Save your miracles for saving our lives!
“Sure thing Griffin!” the Alphatian replies and he begins to really scrutinize his surroundings for any sign or clues that could indicate large spiders were here, where they may have gone...and if they are sneaking up on them right now!
On the Trail
After about a half an hour of searching, through a combination of Remar’s conclusions about giant arachnid behavior, Draven and Iris’s keen observations and Griffin’s tracking skills, the Company believes they have tracked the spiders and their prey to a dark rocky ravine. A painful moan can be heard echoing out of the ravine. Kifein’s ears perk up and her black eyes narrow in the darkness. “That sounds like my warrior, he is still alive. How shall we proceed?” The ground is very broken and rocky around the entrance to the ravine. A dead tree lays across the entrance, forming a sort of bridge from one side of the ravine to the other. The entrance itself is about 4 yards wide at the top, but only 2 yards at best at the bottom. Small bits of vegetation and rocky crags form a partial canopy above the top of the ravine. Access from above by flying individuals will be possible, but not completely easy. Approaching from the sides, over the steep and broken terrain would be possible but slow and dangerous, especially in the dark.
“Everyone, I’m going to toss some rocks in there in obvious directions, so we can hear what the echoes sound like. Listen and see if using that, you can tell where the warrior’s moans are coming from.”
Closing his eyes and listening, Remar tries to determine where in the ravine the injured warrior’s moans are coming from. In order to help with this, he tosses a few stones in different parts of the crevasse to hone in on how their echos are treated from the locations they land and compare it to the Hutaukan’s sounds.
“Has anyone heard of or dealt with creatures like this before? Will flame keep them at bay? I don’t like normal spiders; the idea of giant varieties is disheartening. Clearly theImmortals want to ensure our lives are interesting and challenging,” Draven asks nervously.
Cast of Characters:Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard
Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer with help from +Patrick Burke
Remar Umerus, an Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly
Iris Varda, a Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly
and +Jason Woollard as The DM