Grand Duchy 94

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 94
July 2-19, 2016

Discussing Extermination Tactics

Soldain 3rd Klarmont

Searching the Spider's Lair

The remaining Rhagodessa was tracked and defeated easily while Kifein escorted the wounded warrior back to the encampment. After the beast is dead, Griffin notes that it appears to have been heading back to its lair and after a short while, the Grey Company finds itself standing under a rocky outcropping with what looks like a small cave opening directly above their heads about 20 feet up. Griffin thinks he could climb up to that height, but doing the 10 feet of vertical climb from the rock face out to where the lair was would be quite difficult without the proper equipment. Magic will be the best and safest way to get up there, though all the mages have nearly tapped out their magical reserves. Draven reminds everyone that he has his Boots of Levitation that will allow him to float up to the cave mouth.

Remar, his spell only good for another 20 heartbeats or so before it’ll need to be renewed, looks around as he floats over to and above Griffin.  “Hey Griff.  Remind me what you’re wanting to do in a spider’s nest again?  Do you think there’s treasure in there?  Should I renew my flight spell, which takes less out of me then starting it back up from scratch, or land?
Iris hefts her loaded crossbow and looks at Griffin, “I’m willing to use this, but I’m essentially exhausted, magically speaking.  I would prefer to regroup after an extended rest...unless Remar can perform another dynamic fire display, like the last one.” She turns to Remar and says a bit quieter, “That really was quite impressive!”

Even in the dim lighting, the Alphatian’s fiery blush can be seen floating above the party.  “Thank you Iris.  I...I can do much more, but as you said, maybe a rest would be most prudent before rushing in at this point.  I’m not sure if pressing the attack when not at the advantage given these details is wise.  Do you agree Griffin?”  Remar wonders if his silent friend is lost in thought or in the grips of psyching himself up to potentially climb into a nest full of giant spiders.

The group decides that a rest would be the best course of action at this point. They find a spot not far from the spider lair and everyone sits down to regain some energy. Thirty minutes go by and there is no activity coming or going at the spider’s cave. Ree and Iris are still somewhat worn out from their previous spellcasting endeavors but everyone else is refreshed.

“Okay, hopefully everyone has managed to catch their breath a bit. I’d still like to check out the lair. Bring a torch or something in case there are eggs or,” and he shudders, “babies. If there’s loot, great, but I see this as more of a ‘making sure our new friends are safe from this threat.’”

“Ooooooohhhhhaaaaawwwwww.”  Unsuccessfully trying to stifle a yawn while stretching and trying to acknowledge this line of logic, the raven-haired mage nods an apology at Griffin for his mouth-agape response.  “If we aren’t really thinking there is treasure and we just want to make quick work of this one nest as a gesture...mind you, if there is one nest of these there are probably a bunch more the Hutaakan will still have to worry about...do you want me to just fill the nest with fire?  Aim it on in from the outside and let loose before attempting to crawl on in there?”

Draven nods, looking up at the dark hole in the rock. “Yes, that would be one way to do it. How would you know how much fire to send up there though? Just guess and send up a little more just in case? I say do it, light ‘em up!”

He has a good point ya know?

Yep.  But I know fire.
“Well...I think there are two approaches.

Option 1 - Magic fire:  Fast option.  Varied results.  Doesn’t need air or fuel.  I can just keep expanding it until it fills the full volume of the place.  We’ll know it has if and when we see fire coming out from other parts or pushing back out this hole...not to mention the potential of giant flaming spiders rushing out.”  Remar gives a bearded smile.

Option 2 - Real fire:  Slow option.  Definite burnination.  Needs fuels...wood and dry grass and such and thermodynamics.  We’d need to stack some wood in there and start a fire.  Once started, we’d need to see where else any smoke comes out.  If we’re lucky, we’ll see it coming from another entrance like this and note it.  Then we’d start adding a lot of dry grass ahead of this fire in this hole...oh and fine grain or sawdust if we have it.  After that, we really start to feed and stoke this fire with wood.  The hot air from it will exit through to the other entrance or exit.  This will cause a suction that will draw fresh air in through here, further stoking the fire.  This will ignite the other lighter fuels, like the twigs, grasses, grains, and sawdust and carry it toward the other entrance.  This will then in turn, quickly walk the fire all the way through the place, bringing in plenty of fresh air for combustion.  And then, a cycle develops:  The hotter the fire gets, the more air is drawn down into the fire pit – making the fire hotter, and hotter, and hotter.  Depending on what this place is made out of, it can turn it into something like a smelter.”

Well done.

Well...thank you!

Na...ya misunderstan’ meh.  I like em well-done!

He clears his throat and then continues excitedly.  “So, a couple minutes with option 1 and a few hours with option 2 assuming we can get all the right resources.  But hey, we are on the plain so plenty of those right?  I’d really like to do Option 2.”

The Alphatian looks around at the staring faces.

“S...s...so, the reason I like option 2 is that, well...as I mentioned above there are likely more of these the Hutaakan will have to deal with.  If we are truly looking to help them and be allies, we could show them how to do option 2 themselves and they can handle the other imminent spider nests.”

Griffin shakes his head and whistles. “Whew, I knew you liked fire, but… whoa. That sounds pretty effective.” He frowns. “And I know I said that this was primarily to remove the spider threat for our new friends, and not for the loot.” He pauses, “But if there were loot, would there be any left after either option? Seems like it’d be a shame is all I’m saying.”

Remar thinks a moment and then asks. “What do you consider loot in this case Griffin?  Magical things?  I like magical things.  I’m not sure as to the likelihood of finding something like that in a spider’s den though, but yeah maybe these Hutaakan have such things, right?

“And as you already know,” Remar blushes a little, “I do like silver, gold, and the like as well.  The thing about those metals, along with iron (though you can get it hotter with iron) is that they soften in a smelter, but not as fast as slag.  Any impure stuff like slag will melt first and then head for the low points like run-off.  The precious stuff would soften, and potentially lump all together, but still be salvageable for it’s raw value I’d think.”    He flashes another smile.  “The things we learn when forced to artificially stoke fires for desperate army smiths, eh?”

“Maybe we can sorta do both though?  Less fire, more infiltration for this one if that’s your idea Griffin, and then I can show these people how to burn them out like I was explaining?  Of course any loot in those nests would end up with that same melty fate...”

Griffin nods. “Good to know. So the precious metals, if there are any, might not melt and run together. If they did, depending on the ratios, we could get something mostly gold, or possibly something more like electrum. And anything valuable that is not metal is pretty much toast, though. So I guess we have to weigh the risks versus the rewards. Option 1 sounds like really low risk, in return for probably low reward. Option 2 - roughly the same. Option 3 - more discerning, probably much less safe, and even though likely just as unprofitable, has a slim chance of reaping greater benefits than Options 1 or 2.”

“I’d find it hard to argue against burning the creatures out proactively.”  Draven raises his hand ceremoniously and continues.  “Should there be valuables among the remains of the spiders’ victims, let those be buried with them, and these caverns become their pyres.”

“What if someone is still alive in there? The victims, I mean,” Iris says.  “Perhaps we should do a bit of infiltration, just to be sure. They were dragging the Hutaakan warrior back to their nest, still living.”

“Hmmm.  I’d think spiders like these would just hunt when their stores are empty.  I don’t see them keeping larders per say.” Remar adds.  “Besides, though they’ll obviously grab a Hutaakan, I’d have to hope that most of their meals are animals, large insects, and other spiders just smaller than themselves.  Iris and Draven, are either of you able to tell if anything humanoid-like is alive in there through the rocks?  Can you check if that Hutaakan priestess can?  If not...I still vote we get things set up for a crab-bake unless Griffin really wants to go in there.”

“I am indeed blessed to have been given the gift of seeing the fire of life, but like all things the Immortals demand a price for it.  Still, I would spare us the risk of going into the warren if I might.”  Draven gazes on the spider-nest, considering it’s size.

Griffin listens to his team, then thinks for a minute. “Okay, Remar, why don’t you show the Hutaakans how we do things downtown. Go Option 1.”

“While he does that, I can check for life within the nest - it should not prove too terribly taxing.”

With a confused look on his face Remar scratches his chin.  “But Griffin,  there’s nothing to show them with Option 1:  Magic Fire.  I just sort of...well...just do it.  Did you mean for me to show them Option 2 down in their town...wherever that is...so that they can clear out all the many giant spider nests and effectively defend themselves against them in the future?”

Remar winks at Griffin and glances hopefully at Iris.  “If you really meant Option 2 Griffin, perhaps I could *ehem* borrow...um...someone who I can speak through that has a better command of the languages they understand than I do, and that isn’t busy with something at the moment?  I mean, I don’t know who of our company would be interested in taking on the burden of the rigorous cultural exchange necessary to communicate the mechanics of what I describe, all the while fine-tuning their cultural understandings of this ancient race...”

Iris involuntarily rolls her eyes, chuckles, and says, “Of course I'd be happy to translate, Remar. No need to fluff my ego.” She smirks.

Draven takes a step away from his friends, facing the spider nest and bowing his head. He murmurs a prayer to the Twelve, and to Tarastia in particular to open his sight to the life energies around him.  He raises his head, and there is the familiar sense of presence, of attention, as something larger than all of them seems to turn it’s attention their way for just an instant. Draven stares at the nest, eyes dimly lit from within.  After a moment, he bows his head again, a joyous smile briefly flitting across his stern face as he lets go his gift and allows the vision to fade.  He murmurs a prayer of thanks to Tarastia, and glances back to the others.  

“We may proceed.” he says “there is no thinking life within the... “ his words falter as Remar breaks in.

Before Griffin can further clarify, the Alphatian takes Iris’ hand and trots off in the direction of the Hutaakan priestess.  “Yeah, that’s great Draven!  This way, Iris, this way!”

The young cleric looks wryly at Griffin, grinning and shrugging his shoulders as if to say ‘well, what can you do…?’ as The Remar leads Iris away.

Griffin, Draven and Ree all take a seat and relax on the side of the valley, keeping an eye on the spider lair.

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 Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


  1. one comment on the magic fire;
    example fireball is 20'radius fireball on explosion after being a diretional arrow before.
    If the area is however limited in space, the blast will be forced to expand the available space until the same volume is taken. As thus it is dangerous to blast a fireball within a 10'wide and high corridor and expecting the fireball affecting only 20'of the corridor in either direction of the explosion site. In this example the blast wouls roughly stretch out to encompass 42'of the corridor in either way from the explosion site. Of course a mage could adjust this by limiting the blast (decreasing its effects) on a succesfull int check, but it would thus also affect the damage done.

    Keep also in mind that magic fire (like any fire) consumes oxigen(aka breathable air) which would cause either a draft towards the fire or a depletion of air to breath depending on the power of the Fireball (HD).

    A lightning bolt might be much safer underground than fire weapons/magic. first it can be directed to start from any location in range and directed to a target, secondly it consumes much less air and less contra effects in confined space....although it can bounce at solid surfaces (losing 1 HD) until it reaches the end of its bolt range (60')

    Further very nice part this time ;P

    1. All very true and important physics to remember when playing DnD. In GURPS, fireballs do not explode in a 20' radius, but is simply a fist sized ball of fire that impacts and does burning damage (there ARE exploding fireballs, but not as commonly used) The fire magic that our characters were discussing was more along the lines of Create Fire, just magically causing fire to appear somewhere it shouldn't normally and burn without the need for fuel (for the duration of the spell at least)
      Thank you for reading and commenting. It is nice to know folks continue to do so. I like writing and sharing them, but sometimes feel it's too much work. Finding out people are reading and analyzing them makes it worth it! Thank you again!