Once again, The Seekers of the Shattered Isle found themselves sailing aboard the Albatross. This time, it was Oris 26th, 252 AE and their journey was leading them to Verland in pursuit of the Creed’s revelation from the Oracle for his part in saving the citizens of Agon from a deadly bloodlung outbreak.
After they had been at seas a few days, a fierce storm rolled in. The storm didn’t seem to bother Captain Pollock, who expertly steered the Albatross through the storm with a smile on his face. He kept that smile even as he had to send the Seekers into the stern cabin for shelter.
The Seekers were still in the cabin when they heard a crewman shout, “Land Ho!” moments before the ship crashed into a large structure of coral that ripped a large hole in Albatross’s hull. Rykson barely managed to escape the cabin before wooden debris from the ship fell in front of the doorway, blocking it. But, he was able to quickly escape the sinking ship by jumping across some debris in the water to another coral formation sticking up and out of the water. Viktor’s reaction was lightning-quick. He tumbled out of the cabin and grabbed a long rope that was swinging from the mast. He used the rope to swing out over the water to the safety of the shore, landing on his feet so expertly that a cat would have been jealous. Creed, Moradin and Tudor didn’t fare so well. They were stuck in the cabin and the Albatross was taking on water.
Creed seemed unfazed by the crash and was the first to recover. He gently nudged the dwarf out of the way and smashed one of the boards blocking the doorway. Working together, the three of them managed to remove enough of the debris in a short enough amount of time to safely abandon ship, putting them on the large rock into which they crashed. From the rock, they could see that Viktor had already made it ashore. They could also see Rykson, who was standing atop another large rock about 80 feet away.
The Seekers couldn’t swim through the water because it was full of clouds of stinging jellyfish and freezing waters. Tudor managed to craft a crude raft from some of the ship’s debris then overconfidently set off across the lagoon towards the shore. The young wizard almost made it across the lagoon in the raft he built, but about halfway across, a large wave capsized the tiny make-shift raft, tossing him into the frigid waters and taking his breath away.
But the cold was not as dangerous as the jelly fish. The cloud of jelly fish began stinging Tudor as soon as he fell into their midst. The poison delivered by the jellyfish’s nematocysts, the fastest cellular process in nature, slowly began to paralyze Tudor. Luckily, Creed had given his Ring of Underwater Breathing to Tudor, who let himself sink below the cloud of jellyfish and away from their stings.
Meanwhile, Moradin and Creed were unsuccessfully trying to catch Tudor’s raft with a grappling hook. Since that wasn’t working and since Tudor appeared to be getting out of trouble, Creed turned his attention towards Rykson, raised his hands towards Iynmar, took hold of the power there and created a bridge over the water for the little Halfling to cross. The three of them created another raft and were able to safely cross to the island where Viktor was making crude gestures at Tudor…who had finally made it to shore only to become completely paralyzed by the jellyfish’s secondary poisonous effect.
Tudor was paralyzed for the rest of the day because he took so much ability damage. However, his mental faculties were still functioning and he realized that the uprooted trees were all pointing towards the northeast due to some kind of blast. He was paralyzed, so he couldn’t look around to investigate or even tell anyone else. So he just stayed where he was for the rest of the day.
While everyone else was busy fumbling with crossing the lagoon, Viktor decided to investigate the beach for a bit. While investigating the area, he came across the gutted body of one of the crew members. Seeing the dead body took some of his adventurous spirit away, so he came back to beach.
As everyone was standing around Tudor, making fun of him for not being able to move, someone screamed from a ways off. It was a blood-curdling and desperate scream. Everyone wanted to go to the rescue, but Tudor couldn’t move. Creed tried to keep the party from splitting up – tried to convince them to stay with the paralyzed wizard, but Rykson and Viktor raced off to help. Creed and Moradin did the only thing they could do – stay behind and watch over Tudor.
At the top of a hill about 500’ away, Rykson and Viktor found Wry, one of the Albatross’s crew members, hanging impaled from a large branch of a tree. Not seeing any immediate danger, Rykson started back towards the rest of the group. Before he even turned all the way around, a very large spider, nearly 10’ across, jumped out at him and let out a very human-sounding scream. It was the same scream that had brought them there.
The Screaming Spider
(I humbly submit this as the name of our inn, if we open one.)
Rykson had never heard of such a creature and neither he nor Viktor wanted to stick around to learn about it firsthand, so they ran. After all, it was a huge, poisonous, screaming freak of a spider. Tudor would have run away too. The spider didn’t let them run though. The ground was very muddy and slick, which slowed them down but didn’t affect the spider. The spider very quickly and easily closed on them.
Moradin heard the screams and started to run up the muddy, slick hill in hopes of joining the fray. He ran and he ran. And he ran. And he ran some more. The effect was similar to a gerbil running inside a wheel – a lot of running and no progress.
As soon as the spider closed on Rykson, Viktor turned and hit the spider with one of his throwing daggers, which impacted with a satisfactory thud. It didn’t even distract the spider, though, which quickly drew two lines of blood across Rykson’s chest with two of its legs and used its other legs to start pulling him close to its huge poisonous fangs. Before the spider could get him all the way to its jaws, Rykson swung his morphing hammer at it. He missed. Luckily, the spider accidentally dropped the little bite-sized Halfling. Seizing the moment, Viktor quickly moved in behind the spider and lunged forward with his rapier to catch the spider in a vital spot. He missed too.
Moradin kept running up the muddy hill.
The spider clawed Rykson again, drawing a line of blood across his belly and also clawed at Viktor who had now also become a threat…or food. The spider missed Viktor with its leg, but it still managed to grab the 30 pound Halfling and bite him. The bite wasn’t particularly painful but the poison drained the life from him. Rykson knew that he was not going to get away because there was no resisting that poison, so he plead with Viktor to run while he still could.
Viktor would not leave Rykson behind though and managed to drive his rapier deep into the spider’s hide, puncturing a critical spot in the spider’s body. The spider immediately dropped Rykson and turned on Viktor so fast, that it tore a wound into his thigh and swept him off his feet before he could react. Then it started pulling him in towards his fangs.
Kongo quickly joined Rykson and they attacked the spider. Rykson managed to hit the spider, but Kongo missed.
Trying to get away from the Halfling and its huge dog, the spider retreated with Viktor still in its grasp. It injected the shadowy half-elf with its poison, draining him of his health. It didn’t get away before Rykson and Kongo both managed to land blows.
The poison finally sapped Viktor of all life and he quit struggling and fell unconscious. Rykson and Kongo fought the spider for what seemed hours. The fight got desperate and Rykson wasn’t sure that he was going to survive but he could not leave Viktor, who had not left him.
Moradin finally managed to get to within crossbow range of the spider and got one shot off before the end of the battle. He missed. The final blow of the battle came when Rykson smashed a large hole in the spider’s body as the spider tried to move away.
Creed managed to carry Tudor up the hill to join the rest. He healed the group as best he could, but the group was so injured that they were going to need to rest for a day or two before they could journey away.
The Seekers moved away from the site and set up camp. That night, they smelled wood smoke, so Rykson climbed a tree to get a better vantage and saw a huge bonfire off to the west. They hoped that it was some other survivors, but they would wait until the next morning to find out.
The next morning, they spent a few hours walking over to where they saw the bonfire. Before they got all the way up to the spot, Tudor turned himself and Viktor invisible. Viktor then moved silently up to the bonfire area. Once there, he found a giant spider. This spider was easily the size of a wagon, had green glowing legs and human-like eyes and was waiting to ambush the party. Luckily, Viktor managed to spoil the spider’s surprise.
Moradin had been so disappointed that he missed out on the last fight and had been thinking about that all morning. Now he was ready for a fight. He was so ready that he was the first to react to Viktor’s warning. He fumbled out his crossbow and fired a bolt at the spider. He missed. Chaplain Creed was the next to react and he called upon Iynmar’s power to bless the Seekers. Taking advantage of Iynmar’s blessing, Rykson sank an arrow into the spider’s side.
The spider fired back, hitting the dwarven knight with long strands of strong webbing. The webbing was tough and cut at the exposed parts of his body. The spider used the web to pull the normally stout dwarf off his feet and within biting range. Luckily, the spider’s fangs didn’t penetrate his tough armor.
Tudor was still invisible, but his companions could hear him chanting. His chant sounded almost soothing as if to let you know that he is a friend.
Viktor used his invisibility to move-in and stab the spider with his rapier in a very vital spot. By this time, Moradin had been pulled close enough to the spider that he could hit it with his psionically charged axe, which he did. However, the spider was covered in spines, which he had to go through in order to get to the spider’s body. These spines were damaging and they hurt Moradin. Creed moved in and hit the spider with his warhammer and also got hurt by the spider’s spines.
Rykson, sitting atop Kongo, charged in with his lance and hit the spider staggering it and causing it to withdraw. As it tried to move away, Viktor hit it again. Tudor’s chanting ended signaling the summoning of Deesul, who appeared as a celestial wolf this time. Deesul bit into the spider’s leg and held while Tudor sent two magical energy darts from his hand which nearly finished off the spider.
Being too far away from the spider to hit it with his axe, Moradin stared at the spider and thought mean thoughts at the spider. The spider didn’t seem to care. Rykson quickly took out his sling and shot the spider with a bullet.
The spider jumped over to the dwarf and bit him. Its poison made the dwarf’s short legs move a little bit slower. Deesul followed and moved in to flank the spider opposite Moradin and bit at the spider, but he missed. Before the spider could get out of the flank and away from the Seekers, Tudor transposed Viktor and Deesul, putting Viktor into position to finish the spider off with a well-placed stab that went all the way through its spindle and into its guts.
After the fight, the Seekers searched the area. They noticed that something large had dragged the trees over to make the bonfire, but they were not able to figure out with certainty what could have done it. As they were searching the area for signs of who or what had made the bonfire, Viktor found some large dark shapes in the water below where the spider had appeared. The knight, who was feeling sluggish from the spider’s poison, was feeling frightened that the shadows were more spiders or something worse. His fear rubbed off on the rest of the party who then didn’t figure out that the shapes were sunken boats until the morning.
They searched the sunken ships – using the ring of water breathing to make it easier. They found 500 gold pieces, some empty barrels marked “Dark Bounty Vineyards”, a 250 gold piece black pearl, an ivory bust of a mermaid, a suit of reddish-hued chainmail that had a medicinal smell to it, a vial of golden liquid and a tiny golden spindle dangling from a string.
Creed said some words and waved his hand across the treasure causing the chainmail and spindle to give off auras of conjuration and transmutation, respectively. The group determined that the potion could be used to enhance their weapons. It was called oil of greater magic weapon. Rykson took the vial. He would be able to put it to good use on his lance.
Crazy Chaplain Creed just started wearing the spindle.
The Seekers set up camp there for the night. It was late and they truly needed the rest. In the morning, Tudor was able to more closely study the chainmail and with the aid of his magic, he identified it as styptic chainmail – a very amazing find. Tudor’s spell consumed the black pearl that they had found.
After breakfast, the Seekers continued down the island, determined to find some civilization or survivors. After a while, they came to the ruins of what appeared to be a one-room house. Finally, a sign of civilization! Viktor and Moradin went into what was left of the house and searched around, finding a little box behind a brick in the chimney. Viktor picked the lock on the box and gave Moradin a quick glance before he opened it.
The box burst into white flames searing Moradin’s face and singeing much of his beard, but the flames did not hurt the good-hearted Viktor. The ruins of a book titled, “Merkallen’s Spiritual Journeys” lay inside the box. The pages had been shredded by the explosion. However, they were able to find some sentences:
dipped the clay into the running water and it dissolved
the waters of time will wash the evils away
I knew what he said was true
at times I miss my family and the forests of Lhathalon
hordes had penetrated the barriers
a star would fall from the sky
I prayed and found peace
I questioned faith
he came down from the hill and spoke to me
came to this island to seek answers
holy avatar of Allod
abandoned the other races
he came as our savior clad in mystical metal but betrayed us to the hordes
One God bless us, your forgotten children, and save us from the evil of our creation
elders assembled and unwove the Tapestry
said we had been created so
he brought me to the headwaters of the creek on the hill
he said water was life and washes away evil
I carved more of the vault on the hill and the creek was high
finished the basin and blessed the waters
his name was Jezerah
began work on the seal
he said tomorrow I would die
lead us to Your grace and guide us with Your wisdom
molded a piece of clay into the visage of a man
Rykson and Tudor took turns studying the pieces of paper because they knew that anything guarded by an explosive trap must be important. They were able to piece together some story about an elf named Merkallen who left his home for solitude, apparently. His book was titled “Merkallen’s Spiritual Journeys”.
They also found the charred skeletal remains of whom they believed to be Merkallen. He was holding an Araphm – a holy symbol of Allad. Interestingly enough, the Araphm was not charred. Creed tried to pick up the Araphm, but he couldn’t. Only those whose moral fiber aligned with that of Allad could pick up the Araphm – so Viktor, the rogue, picked it up.
While the Seekers were searching around the broken-down structure, a spider approached that was so large it could step over the ruins of the house without breaking stride. Tudor immediately turned himself and Creed invisible. The spider stopped as if it heard Tudor cast his spell, so the Seekers stood perfectly still inside the structure. They tried so hard to remain silent, but both Creed and Viktor lost their footing on rubble from a collapsed wall and made some noise that attracted the colossal spider.
The Seekers were rightfully scared of the spider. After all, they were merely morsels for such a beast. So they all stayed as still and quiet as they could. Tudor remembered that Rykson had once shot a sling bullet to distract an alien-looking wasp, so he reached down, picked up a rock and threw it.
Guilder – the God of Spiders
Tudor overestimated himself and barely threw the rock 20 feet. It definitely got the spider’s attention though, just not where they wanted it. Creed followed up by reciting a short praying which gave the Seekers Iynmar’s blessing. Rykson fired an arrow at the spider, but the arrow reflected off of one of the spider’s thick hairs.
Moradin thought mean thoughts at the spider, but the spider didn’t care. The spider moved in lightning-fast and bit Rykson, nearly killing him with one bite. The poison from the spider also made the little Halfling weaker.
Tudor was still invisible, so he began summoning. Viktor ran. He needed to get away from that spider because it was a larger-than-life, predatory nightmare. Creed immediately stepped up and healed Rykson, but he was still shaken enough by the spider’s presence, that his healing spell was a little weaker than he would have liked and definitely weaker than the injured halfling would have liked. Rykson, who was mounted on Kongo, tried to run but the spider bit Kongo and the bite was lethal. Kongo and Rykson immediately crashed to the ground where Kongo stayed, one heartbeat from death. Creed was right there though and stabilized Kongo and the group’s hopes of survival.
As Creed was caring for Kongo, Tudor summoned forth Deesul and Moe, who appeared as celestial fire beetles. The beetles immediately bit at the spider, one of them even managed to cut the spider’s carapace. Tudor took the opportunity to run a little ways off and began summoning again. Since the spider was distracted with the beetles, Rykson grabbed Kongo hid inside the chimney.
The spider was too quick though. It killed the beetles and was about to grab Moradin. Tudor finished summoning Moesser, who appeared as a celestial dog which. Moesser stopped about 80’ from the spider and began barking to get its attention. The barking attracted the spider, which ran over to the spider. It didn’t get close enough to attack the dog, but it got close enough to keep the dog from running away. Tudor’s plan had been to get the spider to chase the dog away, but the dog was not going to get away, so Tudor did the worst thing he could do…he cast a spell that teleported him and the dog to the other’s spot. This put Tudor right under the huge spider’s body, but since he was invisible, the spider chased after the dog. His plan worked.
The Seekers got away as the spider chased after the dog. Barely. They continued to walk away well into the evening and only stopped then because it started to snow. They rested there and healed up for a couple of days.
It was now Nivosus 1st. The Seekers found a creek that looked to be flowing from one of the four hills on the island. Since a creek was mentioned in the journal they had found, they decided to follow the creek, which did indeed flow from one of the hills. The creek led them to a beautiful narrow valley filled with snow-crusted pine trees. They followed the creek to what looked to be the vault mentioned in the journal. As they walked up to the vault, a large spider that had been lurking in the rocks spit a large web at Viktor.
Viktor escaped the web before it could really tangle him up. Moradin pulled out his crossbow and fired a crossbow bolt directly at the spider’s eyes, but he missed. Tudor shot 2 darts of force out of his outstretched hands, which unerringly hit the spider.
Since Viktor got away from its web so easily, the spider spat webbing at the dwarf. The dwarf was not nearly as agile as Viktor nor was he strong enough to break the webbing, so he stayed stuck in the webbing. Creed once again called forth for a blessing from Iynmar, and then readied his weapon and closed on the spider. Viktor tumbled in and stabbed the spider with his rapier, but his attack did no damage.
Rykson and Kongo had also been caught in the spider’s webbings but they got free and prepared for a charge at the spider.
The Seekers pressed the attack. Tudor altered reality just enough to teleport Viktor and Moradin to the other’s spot, which put Moradin within striking range with his large axe. Moradin immediately put the axe to great use and chopped deep into the spider’s side. The spider turned and bit Moradin hard enough to drain the stout dwarf’s strength. Moradin responded to the bite with a bite of his own – one from his axe. It was a critical hit. The spider decided that it had had enough of that axe, so it webbed the dwarf again and stepped out of his reach.
Rykson charged in fro matop Kongo and drove his lance deep into the spider’s abdomen. Viktor tumbled in and attacked the spider from a flanking position. He missed.
Moradin was tired of being webbed, so he started thinking truly mean thoughts at the spider. The spider didn’t seem to care. Creed took a quick step into a flanking position on the spider and swung his mighty warhammer. He missed. Viktor delivered the blow that ended the fight – he navigated around the spider during combat so that the spider was facing away from him and at the right time, he drove his rapier through one of the wounds on the spider’s back and out through its stomach.
After the fight, Creed patched everyone up and they continued into to the grotto containing the vault. Inside the grotto were dozens of fist-sized, green-glowing spiders, which were burnt and dying. There was also a basin in the grotto that drew Moradin’s attention. As he neared the basin though, a zombie-like creature covered in spiders stepped out from the shadows and it was hungry for brains. Moradin was closest, so the zombie moved towards the heavily armored dwarf.
For once, Tudor was the first to react to the new danger. Figuring that there would be other enemies, he immediately began summoning more help. Rykson fired a sling bullet at the zombie, hitting it squarely in the chest. Rykson’s shot was from an unbalanced position though, so the bullet did not hurt the zombie, which bit at Moradin – eager to get at his soft, delicate brain. It bit armor instead. Moradin responded by sinking his axe into the zombie’s thigh. It was a good hit but his axe stuck to the creature’s body which was covered in a mass of spider webs.
Tudor finished his summoning, which brought forth Deesul, Moe and Moessie… celestial rattlesnakes this time… into the fight. The 3 snakes moved in to fight the zombie. One of them died before it could strike, but the other two bit at the zombie, intending to smite the evil creature. They both missed. Realizing that Viktor was not yet in the fray, Tudor then teleported a snake and the rogue to each others’ position, which allowed Viktor to hit the zombie with a lit torch that stuck and started to burn the creature, just as he expected.
Rykson and Kongo charged in and hit hard with the little lance. The lance hurt the creature, but it also stuck to the burning creature.
The zombie turned on Viktor, who had set him on fire and slammed at him with his web-covered arms, but Viktor was too quick and the zombie’s attack hit all air. Creed followed Viktor’s lead and lit another torch, preparing to stick it to the zombie. Moradin, upset that his axe was stuck to the creature, pulled out the falchion that he had found in the crypt on Ganyss and tried to cut the zombie’s head off. He missed.
Tudor’s snakes moved in to bite the zombie, but they missed also. Tudor sent a missile of acid racing forth from his fingertips with a loud, “Assid!” It was the first spell he had ever learned to cast and was happy to see it helping him still. Granted, it was a weak spell and didn’t do much damage, but it made the young wizard feel good.
Rykson moved in to finish off the zombie with his morphing hammer, but he didn’t hit it very hard and the hammer stuck to the webs on the zombie’s body. Once again, Viktor got the killing blow, taking advantage of the tactical position in which Tudor had put him to send his rapier through the heart of the zombie. At least this is what the Seekers saw. In reality, the zombie had no functioning heart for Viktor to pierce and it was the fire that killed the zombie – not the rapier.
As soon as the zombie died, it exploded into a swarm of spiders. Moradin didn’t hesitate – he attacked the swarm just as if he were attacking the zombie. He even managed to kill a couple of the spiders. Rykson quickly grabbed a flask of oil and dumped it onto the swarm which was immediately ignited by the burning torch.
The swarm moved away from the fire and briefly covered Rykson and Kongo delivering hundreds of little bites and scaring the shit out of them. The poison from that many spider bites made both Rykson and Kongo nauseous and also drained Kongo’s strength. Moradin made some dirty looks at the spider swarm, which seemed to have no affect and Tudor finished summoning a celestial giant bombardier beetle, which immediately sprayed the swarm with acid.
The swarm moved over and covered Viktor and Creed, causing them both pain and making Viktor nearly vomit. Creed took a quick step back away from the swarm and called upon Iynmar’s might to transform a potion of remove paralysis into a mighty fire bomb. Moradin stepped up to the swarm to smash the spiders with his shield. He missed. Creed waved Moradin away from the swarm and threw his fire bomb at the swarm. The result was very disappointing and only killed 4 or 5 individual spiders.
Finally, Moradin killed off enough of the swarm with a bash of his shield that the swarm dissipated. Even though the fight was finished, the poison from the spiders was not. Rykson and Kongo both experienced the strength-sapping secondary effects of the poison.
Merkallen vs. Dys
The Seekers searched around the grotto looking for anything other than the door to the vault. Tudor casted Detect Magic to aid in the search, but the only thing that emanated any type of magic was the door, which had the holy symbol of Allod inscribed in it.
Rykson and Viktor took some of the water from the creek and poured it in an empty basin inside the grotto. Rykson realized that nothing spectacular was going to happen, so he bathed in the basin and then drank some of the water once he was done bathing. Tudor just figured it must be some weird halfling outrider ritual and kept his mouth shut about peeing in the basin.
Viktor didn’t want to see the halfling naked, so he decided to search around the vault door for traps. He didn’t find any traps but he did find a slot in the door, in which the Araphm fit perfectly. He put the Araphm in the slot and the door opened.
The door opened revealing a huge armored figure that immediately asked, “Where’s Merkallen?” The Seekers told him the painful truth that Merkallen was dead. After some discussion, the armored figure told the Seekers that he was put there to guard the vault and that he missed Merkallen. The armored figure didn’t have a name, so the Seekers decided to call him Dys.
Dys explained that all the vaults but one were destroyed by shaking earth about 1 year ago. The door to the still intact vault had a seal made of clay on it. The Seekers wanted inside that vault so Viktor searched the door for signs of traps but didn’t find any. Creed stepped up to the door and tried breaking the clay seal with his hammer. He didn’t even scratch it.
Viktor had another idea though – he took some of the water that Rykson had bathed in from the basin and poured it over the clay seal. After enough water was poured over the clay seal, it finally dissolved allowing the vault door to open. Inside the vault, the Seekers found a chalice made from 1 piece of alabaster-colored wood edged in platinum.
Viktor grabbed the cup and filled it with Rykson’s bath water and drank some it. Nothing happened, but he did get a short, curly hair in his mouth. Creed casted Detect Magic to determine if the chalice was magical. It was. In fact, it emanated a strong conjuration magic – healing magic. Rykson decided that he’d also try drinking some water from the Chalice. Nothing substantial happened, he just felt a little tingle.
Viktor investigated the chalice further and found “Cup of Life” written in Elven on the bottom of the chalice. Thinking that they had just found a way to bring Merkallen back to life, they immediately went back to Merkallen’s burned down house and poured some water into the corpse’s mouth. Nothing happened, so the Seekers gave Merkallen a proper burial, over which Creed presided.
Once Merkallen was properly buried, Dys told the Seekers that he no longer had a purpose so Tudor offered him purpose by saying, “I give you a new purpose. Protect me.” Dys agreed without hesitation.
The Seekers plus Dys headed on down the beach to figure out a way off the island and to hopefully find Captain Pollock. It was getting darker and Dys glowed with the magical power of force which infused him and gave him life. However neat it was, the Seekers didn’t really want a beacon of light to give away their position to enemies – to the spiders, so Dys turned off the glow.
The Seekers set up camp and let Dys, who doesn’t sleep, stand guard for them. Later in the night, Dys woke Tudor to explain that he had found a large hole nearby. Tudor worried that the hole was a spider hole, so he woke the rest of the Seekers. They all got up and checked out the hole. The ‘hole’ turned out to be a huge crater.
Since they didn’t see any danger, they decided to go back to the camp and finish the night’s sleep, but this time, some of the Seekers stood watch since Dys had wandered off a considerable distance during his watch. When the Seekers woke in the morning, Dys noticed a large 8-legged shape approaching. Afraid that it was the colossal spider, the Seekers made haste for the crater.
Upon arriving at the crater, Viktor noticed a strange green-glowing light at the bottom of the crater. The Seekers thought about going down to check it out, but the crater was so huge and so deep, that they decided against that. Instead, they walked around the crater, looking for a better way in. Not seeing a better way into the crater, they continued to walk around the island. It took them two more days to complete a full loop around the island. Still, they found nothing.
So the Seekers headed back to the crater. This time they found Captain Pollock’s medallion. Creed determined that it was magical and forced back a guilty desire to claim the amulet as his own.
They continued to search and eventually found a navigable slope that would lead them down the crater…right towards the green light. As they neared the bottom, Moradin noticed a strange-looking boulder. The pitted boulder was the size of a small cottage and was pulsing green.
Creed noticed the lifeless body of Captain Pollock. A large piece of obsidian had been lodged in the captain’s chest. Creed started to run to the Captain, knowing that there was nothing he could do to save the man. But before made it to the Captain, a strange 8-eyed man stepped out from behind the boulder, holding up his hand to the Seekers as if demanding that they stop. Other than the creepy extra sets of eyes, the 8-eyed man also had an aura of arrogance about him, which reflected strongly in his voice when he asked Creed, “Have you come to worship our kind?”
When the Seekers didn’t react the way the 8-eyed man wanted, he walked over to the boulder and placed his hand on it. It started shaking and crackling almost like a chicken egg just before the chick hatches. Lava started to drip out of the cracks and then a spider that seems made from the lava broke free of the boulder. Tudor wanted to hide, so he quickly turned himself and Viktor invisible. Moradin wasn’t worried though – he pulled out a crossbow that was nearly as tall as him and shot the 8-eyed man, just nicking him.
Creed felt insulted by the 8-eyed man’s suggestion that he worship anyone other than Iynmar, so he unleashed some of Iynmar’s power on the 8-eyed man filling him with a feeling of horrible dread.
The lava spider settled its eyes on Creed, leapt at him and sank his fangs deep into his leg, nearly dropping the chaplain with one bite. Tudor quickly directly Dys to attack the spider and get it away from Creed, so Dys used a Pulse ability, which would have pushed the spider away from the injured cleric. All Dys had to do was touch the huge spider, but he missed. Tudor began summoning more help and Viktor and Moradin both moved forward to engage. Creed managed to put enough space between him and the spider to heal himself.
Since Viktor was invisible and Creed was not attacking, the lava spider turned its attention to Moradin, catching him in a strong, flaming web. Rykson reached into his backpack, grabbed a bottle of Greater Magic Weapon, applied it to his lance and then asked Viktor for the Chalice so that he could take it to Captain Pollock and resuscitate him.
Tudor finished his summoning spell, which brought forth Deesul in the form of a celestial wolf. The wolf immediately attacked the 8-eyed man, biting hard into his ankle. He tried to trip the 8-eyed man, but failed. Tudor began summoning again and Viktor gave the Chalice to Rykson. Moradin tried to cut himself out of the flaming web, but he couldn’t. Creed healed himself some more.
Seeing that Moradin was safely entangled in the burning web, the spider shot that burning webbing at Creed, entangling and burning him – just as it was doing to Moradin. The 8-eyed man tumbled away from the spider and continued to tumble ever closer to where the Tudor was casting his spells from the safety of his invisibility spell.
Rykson made it over to the captain’s body, pulled the obsidian out of his chest and filled the chalice with water.
Tudor finished summoning Moe, who also appeared as a wolf. Moe flanked the 8-eyed man along with Deesul. Together, they lunged in for the kill but they both missed. Dys reached out at the 8-eyed man with his Pulse power, but failed to touch him. Tudor then summoned forth a 10’ by 10’ section of grease – right underneath the spider in the hopes that the spiders would either fall or set the grease on fire. Neither happened. The grease had no effect on the spider.
While the fighting was going on, Rykson was able to pour some water from the Chalice into Captain Pollock’s mouth. The magical energies from the Cup of Life called Captain Pollock’s soul back to this world. His eyes bulged open in shock and pain, then the Captain slumped back down too weak to even speak.
Dys and the wolves continued attacking the 8-eyed man and they continued missing. Tudor quickly teleported Viktor and one of the wolves to each others’ spot, giving Viktor a great opportunity to sneak attack the 8-eyed man. Viktor did not disappoint. As soon as he was in position, he drove his rapier through the 8-eyed man’s chest, killing him.
Moradin continued to struggle with the webbing.
The spider jumped over to Dys and bit the metal man. The spider’s jaws were so strong that it nearly bit Dys’s left arm off.
Moments after Viktor killed the 8-eyed man, a green-glowing spider erupted from its face and tried to run away. However, Deesul was still there and managed to swallow the spider before it could get away.
Dys finally managed to hit the spider, slamming one of his massive arms into the spider’s body. However the spider’s burning body hurt Dys almost as much as he hurt the spider. Tudor created a rip in the fabric of reality that teleported Creed and Moe to each other’s spot. Doing so put Moe into the burning webbing and freed Creed, who then cast a spell that surrounded the spider with dark distracting motes allowing the rest of the Seekers to attack the spider with impunity.
Rykson finally joined the combat and took advantage of the spider’s distraction to run his lance into the spider’s side, causing lava to flow out of the spider’s wound. Dys reached out with his Pulse attack again, but missed. Tudor raised his hand and shot 2 missiles of force out of his fingertips that unerringly hit the spider. However, Tudor was distracted and his spell produced minimal results.
Moradin finally freed himself from the web by hacking away at it with his axe. The spider turned on Rykson and Kongo and bit Kongo hard. The spider’s burning venom oozed down its fangs but Kongo reacted quickly enough that he got away from the spider before the poison could get into his body. The bite on Kongo was severe enough that Rykson had to withdraw from combat – even though he just joined the fight.
Dys attacked with his Pulse power again. He missed again. Tudor’s magical missile of force did not miss and this time, he was not distracted. The spider spun some of the burning webbing onto Dys who was not quick enough to get away.
Creed moved over to heal Moradin, who had spent a good amount of time burning in the spider’s web. Rykson moved back into combat, this time without Kongo. He hit the spider with his morphing hammer, but did no damage.
The spider moved to attack the freshly-healed Moradin, but it tripped over the entangled Dys. Creed casted a Ray of Hope on Moradin – who hoped to never get entangled in spider webs again. Dys winked at Moradin and simply said, “Watch and learn, short one”. Then he ripped the spider’s burning web off him with brute force.
Captain Pollock started making pained noises, causing great concern amongst the Seekers. Tudor turned himself invisible after hearing the Captain, hoping to go to his aid unmolested. He grabbed the Cup of Life from Rykson, took it over to the Captain and poured some water into the Captain’s dry mouth. The Captain drank the water which cured some of his wounds and made some of the pain subside.
Before the spider was able to regain its footing, Moradin brought his axe down hard on the spider’s body and he and Dys were both able to hit it again as it stood from its prone position. The spider grabbed at Moradin, but its attack was off balance and missed.
Creed stepped up behind Moradin and goosed him – healing him in the process. Rykson, Viktor, Dys and Moradin all attacked the spider in unison. They all missed, but the spider did not miss Dys, who was starting to look pretty beat up.
Creed used Iynmar’s power to doom the spider. Rykson, disappointed in his ability to hit the spider, applied the last of the oil of greater magic weapon on his sling bullets. Viktor tumbled in to a flanking position and struck the spider in a vital spot. Dys attacked with heavy-armed slams. They both missed. Moradin swung his axe at the spider and hit solidly.
The spider bit Viktor and its poison burned him as it coursed through his body. In response, Viktor pulled out of the fight and moved to search the 8-eyed man’s dead body.
Rykson, Creed and Dys continued fighting the spider. However, none of them were able to hurt the spider. Moradin would have kept fighting the spider, but his hopes of never being entangled in spider webs again were dashed when the spider spun the burning webs all over him. Kongo even rejoined the fight to help Rykson, who was getting angry at his inability to hit the spider. As Kongo ran into the combat, Rykson tried to fast-mount him, but Rykson timed his jump poorly and he missed.
The fight continued on for a while with neither side gaining an advantage. Moradin fought against the spider webs for a while but gave up and instead thought mean thoughts at the spider. The spider seemed to be truly bothered by such vile thoughts. Its psyche had been hurt.
After several more rounds of combat in which the spider continuously dodged nearly all of the Seekers’ attacks, Rykson finally hit the spider with his lance. The hit was devastatingly effective catching the spider in a critical spot and finally bringing to an end the Seekers’ longest and most frustrating battle ever.
The Seekers licked their wounds, grabbed the captain and left the crater. They spent the next three weeks tending to their wounds and repairing the ship, but at least they didn’t have any more run-ins with spiders.