How Much Does it Pay?

Episode 4
Killing Spiders, Making Friends

After taking a short rest our heroes continued deeper into the cavern. Justice left a trail of coins behind him to remind the group from where they had come, but as soon as he dropped them Ghidorah collected them again (for safekeeping).

A short walk through the dark tunnels, the party came across another cavern. They could hear the scampering of huge, hairy feet and realized that they had come across their quarry – the giant wolfspider P’Tha. Ander quickly cast fog to shroud his teammates from the spider’s vision (screaming the sacred words, “FOGGY BOTTOM BOYS!”), but only managed to cloud the vision of everyone in the cave.

Unimpressed by Ander’s use of magic, but with keen hearing and sense of space, Kurtz spat “nice going” into the mist and threw his hand axe toward the sound of hairy rustling ahead of him. The axe was swallowed by P’Tha’s tough hide, and Kurtz whispered, almost to himself, “I’m inside him now.”

Brave, tiny Ulliston followed Kurtz’s attack with another from his longbow, but missed. The wolfspider reeled around, striking Kurtz with a stream of poison spit and rolling Alston into a small, webby snuggy.

Thinking better of his earlier action, Ander removed the magical fog from the cave, opening space for his dragonborn peer to strike against P’Tha. Demonstrating disregard for ritual, and boredom with the struggle at hand Ghidorah leaned against the cave wall, and flicked her fingers at the spider, and a beam of crackling energy streaked toward the beast.

P’Tha was in rough shape, but it was Ander’s next move that proved his end. While the rest of the party continued to fight, the druid quietly cast a spell that caused a cylinder of iridescent blue light to descend around the monster. When P’Tha moved next he was enveloped in the warmth of erotic ecstasy and slowly, lovingly, came himself to death.

In the aftermath of the struggle, the party regrouped. Kurtz reached deep into P’Tha’s innards to retrieve his lost hand axe, Ghidorah collected any leftover wolfspider venom, and Alston uncovered a small wooden rod. Grabbing the rod in his hand, Alston was startled to find that he could not let it go. Stranger still, each time he touched the piece of wood to someone or something, unpredictable magic would happen.

Heading south in the tunnel system the party came across a third chamber with a shrine in it. On top of the shrine there was a statue of a raven, grasping a large, red gem. Detecting evil, Ander destroyed the gem, and Justice collected a shard for further investigation later. Alston touched the raven statue with his rod of wonder, which turned it into a live raven which flew off into the cavern tunnels.

Venturing further into the system, the party found more necrotic bodies wearing robes. Alston touched one with his rod and it turned to cake (which he promptly ate). The party then continued walking until they found a final chamber, inhabited by a particularly elderly dwarf. He introduced himself as Dwalin and intimated that some members of the party might know his magical-oddity selling brother. He quickly got tired of Alston turning the objects in his chamber into random magical items, and transported the party back to the Turning Inn at Ivendale.

Here the party rests, having collected their bounty for P’Tha from Chelsea the barkeep/ogre. They collect themselves while enjoying refreshment and rubbing elbows with the locals in the Turning Out Tavern.

Episode 3
An Embarrassment of Baboons
When last we saw our adventurers, they were collecting themselves at the Turning Inn at Ivendale. They quickly realized that they had no pressing matters to attend to, and so they re-entered Turning Out tavern in hopes of finding purpose in their lives.

Kurtz ordered an ale, and Alston eyed some lovely gnome ladies at a table in the corner, while Ander spoke with the half-ogre barmaid. She informed the group that a giant wolf spider had been terrorizing the village and surrounding area, and offered 100gp if they could do away with it.

That was enough for our intrepid heroes (and anti-heroes) who sped off in the general direction of the spider’s lair north of the town – occasional web or obstacle be damned!

As the group approached the forest in which the spider made its home, they were almost immediately attacked by 14 baboons. A bloody encounter ensued; weapons flew, and so did baboons. Ultimately the group was victorious and left the apes behind to tend to their wounded, dead, and pulverized.

No sooner had the group left their first encounter behind when they came upon the entrance to the cave, inside of which lived their quarry. They entered without hesitation,visions of gold coins dancing in their minds.

Forced into a single-file line by the narrow tunnel walls of the cave the group was vulnerable to attack. They smelled the stench of the zombie cave protectors long before their decimated flesh, but the group’s inability to make a quick decision meant that they lost the element of surprise. The four zombies lurched forward.

EXCELSIOR!” Kurtz shouted as he mounted a now bear-shaped Ander and they exploded into the cavern containing the zombies. This was a mistake as it cued the zombies into their position in the cavern, and blocked those behind them from attacking briefly. The zombies attacked, blinding Kurtz with their acid spit and tearing a strip from Ander’s bear form.

The rest of the battle was a blur. Justice attacked front on, while Lethe and Ghedorah pushed magically from the rear. In the end the heroes beat the zombies back, but not without sustaining significant damage of their own in the process.

Here they now sit, on the cavern floor, resting and recovering from that encounter and considering their next move toward the monster spider in the bowels of the tunnel system.

Episode 2
The Baron's Raven
When last we saw our adventurers, they had left a temple after vanquishing the magic zombies held inside (and temporarily restraining one old man). Upon their return to the Yarl farmstead along the Baron’s road, the administered the sleeping potion antidote to Abel Yarl’s ailing son, Debek, waking the young man and winning the eternal thanks of the whole Yarl clan. Abel bid the group to take shelter in his barn overnight, offering food and the company of a shady companion named Cyrus (called The Spider by his friend and enemies). The father also piled silver into the hands of our heroes, despite Justice’s insistence otherwise, and gifted Ander with one of his prize sheep.

The Spider, being a cagey sort, insisted that all present prove that they weren’t members of the night’s watch before proposing a job to the group. He did this himself by imbibing some of Lethe’s strange and exotic herbs, and with this out of the way he put forward a plan. The mercenary was to steal a silver raven from the local baron during a party at his manor the following day. The group was free to take on the work, in exchange for a small finder’s fee upon completion of the heist.

Interest piqued by the promise of coin, the agreed to The Spider’s terms. He furnished them with clothing appropriate for a gathering of nobles, and brought them to the Baron’s manor. After checking their weapons, and tying Anders’ new fleecy friend at the door, the group entered the party – ready to case the joint and enact a plan to liberate the chrome crow in question.

The Spider was more like The Squirrel in the moments after their entrance. He stood in the foyer momentarily, then turned and left, muttering, “I’m not supposed to be here, I’ll let you all do this.” The group rallied around this admirably. Finding a gift shop each team member plotted their own solution to the problem of the raven and the party. Justice purchased a replica raven, Gehdora stole another, and Ulliston paid out the nose for a delightful commemorative tshirt. Lethe purchased a letter opener, but finding it too dull to replace a checked blade, she slipped it into her bag for uses yet unknown.

Moving into the party room, the group plotted raven removal methods loudly. Justice and Kurtz made small talk with the party goers, discovering a rash of violence on the roads outside of the nearby town as of late. Ulliston befriended a servant gnome who was so impressed by his social status (and his attractive raven shirt) that she gave away manor secrets, and invited him to join her kind in the servant’s quarters. She slipped the party some wine, which Gehdora and Lethe delivered to the guard standing nearest the raven. The guard nodded in approval as Ander checked out the surprisingly empty bathroom.

Collecting together in the garden, the party found a drunk young low-Nobel, Marten Loyola. He stumbled around explaining that his family had previously owned the raven, and that the Baron did not deserve is. Lethe bagged some nearby hemlock as Ander goaded Loyola into confronting the Baron over the raven, creating the necessary diversion for the real figurine to be swapped for Justice’s fake.

The raven was brought to the garden and after an unsuccessful attempt at throwing it over the rather high garden fence, the group decided instead to walk it out the front door. With the Baron still trouncing poor Marten Loyola, the six heroes were able to leave without being noticed (some with more items than they have arrived with).

Some way down the road The Spider emerged from the bushes and, somehow knowing the raven was in their possession, convinced the six adventurers to settle up at the inn in the next town (an inn inside of which it was not 100% clear if he was welcome).

The group of seven immediately encountered a group of three goblins picking over a corpse. The monsters were surprised and defeated in short order. Ander took the opportunity to change shape into a bear, proving effective in increasing his attack power, but ineffective in keeping track of his recently acquired sheep. The unnamed sheep wandered off into the dark woods during the skirmish.

Following this encounter, The Spider re-emerged from his roadside hidey-bush, led the group to town, settled up, and disappeared. The group, becoming closer by each passing adventure, rests together at Turning Out, a tavern attached to the Turning Inn, in the town of Ivendale.

But what will happen to our group now? Will the Baron strike back against them for their raven heist? What will become of the old man they let escape from the temple? Will The Spider have more work for the adventurers or will they be left to their own devices, pillaging the countryside for more knickknacks and animal skulls?

Find out next time

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The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

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