… The two spiders crawling out of the passageways are enormous.
Apparently, the side effect of whatever Jaeger was trying to do created some sort of enlarging effect on the arachnids, making them about 25 feet across. They are so large that they are tearing holes into the webbing around us, and all we can see behind them is more legs.
The three remaining drow turned to flee, but fell in their haste to escape, and became tangled in the webs. One of the giant spiders shoots a web towards Kellyn, sticking her to the wall.
I take aim with Thass at the spider behind us and manage to wound it.
Tobias, still blinded from Jaeger’s spell effect, is struggling to recover. Aelfric strikes out with their rapier, which glows blue, and a massive bolt of blue energy explodes out causing the air to grow bitingly cold. The spider in front is now covered with ice crystals, and seems to be frozen in place. Lan waves her hands toward the front spider, and we see it shrink down a small amount.
Kellyn struggles against the sticky webbing pinning her to the wall, and she manages to tear free and grapple with the front spider.
That spider shoots visibly thicker webbing at Jaeger, but he also manages to tear himself free to brawl with it in close combat.
Osmand takes aim at the spider in front and puts an arrow straight through one of its eyes.
I take aim with Thass again, aiming at the frozen spider but this time the arrow glances harmlessly away. Tobias swings Crawlzargot blindly, and somehow manages to miss both Jaeger and Kellyn, and hit the spider solidly. Lan waved her hands toward the spider entangled with Jaeger and Kellyn, and it shrinks down another 5 feet. The spider then bites Jaeger, and there is a power surge, and suddenly the spider explodes into a swarm of.. bees? Bees. Great.
Aelfric stabs at the frozen spider with the rapier, but it appears like there was no effect. Osmand also scored a direct hit on the rear spider, but it appears to be either dead or frozen solid.
I move to stab the spider behind us, to verify that it is actually dead.
Tobias misses hitting any of the bees, but the swarm turns its attention directly to him with the action and begins buzzing angrily.
Elyise swings the mace at the frozen spider, and it smashes to powder with a rather oddly beautiful tinkling sound. As it disintegrates, we can see the yawning void in the hole in the webbing behind it. Then Lan moves her hands in a graceful gesture, and water comes fountaining out of her hands, knocking the bee swarm out of the air and through the hole out into the void.
With the immediate dangers taken care of, the party stops for a moment to catch our breath and take a look around. The hole that the spiders crawled through is about 25 ft across, and essentially takes out the entire floor, and a piece of the ceiling where the second spider crawled through. We can either try to figure out how to repair the web, try to jump across, or make our way back the way we came toward the room with the tower filled with drow.
Aelfric says something about the tower being possibly the place we needed, and I point out with some mild irritation that they are the ones who originally said that the tower was NOT the place we needed to be, which is why we ended up in this tunnel in the first place.
Jaeger tries to cast a spell to create a brick, and instead only looks very confused. He looks like he is thinking very hard about something for a moment, and then says that we can climb on top of the web tunnel and move over the holes in the floor. I ask the party which directions they were given, and one of them points out that I have an actual map of the underwebbing. (that would have been SUPER useful to know earlier.)
I point out that once we can get up on top of the web tunnels, I can use the map to navigate. Jaeger climbs up first, then secures a rope to himself which allows the rest of the party to easily climb up as well. Aelfric draws their rapier slightly, and a circle of glowing violet light appears around us. Otherwise it is utterly lightless. I use my sense of direction to guide us to a crossroad, and then indicate that we need to go left. We need to make our way between pockets of sticky webs that look from the outside like nests or dens for some sort of critter. As we carefully move between the nests, we hear a scuttling underneath us, and decide to move a little bit faster.
In the distance, we see some movement up ahead and, thanks to the owl-vision spell that was cast on the party, we can see a large bat that suddenly turns and begins moving towards us quickly. Osmand nocks his bow and puts an arrow cleanly into it. It veers off, but makes absolutely no noise, and we see that it is actually much larger than we previously thought. I can only barely see it, as it swerves to come back in for another attack, and I follow Osmand’s lead and try to shoot it out of the sky. My first shot misses, and I quickly ask if one of the mages can light it up to make it easier to see.
Kellyn’s eyes brighten and she laughs a bit as she casts her spell. A glowing dot appears on the bat, giving us a clear target to shoot at. It swoops in quickly to try to attack Osmand.
I use Thass and draw back, nodding to Kellyn to cast a destruction spell on the end of my arrow, using a tactic that has worked well for us in the past. She finishes the spell, and I loose the arrow, aiming for the glowing dot. The arrow hits the bat, and while the actual projectile does no damage, the spell is effective and the bat stumbles momentarily.
As it flies closer, the others are able to take shots at it, but most of them miss entirely. The bat swerves as if it can sense where the hits are coming from. Osmand manages to hit, and the arrow bounces off of one ear and then into the other.
Jaeger etches a quick circle around himself to cast some sort of spell, and as the bat flies into range, Tobias slashes at the bat with Crawlzargot.
He scores a hard hit with the sword, and the bat seems dazed as it disappears, spinning, into the mists below. We hear a screeching noise and see two other forms chasing the falling bat below and then there is a shrill scream, and then silence.
Jaeger mutters a curse under his breath, realizing he would need to let go of the power he had been trying to gather, and reaches down to touch the web only to have the entire roof of the web tunnel collapse under him. He quickly climbs back up, but says that this is the correct tunnel and that we need to be back down in the tunnels to reach where we need to go.
I quickly use my sense of direction and the map to verify where we are, and then agree that we should climb back down to continue. As we travel the corridors, we see the floor is dotted with deep pits, and we see a silvery door up ahead of us. The details are hard to see from a distance, and we hear a faint but dissonant whispering noise, as if there are several voices all talking at once. I ask Tobias to see if he knows anything about the pits or about what could be causing the sounds. While he can think of a few things, none would be in this region, so I quietly ask Thass if it might know. I can sense the bow telling me that it’s definitely a demon, and I realize that I am growing rather fond of having the bow by my side. I ask if Thass if there’s anything that it can do, and with it I am able to use my ability to spot hidden to see a demonic creature that looks vaguely like an old rug hanging from the ceiling. I draw the bow and quickly shoot it, landing a solid hit with an arrow and making the rest of the party aware of the thing in our path.
Jaeger quickly uses a fairy fire spell to light up the rug thing and I use Thass to shoot it again, but this time my arrow misses its mark. Tobias draws his dagger, and there is a brief moment where his brow furrows in concentration before he says “Be quiet!” towards the rug thing. As he does, we all feel a sudden sense of relief as the muttering lessens, and we realize that it was causing a confusion effect that we weren’t even aware of. As the whispering quiets, however, several undead creatures crawl up out of the pits in the floor and begin to shamble towards us.
Aelfric pulls out their amulet, and it has no effect at all, which causes them to blink in surprise since it should have been able to turn aside any lesser undead. Kellyn casts her spell at the rug thing, saying “That’s right bitch, shut up.” causing the low muttering sound to cease entirely.
Lan moves her hands and the front three shambling creatures stop and look over at her and then slowly turn to crawl back into the pits. Osmand fires his arrow at the hanging creature and hits solidly but causes no damage. The back four creatures rise up and float over the pits and continue towards us with their arms outstretched in an attempt to touch and kill anything they contact.
As the undead creatures continue to shuffle forward, I see the rug demon twitch and a portal to another demonic plane begins to open up underneath it.
I quickly use Thass again, asking it to help me close the portal, and draw back a glowing shaft of light which streaks towards the opening portal, closing it before anything can come through.
Elyise shoots the rug thing with her crossbow but appears to have no effect.
Aelfric strums their lute and sings an odd little sound, but it also seems to not have any effect on the floating creatures. Lan makes the same gesture she made earlier at the floating creatures, and two of them stop and slink back into the pits.
One of the remaining ghost creatures tries to reach out and touch Kellyn. It’s not able to touch her but it’s moving in such a way as to appear to have a hypnotic effect which Kellyn is able to completely ignore.
Osmand shoots at the rug thing and manages to hit it successfully, but we can not tell how much damage we have done to it.
Jaeger etches a circle around himself quickly, calling up a warding power to protect himself. I continue to use Thass, and shoot at the rug thing, hitting it squarely.
Tobias uses his dagger again, and stares hard at the rug, telling it “I said do. Not. Speak.” Aelfric sings a simple song, and all of us feel just a little more inspired.
Kellyn grimaces and mutters “I hope this works” as she casts a wild spell to try to destroy the ghosts. I feel a massive spell go off, and a circle appears across the floor reaching all the way over to the silver door at the other end, inscribed in glowing green Fyrewerian. “abandon all hope those crossing into this realm” The rug thing falls limply into one of the pits and disappears. Jaeger’s warding deflects the magic around him, and the other ghost creatures also crawl back into the pits and disappear entirely.
We are able to walk all the way across the pits without further encounters to see the giant silver double doors covered in webbing that comes from a single key-hole. We hear skittering noises from the other side of the doors, and they open to reveal Lloth standing there in full glory, with an army of a hundred thousand spiders behind her poised ready to attack.
Wide-eyed, Tobias and I quickly look around for some means to escape, and see a heavily disguised walkway off to the left. We grab everyone and throw them into the passage behind us, yelling that we needed to run and run fast.
We run with the panic of someone knowing they are being chased by the wrath of a god, expecting every moment to be overcome by thousands of angry spiders. But nothing follows us, and after a moment, we realize that nothing can cross over the massive Fyrewerian ward that was thrown in place by Kellyn’s wild magic.
Debris is everywhere and tunnels have been collapsed to prevent our escape from the Underweb. I recognize the space we were headed into though, and as quickly as I am able to, I brush off the floor to see a small silver cube on the ground. I remember the portal functions, and the small silver cube I had picked up previously and tell the party to hold on to me. We step through and find ourselves in the center of a drow city, but look up and see …stars? It is the open sky. I look up and, with some surprise, recognize the constellations as putting us in the middle of Tir Na Nasaleen… or… what remains of it. We are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the drow city, but no one pays us any attention, because we were all wearing the cloaks and brooches of the drow patrol we had dispatched only a few hours… days? before.
We decide to use this to our advantage, and travel along the southern roads, as far out of the city as we can get. As we walk, the sun rises, and the cloaks evaporate off of us into smoke.
“…bide your time and flee when the goddess shakes her web.”
Flee we did.
We came face to face with the Dread Lady herself, and are surviving to tell the tale. Our first priority is finding a place of safety to rest and evaluate what we do next. The stanzas of the note will tell us more, I think. We still need to locate some sort of key from a tower. We need to … we need to do so many things. There’s also the matter of recovering, if possible, all of our missing or stolen belongings from the cart. At the very least I have to recover the two sylvan saplings. Their loss is like a pain in my heart.
But now that we are out of the Underweb and once again under open sky, our priority is safety and rest. The connection to the divine is restored now, and I need to see if there is advice or counsel that my reluctant deity can provide me. We have a task ahead of us, an adventure that should we survive, will be told for generations to other adventure seekers.
I just hope we can survive it.
I like this bow, Thass. But I am wary of it. I know the willpower that it takes for me to simply listen to it as an advisor, instead of allowing it to control me. I must admit though that it has been truly helpful. We shall see what happens, though for the moment I am thankful to have such a powerful weapon in my hands, knowing what lies ahead.
“The bow of beasts dissolves the taint of the corrupted,
The bitter ice hides a giant’s sword to crack Abyssal armor.
Search The Lady’s wisdom and the book of flesh
Bide your time, and flee when the goddess shakes her web.
A pair of keys: a blackened tongue, a golden word
Pass through three gates: serpent, darkness, stone.
Kill the queen in her black pearl, and find
Near the throne a fourth gate – home.”