Driders

posted Jul 28, 2010, 8:37 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Dodecitina 7, 1000 PC

Conversation turns to a return to Troll's Bridge one night as our heroes discuss the latest broadcasts by Celesta.  The deliberations are suddenly interrupted by a scream from deep in the forest to the south of the hamlet.

Our heroes quickly leap into action to affect a rescue of the imperiled person.  Luanes on Gaelitae and Aifos on Aratalasus quickly scout from their flying mounts and discover activity around a sinkhole up the valley.  When Luanes realizes it is a woman screaming from near the edge of the sinkhole, she attempts to dive in and snatch the woman from her attackers.  Lightning bolts flash, striking rider and mount, but also reveal a number of driders closing in on their victim.

Unsuccessful at an immediate rescue, Luanes joins her friends as they approach the sinkhole looking for the trouble.  Legeand on foot, Sparta on Ringo and Sjach on Vivex quickly close on the sinkhole when the driders, all of whom have made themselves invisible, begin casting dispels, lightning bolts, scorching rays and curses at the heroes.

T'Krosh purges the area around him of the invisibility and reveals several driders that surround the group.  Though the purge is quickly dispelled by one of the driders, the now visible ones are quickly dispatched. Before T'Krosh has a chance to renew his invisibility purge, Luanes flies into the fray and identifies a location where an invisible drider or two might be with her ability to detect evil.  Sjach's lucky aim with his lightning breath takes down an invisible drider while Nyza incinerates two once she has given herself the ability to see the invisible creatures.  Once T'Krosh recasts his purge spell, the other driders are quickly eliminated, T'Krosh obliterating the final one with a frighteningly powerful flame strike granted him by Kurtulmak.

Sjach heroically rescues the elven woman named Dierisa Skald who explains that she lost her companions in the Underdark and only just managed to escape after wandering underground for two months.

The damage and afflictions laid upon the heroes healed by Luanes, Dale and T'Krosh, the heroes turn to trudge back to Tanglewood.

Drider
A few more days go by quietly as patrols continue.
The orcs and hill giants seem to have gotten the idea that Tangleton is a dangerous place to try and raid.
Wintersky, Elenia and several of Wintersky's Teton followers depart one day to return to the ruins where Gaedracis Perjorative was slain to perform a ritual to recover BuffaloHorn and send his spirit on to the Happy Hunting Grounds.
Dale spends her spare time bolstering the hamlet's defenses and repairing damage to the buildings and trees.
Nyza: Please be careful of the lich's ghost as well, should he have one. The gnoll has a strong spirit.
The Sending Stone periodically spouts a message in Celesta's voice as she updates the group about the state of Troll's Bridge, hoping the heroes are receiving the news.
Sjach lends his back and his horse's strength to moving what needs to be moved.
Legeand usually spends his time out on patrols if not drinking and resting.
Luanes spends her time healing and then aiding in the rebuilding.
Nyza spends some time communicating with kobolds across the forest to find those with engineering skills.
Aifos wanders around the hamlet helping where he can and meeting everyone he can.
Sparta: Sounds like Celesta is having a tough time of it in Troll's Bridge. As soon as we get Tangleton protected, we need to help her.
Sjach nods to Sparta, "I agree. I do not think this person should be left too long with so much going on."
Oliveryn: Troll's Bridge is taking a pounding. I want to check on my mother and make sure she is alright.
Luanes: Indeed, I should check on her condition.
Oliveryn: Sounds like Celesta has House Artural well warded.
Nyza: The rest of the city may not be so lucky though.
Sparta thinks of Tuk & Tun in the Smoking Pipe.
Eregard: She is taking a lot of chances though.
Sparta: I hope our friends are safe.
Luanes: She should be resting.
Oliveryn: Those demons must be some interest to you, Luanes. Associated with Darzagon, she said?
Sjach takes the harness from Vivex and cleans him off to let him graze.
Aifos: Why should Lady Artural be resting?
Luanes: Indeed, they are.
Legeand: Well, all things considered, we cannot just leave them helpless in their own town with demons attacking.
Luanes: She is in a...delicate condition, General.
Sjach: If there are Sajanese there, then there is bound to be trouble not far behind.
Luanes: ...er...I mean, sir.
Eregard: My aunt is pregnant.
Sjach looks at Eregard.
Aifos: Oh, and she is in Troll's Bridge in the state it is in?
Luanes: I take it, then, that we will be travelling to Troll's Bridge?
Eregard: Soon, I hope.
Sjach: When law and order are threatened, I would certainly go.
Dale: Yes, very soon. I just have a few more walls to build.
Sjach: Do you you still need my help with the lifting, Lady Dale?
Oliveryn: Yes, we need to make sure Tangleton will survive before we go wandering off.
Dale: Your help is always appreciated.
Luanes: We would welcome your assistance and company, Sir Sjach.
Sjach blinks at the blonde finally talking to him.
Sjach: I am simply Sjach. I have not earned enough years or respect for "Sir."
Luanes: Very well, Sjach.
Sjach nods to Luanes, trying not to stare at her wings.
Sparta: I'm glad the inn is back in order. A good kitchen always helps to create a great meal.
Sjach eats like he is pregnant with 10 babies.
Sparta: You have quite the appetite, Sjach. You put most halflings to shame.
Aifos: It is the draconic metabolism.
Sjach mouths around a huge chunk of food, "Thanks."
Nyza: You certaintly earn the meal though. Nyza wish there is more to offer for your help, yes? But our little village is not wealthy enough for that yet.
Sjach nods respectfully to Aifos and turns to Nyza.
Sjach: "Am I eating all your resources, dragon-kin?" wipes his mouth on his arm.
Screams drift into the inn from deep in the woods to the south.
Luanes whips her head around at the sound.
Dale: Oh dear, that sounds like more trouble.
Sjach shoves back his plate, stands and reaches for his sword Valor.
Eregard leaps to his feet and rushes outside to take a look.
Sparta tightens up the buckles on his gear as he follows Eregard outside.
Legeand: Almost weekly scream of bloody murder...
Luanes stands up, her hand gripping the hilt of her sword.
Aifos erects his Mage Armor as he stands.
Luanes: It sounds like it originated in that direction.
Sjach looks at Aifos briefly and sends a silent prayer to fight well before his mentor.
Luanes points to the south.
Legeand: grumbles and stands readying his sword, "Well, let us go see?"
Dale calls for Ferocious.
Aifos looks pained by Sjach's gesture.
Nyza: Yes, before they break the inn again!
Luanes goes outside and calls for Gaelitae.
Nyza: Maybe we are lucky and it is just a mining accident or something.
Sjach: Vivex present!
Sjach mounts swiftly, moving to investigate.
Aifos walks outside and call for Aratalasus.
Luanes gracefully mounts the pegasus and launches into the air, heading towards the screams.
Dale: As Ferocious slinks out of the forest, Dale casts Greater Magic Fang upon her.
Sjach: "Sparta! Dale! Do you need a swift mount?"
Luanes wants to fly ahead and check it out.
It is cloudy making the forest particularly dark this night.
Sparta: Swift is a relative term in the forest. Ferocious and Ringo can probably travel as quickly as your steed.
Aifos mounts his drakkensteed once it appears.
Luanes: Obviously, Luanes and Aifos will arrive there first.
Sparta leaps upon Ringo and shares Long Strider with him.
Sjach: I only offered, my friends. As you wish.
Luanes was hoping to scout a little before everyone arrives.
Dale likewise mounts Ferocious and shares her Longstrider.
Aratalasus launches into the sky with rider.
The flying mounts scout from the air to the south following the ridges on either side of the valley.
Luanes spots a vast sinkhole at the base of the western ridge. There is a great deal of movement around it, but she cannot make out what it is.
Luanes signals to Aifos to fly back to the group and report.
Sparta: Time's a wasting. Are we ready to follow them into the forest?
Sjach: Should we keep heading south?
Aifos swings Aratalasus around to have a quick look as he makes his way back.
T'Krosh: Follow the screams. Should be easy enough.
Sjach nods at T'Krosh and charges forward with haste.
Sparta: Yes, we can follow the valley floor to the south.
Luanes dives a bit to attempt to get a closer look, though she is still heading back towards the group.
Woman's voice: Help me! They are going to get me!
Sjach: "We are on our way! Try to stay calm!" Sjach answers loudly.
Dale and Ferocious set off at a run in the direction of the voices.
Luanes sees a woman at the edge of the sinkhole struggling to keep from falling in. Large, dark shapes move around the hole.
Luanes attempts to nose dive to grab the woman.
Dale casts Stoneskin and shares with Ferocious.
Sjach rides with his katana bared and ready.
Two lightning bolts flash from the edge of the sinkhole as Luanes dives, revealing several driders in the burst of light.
Nyza casts Mirror Image and Arcane Spellsurge on herself. T'Krosh blesses himself with Spell Resistance and Freedom of Movement.
Sjach mutters, "Psh! Lightning!"
Gaelitae is also struck by the bolts.
Sjach charges into the fray as fast as he can.
Luanes she attempts to grasp the struggling victim and fly upwards.
Legeand hoofs it after Sjach.
Dale dismounts as they near the sinkhole to take wild shape as an elephant.
The woman is grabbed by one of the driders.
Dale then casts Animal Growth on herself, Ferocious and Ringo.
Sjach races toward the woman to rescue her.
Nyza flies with the others. T'Krosh goes on foot.
Oliveryn: Along the way Oliveryn casts Mirror Image, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Indomitability, Eagle's Splendor and Comprehend Languages. He also give Eregard Greater Heroism.
Legeand moves forward at full speed.
Sparta rides on Ringo toward the sinkhole.
Woman's voice screaming, "They vanished into thin air!"
Sjach: We will help you! We are nearly there!"
Sparta: We're here now. Vanished you say?
Oliveryn sings as he moves forward, inspiring courage.
Sjach, Dale and Luanes here chanting coming from the air nearby.
Sjach frowns at the sound, his bronze eyes glittering.
Dale's elephant form returns to its usual size and her Stoneskin spell expires.
Dale: I think something just dispelled several of my spells.
Sjach: There are spellcasters flying around up there?!
Two bolts of fire strike Sparta.
Sjach yells, "NO!"
Sjach's Ring of Force Shield becomes inert and his Handy Haversack becomes ten-times its usual weight and starts spilling its contents.
Sjach yells about the mother of the haversack's maker and the things she has done.
Webs fill the air around Luanes and Gaelitae.
Sjach makes a mental note to pick up his falling things after battle.
Paladin and mount safely avoid the webs.
T'Krosh: You won't hide from the Ironstinger's gaze!
T'Krosh casts Invisibility Purge on himself.
Nyza: They're um... all around us.
Sjach: "Mother of Aif..." trails off when he remembers his companions.
T'Krosh's Invisibilty Purges goes down and the glow of his Ranseur fades.
Dale casts Entangle to catch the one behind her.
Ferocious pounces on the drider to Dale's left.
Ferocious pulls one to the ground and tears it to shreds.
Sjach cheers on the lion.
Legeand is cursed.
A lightning bolt strikes Sparta and Ringo.
Sjach definitely looks angry now.
Halfling and mount dodge the bolt of lightning.
Nyza happily slings around fireballs in the middle of the forest.
Nyza: After her barrage, Nyza takes cover behind a nearby tree.
Fire engulfs the two driders and incinerates them.
Luanes hovers for a moment, seemingly not doing anything.
Sjach: Hey, flutterby, this is no time for day dreaming!
Luanes points to the area before her.
Luanes: There are evil creatures there!
Sjach rides toward Sparta and the woman.
Sjach: I have my arrows and sword!
Luanes: And your lightning!!!
Sjach: I also have some interesting breath.
Sjach: "I just ate, so my breath is might fine!" 'shares' his breath just to his right, near where Luanes pointed.
The lightning strikes something that shrieks and a drider appears and falls to the ground.
Eregard runs forward.
Sjach: Thanks for showing me where, Luanes.
Eregard: Where are they!?
Sjach: Sparta heard some up here and Luanes found evil up here.
Dale: I think there is one more to my right.
Aifos and Aratalasus flies into the area and Aratalasus feels something swipe at him.
Sjach watches Aifos and his steed with gleaming bronze eyes.
Luanes: "There are still enemies there!" pointing to the same area.
Sjach: Sorry, I was trying to hurry.
Woman's voice: They are everywhere! Help me before I fall!
Legeand stands bewildered.
Sparta sits astride Ringo, bewildered.
Oliveryn moves further forward.
Sjach: I am almost there, my lady! We are coming to help you!
Oliveryn: We need to reveal more of these beasts!
Sjach: I have to help her! She could fall into the pit!
Dale feels the presence of one of the creatures descend upon her.
Two bolts of fire strike Legeand.
Legeand goes into a fury with no visible opponents.
T'Krosh: Ha! Idiot spiders, you cannot keep my magic down like some petty cleric!
T'Krosh casts Invisibility Purge again.
More drider appear; one particularly close to Dale.
Dale trumpets in her elephant form.
Dale tramples the dryder next to her.
Dale grinds the drider into the ground.
Two more fire bolts strike Legeand.
One of two fire bolts strike Sjach.
Luanes: Nyza! Over here!!!
T'Krosh: Hmmm...
Sjach shudders and looks around bewildered at the firebolts.
Nyza: Get there faster you slowpoke.
Nyza reaches into her bag and pulls out a wand.
Nyza casts See Invisibility from the eternal wand.
Sjach: I have got to get that woman out of here before she gets hit too!"
Nyza: Aha, there!
Nyza lets loose a fireball deep into the forest.
Sjach: Well done, dragon-kin!
Nyza grins, but does not yell back in response.
Two flaming masses erupt and collapse next to the sinkhole.
Sjach: A twofer!
Two bolts of fire strike Aifos, but he shake them off taking very minimal damage.
Luanes looks in the opposite direction and sees no evil there.
Luanes casts Glitterdust in the area back to the front of her.
A shower of sparkles float through the area, but reveal nothing invisible there.
Sjach dismounts and heads toward the woman near the pit, calling out to her.
Sjach: My lady, you must come with me!
Woman's voice: Help! I am starting to slide!
Sjach runs to the edge, reaching out for her.
Sjach: Give me your hand!
The woman is just out of reach.
The woman reaches in vain.
Sjach: I will get my rope! Try to hold on!
Sjach finally remembers his rope is scattered somewhere across the field.
Sjach: Sparta, do you have a rope? I have lost mine. We have got to save her!
Eregard ducks under the webs and searches for a target.
Eregard: Sneaky, are they not.
Aifos begins to have Aratalasus circle.
Two fire bolts strike Sjach from the right edge of the sinkhole.
Sjach: I am NOT a barbecue!
Sjach shudders and shakes it off.
Woman's voice screams as she slides further, "Help!"
Legeand, in his fury, searches for a target and only finds Vivex, which he approaches and hacks with the Cleaverbow
Sjach: I am getting a rope! Do not panic! Try to hang on!"
Sjach: "HEY!"
T'Krosh: Leggy, what are you doing? We just ate!
Sparta continues to sit bewildered upon Ringo.
Sjach: Sparta, where is your rope? The woman is slipping and I cannot quite reach her!
Sparta: On Ringo's saddle.
Oliveryn ducks under the webs and also searches for a target.
Sjach: Thanks, Man. Mine is on the ground somewhere back there.
Sparta: Is she a halfling?
Sparta: We don't have many big folk in Tangleton. Do you think she might be with them?
Sjach: No, she looks like an elf.
Two fire bolts strike Ferocious.
Sjach: Vivex, get back from that nutter!
A lightning bolt crackles, but Oliveryn turns and produces a gout of fire that engulfs the caster.
Another drider falls from the air, a charred mass.
T'Krosh runs ahead, letting his spell illuminate more driders.
Sjach's eyes widen at the sight of the driders so close.
Dale casts her second Entangle spell.
Ferocious pounces on the right most drider.
Ferocious leaps, but does not have the height this time to reach the drider.
Sjach: Sparta, is your beast friendly enough to let me rummage through your saddle pack?
Sparta: Ringo's well trained. He doesn't bite my friends.
The drider struggles free of the entangle and starts to back away.
Sjach: Good!
Nyza hurls another fireball into the battlefield, content to remain in the rear lines of the battle.
Another mass of flames erupts as another drider shrieks.
Luanes swoops down on Legeand and touches him causing his fury to end.
Sjach: Vivex get out!
Sjach is clearly torn between his horse's life and saving the woman.
Legeand collapses from his frenzy.
Sjach gets the rope from Ringo's saddle bag and runs back to the woman.
Eregard runs across the battlefield toward the nearest drider.
Aifos fires to bolts of fire at the drider in the sinkhole, attempting to make it fall.
Woman's voice: I am going to fall!
Sjach: I have the rope! Grab hold of it or wrap it around you!
Legeand lies exhausted where he fell.
Sjach: Do not give up--I will not let you fall!
Sparta releases a volley of arrows.
Sjach: Good job, Sparta!
An arrows kills the one in the sink hole and if falls, the next arrow catches the drider through the eye, dropping it, and the last two find their mark in the last drider.
Oliveryn stands dazed after his Blast of Flame.
The last drider casts a desperate Lightning Bolt through Ferocious and Dale.
Ferocious avoids it, but it strikes Dale.
T'Krosh scoffs at the drider's pitiful display of magic.
T'Krosh takes the time to channel an empowered Flame Strike against the spider-creature for maximum effect. The creature is incinerated.
The woman struggles to grasp the rope.
Sjach kneels and lowers the rope down farther, trying to grab her arm too.
Sjach: I am trying to get the rope closer, but you need to try harder!
The rope falls into her grasping hand and she hangs on just as the meager ledge she was holding onto gives way.
Sjach: Well done! I will pull you up now! Hold tight!
Luanes moves to the sink hole, trying to get closer to the woman in case her grip slips on the rope.
The woman cries, "Oh, no. I have lost it."
Luanes sees a satchel fall out of sight.
Sjach leans over the edge as far as he can to reach for her.
Sjach: Grab my arms! I am right here!
The woman glances down and then scrambles up the rope.
Nyza: The kobolds stand back helplessly. Neither is strong enough to lift the woman up and Nyza's touch would probably do more harm than good anyway.
Sjach: Do you have a good grip? I am going to pull now!
Aifos brings Aratalasus in for a landing nearby.
Sparta tries to tell if the woman is from Tangleton.
Sjach begins pulling up the woman from the pit.
Sjach manages to help the woman the rest of the way up and to safety.
Dale dismisses her Entangles and approaches the group still in elephant form.
Sjach: Are you hurt?
She grabs hold of the half-dragon shaking with fright, hugging him.
Luanes lands and dismounts, walking to Legeand and checking him over.
Sjach blinks in surprise and hugs her back carefully.
She shakes her head, no.
Sjach: What is your name, my lady?
Dale: What were you doing out here in the forest alone? Tanglewood is a dangerous place.
Aifos walks up, "That was a close call."
Sjach: Easy, Dale. She is frightened.
Sjach: You are safe now, it is alright.
Dierisa Skald: I am Dierisa Skald, bard and adventurer.
Luanes places her hands upon Legeand and prays to Visaria for healing.
Sjach: Well met, Dierisa, but next time adventure with a friend or group, okay?
Dierisa Skald: I have escaped the Underdark after losing my companions.
Nyza: Oh no! Lost them to more of these driders?
Luanes: Merciful Goddess, grant your blessed healing upon this noble warrior.
Legeand groans and rolls over after the healing, "God, I hate that."
Sjach frowns.
Dierisa Skald: No, illithids.
Dierisa Skald shutters.
Sparta: That is quite a feat, to escape alone.
Luanes: Hold still, Legeand.
Sjach: You have been very brave this day.
Dale sniffs the air with her trunk, scenting for drow or squid-heads.
Nyza: Ilithids? So close to the town.
Legeand: I am hardly injured. Just worn out!
Nyza detects magic on the girl, looking for illusions or enchantments.
Dierisa Skald: I escaped with an amazing amount of luck and the grace of Corellon.
Luanes: Then hold still and Visaria will grant you energy as well.
Nyza scans a Detect Magic spell over Skald, paranoid as ever.
Sjach: We should get you out of here quickly then. There could be more.
Nyza finds she gives off a similar aura to Oliveryn.
Dale: Are you injured? We have healing for all.
Luanes casts Second Wind on Legeand.
Sjach: Injured? Yes, Vivex is badly hurt!
Sjach is clueless to his own wounds because he is distracted by the elf and his horse.
Dierisa Skald: I have traveled for miles underground. Where is Troll's Bridge from here? And what is the date?
Luanes: There...now do you not feel better?
Legeand: Stands up and stretched, "A tad."
Oliveryn: The date is Dodecitina 7th, my lady.
Luanes smiles then turns to Sjach.
Dierisa Skald: Oh, my. I have been in the Underdark for more than two months.
T'Krosh: Would you like the year, as well?
T'Krosh glances at Aifos and smiles.
Luanes: Where is Vivex?
Sjach's relief is evident as he gestures with a hand over his shoulder.
Sjach: He is badly hurt--just over there! Thank you!"
Luanes walks over to Vivex and prays over him.
Nyza: Troll's Bridge is a few days to the south. We are heading there soon, ourselves.
Dierisa Skald: It had better be the year 1000.
Dale: Sjach, please call Vivex a little closer for me to heal him.
Sjach: Thank you so much for helping him!
Luanes: Is there anyone else in need of healing?
Dale casts Mass Cure Serious wounds on the party.
Sjach looks surprised at the healing wounds.
Sjach: Dale you are a queen among women."
T'Krosh casts a Mass Cure Serious Wounds of his own to help out.
Legeand scratches himself, "I am not healed yet!"
Sjach: "I did not realize I got hurt," grins sheepishly.
T'Krosh, recognizing the hexes similar to his own, cures the afflictions the driders caused on his party members.
Sparta: Thank you, T'krosh, you are a good man.
T'Krosh: One thing has nothing to do with the other.
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