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A Double-Edged Stick

Drusilia’s Journal

Moonday, Planting 10, 592 CY, continued

We quickly followed the “drag marks” that were left by Gildean’s attackers as they hauled off his friends. Apparently, the woods were full of spiders and hapless adventurers, because we quickly came upon a gray elf attempting to beat a huge spider with a stick. By the time we got to him, he was under the spider, but thankfully Ghelt was able to hack down the spider and we rolled it off its intended victim. The elf with the big stick goes by the name of Valon and hails from Dreadwood. He is a bard, and believes that his big stick is in fact a magical longsword. Fafnir was able to determine that the stick had magical properties, and Valon demonstrated its keen edge by cleaving the dead spider in half. But, it really looks like he’s just waving a big stick around. Nevertheless, he seems a decent sort and provided us with an additional weapon for taking on the spiders we were searching for.

While Fafnir and I argued with Valon about the nature of his stick/sword, Ghelt and Trap had continued on a bit ahead of us. We heard the sounds of struggle and arrived in a clearing in time to see them grappling with two huge spiders and four of those goblin-spider monstrosities. I still can barely hit anything thanks to this curse from Nerull’s Shrine, but Valon began to sing, which bolstered us all enough to dispatch the evil creatures. It is good that he was with us, as I’m sure that Ghelt and Trap would have been carried off to meet the same fate as the party we searched for. As it was, Trap’s already lost his Piercer “pet”— apparently, he used Spike as a missile weapon during his skirmish. To make matters worse, I was bitten and poisoned, so am now barely able to keep up with my comrades.

Following the drag marks further, we came to a fissure in a rock face that was obviously the lair of the creatures we sought. Ghelt and the others had no trouble climbing down the rope she had along, but I’ve felt so weak and klutzy that I was sure I’d plummet right past the rope. Valon allowed me to hang on to him so I could descend in relative safety. We arrived safely at the bottom and walked down a narrow tunnel for a bit, eventually coming to an area that had four passages leading away from it. The cavernous ceilings above us were festooned with spider webs, and soon three of the hairy vermin were descending on us. We have been using fire to clear out the webs as we find them, but are going more cautiously now— it wouldn’t do to burn the victims we are looking for. Though everyone helps to defeat these creatures, it’s Ghelt’s axe that does the job best— I can see that some of our comrades will be asking her for tips on combat practices in the near future.

No sooner had we rid ourselves of the spiders than we were being attacked from the side corridors by a half-dozen goblin-spiders. Seeing that I was too weak to fight them off, Valon leaped in front of me and took a blow so bad I thought he was dead. But, he continued the bardic melody that he had begun in the last battle, so I ducked back in the corridor and dragged him to relative safety. I was able to heal him enough that he could sit up, and I nocked arrows for him in my shortbow so he could finish off the creatures I had dragged him away from. Ghelt and Trap must have killed the ones in the opposing corridor, for they came out a moment later. Both the corridors we fought in led to dead ends.

Fafnir was ready to see what lie in the final unchecked corridor, so we cautiously approached. A bit of movement caught our collective attention— in an alcove above us, we saw a hideous creature with a spider’s body and humanoid arms— and a glimmer of intelligence in its evil eyes. We attacked in earnest, though I eventually handed my bow and arrows to Valon— I was still too weak (and cursed) to shoot effectively. He, Ghelt and Trap pummeled the creature with arrows as it cast spells at us. Fafnir noticed another small passage and edged towards it, getting a magic missile in the back for his troubles. I followed him in time to see him discover a small chamber with three cocoons in it. The battle finished behind us with our party the victors. Valon used his stick/sword to slice open the cocoons— Gildean’s party was alive, though weak. Closer examination of the chamber lead to an even smaller alcove with the rescued party’s equipment in it, and a small iron box. While Trap hit himself with a poison needled twice while opening the box, I noticed that the belongings of the half-elven sorceress Kendra had two potions in it labeled “Remove Curse.” Thankfully, she weakly gestured that Ghelt and I could have them— what a relief! While Trap shared the contents of the box with Fafnir (contents being some silver and gold coins, a small vial, a scrollcase containing two spell scrolls, an 18” ash stick, an amethyst and a folded up cloak), Ghelt sternly pointed out that we needed to get back and find Gildean himself before he needed rescued again.

Posted by Kristin on December 23, 2002, 15:14 | Drusilia’s Journal