AiS #24: Attack of the Demon Spider!

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As the fog billowed about the party, the heroes cautiously edged forward. Again, came the strange clacking noise and Johann again glimpsed the large, unidentifiable creature moving upon the cliff face. As he shouted a warning, Thagrimm pushed in front of him at the very moment the creature darted down to attack.

The thing in the mist was a huge spider—easily the size of a warhorse. It was curiously coloured—covered in a foul, disquieting mottled black and grey pattern. It darted down and bit Thagrimm on the shoulder pumping poison into his body. The party bravely leapt into action and surged forward to battle the beast. In short order, the spider was grievously wounded and it fled back up the cliff into the fog.

Giving chase, the party followed the fresh blood trail left by the fleeing spider. The trail led to a small ledge about ten feet above the beach. A cave mouth led from the ledge into the cliff and the party noticed a short flight of crude wave-worn steps leading up to the ledge. Their blood up, the heroes surged into the spider’s domain. In short order, Warg slew the foul beast just as several of its young emerged from the lair’s deeper caverns. With his killing blow Warg virtually decapitated the spider and—for his trouble—was deluged in a foul, viscous ichor that burnt his skin. Still, no matter, the brave warrior fought on. Joined by Orithur, Oerithur’s companion, Alice and more of the group the three young spiders were quickly slain. During the battle, Alice deluged the creatures with magical fire, and the party were disconcerted to discover the flames had no effect on the spiders. It was evident these spiders were no ordinary creatures—they were afflicted with the taint of the Abyss.

With the spiders slain, the party poked about their lair. Little of interest was found except a natural cavern leading further into the cliffs. Following this winding passages up a short flight of steps, the party discovered the spiders’ main lair and the decomposing bodies of several of their victim. By their garb, the party identified the dead as peasants and fishermen.

Pushing on down another natural winding tunnel the party came to an escarpment. Atop the escarpment, the scouts discovered a chamber of worked stone. Dust—riddled with spider tracks—covered the floor. At the far end of the room a single door pierced the wall. Grogor checked over the door and pronounced it safe so after a short delay the party opened the portal.

Beyond lay another large room; a spiral staircase in the south west corner rose upwards out of sight while five other doors—three of them cell doors by the looks of things—pierced the room’s walls. Grogor checked the first cell door. A small cell lay beyond the door inhabited by nothing more than a mouldering skeleton. As Grogor rattled the door’s handle, the skeleton abrupt started moving! Grogor hurriedly backed away from the door and Warg rushed to help his companion. As Warg reached the door, the skeleton thrust its bony claws through the door. Warg hacked mightily at the skeleton, but missed, over-balanced and slipped toward the door. The skeleton grasped onto his sword arm and partially ripped it off. Staggering back, Warg lashed out again and this time sheered both arms off his foe. This proved enough to destroy the skeleton and with a clatter of bones it collapsed. As Veronwe rushed to heal the warrior’s wounds, the party’s attentions turned to the other two cell doors…