The Wood Wide Web

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Low/medium adventure to be played on Tuesdays at Chez Smith in Mangere Bridge

A short elf, (Faith sized and DAs as Fae Elf) from Zeyland, has made her way to the Guild in order to recruit low level adventurers to investigate strange goings on as requested by the Guardian of the Forest. She also desires to join the Guild.

Players

  • Grizelda Female giant rune mage (scribe)
  • Pierre Male halfling illusionist
  • Kerry Female human celestial mage (party leader)
  • Marco Male human earth mage
  • Remel Male human water mage

(Note: This may turn into a series of mini-adventures as this was originally intended to be a short adventure)

Scribe Notes

Chapter One - To Zeyland We Will Go

1 Meadow 814
Our employer was called Elana Moonwatcher. She was a short elf who came from Zeyland in the far south. She did not understand money. After talking to Guild security she offered greenstone, obsidian and mithril and possibly knowledge of ancient magics as reward. Apparently her people were banished to the south by the tall elves in the long ago wars. Their leader was an elder mage named Lady Gwen. They wanted us to evict the giant spiders that have infested part of their forest and filled it with webs. Elana was some kind of astrologer, and she complained that the sky here in Seagate was upside down. And there was a new star in the sky over Zeyland. The spiders were stopping her people from getting to the village by the big lake where the rainbow fish live. And there were volcanoes in Zeyland. And the earth was prone to shaking. And there were chickens as tall as me. And great big bouncing mice. And big eagles. But not rocs or elephants. There were also dragons in the southern mountains. And dwarves. The big spiders were only halfling sized. Some of the elves that were living in the spider area have changed. And now worship something called Lloyth or something beginning with M

Elana had a long distance portal thing, called a wyrmhole. It was an ancient magic and would get us to Zeyland quickly. We could get back via Rangiwhero.

Marco: I’m a ranger, so what kind of forest is it? Employer: Well, it’s a carnivorous forest…

We spent the rest of the day organising greater enchantments, skin changes, restoratives and so on, most of which I had to pay for. We settled on a ten per cent greater from Aaron on magic and combat for all of us. It fell to me to summon my efreeti and ride to Slippery Rock to see the witches about the skin changes and restoratives.

Grizelda: If they’re scared of a giant riding an efreeti, they must be new to the area…

After dinner Marco collected his tigers from various places around the guild where they had been stoned and stored. They were unstoned and then bound, fed and skin changed.

2 Meadow 814
In the morning, Elena was yawning a lot. What had she been doing all night? Marco instructed the tigers that we were not food, and neither was the employer. Then we set forth. We had to walk six miles. Elena had never seen a horse or a cow before. When I asked her how she had got to the guild she pointed to the sky. It seemed that she had literally dropped in. We came to a barn where the farmer was expecting us. Guild security must have set this up. Then Elena started her ritual, placing a hexagon of crystals on the wall. Meanwhile Marco skin-changed the tigers. Which confused them a bit. For one thing they could not roar… when they tried, they mewed!

As Elana finished, the portal appeared, creating what looked like a vertical pool of water on the water. Then all we had to do was walk through it. Or, in my case, bend over and shamble through it. She warned that it would only last 38 minutes. One by one we stepped into the portal and fell through a magical tube that dumped us without ceremony on the damp forest floor. It was dark, not yet dawn. And now we had to walk some more. About twenty miles. After a while we ran into some more short elves, who were a hunting party. One made a rune portal by just planting a rune stick. We had a bit of an argument about how rune portals are supposed to work. The little elf glared at me. Little elf, big giant… not so intimidating. Anyhow, I did learn that the bees counted as a single entity for this kind of magic, because we popped through to the village without trouble. And then they offered breakfast. Broiled fish, eggs, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and fern fronds.

Grizelda (of her bees): They will bee-hive!

Chapter Two – An Interrupted Party

We chatted about getting home over breakfast, and Elana confirmed that she would be able to get us to Rangiwhero, and we explained that there was a portal from there to the Sea of Grass.

Employer: We homed on the greatest source of magic…

Grizelda: You found the Guild Vault.

Employer: We are somewhat surprised that it hasn’t collapsed into a magical singularity.

Grizelda: Well, it is very singular!

As we eat we saw elves moving along the rope walks through the Elven city above us in the trees. Elena tells us about the big flightless birds in the southern forests. The elves here are more faerie-like, and have the faerie allergy to cold iron. They also have old and different magic to ours. Her star-wings look like the night sky with scattering of stars. She pointed out a clearing among trees where we could make camp. As we looked for fish in the nearby stream, a small faerie creature flew towards us, and introduced herself as Krista, and turned into a somewhat larger elf. She explained that she was a Fae mage… who do nature magics. Marco started chatting to the dragonflies. They believed there were dragons sitting on the fire mountains. There were trout in the stream, so Marco and Fathom set down to fishing as we talked to Krista, about the spiders. They thought that a previous group of tall folk had gotten rid of the spiders, far to the north, where the humans were. But they hadn’t got them all, or this was another problem altogether, and the spider problem was now much worse that it was before. And some of the elves have turned to the dark. The spiders had the ability to spit webs and were poisonous. They had grown great webs across the forest, but Krista was not sure if they were intelligent. They seemed to communicate with each other through the web. A mind mage tried to contact them, but she went crazy and ran away into the forest. The elves have some good healers – which will be useful. The real problem was that we didn’t have much to fix mental problems or charms, and some of the elves in the villages in spider territory may be under the influence of vile enchantments. Tomorrow we would be meeting the Guardian of the Forest, who was a Treant.

After lunch, just as we were thinking about a nap, there was another arrival in the form of a glowing ball of light that turned into another winged elf. She introduced herself as the Lady Gwen, leader of the elves here, and truly ancient, old enough to remember the long ago War between the Elves. She was pleased we were going to do something about the spiders because they would be here within a week or two. The webs were tall enough in places to be enough Grizelda’s head. She has lost contact with the elves in that area. They have assemblages of talents and spells instead of Colleges. We discussed making herbal powders and potions to aid with combating the spiders. It was not impossible that the elves that had turned to the dark, who call themselves Aurae, were turning into some kind of drow. Before she left, she invited us to dine with the tribe that evening. We passed the afternoon fishing and sleeping.

A group of elves that looked like forest guards came to collect us near sunset, and led us through the forest. There were lights in the forest. It would seem that the elves had been decorating. They showed us a fungus that looked very like a truffle. We were seated at the high table with the Lady Gwen, who was looking very regal in a dress that scintillated in the fairy light. They had found a tree trunk for Grizelda to sit on. There were even elf children, more than I had ever seen. We were just about to start when a dishevelled looking elf burst into the clearing crying out to the queen, “They are coming, we cannot stop them!” He was sweating heavily. As we stood up, and readied our weapons, he drew a dagger and called out “Die, usurper queen!” And stabbed the queen. She dropped. I hit him, and he too fell to the ground. As the royal consort went to aid the queen, the possessed elf assassin’s body began to move, and from his back emerged a spider the size of my hand, which leapt upon the consort, as I squished it with my club. The elven healers and Kerry went to help Lady Gwen, as another spider was spotted up in the trees, watching. It was soon full of arrows, and I cut promptly it down. They preserved the assassin’s body, for their Queen to resurrect later. After asking permission of the Custodian of the Records, an elder elf who was now in charge, we examined the corpse, and it looked like somebody had opened a wound in his back and inserted the spider. It appeared that it was not my blow that killed him, but a spider bite. There were spider eggs secreted around the body. He was also under some kind of spider magic, and there was a mind-sapping poison in his bloodstream. Mind College counterspells would help against this poison. One of the elven mages put the corpse in some kind of stasis effect. His spirit was there, and was sorry. He seemed to understand when I said that it was not his fault. The spider had the aura “Watching Spider” and a fading magic.

We returned to our camp to rest, and were undisturbed except that it rained heavily around midnight. Just before that I saw a peculiar flightless bird with a long beak come snuffling out of the bush. It was the kind that was sacred to the elves, so we left it alone.

3 Meadow 814

At dawn it was still raining. We were awoken by unfamiliar, but nevertheless pretty bird songs. Elena and Krista turned up around breakfast. We decided to go hunting for spiders up the river, after casting many spells in preparation. Back towards the city, we saw a great many elves moving around, obviously on high alert. We spotted a cable running from the city through the forest. An elf was in the air tracking it. Then we saw a spider making its way along the cable towards the elven city, laying another cable. And then a second spider across further. An elf shot it with fire magic. Pierre attempted to enchant the trees. There was a dryad in that tree… and the tree cooperated. It started to shake violently. The spider webbed Pierre, and then Kerry and I shot it… my bolt carried it flying through the air some distance away. Kerry and Fathom cut the dryad and Pierre free. We went to check on the dead spider, and as we did so a bolt of lightning shot down another spider. From the dying aura of the dog-sized spider I shot, we learned that it had been somewhat sentient, but I could see no spirit. My bolt was somewhat corroded, so we tested one of my special silvered dwarven bolts in its blood – which appeared to be unaffected. I divined the spider, and got the impression that it was a web-spinning spider, and part of a larger whole. Lady Gwen joined us, and told us that the spiders appeared to be creating a giant web across the forest. There were nodes and spiders sitting on them. Lighting magic was especially potent because it seemed to propagate along the threads.

Chapter Three - Spiders go Squish!

3 Meadow 814
We learned that the spiders are light-aspected, since they are active during the day. Crista had been sending out pixies to scout. They had learned that the webs extended up the river, becoming increasingly denser as they went. When he examined the strands of the web, Marco found there was a glassy fibrous core to it. They tried a number of alchemical methods, but only very strong and dangerous liquids such as aqua fortis had any effect, and then only slowly. Meanwhile, I summoned an efreeti, and told it to “break that” pointing to the web. He grasped the strand, burned through the outer leathery coat and pulled the inner threads like toffee until they broke. I shortly discovered that the most effective trick was to saw through the inside, and then get the efreet to finish the job. Predictably, this had the effect of attracting arachnoid attention… four spiders, one stopped by a Wall of Darkness Kerry had cast, one ran away, one remained on the web, while another attacked on the ground. Fathom cast fog, and I mounted my efreet and charged the spider on the web.

Grizelda. “I’m flying into battle on an efreet – it’s a yo-do-ho moment!”

The spider on the ground webbed Pierre and Fathom, catching Fathom. I attacked and missed. So did my efreet. I landed in the tree, and he flew past and ended up on the ground. Not a great start. But I made up for that, by thumping it clear out of the tree. Meanwhile, Pierre and Kerry had killed the other one. Then we extricated the unfortunate Fathom, and finished off the one by the wall. We formulated a plan to attack the nearest node, putting a Rune Wall around it first. Kerry slowly turned into a half-panther half-person, and Marco into a half-tiger half-person. So we headed into the forest and there was more and more web. And found a spider sitting on the node.

I shot at it, but somehow it dodged. Then Pierre shot and nearly killed it. Two more appeared beside us, and the efreet and I hoed in with our weapons. Fathom made a fog… although it burned off quickly around the efreet which was now aflame. Pierre made an illusory wall of fire between us and the other spiders that we could now see beyond – one of which was truly enormous. We hurt the nearby spiders so much that they promptly phased out and retreated to get healed.

Grizelda: I could make small flammable objects burst into flame…

Marco: There’s only Pierre and we don’t want to burn him!

The big one approached and made threats in Fathom’s head. I made a rune wall around us. Kerry made blackfire on the big spider so that it ran away, making more threats. We set about destroying more and more of the web, as we made our way to the river, where we concealed ourselves under the water. Except the efreet and Pierre hid him inside a rock. As darkness was falling, a boss spider appeared, above the river. So we shot it, hoping to bring it down. But didn’t do much, so we ducked back under the water, as a bunch of short elves came out of the bushes, and shot at us. Pierre and I noticed a heat source coming down the cliff towards the efreet’s hiding place. I commanded the efreet to grab it and throw it to me in the river. Which he did. And I grabbed it – it was an elf, in a black spider silk suit, with weird oriental weapons. Fathom put water-breathing on him so he didn’t die. We took him captive and took him back down river to the elven city. It was really late when we got there. We learned that he had been listening to the spider voices, and was now a zealous follower of the spider god. One of the elves cast fascination on him, but that really didn’t help much. He had a magical amulet that was an Amulet of Health.

Chapter Four - Too Many Faeries

4 Meadow 814

We are awoken at dawn by a voice crying of fire and spiders… sounding more than a little crazed. We hastily arm ourselves as we listen to the voice.

Marco: It sounds a couple of sandwiches short of picnic… Someone: Maybe missing the entire lunchbox! Keri: Or at least a couple of paddlers short of a canoe!

It was another elf, looking a bit bedraggled, covered with bits of forest, and his skin scratched all over. Fathom offered it fish for breakfast. He carried on rambling about the webs, spiders and so on. Pierre deduced that his brain was scrambled as if by krrf, but there was no krrf in his system. Possibly something from the forest? I fetched Elena and she said that he was the mind mage who tried to read the mind of the forest. After a while he calmed down a bit, but we still couldn’t get anything sensible out of him.

After breakfast and purification, I sent about ritually controlling the mad elf, so that he wouldn’t hurt himself any more. He kept on rambling about the beautiful priestess, the messenger. Then Fathom tried binding water, and summoned a water spirite named Nix, who promptly tried to seduce him. Then Elana warned us that summoning things around here might have unexpected results. Then we went to visit the forest guardian, an ancient treant who lived some miles away. We set off on foot, and walked through the forest until we came to a large clearing in which stood a giant tree. Elena addressed it and it awoke and opened its eyes. It said that we were the promised ones and asked us what we had found out. As we began talking about the spiders, the mad little elf, whom I was carrying in a baby sling, starting babbling. The treant told us to bring the mind mage closer and it reached down a branch to him. It recoiled and then tried again, more slowly. As he ministered to the elf, we were suddenly set upon by dark elves. Kerry got in the first whack with her axe. They hit back and one scored on her. But she got her own back, and then the cats went into action. Fathom cast fogs around them so they could not see. Then Pierre told the trees to shake, and one took an arrow from Crista and fell out of the tree. The cats play with elves, and the elves don’t do so well. One came back with an elf in its mouth, looking very pleased with itself. After trying to thump mine twice, I dropped my club, closed on her with my gloves, and wuss-slapped her into submission. We relieved the dead of a couple more of those health amulet, and some four healing potions.

The one who got cat-treed wanted to talk. She said that her priestess wanted us captured so she could talk to us. We asked her if that was the beautiful elf priestess we’d been hearing about.

Captured dark elf: The one with legs that go up to… Grizelda the giantess: Are they as long as my legs? Captured elf, looking up: Er… no.

The treant let go of the mad elf. He explained that the source of the problem is one of his kind, an ent-wife who had turned to the dark. She is somewhere to the north, beyond the big lake. The captured elf offered to guide us, since he was apparently a less than willing convert. The one I was sitting on had a right collection of nasty weaponry, garrotte, hatpins etc.

Pierre (looking at the elf assassin’s weapon collection): Watch it, you could hurt someone with those…

It seems that we must somehow contrive to deal with the corrupted treant and the dark priestess, and quickly. We gave the elf assassin to the treant and he showed her the truth, so she began to cry. We learned that there are dark-skinned humans somewhere to the north. There was much discussion of how to do something about the corrupted treant without actually killing her. We were given a seed from this treant just in case. One method might be to attack its roots. Or we could try to get the spriggans to help us access some underground caves.

And then we returned to the city. Fathom had a word with Nix whom he had left on watch. She had seen a spider heading into the forest, but wasn’t clear as to where it had come from. Krista turned up with a bunch more irritating little fairies. They suggested that the spriggans might be bribed, or won over with flattery. They are also stupid, so illusions might work. The faeries might be able to get some blue pixie dust that might cure the corrupted treant. Then they, thankfully, all went away except the one called Silvermist. They came back after breakfast the next day with a dust fairy carrying some of the blue dust, which he thought might work.

Chapter Five - The Battle of the River

5 Meadow 814

We decided that we would go to the spriggans disguised as same. One of the fairies cast “enchant mortal” on us, which would allow us to speak fae languages including that of the spriggans. Our illusionist would make us look like spriggans and one of the faeries would make a wave to carry us up the river. Then we must cross the lower slopes of a fire mountain to get to the lake.

Grizelda: Perhaps you plant a sprig and that grows into a spriggan?

So the faerie Silvermist made a wave, and we all hopped on, and headed upriver. We had to dodge logs, rocks, rapids and tendrils of spiderweb. The webs became denser and denser as we headed up the river. And then we were attacked, spiders firing gobs of spider goop at us. Fathom made a fog. And another one as we surfed past that one. At one point a wave of cold struck at us. After about two hours, as the river narrowed, suddenly a wall of darkness slammed into existence across the river. Then, as Fathom was casting his fog, darkfire came in from both sides. I caught a glimpse of short elves dressed in black. The faerie controlling the wave panicked and we started heading back down river rapidly. Soon we were out of range. As we debated how to ambush the ambushers, we saw someone flying overhead, but it did not look as if they saw us. We decided to sit under a cliff and have lunch as we talked. I made a fish stew with fiddlehead ferns and local herbs. The person with the shadow-wings flew back upriver, but again did not appear to see us.

Then we set forth, aiming to make fog, arm ourselves with counterspells, actively resist and simply push on through. This time they threw webs of darkness at us. Then we surfed through the dark wall, followed immediately by a wall of light. I fear I lost my reason, and charged back at the nearest of the dark elves. Two of the cats panicked, and for some reason, followed me. Even in my berserk rage, I could see that there were other elves in black suits, aiming crossbows. But my target was that evil mage who had had the temerity to cast at me. I charged into her and thumped her into the ground, smiting her with my mace. Another elf attacked me as the cats ran in. I swiped at the elf with the sword as I stomped on the downed mage. She stopped moving. Then I came to my senses, not that that made a whole lot of difference as I continued pounding on the elves on the left bank. I pummelled the one with the sword into the ground, but he didn’t seem to stun. Meanwhile, Marco got a smoking magma off on the other side of the river, making lots of steam and managing to catch Pierre…

One of the elves on that side swan-dived into the river, but another was stunned and couldn’t move, remaining stuck in the magma. The one in the river was floating towards the walls…her eyes widened as she realised she had literally leapt from the frying pan into her own trap! My opponent got up after I hit him again, but he was looking sore. The cats withdrew and another elf came up behind me, so I stayed put. He kept poking me from the rear, and then one of the cats took him to the ground. Eventually I thwacked my opponent into submission, and the other one surrendered – though the cat wasn’t all that accepting. Neither was I. I spat on her for attacking me from the rear, and then slapped her. She had no honour. Over the other side of the river, Pierre and Kerry, backed up by Fathom and his darts, dropped the other elves. Two had escaped, but we looted the others.

Chapter Six – Queen of the Spriggans!

We tied up the survivors in such a way that they should be able to release themselves after we had got far enough that following us would be difficult. Some time, after we left them behind, we found ourselves out of the forest, out of the web and in wide scrubland devoid of spiders. Ahead were three great fire mountains. Soon after that the river petered out into a stream, and the wave collapsed, dumping us in the water. And now we had to walk. It was quite cold, there was snow on the ground, and we were quite high up. We decided to camp until the small hours of the morning, as the predawn would help the celestial mage with her spells. It was frosty and clear, and the stars were bright, the great sky river a shining stream across the dome of heaven.

6 Meadow 814

Before the sun rose I summoned an efreeti, who was unhappy about the cold, and said a very bad word. There was frost everywhere, and we breakfasted on crayfish from the not quite frozen river.

Grizelda: Sure, it is not City of Brass, it is Plain of Brass Monkeys!

Then Keri cast wings on all who needed it, and we flew up into the sky, as the red light of dawn flooded the land. We headed north for the great lake and landed in the shallow marshes at the southern end. Except the efreeti and I who landed on a beach of white sand.

Grizelda (as the party landed on the lake): Those ducks must duck!

The efreet fire-bolted a brace of ducks for me. It scorched the feathers off! But there would be duck for dinner. And we found some white rocks that floated. Fathom summoned a water sprite, and asked it where to find the spriggans. She knew of them. Their caves are in the cliffs further up the western side of the lake. She also knew of the nameless one that sleeps at the bottom of the lake. Fathom asked his sprite to go and see if she could reach the thing in the lake… over my protests that this was cruel. She did not come back. We followed the beach and cliffs up the western shore, until we came upon what looked like a concealed entrance. Pierre sent his image along the beach. And a pile of rocks turned into a spriggan creature. There was another similar creature on the other side. Fathom offered it alcohol and gems. I challenged the spriggan king to single combat.

Eventually he came out, declaring himself to be Hagar the Horrible. He was agreeing to the alcohol and gems when his wife came out, calling herself Stella the Strong. Eventually the offer of jewellery got to her as well. A whole pack of spriggans come out, and they bowed down to me, swearing their loyalty to me, as their new leader, and calling me Grizelda the Great. Then they got their gems and their whisky. They told us of a way to the roots of the great tree, but defended by the eight-legs and two-legs. There was also a tall female elf, who seemed to be in charge, telling the little elves what to do. They had iron weapons, but it was not cold iron. We ended up with a bunch of spriggans to show us the way. We came to a cave exit that was full of web, and with a sign saying “you shall not pass” in Elvish. Though it was too small for the efreeti to pass, he was able to blast it with fire, blowing it away. The stench was appalling. Then I thanked the efreeti, and sent him home. The party was cruel to the spriggans also, making them go in front of us.

We went down the tunnel, and in a broad cavern we found a single giant mushroom. There were luminescent fungi on the walls. I thought on it, and remembered what this mushroom was. A creature called a “shrieker”, a living magical alarm. After some discussion I sent one of my bees to freeze it, and that neutralised it. Pierre replaced it with an illusion. We went on past and then we heard marching feet… a patrol of elves and spiders. The spriggans made like piles of rock, yet the patrol stopped. One kicked a spriggan, but he did not move. One of the big spiders came forward and webbed the rocks. The illusionist put up a wall to conceal us, and the patrol went past. We carried on, heading for the tree. Then a phase spider blinked into visibility in front of us. The spriggans slung rocks at it, and I shot it in the thorax, and then it phased out. But I could still see it, with my spirit vision. It tried to sneak into the middle of the party, and when it phased back in we were ready. It took several blows at once, and then phased out again, and ran away. I chased after it, and squished it… then I realised my maul was glowing as if affected by a spectral weapon spell. The party caught up with me, and spotted an invisible great cat, a panther, lurking in the darkness.

The cat led us through a concealed exit, to the leader of the resistance, who was formerly the King here. His name was Lord K’van. The woman calling herself the queen here was a tall elf who had come here with plans to lead the small elves and the spiders north to attack Alfheim. He asked how we had persuaded the spriggans to our side. I confessed to being the new queen of the spriggans. Seeing my size, he handed me a ring, a ring of reduction, which will allow me to move through tunnels more easily. Through the tunnels we must go, and deal with the dryads who were protecting the treant, and put the blue powder on the tree. And that’s when the alarm went off…

Chapter Seven – Out of the Frying Pan.…

And a bunch of spiders suddenly phased through the walls… I was about to go thump one when I was alerted to a web-covered thing behind me. It came at me but missed. Keri shot a spider right between the eyes and it died before it could phase out. Lord K’van slashed at the web monster, cutting into its webs. Then Marco’s tiger started tearing a spider apart. I smote the web thing and knocked it back, blocking the opening behind it, and preventing more dark elves from coming through. One of our elves cast a miniature whirlwind at one of the spiders sending it into a spin. The web monster was pushed forward to the side, and a small female elf wielding oriental daggers came through, only to be attacked by Lord K’van fighting beside me. Another elf came invisible at me and would have hurt me sorely, if it were not for my shield of primes. Instead I hurt her, and she was stunned. Then a fire bolt struck through my shield, which was not nice. An elf with dark wings flew into the room above us. The one who had sneaked in invisible hit me, but I thumped her solidly, knocking her unconscious to the floor.

Meanwhile Pierre was struck hard by the web thing. Krista flew up to tackle the dark elf in mid-air. One of our elves cast some kind of healing surge, and we all felt better. Including the enemy… A bolt of fire and an energy bolt from our side hit the golem. Two more attacked me as I stomped down on the one feigning unconsciousness, but they missed. There was a sickening crunch as I fractured the skull of one of my attackers with my maul and he fell insensible to the ground. Then the ground turned to smoking magma under my feet, and I had to step back. Marco again. As I stepped back I struck my other opponent, crushing his hip and killing him. The opposition Namer tried to counter the smoking magma, but failed. By now the tigers had finished off the spiders and were attacking the web monster. The smoking magma was creating a useful breach between us and them. One of the few enemies left on our side of the magma went for me, missed, and was felled by my maul. In the pause in combat, Pierre offered me a healing potion. A fine vintage, no doubt… The Namer was captured and the Water Mage surrendered. The other opposition retreated. We gleaned an amulet of luck, magical leather bracers, and elven boots of stealth.

Now that the resistance hideout was found out, they needed to find a way to get their injured to a safe place. The fey mage Krista offered to make a portal, but that would take an hour. Fathom suggested he cast water-breathing on all of them so they could retreat through the water-filled tunnels to the lake. And they did both, taking Krista with them through the tunnels so she could then make their escape portal down by the lake. They took the prisoners too, in hope that the forest guardian could heal them of their obsession. Marco put another smoking magma in the tunnel, which sent the next lot running. We continued on, using the magma spell to push them back. They fled before us, and we gave chase until we came upon a wall of dust and sand. Breaking the wall took time, slowing us down, whereupon they got away.

After we made our way out of the tunnels and into the open, Keri cast strength of darkness on us all, and the elven air mage gave us winds of flying. The spriggans promised to throw rocks and make a diversion. We could see the great treant covered all over with a mass of webs. There are many spiders too, hiding in there… Fathom flew into it, and bounced off the webs. Then Pierre had a go, trying to get himself there. But as soon as he landed on the mesh of webs, the dryad guardians came out of their trees…

Chapter Eight – ...Into the Spider Web

The rest of us landed in the clearing, the aim being to create a diversion, while Terrance attempted to make his way through the mesh of web and put the blue pixie dust on the corrupted treant. I charged at the nearest dryad, but missed. Hands of Earth sprang up as the dryads cast, and one pushed me forward as I resisted its grasp. Spiders advanced along the web at Pierre, who was protecting Terrance. Then one of them sprouted an arrow. The fairy air mage was firing. Then a dryad attacked her.

Marco (of a dryad): What’s she made out of? Bark? Kerry: Probably. She barks her toes!

Marco failed to cast a Smoking Magma under one of the dryad trees. The dryad scratched me with its thorn-like fingers, then Kerry came up behind it and skewered it, stunning it so I could thump it but good. The air mage shot down one of the spiders. The cats sprang in and attacked one of the other dryads, which occupied itself with the elf. Earth hammers shot at Pierre, trying to knock him out of the tree. We left the stunned dryad to the nearest tiger, and charged the next one which was faced away from us, looking up at Pierre, and casting spells at him. A spider tried to munch Pierre. My shield saved me from a wicked slash from the dryad, but not from a ray of cold that streaked across the clearing. I thumped the dryad, stunning her. Keri ran on, and sank her blade into another dryad, making sure she wouldn’t be casting. A spider got to Pierre, sending him unconscious, and the air mage flew up to aid him. And then the spell that Marco cast some time earlier finally went off, setting one of the trees on fire. Its dryad screamed… as fire rose up around her as well. Then the dark elves arrived and joined in the fight, one of them attacking Kerry and another going for me. Marco cast again, setting another tree on fire, and annoying the elves who were fighting me and Kerry. The dryad fighting me wasn’t happy either. Fathom flitted up into the treant to help Pierre, bringing him up to consciousness.

Then suddenly a blue light cascaded from the treant. There was a botanic scream and the dryads stopped. The elves paused, wondering what was going on. The webs around the treant erupted and blew into the air, lighting flaring along the strands of the web. Kerry and I took down a dark elf each in their distraction. Fathom fell out of the tree, but Pierre landed rather more upright. As the blue dust settled the tree seemed a bit scorched but was a rather healthier colour underneath. The dryads had vanished. Terrance was definitely high on the blue dust, flying downwards. The elves come back to themselves, and seem to have been in a bad dream. Which didn’t stop us tying them up and looting them.

We still needed to find the evil queen, who was apparently most likely in the caverns under the city. One of the elves proved to be a gardener who knew the area. The spriggans turned up – there were just four left, but would apparently reform within the week. Our elf didn’t want us to kill the queen – she was cute, apparently. He hated the spiders though, and tore off a black armband embroidered with a red spider that he had been wearing. He led us back into the caves. We hid when we saw a dark elf patrol running past, and finally reached a giant cavern, where there were mushrooms, and glowing fungi on the walls. In the distance there was a crowd of elves, gathered around a female elf on a dais. I was so tempted to shoot her from hiding. But the others said there was too many of them. So we waited for the crowd to disperse, and then followed, towards their temple. We ran into a patrol, but were able to convince the commander that the elf was escorting us to see the queen. But when we got there, we heard the queen let loose with an angry tirade about us, and then the patrol commander’s body came tumbling down the steps.

Grizelda: No one expects the spriggan inquisition!

The queen came out on a balcony, and just as she started a speech about not wanting to see spriggans, I shot at her, but unfortunately, I missed…

Chapter Nine – "The Queen is Dead…. Long Live the King!"

She wore the appearance of a short elf, dressed in a spider-web garment, and wearing a torc, bracers and some kind of eye glasses that emphasized her eyes to a considerable extent. She ran inside the building behind her as the bolt flew past. A swarm of spiders came down the steps, as elves came out from the pillars all around us. Fathom released fog over us, and the air mage flew up and after the queen. Pierre triggered quickness, and Marco dropped smoking magma under the approaching spiders. A volley of crossbow bolts flew across the courtyard in both directions. A stray bolt whistled past Marco’s tiger, but the fog gave them little chance to hit us. We charged out to the eastern side of the courtyard. I stunned my opponent, and the cats jumped on another one. The dark elves dropped their crossbows and circled around both sides of the fog. My opponent fell to Pierre. Then Marco backfired and gave himself the itchies.

We charged up the stairs, where we could see the queen chatting to our friend the air mage. She stood up and posed, trying to convince us of her innocence. Seeing that Kerry and I were unaffected, she skittered up the nearest pillar and to the dark recesses of the ceiling like a black hairy spider. We chased after her, and she ran off in the ceiling, crushing a vile vial of agony as she did so. I threw my maul at her, but missed. Kerry had closed on her, but she wriggled free and swung across the ceiling. I gathered up my maul and threw it at the nasty spider queen and this time thumped her pretty good. She dashed another vial to the ground beneath the pillar where she hung, and noxious vapours spread across the ground, claiming one of the cats. I sent the bees after her, Kerry closed on her, and then I lobbed my maul at her, and hit her hard. But not hard enough. She drew wicked looking daggers and turned on Kerry, wounding her enough to stun. She threw webs at Kerry, but Kerry resisted. Then Kerry tried to pull her off the beam but she loosed a web and swung right past me… so I did the obvious and hit her on the way past. Fathom reached up and cut the strand of web. And then we all sat on her, pinning her to the ground.

She dropped the illusion, and revealed herself to be much taller, a drow elf such as the ones we had been fighting in the north. We enquired of our air mage friend as to the proper means of execution in these parts, but apparently they’re into exiling their traitors. We did strip her to the skin… and more, pulling out a collection of weaponry and items from a magical rip in space behind her back. Grizelda: You could always exile her to the crater of an active volcano…

In the end Lord K’van executed her with his own sword, and then showed her head to the crowd, who were mostly rather dazed as the charm was still dissipating. We learned that the web was disintegrating, and the spiders returning to something more normal, in size as well as everything. Marco melted the altar of the spider god. And that was that. We spent some days with the short elves, studying in their library. I found some most interesting recipes in there. 20 Meadow 814 Then a messenger came from the south, advising of strange noises, somewhere way down the bottom of the southern island of Zeyland. Like cats caterwauling. Perhaps from the ancient volcanos off the coast. He offered pounamu jade in exchange for our services in investigating. We could fly or use the fey ways to get there.

Chapter Ten – Of Magic Mushrooms and Bashful Beasties

Having decided, in view of our aerobatic ineptitude, that using the fey ways would be best, we gathered up our equipment, and followed Krista, who led us into the forest, to a circle of unusual fungi. There Krista performed the activation ritual while we all crowded into the ring of mushrooms. It was a tight fit, especially with the cats, but we all squeezed in.

Krista: Some people say never trust an illusionist.

Pierre (the illusionist): Oh, no, never… (hands over a bun)

We found ourselves in a path surrounded by mist. We encountered some pixies who thought I was big. Finally we came upon a pillar of light. Keri read its aura, and said it indicated that it did lead to somewhere on Alusia. We stepped through and came out in a mushroom circle in a forest. We went down a dirt path, and found ourselves on a broad plain. Elani cast, and we had glittery fairy wings. We flew east, across the plain. We could see clumps of round structures, with odd bouncy animals corralled nearby. Then we saw a large flightless bird running across the plain… that Krista said was a large moa. Finally, as evening approached, we saw an elven settlement, by the ocean. We could see an island across the water. We landed, Fathom in the water, myself on the beach, where some elves were sunning themselves naked, followed by Pierre. We could hear the strange sounds coming from the island, and they were weird indeed, sounding a little like strangled bagpipes.

We headed inland towards the town. One of the elves addressed us in an odd accent, asking if we were here for the games. When we asked about the island, they said it was uninhabited, save for small creatures. They found us a barn in which to spend the night and gave us bread and hoppity stew for dinner.

21 Meadow 814

We woke to a chill overcast morning. Our hosts said that it was about to snow. They first offered a tiny coracle to travel in, but when they realised it would not hold me, they provided a leaky outrigger that had washed ashore some days ago. Which was a bit better, though it leaked. A girl elf on a dolphin came up to ask what we were doing. We landed on a shelly beach, and we could hear the strange sound coming from further inland, where we could see a volcano rising up above the trees. We bush-whacked our way up towards the top. Me first as usual. Then the ground shook. Marco wondered if the mountain was about to erupt. There were many curious flowers, among them one truly enormous bloom that stank of dead flesh, and was surrounded by a buzzing horde of flies. Elani went flying… until a great eagle came chasing her. Fathom made a fog around her, which confused the eagle so that it soon gave up and flew away. As afternoon passed we came to rough and tussock covered terrain, and there we found a place to camp, near the crater, which was old and crumbling around the edges. It had not erupted for many thousands of years. We could hear parrots calling to each other. As we prepared dinner, they came into our camp, curious and unafraid even of the tigers. This resulted in a spitting hissing cat versus squawking bird fight. Then Pierre made an illusion of an eagle above. The birds scattered. We camped for the night, as dark clouds gathered overhead.

22 Meadow 814

In the morning, there were little birds stealing the rubbish. Krista went off flying, and found a hot spring. We had very nice baths. Then we again heard the strange sound. It was coming from a rotund creature, about the size of a rabbit, with large eyes and fuzzy hair. How could such a small creature make such a loud noise? It disappeared into a hole in the ground, and the sound came again, only much louder. Tracing the sound we found a much bigger specimen. It was decidedly aggressive, and plainly wanted to fight. I found myself backing off. Pierre stuck a sword in it, and it deflated. The cat certainly liked the taste. Marco decided to summon some more. Elani began to wonder where they had come from, and tracked them back to a fey circle. This apparently led to Caledonia. I offered to divine it, in an attempt to find out which Caledonia it went to. It was ancient and not used for a thousand years or more, which implied that if the haggis creatures came through here, it was a long time ago. It did go to places on this plane, but also to others, including the ancestral Caledonian plane.

Pierre: If you go to a plane where the rivers are made of whisky, you can pretty well guarantee that they’re all going to be pissed.

23 Meadow 814

We returned to the mainland and Marco went hunting wild hoppities for the cats. He got one, and the others hopped off, so he summoned some more. Which was cheating, I thought. I skinned them and then we braised some of the meat slowly with local herbs in the red wine that Fathom made. Tasty.

24 Meadow 814

We prepared to go home. Elani was testing one of her fey circle portals. She complained of new exits scattered around the Alusian continent. We pointed out that this could be the doing of Drow, and therefore dangerous. Eventually she found one right home in Seagate, at the Guild even, which tasted of air magic. We held hands so as to not get lost while Elani did the ritual. We found ourselves in a garden full of flowers and butterflies. This proved to be the back garden of the Sorceress in Silver. It seemed that it was all Aurora’s fault.

Awards

Experience points (10 sessions) - before racial tax
Fathom Grizelda Kerry Marco Pierre
24300 26700 26100 26400 26500
Experience spent during game
0 0 0 0 0
Experience to Spend
24300 26700 26100 26400 26500
Lucre (in Silver Pennies - after 10% Guild Tax - before loot):
100,000sp 100,000sp 100,000sp 100,000sp 100,000sp
Arcane Points Earned
25 25 25 25 25

Please note that the EP includes the scribe note awards. Usually only awarded to the official scribe but, if any other character adds their own stuff to the scribe notes, they are also eligible for this award and will be rewarded accordingly.

Stuff for the Seagate Times

Summery

Quotes

  • Elena - And you've got a North Star that everything revolves around
  • Pierre - Engalton
  • Elena - Ah - so it's named Engalton


  • Grizelda - I'm a rune mage (in her accent)
  • Marco - What's a ruin mage? A mage that ruins things?


  • Marco: I’m a ranger, so what kind of forest is it?
  • Elena: Well, it’s a carnivorous forest… (she meant to say coniferous)


  • Elena: We homed the portal in on the largest concentration of magic
  • Grizelda: Ah .. you found the Guild Vaults
  • Elena: Yes. We were rather surprised that it hadn't collapsed into a magical singularity
  • Grizelda: It is rather singular


  • Grizelda: I’m flying into battle on an efreet – it’s a yo-do-ho moment!


What's Hot/Not

Resulting Rumours

Loot

  • Silvered sais x5 (R10 WS) (Wt:2, PS:8, MD:15, BC:45, D:+3, Range:6, Class:A/C, Use:RMC, MxR:10, EM as:Main-Gauche, Warrior Class:Shortswords, DEF/Rnk:2)
  • Silvered sais x5 (R10 WS) (Wt:2, PS:8, MD:15, BC:55, D:+1, Range:6, Class:A/C, Use:RMC, MxR:10, EM as:Main-Gauche, Warrior Class:Shortswords, DEF/Rnk:2)
  • Silvered rapier x4 (R10 WS) (BC+5, D+1)
  • 20 Silvered arrows (normal)
  • Crossbow (5 bolt capacity with autoload) (x2)
  • Garotte (bronze wire)
  • Black spidersuit assassin suit - halfling sized (x5) (3 AP 0 AG +30 Stealth). 3000sp if intact and worn, 500sp for materials.
  • Black leather armour - halfling sized (5 AP, 0 AG mod)
  • Potions of healing (10pts) x4 (standard)
  • Amulet of Health x5 - makes EN checks one step easier i.e. x1 becomes x2, x2 becomes x3 etc. Allows a save when one isn't usually possible
  • Wand of Frost x3 - The wielder of this blue wand can spend 2FT to create a blue beam of cold that does D+16 cold damage - resist for half
  • Heat Ray Wand x3 - The wielder of this red wand can spend 2FT to create a red beam of heat that does D+16 fire damage - resist for half
  • Bracers of Armour +4 - When both worn openly, these bracers add +20DEF and +4 AP. Does not stack with any other magical protections. Cannot be worn with metal armour but can be incorporated into non-magical cloth or leather armours. Cannot have anything between it and skin.
  • Boots of Stealth +4 - adds +20 to stealth.
  • Boots of Stealth +5 - adds +25 to stealth.
  • Amulets of Luck x5 (+3MR +2 DEF)
  • Bone Dagger (Blue Arcane Set Base Item)
  • Sais of Shocking - These twin sais, one red, the other blue, work as normal sais if used seperately. If used together, the one in the primary hand adds +10SC +1D while the one in the off hand adds +10DEF plus the normal defense for a sai or +20SC +0D. If both sais hit a single opponent, and both do effective damage, the opponent is stunned even if they normally wouldn't be. These sais may also be used to shock someone awake or restart a heart if the heart was stopped within the last 5 pulses. Value 10,000sp for both - 1000sp if separated.
  • Rank 20 Waters of Healing - maximised (x2)
  • Black one-piece female swimsuit with silver spiderweb design. Allows webslinging at a 2FT cost/web; immunity to webs; +10 to poison saves
  • Bracers of Armour +5 - When both worn openly, these bracers add +25DEF and +5 AP. Does not stack with any other magical protections. Cannot be worn with metal armour but can be incorporated into non-magical cloth or leather armours. Cannot have anything between it and skin.
  • Ring of Protection - Adds 5% to defense which is fully stackable.
  • Headband of Nondetection - When worn, it provides a permanent personal scryshield and Mind Cloak
  • Torc of Trollskin. Triggers a Trollskin when EN damage is taken. Continues until the wearer returns to full EN or is reduced to minus twice initial EN.
  • Cloak of Magic Resistance +5 - Hip length cloak increases MR by 25%
  • Skull ring of Invested Spectral Weapon(left eye) - Rank 15 (+16SC +5D) & Wraithcloak (right eye) Rank 12 stored in the two eye gems. [+20DEF +13 Stealth). The colour of each gem indicates how many charges are stored. (9-White, 8-Violet, 7-Indigo 6-Blue, 5-Aqua 4-Green, 3-Yellow, 2-Orange, 1-Red, 0-Black). Once either gem reaches black, it can be re-invested with the appropriate spell up to nine charges of any rank. Currently, both eyes are green.
  • Bone Wand of Rigor Mortis - 5 charges of Rank 18
  • Eyeglasses of Darkvision - they confer the Nightvision talent of the Celestial College on the wearer. This talent may be ranked with an EM of 100. In addition to the stated benefits, the goggles will allow the wearer to see through magical darkness of rank less than or equal to the rank of the talent, so that at Rank 20, the wearer can see through Rank 20 Darkness.
  • Glass vials of Rank 10 Agony (x4)
  • Glass vials of Rank 10 Noxious Vapours (x4)
  • Cold Iron Dagger - +10SC, +2D - Can take weapon spells. All other effects are as cold iron
  • Cold Iron Maingauche - +10DEF, +5SC, +1D - Can take weapon spells. All other effects are as cold iron
  • Cold Iron Gladius(shortsword) - +10SC, +2D - Can take weapon spells. All other effects are as cold iron
  • Cold Iron Chakram of Returning - +5SC, +1D - Can take weapon spells. All other effects are as cold iron

Other Notes

Place Names

This is a list of the elven placenames with Polynesian equivalents

  • Mountains
    • Amon Amarth = Ruapehu
    • Erebor (Lonely Mountain) = Taranaki
    • Ered Lithui = Tongarero
    • Orodruin (Mountain of blazing fire) = Ngauruhoe - Place of Power for Fire Mages
  • Rivers
    • Anduin (Long river) = Whanganui
    • Sindilair = Mangapurua - tributary of Anduin
    • Sirion (Great River) = Waikato
  • Others
    • Felegion (Cave of stars) = Waitomo - Place of Power for Celestial Star Mages
    • Honlin (Heart lake) = Taupo
    • Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains) = ? - spine of mountains down the Southern Island
  • Elven Settlements
    • Avallone = ? - City near stone circle in valley in the foothills of the southern half of Hithaeglir, Said to be the first city.
    • Formenos = Te Kuiti - Closest elven settlement to Felegion
    • Caras Galadhon = ? On the banks of the Sindilair
    • Tavrobel = on the west coast of Honlin