Stepping back from the shaft, the party took considerable time to proceed in their fight with the spiders. They puzzled over the geography of the caves and wondered if there might be another way into the chamber at the top of the shaft. Hocuspo used clairvoyance to look through the eyes of the spider-folk. He saw a 30′ chamber above the shaft where four of them dwelled. A staircase of rock climbed into a higher chamber. Working around the limitations of his spell, Hocuspo counted paces to the central shaft, climbed it and then walked the same number of paced towards the entrance. Then figuring he was now above the chambers, he reached out with clairvoyance once again, this time looking through the eyes of Mettik, the spider bandit lord.
Once again, Tienarth transformed himself into a golden dragon, also adding mirror images. Two spider face peered over the edge of the shaft. Aderian and Jerker hurled boulders at them to no effect. All four spider-folk scurried down the shaft to its lip and fired magic missiles at dragon images. Tienarth replied by constructing a circular wall of fire that hugged in the inside of the shaft. Three of the four spiders were burned badly and ran along the ceiling toward the cave exit. They disappeared into the darkness. The fourth spider avoided the fire, but Hocuspo nailed it with magic missiles. It attempted to cover Tienarth’s dragon body in webbing, but the dragon merely dodged.
Tienarth returned to elf form, produced his wand and killed the spider dead with blasts of magic missile.
The others watched nervously for the three spiders to return while Aderian climbed the rope ladder to put in more spikes in the shaft wall. Presently, the face of Mettik appeared. He spoke to Aderian, commanding “Leave this place now and do not return!” Magic compelled the former pirate, and he swiftly descended, but when he came with a few feed of Nate the paladin, the felt the compulsion fade. Meanwhile, Jerker ascended the ladder and suffered the same fate. Both fighters remained close to Nate else they’d have to flee the cave entirely.
Tienarth let loose a lightning bolt that Mettik dodged. It ricocheted behind him harmlessly. His reply was a powerful shout that buffeted Azrak and deafened him. Nate, Aderian and Jerker moved towards the shaft. A second shout hurt them all, plus Azrak.
Tienarth cast his haste spell. Aderian and Jerker tried throwing more boulders. Hocuspo tried his wand of paralyzation. These attacks failed.
Aderian did not understand the charm he was under. He tried climbing the ladder, got too far away from Nate and immediate descended again. Though deaf, the two fighters and the paladin coordinated climbing the ladder together to prevent the charm from making them flee again. Meanwhile, Azrak was pounding spikes. Mettik made to cast another shout spell, but Tienarth timed a wand blast to interrupt it.
Azrak scrambled out of the shaft and took a swing at the spellcasting spider lord. Jerker, Aderian and Nate followed via hasted limbs. Aderian landed a heavy blow to Mettik who then used a mirror image spell of his own. With haste given them twice as many attacks, the fighters easily dispelled them, allowing Jerker to deliver a killing blow to Mettik.
Down below, too of the spiders returned to web up Ferris and Hocuspo. Tienarth fired magic missiles at them, killing them instantly.
Ferris made a show of decapitating Mettik. Jerker took a ring from his finger. Ferris took a pair of bracers and a key which unlocked an iron strongbox. Gold and platinum filled the box. They hauled the loot out of the cave and camped in the forest overnight.
The next day, they made the journey through the mountains back to the village of Grayshade to claim their reward. On the road, they met displacers which were quickly dispatched via a wall of fire. They arrived at the village before sunset. Genevieve’s father paid them the promised reward and invited them to rest a few days. On 12/12, they began the long walk back to St. Orlan. They met a pack of wolves which were easily slaughtered.
They camped near the spider cave again, going to the river camp the next day. On their way to the ruined tower they met a group of explorers who were not interested in talk, friendly or otherwise. The two groups stayed apart.
By the end of the 12/15, they’d returned to the homestead near St. Orlan. Benabil happily identified the two magic items they took from Mettik. The ring was similar to the one lost by Azrak years before, the one called Sheebalb’s Blessing. The bracers offered magical protection from physical attacks, an excellent device for mages. Tienarth took these.
The value of all of the coins earned totaled 38,000 gp. This included two 5,000 gp rewards plus the coins in the strongbox. How this was divided was left for later. Surely, Ollie and Azrak would argue for full shares despite spending time out of danger, just hanging out at the ruined monastery. Hocuspo also deserved part of the treasure. An eight-way split meant 4,750 gp each.
- 5,000 gp reward for Mettik’s head
- Ring of Protection +1 with Sheebalb motif
- Bracers of Armor +2
- 16,000 gp from strongbox
- 2,400 pp from strongbox
- Combat 4,535 xp
- Mettik 1,225 xp
- 4 Aranea 820 xp
- 11 wolves 825 xp
- 3 Displacers 1,665 xp
- Characters 648 xp
- Aderian (fight) 719 xp
- Azrak (rugged, underground) 661 xp
- Ferris 713 xp
- Hocusbo 713 xp
- Jerker (fight) 719 xp
- Nate (fight) 719 xp
- Tienarth (collects magic) 654 xp