Orders came from Lt. Grumms to fall in and await orders. There has been a messanger with grave news from a small town a few days ride from Kiergard. The young man is named Remmy and he hails from the village of Rheulgard three days tward the Sunken Lands. We will be traveling on horseback and I hope my riding skill is not too rusty.|
Remmy provides us with what little information we have. The town has been besieged by a terror of the night. This "thing" has taken several children during the night, right from their beds. The townspeople are in terror and having no town guard to speak of, have sent Remmy to get help from the army. While I cannot speak for my companions, I am more than happy to help.
Our next obsticle to overcome is Conrad. Corpral Conrad is in charge of supplies here in Kiergard and takes to his job with a laze-fair attitude. Easy enough to get along with if you have the authorization. I requst the basic supplies needed: food, horses and saddles, feed, rope, and backpacks to carry it all. I also was able to procure a healers kit, one healing potion for each of us, and something everyone forgot: blankets and bedrolls.
The three day journey goes as smoothly as could be expected. Gerard and Sandra managed to aquire a substantial amount of alcohol, which they have indulged in liberally on the trip. I do hope this does not become a Common occurrence. It could prove detrimental if we were to ever see action. Thankfully, nothing happens, and we arrive in Rhuelgard without incident. I am also thankful to not be the only one nonproficient on horseback.
The town is small and far too near the Sunken Lands for my tastes. Why anyone would live near such an accursed place is beyond me, but I digress. We inspect the homes of the missing children and Mari is able to find the tracks of a large insect of some sorts. They lead off into the swamp, which looks like none too enjoyable a place. We will stay the night and make our way in the morning.
During the night, another child is taken. His father was killed by the bugs as he attempted to protect him. Mari says the bites are from spiders. Very large spiders. We are informed that there is a man who knows the swamp better than anyone else, and we should see him about finding the spiders.
Markiov Muckfoot is out of his mind. He is a hermit who attacked us when he encountered us looking through his house. Gerard "subdued" him with a solid blow, and we finally got him settled down. After talking for a while, he agreed to take us to the spider cavern.
The trek is hard and the mud seems to suck you under with every step. Times like this make me think about wearing lighter armor. We come to the cave and Markiov will go no further, so we enter without him. The cave is dark and torches provide the only light for my companions. The darkness is no different than the light to me, just colorless. This doesn't help me see the web right in front of me. I stumble into the webs, thrashing and only making things worse. Then the spiders appear.
They are the size of mans head, with long spindly legs and black chitin that could stop a sword. One manages to bite my neck, while the other chews on my armor. The bite burns a little, but there is little blood, and no real damage. With arrows flying, the little bastards fall. My companions cut me free of this web, and even days later I still find pieces of it stuck to me.
The cave is expansive. Half natural and half dug out by something or someone. As we walk through, we are under constant siege by giant spiders the size of dogs. I hate spiders. Every bite they inflict seems to zap the strength from you. It is the poison I am told, and before this is over we have all had our fair share of it. Sandra makes attempts to help, but her magic is not strong enough to counter the poison. The bites are bad, but the beast that spits webs is worse. We are able to avoid this creature and eventually, we manage to make a few discoveries much deeper into the cave.
Someone, Mari I think, finds a room that shows signs of humanoid life. Noone is there, but the bed and shelves are a dead give away. Moreover, there is some kind of distillery set up on a small table, bubbling some sort of greenish-black icor. A small note addressed to a Jasmine about refining poison. The note is signed Mordgron, and he makes mention of serving some kind of guild. I know nothing of this, but apparently Mordgron is milking the spiders for venom and using the children in his tests.
In the furthest reaches of the cave we find our prize: the children and their guardian. The children are alive, but our presence has stirred the spiders into a frenzy. They attack in waves, one after another, in all sizes, including one I cannot bring myself to believe. This monster must be ten feet long, with fangs glistening with poison and an attitude to match its size. Amazingly, once its minions are dispatched, Mari and Adrianna are able to make short work of it, because its large size prevents it from escaping the chamber.
We collect all the children, six awake, and three unconcious and with our remaining strength, stumble through the swamp to Rhuelgard. We were lucky to not be attacked with the children at our sides. We could barely take care of ourselves by this point.