Session 16: On the Road to Valerius

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(This session was run in September of 2017.  In terms of campaign time, the start of the adventurers’ trip to Valerius began the day after Session 15: The Necropolis of Cyr.  A description of the campaign world and list of characters can be found at The World Map.)

With Master Makriyannis’s daughter finally getting over her cold feet, Okkar Ironeyes collected the Heroes of Edgewood for the wedding caravan to Valerius.  A little over a month had transpired since the adventurers first came together answering a help wanted sign and clearing out some were-rats in Makriyannis’s cellar in Session 1: Help Wanted.  After that first job, the adventurers agreed to serve as guards for the betrothed, Makriyannis’s daugher, Daphne.

The wedding caravan gathered at Makriyannis’s manor.  Kulo, Belladore, Xrax, Velnius with Xerbo, Pabelle, and Okkar would form the guard.  Besides Master Makriyannis, the wagon also held his daughters, Daphne and Kassandra, his wife, Eudora, and the driver, Leandros.  Lykopsis and Seraph would stay back in Cyr and look after the Golden Tankard.  Bao, in his mysterious monk ways, disappeared the very morning that Okkar came round to collect the group.  The party suspected that Bao might turn up somewhere later in their travels.

The wedding caravan wended its way from the merchant-noble quarter through the central market to the eastern gates of the city.  People thronged the central market and eastern gatehouse.  The summer festival season was in full swing, bringing in merchants and travelers from afar, many coming by boat, some from Valerius and Themis, and the occasional travelers from the various hamlets and homesteads lining the roads east and south.

A desperate beggar tugged at Kulo’s leather cuirass, hand outstretched for alms.  Kulo gave the disheveled man a couple of silver pieces.  The man held onto Kulo briefly as he appeared to go into a trance.  He intoned a prophecy: “Danger awaits you outside the gates of Cyr.”  Kulo brushed off the man’s dirty hand from his side and rolled his eyes at the pronouncement.

As the caravan continued to make its way to the city gate, they were forced to move aside as a contingent of guards escorted an orc in chains towards the prison of Cyr.  People from all sides cursed the orc–some going so far as to spit on him or throw rotten vegetables at him.  Tanin asked one of the guards what the orc had done.  The guard barked back at him, “Out of the way!”

Tanin turned his attention to the orc and asked him what he’d done.  The orc said he was an outcast from his tribe.  He was starving so he took food from one of the surrounding farms outside Cyr’s walls.  He didn’t hurt anyone.  There was a brief discussion among the heroes of whether to do anything about the orc being led away.  But Master Makriyannis poked his head out the wagon and asked what was holding up the caravan.  The party members shrugged and carried on towards the gate.

Just before the caravan reached the city gate, a small group of people congregated around an old man with a long beard dressed in ragged clothes.  A red cloak torn to shreds hung around his neck.  He held a banner, fraying at the end, but still readable: Our Sins Have Doomed Us.  His voice carried to the wedding caravan, “. . . and the sky will turn as black as tar, and blood shall rain from the stars above!  The dead shall rise and the demons shall enter this world!”

Tanin and the rest of the adventurers seemed unimpressed by the zealot of doom.  The wedding caravan continued on, passing through the city gate on the road to Valerius.

The first half of the day’s journey was tranquil, passing farmsteads along the outskirts of Cyr.  The heroes settled in to a relaxing trip through the countryside.  They found it a good change of pace from the bustle of the city, which had filled their days of late.

Near mid-day, the tranquility of the uninhabited landscape was pierced by the sounds of battle nearby.  A low hillock blocked their view, but clearly someone or something engaged in battle.  The caravan halted and the heroes advanced upon the hill to see what transpired.  Roughly 100 feet away a small figure fought bravely against a creature at least three times its size.  Emerging from the ground with a deadly pounce, what looked to be a land shark had the advantage on the single halfling warrior defending himself.

Seeing the scene before her, Belladore, with her knowledge of these creature’s taste for halfling flesh, exclaimed, “bulette!”

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The bulette leaped on to the gallant halfling knight smashing him into the ground and knocking him prone.  Xrax charged forward to take the attention away from the halfling.  But before he could get there, the halfling scrambled to his feet and attempted to pierce through the tough natural armor of the bulette’s hide with his short sword.  The attack was in vain.  Thankfully for the halfling, so was the bulette’s attempt to bite the halfling in twain.

Velnius and Kulo hit the bulette with ranged attacks.  Tanin moved forward and spoke a healing word for the halfling.  As the heroes continued to inflict more wounds on the bulette, Belladore noticed what looked like a fin emerge from the earth and travel in their direction!  Within a brief few moments, the earth erupted with a second bulette entering the fray!

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The battle between the heroes and the bulettes raged fiercely.  Shortly after slaying one of the two that emerged, the battle became more dire again.  Significantly larger and more ferocious than the previous two, an ancient looking bulette, the scales of its hide deeply darkened due to age, erupted from the surface of the ground.

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While the odds seemed to shift away from the adventurers, they redoubled their efforts and due to their resourcefulness slayed the final ancient bulette.  More surprising, the heroes managed to save the halfling warrior.  He was seriously injured, but alive.  Surely he would have perished had not the heroes intervened.

Belladore, always curious about her fellow halfings, inquired about the warrior’s audacious, if not absurd quest.  He introduced himself as Sir Roscoe.  He explained that these bulettes regularly hunted members of his village to the east of here.  He tried to muster a hunting party to rouse the bulettes, but they all believed he was daft in suggesting such a plan.  So, fed up with his fellow villagers lack of courage, he took to flushing out the bulettes himself.  He knew where there typical hunting grounds were–they never attacked the village directly because it was settled on ancient bedrock too dense for the bulettes to burrow through.  He thanked the adventurers for their help in slaying the beasts, which elicited a chuckle out of more than one of the party members.  He also welcomed them to his village, Nestled Valley, and gave the general directions for how to find it, since it was all but invisible to those who don’t know its location.

The wedding caravan continued on its way to Valerius after the diversion with Sir Roscoe and the marauding bulettes.  In the late afternoon, the wedding caravan came upon a copse of trees next to the road and a stream branching from the Hyperborean River.  Something seemed wrong to Kulo.  He felt like someone or something was watching the group.

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Xrax and Tanin moved forward cautiously, the hairs on the backs of their necks standing up as they suspected an ambush was about to occur.  Kulo noticed movement in the large tree to their right and unleashed an arrow right where the branches stirred slightly.  The “thwap” of the arrow as it hit the leaves of the tree suggested the shot hit home.  Just moments later, a dead kobold fell to the ground.  Materializing from the trees and bushes to their right a swarm of kobolds joined the fray!

Xrax and Tanin immediately engaged the kobolds in melee, while Kulo and Velnius provided support with ranged missile weapons.  Pabelle and Belladore stayed with Okkar near the wagon to keep the wedding caravan safe as well as ready spells to assist in the battle.

Xrax and Tanin soon realized that these kobolds seemed a lot tougher than lore led them to believe.  Five surrounded Tanin while Xrax held off three more.  Additional missile fire rained down from the tree that had held the kobold killed at the outset by Kulo.  Velnius and Kulo focused their efforts on taking out the snipers in the tree.

But the battle soon became more intense.  Behind a boulder to their left, across from the tributary of the Hyperborean River, eight winged kobolds took flight and joined the combat.  They appeared to be targeting Tanin, dropping rocks on him before descending and surrounding him.  Likewise, the snipers in the tree appeared to be focusing their shots on Tanin.

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As the battle raged and several kobolds had been slain, a new menace appeared on the party’s right.  From a slight hill, four new kobolds emerged.  Given the robes and quarterstaff held by one, the party surmised this kobold had magic-casting abilities.  The other three kobolds that appeared with him also looked different.  They wore harnesses around their waists that connected over their shoulders and held a number of small clay pots, the perfect size for a kobold to hurl at an enemy.  But if that wasn’t enough, a giant red serpent appeared around some brush and engaged Xrax.

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The fight intensified.  Xrax seemed to have no difficulty handling the kobolds he was engaged with, but Tanin being completely surrounded and continuing to take missile fire was suffering.  The kobold sorcerer appeared around some brush and targeted Xrax with Magic Missile.  One of the kobolds bearing the small clay pots along a bandolier, chucked one at Xrax.  The pot burst on his chest plate.  Xrax felt the burning sensation of acid dripping onto his skin through the chinks in his armor.  Worse, some of the acid got in his eyes and he found himself temporarily blinded as his eyes teared up trying to flush the acid.  The large serpent bit at Xrax, but his plate mail held off the giant snake for now.

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Kulo and Velnius ended the sniper fire from the trees, watching two kobolds fall to their death after their crossbow bolts found their mark.  Okkar, his defense of the wagon unwavering, targeted one of the winged kobolds with his crossbow.  The bolt hit the flying kobold in the neck, dropping it into the river to be swept downstream.  Belladore muttered some incantations, gesturing to the kobolds with the clay pots held on bandoliers across their chests, rose petals dropping from her hand as she spoke the spell.  The rose petals disappeared as the weave of magic coursed across the brush.  All three of the kobolds fell soundly asleep.  Meanwhile, Tanin slayed a kobold surrounding him as did Xrax, blinking the final remnants of the acid from his eyes.

More of the winged kobolds dropped rocks on Tanin.  And two of the kobolds that surrounded him added to his wounds with dagger strikes.  Xrax’s plate mail held of the kobolds that surrounded him, but three more magic missiles erupted from the kobold sorcerer’s hand to embed in Xrax’s chest!  The giant serpent struck also, this time tearing a rent into Xrax’s rerebrace and couter, the large teeth gouging along Xrax’s upper arm, elbow, and forearm.

Kulo launched a missile at the sorcerer, his bolt hitting the kobold square in the chest.  Velnius took down one of the winged kobolds with his crossbow.  Belladore cast faerie fire on the sorcerer, the serpent, and one of the kobold’s fighting Xrax.  Pabelle moved up and threw an axe at the giant serpent, the axeblade lodging firmly in the neck of the beast.  Okkar, again took out one of the winged kobolds getting dangerously close to the wagon.

The sorcerer launched magic missile once more into Xrax, who otherwise was well defended against the kobolds, their weak attacks glancing off his plate mail armor.  Tanin felt the bite of a couple of blades and the bruise of another rock dropping on his shoulder, forcing him to forgo attacking in favor of healing himself to stay in the fight.  Kulo’s crossbow bolt ended the threat of the sorcerer–a significant turning point in the battle.  Velnius sunk a bolt into the eye of the giant serpent, its body spasming into death throes.  Xrax’s maul bashed in the heads of two of the kobolds who were engaged in melee combat with him.  Okkar and Pabelle killed two more winged kobolds who were moving closer to the wagon.

The tide had turned.  In just a matter of moments the rest of the kobolds were slayed, including the remaining winged kobolds who tried to escape back across the river, crossbow bolts bringing them crashing to the ground.  One kobold was left alive for questioning.

Tanin, in particular, was interested in the interrogation since the kobolds seemed to be targeting him.  Speaking in Themish, Tanin asked why they attacked the caravan.  The kobold told him that his master sent them on this mission.  They were to target Tanin because he possessed an artifact his master wanted.  Tanin expressed alarm at someone seemingly knowing that he held the magical vertebrae.  Tanin asked the kobold who his master was.  The kobold simply called him the master.  But he did reveal that the master was some type of spell-caster.  Tanin pressed the kobold for information about where his master was located.  The kobold, intimidated by Tanin’s anger, described the general direction of the master’s stronghold–underneath ruins in the King’s Wood near the Great Wyrm Mountains.  Tanin thanked the kobold for his compliance and then cut off his head with his scimitar, The Blade of Dark Deeds!


Full Disclosure: Some of the following links will take you to DriveThruRPG.com or DMsGuild.com where I participate in the affiliate program. Any purchases through these links provides me with a credit at One Book Shelf sites (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DMsGuild, etc.). Your support is appreciated.

City Encounters (beggar, orc in chains, and prophet of doom): Random Urban Encounters by Assassin Games

Add greater challenge to your kobold encounters with Ten Clever Kobolds by Jeff Ibach.

Forest Battle Mat: Paizo’s Pathfinder Basic Terrain Multi-Pack Flip-Mat

Wagon: Fat Dragon Games Halfling Dwellings Set

Donkey Cart: Mayhem in Paper/One Monk Grave Robbers

Large Tree and Bushes: Fat Dragon Games Woodland Adventures Set

Boulders: Fat Dragon Games Highland Adventures Set

River Tiles: Fat Dragon Games E-Z Tiles: Rivers & Streams

Road Tiles: Dave Graffam Medieval Ground Tiles

Horses Paper Miniatures: Horses by Xtea

Bulettes Paper Miniatures: Printable Heroes

Sir Roscoe the Halfling Paper Miniature by Jeff George: 2nd Place Single Figure Designer Category for 2017 Papercuts

Dark Red Kobold Paper Miniatures: Mayhem in Paper/One Monk Kobold Warband

Kobold Spearmen and Winged Kobold Miniatures: Paper Forge Paper Miniatures

Giant Serpent (Dragon Snake) Paper Miniature: Mayhem in Paper/One Monk Dungeon Monsters

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Session 12: What Lurks Beneath the Golden Tankard

The Golden Tankard Cellar2

(Note: This adventure was run in April 2017.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure took place contemporaneously with Session 11: The Jackdaws, the Raven, and the Rat).

While Tanin and Bao took on the mission of the Jackdaws in discovering the identity of the Raven, Kulo and Velnius were seeking to make new purchases to aid their adventuring life.  Velnius left Xerbo in the care of the potboy at the Weary Traveler.  As they walked past a rather derelict tavern near the edge of the wall that separated this poorer quarter from a merchant-lord quarter, the sign dangling outside by one remaining chain identified it as the Golden Tankard, they heard a woman crying for help.  She was sitting in the doorway of the tavern, cradling a small boy.  Kulo and Velnius moved over to the woman to investigate the commotion.  Three others–a female hill dwarf, a human woman, and a female half-orc trying to keep her identity shrouded by the hood of her cloak–also came closer from the busy street to offer assistance.  The boy appeared ashen and was delirious.  Kulo and Velnius could tell that the boy had a number of scrapes and bruises but were at a loss for what pained him so much.  A female hill dwarf who also answered the pleas for help, inspected the boy closer, noticing a puncture wound in his neck.  She believed he was poisoned from some bite.

As this was going on, a surly mountain dwarf emerged in the doorway, muttering “If I told them once, I told them a thousand times.  Stay out of the cellar!”  On seeing the state of the boy, his demeanor quickly changed and he looked about sheepishly.  The human woman from the street asked the mountain dwarf what was in the cellar.  He equivocated in his answer muttering something about a rat infestation.  The woman could tell he was hiding something.  A growing crowd was gathering at the doorway, which seemed to agitate the mountain dwarf.  The woman pressed him further about the cellar.

The dwarf grew angry, but quickly stifled his temper, and proclaimed to the gathering, “I, Martyn Fenns, proprietor of the Golden Tankard will pay . . .” he paused momentarily grimacing at the thought of having to spend money, “20 gold pieces to the stalwart ban of brave souls willing to kill the rats in my cellar that must have bitten this boy.  If any of you be brave enough!”  At this last statement, he directed his gaze on the original group that had come to assist.

Kulo and Velnius bristled at the insinuation that they lacked courage.  The original group exchanged looks of agreement and introduced themselves to each other.  Pabelle, the female hill dwarf, Mara, the human woman, and Lykopsis, the female half-orc, joined Kulo and Velnius in reassuring the woman cradling the boy in the doorway that they would find out what happened to him in the cellar.  The woman, a barmaid named Danyella, thanked the intrepid adventurers for helping her son, Theo.  In that instant, Theo came-to from his delirium and said, “They took Mallic!  They have Mallic!” before collapsing in Danyella’s arms.  A look of dismay spread over Danyella’s face and she said, her lips quivering, “Mallic!”

Pabelle gave Danyella a look filled with sympathy and said, “We’ll find Mallic too.”  So, the adventurers helped Danyella carry Theo to one of the Inn’s rooms so he could rest.  Afterwards, they were led to the cellar to take on Martyn’s claimed rats.  Martyn gave the party a lantern to light their way.  The cellar was dark, dank, and a foul odor permeated the room, a mixture of rotten foodstuffs, spilled wine, mildew, and the unmistakable smell of vermin dander and droppings.  Three barrels sat in the southwest corner and in the middle of the wall sat a large stack of crates and barrels.

The sound of scratching could be heard emanating from the large stack of crates and barrels.  The party prepared themselves for some vermin control and approached the crates.  Two giant rats emerged from behind the crates and began attacking the party.  A third giant rat emerged quietly from behind the barrels in the corner and attacked Kulo.

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After some minor injuries, the party put the giant rats to the sword.  Not convinced their job was done, the party began searching the room.  They examined the two doors in the cellar.  One led to the street–the delivery entrance for the inn.  The other was an inner door, of substantial iron construction and seemingly out-of-place in the cellar.  Pabelle immediately thought out loud, “What is Martyn hiding in there?”  Kulo tried picking the lock, but failed.

Bothered by the stacking of the crates and barrels in mostly one location of the cellar, Velnius noticed that there were many scuff marks on the stone floor near the crates, as if they had been moved back and forth over the area many times.  Moving some of the crates aside, Velnius shouted to his companions that he’d discovered a tunnel.

Moving more of the crates and barrels to the side, the party inspected what appeared to be a very rough hewn tunnel in the wall.  The air felt cool and moist, but also carried the smell of more vermin.  Velnius, with his dark vision, could tell the corridor turned to the left, but could see no more.  Mara looked into the darkness and asked the group, “Well, shall we see what Martyn’s been up to down here?”

The party edged forward in rank, cautiously eyeballing the recesses for the beady eyes of giant rats, the beams of light from Kulo’s lantern illuminating the sides of the tunnel.  Near an opening and depression of the tunnel, their expectations were met with the yellowed fangs of five giant rats that launched forward for the attack.  Kulo’s lantern highlighted the melee, but more telling were the sounds: blades slicing the air and meeting mangy hides, the thwump of quarterstaff against skull, and the cries of pain as one of the rodent’s teeth sank into flesh.  In a moment of that flickering light, the aftermath was telling–five dead giant rats littered the corridor.

The adventurers continued down the corridor as it snaked to the right.  Pabelle suddenly realized Martyn’s intent with the tunnels.  She announced to the group, “Martyn was trying to tunnel underneath the wall into the richer quarter!”  They continued cautiously forward coming to an opening that branched in three directions, one heading back towards the cellar.  Kulo taking notice of this said, “His stonecunning has much to be desired.”  The group decided to take the branch that led away from the cellar.  It curved to a dead-end, but before the group could backtrack, beady eyes emerged from the darkness as four giant rats attacked!

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As the sounds of struggle diminished, the giant rats lay skewered upon the stone floor.  At a dead end, the party doubled-back to the branching corridor turning to the unexplored area of the tunnels.  This corridor also led to a larger opening that branched in either direction but before the adventurers could gather their bearings, four giant spiders descended on them from the recesses of the ceiling, their fangs dripping poison.

The fight this time was more dire.  More than once poison added to the pain of wounds inflicted by the arachnids, but in mere moments the fighting ceased.  All of the spiders were dead and the doughty adventurers were tending to wounds.  Kulo needed to light a torch.  In the midst of battle he dropped the lantern provided by Martyn in order to unsheathe his rapier and the lantern shattered.

Peering down the corridor leading away from the direction of the cellar, Velnius could see a chamber covered in spiderwebs.  The party approached cautiously, cutting through the webs in order to reach the main body of the chamber.  No spiders emerged to attack , but the group noticed three forms hanging in the webs.  Cutting the first down revealed the remains of a shabbily-dressed man, clearly one of Cyr’s destitute denizens.  On the ground near his body was a crudely constructed club, seemingly made from a table leg.  Searching his body, the party found a potion of healing, a vial of what appeared to be antivenom, and a glass bottle of oil for a lantern.  A further search of the room turned up a lantern, still in good working order.  The second cocoon contained a desiccated giant rat.  The third cocoon held a boy, still alive, who came-to momentarily as they were cutting him from the webs.

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“Theo?  Where’s Theo,” he asked nervously.

Pabelle responded, “Theo is upstairs being looked after.  Do you know how many spiders there are down here?”

Mallic shook his head, but said with a shudder, “No, I don’t know how many, but there is a really big one, bigger than all the rest.  It inspected me before feeding on the giant rat.”

Looking him over, it appeared that while bruised, Mallic was not poisoned.

The adventuring party moved down the corridor from whence they came in the direction back towards the cellar.  They noticed one last branching corridor they had yet to explore.  Velnius and Kulo moved up to explore this corridor, while Mara, Lykopsis, Pabelle, and Mallic waited within earshot.

As they rounded a bend, Kulo noticed a cave-in that led to a finished room.  “The room with the iron door,” Kulo thought.  Meanwhile, Velnius peered down the final tunnel and noticed spiderwebs covering the walls, floor, and ceiling.  Velnius joined Kulo in the room, accessible through the cave-in.  Shelves lined the walls holding glass bottles.  Kulo held one of the bottles up to the light of his torch.  Inside he could see an amber liquid and at the bottom of the bottle, a dead spider.  He stashed the bottle in his pack and the two of them returned to the group and told them of their find.  Mara recognized the contents of the bottle as spider-wine, a particularly potent alcohol considered illegal in most civilized lands including Cyr.  They returned to the room via the cave-in and opened the iron door from the inside ready to reunite Mallic with his mom and brother, heal Theo from the poison coursing through his veins with the antivenom, and to confront Martyn about his contraband.

The party first found Danyella and Theo in an upstairs room.  Danyella was overcome with joy at seeing Mallic alive and well.  Pabelle cradled Theo in her arms, rousing him from his stupor, and then giving him the antivenom to drink.  She looked at Danyella and said, “This should heal him.”  Danyella smiled with tears falling from her eyes.  They left the family alone, suggesting to Danyella and Mallic to let Theo rest to give the antivenom some time to work.

Finding Martyn behind the bar counter rubbing a dirty mug with a greasy rag in some half-hearted attempt at cleaning, the party confronted him about his exploits below the Golden Tankard.  He appeared surly and defiant at the claims the group was leveling at him, bristling at the accusation that he would try to tunnel into the nearby merchant-lord district.  Instead he suggested he had widened a rat tunnel that led to his cellar in order to put a stop to his rat infestation and then questioned whether the party had even done anything about the giant rats.  He asked aloud whether they even deserved the 20 gold pieces he had promised them.

Kulo became incensed, pulled out the bottle of spider-wine, and waved it in front of Martyn’s face.  “We know about this!” he said.  Martyn’s eyes grew wide and he stammered, finally regaining his composure and asking Kulo to keep his voice down as he surveyed the two drunks staring into their mugs in the common room of the Golden Tankard.  Martyn then became compliant, dropping his sullen demeanor.  He admitted to trying to tunnel to into the wealthier quarter, but was cursed by his stone-ignorance, part of what led him to leave his dwarven clan years ago to settle among the humans of Cyr.  When that failed he concocted a plan to sell the illicit spider-wine, receiving a shipment of spiders from smugglers who claimed they had been stolen from a drow lair.  But his poor tunneling collapsed the back wall of his room where he stored the spiders and the wine.  The spiders that were still alive, escaped their cage into his tunnels.  He figured the spiders could help end his rat infestation.  After a few months, he hired a local drunk who owed him an outstanding debt to go into the tunnels and kill the spiders.

Pabelle was incredulous, “And you didn’t care whether Danyella’s boys would be harmed by these spiders?”

Martyn shrugged, “I figured as long as I was stern with them about staying out of the cellar, keeping the iron door closed and locked, and blocking the main tunnel entrance everything would be fine.”

Kulo grew irritated again.  He told Martyn that besides the 20 gold pieces he offered them, he was now going to pay them an additional 2 gold pieces for every rat and every spider carcass they brought him.  Martyn frowned and said he didn’t have it even if he was willing to pay the extortion fee.

Kulo slammed his fist on the bar counter and said, “Fine, we’ll end your spider and rat problem–there is one big spider left.  But we want 50% stake in the Golden Tankard.”

Martyn grumbled and clenched his fists.  Kulo continued, “And you’re going to pay Danyella double what you’re paying her now.”

Martyn tried to dissuade them from this venture, pointing out that the Golden Tankard hadn’t operated as an inn for some time because it had a leaky roof.  Only two of the upstairs rooms were habitable and they were for him and Danyella and her boys.  Kulo said the party would get the roof repaired.  Martyn, realizing he had no way out, reluctantly agreed.

Kulo vaulted the bar counter, pulled a dagger from his belt and poked it into Martyn’s belly.  “And your days of wild schemes like the tunnels and spider-wine are over, you understand!”

Martyn gulped and nodded deferentially, a dagger in the gut a clear attitude adjustment.

The party prepared themselves for their final fight, healing themselves with goodberries and bolstering each other’s courage.  They returned to the tunnels and the final corridor,  Kulo’s lantern lighting the way.  As they approached the final chamber, they cautiously made their way through the webs to avoid being entrapped.  But their movements gave away their approach and a giant spider emerged along the ceiling of the chamber.

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As the party hacked and fought the foul beast, a swarm of newly hatched spiders crawled along the floor before enveloping Lykopsis.  Lykopsis managed to crush the last of the spider swarm just as the rest of the party slayed the giant spider.  The party searched the lair in case anything of value had been hoarded, but all they found were the bones of  giant rats.  Lykopsis noticed something glinting from the giant spider’s abdomen.  Looking more closely, the giant spider queen had what appeared to be a gem growing in her abdomen.  Lykopsis pried it out and placed it in her backpack.

Returning to the Golden Tankard, the party relaxed and had a mug of poor-quality ale or some cheap wine.  Although it wasn’t much, the adventurers felt good about this being their place.  The Weary Traveler had been good to them, but they clearly had enemies in the city and a less conspicuous home base would be good.

Kulo spoke with Danyella about getting an estimate on the roof repairs, giving her 30 gold pieces for the undertaking and a down-payment.  He also suggested she see if she could get Mallic an apprenticeship with a local roofer.  Martyn overheard this and told Kulo that Mallic is needed for odd jobs around the Golden Tankard, like bringing in fire wood or washing dishes.  Kulo responded that it would be better for Mallic to have his own income so that he could help Danyella pay the rent on the room they occupy upstairs.  Besides, Theo was now old enough to take over many of these tasks.  Martyn, still not used to his co-ownership in the Golden Tankard, reluctantly deferred.

Pabelle, Lykopsis, and Mara advanced to 2nd level.


(Full Disclosure: Some of the following links will take you to DriveThruRPG.com where I participate in the affiliate program. Any purchases through these links provides me with a credit at One Book Shelf sites (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DMsGuild, etc.). Your support is appreciated.)

Adventure based on a module from Nord Games: Creaking in the Dark

Cavern and Cellar Tiles: Fat Dragon Copper Dragon Caverns 1 and Fat Dragon Copper Dragon Basic Dungeons 1

Barrels and Crates: Fat Dragon E-Z Dungeon Deluxe Edition

Spider Webs: Fat Dragon Depths of the Drow

Giant Rat Metal Minis: Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals Giant Rat

Original Art of the Spider Queen: Jody Monochrome