Beyond the Vast

Up The Spiral Stair

Shea and Nebin were joined by Weary (female Tiefling Warlock), Nemeia (female Tiefling Cleric of the Raven Queen) and Kriv (male Dragonborn Warlord). Braf, Garon, and Erdan stayed back at the cave guarding the former captives, Andronsious and Sertanian. They passed down a lengthy corridor and came upon a curious room the floor of which was covered with a layer of sticky spiderwebs. Careful to avoid alerting whatever had created these webs, the party elected to avoid the webs and attempt to visually scan the room. Oddly, there was nothing present but the corpse of a recently deceased man. His hideously contorted face suggested that he had not passed into the afterlife peacefully. Though the party wanted to explore the room further, they could not determine how to do so without stepping on the webs and possibly alerting something of their presence. Kriv decided to use his fiery dragon breath to clear away some of the webs. The party readied their weapons in case of a reaction, and Kriv let loose his fiery breath upon the webbing. A large area of the floor was cleared away, yet there was no reaction to the deed. Kriv continued to clear away webbing until there were clear pathways to the doors and to the body. As they inspected the corpse, they could find no evidence of the person’s identity, but they determined that he was probably one of the captives. Clearly something had killed him and left his body as a warning to intruders.

In this room, there were three possible exits: the way they had come, a stairway going down, and a closed door. The party determined to listen at the door for sounds of life. Shea heard noises from the other side, though they seemed somewhat distant. It seemed likely that it would be safe to open the door. Nebin quietly stepped through the door and found an empty hallway. The sounds came from around a corner that was a short ways ahead. The party entered the hallway and began quietly making their way down the hall. They came upon another small room with a spiral staircase. In the room were three Ettercaps. Before the party had a chance to attack, Nebin was covered with webs, stuck in place. One of the Ettercaps jumped on him and struck him with his axe. The other slid in, flanking Nebin. Nemeia quickly moved into the room, striking the foul arachnid with a spell that injured the creature and aided Nebin. Shea fired arrow after arrow, but in the fray had trouble targeting her prey. Kriv charged into the room, aiding his companions and directing the attacks. The Ettercap leader saw the courage of Kriv and directed his underlings to attack him. He was bitten by one of the creatures and poison flowed through his veins. Another struck him with its axe, but Kriv endured. Nemeia prayed to the Raven Queen for retribution, and the poison in Kriv’s veins faded. Suddenly, one of the Ettercaps erupted into flame. Kriv turned and saw Weary uttering a foul incantation from the Nine Hells, rebuking the Ettercap and burning its very soul. With a flurry of his blades, Nebin killed the second Ettercap and Shea’s arrow found purchase in the leader’s forehead. As its blood and life ebbed from him, the others, now severely injured, lost the will to fight. The party made quick work of them. They had little time to rest, however, as the ruckus from the fighting had alerted something above to their presence.

Nebin was the first to climb the stairs, and as he peeked over the landing, he saw nearly a dozen hobgoblins and their drake companion. Though drained from the battle with the Ettercaps, they suspected that so many hobgoblins in one place probably meant they were guarding something of value. Kriv charged into the room, attacking their leader. He was immediately set upon by several of his underlings. Though they attempted to strike him with their swords, Kriv leapt and dodged out of the way, showing surprising agility for one so big. Shea charged into the room and seeing her compatriot surrounded, summoned forth her kindred elemental spirits. One of the hobgloblins was beset by the spirits, and he and those near him were were all engulfed by the elemental energy. All three fell, writhing on the ground in agony. Nebin and Weary quickly dispatched two others. At the sight of this onslaught, the hobgoblin leader attempted to make a move for the door, but Nebin cut him off. Nebin stabbed the leader in the leg and as he was wailing in pain, a monstrous, shadowy apparition appeared behind him. It shook him by the throat, draining all but the last of his life from him. Weary could only maintain her hold on the shade for a moment before it returned to the nether, but the hobgoblin leader was severely injured and could barely move. Shea aimed her arrow and the bolt flew true, catching the hobgoblin leader cleanly in the chest. Only the guardian Drake remained, and without anyone to direct it, its attacks were random, hurting various party members minimally, while taking painful wounds from all. As it breathed its last, the party began to survey the room.

The room had several sarcophagi in it and the party members removed one of the lids. The treasure inside led the others to each push a lid off of them. A huge amount of treasure was found, including two sets of armor, a magical bow, a wand, a mace, and several other items. The party divided up the loot and began working out which direction to go next.

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