Session 5 - The Spider Farm
Following up on the request received at the end of last session, the party bought supplies and headed off to the nearby spider silk farm. They had heard that the farm was attacked the night before by a group of dark-skinned, short, thin humanoids. They decided to travel along the road instead of taking the more direct path across the plains, delaying their arrival until the next morning. Ignatius was left behind, presumably to further woo the innkeeper.
When the party found the farm, they saw a collection of about a dozen buildings set in a large rough circle, and no movement or lights inside. Garsan immediately wanted to charge the farm, yelling at the top of his lungs, to fight everyone at once. Tytus and Zorintino decided to take a more cautious approach, and convinced him to at least hold off for a bit and see what was going on. The party would wait behind while they snuck forward, and then Garsan would advance either yelling as a distraction, or quietly if nothing was wrong.
The two of them moved up behind a pair of buildings, sneaking through the tall grass in the surrounding plains on the way. When they found no one inside, Tytus signaled Garsan and the others to come up quietly. The ranger strode boldly into the center of the farm, finding a large covered crevice that ran the length of the circle, filled with webs. As soon as he crossed to the other side, he was struck by arrow fire from a nearby building, and charged forward to kill the four archers that had spotted him. Drolund and Dasred were trailing behind, but began running to catch up when they saw him get hit. The three of them, mostly Garsan, quickly and fairly quietly dispatched the creatures, and identified them as some subtype of goblin.
While that fight was going on, the gnome and thief advanced slowly around the opposite direction, finding several empty and ransacked buildings before encountering four goblins in different buildings and quickly killing all of them. They then moved on to check the next buildings in line, finding a battle scene with four deceased farm workers and a partially-dissected spider, along with a collection of smashed vials.
As the others finished their last fight, Drolund moved to another building and opened the door, finding three tougher-looking goblins interrogating an older man tied up in the corner. One was wearing flame-embroidered robes, one covered in tattoos and wearing a dark cloth mask, and the other just a bit more muscular than normal. He was quickly dropped by a command spell from the masked one ("Die!"), and the others nearby then ran up, seeing not only the three goblins, but another five behind them, and decided to close the door to prevent the same thing from happening to them. Garsan jammed the door with one of his swords while the dwarf stood up and moved around to enter through one of the back windows he had seen when he opened the door and the wild mage set the roof on fire with a spell. At this point, Zorintino and Tytus had decided to help out as well, so they ran over, the gnome pulling out a vial of oil to throw on the building and spread the fire even more, and the thief moving in behind the building to help the dwarf. Garsan then began moving around the other side as well, leaving the two wizards alone in front.
The goblins quickly smashed the door open, the masked shaman and warrior stepping out front. Right then, the wild mage cast her signature spell, Nahal's Reckless Dweomer, this time choosing to target the building. The small dormitory structure suddenly expanded in all directions transforming into a massive, three-story mansion. In the process, it smashed through the walls of the two adjacent structures. Unfortunately, Garsan was still between the mansion and the next building, and was smashed through the wall and immediately knocked unconscious, with no one seeing it to know what happened to him. The sudden change did disrupt the spellcaster still inside the building, though, ending his illusion of the five additional goblins.
The wizards, out of spells, took care of the two goblins that rushed out front, but Zorintino was dropped in the process. Drolund and Tytus charged into the building from the back door, running from room to room until they found the wizard and killed him too. The cleric then saw Garsan unconscious out a window and ran to help him before going back and looking for the man who had been the goblins' prisoner. The thief ran out to help the wizards and spotted two goblins escaping from one of the partially destroyed buildings, killing one with an arrow before the other ran too far to hit.
Exploring the building the goblins came from, they found the remaining farm workers, many wounded from the structural damage, and several goblins crushed under the rubble. Drolund brought the prisoner, who turned out to be the farm head, back with the others and found out that the goblins had taken his daughter and thrown her into the spider pit. He offered to give the party valuable equipment if they would save her before the spiders' venom killed her. Of course, he would prefer they not kill the spiders, but they were given permission if necessary.
Knowing that time was short, the three members of the party who could still stand and fight formulated a plan and descended into the spider pit, bearing torches in an attempt to keep the beasts at bay. Zorintino's dog was also sent down to help, with verbal commands from his master through the grate above. They passed peacefully down the tunnel, slowly burning through the webs and keeping back half a dozen spiders and passing one entrance to the mother's nest before finding two web-wrapped bodies hanging from the ceiling, right next to a second entrance to the mother spider's room. As soon as the thief cut one free, the party found themselves under attack by five young spiders. The thief and dog were bitten several times before any of the spiders were killed, and the mother started running forward immediately when she saw that. Thinking fast, the thief threw a force bead at the mother to keep it out of the fight, trapping it inside, and started cutting the second body free. However, he also spotted a third body lying by the mother's eggsack in the next room. They killed the remaining spiders that tried to stop them on the way out and found that they had the man's daughter already. The man didn't know who else might be down there, though, and so, gripped by curiosity, the party readied for another assault.
This time, they loaded a cart full of flaming debris from the smashed buildings, pushing burning logs out along the side as they advanced to keep spiders from closing in behind them. When the reached the first entrance to the mother's cave, they unloaded burning wood to make a wall of fire between them and the second entrance, and the gnome grabbed several long poles from the tool shed, stabbing them down through the top to keep it from climbing over the flames. They then advanced with the flaming cart, forcing the mother to retreat out the second opening, and they quickly grabbed the body, a halfling adventurer, and evacuated the tunnel.
Searching the bodies and counting the rewards from the farm owner, the party gained several minor magical items and rested before deciding to return to the village to pick up their missing companion.