As previously noted, I’ve started playing in a City of the Spider Queen campaign with some longtime friends. After waffling a bit, I ended up creating an elven ranger, using the Revised Ranger from Unearthed Arcana with the Deep Stalker archetype. He is effectively a slave hunter, and others have noted some aspects of him that I’d call Nietzschean.
The group largely consists of players who roleplayed together in various MMOs like World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, and Star Wars the Old Republic (plus some others, I’m sure), plus some family members. Plus almost all of them like to write in-character summaries after a session. One of the players even streams the game. This week, she edited a short summary afterwards.
Warning: as noted, it’s not exactly kid friendly and is frequently NSFW. As happens when adults get together, some with drinks, on a Saturday evening…
Fenfir awoke to see the others moving quietly in the camp. The paladin had found some sort of tracks and everyone was a bit excited, especially the tiefling. He sighed, strapped on his longbow, and exited the small cavern where they’d rested.
The tracks led north. He examined them carefully, sniffed the air, and drew on all his years of experience tracking slavers in the Underdark. “Several drow. They headed around that corner, together with… captives, I think. See how these tracks drag a little in the dirt? Somebody didn’t want to be there.”
As the group slipped back to the cavern to the northeast, he winced. That dwarf… she seemed to mean well, but she clearly was not suited for this environment. In
fact, Fenfir wasn’t sure what environment would suit her, outside of a temple or shrine. He shook his head to himself. At least the paladin seemed to know what he was doing, and the tiefling… She moved quietly, but he wasn’t sure yet how much he could trust her. Actually, he doubted how much he could trust any of them, but he’d never made his way into Szith Morcane and this would probably provide his best opportunity for the foreseeable future.
They quietly negotiated the cavern and realized the tracks led… into a wall? That didn’t make any sense. And that wall sat next the roper. The drow paladin seemed to have a way of talking to it and that gods-damned svirfneblin wanted to play at slave to convince it they belonged down here. Fenfir mused to himself that the little gray-skinned bard probably didn’t know how drow truly treated their slaves, or he wouldn’t be asking for it.
Suddenly the paladin started to draw his sword. Fenfir grimaced slightly – that wouldn’t go as intended. Sure enough, the tentacles started waving. They made short work of the monstrosity – though too many of them liked to fight up within grappling range. Well, he wouldn’t make that mistake.
The dwarf, though… she still wanted to talk to the roper, or somebody did and she was helping. While Fenfir looked on with astonishment, she managed to coax a few answers from what apparently was only a mostly-dead creature. There were spiders in the area, which surprised him precisely none. The drow loved their sickening spider goddess and had all sorts of abominations.
Turning their attention back to the wall where the tracks ended, he grabbed up a handful of dirt and tossed it at the wall. Sure enough – an illusion. He let the others go through first, better to let them take the brunt of whatever waited on the other side. And on the other side awaited some of the largest arachnids he’d ever seen. They didn’t look exactly like others he’d seen, but while they spun down from their webs and clacked their mandibles, anatomical examination seemed a bad choice.
That bard somehow conjured a mighty hand, squeezing and crushing the spider in ways he’d never seen. The juices squirted out of it; the hand appeared to try to fling it around, but the spider struggled against it. Not that it mattered – other than one really solid bite against the dwarf, the spiders clearly couldn’t match the combined might of the group. And it turned out they weren’t actually spiders but demons of some sort. Fenfir remembered now why he’d wanted meat shi- comrades before heading to Szith Morcane.
When it was over and the cleric was upright again, she and the gnome got into it. He’d disrespected her somehow and she wasn’t having any of it. Apparently this group had a bit more storming to do. When they were done (did she pay him for punching him in the nose?), they found another wall behind them. This time they had an idea of what was going on and carefully made their way through.
A female drow was cowering in the corner, shrieking. The group ran up to her as spiders – smaller than before, but still easily the size of an elf ran into the room. Fenfir notched an arrow and got to work…
…When she let lightning fly at the group. No victim, she lay in wait for them. The gnome shouted something about “the arms” – Fenfir had no idea what he was on about – and things were going sideways very quickly. When the paladin’s eyes went vacant and he turned towards his erstwhile comrades, for the first time since he’d awoken, Fenfir felt a little quiver of fear run through him.
Finally she lay still and the drow stopped drooling. Three fights in less than an hour? Finding those slave traders was getting more challenging than he’d expected. They sat to catch their breath and Fenfir realized that maybe these adventurers did in fact have some promise.