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Yet another word of explanation: these journals cover a very brief period shortly after D&D3e came out, when the campaign was coverted to that system. It would have been about 2000-2001.

Fnord's Not-Quite-So-Old-Still Diary

The letter from Shillbottle

Fnord got a letter from one Ram Biddel, in the village of Shillbottle, telling him that his help wasn't needed at all, and that he shouldn't come post-haste to sort out the problem. Because there wasn't one. Well of course there was one, and we sorted it out and got slightly richer by virtue of it. Unfortunately, I didn't keep a proper journal so I don't recall the details — all I remember is that there was a Bad Guy called Sekir who had a tower (and was therefore a wizard, of course) and used exploding flaming flying scry-eyes to keep track of what was going on. Also, demons. Always with the demons, these evil wizards.

Orson got his mitts on Sekir's tower, plus a whole lot of wizardy stuff (library, workshop and what-not). I got bugger-all, except for an Obsidian Horse figurine; handy, since a side-effect of being more or less immortal is that horses tend to run out of puff after ten or fifteen years and you've got to go and train another one. I named the figurine Beltran, since that's the name I've used for all my war-horses.

There are sketchy notes on a couple of NPCs:
(a) Quypiu, a Mysterious Stranger, who has offered his services in Coltraine (the royal city to the North
(b) Brunelleschi Marmaluke (Bruno), a cleric of Pelora. Extremely rotund and merry, who rides a little winged donkey.

Bruno ended up being played by Kent, I think. I have no idea what the Quypiu dude was about.


There's a gap in the diaries (surprise surprise), so we don't know the background to this next adventure. The journal entries start part-way into the action.

Into the forest, tracking a human-headed spider-critter which was originally in a bottle in Orson's new tower.

On that first night, we were attacked by 3 bugbears (we killed them with ease) and later on by some web-throwing thing which I never saw clearly.

Day 2

We found a peculiar web laid in an open triangle between three pine trees. I was attacked by a rather nasty multi-armed trapdoor-lurking humanoid spider-critter six-limbed monstrosity — I killed it with a lucky spear-thrust after chopping off one of its hands.

It was a chitine

We got a weird sword and some knives from the monstrosity's tunnels which may help in identifying it

We carried on through the forest, folowing a trail only Bruno could see, and by day's end, Orson (via his amazing floating viewpoint thingy) found a massive area of forest about a kilometre square covered in webs. I suspect that many webs may mean many web-builders. Oh dear oh dear.

Day 3

We met Athol, a mountain-man on his way back to his village from a trading trip to Mulwinkle. He's a little upset that his village is entirely covered in webs, and enlists our help to exterminate the disgusting creatures responsible.

The new critter is a choldrith

He guided us to some caverns that run underneath the village, where he hopes some of the villagers might have survived the invasion of the disgusting vermin. On the way we fought off attacks from more of the same sort of creature we foud yesterday, and they were joined by something new — a bigger, tougher, spider-like critter which throws web nets and possibly has some magical abilities too.

We fought our way through and made it to the caves, though I was ignominiously paralyzed at one point. We left a naptha booby-trap at the cave entrance and made our way down the hillside. We found Athol's villagers (or most of them, at any rate)and spent the rest of that day feeding and warming the children and old folks. Athol gave us a nice fur cloak each for helping.

Day 4

We made our way through the caverns to an old dry well, in order to carry out a reconnaisance of the village. As we approacheed the well, Athol was ambusheed by a chitine lurking in a dugout — we killed it and a couple of others. When we got to the well, however, there was a choldrith lying in wait above. We managed to avoid its webs by darting back up the tunnel, but it was still lurking there.

Situational Illustration

Next session

We made our way up the well; Orson first (flying), then the rest of us up the Ladder of Lordly Might. Orson was webbed almost the instant he appeared from the mouth of the well, but Bruno having cast Freedom of Action on me before I ascended, I avoided the dastardly choldrith webs and killed it for its trouble.

We began making our way through what turned out to be a thick blanket of webs, pierced by a network of tunnels. After a short time we came up against the stone wall of one of the village buildings. We were attacked from its roof by three choldrith — I attempted without success to collapse the roof beneath them with the Battering Ram of Lordly Might. Athol tried to jump up on to the roof (oodles of extra strength owing to having had a Bull's Strength spell cast on him) but tripped over his own feet and almost brained himself on the eaves. One of the choldrith ran down the extended Rod just in time for me to kill it. Another made the mistake of poking its head over the edge of the roof, allowing Athol to chop it right off.

I charged on up the Rod (which was now in its ladder form) and dispatched the last of the choldrith up there. One of the chitine got away.

All of that flailing away with sharp pointy things opened up a gash in the web above the roof, which gave me an idea — I flew Athol up above the webs to see if he could point out the village hall. Everything was covered with webs and thus difficult to distinguish, but he pointed out the appropriate lump. I set him down and flew off to clear the web from a portion of the thatch, the idea being for Orson and I to fly the other two there and drop into the hall through the thatch, rather than fighting all the way there through the web tunnels.

We had assumed that the village hall would be the most likely spot to find the missing villagers (one way or another) but instead found it to be deserted — which turned out to be a good thing, since Bruno plunged straight through the thatch as soon as I set him down, mere straw being unequal to the task of supporting his majestic bulk.

Nevertheless, although we didn't find what we were looking for, the hall did give us a chance to regroup. Orson used his amazing flaming eye-thing to scry through the web corridors to find out just where we should be. With the aid of magic (hmmph!) I developed a Cunning Plan, which involved flying over the webs to the right spot, slashing open the webs with the Flame Tongue of Lordly Might, landing and laying waste to everything we found there. Except any Good Guys, of course.

The plan went swimmingly; we landed and found ourselves confronteed with the hideous baby-headed spider demon Orson had found back at his tree-hut, but grown much larger. It was humping another, much larger, spider-demon-ovipositor-thingy and laying eggs by the score.

As soon as we landed it webbed us. I was unaffected, thanks to my Free Action, and zapped it ineffectually with my pathetic Rod of Lightning. It shrugged off the damage, so I gave up on the magic crap and got back to basics — I stepped in and started whacking the hell out of it. Then, of course, masses more choldrith started appearing out of the web-walls. I was somewhat engaged at the time, but the others found themselves somewhat menaced.

I walloped the bejeezus out of spider-boy (or girl) and she surprised us all with an unexpected Timestop ability, as well as some other nasty magical effects (heat metal, sonic scream). Nevertheless, a concerted programme of whacking began to prove effective (can't beat the old-fashioned ways) and the spider-demon made a run for it. I followed, and in spite of her demonic wiles, continued the whacking until her corporeal form was, as the wizards say, totally fucked up. And lo, there was much rejoicing.

I notice that apart from the satisfaction of a job well done, this is yet another case of great exertion in return for not a bean. I wonder if this sort of charity work is deductible?

Anyway, after the big spider-demon was dead, and its mindless egg-layer dispatched, the choldrith and chitine pretty much just disappeared. I can't really blame them, since if they'd stuck around they were basically doomed.

We found nineteen of the twenty missing villagers alive, though coccooned and comatose. Bruno Raised Dead on the remaining unfortunate, with meant that we achieved a 100% HSR (Hostage Saving rate). Hoorah for us! We called in the villagers from the caverns to look after their fellows, and set about methodically combing the area and destroying any nests we could find. The juveniles (teensy-tiny baby-headed spider-demon abominations) proved to have an infant power over time, but not sufficient to save them from being squashed, burned, and otherwise disposed of.

All in all a Job Well Done.


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