Southern Ragon (World of Al'Dravin)

A Most Potent Brew - Part 2
Inferno Spider (uploaded image at bottom)

The intrepid adventurers crawled through the giant rat passageways until it opened into the expected hallways of the structure beneath Glowkindle brewing co. – the rumored ancient abandoned wizard's tower.  Shifting earth and time completely blocked one passage of stairs leading downward but a hallway around a corner remained open.  Save the paw prints of rat tracks and a spray of blood on the walls from an eviscerated giant rat nearby the surrounding area was covered in dust and debris that had remained untouched by humanoids for hundreds of years or more.

Albeit fearless, the team was not in any rush.  The area they were in now was dark, unfamiliar, and confined.  The parting warning from the red-scaled dragonborn above before they descended did little to ease their alerted nerves.  Heightened higher now observing the carcass of a recently slain rat from an unseen threat; fresh blood splattered on the nearby walls.  The air thin making it hard to draw breath fully. 

Beneath the heavy dust of the hallway, the perceptive members of the group make out mosaic tile stones.  Other than the hallway, these mosaic tiles weren't located anywhere else.  Correctly cautious the group decides not to proceed without knowing more information.   An inscription is found located on the wall nearby and stirred-up wind blows top layers of dust off the tiles revealing multiple colors in sections. 

Now with the information available: the inscription on the wall, the colors of the tiles, and the disemboweled rat, the group knows for sure they are dealing with an unseen trap.  At least now they know, looking at the rat, the trap is still active.  Jobe doesn't see a way to disable the trap so instead, they work together deciphering the inscription on the wall and trust it's there as a reminder for friendly people of the tower (like a password reminder in today's times) rather than a malicious trap.  Mattinus bravely follows the "encrypted" instructions while everyone holds their breath.  Being careful to only step on certain colored sections of the mosaic tiles at one time, Mattinus makes it to the end of the hallway unharmed!

At the end of the hallway were two passagways.  The all went together into the smaller of the two rooms first which only had a single table and a well.  The winch, crank, and rope above the well were old enough that it would easily fall apart when handled, and the table wasn't any better.  Sitting upon the table were tarnished old cups and plates of Elvish craft.  if cleaned up and sold to the right buyer they would fetch quite a price.  While Jobe was investigating the contents of the table Mattinus was standing guard at the doorway and Lady Avaya was at the ready for anything.

Hallella, Bandor, and Aingela were observing the well, trying to figure out how deep it went and trying to peer down to its depths to glean anything from the bottom with no success.  Jobe happened upon a hidden stash of leather-bound objects hidden on the underside of the table.  The leather was damaged by multiple types of elements; one ice, one heat, one acid.  In his excitement and exclamation he lurched backward to show the rest of the group and slammed into Bandor who collided into the well.  Sending the bucket, a few rocks, and other object plummeting down into the darkness.

Nothing happened… for a moment, as everyone started to go back to normal, then Lady Avaya was the first to hear it.  Hard, ribbed, thudding.  The sound of bone on stone followed by hundreds of tiny fast repetitive tappings – quiet at first but getting louder; louder, and faster.  Lady Avaya knocked an arrow and drew the string back preparing for whatever was rising from the well.  Her elvish ears drowning out everything else, concentrating and focusing on her prey – as her instructor had taught her.  Focus is power.  Focus, the aspect of combat her instructor had the most difficult time relaying to Lady Avaya.  Instead, for Avaya, it was lack of focus; replaced by glee, happiness, and exhilaration.  She found her warmth and her home in combat.  But it was different right now.  Right this very moment - in this unknown structure underground, the others aren't as alert as she is.  Her fingers that were notched around the arrow fetching released.  

The rest of the group heard a thwack, a crack, and a thud.  They saw an arrow strongly vibrating in the wall covered in ooze and gore, a single goop of it dripping to the floor.  Then the lifeless movement of the ribbed section of a giant centipede sliding back over the edge of the well where it came, weighed down by the rest of its limp body; a single clean small hole through its head.  A splash of water eventually came after it fell.

Two more giant centipedes, as wide around as one of Glowkindle's barrels of ale, rose from the well and were dispatched by the others in teamwork.

With the centipedes dispatched and the room cleared the group takes a breather and inspects the recently discovered leather container.  Inside they find 4 wands, three of which are broken and leaking magical energy, causing the damage to the leather pouch they were found.  Of the three damaged and broken wands one of them appears to be chiseled from ice and is leaking permafrost.  it's nearly unbearable to hold for any amount of time.  Another is sleek and black with cracks all along the length of its surface – handling it does not appear to have any effect at first but a long-lasting sting occurs where it touches the skin that cannot be lessened for a long time.  The third broken wand is intensely hot to the touch.  It is also a black wand with green speckles and can't be held without burning the wielder immediately.  The fourth and unbroken wand is unremarkable and made of apparently natural wood.  During the short rest, Aingela is able to discern through her skills and knowledge in the arcane the unbroken wand is a Wand of Dispel magic.  Aingela concluded the magic from the dispelling wand must have been subduing the potentially dangerous magic from the broken wands. 

During the same rest Bandor held the sleek black wand and cast a mending cantrip to repair it.  Afterward Bandor became curious and wanted to see if there really was any kind of unknown treasures down in the well.  Being athletically capable he hopped down using the sides of the well as leverage to shimmy to the bottom and investigate – even though other party members did not like the idea.  A little way down, unfortunately, the situation turned for the worst and Bandor's grip slipped.  He plummeted down almost the rest of the way – just to catch himself some 20' above the surface of the water.  Thinking luck had blessed him Bandor shook the idea of investigating the waters from his mind and started to climb back to the top, until he felt something wet gripping him around the waist. Bandor looked down only see a cylinder of liquid twisting around his midsection.  He pulled his scimitar to strike at the watery creature but it writhed, gripped, and tugged; lurching Bandor further down the shaft of the well now just a few feet above the water – dropping the scimitar in the process Bandor was able to catch onto the sides of the well walls and hung on for dear life.

Lady Avaya shot an arrow at the watery creature but it went right through it.  By this time the rest of the group had time to act and launched a rescue effort with multiple ropes and a suspended/secured Mattinus.  Thinking quickly Aingela gripped the icicle wand, lined it up with the watery creature, and prayed to Anwyn, her god of light, warmth, and the hearth.  Bandor was in trouble, Mattinus was dangling from a rope like a worm, the rest of the group was struggling with the ropes fighting against the unknown size and strength of the watery creature below trying to pry Bandor from its grasp.  Even Gunthierre, Hallella's blinkdog companion, had gripped the end of the rope and was tugging. 

Aingela felt the power of the cold magic of the wand surge forward out of the wand and into her fingers first.  She hadn't stopped praying.  She was praying because she didn't know what was going to happen.  She didn't know what the wand was going to do; it was damaged too.  The cold energy hurt, so cold it was hot.  Even if it did work it may not do anything to the watery monster.  Or it could explode and take her hand or life, or maybe even all her friends at the top of the well with her.  Her hand went numb as frost started to form over her fingers and cold energy began to build in the wand, it was shaking in her grasp – or was she shaking from the cold?  What if it wasn't a concentrated ray or line-like spell.  What if it filled the entire well with its awful cold magic damaging or possibly killing Bandor and Mattinus along with the creature.  She finished her prayer to Anwyn.  

Aingela's mind cleared.  Her heart pulsed.  She felt warm.  The frozen energy launched out of the wand streaking straight toward the wriggling watery tentacle beast below like a needle.  It plunged into the surface of the creature near the side of Bandor's waist, instantly freezing it and continued to travel – piercing through the water with no resistance.  It kept going leaving behind a frozen trail of brittle ice in its wake.  The ice near Bandor's waist shattered with Mattinus and Bandor's efforts to escape.  Now free from the grasp of the weird watery monstrosity the group worked together to pull Mattinus and Bandor to safety and left the room with the well as fast as possible.  The energy of the wand worked that time, with some backlash, possibly with the blessing of her god Anwyn.  Possibly best not to try it again in this state Aingela reasoned and tucked the wand away.

The other passage was significantly longer that lead to a room whose contents were randomly still smoldering – as if they were recently on fire!  But how?  This place hasn't been touched in hundreds of years…  The room appeared, at least at one time, to be a study and alchemists lab.  Many broken glass containers and the ash piles of once stacked books where sprawled and strewn everywhere. 

Simultaneously, Jobe's and Mattinus' eyes slowly looked up at the ceiling. Their combined four eyes met it's eight fiery eyes.  A huge spider, wider and longer than a large dinner table clung upside down to the ceiling.  Besides its size, the most impressive thing about this spider was the heat emanating from it.  It was surging heat and light as if its blood was lava.  Jobe launched an arrow at the fiery spider but missed.  The arrow passed close by the abdomen before scraping along the soot-covered ceiling; blackened char drifted to the floor like a falling curtain.  With the floating soot backdrop, the others of the group could see now – the abdomen of the spider was writhing with a hundred – maybe more (still large) baby inferno spider hatchlings, each the size of a human's hand.

After missing the attack Jobe, scrambled quickly up a bookshelf to get a better vantage point against the upside beast.  The spider shifted moving its abdoment closer to Jobe and the group – it started to bob and projected a viscous fiery "web" substance that covered Jobe on the bookshelf.  A teammate got a solid hit on the spider but a hundred hatchlings reacted by launching off its mother.  It looked like a shower of cinders – individually igniting as they passed through the air toward their target, Mattinus.

Mattinus was covered in the small blazing spiders, if he didn't act fast their combined heat could combust everything he was wearing and set him on fire. So he did the first thing that came to mind.  Stop, drop, and roll!  He crushed half the hatchlings in this valiant attack (haha) before they leaped to safety.

Meanwhile, lady Avaya was trying to free Jobe from his fiery bonds, she scaled the bookshelf after him and swung her scimitar.  While dangling from the ledge, she should have hit the web but instead hit him in the leg.  Aingela had launched a barrage of Magic Missiles and a Chromatic Orb of cold from her own arsenal annihilating the mother inferno spider.  The Mother spider fell to the floor and a gush of cinders burst in the air like someone just stoked a bonfire.  The remaining hatchlings retreated to the diminishing flame of the mother unsure what's happened.

Thinking quickly of the hatchlings and their unknown nature, Halliella tapped into their primal nature and quickly convinced them to scram before any more harm came to them or before they did any more harm to others.

Observing the rest of the surroundings the group found a small normal rat licking the remaining contents of broken glass bottle with half a label that read: "-tion of enlargement" and another broken bottle with a partial label reading: "Essence of Fire Ele-".

Among the wreckage, they also found a few unbroken potion bottles, a large white feather, and several other large broken glass containers with odd dried up slime-like trails leading to a solid wall with no door.

Exhausted for the moment and wanting to regroup, they decide to update Glowkindle of their progress and figure out what to do next.  Muscles strained and minds racing with recent events the adventurers make their way back up to the comfort of the brewery above for a drink and a short rest.

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A Most Potent Brew - Park 1
Starting Town / Introducing Glowkindle / intro adventure

Starting adventure Summary:

Early in the afternoon Jobe sent word to the others, via messenger boy, to meet at the Evershady Tavern – a name rightly given due to the shadow permanently cast over the pub from the immense obsidian-black six fingered construct arm erupting from the excavation site nearby.

While trading stories and laughing one of Jess' boys, Wess - often tending the patrons of the tavern in place of his entrepreneur mother Amanda Jess – approached the cheerful group with dire news… The mead had run dry!  A new delivery was expected earlier that day from Glowkindle Brewing Co. but the shipment never arrived.  Wess is desperate and willing to pay the group 10gold per barrel they bring back!  But it's gotta be fast.

On the journey out to Glowkindle brewing company, the party manages to wrangle a golden landstrider away from it's stampeding herd to assist in carrying back barrels of Glowkindle's famous ale, rumored to get it's kicking and special tongue tingle because the brewery was built atop an ancient abandoned wizard's tower.

The brewery is a couple hours outside of the Whitesparrow town but the traveled adventurers are warmly welcomed by a squat, nimble, fast-talking, sing-songy, blonde haired, well-dressed halfling and flanked by numerous stout, keen, observant, and armed employees.  One, in particular, a rather broad red spine-scaled dragonborn sporting a vicious black metal battleax.

Glowkindle tells the group the shipment went out like normal hours ago then looks at the big red dragonborn with concern.  However, Glowkindle explains the group can benefit from his recent misfortune.  Glowkindle brewery had been doing so well they had expanded the cellars.  Just after getting settled into the expanded cellars the workers were attacked by enormous rats!  They salvaged some barrels but really need the rats taken care of.  Glowkindle will give the group his remaining barrels – 12 in total -  if they take care of the monstrous rats in the cellars and deal with the source so they don't come back.

With the hound-sized rats slain the group knows there is more to discover from the passages where the rats came from.  upon hearing the news of the passageways discovered under his brewery – and the possibility that the rumor of the wizard tower being real – Glowkindle offers the group 25gold EACH to continue exploring under the brewery.  Keep whatever they find and make sure there aren't any others threats to endanger Glowkindle's less experienced workers in the future – and the barrels are still theirs to keep.

Descend into the cellar corridors they did.

  • Hallella the Eladrin Ranger and her blink dog Gunthierre
  • Mattinus the Human Paladin
  • Aingela the Aasimar favored soul sorceress
  • Lady Avaya the Wood elf fighter archer
  • Bandor the Goliath Druid
  • And Jobe the half-elf Rogue
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