The Cult of the Crystal Spider

Session One

Temple of the Nightbringers, Part 1

Introduction

It’s cold this far north – the sort of cold that sinks deep into your bones and makes you feel like you’ll never be warm again. When the rain starts falling and the wind comes up, it feels like needles of ice are piercing your face.

Thankfully, the Talking Troll offers respite from the cold and rain. It’s a fairly large tavern, especially for how run-down and dive-y it is. On the far side of the main room, a small stage is set up. A young human woman dressed in ostentatious wizard garb performs magic for entertainment, producing showers of colorful sparks, making things disappear, performing minor illusions. No one seems to be paying her too much mind, but occasionally someone will come up and put a tip in the clay bowl at the foot of the stage.

The bar is loud, and for the most part people are keeping to their own groups. In one dark corner of the bar, a group of robed men and women conspire in harsh whispers. Elsewhere, a drunken adventurer tells exaggerated tales of his bravery. One topic of conversation keeps coming up among the bar’s various patrons: a vicious tribe of goblins have taken control of a village up north, attacking travelers on the Long Road and wreaking havoc. The tribe is apparently led by an especially savage goblin chief. People are becoming afraid to travel the Long Road, but no one seems to be doing anything about it.

Melton

The adventurers have been hired by Tarth Blackwarden, representative of Triboar’s Lord Protector and head of The Twelve, Triboar’s militia, to investigate a series of attacks along the Long Road between Triboar and Longsaddle. Additionally, Triboar has not received a caravan from Melton, a longstanding trade partner, in months. Melton is almost the exact midway point between the two cities—could it be related?

The adventurers, each for their own reasons, decide to come together. They take off for Melton the next morning and arrive in Melton by late afternoon on the third day. It’s a muddy hole of a village, with a dozen primitive huts and one larger building surrounded by a sturdy palisade. The adventurers are greeted by Frida Greatheart, Melton’s surly constable. She denies knowledge of any goings-on involving attacks on the Long Road, but is eventually persuaded to allow the party entrance to the village. It is the 22nd of Uktar.

The adventurers settle in at the Weary Knight, Melton’s premiere—and only—inn. They are greeted by Seth Grimhill, the short-tempered innkeeper. In conversing with Grimhill as well as the other patrons (Flint Frostforge, Brynn Copperhold, Dain Quickfellow, and Thorn Farwalker) the adventurers learn the following information:

  • A new tribe of goblins moved into the area about 3 months ago
  • Since then, they have attacked at least half a dozen caravans, preferring those that are weakly guarded
  • Survivors report that the tribe is led by an especially vicious goblin chief
  • A hunter named Dawn Mistwalker claims to know the location of the goblin hideout
  • Arin Strawcrown recently returned from a fishing expedition on the sea of swords with tales of ships being attacked by horrible beasts
  • There are rumors that giants have been attacking villages around the Realms

At some point, Frida comes in and tries to dissuade the adventurers of their quest. Her reasoning is that the goblins have so far left Melton alone—and she’d like to keep it that way. Some of the patrons loudly agree, others arguing that it’s only a matter of time. The adventurers retired for the night.

The Game Trail

In the morning, they seek out Dawn Mistwalker. Dawn is a wood elf hunter from the High Forest who moved to Melton after meeting a dashing young trapper who wanted to start a family. Things didn’t work out, and now she’s staying with the village butcher until she can sort things out. She is glad to share the information she has about the goblin hideout, and the adventurers persuade her to guide them to the cave, about a day’s travel east of Melton.

The adventurers follow Dawn out of Melton. She leads them into the light woods at the east of the village, soon spotting a game trail barely visible to the untrained eye. She sets a brisk pace, only stopping briefly for a mid-day meal. It is mid-afternoon when the trail is interrupted by a shallow, rocky creek with steep, overgrown banks. A fallen tree provides a natural bridge, and Dawn lightly leaps upon it and begins crossing.

There is a sudden roar from the far side: “That is Wuzig’s bridge! Not for you!” A large bugbear crashes out of the wood, a club in hand and nasty snarl on his face. The adventurers, with Dawn’s assistance, make fairly quick work of the creature.

By twilight, the party reaches a low, rocky hill pushing up from the surrounding trees, a large natural cave plainly visible near the base. Inside the cave mouth is a set of stairs, hewn from the rock and descending deep into the earth. There are no goblins around, but Dawn urges the adventurers to wait until the next morning before they descend. Under no circumstances will she accompany them.

Into the Temple of the Nightbringers

A large room lies at the bottom of the stone steps, full of dust and rubbish. The only other exit from the room is a wide corridor to the north, flanked on either side by dark statues. A single goblin lies near the bottom step, snoring loudly.

The party interrogates the goblin, who’s name is Pox. Marxibis charms the creature to guide the adventurers through the cavern. Two statues flank the corridor ahead. They are made of obsidian, about three feet tall, and depict a fully cloaked humanoid with the face hidden by a cowl. On the bases of the statues is the inscription LOVE IS A LIE. ONLY HATE ENDURES.

This short corridor opens into a small room where the odor of canine refuse assaults the party’s nostrils. Amidst a den created from smashed furniture and old linen are two enormous worgs who growl at the adventurers and stare at the them with intelligent, malevolent eyes. The adventurers fight them, and Lantro is temporarily blinded in the process. With the worgs defeated, the adventurers find a small, dusty storeroom containin an unusual obsidian disk. Ioda attempts to start a fire to see if the disk gives her any messages. Meanwhile, Marxibis, Xenon, Reberkkah, and Lantro argue about whether they should kill Pox or not.

Adventurers Present for this Session

Notable Loot

  • Silver Necklace
  • 65 sp

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