The Cult of the Crystal Spider

Session 4

Terror at Triboar, Part 2

Meeting Zindra

After the party identifies their items, Xenon mysteriously disappears. The party strike up a conversation with a very drunk Zindra Winterbow. Zindra knows very little about the Terror. Meanwhile, Ioda returns from her own solo exploration of the town, disguised as an elven woman. Ioda had been instructed by Dawn Mistwalker to seek out the scout Zindra Winterbow, who may be able to guide her to the Lurkwood … and possibly the Giant’s Grove. Ioda changes back to her normal self, which startles Zindra, essentially sobering her up instantly. Zindra informs Ioda that she will guide her to the dangerous Lurkwood if Ioda and her companions assist her in guarding a caravan safely to Longsaddle. The party has other matters to attend to first, but Zindra informs them that this job is not for a few more days, and that they will be paid for their assistance. The party agrees to assist.

Upon exiting the Triboar Arms, the party are ambushed by a group of thugs working for a local criminal named Sharkey. The thugs tell the party to quit sticking their noses in other people’s business and to get out of town.

The Apothecary

On their way to see the apothecary Tarmock Felaskur, several townspeople seem to recognize the group for their heroic deeds in Melton. Outside Tarmock’s shop, the party hears the sound of a music box, which makes Ioda, who is unfamiliar with such technology, uneasy. After purchasing some sweet water, he party interrogates Tarmock, who first denies any knowledge of the Terror. After some intimidation, he confesses that he had been doing some “amateur archeology” work at a hidden graveyard northwest of town, and in doing this work he may have disturbed a spirit that he believes to be the Terror. Ioda destroys several shelves worth of merchandise, which upsets Tarmock greatly. He agrees to lead the group to the lost graveyard and asks them to come back at 8pm. Ioda cleans up the mess that she made and pays Tarmock for the damage. She recovers some sweet water and a healing potion in the process.

Killing Time

With time to kill, the party visits some of the shops around town. They check out Foehammer’s Forge and meet the renowned dwarven blacksmith Ghelryn Foehammer. Marxibis attempts to buy some studded leather armor but even with her incredible charm, it is out of her price range. She does successfully parlay Ghelryn’s familiarity with the good deeds of Lantro Sanktop into a discount, but the fine work of Ghelryn Foehammer—honorary armorer of the king and queen of Citadel Felbarr—does not come cheap. They decide to try their luck at Uldinath’s Arms, but the shop’s proprieter, Harriet, isn’t familiar with Lantro and doesn’t offer a discount.

After milling about town, the party return to Tarmock’s. He is just closing up and getting ready to lead them to the lost graveyard. The walk takes several hours and it is very late when the adventurers arrive. Tarmock refuses to stay. Despite their best efforts to prevent him, he manages to slip away.

Necromancing the Grimstone

At the cemetery, two graves are dug up. It seems clear that Tarmock is no "amateur archaeologist, but rather a grave robber. The plot is otherwise fairly well kept, and two braziers burn on either side of a large cenotaph covered in necromantic runes. Even with true sight, Marxibis was unable to make out the exact nature of the magical markings.

After some investigating, the party discovers this to be the family plot of Alberich Grimstone. Reberkkah recalls the Grimstone name and believes Alberich was a contemporary of St. Oswin. Unfortunately, before the party can explore further, there is a low roar as the earth begins to tremble, followed by a muffled boom. The earth bursts open and six skeletons climb out of the ground, clad in rusty armor and wielding short swords. They immediately charge.

The party makes quick enough work of the skeletons, but not without taking some significant damage. After the skeletons are defeated, the cenotaph begins glowing with a sickly green light, with cobalt flames dancing around the edges. A large, dark shadow emergeces from a previously unseen crack in the top of the stone. It has large, menacing eyes that flash with eldritch light.

“Who dares disturb my rest?” it thunders. The voice is loud but also sounds as if it is coming from a great distance.

Foolishly, the party decides to attack. Reberkkah moves first, loosing her bow at the shadowy wraith. The shadow dodges the arrows deftly before raising a dark, bony hand and begins draining the life from his attacker. Reberkkah is unable to resist, and drops the ground, unconscious, maybe worse.

“Oh, fuck,” Marxibis exclaims.

“Now will you leave me to my rest?”

The Terror Lives

As usual, it is Ioda’s bluntness that saves the day. The party rethink their approach and aren’t above a little groveling. The wraith reveals that in life he was, in fact, Alberich Grimstone, the famed necromancer. With a flick of his wrist in Reberkkah’s direction, she awakens, beaten and bruised but alive. She looks around, surprised to see her friends making peace with the being that nearly killed her, but Marxibis and Lantro convince her that they have no hopes defeating him, so they may as well play nice.

The wraith laughs at the suggestion that he is the creature terrorizing the town of Triboar. “All I want is my rest,” he retorts. “However, I can tell you where to find the Terror, and who he is—or once was.”

Lantro, fingering the hilt of his sword, exclaims, “Well, tell us then!”

Grimstone shoots the young elf a chilling look, but he does explain that the Terror is none other than St. Oswin himself. Shortly before the town’s hero died, he angered the High Priestess of Shar, who cursed him. Every fifty years he rises as a ghast and spends several months terrorizing the town that bears his namesake. The wraith suggests the group go to the St. Oswin memorial and wait until midnight, when the ghast is sure to emerge.

Visitors to Terror Town

St. Oswin’s memorial lies near the center of the old graveyard on the south side of town. The memorial consists of a raised stone sarcophagus and statue. The words “Here lies Oswin Boldfist, founder of Triboar” are engraved on the side of the sarcophagus, alongside relief carvings of various scenes from his life. The statue depicts a fully armored figure with a spear, three dead boars at his feet.

The adventurers are unable to open the sarcophagus. However, they do not need to wait long until the lid suddenly lights up with burning cerulean fire, sliding open effortlessly. The horrible ghast that was once St. Oswin emerges. He attacks the party on sight.

As the fight rages on, three of Sharkey’s men appear from their shadowy hiding places and once again accuse the party of being interlopers. The adventurers now face threats on all sides, but realize that they may be able to use the indiscriminate violence dealt by the ghast to their advantage. They are right, as the ghast attacks Sharkey’s men just the same as our heroes.

The battle is long and bloody, but the adventurers emerge victorious, defeating the ghast and ensuring the Sharkey’s men have been dealt with. They interrogate the one that remains alive, and he readily gives up his information: Sharkey planned on taking care of the problem of the Terror in order to benefit Jane Symes, who is using her sizable wealth to get elected as Lord Protector.

Epilogue

About a week after they destroy the ghast, the adventurers are summoned by Darathra Shendrel. She tells them that the sightings of the Terror have ceased, and she pays them the promised price. She invites the party to attend the St. Oswin’s Day celebration as her special guests, and even requests that one of them give the St. Oswin’s Day Memorial address, a short speech praising the virtues of St. Oswin. Marxibis agrees to do so, but decides she isn’t sure the town is ready to hear that their hero is the one who’s been terrorizing them.

The day of the festival, it is revealed that Darathra has been successfully re-elected Lord Protector of Triboar.

Darathra asks the adventurers if they might stick around Triboar for the foreseeable future. She would like to keep them on retainer, as there have been some disturbing rumors that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, she notes, there are some jobs that The Twelve are not suited for, or which are outside their jurisdiction, and it may be beneficial to have an adventuring party such as themselves around to assist. They will be paid, of course; room and board will be provided at the Six Windows and they will receive a fair daily allowance of 1 gold a day. Knowing that they’ll be sticking around at least until they can join Zindra on the Long Road, the adventurers reluctantly agree.

Adventurers Present at this Session

Loot

  • Gold necklace
  • 3 silver rings

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