Wake up, and Diend wants to go in with us to see the first cave.
Give him the grand tour.
He posts guards at the entrance to the big spider.
Get him to put his fingers into the holes, and he’s startled when the screen lights up.
He fiddles with it, and tells us that the area was beset by many breaches from the elemental planes.
We see the lights, and after dragging the defeated spider out, we find the lights represent spiders. We also notice that there are only two groupings of spiders.
One grouping is two dots that are regular sized.
Then the other grouping has a big dot with a lot of smaller dots.
Diend wants us to capture a spider. Just great.
Lets us go about our business, and even lets Larry, the captain of the guard, to tag along.
We go to the small dots first.
With Larry’s help, we find our way towards the dots without getting lost.
We all start to sneak, and Larray, not properly warmed up, is not so sneaky.
Thankfully, there is a louder boar nearby.
We can’t see much through the grass, and Wenton can’t even see over the grass.
There is the sound of a struggle, then the boar goes silent.
The party can see that the spiders are dragging the boar away in a net.
We decide to follow.
Once again, we navigate like champs.
Find that the spiders dragged it into a giant anthill-like hole in the ground.
As we watch, tiny spiders are also dragging small animals into the hole.
Decide to scope out the hole to see what’s inside.
We volunteer Willow to go in with the invisibility potion we smuggled out.
She goes all stealth mode.
In the hole, she finds another smooth passageway.
At a juncture, she goes left.
In the adjoining room, she witnesses little spiders and some machines.
The spiders are using the machines to make more tiny spiders.
After looking for a while, she goes to the right of the juncture.
Here she finds a mostly empty room.
The ceiling was dome-like and make with rock.
Spiders of all sizes, including a huge one, were attaching dead things to the rock.
After looking for a while, she starts to leave.
After avoiding a couple of spiders coming from behind her, she makes it out and reports.
We decide to go back and report.
Diend tells us to capture one and also secure the factory.
We decide to try to capture one first.
We get a crate from Jerry and head back to the hole.
We try to corner one, but we don’t do it subtly.
Suddenly eight shapes are rustling in the trees toward us.
Even more suddenly, it looks like sixteen shapes rustling towards us.
A tactical retreat is issued, and we all run.
We lost them, but we also lost ourselves.
Failyn gets Flameon to capture a squirrel.
Wenton kills the squirrel.
Eventually make it back to the hole.
We toss the squirrel and wait.
Eventually, a small spider starts investigating the squirrel.
Failyn casts Mage Hand and lifts the thing.
While it’s flailing, a second one appears that mirrors its actions.
We get it in the crate and head back to Diend.
We learn it was able to cast mirror image, and Diend got webbed in the face.
Next we prepare for battle to secure the factory.
Failyn tries to extract some web sacks and burn a spider.
Wenton tries to think of which spells he can use.
Willow, I dunno, does some push ups and prepares her punching arm.
We try to get some potions.
Diend offers some, but they are too rich for my blood.
We talk to the Mayor for assistance.
He is eager to help us, but doesn’t have any himself.
Instead, gives us a signed not for one free favor, and tells us to get one item from the priest.
We go to the local temple to Waukeen with the note.
Failyn starts bartering our free favor (which doesn’t specify for who or what the favor is)
After convincing the priest of the possible benefit with our success tied to this favor, we get some potions.
Larry also assembles some guards to help us.
The next morning, we meet the guards.
It is Larry, a large man, a skinny man, and an old man.
We all head out to the spiders.
We had a sweet marching order.
However, we found a few waiting outside.
We attacked with surprise.
They activated mirror image, but we dispatched them quickly.
However, before we could reform our order, the whole host of them came from the hole.
We fought… and fought… and fought…
Most of them had Mirror Image cast, so it took a while to actually kill them all.
Thankfully the guards took most of the damage, especially the skinny one.
After they are all slain, we go into the hole.
There are no spiders, and the machines are silent.
We find some tiny spider bodies with no lenses in them.
We go to the dome room and more animals on the ceiling.
Wenton recognizes that the floor is a conjuration circle.
Hands bear man a pickaxe to mess it up, just in case.
We head back with news of our victory.
Diend is pleased.
But he has learned of the secret of the lenses.
Wenton decides to show Diend where the biggest lens is, since he couldn’t smuggle it out.
Diend is pleased, and conveniently the king messages him that we can move on when the next supply ship comes in.
And that’s how we gave the king mechanical spiders.