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Stories - PbP => Darkening of Mirkwood [LotR TOR] => Topic started by: Eclecticon on May 12, 2022, 11:54 PM

Title: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 12, 2022, 11:54 PM
As the paces multiply beneath the footsore company, more wyrdlights appear like the milestones placed by the Men of Westernesse in elder days and more wholesome places, until at length enough of the sickly illumination filters between the shrouded trunks and heavy boughs to display a scene of dark and fearful wonder.  A wide circle stands empty of trees, though covered far above by the same canopy that shadows all below it.  From unseen branches high above hang heavy forms, so thickly wrapped in webs that only the barest guess might be made as to their nature.  Among these, Mannish forms, naked and filthy with heads downcast, shuffle to and fro on unguessable business.  About and above it all, the webs spread, from threads thin as gossamer to those that have been added to and strengthened for centuries until they are as thick and heavy as hawsers.  With wide eyes, the companions behold the broad hall and soaring towers that the spiders have made of this place, the cold and alien heart of their dread realm. 


:ooc: This is, for sure, one of the most blighted places the Fellowship of the Helm has ever found itself, and you'd better believe it calls for Corruption rolls (against TN 18):

Arbogast
:00: 1d12 : 5, total 5
Rolled 4d6 : 1, 3, 4, 1, total 9


Esgalwen
:00: 1d12 : 8, total 8
Rolled 5d6 : 6, 5, 3, 6, 3, total 23


Grimbeorn
:00: 1d12 : 7, total 7
Rolled 5d6 : 5, 1, 6, 3, 3, total 18


Hathcyn
:00: 1d12 : 9, total 9
Rolled 4d6 : 5, 6, 2, 1, total 14
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 12, 2022, 11:57 PM
:ooc: Arbogast picks up another Shadow point.  :csu:
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 13, 2022, 12:00 AM
Scarcely can they begin to comprehend what they see than Radagast brings his staff down hard against an exposed stone on the forest floor.  In the sudden ruddy light, it is plain that they are surrounded by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of spiders that have emerged from holes and hollows below, descended on silken lines from above, and approach through the trees on every side.  Though they move almost silently, the sheer number of legs makes a whispering hiss in the air.  The wizard-light glints from innumerable eyes that stare, hostile and unblinking at those who have dared to come invited into this unhallowed place. 

Yet despite their obvious desire to do so, they do not descend upon the company but stand still, mouths twitching in anticipation of the meal so close... so close... 

"Speak to them!" Radagast hisses, his brow creased in concentration, sweat beading on his nose.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 13, 2022, 03:25 AM
Hathcyn was filled with dread, but this was overcome by revulsion and the realization that there were mannish servants whom served these beasts in the foul place.

The thought sickened him and troubled him deeply. He desired to burn this place to the ground and cleanse it with fire. Yet also the horror of the place and the realization that such a  :ooc: place existed pressed upon his soul. He steadied himself and once again found the thought of his wife a calming and steadying influence upon him.


"Who shall speak for us?"

 :ooc: paul I realize this puts you on an awkward spot as PC and LM via for narrative place. Do we want some else to speak for the spiders, or have Abrogast do so through another player? 

Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: GandalfOfBorg on May 13, 2022, 09:15 AM
 :ooc: It won't be Grimbeorn

The heir of the Bear's grip tightens about his weapon and silently moves to the rear of the group, ready to strike a path through if it comes to that.  His head is on a swivel, concerned even more at their ability to exit this situation unharmed, let alone alive.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 13, 2022, 12:41 PM
:ooc: Looking at Esgalwen, I have a pretty good Awe and Persuade skill (3d each), but my Custom skill group is pretty weak with only 2d in Song and Courtesy, and 1d in Riddle.

I am not sure she should be the one who talks to these things either. Maybe Awe is the way to approach it - try and cow the spiders into our request? If we need to kiss ass, I am not real sure she can do that well.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 13, 2022, 12:51 PM
:ooc: Arbogast seems the best choice as the spokesman for our group. He has good ranks across the board in everything except Courtesy.

I am fine to watch Paul RP out what needs said based on the dice results. I am also happy to have Esgalwen contribute to the Encounter, but she needs to just be the assist.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 13, 2022, 10:35 PM
:ooc: Normally, I avoid situations where you all get to watch the GM talk to himself like they were weeping sores.  But since you've specifically asked for that...
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 13, 2022, 10:38 PM
:ooc: That said, I'm unlikely to get another post up before Monday, though I'll try.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 17, 2022, 01:09 AM
"Greetings," Arbogast begins, raising himself up on a gnarled root and bowing, though mindful not to lower his head far enough that he cannot see the spiders.  "For the Fire-watcher am I named by my folk, and from the sunlit lands have we come, to seek the favour of your moot." 

The spiders watch, their mouth-parts twitching.  Seen close and still, each is a monstrosity in its own mode: one with a thin, pale body and legs so slender that they seem barely enough to hold its body still in the web-strewn branches, the next squat and glistening-green between thick tufts of spiky hair, the next mottled with bright and dark stripes, its eyes ringing its head like a halo.  Finally, a chittering, hissing voice emerges from within the throng and a new horror, its face almost human, descends on a thread until it is just beyond whatever spell of Radagast holds its kind at bay.  No voice of Men issues from it, and yet with its speech some thing of shame and darkness, buried deep in the hearts of the companions, stirs and writhes.  "Feeeeeaaaaassssssssst..." they understand without knowledge of its speech.  For it would know why they have dared to come here, and why it should not wait until the strength of the Brown one fails before falling fast upon them. 

"Stay!" Arbogast calls out.  "For we would not be so base as to come to your home without a gift for our hosts."  Without turning his face away from the spiders' speaker, he hisses "Hathcyn!  The gem!" 


:ooc: This is going to have to be a Courtesy roll, but the TN is only 14:
:00: 1d12 : 2, total 2
Rolled 2d6 : 4, 6, total 10
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 17, 2022, 01:30 AM
Hathcyn, his gaze locked on the shuffling wretches who toil for their inhuman masters and his heart filled with desire to once again be in the company of his beloved Aestid, at first hears not the words of his friend.  Arbogast, his hand still held forth as if by the gesture alone he might hold back the tide of foes, begins to tremble.  Many times has he contemplated the madness of the path on which he has set himself, and his dearest companions, and many hours has he dwelled upon the manifold manners in which their plan might fail, but never did he consider that they might falter here, mere steps from that which they have sought!  Folly, he thinks, the thought like a scourge upon his soul, folly upon folly!  From here, there can be no return to the light! 

Unmarked even by himself, tears begin to run down his cheeks, clearing tracks through the grime of his journey.  Then, just as the tremor in his hand begins to be visible to his companions, Grimbeorn taps the haft of Hathcyn's spear with the handle of his axe, jarring his heorthgeneat out of his reverie.  "Gem!" he grunts, and the Longspear at once fumbles to produce the stone, hard-won from Northmen's ruins, from its pouch, his knife slicing through his wife's handiwork. 

"Here," he says as he offers the gem forth. 

"Thraaaaaaaaalllllsssssssss," hisses the spider as its gathered kind hiss and scuttle in appreciation and hunger.  "Receeeeeeiiiiive and conceeeeeaaaaaallllll."  At once, one of the spiders' bondsmen hurries forth, his gait hesitant and unsteady, to take the gem from Hathcyn's hand.  The spiders clear a path from the clearing to allow the man to do so, and they do not block the company's passage as he returns, the gem clutched tight to his chest. 


:ooc: So yeah, Arbogast will drop another Hope to make the introduction stick.  This pushes him over the edge into being Miserable.  :csu:

There's more to this scene, obviously, but there's an opportunity for reactions etc. before we go any further. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 17, 2022, 01:57 AM
There was little that Hathcyn felt he could do before these aberrations. He also knew that Men were a greater foe than these Spiders appreciated and he would not let his friend stand alone.

The Beorning twirled his two handed spear with ease and standing tall he took up the position of guard beside his friend. The red gold fox ring glittering in the dim light of the parliament.

"I am with you Firewatcher."

Ooc: i'm going to give awe a shot here to help.
Rolled 3d6+1 : 4, 3, 6 + 1, total 14

Rolled 1d12 : 12, total 12
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 17, 2022, 06:56 AM
:ooc: Niiiice.  The meat of the interactions is still to come, but I'll count this as his introduction if you want to have Hathcyn speak later on.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 09:54 AM
:ooc: Assuming we are still using 1e encounter rules, here is an Insight roll for Esgalwen for any potential bonus Success dice.

TN 14 insight 2d
:00: 1d12 : 9, total 9
Rolled 2d6 : 3, 3, total 6

Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 10:05 AM
Seeing the insecurity plain on her friend's face, Esgalwen can do naught but follow in Hathcyn's example and she steps up to stand next to both men. Nimronyn still sits within its scabbard, but the Ranger sets her hand upon its hilt in preparation.

From the core of her being, Esgalwen spoke in her courtly manner that was steeled by the ancient blood that coursed her veins, "Courtesy has been extended. Gifts have been given. Will you hear our words or will this be a blood day for both our kinds?"

:ooc: That Insight roll give Esgalwen 1 bonus success die to bank
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 10:08 AM
:ooc: Okay, here is my Awe roll to make her introduction... she has two traits that might wrap into this: Adventurous and Old Lore. Not sure what that will gain her, but I bring them to your attention, Paul.

TN 14 awe 3d
:00: 1d12 : 8, total 8
Rolled 3d6 : 6, 4, 3, total 13


Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 10:12 AM
:ooc: Oooohh... that is a good roll for a 21 :%: success :csu:
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 10:20 AM
:ooc: What did we house rule for our game? That only the Interaction phase of tests go to evaluate the outcome of the encounter?

I personally think that is how it should be, but you are driving the game, Paul. Otherwise, between Arbogast, Hathcyn and Esgalwen we have 3 great successes which equate to 6 successes in this Encounter. Of course, due to the dark nature of where we are and who we are dealing with, you may also have increased the success counts for the varied levels Encounter success.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: GandalfOfBorg on May 17, 2022, 11:21 AM
 :ooc: Grimbeorn will put in his  $OO if needed, but is looking for the Wizard to chime in before him.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 17, 2022, 08:08 PM
Quote from: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 09:54 AM:ooc: Assuming we are still using 1e encounter rules, here is an Insight roll...
:ooc: Good call, Doug.  Let' have some more of those:
Arbogast
:00: 1d12 : 9, total 9
Rolled 2d6 : 6, 4, total 10


Grimbeorn
:00: 1d12 : 2, total 2
Rolled 3d6 : 2, 2, 4, total 8


Hathcyn
:00: 1d12 : 12, total 12
Rolled 3d6 : 2, 1, 5, total 8


Quote from: tomcat on May 17, 2022, 10:20 AM:ooc: What did we house rule for our game? That only the Interaction phase of tests go to evaluate the outcome of the encounter?

I personally think that is how it should be, but you are driving the game, Paul.  

That's been my position for some time (https://rpg.avioc.org/boards/index.php?msg=23198).  I'll let you know when I start tallying successes and failures, though you'll likely be able to guess in any case. 

Quote from: GandalfOfBorg on May 17, 2022, 11:21 AM:ooc: Grimbeorn will put in his  $OO if needed, but is looking for the Wizard to chime in before him.

Don't look too long - Radagast is concentrating on protecting you guys and isn't likely to be doing a lot of talking. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 17, 2022, 08:17 PM
:ooc: That's a great success for Arbogast, netting two bonus dice, failure for Grimbeorn (though he can use Spider Lore for an auto-success) and a simple success for Hathcyn.  I'm awarding AP for Esgalwen's Awe roll (her Insight was a basic success, she already has one AP in Perception and I don't see any of her traits helping), Hathcyn's Insight (tagging 'Wary') and his Awe.  :csu:
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 17, 2022, 11:41 PM
 :ooc: paul, you dont get enough credit for your book keeping in this game. Thanks.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 18, 2022, 01:29 AM
The nearby webs rustle with the movement of hundreds of legs as the spiders move to take their places, the implicit promise of safe conduct clear enough that Radagast opens his eyes and leans for a moment on his staff.  The effort of restraining the beasts' hunger has clearly drained him far more than the journey hitherto, but after a few moments he blinks his eyes and says "Yes, yes, let us get on."  Warily, ranged about the wizard like an honour guard, the companions enter the great hall of the spiders. 

As they do so, the Man that took the gem makes straight for one of the hanging bundles.  Taking forth a knife crudely formed from stone, he slices through the webs that encircle it.  As the mud-clad thrall continues to cut, opening up the belly of the dead form within to make of it a grisly storing-place, an arm, and clearly that of a large and thick-set orc, tumbles forth.  Esgalwen alone marks the scar that it bears, now putrid with rot, and wonders whether it might not be one that she herself inflicted (https://rpg.avioc.org/boards/index.php?msg=31814) years ago and miles away. 

No time is there to ponder the matter, though, for the remaining men and women, each as abject and filthy as the next, usher them toward the centre of the clearing with shoves and grunts.  Above them, they now make out three vast webs hanging, bathed in the wyrdlight, among the arches and domes of the spiders' palace: three thrones for what can only be the overlords of this stygian realm. 


:ooc: Matt, if you want to do an Awe roll for Grimbeorn's introduction, now's the time.  There's no need for dialogue if you don't want to play it that way, just an action that indicates that he's not just here as a hanger-on. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: GandalfOfBorg on May 18, 2022, 07:51 AM
 :ooc:  Sorry, previous roll was screwed up
:00:
Awe -  1d12 : 12, total 12
Rolled 5d6 : 1, 3, 1, 5, 5, total 15
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: GandalfOfBorg on May 18, 2022, 07:52 AM
His ancient hatred, stewing and simmering beneath the surface, is kept in check with the driving need of their errand.  Being in this place alone is enough to set his hackles straight notwithstanding the memories of the loss of his mother and the injury the Fellowship has endured by these creatures and cousins.  The presence of the man alone radiates his power.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 18, 2022, 10:13 PM
:ooc: Neat.  :csu: for the Awe roll.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 19, 2022, 02:08 AM
A whispering of webs surrounds the company as the spiders assume their watching-places and their thralls cower and withdraw from sight into the silk-shrouded gloom.  The speaker spider who admitted them (or is it perhaps another whose form is the same?) now ascends the thick strands with evident ease until it perches upon a branch, long since dead and denuded and now held up only by the webs themselves.  Its mouth-parts rasp and its hairy legs rub upon each other, the sound eerie and terrible to Mannish ears but serving somehow, by means of the waxing Shadow within the companions' hearts, to convey its meaning. 

   The Web-Folk are gathered!  The Parliament commences! 
   Cease your chatter, for the Great Ones come!


And so it is, for the moment it has spoken the sound of something crashing through the upper boughs reaches the forest floor.  Louder and closer it comes, as the hundreds, perhaps thousands of gathered spiders huddle, still and silent.  Then, with a crack like the breaking of a spine that shivers an ancient branch from its trunk and sends it toppling into the cradle of webs, a monstrosity that could only come of Mirkwood's depths enters the clearing.  Impossibly huge, its abdomen bulges, pus oozing from wounds in its side where its skin is not stretched taught across unseen things that writhe and squirm beneath.  Its legs, almost comically small, struggle to move it and lesser spiders left trailing in its wake now struggle to assist it, heaving its bulk along as it lurches toward the central web. 

A coldness seizes the bellies of the Fellowship, and Grimbeorn's more than any for many are the fearful tales he has heard of this creature.  For Sarquin did the Elves name her when first the children of Shelob came in force to Greenwood the Great, and about her all the lesser spiders now chitter and shriek in their adoration. 

   Mother!  Mother of all!  Mother of All!

Settling at last into her web-couch, she turns her cold and lifeless eyes at last upon the Fellowship of the Helm.  She burbles in the tongue of the spiders, her voice as deep as those of her offspring are shrill.

   What are these?  Too fresh are they to be morsels for my belly.

The speaker replies.   

   Emissaries are they, come to beg your favour.

   Then speak, for I hunger.

With a sound like the teeth chattering in a hundred white and empty skulls, all eyes turn to watch the companions. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 19, 2022, 10:28 PM
As when they were surrounded mere minutes before, the first words are spoken by Arbogast.  "Folk of the dark wood," he calls out, seeking to be heard in the farthest reaches of the spiders' hall, "long have you sought to prey upon our kind, and in return have known the torment of fire as it consumes your webs, and felt the bite of steel in your very bodies!" 

There is a stirring among the audience, and here and there comes a rattling hiss of displeasure.  Sarquin, however, shows no reaction, stirring herself only to begin lifting one of the silk-enshrouded bodies, her mouth-parts visibly quivering in anticipation. 

"But fear not," the Fire-watcher continues, "for we come for no such purpose, but to remove a point of contention between your kind and ours.  A treasure of our folk has been taken by one of your kind, and we seek only its return." 


:ooc: Arbogast will open with an Inspire roll (TN 14, as are all interaction rolls for this Encounter):
:00: 1d12 : 12, total 12
Rolled 4d6 : 1, 4, 6, 3, total 14
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 19, 2022, 10:31 PM
:ooc: That's a nice, solid opener!  That's two successes on the board. 

The Tolerance for this sequence, by the way, is four (half the highest Valour, plus one for offering a gem).  Best not to exceed it. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 19, 2022, 10:34 PM
Sarquin moves forward and down her web, until she hangs like a malign judgement above the heads of the company.  Raising the dead morsel to her mouth, she manages somehow to begin consuming it even as her voice rumbles forth. 

   What is this precious thing?


:ooc: Anyone else who wants their character to speak up can do so, otherwise I'll have Arbogast keep doing the talking.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 20, 2022, 04:15 AM
 :ooc: i'm hazy on the details or I would chine in.

Summary: one of the other spiders, the Charles I not keen on the Parliament variety, has ensorceled the Elder River Daughter. We, the party, have come to the Parliament to find out where Chucky 1 is so that we can go there and deal with it using the principle of my enemy of my enemy is my friend? But they parliament knows where he is and we dont.

Is that about right? 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 20, 2022, 07:53 AM
:ooc: My apologies for the lack of clarity.  Yes - Tylquin the Weaver, whose name has come up periodically but who has never appeared before, is the spider you're looking for.  And it's not so much that Tylquin hates the Parliament - more that spiders are a fratricidal lot at the best of times and who knows?  Maybe she preys on them as much as anything else.  So it's possible that with a little convincing, the gathered ones might see no good reason not to point you in her direction. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 20, 2022, 09:48 AM
"Great Spider, we have come to speak to you about another of your close kin. Tylquin the Weaver."

Hathcyn soeaks the name of the great spider and seeks to gain some insight from the great beast before him or the assembled spiders and thralls. So reaction to the name alone that may give them a clue as to how the beast is considered by this throng.

Ooc: social skills are not the best so I am going to try and read the crowd.
Insight
Rolled 1d12 : 1, total 1

Rolled 3d6 : 6, 5, 5, total 16
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 21, 2022, 10:05 PM
Sarquin's enormous head inclines toward Hathcyn, but if she is peturbed by his failure to answer her question, her motionless eyes do not show it.  Pieces of long-dead prey rain from her mouth, but the answer to the Longspear's question comes instead from above and behind him and his companions. 

   WHOOOOOO SSSSSSPEEEEAAAAKSSSS THE NAAAAAME OF MY SSSSSIIIIISSSSSSTERRRRR?

Esgalwen and Grimbeorn, watching for attack from behind as much as they listen to the conversation, see a horde of spiders scuttle away from a hole in the web like water rippling away from a dropped stone.  From the hole, wyrdlight casting his carapace into dark and awful iridescence, emerges the dreadful and familiar sight of Tauler, who once slept upon the ruined Millfort (https://rpg.avioc.org/boards/index.php?msg=25427).  Spiders scurry over and under each other in their haste to move from his path, crying out in awe and terror: 

  The Hunter!  The Hunter!

In the midst of the companions, Radagast grimaces and tightens his grip upon his staff.  Despair is plain upon Arbogast's countenance as he recalls the desperate struggle against this creature, from which only the providence of the great eagles delivered them alive.  No hope is there of such an intervention in this place. 

Hathcyn, though, is undaunted as the second of the great spiders takes his place upon one of the throne-webs, his enormous body seeming slight only next to the bulk of Sarquin.  His gaze, and the pricking of his ears, remains focused squarely on those spiders who have settled about the Mother of All, for they chitter and gossip like courtiers.  Clearly, the name of Tylquin is not spoken here an that a war of words might break forth. 

   YOOOOOUUUUUU SSSSSEEEEEEEK HERRRRRR IIINNNNN VAAAAAAIIIINNNNN. 
   MYYYYYYY SSSIIIISSSSTERRRR WILLLLL NOOOOOT COOOMMMMME. 
   HERRRRRR  HEEEAAAARRRRRRT IIIIISSSSSS BOOOUUUGHT BYYYYY THE ENNNNNSSSSSLAAAAVVVVEERRRRR.



:ooc: Hathcyn's great success has bumped your total successes up to four, but the appearance of Tauler, who absolutely remembers you guys, just dropped the Tolerance down two points (i.e. to two).  Tread carefully...
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 22, 2022, 02:17 AM
Hathcyn had met none of these spiders before, that fact alone gave him a sliver of courage in the face of these terrible beasts. His ignorance of them and his pride perhaps shielded his mind from accepting the terrible danger he was in. An idea took shape in his mind. Perhaps these three spiders were the opposite number to the River Daughters? Three spiders and three sisters. Was this the work of Fate, a balance to Arda, did it mean anything at all? The idea gave the foxling the germ of an idea and perhaps a lever to move the spiders.

"We seek to redeem one who has been enslaved as well, the River Daughter. So she too may again take her rightful place with her sisters."

Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 22, 2022, 10:09 PM
:ooc: Who are you trying to sway here?  If Hathcyn's playing to the spiders' peanut gallery, you can do an Inspire roll.  If he's trying to play on the sympathies of the larger pair, it'll be Persuade. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 23, 2022, 12:01 AM
I was  kinda hoping someone else had some skill here and was prepping the objective. But I did Open his mouth. Inspire it is....

Rolled 1d12 : 7, total 7

Rolled 3d6 : 6, 2, 6, total 14
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 23, 2022, 01:23 AM
:ooc: See how easy that was, guys?  That's another three successes! 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 23, 2022, 01:52 AM
 :ooc: that was a nail biter! Not sure how to interpret that result so I'll need a LM narration assist.

Knock on wood: being married has really made big gains for Hathcyn's fortune so far. Let's see how long it lasts.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 23, 2022, 07:38 AM
:ooc: Okay, more narration coming soon, but it's late here and I'm knackered.  Watch this space.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 23, 2022, 10:47 PM
From the assembled mass of spiders comes a great hissing, a roar of whispers as each beast turns to its neighbours and begins to argue the matter without heed of order or, it seems, the continued presence of the Fellowship.  Snatches of their chaotic council drift down to the floor of the forest:

  What shall we...
  Can we truly know...
  Enslaver's foes...
  Deceits of the Weaver...
  Light of sweet gems...


Amid the mulch and mold, Radagast's face eases and his breathing is at once deeper.  "They hunger for us no longer," he remarks with evident relief. 

The two great spiders in their web-thrones, however, appear utterly unmoved.  Without further word, Tauler turns his back on the companions and ascends the strands into the high branches, his lesser kin barely ceasing their chatter as they scuttle out of his path, until he is vanished from the sight of those below.  Sarquin, her legs already raising another bundled morsel to her mouth, barely shifts herself to once again address the companions.

   You amuse my children greatly.  You may go.

"What is this?" cries Arbogast, despair winning out over prudence.  "We have not what we sought, and great have been our toils in reaching this place!"  The Fire-watcher had not thought that his heart could sink further, but to leave this place now, without further inkling of where, in the black vastness of Mirkwood, Tylquin might be found, is a crushing defeat, no matter that the spiders seem content to allow them to leave in peace.   

   You may go.

As Sarquin repeats herself, Radagast's face also falls, his bushy eyebrows sinking like the ears of a beaten cur.  The plan devised by he and Arbogast, it seems, lies in ruin.  To Grimbeorn, however, a new insight is made plain.  Across the many days and miles that lie between the hillside council of the Fellowship and this moment has he wondered what purpose the Parliament of Spiders might serve, for the lore of Men and Elves has long held that no law do the spiders know save that of hunger and death.  Yet in the moments betwixt these, it seems, there is some custom among them, and a love of contention by words instead of venom and fang.   This, then, is the reason for its existence: not to enable the rule of a shared realm but to permit the demonstration of mastery over the minds of lessers.  Such a tale as this, he thinks, would win great renown among the lore-keepers, had I only the words to tell it!

Esgalwen and Hathcyn, meanwhile, have marked the reappearance of the filth-clad thralls who now shuffle and stumble toward them, their arms already waving in crude but unmistakable gestures of dismissal.  "We must leave," the Ranger whispers, her urgency plain in her tone. 

"No," Arbogast pleads. 

"She is right," the Longspear adds.  "We'll get nothing more from them, and should count ourselves fortunate to have what we do." 

"And what is that, then?" 

"The other big one, he said that our quarry's heart was bought.  By who else could he mean but the Dark Lord of the south?  We know that the spiders desire the light of gems.  Perhaps, when we return to daylit lands, we might learn where such things have been bought, or stolen, and from there we may trace the messengers who deliver her payment!"

"As fleet your mind as your feet, Longspear!" Radagast commends him.  "Come, they are right.  Hope yet remains, and we dare not tarry here". 


:ooc: I'll move the story on in a bit, but as usual feel free to add in any reactions or other matters. 

Also: :csu: for Hathcyn's Inspire roll. 
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 24, 2022, 03:41 AM
Hathcyn grimaced at the thralls as they approached. His demeanor was clear that he would not allow one of the base brutes to touch him.

"This is a sight and a place I wish to never see again. If tales are ever told of the Wolfslayer's coming here even Tate will be challenged to find the words to describe the horrors of this place or the abject baseness of men who live here. Of all the horrors I expected to see here to know that men serve these things is the greatest of them all."
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: GandalfOfBorg on May 24, 2022, 01:52 PM
"Such is our lot for not only the gift of death was given to Men, but our doom of true choice -- a choice that may lead to the Light or Shadow.  Begrudge not their choice but pity them and their lot," whispered Grimbeorn in a strained, hushed voice.
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Telcontar on May 25, 2022, 05:51 AM
 :ooc: are we following council rules here?
Title: Re: The Parliament of Spiders
Post by: Eclecticon on May 25, 2022, 03:51 PM
:ooc: I haven't been able to familiarise myself with the new subsystems in time, so I'm just using the encounter rules from the first edition.

EDIT: I just worked out a minute ago that you probably meant this question about the interaction with Tauler.  Short answer: no.  There's some RP opportunity, and you're welcome to make rolls if you really want to, but he's already decided what he wants from you.  He's trying to convince you to do something for him.