"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
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.
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.
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?
Anyone else who wants their character to speak up can do so, otherwise I'll have Arbogast keep doing the talking.
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."
Arbogast will open with an Inspire roll (TN 14, as are all interaction rolls for this Encounter):
1d12 : 12, total 12 Rolled 4d6 : 1, 4, 6, 3, total 14
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.
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.