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The Parliament of Spiders

Started by Eclecticon, May 12, 2022, 11:54 PM

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Eclecticon

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
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

:ooc: Arbogast picks up another Shadow point.  :csu:
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

May 13, 2022, 12:00 AM #2 Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 01:16 AM by Eclecticon
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.
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

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? 

THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

GandalfOfBorg

 :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.

tomcat

: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.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

tomcat

: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.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Eclecticon

: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...
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

:ooc: That said, I'm unlikely to get another post up before Monday, though I'll try.
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

"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
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Eclecticon

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. 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

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
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Eclecticon

: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.
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

tomcat

: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

Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

tomcat

May 17, 2022, 10:05 AM #14 Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 10:14 AM by tomcat
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
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦○○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]