Such Tangled Webs They Weave is an instance of the City of the Spider Queen adventure with a few minor modifications. The group navigating the adventure consists of adventurers who are following behind another group of four as they try to find the source of a magical disturbance in the Weave.
The game will follow the core party members as they go through the adventure with occassional cameos by the members of the other group when they encounter each other.
Game Recap: The nobles of Sarent Hall were given a quest by Mystra, to discover the cause of and hopefully eliminate a disturbance in the Weave somewhere near the Dales. Several compatriots had arrived and the nobles split into two groups, one traveling ahead and another following the next day.
When the group following arrived in the Dales though, the temple at which their former party had arrived had been massacred by drow. The party and a new companion began an investigation and encountered Randal Morn, the lord of Daggerdale. He tasked them with tracking down the drow and provided two of his best men to assist with the task.
The party began a harrowing journey through Daggerdale, following the tracks of the drow. Their travels took them into the Dordrien hills and eventually down into some crypts where they encountered a number of undead and picked up a couple of companions to replace those who had been lost on the journey through.
They eventually made it down into the Underdark, traveling through the crypts and encountered their first drow. Moving deeper into the area, they cleared out a barracks that held a number of drow and then eventually made their way into Szith Morcane, a drow outpost that was not terribly prosperous. They were able to rest here and eventually began investigations that revealed the first group of nobles had been here and encountered trouble.
Unfortunately, the innkeeper of the inn they had been staying at betrayed them and summoned the guards when they returned to her establishment. The group was trapped and battled a platoon of guards, plus two vampire commanders. While they overcame the platoon, they were wounded enough that they were only able to kill one of the vampires and the other managed to break their resistance capturing at least half of the party.
This is where we stand now... Lord Morn's warmage and saboteur flees for the surface, the half-drow only chance met flees, and the rest of the party has been captured by the drow of Szith Morcane.
Non-player Characters Fersab Dawnglory - High Priest of Daggerdale's Temple of Lathander [dead] Randal Morn - Lord of Daggerdale Gareth - Priest of Ilmater Harral - Warrior under Randal Morn, part of initial drow tracking party Gregalevithix - Dragon King of the Goblins Earthstar - Earth elemental familiar of Gregalevithix Pelifia - Elven Cleric, mentally disturbed Illanis - Halfling adventurer Helgeis d'Santh - Drow matron of the Silvered Web Maris - Dax's mentor and former combat instructor for Randal Morn and Lathan Delraven Lathan Delraven - Lord of Dagger Falls, cousin of Randal Morn Sace Endwell - cleric of Siamorphe in the service of Lord Morn
Combat Encounters Gargoyle Attack Swarm Eaters Akritaur Displacer Vasuthant Fast White Dragon Zombie Roper Gravetouched Vazalkyon Ghoul Zhentarim Hunter Drow Advanced Guard Drow Guard Post Drow Barracks Gargantuan Fiendish Monstrous Spider Guard Squadron (Inn - Part 1) Vampire Commanders (Inn - Part 2) Tavern Fight
Links to previous threads in the Such Tangled Webs They Weave game can be found below:
Maneuvers and Stances Known (IL 10th): Stances - Step of the Wind, Island of Blades, Assassin's Stance, Step of the Dancing Moth Strikes - Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Emerald Razor, Soaring Raptor Strike, [s]Insightful Strike*[/s], Ruby Nightmare Blade, Mind Strike* Boosts - Burning Blade, Dancing Mongoose*, Sudden Leap* Counters - Counter Charge*, Baffling Defense, Mind over Body*, Mirrored Pursuit Other - [s]Shadow Stride*[/s], Shadow Jaunt*
Disciplines - Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, Tiger Claw, Shadow Hand
Background Despite being born in Lurien among the Stronghearts, Halanadar - or Hal, as others often call him - has always suffered from wanderlust. The Hin Nation train their young in a form of martial arts, similar to that which the Shou people are known for, so after a stint in the militia, Hal took off for points east, hoping to find the homeland of the Shou - the mysterious Kara-Tur. It took several months to make the journey, but at last, he arrived. He found a small monastery, where in exchange for work, he trained in their ways. He quickly became one of the top disciples and mastered some of the most difficult techniques known to the masters. After a decade of study, Hal felt the urge to travel again. He departed for the West along the Golden Way with a merchant caravan. During this trip, he disappeared without a trace.
He reemerged around the Moonsea a couple of years later - paler, and with jet black hair. He does not answer questions about those years. People who repeatedly ask tend to get hurt.
Half-elf (w/Drow Legacy) traits - immune to magical sleep - +2 bonus to saving throws vs. enchantment spells or effects - low-light vision - darkvision - +1 racial bonus on listen, search, and spot - +2 racial bonus on diplomacy and gather information - elven blood - favoured class: any - +2 bonus on will saves against spells and spell-like abilities - exotic weapon proficiency (hand crossbow) - Undercommon and drow dialect of Elven as automatic languages - spell-like abilities, 1/day: Dancing Lights, Darkness, Faerie Fire (caster level = class level) - dazzled (-1 to attacks, saves, checks) in bright sunlight or within daylight spell
Binder features - Soul binding (2 vestiges) - Pact augmentation (2) - Suppress sign - Soul guardian (immune to fear) - save DC 22 on supernatural effects granted by vestiges (10 + effective binder level/2 + cha mod + Veil of Allure)
Melia was born in the forests known as the Archwood, in northern Sembia, the half-breed of two fugitives, rebelling against the societies in which they were hewn.
Her mother was called Minrae, of the House Phaeanis. Thrust into training for the priesthood at an early age, Minrae quickly lost her taste for the vicious nature of life in the Underdark and found her fear and respect of their patron Lolth turning more and more to hatred and loathing. It was then that Eilistraee appeared to her in a dream, beckoning with two simple words, "Ascend, child." Minrae found her way to the surface and almost immediately ran into an adventuring party, run by a young merchant noble named Andras Selkirk. Seeing that she was alone (and very attractive and barely clothed), he asked her to travel with them, hoping to gain valuable information about the Drow culture.
As they adventured together, they became friends and more, and it was not very long before a child was conceived. They attempted to settle down for a time in Daerlun, to raise the child, but it seemed just as fate had conspired to bring them together it would likewise drive them apart.
Andras began to grow more and more tired of the adventuring life, and even moreso of the conniving nature of his merchant house. Minrae, at the same time, was frustrated by the constant need for secrecy and disguise, knowing that members of her race were not often accepted as viable members of surface society (she most of all resented Andras' preference that she be disguised as a human woman). So, they fled the city and made themselves a home in the Archwood. Andras took the name Kobor, breaking his ties with his merchant kin. Shortly thereafter, a daughter, Melia was born.
As Andras' comfort with life in the woodlands grew, so did Minrae's boredom and wanderlust. One day, when Melia was but four years of age, she awoke to find her mother gone without so much as a word.
Her father raised her as best he could, knowing he could not keep her hidden and sheltered in the woods forever. He taught her the value of disguise, and would bring her occasionally to the city, so that she might find a taste for society and not grow up as wild and flighty as her mother.
A skilled swordsman, he attempted to teach Melia the martial way, but she never paid much attention to his lessons, dancing and singing instead of performing his drills and exercises. She was far more interested in the libraries of the cities they visited, and relished these visits. She would spend hours rifling through old texts, fascinated by any reading she could lay eyes on.
As she matured, she began to sneak away despite her father's wishes and warnings, making solo trips to the city to delve further and further into older and more obscure texts. It was through this unquenchable thirst for knowledge (and through a friend and, briefly, a lover she made in the process, a cleric of Oghma) that she discovered pact magic. The study of binder history quickly became her favourite subject, along with the interest she always held in the Drow. By reading about the latter, she subconsciously hoped to learn more about her mother who disappeared when she was so young.
She stole a few books and began practicing binding at home, hiding it from her father. He eventually discovered what his daughter had been doing and was enraged, demanding that she stop "that insidious witchcraft" at once or leave his home. Temper flaring, she snatched up her books and stormed out of the house. She realised later that night that she would need more than just her books if she were to set out on her own, so she returned to her home and broke in, intending to take her things and leave again without having to confront her father. His temper had cooled, however, and he regretted his words. So when she managed to sneak in, he was there waiting for her. Melia's father begged her to stay, but she refused. He sighed, nodding his head; he had always known this day would come. "Take these, then," he requested, opening an intricately carved wooden box. "They were commissioned for your mother." Inside were a pair of shining black gems, carved in the shape of two delicate hands. When Melia moved to pick them up, they vanished and a pair of black silk gloves appeared on her own hands. She could feel their power coursing through her.
So she left, and given her fascination with her mother's kind, and her general dislike for the bright light of day, she found her way into the Underdark. She worked as a mercenary for a time, serving as a hired soldier for trade caravans. She walked a perilous line, sometimes disguising herself as a dark elf noblewoman (taking her mother's surname of Phaeanis, and the first name Laeli, which means "daughter of night") to find work with their kind, and sometimes appearing human, to work for those who were less friendly towards the Drow. Though she grew frustrated with the dark elves' vicious ways, she was able to see that it was a product of their society and not built into their nature, and preferred to travel as Laeli whenever possible.
She progressed in her knowledge and ability, and after a time she discovered the vestige called Dantalion. She felt a strong connection to him, and basked in the access to his wealth of knowledge in all things, and his given ability to read others' thoughts. Using this and her own skill, she began to find more work, selling information and general intelligence to whoever was willing to pay for it. She would, however, often give misleading information to those whose thoughts belied particularly evil intent.
She continues in her quest for knowledge, and her subtle attempts to undermine the evil doings in the area, hoping to somehow subvert Lolth's subjugation of her people and help them peacefully coexist with other beings.
Melia possesses a slender, sculpted figure, platinum white hair flowing down about her shoulders. She wears a "shirt" of elven chain armour that covers her bosom and little else. Another small section of chain covers her pelvic region, held up by a fine belt from which hangs an ornate rapier and a traditional dark elf hand crossbow. She wears knee-high black boots which seem to coordinate with the black silk gloves that tightly cover her hands and forearms.
Melia is most often seen as Laeli, a drow noblewoman just barely of mature age. This persona wears even less than the real thing, keeping the boots and gloves pretty much as they are, and clothed in an evocative suit of fine leather that stretches across her ebony frame like spider webs, covering the important parts and leaving little else to the imagination. She keeps her ornate rapier visible, thinking it helps add to the appearance and implication of nobility.
Melia is a woman of strong character. She takes pride in her appearance, and tends to flaunt her considerably attractive looks. To some, this may come across as narcissistic or vain, but she resents either opinion strongly, seeing no fault in being confident in her appearance. She can also be very amorous, though by her own count she has had far too few lovers since beginning her travels beneath the surface, as she is usually unwilling to compromise her disguises. Melia's preference for traveling as Laeli, while useful, is truly more from a combination of pride in her heritage and emulating a glorified memory of her mother than it is utilitarian. She hopes to somehow find her mother some day, and when she is able, she attempts to use her considerable skill for gathering information to research who she was, at the very least before she came to the surface. Her thirst for knowledge is likewise unquenchable, and it is this intense curiosity that has fueled her many adventures thus far. Despite parting ways on somewhat rough terms, and not having spoken to him for several years on account of adventuring, Melia loves and respects her father (though she considers him a boring old man), and hopes to someday return to the surface and visit him.
AC 23/28 v ranged (10 + 8 armor +3 enhancement+1 deflection +1 natural armor), touch 11, flat-footed 20 HP: 118 (78 rolled + 40 con) Great rolls1Not great roll HD: 10 Fort +16 (10base +4con +2resist), Ref +5 (3base +2resist), Will +6 (3base +1 wis +2resist)
Weaknesses: -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the air subtype or used by creatures of the air subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Air.
Improved Uncanny Dodge +5 AC vs ranged attacks due to crystal of arrow deflection Wall of Blades: Immediate Interrupt, replace AC with attack roll Moment of Perfect Mind(Use concentration check instead of will save) Iron Heart Surge Steadfast Boots(while wielding 2-handed weapon considered readied for charge) Counterstrike Bracers (2/day on opponents miss make AoO)
+1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the air subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Air. Pounce Power Attack Shock Trooper(PA from AC instead of to hit) Leap Attack Snap Kick(+1 attack, -2 to all attacks) Lesser Crystal of Lifedrinking(+3hp healed per attack up to 30)
Maneuvers(* readied): Warblade: Steely Strike, Moment of Perfect Mind*, Rabid Wolf Strike, Wall of Blades*, Iron Heart Surge* Swordsage: Burning Blade*, Sudden Leap*, Mountain Hammer, Burning Brand, Shadow Jaunt*, Cloak of Deception, Soaring Raptor Strike* Stances: Punishing Stance, Child of Shadow, Dance of the Spider
Improved Stonecunning: An earth dwarf's racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework is +4 (instead of +2).
+4 racial bonus on Appraise checks and Craft checks that are related to stone or metal items: An earth dwarf has a particularly strong familiarity with objects made of the bones of the earth, hence the higher racial bonus.
+4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Stability: An earth dwarf gains a +8 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
Equipment: +3 Full Plate (10650gp) Lesser Armor Crystal of Arrow Deflection(MIC 25) (1500gp) Lesser Weapon Crystal of Lifedrinking(MIC 64) (1500gp) Steadfast Boots(MIC 168): (1400 gp) Counterstrike Bracers(MIC 90) (2500gp) +1 Iron Heart Greatsword (8350gp) Iron Heart Vest: Iron Heart Surge & Resistance +2 (7000gp) Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2 (4000gp) Amber Amulet of Vermin(Giant Wasp) & Natural Armor +1 (2800gp) Ring of Protection +1 (2000gp) Ring of Jumping (2500gp) Healing Belt(MIC 110) (750gp) Potion Belt (150gp) Potion of Haste (750gp) Potions of Enlarge Person(6) (300gp) Potion of Gaseous Form (350gp) Psionic Tattoo of Empty Mind (3) (150gp) Psionic Tattoo of Force Screen(3) (150 gp) Psionic Tattoo of Burst(5) (250 gp) Magic Bedroll(MIC 163) (500gp) Everfull Mug(MIC 160) (200gp) Everlasting Rations(MIC 160) (350gp) Daylight Pellets(3)(MIC 156) (450gp) Masterwork Greatsword (350gp) Dwarven Waraxe (30gp) Longsword (15gp) Light Hammer(4) (4gp) Heavy Steel Shield (30gp)
Equipment Notes: Lesser Crystal of Arrow Deflection(+5 AC v ranged attacks) Lesser Crystal of Lifedrinking(+3hp healed per attack up to 30) Steadfast Boots(while wielding 2-handed weapon considered readied for charge) Counterstrike Bracers (2/day on opponents miss make AoO) Amber Amulet: Summon giant wasp 1/day for 1 min.
Background: Dax was born into the dwarven clan of Steelheart. His family had been ordained as the protectors of dwarven clan leaders and shock troops in battle. They were battleragers by right of their elemental touched bodies and their rabid ferocity inspired by strong drink. Dax was the 16th son of a low ranking member of the clan and there were no special hopes for him. At least no one was disappointed. As rotgut liquor was an integral part of the training of Steelheart battleragers, Dax's complete and utter intolerance for alcohol of all sorts was not only shocking, but unheard of in the family's long lineage. While inundating the body with rank liquor was intended to build up the body's ability to fight poison and disease, for Dax a single drink caused his face to turn bright red and swell up, obscuring his vision and making breathing a chore. To make up for his weakness, he was sent away from home to be schooled in a more traditional art of fighting. As part of this, his clan named was stripped and instead of Steelheart he became a Feldspar, no longer the strong metal of his clan but simply a plain, common rock alone. His chance at a new life away from the prejudices of his kin was just the opportunity that Dax needed.
His "training" turned out to be service in the local militia of Tsurlagol in the Vast. For 5 years he toiled as a low ranking guardsman, before on one hot summer day a band of raiders assaulted the merchants gathered at the city gates waiting entrance to the city. Charging forth from the gate, Dax burst forward to rally the other guards. Seeing a raider stab an old, sword-wielding man in the back, Dax rushed to his side and blocked a sword strike aimed at the fat merchant cowering behind the old man. Pushing the man under a wagon loaded with goods, Dax leaped on top of the wagon, preventing any of the raiders from closing. Then he noticed the teenage girl hiding under the canvas tarps covering the merchant's goods. Don't fret, they won't touch you. For what seemed like an eternity, Dax fended off raiders, who seemed drawn to the dwarf standing above the fray. Finally a barrage of arrows flew from the city's great walls, breaking the morale of the attacking force.
Quickly Dax tended the old swordsman's wounds, which were deep, but not imminently fatal. Days later he received a message from the merchant requesting a meeting. At that meeting, Dax was hired as a personal bodyguard much to his surprise. Over the coming months, Dax was trained by the old swordsman in the secrets of swordplay, and he gave up the dwarven waraxe in favor of a huge greatsword. Under the tutelage of Maris he quickly became a master of the intricacies of combat, going so far as learning how to shrug off poison, bolster his mind, and vanish into the shadows. From town to town they traveled, buying and selling goods at each major city along the route. As they neared the Dales talk of drow attacks became more and more common, and eventually the remnants of their attacks could be seen in continual funerals and burned buildings. There was a somber mood when they arrived in Daggerdale and as the call when out for volunteers for a deadly and secretive service to the Dale, Maris shook Dax's hand for the last time. They say there are no coincidences, you know.
Really? Who says that?
They..them...haven't you tired of asking me stupid questions after all these months?
With that, Dax wrote his name on the volunteer list and waited.