(January 2, 2019)
For their first night in Gazeera, the party was split between addresses. The Dragon’s Pearl was the usual dockside inn rough-house for the adventurers, but because of their rapport with Suneel, Scheff and Zabrina were able to secure rooms with him at the Meddus Hotel. The bard was a hit with customers and manager Clancy Jarl offered him a regular spot as house entertainer.
The next day, Zabrina wanted to investigate the name of the hotel which also appeared on her treasure map: “The realm of the spider-lord is visible under Meddus”. Heading to the University library with Ranger and Darius, she lost track of the wizard when he found a friendly tiefling student named Kamala and spent the afternoon with her in her dorm room.
Nevertheless, through diligent research and a genius stroke of insight, Zabrina intuited that the hotel must be harbouring something called a spider-lord beneath its foundations. She confirmed this hunch later in the evening when, working with Scheff’s distractingly gorgeous singing and an invisibility spell to cover her on route to the cellar, she witnessed house staff throwing meat scraps down through the bars of a huge iron grate set in the floor. Darius had managed to charm and fudge his way toward the cellar when he bumped into Zabrina (actually her disembodied voice, as the invisibility was still in full effect) as she was making her way out. It would seem that the realm of the spider-lord is indeed visible under Meddus. Something is, anyway.
The next day the party was scheduled to escort Suneel Sarjeetha to the village of Gilm where the petty noble was set to inherit an estate. They made their way on a canal boat and arrived with enough time left in the day for Suneel to get his title deed stamped and make the journey to his country house. As they closed in on the estate, three vagabonds on the roadside walked along with them to the gates, where a beautiful singing got the undivided attention of half the party who drifted off to either end of the house as the group approached it.
When Scheff spotted a beautiful woman in one of the windows of the very run-down looking house and she tried to charm him, the encounter took on an ominous tone. Suddenly, Scheff realized the three vagabonds had transformed into jackal-men and were approaching from behind while two harpies descended to claim their song-struck victims. Shuni instantly ran off to attack one harpy, leaving Ranger alone to face an ogre dispatched by the beautiful woman who was becoming more irate every moment. After suffering two devastating Thunderwaves from Scheff, the jackalweres nearly fled but were commanded by her to stay and fight.
Darius was quickly dispatched by his harpy while the other laid into the intoxicated Rayden and then Zabrina before Shuni could fight it off. Leaving the barbarian to handle it, they ran off to stabilize Darius who lay dying, while Ranger’s attacks and Scheff’s spells killed the ogre and jackalweres, finally drawing the beautiful woman out of the house to show herself to be a lamia. She charmed Ranger into defending her against Scheff who ran off only to be chased by his charmed ally. The lamia went after Zabrina and Darius then, while Shuni finished off the last harpy and then felled Ranger. The fight ended between the lamia and the half-orc barbarian, with the lamia cleft in twain by Shuni’s killing blow.
Exhausted and barely hanging together as the night drew in, the party decided to rest in one of the mansion’s rooms with a fireplace. The next morning they were informed by Suneel that he in fact had no money after all, that he had expected to find a wealthy estate, not dust and driftweeds, but they were more than welcome to take any treasure they might find to compensate them. Grudgingly, the party accepted and went on to find the lair of the lamia which included, among other things, a Cloak of the Arachnida which Zabrina took and immediately used to start walking on the walls and ceiling.
Losing track of Suneel and his manservant, the adventurers discovered them in the cellar where they appeared to be addressing a Flesh Golem which Ranger spontaneously attacked, setting off a violent chain of events. Suneel appeared to use some sort of magical rod to subdue Ranger to his will but it failed and Rayden transformed into tiger form to leap and pin the nobleman while the party teamed up to beat down the golem, a process made much faster when Shuni was given the magic dagger to overcome its resistance to normal weapons.
In the end, Suneel was a man ruined. He had bet everything on this estate and found only ruins. His one solace was the amulet used to command the golem passed down to him from his uncle, but Ranger triggered the end of that when he shot an unprovoked arrow through its head. Disgusted by his betrayal, the party decided to leave him stewing in the ruins of his family estate, taking the rod with them and returning to Gilm to find lodging at Tybil’s Taverna.