Episode 8

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Flesh Market Square

(February 10, 2019)

The day before Torture Festival, the adventurers attended Flesh Market Square to see the lay of the land and form a plan. A hundred feet square, several buildings surround the marketplace, including the Blue Dragon Casino where Shuni made money betting on a gladiator match, and Nana Sleezi’s Bordello, where she had a roll in the hay with a half-orc slave-stud.

One corner of the square was dominated by Deelo & Sons’ Smithy and Cartage, where Darius’ horse was found, apparently sold to the smithy by a “black warlock” – possibly the same figure who killed Kamala. Since the horse was supposed to be accompanied by the late Leeroy’s retainers, it looks like this mysterious figure may have also killed them, taken the horse and sold it on. In any case, Darius lacked the money to buy back his steed from the new owner.

Zabrina noticed a man in a brown cloak following her and Shuni on the way back to the Gargoyle’s Claw, where they decided to confront him. The man lied about following them and then excused himself, disappearing into the city streets. Darius, upset about his horse, drank himself into oblivion and stayed behind while the rest of the party went back to Flesh Market Square for dinner at the Gilded Star tavern at sunset. It was Scheff who noticed a strange man in a brown cloak lurking in the back. The bard challenged him, openly humiliating him and causing him to leave in a cloud of anger.

Scheff’s charm and wit so impressed the owner of the tavern, Vammy, that he was offered a job as house entertainer for the next day or two, though when Scheff adopted the alias “Ffesch”, Vammy seemed slightly disappointed that he was not getting the bard who was the recently-fired star attraction at the Meddus Hotel.

The next day, Faraday, was Torture Festival at Flesh Market Square, but Darius, Ranger and Scheff, being Good-aligned, refused to go. Shuni, Zabrina and Rayden, more Neutral in mind, all went for a look and discovered a carnival of sadism unlike anything they could have ever imagined. Peaceful druid Rayden left after a short while, uncomfortable with the level of screaming and anguish all around him, but half-orc barbarian Shuni enjoyed every second of blood running between the cobblestones, even paying a gold piece for the pleasure of ripping a child’s teeth from its mouth and making a necklace out of them. Zabrina stayed focused enough to notice they were being followed again by another stranger in a brown cloak who vanished as soon as he was noticed.

Reporting back to the rest of the party, the Good members were horrified by the accounts and less than comfortable with Shuni’s new jewelry. Scheff decided there was no way he could possibly go anywhere near the festival and the gig he had been hired for, a gig which, he later discovered, had him billed as Scheff in spite of his alias. It seems Vammy was only humouring him and suspected (or knew) the truth, hoping to capitalize on it.

Saraday, the day after Torture Festival, was a rest day. Flesh Market Square was just an empty space, no stalls or auctions. The adventurers strolled the plaza and investigated the rest of the businesses, such as Velchek’s Rope and Leather which sold fine ropes made of spider silk, and Chamanak’s Tailors, where Zabrina got spider-silk leggings made to match her cloak. She and Shuni spent the afternoon at Nana Sleezi’s Bordello and the party reconvened at sundown at the Gilded Star, with Scheff adopting a disguise to avoid Vammy’s notice.

When it was dark enough, the party made its move. Darius cast a Fog Cloud to obscure them from sight as they gathered around the iron grate at the center of the square. Working together, they managed to shift it enough to place a grappling hook and rope-line to descend by. Zabrina scuttled down the side of the shaft, spider-like, with a torch to light the way for her companions on the rope and after 30 feet the shaft opened into a vast 50-foot cube chamber with a pool at the bottom and scaffolding around the walls.

As Zabrina walked across the ceiling, she was attacked by a monster that looked like a cross between a giant albino spider and a lobster, with two huge claws and a proboscis that launched a sticky filament at her. Shuni was the first one down the rope, descending rapidly and free-falling the last 30 feet, followed by Darius who used Feather Fall to make the drop safely into knee-deep water.

The rest of the party had to make their way down the rope as quickly as they could while Zabrina fought the monster with spell support from Darius below. Then, out of the side passages branching from the water chamber, ravenous undead humanoids began attacking. Fortunately, the party prevailed, though Shuni suffered a supernaturally paralyzing claw attack from one ghoul that left her immobilized for a minute while the adventurers collected themselves.

Exploring the sewers of Gazeera

Shortly after darkfall, nearly a hundred feet below the city streets, the heroes continue their search for the realm of the Spider-Lord….

Episode 9: In the Realm of the Spider-Lord