Played 6/13/20 IRL, 12/28/21212 IG.
- Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer. (Apprentice, Tella)
- Vanmil Glowhide (Kriss) Vanguard, Adept, Jeweler. (Fleshpacter, Fishel)
Ivo and Vanmil got the opportunity to conduct a stealth operation out past the Golden Vent. Thoreson was attending a Hollowing Party as a guest chef from nearer the surface, hollowing out a massive beetle the size of a building as a community feast activity.
Over four centuries ago, some rogue dwarves built a hidden base just beyond the Golden Vent during the War of Fences, and the fortification was named Kalara Heights. The Elefrangy suggested they might be okay with Rumbleseed taking it over and using the fortification as a base for further exploration. Ivo and Vanmil were went to work it out through diplomacy or violence, as long as the Elefrangy agreed. There were sure to be threats, but they were poorly understood; maybe the site was haunted.
Ivo and Vanmil visited Sypert where he was soaking and resting and eating in a pool, got their briefing, and prepared to slip out during the festivities the next day. They procured a grubbly to carry their gear, and prepared for a wide range of possible outcomes.
To the Elefrangy Stretch
Vanmil and Ivo took Tella (Ivo’s apprentice) and Fishel (Vanmil’s fleshpacted Sithic) and followed Sypert into the Golden Vent, avoiding various dangers. Vanmil studied the energies of the place, and melded with Sypert to understand that the big spores here were dangerous as they came from the decomposing cosmic energy of a dead god; the dwarves collected some spores to experiment with weaponizing them.
They reached Funderbunk on his fungal throne. He was a mystic and elder among the fungaloids. Vanmil liked his feather-antennae friend who turned metal to rust, but the other dwarves kept their distance. (Vanmil’s weapons and clasps and so on were chitin, as she lived among the Sithics and borrowed freely from their culture and gear as an admirer.)
The dwarves melded with the elder, and had a wild psychadelic experience of what one-ness of identity could be; what it would be like to be holistic with no compartmentalization. They experienced the life cycles of the fungaloids, who grew individuals from a seasoned mass of fungus that had generational consciousness, and they explored other far out experiences that redefined their awareness of themselves and the world.
Funderbunk made them aware of Kalara Hall, now called the Silkpurse by the spiders that inhabited it for decades. He gave them consciousness of its layout, assembled from the alien experiences of local wildlife above and below the ground’s surface, and also shared some background.
Some vent spiders had been twisted into magical spider monsters called goldspinners. They were ruled by two powerful casters, Lord Spittle and Lady Twitch. Their webs could extend their senses and give them magical ability to move from one location to another. These terrible mutations had weaponized the creatures, a late-stage creation for terrorizing the area, carried out by Burrowers during the Dream War. Funderbunk suggested they approach the Silkpursers, as the spider tribe was known locally, and see about driving them out or making some kind of deal; so few would be allowed to approach and could handle carrying out the plan, whatever the Fellowship decided to try.
By the time the meld was over they were well rested and nourished, if a little wild-eyed. They followed Sypert deeper in.
Approaching the Silkpurse
The Fellowship approached the Silkpurse (a.k.a. Kalara Heights) and encountered webbing. They didn’t think they could sneak past the webs without touching them and attracting attention, so Vanmil poured energy into some webbing (as an adept) and attracted a goldspinner’s attention.
The Fellowship carefully managed the diplomacy, not seeming so weak they were dismissed nor so strong they seemed threatening. The goldspinner parlayed with them, and agreed to take them to meet Lady Twitch.
Escorted by the goldspinner, they entered the webbed grounds of the Silkpurse, and passed the Jade Hunter, a massive war spider defending the site. Going down into the lair, they passed through a columned hall for hunting intruders, and passed a side chamber where a scholarly spider was spinning energetic three-dimensional maps of some location; Ivo and Vanmil both found these magical spiders fascinating.
After passing through a larder chamber where some meals were still whimpering, they followed their guides until they entered a large hall where Lady Twitch was embedded in the wall resting. Her mind spoke to theirs in wicked hissing whispers. She was pleased to see them, as dwarves have a reputation for killing anything, and she needed something killed.
Her people only took the Kalara Heights over because they were driven from the Screenhall, their home deeper in the Various Gardens. A horrific monster, the spiderstalker, was a huge wasp beast that was immune to their magic and venom. It paralyzed her people and planted eggs inside them to hatch multi-dimensional beings. The spiders could not defend themselves, and were forced to flee. Dwarves, however, could slay the creature and allow the Silkpursers to return home.
In exchange the dwarves would get the keep, all the webbing in place would be theirs to use, and they could potentially share information and resources for further adventuring as they would be allies.
Somewhat intimidated but thrilled with the possibilities, the dwarves agreed to take the offer back to the council.
In closing, Lady Spittle asked them to look into Taliferro, to know what the current status was. They agreed, themselves curious to know more about whether that was a person, place, thing, event, or what.
On their way out they spoke with the Archivist, the spider working in the library full of scrolls and magical materials. The Archivist was a sneering creature, but respectful enough, and as intrigued as they were at the possibilities were apex predators like dwarves and magical spiders to join forces. Pleased with the possibilities, the dwarves retreated from the Silkpurse and carried their news of new possibilities back to Roachseat and the expedition council.
They were granted 5 Ledger.