From the notes of Alric Brethencourt of Veluna
Night, approaching Freeday, the 21st day of Coldeven, the lower levels of the ruined moathouse east of Hommlet
And so we emerged victoriously from our battle with the ne'er-do-well Lareth, cannoness priestess of the
Keep, devotee of the spider goddess Lolth, but not without paying a heavy price.
Much to our grief we found the body of the Halfling Basil lying on the dirty
flagstones, lifeless, a reminder that even while evil can be vanquished, the
world is not simply freed of its ill influence, but has forever been changed.
Only time can heal these wounds, or perhaps... Chryseis discovered a concoction
of tremendous magical power, bottled in an ornate flask, among the remaining
possessions of Lareth. Perhaps it holds the power to restore life to our
companion? For now, it has restored some small measure of hope to my
We made camp for the night in the ruined altar room, after gathering the valuable spoils of war and stabling our horses. It reminded some of us of our horrible captivity at the hands of Lareth and Silas, but knowing that they will never bother an innocent soul again eases the troubled mind. We made it through the night unmolested, though the noise of the undead denizens of the dungeons was never far off. In the morning Emariel the Elf used his magical ways to safely open the door to Lareth's quarters, which we suspected to be trapped in a fashion similar to the one that surprised Chryseis on our previous foray here. In the room we discovered after careful searching a useful map, carved in the surface of a small table, which we missed on our initial investigation. More disturbingly, Lareth's private shrine to Lolth, which we thoroughly trashed on our previous visit, now seemed to be oozing thick blood. A grim omen of things to come.
As there was still a sense of pervading evil about the place, we decide to clear out the moathouse once and for all before we returned to Hommlet. After dispatching some straggling zombies without too much effort, we found our way to the dark heart of the lower levels. Following a long, dark corridor, in which the very mosaics on the wall seemed to shift and inspire dread, we came to a large room which provided us with the following unsettling sight: in the center stood a monstrous statue of a giant spider with a woman's head and the fangs of a spider, a blasphemous idol to none other than Lolth. Surrounding the room on all sides were small cells, in which there were half a score of zombies feasting on human remains. The walls in this abysmal place were damp, and its ceiling covered with webs, though much of it was obscure by the haze being emitted from a smouldering brazier. While Eeli and Chryseis contemplated our wisest course of action, we were suddenly beset by two shadowy creatures, impervious to the bite of cold steel. Fortunately the magic of Weebrian made them disperse before too long. Immediately after that, a similar creature, but of much greater stature appeared. We held it off for some time, blocking its way with burning oil, but 'ere too long the fire died out in the damp room, and the shadowy menace engaged us in combat. Both Chryseis and I were pierced by its immaterial talons, which sent an unnatural chill coursing through our bodies, and we felt much weakened, a state which endures even while I write, more than a day after the encounter. With much effort we dispatched the being, sending it back to its native realm, perhaps.
Despite the horrid presence of the statue of Lolth, Eeli, Chryseis and I then entered the room, determined to cleanse it of evil. The zombies cowered before my blessed companions, but more dangers lurked about. From out the ceiling giant spiders started pouring down and quickly swarmed us. Chryseis and Eeli succumbed to the paralyzing poison, and it was not much longer before I too fell. Fortunately the heroics of Tuffnell, Emariel and Kazireh saved the day, and our three companions killing the remaining spiders using guile and brute force. The paladin and cleric then set to work, after they recovered, cleansing and subsequently destroying the idol, while the others made short work of the remaining undead.
We saw many other strange things in those ruins, including a ten feet long crayfish that was kept in a small cavernous lair to torment the prisoners of Lareth. I insisted we should put the creature out of its misery, lest it find a way out and terrorize the countryside, but the druid Tuffnell vehemently disagreed. And thus we returned to Hommlet, having finally put an end to the evil in the moathouse. We arrived at the village in the afternoon of Freeday. A watchful quiet lay about the place. The mysterious wall of thorns created by the resident druid Jaroo Ashstaff was gone, but I was glad to note work on the fortifications of the tower had progressed, thanks to the Kronn Hills Gnomes resuming their aid. We made for the
Inn of the Welcome Wench, and a
hero's welcome indeed.