Web of the spider queen pdf

 

    D&D 4e D&D Encounters 09 Web of the Spider Queen - Download as PDF File . pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. D&D 4e. Web of the Spider Queen (PDF version) [RPG Item Version Link]. From publisher blurb: Long past are the days when drow ruled over Shadowdale from the. CITY 0f THE. SpIDER QUEEN Salvatorc's War of.rùe Spider @er suit-5, including 'Diisafulíex by. Richard Lice . Part l: Spinning the Web '. Dordrien .

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    Web Of The Spider Queen Pdf

    Web of the Spider Queen (4e) - Long past are the days when drow ruled over Shadowdale from the Twisted Tower—or Watermarked PDF. D&D Encounters™: Web of the Spider Queen™. Web of the Spider Queen. Play Dates: May 16 – August 15, Sign-up March 16 – May 9th. HD3 The City of the Spider-God - Hyborian Age - Xoth. Eberron - City of St.. - Home. Spider cranes Spider cranes. Keeping Your Home Spider Free This Year.

    Over two years later the program is still going strong and yesterday marked the beginning of season 9. This is our way to provide an ongoing synopsis of the story as well as share the highs and lows of our specific campaign. We will also continue recording the sessions and sharing the podcasts on a weekly basis. So get ready to fight some Drow as the Web of the Spider Queen beings. Not wanting to turn away anyone we were very lax when it came to character creation. According to the direction in the adventure character race, class, themes and backgrounds could only be from Heroes of the Fallen Lands, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, and Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Guide. So the races allowed were: In the end I decided to let them play any variation of the eight allowable classes which opened up a lot of possibilities and made them a lot more agreeable. The result was an all-Drow party that looked like this:. When I learned that they intended to all play Drow an idea I fully supported I reminded the group that they could not be evil. They could be unaligned but they had to have good tendencies. I further reinforced that as non-evil PCs I would not allow or support any backstabbing figuratively or literally among the PCs. The majority of the players at my FLGS have a habit of playing recklessly because they know that there is no penalty for dying. Frankly I was getting sick of the power gaming so I introduced a house rule for this season.

    Blindsight Ex : Thelossa maneuvers and fights as well in the dark as a creature with normal vision does in the light. A silence spell negates this ability and forces her to rely on her weak vision, which has a maximum range of 10 feet.

    These bonuses are lost if her blindsight is negated. Drow Traits: Thelossa is immune to magic sleep spells and effects. Underdark Campaigns Possessions: dusty rose ioun stone. This one, spawned on the lower planes, is both unusually powerful and unusually bad tempered. Encounter Distance: 60 feet D Fiendish Dracolisk: hp Tactics: Sharing none of the intellect of its dragon parent, the fiendish dracolisk is nevertheless a stealthy hunter accustomed to stalking prey in these Underdark passages.

    If it hears the characters approaching, it crouches in a small alcove and waits for them to reach its hiding place. It uses its breath weapon to target the characters in the middle of the party, then leaps out to attack with its gaze and natural weapons. Breath Weapon Su : Once per day, the fiendish dracolisk can breathe a foot line of acid.

    Anyone within its range takes 6d4 points of damage Reflex DC 17 half. Petrifying Gaze Su : A fiendish dracolisk can turn a target within 30 feet that meets its gaze to stone permanently. He would be a soldier—a tool, a weapon—but never a leader. Not in Menzoberranzan among the daughters of Lolth and not in the sun-baked forest among the dancing priestesses. Three reasons for being left out, Ryld thought, while at home there is only the third.

    Three reasons to go home to Menzoberranzan. One reason to stay. In the past lingering hours of solitude Ryld had thought often of returning to the Underdark. Pharaun and the others would have moved on, continued their quest. Likely they'd all forgotten about the Master of Melee-Magthere who had left the City of Spiders with them. Ryld held no illusions about his worth to the likes of Quenthel Baenre, and Pharaun had at least once proved that Ryld's life was less important than the wizard's convenience, let alone the Master of Sorcere's own well-being.

    Pharaun, however, was predictable. Ryld knew the mage and knew what to expect—even if that meant expecting betrayal. Pharaun was a dark elf, not only well tuned to, but prone to revel in, his drow nature. Quenthel Baenre was the same, which was why they so irri-tated one another. Those two and the others—even the laconic Valas Hune—were like spiders too: Ryld saw himself in the same terms, and being in like company had a compelling draw.

    Until he thought of Halisstra. In his years in Menzoberranzan, Ryld had enjoyed the company of more than a handful of females, but like any male in the City of Spiders he knew well enough not to allow attachments to run too deep. He had known from time to time that he was a plaything, a tool, a dalliance, a performer—but never one of those surface elf words, those oddities such as lover, companion, friend, husband.

    Those words had no meaning until Halisstra. Ryld tried and tried, but he couldn't understand the hold the First Daughter of House Melarn had on him. He had even drawn upon the unique power of Splitter to dispel whatever magic she had cast on him to draw him along with her—but there was no magic. She had cast no spell, sang no bae'qeshel ballad, slipped him no po-tion to wrap herself around him so tightly.

    She hadn't, Ryld mused, even done or said anything too different than things he'd heard before, though in the past such things were said in tones of mockery or even cold, bitter irony by those dozen or more drow females who had had him. Halisstra had simply smiled at him, held his gaze with hers, touched him, kissed him, looked at him with fear, longing, regret, pain, anger, desperation.

    Ryld had never seen any of it before, not on the black face of a dark elf, not in the cool gloom of the Underdark. He could feel her when she was close, as if she gave off some ripple that tuned his senses to her. She was simply Halisstra, and the Master of Melee-Magthere was dumbfounded to find that was enough. Her mere presence was sufficient to drag him away from a life that was, and would continue to be, as rewarding as a drow male could expect. There he was, putting up with the same things, still the male whose strong sword arm would be called into service on a second's notice but who would not dine at the same table.

    The fourth reason that he was alone that day and had been alone for much of the day before roared into Ryld's mind then, and he let it come, but only for a moment. They mean to kill her, he thought as a chill raced down his spine and the whetstone that had so slowly and so carefully and so rhythmi-cally been drawn along his blade came to a sudden stop.

    They mean to kill Lolth.

    D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen (Week 1)

    Ryld closed his eyes and drew in a long breath, calming his sud-denly racing heart. It was, after all, why Halisstra had been sent to retrieve the Cres-cent Blade.

    It was why the Eilistraeen priestesses put up with the obviously unpleasant presence of the Master of Melee-Magthere—at Halisstra's demand. It was why Halisstra stayed and why she carried herself with a confidence and composure he hadn't seen.

    It was why Halisstra no longer trembled in fear. It was why she woke in the morning and why she drew breath during the day. Ryld set the whetstone in motion again and smiled.

    Maybe, he thought, she's more like a spider than she wants to admit. Valas held the crystal to his left eye and scanned the chamber. He stood in the deep shadows at the edge of where the tunnel—a very old lava tube—emptied into the pyramidal cavern. The ancient monastery was obvious to even his unaided darkvision. Set against the northern wall of the cathedral-like space off to Valas's right was a half circle of stone, perhaps seventy-five feet in radius.

    The curved wall rose as tall as two hundred feet before rounding to a domed roof, with the apex about thirty or forty feet above that. Two huge slit windows, not much wider than Valas was tall but eighty feet in length, were set high on the walls.

    A thief might have to climb the brick wall for a dan-gerous hundred feet before being able to slip inside. Between the two tall windows and a few feet below their bottom edges loomed a pair of small, dark holes tall enough that Valas might be able to step through them without dipping his head. Below those round holes a drooping oblong opening led into the pitch-black interior of the ruin. The windows, the two round holes, and the oblong opening gave the ruined monastery the look—obviously intentional—of a frowning face.

    Stalactites had formed along the upper edge of the mouth and hung down to form ragged fangs, and dripping water had carried cen-turies of sediment onto the dome so that a wide patch of smooth white flowstone capped the far end of the great head like some gaily off-kilter hat. What grim ceremonies might have been held before that giant face Valas didn't bother to imagine.

    The centuries that had passed since his ancient ancestors had abandoned it had been unkind to the building, but Valas knew that the ravages of dripping water, mold, and earthquakes hadn't touched the gate that rested inside it. Twice before, though many years gone by, Valas had climbed into that drooping, melancholy mouth and passed between two rune-carved pillars to step two hundred miles to the northwest shore of Lake Thalmiir, an easy walk to Sschindylryn.

    Valas knew he wasn't the only one who'd used it. A crystal normally hung on his vest—an enchanted garment that gave Valas much of his nimble footing and lightning reaction—with many other magical trinkets he'd picked up over a lifetime in the wilds of the Underdark. Through that crystal the scout could see that which others couldn't—most things rendered invisible by magic either sorcer-ous or innate.

    Valas slowly and carefully scanned the base of the great face, then to the left along the still pool of black water that bisected the round floor of the cavern. There was a cave low in the sloping wall across from him and a smaller one—another lava tube of similar dimensions to the one Valas had come through—higher up and to the right.

    The scout began to scan the roof of the ruined monastery when he heard Danifae all but stomping through the tunnel behind him. Valas didn't stop his slow, methodical examination of the structure. He knew chat Danifae would walk past him, their shoulders close to touching, and she would never see him. He had told her to wait, and if she disregarded his warning it was her choice. Let her stomp on in, he thought. Let her— Valas froze when the crystal revealed the tip of what could only be a talon resting on the top of the monastery.

    Holding his breath, the Bregan D'aerthe scout drew his head back half an inch and played the crystal, still held close to his left eye, along the domed roof of the ancient face.

    The creature that rested atop the ruin wasn't too big, at least not as far as dragons go. No taller than Valas himself, with a wingspan maybe twice that, the beast was coiled comfortably but alert atop the dome. Though the crystal tended to bleed any color from the scene, Valas knew the monster was as gray in color as it appeared to him through the magic item. Even through the crystal it seemed undefined, blurred as if it had been painted onto the giant face in watercolors.

    That's how you hide, Valas thought. You blend into the darkness. Danifae passed him and strode uncaring to the mouth of the lava tube. She stood for a moment, one hand resting casually on the rock wall, gazing out into the cavern.

    Valas could tell she hadn't seen the dragon on the top of the face, but a last quick glimpse through the crystal showed him that the dragon had seen her. It slowly uncoiled itself, drawing up its wings. Valas slipped into the cavern, relying in no small part on his own training and experience but not too proud to call on the power of an enchanted ring to speed his way.

    Mithral chain mail hushed any sound he might make as he moved, and it helped his toes find safe, quiet footing. Keeping always in shadow, always without the slightest scrape of sole on stone, without the faintest reflection of stray light on metal, Valas came down the incline from the mouth of the lava tube and along the bowl-shaped edge of the huge space to the yawning black cave across.

    He risked the occasional glance up at the creature, whose outline he could only barely discern in the gloom high up in the cavern—and only then because he knew it was there. Valas also risked a glance or two back at Danifae, who was slowly, and with surprising grace, making her way down into the bowl of the cavern.

    She looked all around but not up. Her eyes never rested on either Valas or the stone-gray dragon. Danifae walked slowly toward the edge of the pool as Valas drew the shortbow from his back. He nocked an arrow and drew back the string. The female was all but offering herself on a silver platter to the beast, and though Valas ached to allow her to see her folly through, he worried about Quenthel.

    The high priestess seemed to have taken a lik-ing to the Melarn battle-captive, stealing her away without a thought from the female from Ched Nasad. Valas didn't want to find out the hard way that he'd let the battle-captive die when Quenthel had plans for Danifae beyond their occasional loveplay.

    Her voice echoed, Valas cringed, and the dragon took wing. Nimor Imphraezl watched from above as the duergar engaged the spiders. Drow warriors—all male—rode the enormous arachnids into battle. The spiders skittered and whirled around them while the riders sat stiff and straight in their saddles. The mounted drow carried long pikes—weapons the duergar were unaccustomed to, as rare as the long weapons were in the confines of the Underdark—and they skewered one after another before the gray dwarves drew any dark elf blood.

    The spider riders were hopelessly outnumbered by the horde of duergar who continued to lay siege to the slowly crumbling city of Menzoberranzan, and Nimor was content to lose a few gray dwarves for the chance to watch the drow fight. They were good, he would grant them that. The spiders killed as many duergar as the pikes did, but the beasts were never out of their riders' control.

    All in all it was a beautiful, bloody dance. In the center of the spider riders a mounted drow male wearing armor of the finest mithral positively glowed with magic.

    He carried a pike like the others but hadn't brought his to bear.

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    He held it up, and from it a long, thin banner wafted in the cool Underdark air. It took Nimor a minute or so to recognize the sigil emblazoned on the banner. The riders represented House Shobalar—a lesser House, but one loyal to the Baenres and known throughout the drow-settled Underdark for their effective and impeccably trained cavalry. The dark elf with the banner must be their leader.

    One of the riders took two duergar at once, pinning them together then using their weight at the end of his pike to topple three more of their companions onto the flowstone floor. Nimor smiled. He had come to that particular tunnel after hearing three sepa-rate times of unusual activity there. The duergar had managed to kill a Menzoberranyr scout only a day before, and even the gruff gray dwarves had admitted that other drow had been there and gotten away.

    It wasn't the most well defended approach, and Nimor had been keep-ing an eye on it, certain the Menzoberranyr would be testing it.

    When the scout was killed, Nimor had Crown Prince Horgar send reinforcements, but only a few. Enough, Nimor hoped, to satisfy the drow but not enough to close the approach. Nimor wanted to draw them out, and like the arrogant aristocrats they were, they'd taken the bait.

    Nimor hung upside down, hidden by a spell of invisibility, his piwafwi, another spell that prevented anyone using similar magic from finding him, and another that would draw enemies' attention away even if they thought to look up at him. Those things and the immediate threat of the duergar soldiers were enough that he could wait and watch in peace—wait and watch for the spider rider captain to send his arachnid mount scurrying into the fray, scurrying right under Nimor.

    With a touch to a brooch that bore the sign of the Jaezred Chauls-sin, Nimor dropped slowly, still hidden from sight by magic. As he descended, Nimor drew his dagger—a very special dagger—and when he came to rest on the spider, inches behind the cavalry leader, he flicked the blade across the back of the drow warrior's neck.

    There was a perfect space there between his helm and his pauldron. The spider rider flinched and turned in his saddle.

    Nimor, still invisible, grabbed the drow around his neck and held the poisoned blade to his throat. The spider rider couldn't see him, but he could hear Nimor whisper in his ear, "What is your name, Shobalar?

    The drow grunted, and Nimor could feel his body stiffen, jerk, and quiver. Very, very elegant poison. It will paralyze you, twist your throat closed, squeeze the last gasp of air from your lungs, and keep you from scream-ing while you suffocate. The Anointed Blade of the Jaezred Chauls-sin waited until Captain Vilto'sat Shobalar quivered through his last attempt at a breath and his magenta eyes glazed over. Then Nimor levitated up and away from the suddenly uncontrolled, feral war-spider.

    The arachnid went berserk, chewing through duergar after duergar then turning on another of its kind. The rider of that spider turned his attention to protecting his mount from the wild arachnid—just long enough for a particularly enthusiastic duergar footman to take his head with a poleaxe. Nimor killed eight more drow himself over the next ten minutes or so, while the duergar claimed three. The rest finally turned and ran back through the tunnel, past the outer siege line and back into Menzoberranzan.

    They had taken back nothing, and Nimor had four of their spiders and the dead drow. Nimor ordered up more duergar to resecure the position, had the spiders bound and made ready for travel, and went back to his com-mand post with the corpse of Captain Vilto'sat Shobalar. Spoils of war. Chapter Five Valas could tell that Danifae didn't know the drake was behind her until the second his arrow sliced through the fine membrane of its wing, surprising it. It made a noise deep in its throat, the arrow made a wet ripping sound as it entered, and the drake's smooth motion ended in a jerk.

    All that was enough for anyone to sense some disturbance behind her and turn—and it was that simple reflex that saved Danifae's life. Though the drake forgot its intended target, it landed hard in a skidding roll and would have bowled her over if she hadn't jumped clear—and she barely managed that. The portal drake whirled in the direction from which Valas's ar-row had come.

    Saliva dripped from its open mouth, curling around jagged teeth and collecting on the cave floor in steaming pools. Valas saw the intelligence in the thing's eyes, the great age—centuries spent stalking the alluring magical portals of the Underdark—and the cold, hard anger. The drake searched the darkness for him, but Valas knew it wouldn't see him. Valas didn't want to be seen; it was that simple. Behind the creature, Danifae scrambled to her feet, drawing her morningstar at the same time.

    Valas already had another arrow in his hand, and as he slipped sideways along the edge of a deep shadow he set it to his bow and drew back the string.

    The drake mirrored that expan-sive movement by drawing air into its lungs. It couldn't see Valas, but it had apparently concluded that all it had to do was get close.

    It was a conclusion with which Valas could—unfortunately—find no fault. After taking a heartbeat to aim, Valas let the arrow fly. The drake exhaled, releasing a billowing cloud of greasy green vapor into the air. It rolled and expanded as it left the dragon's mouth. The drake began to strain to get it all out. Danifae struck with her morningstar—a weapon enchanted with the power of lightning—from behind, and the portal drake jerked forward.

    Valas's arrow bit deeply into its chest, finding the half inch it needed between two hard scales. The thing's armored skin quivered, and muscles rippled and jerked. The breath caught in its throat, and its cloud was cut short. Still the gas rolled in Valas's direction.

    The scout could see it coming. It was aimed toward rather than at him, so he flipped backward away from it. He had no way to protect himself from poison gas.

    It was a weakness in that situation that Valas found frustrating. All he could do was avoid the gas, and avoidance, at least, was something he was well versed in.

    Its voice was cold and sharp, almost mechanical, and it echoed in the high-ceilinged chamber with a sound like glass breaking. She was backing up. Danifae smiled, and the expression sent a chill down Valas's spine. He stopped, noting the sensation but utterly confused by it. When the battle-captive lashed out with the enchanted morning-star again, the drake dodged it easily.

    Have you never met a dark elf before? He slipped the bow over his shoulder and made his way around the back of the drake, skirting the edge of the cavern wall toward the giant face. He quickly estimated the number of steps, the number of seconds, and gauged the background noise for sound cover. They dodged at the same time, which ruined both their attacks.

    The morningstar came down on the portal drake's left side, and Valas blinked at the painfully bright flash of blue-white light. The burning illumination traced patterns in the air like glowing spider-webs. The creature flinched and growled again, its anger and pain showing in the way its lips pulled back from its teeth. Danifae stepped back, setting her morningstar spinning again.

    The drake crouched, and Valas stopped and stiffened. The drake didn't lunge at her—it burst into the air with the deafening beat of wings. In less than a second it was high enough to disappear into the gloom up in the cathedral-like space. Valas stepped forward and let his toes scrape loose gravel on the floor. Danifae looked up at him. Run back to the tunnel, Valas traced in sign language. Danifae saw him, didn't bother to nod, and turned to run.

    Valas slipped back into the darkness, drew his piwafwi up over his head, and rolled on the floor until he knew he was back in a place where no one would be able to see him.

    Valas watched the battle-captive run, knowing she wouldn't be able to see the portal drake. He drew another arrow slowly so that it wouldn't make a sound as it came free of the quiver. He turned and twisted a fraction of an inch here, a hair's breadth there, so the steel tip would reflect no light. Breathing slowly through his mouth, the Bregan D'aerthe scout waited—but didn't have to wait for long.

    The sound of the portal drake's wings echoed from above, doubled, then doubled again, and more—not just echoes. Five, Valas counted. Still cloaked in auras of invisibility and the gloom of the long-abandoned cavern, Valas started forward.

    Five portal drakes swooped out of the shadows in formation. The two at the far ends swept inward, and two others shifted out. They changed positions as they flew, but their target was the same. Danifae hesitated. Valas could see it in her step. She heard them and knew they could fly faster—many times faster—than she'd ever be able to run.

    To her credit, though, she didn't look back. The five portal drakes were identical in every detail, and no one who had traveled as extensively as Valas had could have been fooled for long.

    Only three wing-beats into it, Valas knew what they were. Not all of the trinkets the scout wore were enchanted, but the little brass ovoid was, and Valas touched it as he ran.

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    The warmth of his fingers brought the magic to life, and only a thought was needed to wake it fully. It happened without a sound, and Valas never missed a beat or revealed himself at all. Danifae stopped running anyway, leaving Valas to wonder why. Similarly confused, the portal drakes drew up short, fluttering to a halt, crossing each others' paths and coming within fractions of an inch from collision.

    Danifae smiled at the dragons—all five of them rearing up to shred her with claws like filet knives—and she said, "Careful now. Look behind you. Valas let his arrow fly, and all four of his own conjured images did the same. The little brass ovoid—a container for a spell that had been very specially crafted by an ancient mage whose secrets had long ago been lost—had done its work, and for each of the five portal drakes, there was a Valas. For each of the five portal drakes there was an arrow.

    The dragon might have heard them or sensed them in some other way, or maybe its curiosity had gotten the better of it. The creature whirled around and met the arrows with its right eye. Four of the arrows blinked out of existence the instant they met with the false drakes, and those illusionary dragons disappeared as well.

    The barrage left only one real arrow, one real portal drake, and one real eye. The force of the impact made the creature twitch then stagger back a step. Valas could tell that the dragon could see him—all five of him—with its one good eye. The dragon, blood pouring from its ruined eye, didn't bother to pull out the arrow that still protruded from its eye socket. Instead it charged, wings up, claws out, jaws open. Valas stepped to the side, into the drake's blind spot.

    The creature had obviously never fought with only one eye before, and it fell for the feint. Valas got two quick cuts in—cuts each answered with a deep, rumbling growl. The drake lashed out, and Valas stepped in and to the side, letting one of his images cross in front of the attack. The portal drake's claw touched the image's shoulder, and by the time the talon passed through the false scout's abdomen the illusion was gone.

    The dragon grumbled its frustration, and Valas attacked again. The creature twisted out of reach and snapped its jaws at Valas—coming dangerously close to the real dark elf. When the dragon's single eye narrowed and smoldered, the scout knew the dragon had pegged him.

    Valas danced into the drake's blind spot, stepping backward and spinning to keep the dragon off balance and to keep his own mirror images moving frenetically around him. The drake clawed another one into thin air then bit the third out of existence. Valas watched the image disappear and followed the portal drake's neck with his eyes as it passed half an arm's length in front of him. He looked for cracks, creases, for any sign of weakness in the monster's thick, scaly hide.

    He found one and sank a kukri between scales, through skin, into flesh, artery, and bone beneath it. Blood pumped from the creature in torrents.

    The dragon flailed at Valas, though it couldn't quite see the scout. As the creature died, it managed to brush a claw against the last false drow. The drake started to fall, and Valas skipped out of the way. The narrow head whipped around on its long, supple neck, and the jaws came down on Valas's shoulder, crinkling his armor and bruising the black skin underneath.

    The scout pulled away, rolled, and came to his feet with his kukris in front of him. No attack came.

    The portal drake splayed across the floor of the cavern. Blood came less frequently and with less urgency with every fading heartbeat. He stepped away from the poisonous corpse and sheathed his kukris. There was no sign of Danifae.

    Valas didn't know if she'd kept running back the way they'd come or if she was hiding somewhere in the shadows. With a shrug and a last glance at the portal drake, Valas turned and went to the abandoned monastery. Assuming that the Melarn battle-captive would eventually return to the cavern and the portal that was their goal there, Valas climbed into the great downturned mouth.

    Inside the semicircular structure were two tall, freestanding pil-lars. Between them was nothing but dead air and the side of the tall cavern wall. The interior was shrouded in darkness, and from it came the sharp smell of the portal drake's filth. Danifae stood between the pillars, her weight on one foot, her hand on her hip.

    Valas stopped several strides from her and nodded. Danifae looked up and around at the dead stone pillars and the featureless interior of the huge face. Valas nodded a third time, and Danifae smiled.

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    She kept going without bothering to answer. If she survives that, Valas thought, she might just be worth travel-ing with. Pharaun traced a fingertip along the line of something that hadn't been there the day before: The blood vessel followed a meandering path along the length of the bone rail of the ship of chaos. At random intervals it branched into thinner capillaries. The whole thing slowly, almost imperceptibly, pulsed with life—warm with the flow of blood. When they'd first come aboard the demonic ship, the railing was solid, dead bone.

    Half a tenday spent gating in minor demons and feeding it to the ship was changing it. It was coming to life. Pharaun turned and saw the high priestess crouching, examining the deck the same way he was examining the rail. Her voice sounded bored, distant. What he meant was that he didn't care. If it dies when we're. He hated it when a high priestess was afraid. Things rarely went well if they started with that.

    She looked up at him, and their eyes met. He expected her to be angry at least, maybe offended, but she was neither. Pharaun couldn't tell what she was thinking. A ship like this. At Sorcere? I know what it is and how it works, which means I know enough.

    For a priestess you can be overly analytical. Will it grow skin? If it wants to. Will it bleed to death if your spike heels slice a vein? I doubt it. Will it behave exactly the same way every time for everyone? Well, if it did, it wouldn't be very chaotic, now would it? Pharaun said nothing. They gazed at each other for a few moments more then Quenthel stood and looked around.

    You're getting scared, Pharaun thought. Both Pharaun and Quenthel looked over to where the draegloth sat. The half-demon was slowly, methodically, skinning a rat. The rodent was still alive. We will be on our way pres-ently, but in the meantime we mustn't let the tedium of this cursed lake get the better of us.

    It wouldn't do to have a party of dark elves fighting among themselves. Pharaun rejected his first half-dozen retorts before speaking, but his face must have revealed something. He could see it reflected back at him in the draegloth's amused sneer.

    Nonethe-less, I—" "Will shut up," the draegloth interrupted. It will betray us. The only thing you can trust about a demon is that it will be untrustworthy. It might cheer you to know we feel the same way about you, my draegloth friend. Jeggred and Quenthel locked stares, their eyes boring into each other's. There was a long silence. It was Quenthel who looked away first. Jeggred actually seemed disappointed. Chapter Six Aliisza nuzzled close to Kaanyr Vhok, her long ebony tresses min-gling with the cambion's silver hair.

    The cambion let out a slow breath through his nose and slid a hand onto Aliisza's back. He drew her closer to him, so their sides were pressed together.

    Aliisza could feel his blazing body heat, so much hot-ter than a dark elf's.

    So comfortable and reassuring. So powerful. Aliisza thrilled that he was playing along. It was a rare reaction from the half-demon, who normally kept his feelings so carefully guarded. Kaanyr Vhok withdrew from her, and she plastered a coy pout on her face, narrowing her deep green eyes in a scowl.

    Vhok flashed her a rare grin and put a finger gently to her lips. More accurately, she let her body pour onto a richly upholstered sofa, her lithe body draping seductively across it and her eyes playing over his body. Her leather bodice looked stiff and restraining, but it flowed over her the same way she flowed over the sofa, shifting to her will like her own skin.

    The sheathed long sword at her hip tucked under one leg. Vhok's own costume was typically opulent, a tunic embroidered in a military style. A long sword of his own hung at his hip, and Ali-isza knew he wore any number of magical bits and pieces, even in the privacy of his own temporary quarters. The tent they inhabited at the rear of the siege lines was cloaked in enchantments that would prevent anyone from overhearing, peek-ing in, or spying on them in any conceivable way, but still Aliisza felt exposed.

    Aliisza had long ago gotten over not being offered any. It's awful. Aliisza nodded, lifting an eyebrow at the oddly accurate guess.

    Kaanyr Vhok was a cambion, the son of a human father and a demon mother. He shared the most dangerous qualities of both those chaotic animals. Aliisza reached out a hand and shifted on the sofa. Every last detail. For the war effort. His olive skin looked dark and rich against her own pale flesh. Not as dark as Pharaun's of course, but Always marching in lockstep, with their Houses and their laws and their infantile traditions. No wonder the spider bitch turned her back on them. I'm surprised she suffered their nonsense this long.

    She'd found over the decades that even Vhok could be put off by her jagged fangs. Aliisza smiled often and nearly as often changed the size and shape of her teeth to fit her mood. One or two of the interesting ones, together, can prove dangerous. It was unforgivably officious of me. He sat still, responding in ways more than simply physical. Aliisza could feel herself flush. The ship of chaos could get them there. She thought he was happy with her at least for being as discreet as she was with that opinion, even in the spell-warded tent.

    She began to unbutton his tunic, teasing him with each slow twist of her fingers, each incremental loosening of his clothing. Aliisza knew what to expect of Kaanyr Vhok without his clothes. Average Rating 2 ratings Long past are the days when drow ruled over Shadowdale from the Twisted Tower—or are they? Beneath the sleepy farming community, an old evil stirs. Success means a respite from danger. Failure could doom the surface world.

    It was released for play in Spring Continuing the Encounters. Like the previous Encounters adventures, "Web of the Spider Queen" is the master plan for a season's worth of Encounters organized play. It details thirteen weekly play sessions for characters levels 1st-3rd, with each week consisting of a single encounter.

    The encounters in turn are organized into three chapters; characters can take a short rest after each week's encounter and an extended rest at the end of each chapter. There's one week of character creation before the week season. It ran from May 16, , to August 15, About the Encounter Format.

    By the spring of , the Encounters format was pretty set; each week tended to contain some roleplaying, then some combat.

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