Campaign of the Month: June 2021

Curiosities and Acquisitions

Weaving in the Dark

The last clue

Way back in June we joined the Legion of Hope as they studied Acerak’s rhyme in the safe room in Tower 2.

“The darkweaver endures the cold in her lair;
Grasp your fate with consumate care”

Once again you set off in the frigid City that Waits, traversing the icy bridges between tower entrances.

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With Haldir’s Find the Path spell you made your way to another Icy tower.

The tower at the end of the bridge was windowless and featureless, a dark finger of black stone was unadorned with even the simplest of designs. Unlike many of the other towers, a door of rough granite blocked the entryway. On the door, carved in bas relief, was what appeared to be the head of a horned ram. You could see a carved message scratched into the stone below the ram head. But the omnipresent frost blurred the image so much the message was unreadable.

You wiped off the frost and found that you were confronted with the visage of Orcus

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Below the face the scratched in message was revealed:

“Ware the weaver in her lair. – D.”

Fria, with a gentle shove, pushed the door open.

You stepped in the dark gloomy hallways. The darkness pressed in upon you like a palpable mantle. Two hallways diverged here. One straight ahead and the other to the right. You followed Haldir’s now hard to see glowing footsteps forward.

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It was impossible to see more that 15 feet ahead of you. Your vision seemed to be almost physically restricted by strands of tangible darkness. An eerie, oily chill caressed your face and hands as you proceeded through the cords of shadow.

As you moved further into the maze of corridors you could feel the twining strands of web-like darkness press closer. Where before the oily cords writhed into shadow under the application of direct light, they now teemed against you like a coarse sackcloth of umbra. It now became an effort to breath through the thickening cords of shadow. The shadow webs skimmed across your skin like the half-felt legs of scurrying insects of ice.

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As the party approached the center of the tower, still following Haldir’s dimly glowing find the path footprints, the webs of darkness grew even thicker.

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It was becoming difficult to move in any direction and your every movement drags against the darkness as if you were mired in ebony molasses. Suddenly, you heard a sound like dry leaves scraping on a stony surface: something was stirring in the very heart of the darkness. Sibilant whisperings accompanied the shape that briefly resolved from blackness before once again disappearing – something large, dark, and many legged.

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A tricky battle ensued. Quintus (and/or Haldir?) guessed roughly where the almost invisible foe was and managed to strike it with several bolts of lightning.

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gm- Alas, this was three months ago and I’m a little fuzzy on the details

Alas for the poor dark weaver, it succumbed rather quickly to the spells and melee attacks.

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The pressing darkness faded to the normal, chilly gloom of unlighted tower hallways.

You noticed a design on the ceiling 10 feet above you.

A lever of dark metal that rests nearest the position of a “-” that is carved in the stone. At the other possible lever position , a “+” has been carved into the stone.

Next to the lever is a plaque that reads in common, “This is the mechanism you seek. Permanent activation will not only achieve one of your goals, but also set in motion events of great magnitude.”

After a couple of experimental moves, you moved the lever to the “+” position and then back to the “-” position. The “+” lit up with a green glow and you felt an inaudible CLICK. You are sure something has been unlocked elsewhere in the city.

You moved on from this tower and followed Haldir’s footsteps to a distant tower that looked different from the other towers.

This tower was a spire of Black Ice. Unlike the rest of the towers in the city, this tower is square, and it rises to a sharp peak. More exceptionally, the Spire is constructed completely of a darkly opaque ice.

The spire reaches up from the murky obscurity below like a single finger stretching vainly for purchase it will never discover. The tower is perfectly smooth, almost like a very large but thing crystal. It rises to a bitter point far above your heads.

The bridge connecting the spire to the surrounding towers ends on a small landing built from the same slick, black material as the tower itself. The landing has neither an entrance nor any other means of ingress. In fact you cannot see a single window opening over all the visible surface of the spire. From the landing, it appears that a set of steep narrow stars has been cut into the outer wall of the spire, descending down the side of the monument toward some questionable destination below. The far limit of the stairs is lost around the side of the tower.

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The black line of the spire’s side cuts the horizon both above and below you, differentiated only by its absolute darkness from the dim, unenthusiastic light flickering through the empty space beyond. The stairs are only about 3 feet wide, and no curb or rail guards you against a misstep; a slip would send you cartwheeling into the abyss that awaits below.

You gathered you courage and began to descend the spire. You fought off a murder of negative fundamentals about halfway through the descent, avoiding being knocked off to certain doom. The entire trip down took over an hour.

The stair finally spirals down to its end, where what passes for the floor of the city exists: misty expanses of black-on-black vapor, roiling away in every direction from the foundation of the spire of black ice. The last step of the stair is just part of a larger landing that seems to skim just above the churning mists.

The landing allows entry into a 20×20′ foot horizontal shaft bored directly into the ice of the spire. To either side of the ice tunnel stand what appear to be crude ice sculptures of jackal-headed humanoids in robes. Centered over the top of the passage is a large eye carved in bas-relief. Only complete and utter darkness is discernible from within this ominous passage.

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At this point, the camera zoomed out with the party looking into the dark passage.

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