Electing to cut your losses, you hike down the path toward Gildenport to complete Niles’ mission and secure safe passage. Before you leave, Enfys hands you a note with the description of the path.
You are to pass the site of the attack on Harxen’s squad, cross a stone bridge over a deep ravine and pass through a tunnel. From there, the path is a dirt road through thin woodlands until Kaptal, where it thins out into plains and farmland.
A brief ride takes you to the site of the attack.
When you reach the site of the attack, you find Cochran’s body still there. There are two large fang marks in his shoulder and you can see varicose veins extending from the wounds. One of his arms is gone and the shoulder it was attached to appears to be hyperextended.
Dc12: You find one small spot of blood on the ground 10 feet away from Cochran. Next to it you see bits of chainmail and a broken arrow shaft.
Dc15: A small blood trail leads from the spot near Cochran down the road where you came from and ends 30 feet later. A small bandage wrapping is found at the end.
Dc16: You notice a broken branch on the northern side of the road and an assortment of small boot-prints.
Dc14: Behind the blood spatter, you notice a winding indent in the road. It looks like someone had dragged a body along it in a zig-zag pattern with considerable speed. (+2 bonus to track)
Continuing on for another 2 hours’ ride, you come to the bridge. It’s about 15 feet wide and 40 feet across. It is marked by both Fask and Kaptalis colors. There is a large construct blocking the path. It is constructed of clockwork with what looks to be a leather skin binding it together. It has aluminum plates and wooden planks stapled into the leather as armor. It is draped in a tabard with Kaptalis colors. The construct carries a steel shield and a spear.
As you approach, the construct jams the shaft of it’s spear into the bridge and says in an echoing voice “Identify yourself and submit to inspection on the authority of the Kaptalis empire.”
Combat with Kaptalis Light Sentinal
The construct begins to billow smoke from the slash-marks and holes in the leather casing while the gears and springs inside snap and grind. A shriek is heard from inside the construct and a whispy figure emerges briefly before dissipating in a blink.
With the bridge clear, you move forward down the road until you come to a tunnel. It appears to have fallen into decay and there are spider-webs lining the entryway. A sign is mounted next to it which says “Seek alternate route. Dangerous creature inside.”
Your sunrod Illuminates the passage in front of you as you walk into the tunnel. Inside you can see humanoid figures suspended from the ceiling and encased in spiderwebs. Some are on the floor or already half eaten. There is also a pile of desiccated corpses in a corner. All told, whatever inhabits this tunnel has taken at least 20 unfortunate travellers.
spot checks opposed to +10 hide
(on failure) You note that most of the corpses have a single stab-wound and that the dessicated ones have humanoid bite marks on the brachial artery.
Dc16 knowledge (dungeoneering): Based on your studies and experience, you can surmise that this is the lair of a Drider. A large creature with a spider’s thorax and abdomen which transitions into an elf-like torso and arms. You recall that driders are ambush predators with a poison that causes weakness and minor spellcasting ability.
After another step, you hear a sound coming from the ceiling not unlike a string snapping. A large creature which is an elf from the waist up, but with a spider’s body instead of legs pounces from the ceiling onto Brill
(reflex save opposed to melee attack roll, failure results in being knocked prone and taking 2d6+2 damage)
surprise round begins
(on success) You look up to see a large creature which is an elf from the waist up, but with a spider’s body instead of legs. It looks ready to pounce.
begin combat as normal, no surprise round
The creature squeals in pain and attempts to limp away. It is primed for a killing blow.
With it’s last breath, it scrapes with one of it’s spider’s legs at a chest hanging from the ceiling by a web.
Inside the chest are an assortment of gold and platinum artifacts, apparently even deadly monsters like money. (dc 12 appraise reveals that it is worth 10,000gp)
You gather up all your belongings and divide the treasure up, then exit the tunnel to a thin forest. From there, the path is clear and by the time you can see the lights of Gildenport, the rest of your cohort has caught up with you.