Shadon and Vol meet Black Venom
We established that for day-to-day business with the spiders Shadon deals with a spider named Lickatick. Shadon had previously promised to set up a meeting between the spiders and an envoy from the Elven Court. Since Baelianavel was handy, Shadon set up the meet. Vol tagged along.
The spiders agreed to meet near the spring. The spider contingent included Lickatick, 6 hunter-seeker spiders, and Dro, a spider with a shiny red carapace with black hair. The spiders produced 3 egg-shaped pods large enough to comfortably fit an elf each. Vol, Shadon, and Baelianavel each entered one. The tops of the eggs were glued shut and the party were transported through the forest at a fast rate, Tarzan style. There were many zigs and zags and the party could not see out of the eggs, making it impossible to see where they were going.
After a couple hours they stopped and were invited to get out and stretch their legs and take a break. Here, the party met Yanagu, a human botanist who lived in a treehouse. Yanagu and Vol bonded and he gave Vol a book on botany and a list of books he’s love to receive if she got the chance. Meanwhile another spider joined the escort, a menacing spider the party would later learn is named Spittle. Eventually the spiders interrupted the treehouse fun and resumed the trek in the same fashion as before.
The party only traveled for maybe 10 minutes in the forest and then entered a cave system, which they traveled in for about another hour. During this period certain strands in the pods they were traveling in started to glow. Eventually they stopped and the pods were unsealed and they were invited to step out onto solid ground. The party was in a large cavern with beautiful psychedelic phosphorescent web patterns. They followed a labyrinth of webs until reaching an audience chamber with Black Venom, “handmaiden of the mother”.
Shadon managed a spider-wise beginners luck roll to catch on somewhat to the introductory rituals between the spiders and elves; the handmaiden was impressed. After introductions Baelianavel briefed Black Venom on developments with the elven court. It was hard to tell if Black Venom really cared. After that, there was a procession of spiders who brought forth many colors and designs of spider silk. Then Black Venom explained that she would like to see an expansion of her trade agreement with Shadon. At some point in this conversation Spittle interjected that the spiders should take Shadon’s spring since it was no longer an elven land. Black Venom shut her down by explaining that while her daughter had a valid point she had yet to learn that sometimes one can gain more through barter.
During this glorious display of spider-hotness Shadon grabbed a shard of loose rock so Durgoth could lick it later.
Once Shadon and Black Venom worked out the trade terms Black Venom announced that she expected certain favors up front, before the trade would commence. Namely, that Shadon would rescue her mate, Souza, from a human zoo in Kansk, and that he would bring her a herd of 200 sheep that included an appropriate mix of genders for mating and ongoing growth.
Shadon agreed to these terms and the PC’s were returned to the spring.
Garrond the White
After their time at the spring the party begins traveling back to Kansk. When the party reaches the river they are met by a roden who approaches them conspicuously and introduces himself as Get. On instinct, Argent trusts the roden and is invited to go swimming with him to meet his companions on a boat that sails by on the river. A rendezvous is set up for after dark and the party is picked up by what looks like a small, simple human fishing boat above the surface but contains a trap door to a much larger hold below. On deck are two human fisherman. Below are 6 roden and the PC’s.
They learn that Get and the other roden are members of The Vow Stricken, followers of Garrond the White. They each carry a brand on their ear. Their order devotes their lives to knowing the secrets of the Black River. Get tells the party that their lives are in danger and Garrond has sent him to find the party and bring them to Garrond, that Garrond wants to meet Argent before he dies. Get impresses the party by telling them each who they are and some of their exploits on the Black River. But he gets a fact wrong about Siri, that this was her first voyage, but one of the other roden corrects Get over the issue.
The party is taken to Rat Isle where they are smuggled into an inn that looks roden sized from outside but is dug down and human-sized on the inside. There they are given refreshments until joined by Garrond. Garrond reveals several insights about “The Hunter,” that he is fey-like but black and about 9’ tall and with a connection to a dark supernatural place and to the Imperial Army as a special operative against elves. They also learn that the kidnapped elves enter the river near the Caracktion Bridge and are taken to the Grey Citadel.
The roden explain how they can help the party navigate the city using the river and the sewer system.
The party decides to split up. Argent, Shadon, Ceylonda, and L’yon head for the docks in the roden ship while other roden escort Durgoth, Vol, and Siri through the sewer system to nearby Mirador’s, where Durgoth has offered them sanctuary.
When they arrive at Mirador’s they are immediately guarded by clansmen axemen who are ready to fight anyone who might try and take them. Once they enter Mirador’s Durgoth is whisked away to see his uncle (Peter and Simon can play this out later) and Mirador’s wife, Agate, entertains the guest. She plies them with food and alcohol and it’s her mission to learn as much as possible about Durgoth’s friends. Meanwhile, Vol and Siri wish to find out what she knows about Mirador, Inspecter Moore, et al.
Duel of Wits ensues! What’s at stake for Vol and Siri is “everything they know about the missing elves”. What’s at stake for Agate is “everything she knows about her husband, Moore, and the Gang of Four.” Agate wins the duel but loses half her BoA in the process. She learns all about the PC’s but the PC’s learn that the city is really run by “the gang of four” which includes Sivitis, Moore, Fitzalen, and (drum roll, please) Mirador! Mirador is desperate to keep this “low key”.