Qatana’s Journal for – Pharast 27, 4713

Wealday, Pharast 27, 4713 morning
The Spirit Forest, House of Withered Blossoms

We were treated to a spectacular show of vegetarian delights in the wee hours this morning. The vines of ivy that cover the house sprouted shoots that rapidly spread and put forth buds which just as rapidly bloomed. The flowers opened and blasted out great poofs of pollen that engulfed the house, obscuring our view. Presently the flowers wilted and dropped, presenting us with the same scene that met us when we first arrived.

As soon as it was light we took to flight and hovered above the roof of the structure. A large hole had been blasted in, and peering down into the dim morning light we could see a wall to wall tangle of webs.

None of us much liked the idea of dropping down into that matted sticky mess, and so Zos tossed down a vial of alchemist fire.

Beorn chortled out a diabolic song of, “Burn, baby burn!” while my other friends tittered nervously before joining in the chorus.

A pair of voices wafted up, speaking in common.

“Get that.”

“Get what?”

“The fire.”

“Oh, hold on.”

Neither speaker seemed overly concerned that their lair was being set alight like a roman candle. Zos seemed to think the pollen from the flowers was some sort of opioid. It was a good thing Ivan and I had protected the party with Air Bubble.

We became a bit impatient and continued to set more webs on fire, and yet the only reaction we got was a somewhat disinterested exclamation of, “Intruders.”

Finally we saw a half spider and half humanoid creatures scuttle into view and Ivan, Radella and Zos promptly shot it dead.

Taking advantage of our active fly magics Olmas, Radella and I dropped down. This was a mistake. In addition to the spider things there were shadows, which floated over and began to sap our strength.

Ivan provided cover with a circular tube of flame and we fled back to the roof top, where Radella and I used wands of Lesser Restoration to undo what the shadows had done.

We then set about torching the space below with some serious fire. Soon most of the webbing had been burned out and I entered and verified that the shadows and spider creatures had either perished or fled.

Dasi said he had detected the thoughts of others below us… and moving down and out of the range of his ability to detect them. We then heard a scream suddenly cut off.

We searched the space we had cleared and found a stash of loot, mostly burned to char. Sometimes you have to choose between prudence and profit, and in this case most of us agreed the loss had been worth it. We did manage to salvage a handful of things, and found a few additional items on the one spider corpse.

[467-471] Scorched loot
[472] porcelain tea set with silver and platinum handles (400 – 500 gp)
[473] jade dragon broach
[474] 4 jade hair pins
[475] carved soap stone
[476] jade belt buckle depicting a daemonic face
[477] heron jade belt hook
[478] potion of Blur
[479] potion of Cure Serious Wounds
[480] 8 master work daggers
[481] black porcelain mask

There was a wide hole in the floor and more webbing beyond. While the others gathered the loot Ivan and I lit the area on fire using Spark.

Someone below called up that we should give up and leave. I called down that the oni had sent us to help out, but this sent the voice into a fuming rage — well, not really a rage exactly, but more like a “you’re really bumming me out, man, but lets not make too big a fuss about it, and could you go away and leave some munchies while your at it” kind of general unhappiness.

Apparently the spiders controlled the part of the house above ground, and the oni were supposed to stay below ground in the part they controlled, and we were putting a serious harsh on his mellow.

Large spiders clambered out and attacked, but we made quick work of them. We could see more half spider half humanoid creatures below, and so Olmas and I sent down spiritual allies to beat on them.

Things appeared to be going our way when a bolt of lightening arced up from below and struck me, and then exploded into a other arcs that zapped my companions.

Suddenly the humanoid in filthy silk robes that Kali seen with her Arcane eye teleported up to us, and was immediately met by a serious combination of psychology and extreme violence, but without the psychology.

In short, he dropped like a sack of potatoes.

“Dude, ” squeaked Badger, “are you sure that air bubble spell thingy is really working? You sound a little spaced out yourself.”

“Badger,” I calmly replied, “I’m writing it that way so folks know how these guys sounded.”

We pawed over his corpse and removed everything of value.

[482] wand of Lightening Bolt (23 charges)
[483] vial of medium spider venom (4 doses)
[484] dagger of venom (magic)
[485] master work blowgun
[486] 10 darts
[487] +2 cloak of resistance
[488] flask of endless saki (up to 1 gallon per round): you can drink directly from the flask to get ethe effect of a random potion
[489] silver drinking bowl
[490] magnificently carved wooden ball depicting the earth and sky devoured by a dragon
[491] silver mirror worth 1,000gp
[492] opium (2 doses)
[493] set of keys

We could see nothing living down below and so we drifted down and explored, mindful of the spikes sticking up from the floor.

I found a series of iron grills set in the floor around the perimeter of the room, through which shown a dim light. I saw some sort of skeleton that still had its vital organs pumping and pulsating in its rib cage. It moved stealthily as if it were hunting something.

Meanwhile the others had been busy searching all of the debris that littered this level of the house.

[494] 3 flasks of liquid (magic)
[495] saffron — “I’m just wild about it!” Pookie said.
[496] 4 opium pipes
[497] opium (8 doses) — “Do you sense a theme here?” asked Timber.
[498] 3 bamboo chests
[499] string of ancient Tien coins
[500] master work numchucks
[501] potion (magic)
[502] teak carving of Tien noble
[503] battered breastplate
[504] fine leather shoe, one with an opal hidden within
[505] small white opal
[506] delicate silver snuff box in the shape of a turtle
[507] rhino horn drinking vessel with heron motif
[508] jade belt hook
[509] silver altar set with lotus motif
[510] red lacquered trunk: 3 bags silver, 2 bags gold
[511] tooled leather document case
[512] scroll (magic)
[513] wooden box with opium (10 doses) — “I feel trippy!” snickered Star.
[514] silver and jade opium pipe
[515] huge drum on iron stand (magic) — left on the floor

Nobody was too happy upon hearing about the skeleton thing below, and with all of us looking through the grates we found that there were two of them, and that they were patrolling along a set route.

We made a quick, but efficient plan. Most of the party would concentrate on one of the skeletons while Olmas guarded the circular staircase that led down, and I kept track of the other bony fellow.

The archers quickly blasted the one into flinders, and I charred the other with a Flame Strike before the others finished it off.

Where to go next? Well, down, obviously.

The others are fiddling with one of the grates, which lifts up just before a door in the metal wall.

Olmas and I are standing before the stairs, and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him, and it is as clear as day that we’re heading down.

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