From the chronicles of Brother Rendall...
My examination of the bodies, along with the tracks Wormtail discovered and other clues from the village, left little doubt. The village had been attacked by some horrific species of giant spider, whose venom reanimated the dead.
Our duty was clear. We vowed to find the creatures, destroy them and any nests they might have made.
Taking just enough time to patch up our wounds, and make a quick pyre for the dead, we set off after the spiders, Lady Shevarith skillfully following their faint, but unique tracks.
After nearly a day’s pursuit, the tracks lead into a small forest. With Master Venkh leading the way, we chanced upon one the spiders before we were too deep in the woods. It seemed to be tending a cocoon, which raised a faint hope that we might possibly be able to rescue survivors from the village.
True to his direct and valiant character, Venkh leapt forward to engage the foul creature. Garvin let fly with an arrow that missed its mark and
Wormtail spotted another cocoon and rushed forward to cut it open in the hope of finding someone alive. He seemed driven, as if what he had witnessed in the village had helped him to find his courage and a desire to find some sign of hope.
Sadly all he found was the poor victim reanimated by the noxious venom of the spiders. It was quickly dispatched by a magical dart from Shevarith.
All this commotion stirred something in the trees. I could see several trees shrouded in webbing that myst have been the vermin's nests. However, the movement in the branches told me that we would soon have more of the creatures to contend with.
Whilst Shevarith and Troughton dealt with the spiders, Wormtail darted off towards another cocoon.
Master Venkh was surprisingly hard pressed by the spider and recieved a bite on his leg that seemed to slow him. I ran to his aid, chanting one of the healing incarnations I had learned in the monastery. With renewed strength and my aid, he struck the creature down.
But yet more spiders appeared from the undergrowth, although they were momentarily slowed by a bright ray of sunlight that shone through the clouds overhead.
This time he was rewarded. A desperately wounded man, who we later learned was named Nardol, was wrapped in sticky strands but had not yet succumbed to the toxin. Quick as a flash, Wormtail cut him free and helped him to his feet before darting off again.
Meanwhile, Troughton cut through the spiders with ease. I had blessed his blade earlier and it found its mark with every stroke.
However, Master Venkh, Garvin and I were sorely beset by the scuttling creatures. As soon as one was cut down, more would appear.
I took advantage of a brief lull to cut open a cocoon, but found nought but a desiccated corpse, whilst Venkh continued to hack and slash.
I caught a brief glimpse of Wormtail through the trees slicing open yet another cocoon, he was like a man possessed.
Once again, however, the poor unfortunate had been transformed and lurched towards Wormtail. However, before it could grab him, Garvin dropped it with a well placed arrow.
A sudden shout from Master Venkh drew my attention to a tree right beside us. We had missed the fact that it was wreathed in webs. We had carelessly walked almost right beneath a nest tree, and its inhabitant was dropping down a sticky thread towards us.
In our plight, we didn't see Shevarith, Troughton and the injured Nardol, disappear through the undergrowth in pursuit of a driven Wormtail, and we were not to see them for some time.
However, we had other concerns. Venkh leapt forwards and crushed the spider with a single blow from Aventine's sword.
And I followed up quickly to light a fire at the base of the tree. As the cleansing flames licked upwards I could hear the squeals of spiders as they were destroyed.
With one nest destroyed, we pressed on through the woods to find more. I was momentarily slowed by something glinting in the fire light. I discovered a pair of gauntlets caught within the webbing. Some power had put these in my path and I resolved to present them to my master to aid him in his crusade against the Shadow Deep.
We were told later that Wormtail had miraculously found yet another survivor wrapped in webbing, a man named Kahlo. The gods were surely working through Wormtail this day.
It must have been at around this time that Shevarith and her companions approached the first of the nest trees we had seen in the distance.
Although I believe Wormtail and Kahlo were faced by yet more spiders.
However, Troughton was able to set light to one of the trees...
...whilst Shevarith rushed to Wormtail's aid.
And yet, help was not required as Wormtail, filled with divine purpose and aided by the injured Kahlo cut down to foul creature.
With the trees gripped by fire, Shevarith and her company made their way back to find us.
Locating us must not have been difficult as Venkh had set a great conflagration amongst the nest trees.
I joined him in this righteous task, destroying the last of the nest trees that we could find.
We had done what we could. Aventine was avenged, the spiders and their foul reanimated creations were destroyed, and two men had even been rescued from oblivion. Although weary and soot stained from our exertions, we had shown to ourselves that although the Shadow Deep was foul and its creatures numerous, stout hearted folk could turn back the tide.
At least for a time...