At the end of our previous session of Druids’ Dale, we had just encountered the King of the woods, which turned out to be a spider-like being. This session we found out a bit more about what it was that lurked here in the woods, and had to come up with a plan on what to do about it.
There is a reference back to something we heard about a year ago when we spoke to the giants. Whatever we have encountered here is probably more than just a local issue.
1227, Spring – Jack
The large clearing we are in has an open canopy through which we can see the stars. Now that we are at the centre, the clearing actually looks larger than it did when we entered. It seems quite unpleasant, with unnerving eyes reflected back out of the tree line from the magical light Allistor had put on my shield.
About eight Redcaps are here, though a couple of them are still drunk. The main sight though is a twisted, hunch backed and completely hairless human body. It is skeletal, with a bloated abdomen. It has eight limbs, each ending in sharp black claws.
After Sir Aidan drops to his knee, the rest of us decide to follow suite. The Redcaps drag in some unrecognisable meat, dumping it inn front of the giant spider, which promptly begins to gorge itself on the gift. We wait for it to finish, since if it’s not hungry then it’s unlikely to want to eat us.
Finally, once it’s finished, it looks up and notices us.
Spider Thing: “Sir Aidan, I acknowledge your gift and offers hospitality”.
Sir Aidan: “Thank you my lord, my I introduce my guests – the Lady Maedbh and her retainers”.
Spider Thing: “Another faerie. And another one. One works with what one must I suppose. They are welcome Lord Aidan. Let me hold court.”
A couple of stools are brought in by the Redcaps, and Aidan and Maedbh are offered the seats. Several horse sized spiders come in, and start chittering at the ‘king’. A conversation goes on between them. Others come in, some bringing gifts.
Whilst this goes on, I spend the time to look around and size everything up. There are three or four swarms of spiders, the six sober Redcaps (plus a couple of drunk ones). If something came to a fight, the best option would probably be to run.
Eventually it finishes its discussions and turns back to us. Or rather to Maedbh.
Spider Thing: “You are well mannered. For that I will grant you a boon as you stay in my lands”
Maedbh: “We have not heard of you before. Where did you come from?”
Spider Thing: “My kingdom has been here for many years. But I have slept. Now I stir and wake. And soon, the mundane who don’t know me will know me well. As will those others who tried to defeat me.”
Maedbh: “Who was so foolish my lord?”
Spider Thing: “You have something of their taint about you. When one door is opened, others may open too. I feel myself slipping back into sleep once more. But worry not. I will touch your dreams”.
It turns and leaves. As it moves into the trees, its shape changes, from something with vague humanoid characteristics to being ‘merely’ a large spider.
A while back, the giants that were met further to the south mentioned something about a spinner of dreams that they had come south to avoid. A spider.
We head back to the camp, where four of the redcaps are snoring loudly. Sir Aidan asks whether Maebh (and therefore us) intends to stay for the night, or want to head back. Maedbh asks for us to be escorted back to the edge of the forest.
Maedbh mentions that she is tired, and requests a ride. Sir Aidan takes her over to the unicorn, which allows her to mount it.
It seems to be mid-morning by the time we exit the woods, which wasn’t the time I was expecting. Sir Aidan and Maedbh agree to meet up again.
We get back to the village, where the villagers are surprised to see us. We had been gone a couple of days. More faerie weird stuff. The new moon had been last night, but they hadn’t been attacked, so they are grateful to us for whatever it was we did.
We look to get some rest.
Late afternoon, we wake up and start planning on how we will deal with the Redcaps and the Knight, since we are still expecting them to attack at some point. After a long discussion about complicated things by the magi, one of the grogs suggests just leaving some beer out at the edge of the woods. They see it, drink it, get drunk and then we wack them.
The magi will ward one of the houses to protect it against the fey. Then, with the help of the locals we will source a pig and beer. Magic could be used to put iron filings into the food and drink. Maedbh also wants to use some herbs.
We get everything setup, and the magi do some more magic shit to apparently protect us from harm. We build a little camp to make sure that the Redcaps are encouraged to stop for food and drink. Then we go and find the stone circle to hold up in to wait for the Redcaps and the knight to turn up.