Spider City

“The tunnel opens into a big cavern. On the ceiling, you see a glowing city with light bubbles and hanging bridges and gray webbing holding everything together.”

At the far end of the cave lies a lake. The stone wall rising from the water is wet. A dark fungus moss grows here, fed by water raining down from a black hole above.  Flying or climbing up this wet tunnel will lead you to the realm of the Shroom Lord.

This city is one of the few places down here where the party can make friends and rest.

Events:

  1. ghoul siege of the Spider City—will the party help the attackers, the defenders, or neither of them?—a company of 20+2d4×10 ghouls has set up camp (HD 3; AC 6; Atk 2 claws and 1 bite (1d6 each); MV 9; victims need to save vs. paralysis or be paralysed; these ghouls prefer to eat their helpless victims during combat; in subsequent rounds roll a d6 and loose 1. eye, 2. arm, 3. other arm, 4. liver, 5. heart, 6. brain; mutilated corpses rise as ghouls within the hour and grow terrible claws if an arm or two was lost); there is also a bulbous demon (HD 13; AC 6; Atk 1 bite (2d6); MV 3; victims need to save vs. paralysis or suffer the same fate as a ghoul victim; can only be hit by magic weapons) with 1d6 lemurs (HD 1; AC 6; Atk 1 bite (1d6); MV 3) and two psychic lampreys (HD 5; AC 5; Atk 1 bite (2d6) and 1 psi storm (save vs. paralysis or faint for 1d6 rounds); MV 3 fly) in their camp; they use a catapult and kites to launch each other up at the Spider City; spider warriors will lower themselves from ropes and counter attack while lightning bolts fill the air; upon enquiry the spider people will say that the lighning bolts were fired by the arachnomatrix Atraxaka; if the party does not get involved, the siege will fail; helping the ghouls befriends the bulbous demon: the party may join the ghouls on their march back to the Bone Crusher after the slaughter
  2. 2d6 spider warriors (HD 5; AC 3; Atk 2 weapons and bite (1d8, 1d8, 1d6); MV 9 climbing) will bring any allies or captives to see their arachnid queen Kilistrexta (HD 12; AC 3; Atk 1 bite (1d6); MV 6 climbing) surrounded by another 3d6 spider warriors; she will try to enlist foreigners in her war against her many enemies: stop the ghoul warbands, stop the panzerships or stop the flying orc raiders in order to befriend her; treasure of the spider city: silken brocades with threads of silver and gold worth 100 000 gold; this will go down in flames if the siege is lost
  3. a thousand tunnels branch off from this main cave, all of them filled by giant vermin; six intelligent giant spiders are hunting for food (HD 6; AC 3; Atk 2 claws and bite (1d6 each); MV 9 climbing; save vs. poison when bitten or fall unconscious as your internal organs are slowly digested; terminal damage after one hour); these are effectively spider barbarians, cruel and angry, always trying to rob and steal from their city dwelling relatives; they respect violence
  4. the tunnels are also home to a nest of giant ants; occasionally a group of twelve giant ants on a war path can be found (HD 4; AC 3; Atk 1 bite (2d6), acid spray (3d6); MV 9); anybody able to speak with animals or with the power of telepathy will learn that they are in a perpetual war with all the other “chaotic” beasts down here; their nest is ruthlessly controlled by a vicious secret policy run by a strict and xenophobic matriarchy; there are 120 ants willing to defend the great mother against all intruders (HD 15; AC 4; Atk 1 bite (3d6), MV 3; pheromone powers: all giant ants will know when their queen needs help; the acid vapours in the queen’s cave require a save vs. poison every round to act); treasure: there are 600 football-sized eggs down here, individually, they would be each be worth 500 gold; in larger batches, the value drops to 50 gold per egg (30 000 gold total)
  5. rats without number populate these tunnels; one of the creatures feeding on them is a gargantuan centipede queen surrounded by a thousand eggs (HD 12; AC 3; Atk 1 bite (3d6), MV 6; save vs. poison or die in excruciating pain within three rounds); successful communication will reveal that this queen is in search of a king and she is willing to infect a man with the power of extra limbs (the victim will grow a chitinous breastplate granting AC 5 and four extra arthropod arms granting MV 3 when climbing); treasure: 20 000 gold; each egg is worth another 20 gold
  6. finally, one of the many source of the energy permeating these tunnels is a pool of earth blood; this looks like a glowing pool of cool lava with weightless globuli forming and dissolving in the air above; with the correct ritual, one can bathe here and gain the blessing of the earth which grants empathy with all creatures of elemental earth (mostly elementals) and the ability to cause a single earthquake by calling out the secret names of the seven titans; this is an alternative way of breaking the Fortress Dam of Ix; the ritual can be learnt from Gar (see Vats of Gar) or Beldilabdineb (see Bone Crusher)

The arachnomatrix Atraxaka is willing to trade in spells and information; she can act as a sage, too.

Spells of the arachnomatrix (level 13):

1st level 2nd level 3rd level 4th level
the friendship of lesser mindshunting and webbingthe tongues of strangersjumping through space on the strands of our forefathers
power of mimicrytriangulation of know objectselectric powers of destructionsubjugation of reason
communion with animalsconquest of gravitypowers of flightarachnophobia of the highest degree
telestrangulation using strands of webbingdetection of magical energiessilken words of binding
5th level 6th level 7th level
travel to the shadow landscommunicating with the ancient earth spiritsmysteries of astral chords and travel to foreign worlds
contacting the spider lords of the beyond(unassigned)
(unassigned)

Atraxaka also knows how to build a rod of electric destruction (shoots lightning bolts for 3d6 at will with a 5% chance to hit somebody near the intended victim unless the wielder has four arms to aim it with).