October 5, 2011

The SpellWeaver

Having survived their encounter with the gremlins, the party paused to catch their breath and bind their wounds.  They searched the room, but found nothing magical (or almost anything that wasn't broken, shredded, or befouled by the gremlins). That just left the doors in the far corner of the room, so arranging themselves, they pushed them open.

They opened into an enormous room, well over 100’ square. The floor was polished marble and the ceiling was at least 25’ high. In the center of the room was a huge pile of what appeared to be treasure. Gold and gems glistened in the pile, but most of it appeared to be made up of objects of various sorts: swords, axes, and daggers; armor, helmets, and shields; wands and staves; scrolls and potions; rings and amulets. It rose a good 5-7’ above the level of the floor and glowed with warm, golden light.

Circling around the pile were a dozen brightly colored orbs. They appeared solid, as if they were made of glass or highly polished stone, but they flew through the air like planets orbiting the sun. There appeared to be two concentric rings of orbs, one orbiting slowly near the center and another set moving much faster farther out.

Standing atop the trove of treasure was a strange, slender creature. It had three pairs of skinny arms extending from robes of rich fabric and an ostrich-like neck topped by a head that looked like a cross between a chicken and a praying mantis. It  was looking directly at the door as if it had been expecting them.

“Welcome!” it said in a reedy, strangely feminine voice. “I’m so happy to see you. I can see that you’ve brought me so many interesting new playthings! If you just leave everything there by the door, I’ll let you leave in peace.”

Joe and Ice immediately entered the room, Ice skulking along the south wall while Joe strode directly towards the creature. "Here, let me just add my sword to your pile," Joe said, trying to sound compliant. The creature wasn't fooled; it gestured towards Joe, who seemed dazed for a moment then turned and began to attack Ice!

The battle was joined, and the initially the party's only success was that Joe couldn't hit Ice worth a darn. An initial flurry of spells aimed at the creature simply fizzled out as they neared the outer ring of orbs. Ice managed to get away from Joe (who of course missed on the opportunity attack), and raced towards the center, using his Donkey Kong barrels to knock the SpellWeaver down and stun it for a round. Phil did a double move, then took an action point only to miss with his Eye Poke. Mary hit it with her Sniper Rifle, and Ice scored a critical hit, but the SpellWeaver only smiled at him, as if the blow were nothing.

The orbs were beginning to make their presence felt. Those in the inner ring did fire and cold damage to anyone too close, while those in the outer ring had other effects. Several party members found themselves slowed and dazed, while others were pushed back or found their attacks and defenses were weakened. And spells continued to fizzle apparently randomly. Chuck got the bright idea to cast his 2nd Edition Sticks to Snakes and send the mass of wrigglers after the Spell Weaver, but they all were immediately dazed and slowed by one of the outer orbs, then killed off by damage from the inner orbs before they could get close enough to hit.

Ice suddenly found himself teleported into some pocket dimension where all he could see were reflections of himself in every direction; Phil soon found himself in the same predicament. They spent a few rounds there before they popped back into the fray. Joe had shaken off the effects of whatever spell had caused him to (feebly) attack his friends, and rushed to the center to join Ice, Phil, and Chuck in ganging up on the SpellWeaver. At that point, the SpellWeaver simply teleported away. Joe chased him, took an action point to get a double attack, and finally bloodied him.

The combat took on a new flavor, with the SpellWeaver now teleporting away from the party's tanks while continuing to cast spells. Phil was hit by some fire spell that immobilized him, but also caused him to give off a burst of flame each turn, damaging anyone standing nearby. Luckily, he was able to use his Go Get Him, Tiger power to give up his standard action to one of his comrades. Mary pulled an RPG out of her magic panties, and scored a critical hit, while Joe scored a double-hit with Hito-kaze's Fury and Hito-kaze's Touch, severely injuring the creature. Jerry began hitting with Magic Missiles, and succeeded in Ingiting the SpellWeaver. Finally, Mary pulled out her trusty Shotgun, and blew the creature away.

During the course of the combat, those who had climbed up on the mound of treasure found that instead of thousands of individual items, which it appeared to be, it was actually one massive lump of matter. Each of the items seemed to have somehow fused to the others, making it impossible to extract one from another. The Gatestone pointed directly towards the mound. Chuck toyed with the idea of trying to capture one of the gray orbs (which appeared to have some anti-magic properties), but no one was keen on the idea of trying to catch a 3' sphere that was flying faster than any of them could run. In the end, the party took some time to stand off and begin taking target practice on the orbs; they found that after a few hits, they would explode into tiny shards, which turned to smoke before hitting the ground.

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