As related to Dentali the Scribe.
Mokill, already treated as a hero even in these early days, had grown somewhat tired of all the partying and revelry during the time of night. Since his group had activated the city shield, he had basically become a celebrity. Strangers bought him drinks at every turn. Thankfully, Goliaths can out drink all but the most determined dwarf, so this had been a welcome diversion…for a while. Leisure is all well and fine, but Mokill’s axe yearned for the rush of battle.
Luckily, Darius Argent had need of them once again. A remote village had not lit it’s signal fire, and an imperial patrol led by his brother David had been dispatched to investigate. After many days, they had not returned, and the signal fire remained unlit. An elite fighting unit (Mokill’s party, of course) was needed, so they made their preparations in haste, and set out at once to ascertain not only the whereabouts of the patrol, but to light the fire of protection for the sleepy little town in distress.
Outside the city’s shield, they were quickly attacked by various denizens of the Shadowfell come to lay waste to the land of the living, but this proved to be only a momentary setback. Mokill’s party is the best of the best, and they were more than a match for the evil party that stood between them and their destination. Once they dispatched the various were-creatures and undead, they were able to finally find the village of Turtledove Meadow.
The guards on the outskirts of town directed them to the mayor (the village had an odd name for “mayor”, but neither Mokill nor his companions were able to remember it when interviewed), who was in his office in the middle of town. As they made their way through the streets, the frightened townsfolk could only be seen in glimpses through half-closed windows. A child rushed out to meet them, but was snatched into the air by an unseen hand, and the wailing of it’s mother was the only sound they could hear. The door to the child’s house had swiftly closed and locked, and no answer came from within. The party continued, unsettled by the scene.
The mayor turned out to be quite odd, and only after he dismissed the party with a curt “We’re fine here”, did Erdan Grimstep fill the rest of the group in. The mayor was likely already dead, and being controlled by an invisible spider hanging in the corner of the room. Plans were made to dispatch the beast, but Mokill and Maveith BoneGrinder decided to ignore the mayor and climb the tower attached to the office, for that is where the signal fire was located. Maveith slipped, but Mokill climbed the 40 ft. tower as fast as he could.
By the time the battle started below, Mokill was already halfway up the tower. This tower was barely an anthill compared to the mountains he scaled every day in his youth, and a few moments was all it took for him to reach the summit. As he pulled himself up to the small platform, he was met with an entire swarm of spiders pouring out of the unlit signal fire dais. While his friends were dealing with a single spider below, Mokill swung his axe again and again through the swarm, until all that was left was a sticky, bloody mess. He took a few poisonous bites, but he barely noticed. The destruction of his enemies was once again before him, and he grinned through the pain.
After all of the arachnids (above and below) were dealt with, the signal fire was lit. A wretched “nooooooooo….” was heard from all directions. The wizard Ananias cast a light spell, and thousands of spiders were seen in the shades of darkness above. Things did not look good for our party.
Upon descending the tower, the group decided to investigate once again the house of the abducted child. Maveith and Travok foolishly decided that running would be a good idea, and they were immediately snatched up in the same fashion. Without a method of retrieving them, the party continued, but there was still no one home. Another house was inquired at, and they learned that the spiders arrived as the time of night began, and that many villagers had been abducted in the same manner. It was stated that maybe the priest could help, so the party headed there next.
The priest showed them an even more unsettling site. At the edge of the city, giant spider legs (many more than eight) could be seen rising up to the darkness, and completely engulfing the entire village. There was one other bit of information that proved useful, however. The name of Morgoliant, the King of the Spiders. The party knew that this was the enemy of the dragon/abomination they had dealt with outside Winterhaven a few months before. (For the full story, see the various tomes dedicated to the legend of Slargag and the Fall of Winterhaven.)
The party knew now what must be done. The remaining members, along with the priest, climbed the tower once again, and Erdan addressed Morgoliant directly. The spider king killed the priest in an attempt to speak through his dead body. This sickened and angered Mokill, for the priest had been brave and selfless, both noble traits. To be treated thusly was a tragedy, and Mokill did not intend for this spider king to get off easily.
However, this Morgoliant was obviously very powerful. Erdan manged to strike a deal with him – the village for information about Slargag’s weaknesses and “the thing she holds most dear”. Their associates were released from their captivity (still alive but poisoned and paralyzed), but the rest of the villagers were already dead. The rage within Mokill grew even more fierce. But what he could not see, he could not fight. This realization did nothing to calm him, and he gripped his axe even tighter in fury as Erdan negotiated with the monstrosity.
Information about Slargag’s whereabouts (Winterhaven), her weakness (the circle of runes by the waterfall), and the thing she holds most dear (her egg) were given to the beast, and he released his grip on the town. The signal fire was put out for a moment to allow him and his spawn to leave, then re-lit to keep him out. The village was saved, but at a heavy price. The body of David Argent was found amongst the dead, and the party started their grim journey back to the city of Idoras to collect their reward.
There would be no carousing this long evening.