Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













The City of the Spider Queen - Day 7 - Giant Treasure

Uktar 4, 1372 DR (5:45 PM) Deep Wastes: Lake of Shadows

Veracity flies up, calling Brianna's name. When she arrives at the scene of carnage, she looks at her grievously wounded companions and then at the immense dire bears. "What happened here?" she cries, going pale.

Hazen comes flying up behind Veracity. "You guys missed an awful battle..." Only then does he seem to notice the scene. His jaw falls open as he looks at Yol and Brianna. "Whoa! you guys look terrible!"

"The giants had some pets," says Tebryn. "Did you get them?"

"We were getting them, and then the kraken came up and attacked us!" says Hazen. "I booked it. Veracity and Igor got away and..." he looks around. "Where's Kress?"

Kress comes flying up. "I got away too. I was on my last legs!"

"Kress, you idiot! Got a little over confident again, didn't you?" says the gray dwarf to his henchman. Kress cuffs him but doesn't deny the charge.

"Anyway, just as I was saying," continues Hazen, "that kraken was what we should have worried about. But no, only Hazen was focused enough to think about it, and look what happens."

Veracity rolls her eyes and turns away as the rogue continues to rant.

Igor comes flying back, smiling. "Got it!" he calls. "There was a big sack lying there too."

"Where's the sack?" asks Veracity.

"I was afraid the kraken was still lurking, and I didn't dare make a disturbance. I need curing before I'll chance facing it again."

"I'll cure you," says Brianna. She sings twice and heals some of his wounds.

"And me?" says Kress. The bard cures him as well.

"That's it," says Brianna, holding up her hands apologetically. "No more healing from me today." She looks ruefully at the gashes she still has on her own body.

Veracity squeezes her hand. "We'll camp for a couple of days. With all the giants dead, it should be safe enough. Won't be a comfortable night for you, I imagine, but you're alive, at least!" Brianna nods.

"Ready to get that sack?" says Igor. Veracity nods and the two of them fly back to the raft. The two invisible fliers hover near the ceiling and examine the scene. The raft is empty of giants: the kraken must have eaten the bodies. Igor flies down, scoops up the sack, and flies up to the roof again. Still no kraken.

"Let's go," says Veracity. She and Igor fly back to the giants' raft.

Inside the sack are six smaller sacks, containing a variety of coinage.

"No glove?" says Veracity.

"Perhaps it's around here, somewhere," says Tebryn. "Unless it got eaten by the kraken."

"Well, lets search this cave and the chuul lair," suggests Veracity.

This is easily accomplished. The giants had no further treasure, but the chuul's lair was more productive. Among the scattered bones, the searchers find more coinage and a trio of onyx gems. In the corner lies a nice pair of magical bracers. Half covered by a ruined drowish magical cloak lies a fancy looking dagger, also of drow make. Lastly, magical detection reveals a nondescript but finely made wooden box, about a foot long in one dimension and half that in the other two dimensions.

The party assembles up in the giants' living quarters.

Veracity looks from one to another of her companions. "We're out of cures for the day, and Kress, Brianna, and Yol are all seriously hurt. I think we should spend tomorrow camping here. We can cure up, identify all the magical loot we've found since we left Szith Morcane, and plan for what comes next. Visit that kuo-toan temple? Skip it and just cross the lake? What about that kraken, anyway?"

"Yeah!" says Hazen. "Focus, Veracity! What about that kraken?"

Veracity smiles. "Fine. We will talk about it. Tomorrow."

"Let's divide up the cash we've collected," suggests Igor. "There was quite a bit in that sack, and the rest from our other foes adds up nicely, too."

"And Randal Morn's reward," says Kress. "How much was that, anyway?"

"You mean the reward for my performance?" says Brianna.

Kress sputters. "I don't think so, Brianna. Surely that was the reward for stopping the drow raids." Igor nods in agreement.

Brianna smiles. "It could have been. But, do you remember what he said? 'Bravo! This deserves a reward!' And then he handed me a nice jingly little sack."

Veracity looks at Kress. She surreptitiously wiggles her fingers. "Kress, I'd suggest that you're thinking about it the wrong way and should see Randal Morn's reward as a present for Brianna."

Kress's eyes glaze briefly. He nods vigorously. "You are so right, Veracity." He turns to Brianna. "That bag was Randal Morn's present to you. I also thought your performance was outstanding."

Hazen stares at Kress and then at Veracity. His brow furrows briefly, but then he shrugs and smiles. "If that's what the big guy thinks, it's good enough for me!"

"Wait a minute," says Igor. "I think it was intended for the party. We went back to town because we all believed they would reward us for our efforts in stopping the drow raids. As beautiful as the song was, I doubt he would have rewarded the performance while ignoring the deeds that the song was written about. And, of course the reward was handed to Brianna: she had done most of the talking for the party."

"Oh, Igor," says Brianna. "Maybe, maybe not. Whichever, I am happy to share it. My reward will be knowing that my ballad will be sung throughout the Dalelands." She nods to Veracity, who extracts a small sack from her backpack.

"No, Brianna," says Kress. "That is yours, and yours alone."

Brianna raises her hand. "Kress, I insist. I really don't want my own party to think I'm taking something for myself that belongs to all." She takes the sack from Veracity and hands it to Igor.

"Well if you ask me, you're being way too generous, but it's your money," says Kress, shrugging.

Igor hefts it and opens it. Pouring a collection of coins and gems into his hand, he looks over the reward and counts it. "Not bad. A cool one thousand gold coins in value. Good performance, Brianna." He tosses the treasure into the pile of other coinage. When divided seven ways, each adventurer gets a full 918 gold pieces worth of coins and gems.

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Copyright © 2004 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.
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