Greed – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Rael – Lvl 6 Thief/Werewolf
Ritzy – Lvl 5 Homanculus
Arongoth of Hogendaus – Lvl 5 Cleric/Vegetable
Vlad Draculastein – Lvl 4 Dampyr
Tarvinir – Lvl 5 Magic User
2 Werewolves, 1 Subdued and chained to Gerald the Pony, and one wrapped up in spider webbing, stabbed and bludgeoned and shot.
(aka the Spider Wolf) Stabbity stab stab stabbed to death.
500 silver pieces in coffer marked with crest of Brundleheim, Tortoiseshell and gem inlaid walking stick (900 gp), 30 gp from false hump worn by dead grimling,
Signet Ring of Grand Duchy of Lobo, silver with huge red carbuncle gem bearing wolf’s head crest. (700 gp)
81 copper pieces, 31 silver pieces, 18 gold pieces, 3 gems (250, 75, 75),
Gold and gem inlaid spellbook with ruined pages (600 gp),
Wand made of row of crystal spheres wrapped in latticed brass.
Total: 4341 exp/6 players = 723 exp apiece
Additional items: Lifesize wood effigy of St. Hieronymus, Papers and letter from Archduke Eisenfaust of Kroenenberg bearing full title
I consider this session an achievement in my career as a DM because of how hard I hooked the players into this particular adventure. Like a trout on a fly lure. Heh heh.
So after the remaining courier had wolfed out, they subdued him with extreme prejudice and tied him up with some chain they must have found around the coaching inn.
So naturally once that was accomplished the first thing they did was root through his bag and belongings. In the hapless courier's courier pouch, they found a letter and a bunch of paperwork:
Long story short, this very official missive let them know that if they could get the signet ring, they'd gain ownership of Cardille Keep, the very structure they'd been shooting and looting over the past several weeks. (Obviously, it would be more complex than that, but basically he who holds the ring owns the thing, so to speak.)
They figured out that the courier that had been dragged off by the mysterious cryptid Spider Wolf was probably the one who had the signet ring on him. So off into the dark pine woods they went to track down the monster and get that little bit of lucre so that they could achieve the great D&D dream of owning a castle from which to terrorize the surrounding countryside.
For whatever reason, they decided to bring along the other courier, which they chained to the back of the very unhappy, near critically spooked Gerald. (Poor Gerald. Ponies weren't meant to have unnatural slavering predators chained to their backs. I've often noted that a lot of gamers just don't completely comprehend how animals work.)
Following the trail through the night, they found a webbed up thicket in the heart of the dismal pine woods as dawn broke feebly thru the dense trees.
Vlad, ever the coward, suggested they just burn the woods down. This plan was vetoed because:
A: Contrary to the Web spell's side effects, spider webs aren't nature's oil soaked rags. Especially when woven in with a dank, misty forest. Even with a Fireball it was unlikely they'd get the woods to light.
B: They were looking for a signet ring, maybe an inch in diameter, tops. Try sifting through an acre of ash to find something that size, even provided it survives.
So into the woods they went. And shenanigans ensued.
I'll also note at this session we gained another player, whose character, Tarvinir, was a scholarly looking magic user who showed up at the coaching inn as they were on their way to hunt for the spidah monstah. (In realistic terms he probably wouldn't have been quite so ready to tramp off into the wilderness with a bunch of freaks he'd just met to hunt down a giant spider whose bite transmitted accelerated lycanthropy, but you skip over some niceties to get a party rolling.)
Since it's a holiday and I like posting this kind of material, here is the key to the terrifying werewolf and spider themed Lair of the Spider Wolf.
The map I used was Dyson Logos' Zaelen's Hive turned 90' counter clockwise with the stairs down to the south, and the numbers starting at 1 in the first chamber and then ascending as kind of a reversed question mark, with 3 being the side chamber off of 2 and 10 being the isolated chamber below 9. Wherever stairs down are indicated, there will be a steep incline made slick with wet leaves and webbing, that requires a save vs. Paralysis to avoid sliding down uncontrollably.
(I'm using this cryptic blather rather than just posting the numbered map because I'm not sure if it's kosher to repost Dyson's work when it's not one of his free and clear Patreon funded samples. Just go patronize the man's work, it's hands down one of the best gaming resources out there.)
1: 20X20 Space. Mummified bodies of knight and warhorse suspended among webbing. Armor, sword, lance, and barding rusted and fragile. Saddlebags hold a locked coffer with 500 silver pieces bearing crest from Brundleheim. Floor has layer of webbing, if stepped on will cause tree branches and armor of knight to rattle, alerting other denizens of the lair.
2: A second 20X20 section conjoined to this one to the Northwest. There are two sloping exits leading down the opposite side of the hill the copse sits on top of, leading north and northeast. Bodies of various forest animals bundled in webbing and hanging from trees. Mummified remains of a dandy in fine hunting leathers, a human manservant, and a grimling lackey are also hanging here. Their gear is warped, rusted, and ruined, save for a gem and tortoiseshell inlaid walking staff with three unscrewable compartments making up the upper part. One is empty, one contains a set of thief’s picks, and the third is a flask that holds Oil of Slipperiness. (900 gp) The grimling wears a false hump that contains 30 Gold Pieces.
3: Disassociated bones hang in a haze of webbing in this chamber, which is 20X20. Area works like a WEB spell if entered, with the addition of 1d4 damage from sharp bones sticking entrapped victims. The hall leading to this area is steep and treacherous. Roll a save vs. petrify or slide down. (Lots of shenanigans happened here. Ever try leading a pony, who's already terrified of the werebeast strapped to its back, into a giant spider's lair on a slippery inclined plane? Poor Gerald. Don't worry, he lives.)
4: A 20X20 chamber with an opening to the northeast. A gnawed wooden effigy of St. Hieronymus (The patron saint of monster hunters.) lies against one of the thorn bushes woven with webs. Close examination reveals his mouth is slightly open, wide enough for a coin to pass through. It jingles slightly if moved. Contains 600 Silver Pieces and 300 Gold pieces in hidden compartment in chest. Breaking it open will bring on a curse -1 per 50 gp claimed to hit lycanthropes and undead.
5: A 30X30 chamber lined with webs Lair of Spider Wolf. The creature is here wrapping up the other courier. (Signet ring in pouch on belt (700 gp)) Courier turning into werewolf. Assorted pouches, packs, and satchels from prior victims scattered around clearing, tangled in webbing and thorn branches. Contains total of 81 Coppper Pieces, 31 Silver, 18 Gold.
I half rotted backpack bearing the crest of the Occluded College (an eye with a hand covering the pupil) contains a small pouch with 3 Gems(250, 75, 75) an old spellbook with a gilded, bejeweled cover whose pages have rotted and are illegible (600 gp), and a wand constructed of a series of crystal spheres bound in a latticed tube of brass (Wand of Illusionn (9 charges)) (The Occluded College was an organization of sages and mages. It proved to be a really good plot hook for the newly arrived Tarvinir.)
6: This smaller 15X15 chamber is cocooned with web, which forms a natural funnel to the treetops overhead. A constant, eddying whirl of leaves and debris is constantly spinning in here, rattling the trees, which can be heard from 5. Another slide trap waits in the corridor leading from the northwest dumping into 9 (save vs. petrify)
7: The spider wolf’s larder, a 30X30 chamber with a sloping entrance from 5. (Same as 3) Large, wolf like bundles line the wall, feebly writhing and whining or growling. There are 4 here : HD: 4 HP: 11, 14, 25, 21. AC: 5, Dmg: 2d4, Save F4, Morale 4
When the party enters, the strongest of them will tear free of their prisons and attack, although they will be last on init. If possible they’ll release the others and try to escape if unimpeded.
8: The bones of five werewolves, some full wolf, some human (but recognizable via pointed teeth) some mid transition are shoved aside in this 15X15 cubbyhole. One of the spider wolf’s earlier shed carapaces is draped over them, which will look like another monster in the dim light.
9: A giant, smooth boulder made of Moonstone sits in the center of this 30X30 chamber. It weighs a ton and cannot be moved. It glows faintly, and any lycanthropes will instantly transform if they fail a save vs. spell, and they will be savagely violent.
10: A large egg sac hangs from the boughs of a large oak that makes up part of this chamber It takes 28 hp to destroy. A wolf skull lies on the floor beneath it. (Better destroy that sac, if you don't want this area to be renamed Kreuzschlüsselwulfsylvania.)