The group had a long run into the spider's lair and went whole hog right for the McGuffin needed to get larger. I had run this adventure (or VERY similar to it) twice before over 20 years ago and one group never made it this far, and the other was TPK'ed in a spider choked room filled with over running fires that burned them all.
The party had some serious luck with a few Summon Nature's Ally spells which allowed them to clear the way to the McGuffin.
Write up follows:
The party hit the three Brown Recluse Spiders with a flurry or sword blows and strikes, dropping two of them and wounding the third but Nyssa took a nasty bite that had our shieldbearer taking a hefty dose of poison and had her reeling in pain. The thought of the party was that we had to get into the room and head towards whatever Marcus had detected earlier and we had to do it no and fast before more spiders came and overwhelmed us. Avidius managed to cut his last limb free and was yelling at the group that there were more orb spiders coming into place.
Flimflam called out for his most powerful summon nature’s ally spell but as before, there was a stuttering in the spell as it reclassed itself for our new smaller impact and dimensions. The group was surging forward, passing under the archway, trying to make their way further in. A final produce flame was tossed into the webbing, setting another section ablaze.
The King of the Web called out to Arachne and the final Brown Recluse that the party was fighting surged, enlarging to a gargantuan monster 20’ in height as a Giant Vermin spell took effect. The group ran under the massive creature, avoiding its stomping eight legs, and moved enmass to the right. Marcus shot off another Dispel blast, burning a hole that the group turned and ran towards.
Flimflam’s Summon Spell enacted and a 40’ long iguana appears with an exploding blast of concussive air. He then pointed into the room and told it the charge in and tear up the webbing, which the iguana did, scattering spiders in all directions as we raced along. The King of the Web called out a loud benediction and from the hall we heard the yowling cry of the castle’s cat as it answered and began to climb up to our level. We had to go and go now. The Orb spiders that were over the arch attached webs and began rappelling down, and we ran through the scattered webs. The Giant Spider was able to give chase but the parameters of the room were preventing it from striking at us effectively.
Erd’s poor health and Avidius’ numerous painful wounds as well as his poisoned blood, had these two party members flagging as we ran along, spiders dropping from the webbing above our head and raining to the ground behind us. The Orb spiders were giving chase and we noted there were too many of them for us to effectively turn and fight. We had to find our way to the source and do it now.
The Iguana managed to come close enough for Flimflam to call out to and Marcus shot off another Dispel Magic blast which drove a line of red sparks through the room. And Flimflam ordered the Iguana to chase it. The Iguana blurred its way into the dark interior, scattering more webs and driving a path for us directly to the amber glowing source that had the group shrunk. Any spiders in the iguana’s way were smashed and devoured.
The Giant Spider was getting closer and Steiner hurled out a blast from his fear staff, striking the spider and turning it away where it skittered in terror. Avidius slipped back and was losing ground, falling and tripping as he tried to run. We now had almost 10 spiders chasing us, the Orb spiders plus the new ones that fell from above as we passed under them. Fermius and Steiner each draped and arm over their shoulders and hoisted Avidius up, carrying the wounded and weakened thief.
From the hall we heard the Cat had arrived, was looking around the room, and started to chase the group. Meanwhile we drew ever closer to the amber light – which was now revealed to be a ring almost 7’ in diameter floating on top of a 10’ column. The spiders were now closer to us and we started throwing caltrops, bags of sharpened rocks, even a few flasks of greasy water behind us.
And it worked.
The number of spiders right behind were rapidly reduced and the party ran on, out distancing most of them except for one determined Brown Recluse. Meanwhile the cat was closing in and it plowed over a number of the orb spiders that had been tripped up, smearing them as it yowled and leapt closer.
Horace and Geld, two of the best conditioned people in the party, were ahead of the group at this point, racing for the column. Flimflam called to Demeter to summon another massive natures ally, and we had to wait for the stuttering to pass before the spell enacted. And the party was now strung out with more and more of the party losing ground.
We tried to distract the cat with lights and glowing balls but it had no effect and it was now very close. Flimflam’s summon spell fired and we got a large huntsman spider – which Flimflam had appear over the rotating ring and attack the King of the Web who was trying to grab Geld in her attempt to get the ring (which she missed in her leap). The King was fighting another spider, the webs above were writhing with numerous spiders flailing about. The cat was too damned close when Steiner blasted it with a wave from his fear staff – and sent it running away!
We made it to the column, Erd was one of the next ones there, and he LEAPT up, finger just touching the ring – and suddenly he was full size and wearing it. He willed the ring to enlarge Flimflam and then Tranis – but time seemed to slow down as the ring was talking (telepathically in his mind) about a price and costs and Erd would have to pay – and he had magic powers, yes? Erd (a fighter) replied no and the ring was disturbed – which followed by a whizzing sound and Erd’s ring finger was severed, taking the ring with it.
The ring hit the ground and Tranis wore it next. Enlarging a few other party members while the party was stomping around (at full size) the vermin in the area. Tranis was also asked about a price and he HAD magical powers but he chose to remove it and the ring hated him but he was able to take it off. Steiner went next, enlarging even more members of our group and when the ring talked about a price, he was able to remove it without antagonizing the powers within.
That then led us to Marcus who went through the process of enlarging the party one at a time. When it was time to “pay the cost” he agreed to keep the ring and was given 4 more uses – but the cost would be either a spell slot (permanent) drain, a permanent hp loss, hp loss for Tranis, or another finger loss for Erd.
Marcus willingly lost a permanent hp and enlarged more party members. He was able to deduce some of the artifact’s powers and when he used up the 4 uses, he was AGAIN asked for the price – and again he settled on another permanent hp loss. By now the group was almost entirely back to normal and he learned even more of the ring’s uses – getting the clue that the ring is normally made for Ogres and Orcs but for now was happy with Marcus.
And there were three members left to increase and AGAIN he had to pay the price – this time 2 hp, 1 from Tranis, or a finger from ERD – or he could once again sacrifice a permanent high level spell slot. He went for the 2 hp for himself (now having lost 4 permanent hps) and the ring gave him a relent by enlarging the last 3 in one swoop. Marcus also learned that if he waited too long before using the ring’s powers, he would get some debilitating headaches to remind him to use it.
So it was after 2 PM on Icemonth the 1st, everyone was together and we didn’t lose anyone (but some of us were pretty screwed up) but we were large again and standing in some upper hallway and gathering our wits on what to do next.