The Verdant Passage

The Tale of Spider Midwife

Master,

I confess that with the absence of my spectral companion I am having trouble organizing my thoughts. Nonetheless I hope this missive from your first Templar will give you a timely update on the activities of these escaped slaves and revolutionary castoffs.

After a detour through Under-Tyr, only made profitable in the fortuitous location of former companions, our group was treated to a merchant’s hospitality. The merchant was a contact of Penzer’s, and the accommodations were better than expected.

We procured the necessary gear and the services of a Halfling guide to lead us to the Forest Ridge. My impressions thus far are this: the Forest Ridge is without a doubt the worst place on Athas. The diverse shades of green remind me of something out of a demented painting, and the moisture that collects on the leaves and dirt is sour-smelling. I would prefer the silence of the open desert to the strange noises of this place. I find myself frequently retching as my senses are overloaded. If this is the world we wish to make then I fear I may have no place in it.

An anecdote to demonstrate the bizarre insanity of this place: our group walked into a trap of monstrous spiders. But instead of leaping at our throats as you would expect of desert creatures, these spiders sang to us. It turned out that one of the spiders was ripe with live young, and Luken was able to act as midwife to the monstrous spiders.

Like the spiders, this place teems with life ripe to be taken. I can sense its working, and I wonder why no sorcerer-king has used this place to power their rituals.

Perhaps it is the fearsome reputation of the halflings. After dispatching a strange burrowing monster, one whose thirst for our blood was easy to understand, a group of halflings entered our camp. Their speech strange, and their intent uncertain.

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