I get to make a play report!!
Me: Michael, a LG half-orc fighter/cleric 2nd/2nd
The Wife: Tsarina, a CG half-orc fighter 3rd
Son #1: Torvald, an LG dwarf fighter/thief 2nd/3rd
Son #2: Wallach, an NG half-elf fighter/mage/thief 2nd/2nd/2nd
Son #3: Ferenar, a CG half-elf cleric/mage 3rd/2nd
Son #4 DMed
Previous session the party learned that a remote village was sending notes to the bishop that a falling star had landed nearby so we went to check things out. We found the falling star - a massive sphere over 120' across made of a metal that seemed to be bronze. The inside was hollow and was empty except for a pile of clay weighing about 400 lbs. Mixed in with the clay was very, very thin silver foil, sword blades made of ceramic (sharpened on one side only) and what looked like lots and lots of bug casings.
The closest village reported odd things in the woods, missing people, weird noises from the hills ('like hunting horns and a woman cryin' all mixed together'), and that the water from the river tasted funny. We set off into the hills where we found the obviously-repaired entrance to an abandoned mine so we camped nearby.
[Also known as 'the toddler demanded attention, so we wrapped up early'].
This session we went in ready for a good dungeon crawl and we got it! We were all on our toes because son #4 is known for his innovations, such as the trapeze zombie, the armored ghoul, and the super-skeleton.
We were not disappointed.
Outside we observed a human worshipping at an odd shrine. He refused to surrender and died. The shrine was a pagan abomination, so we destroyed it and entered the mine.
It began as the usual 'thief scouting, muscle following' with my cleric/fighter (the straight fighter has 3 more H.P., but I am A.C. 1 vs A.C. 4 and I have better saves) following the fighter/thief. The dungeon was a large mine complex full of confusing tunnels, dark niches, dead-end shafts, and deep pits.We encountered a kobold pushing a mine cart full of native silver ore (dead kobold, looted silver) and were then ambushed by troglodytes (tough fight, but we did well). We found blood trails here and there, which seemed to jibe with the local villagers' tales of 'a massive spider dragging off entire cows', so we began following these trails.
In a mighty natural cavern we were ambushed by a huge spider dropping down on web from above. The spider was about 9' long (main body) and had front legs shaped like swords and what looked like a crown (!). I went straight at it while Tsarina flanked left and Torvald flanked right with Wallach and Ferenar using missile weapons. At one point it reared back and beams of blue-green energy fired from its 'crown", injuring 3 of us (in the front arc). We eventually killed it, then healed up, then examined the body.
The spider was made of clay covered in fine silver foil with the chitin of a spider bolted on over that with ceramic swords replacing the front legs. We were out of healing spells, so we fell back to our camp and rested.
In this night men came to rebuild the foul shrine. The fighter and thief caught one of them and learned that the hill barbarians were worshipping the sky spiders as gods. In the morning we destroyed the new altar and entered. We reached the last point explored and continued without incident. After what seemed a long time we ran into a strong group of troglodytes, with a sub-chief, watching kobold slave miners. The cleric got a Hold off on two of the trogs and we slammed into the rest of them. Tsarina was lethal with her two-hander, but when we were about half done another spider, this one larger, joined the trogs.
Tsarina engaged the spider with Torvald while I struggled to finish of the trogs with help from Wallach. Just as I was finishing the trogs the spider hit Tsarina with both claws and pulled her in for a bite. She failed her save and went limp. I charged forward, hit the spider, then the spider put me to 0 H.P. with attacks just as the rest of the party slew it.
An antidote saved Tsarina and spells 'woke me up' but neither of us was able to keep fighting. The party took the kobolds prisoner and then took them (and the cultist) back to the village to recuperate.
Son #4 runs a tight campaign, even though he just turned 14. He is very good at innovative use of monsters (as I mentioned) and new creatures that are not quite what you'd expect.
Based upon past adventures (strange metal objects in ancient crypts; constellations carved into cave walls; odd lights in the sky) we are half convinced we are dealing with spelljammers. Problem is, he's good at the head fake, so....
Next session we are returning to the mine to see how deep it goes.