“It’s difficult to remember,” Corrine said with a dismissive shake of her head. “What does it matter? They wanted information on werewolves, or the Whispering Way, or anything else that would be helpful. I mean, we all knew the Way had come to the Lodge, but no one knew why… maybe they like to take in the occasional fox hunt, right?” The little Halfling shifted on her pillow, blindly reaching for her wine glass.
“The morning was boring, as expected. Some noble woman, a Marquise maybe, made her presence known, but I wasn’t impressed. The little weirdo Blodwin gave some traveler the grim details about his dead partner near Opava, too; I’d say it was too much detail, really… especially when I’m eating. Once everyone was satisfied, we split up to see what we could find.
“I asked around, playing the part, you know? I found some woman working in the laundry… her little hellions running around like animals. She had a soft-spot for little girls, I guess, because she told me about Estovian’s office above the library. After a few hours, I met with the rest in a private room and we discussed what we’d found: Blodwin received a warning while he was asleep, Arlad and Stefan found a journal about some moon temple, inside of which was a reference to another book upstairs, and Cy… well, I think Cy mostly just walked around.”
Corrine pauses to watch 3 lithe elves, covered in honey and bruises, get tackled by another into a pile of pillows and flesh. With a grin, she finally says “anyways, we discussed the possibility of my sneaking into the office, or maybe Blodwin walking through the wall, but eventually those honor-bound fools decided to simply ask Estovian for his special book. It turned out to be about some Desnian artifact which none of us know anything about. Estovian seemed very unhappy about the note, but he was a good sport.”
“Things went poorly after that,” she says with a slight frown. “We were discussing the findings when a little girl ran into the room, wailing and screaming about a spider. I followed Arlad to see what had wrecked this girl’s mind, and what we found almost wrecked mine, as well: a spider the size of 4 wagons. It’s a little confusing, how it all happened… I sneaked forward, and then Arlad came crashing in behind me. I saw Cy run outside, and then Blodwin ran in carrying spears from the hall. Stefan was wearing nothing but robes and was obviously hesitant to charge this monstrosity. I was the only one both armed and armored.
“I made my way near the spider, crouched beneath a table. There was no obvious movement from anyone else, so I eventually took my chance… I put my silvered dagger through the tough hide and tried to open the beast. The retaliation was fierce, leaving me wounded and poisoned, barely able to lift my arms. I tried to tumble away as I have so many times before, but the spider was prepared and I was pinned by the monster’s fangs.”
Corrine stared into her wine for a few seconds, quietly swirling her drink. “Like I said, what does it matter? What’s done is done… but I do hope that they find what they were looking for.” She nodded as though it settled the whole matter, then turned to one side and gave her pillow a light slap on the thigh before standing up, giving no care to the wine she spilled in the process. Her pillow laughed and rolled over, stretching seductively, then began to crawl away on his hands and knees.
Calistira’s domain was a feast, and Corrine was eager to taste everything.
Quick DM recap for the part of the adventure seen only by those who lived
The aftermath of the attack of the spider was a mess of accusations and weak excuses. While Delgros the Huntsmaster aided in the combat and was deeply remorseful, he was berated by Estovion the Lodge Master for not securing his beasts, for the giant tarantula was one of the penned creatures Delgros kept around to sell as hunting quarries. Estovion went on to say the attack was the work of Paucy Troabs, the simpleminded groundskeper who has a crush on Madame Ivanja and he was seeking to drive everyone out of the lodge so he could have some alone time with the courtesan.
Stephan did determine that Estovion was the only clearly nefarious character in the bunch, which lead to further suspicions. Delgros added what limited knowledge he had on the werewolves of the forest: they are in 5 tribes but have a single packlord over the whole of the Shudderwoods. That packlord had been Kalvaca Sain, but she was killed in the past week. While the tradition has been for the one who killed the packlord to eat the heart of the former lord and gain his or her power and authority, something has gone wrong in that process and the tribes are unable to choose a new packlord… hence the coming civil war.