Observations of the Menanki, first excursion by The Unnamed.
Upon descending into the entry room, we were presented a choice. Rona, our Ranger, discovered tracks that indicated a heavier amount of foot traffic going down the hallway to the left. Since our mission was to hunt down a creature that attacked and killed several members of the Greencloaks this was a good indication as to the direction they had been investigating. This path led into a large room with some sort of light source in the center.
Note: As we progressed through the ruins we were mostly led forward by the more impulsive members of our group, and so any side-passages not explored are not due to any noted danger or obstruction except where otherwise noted. Those on a less urgent mission I would encourage to take the time to fill out the gaps our initial investigation left.
Since the tracks led on through the southeastern doorway we headed in that direction. It was here that our investigation of the room was interrupted by Rona’s dog detecting movement from the eastern passage. Thrognar rushed forward to intercept the creatures but was unable to avoid the bear trap set just inside the next room. We fought many of these small, spear-wielding creatures as well as one that was capable of using magic. The magic-user was killed as well as several of the other creatures but quite a few escaped into the southern passageways. Keep alert on further excursions to this section of the ruins as they may reclaim these rooms and/or set up more traps. There is also a lack of lighting within these areas, so torches or other sources would be recommended.
We then progressed through the eastern door of the dark room and into a large room that stretched from north to south with multiple exits along each of the walls. The contraption in the center of this room invites further investigation, as we were unable to discern its purpose. The northeastern wall was blocked by rubble, but we were able to clear it and within found a strange statue of some sort, on which was a set of very fine looking leather armor. It was decided that Rona would gain the most benefit from this armor, but for some reason our headstrong warrior took a dislike to the set.
The barred gate to the north became the focus of several of our party members. The druid eventually used his powers to transform into a mouse a squeeze through the gap, then a few minutes later the gate opened. It seemed he had discovered a lever on the other side, past a bridge over an underground river, that opens the door. This lever only keeps the door open as long as it is held, however. Some way to jam the door open or lock the lever in place might be a good priority just to facilitate travel through this section without the use of transformative magics.
A narrow passageway to the west led to a large room covered with spider webs. Dangling from the ceiling were many humanoid figures, some of which were quite still and some of which were moving and making noises. We cut down those we determined were still alive, and once this was done Rona and myself continued on down the western passageway as her dog had become quite agitated from something in this direction. Going south at the intersection led us to a room with a pile of skeletons to one side, the other side blocked off by some bars several feet high. Behind these bars were about a dozen injured and mangled creatures. It seems as if these spiders have some sort of intelligence, keeping living beings down here and crippling them so they are unable to escape while then feeding upon their blood for nourishment. According to a halfling we healed back to some sort of stability the leader of these spiders is further to the north. Those who were back in the earlier room hanging from the ceiling are used as hosts for her young, and in fact a few of those we cut down were already badly infested and so some of our party took it upon themselves to dispose of them rather than attempting to help the situation medically.
It was at this point that we decided to return to the exit. We had several injured that we needed to return to the surface for proper medical care, and most of us were ourselves injured in some capacity. On our way out the remaining bodies as well as the webs were burned. Any later excursions should investigate to make sure that all of them were destroyed.
Even though many of the creatures trapped in the pen where we found the halfling were gnolls and other such races, they still deserve our assistance. No one should have to go through what these people have endured. I highly recommend the next excursion be centered around saving these people in addition to scouting out the rest of this first area. If this giant spider is indeed the Hyperion we took the job to defeat then I have taken a holy vow to see it destroyed. If it is not the Hyperion then it still cannot be allowed to linger down there. The number of bodies was unsettling to think about, and having some form of malevolent intelligence using us as a farm for its own sustience and reproduction cannot be allowed to continue. I should greatly like to be there when it is destroyed, but even if I am not I will be relieved that it occurred regardless.
Hopefully my sickness will pass soon and I will be able to join in another excursion. Best of luck to you all.
-Renne Dukom, Observer for Our Lady The Light’s Steward Kel-Fa, God of Order
**Scribe's Note: I am writing a note about 'the ranger's armor' and the fact that 'it eats all the light.' The orc refused to leave the room unless I took specific note about this.