In the halls of Morgrave University and young male gnome with a a growing reputation, Rathantweed, has uncovered some clues to the whereabouts of an unusual giant who used psionic magics heavily. The giant Konorak is thought to have been instrumental in creating many of the weapons used in the war against the Quori.
His research has drawn the attention of kalashtar informants in Sharn, and so seeing promise in his work a wealthy contact funded an expedition to the forests of Xen’drik, hiring the kalashtar Balakar and the drow Jarlaxle as guides/guards.
Rathantweed and his associate a telepath Zedanya took an airship to Stormreach, and wen tot the hostel Silvered Jack to meet their contacts.
Jarlaxle and Balakar both disguised themselves as humans and scoped the meeting out. Seeing nothing obvious they went to meet Rath and Zed. They were surprised to discover that Rath had hired a House Deneith blademark as an additional bodyguard.
Unperturbed by the addition the five set off into the forest. Rath and Zed (both experienced adventurers) held their own well, Seth however did not. Jarlaxle managed to steer mostly safely through the trip, neatly bypassing a stirge nest without waking the beasts. Here Seth showed his abilities and glided silently through the nest.
Nine days into the journey they found the outpost. Using an elf door (while negotiating the arcane lock and trap), the group found the first level of the tower strangely clean polished. Jarlaxle and Balakar scouted up to the second level securing a safety rope, at first glance the second floor was a ruin so the two abandoned it.
Returning to the first floor that allowed Seth, Rath, and Zed to go up, while they located a secret passage below the tower. The passage hidden beneath a worn flagstone was filled with Steel Spider webbing making passage nigh impossible.
Balakar started working his way down using his soul knife to shred the webbing when a cry of pain came from the trio upstairs.
Dashing back to the second floor, Jarlaxle found the trio being attacked by four steel spiders. Seth had lost two fingers on the webbing. Using a small khyber shard to summon a void elemental quickly dispatching three of the beasts. The fourth was dispatched easily once Balakar had joined the battle.
The group made camp for the night, setting a watch to ensure nothing came from the pit. As Jarlaxle stood watch a group of large spiders surrounded the camp. Warning Balakar with a silent light spell, the wraith got into position behind the spiders. Balakar woke and summoned his blade. The leader of the spiders approached and shape-shifted into a goblin-like figure.
Balakar learned they were Aranea, who had inhabited the tower for some time, but were recently chased to the top floors by the dragon below who sent the Steel Spiders up to lay their webbing as trap. While they spoke Jarlaxle slew two the others, but upon approaching the leader was blasted by a wand. The learned informed them that the others were low-caste and wasn’t worried, but advised the group to be gone by nightfall,