After the party finished dispatching the beast-men, Ongowasgone and Stellatus circled thehill and climbed to the standing stones. The elf spotted movement among the menhir: another beast-man. Ongowasgone fired an arrow and struck the creature in its side. It belllowed in pain and ran for one of the rocks. As it moved, it seemed to “fade to gray” and disappear. Stellatus caught site of movement on the next hill. It was the same creature –arrow and all– that had somehow traversed the distance in a matter of moments. The beast-man ran out of sight around the slope.
The debated giving chase, but decided it would take too much time. Inspecting the circle, they saw that the dark stones were not like the rocks in the area. They also saw that the creatures had slaughtered a goat in the center of the circle. The animal was staked out on its back, flayed, and its entrails spread out around the carcass.
Convinced that the grisly scene portended some bad mojo, the party decided to get a move on. Judah easily spotted the tower a few miles to the east, and the group laid a false trail south for a short distance before turning toward their goal.
They reached the tower by late afternoon and observed it for signs of activity. Seeing none, Ongowasgone crept closer, using the scrub to hide his approach. Sendaros circled the hill at its base to get the lay of the land. He spotted a few shacks down by a river a few hundred yards away. He saw no sign of life there either.
FInally, Judah and Ralf the footman made a frontal approach. The doorway was open and all was dark inside. Judah rapped sharply on the doorframe with his mace to announce his presence, but there was no response.
The group all gathered at the entrance to take a look. The doors were off their hinges, but looked more or less intact lying on the floor. The chamber within was dark, but some light came through the opening. There was dirt and leaves on the floor, but Ongowasgone could make out a pattern with his dark sight. The floor contained a large mosaic in the form of a spider and it web!
The group tried to think of any historical or religious significance to the symbol, but couldn’t recall any (other than creepiness). Judah entered the room and headed up the stone stairs to check the next level. It appeared to have been a barracks, with a few bare and badly weathered cots lying about. The floor boards appeared to have rotted in places, so he was cautious in finding safe spots to tread. There was also a ladder going up to a trapdoor (the roof). While atop the battlements, the elf spotted what looked like riders a few miles distant, they did not appear to be heading toward the tower.
Ongowasgone checked the ladder and roof while Stellatus inspected the mosaic. It was tightly mortared black stone set into the gray floor. He also found a trapdoor leading down to a cellar. The group left Ralf on the roof to keep watch and Ongowasgone went down to the cellar to look around. Sendaros considered whether he had enough daylight left for a walk down to the fishing shacks and back as Judah muscled the fallen doors into place. He even managed to set the hinges with spikes as pins. There was also a sturdy beam that could be used to bar the doors shut.
Stellatus was partway up the steps when he heard a sound like shifting sand from the main floor. Turning he saw the spider mosaic “sliding” up out of the floor and becoming three dimensional! Shouting an oath, he fired his crossbow at the monster as it closed with the unsuspecting Judah. The warrior was badly bitten but his armor took the brunt of it. Sendaros readied a spell and even Ongowasgone downstairs heard the shout. The battle was joined.
Judah landed several powerful blows with his mace and dodged its webs. Sendaros stunned it with his lightning magic. The creature still managed to inject Judah with its venom, weakening him badly. But before the spider could finish the young warrior, Ongowasgone finished the beast off with a well-placed arrow. The spider curled up on it back and sunk back into the stones- now showing a very different looking mosaic: a curled-up, dead spider on a web.
After binding Judah’s wounds, the group then tried to decide the best place in the tower to spend the night, in case the creature somehow returned- or if something else showed up.