22th of Abadius, 4712AR
Today we headed back south continuing to map the stolen lands. We were making our way through the plains when we noticed that the snow was pock mark by a number of shallow indents each about three inches across. Mitchel got off to take a look at one and noticed Geronimo II licking his paws. His feet and the feet of all of our horses were dragging small, thin, sticky, white strings. Mitchel gathered that the string and pocks were from a large spider. “These are the tracks and silk from a large pony sized spider.”
He got back on his horse and continued to explain, “Reminds me a small pony I had as a child. My little pony Lily Blossom , oh how I miss you so.” Just as he said this a patch of snow and dirt flipped up like a door in the ground and a monstrous spider charged towards us. Sinking its fangs into Schmidtaki’s horse before jumping back into its hole and closing the top. Mitchel sent Geronimo II towards the trap door as we calmed our horses. Geronimo waited and batted at spider as it popped in and out of its lair. The rest of us timed our shots to when the trap door opened. Chet held the horses keeping them from running off. Mitchel set fire to the top of the trap door with an alchemist fire. He was hoping to burn through the door, but it did nothing to deter the spiders attacks. Having trouble attacking the spider at range. Schmidtaki got off his horse and standing next to the hole, katana drawn. Stabbing the beast as it attacked, the door closed one last time and we heard a thump from underneath the snow.
We waited a moment listening for activity from within, once we were satisfied it was safe we took the cover off the hole. Peering into the dark hole and Juicedice began, " Only one way to get to the bottom of this." He then hopped into the darkness, landing with a thud. "Oww, that was a little deeper than i thought. At the bottom Schmidtaki found a number of dedicated animals and a dead bandit. Schmidtaki quickly began to strip and search the corpse. Finding another stag headed amulet, a short sword, and set of leather armor. Then taking off the dead man’s boots, a scrap of paper fell out of the left one. The parchment bears a simple drawing of a claw-shaped dead tree atop an otherwise barren hill, with an “X” in blood scrawled by the tree’s roots.
Climbing out of the hole with great ease, Schmidtaki emerged to join us. We will be now be on the look out for this strange tree.