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3/26/2006 3:30:21 PM
The Angel Hair Bridge
Location: I put this somewhere east of the map (though of course that is easily changed).
The trail, which normally follows a tortured path through the thick birch tree forest, finally begins to straighten and ahead you see glimpses of sunlight through the tall trees and lush undergrowth.
At long last you step out from the forest and take in the vista before you. The Angel Hair Bridge. A mammoth construction, a bridge made from silvery white shining strands of web that expand the width of the Glacial Run. A canyon so wide that it can be difficult to see the other side. At the point where the Angel Hair Bridge crosses the Glacial Run, the canyon is merely 1000ft in width. You can hear the feint crashing of water from the rapids that rush at enormous speeds from depths deep below.
The Angel Hair Bridge criss-crosses the canyon in many different arcs, forming an ingenious latticework of supports and trusses. The opposite end of the canyon stands higher than side you currently stand on, so the web cascades down towards you in gracious curves of reflected light. Within the tangled array of the web you can see a single path cutting through the web. The path is no more than 10ft wide, its surface is matted with dirt and leaves and is runs in a straight line to the other end of the canyon.
As the wind blows down the canyon, you can hear the web vibrating and tingling with the wind. The sounds that drift from the bridge sound sweet as if an orchestra of harpists’ contently strum away on their instruments.
Geography DC 10: The Glacial Run is a canyon that curves from the Northern Wastes, around the Northern Spines and spills out into the fertile lands in the south. The canyon forms a natural border between the Great Elven forest and the broken lands found in the east. The Angel Hair Bridge is a bridge that has been spun from the web of an enormous spider.
Geography DC 15: The Angel Hair Bridge is the only known crossing of the Glacial Run. While it is possible to scale the mighty walls of the canyon it takes some measure of skill, the bridge however offers an easy way of making the crossing. The spider that has spun the bridge is believed to slumber somewhere within the bridge. Fortunately there certainly has been reports of successful crossings without incident.
Geography DC 20: Passage across the Angel Hair Bridge is a risky affair. While you have heard of no incident of the mammoth spider stirring from its nest. It has many of its own progeny alive and very active. It is generally agreed upon that the safest way of crossing the bridge is to cross during the day and stick to the path. Touching any of the web trusses will almost certainly stir up trouble.
Geography DC 25: The bridge consists of a central thoroughfare that spans the canyon and passes through a tunnel on the east side before exiting in the broken lands to the east. There are however many smaller passages on the bridge itself, as well as a catacomb of tunnels on the east side. It is rumoured that within these passages and catacombs one can find previous victims of the bridges’ denizens wrapped and desiccated within webbed tombs, complete with personal effects. Considering many of these victims will be adventurers it is probably that a literal treasure trove awaits the intrepid adventurer.
Knowledge (History) DC 20 (and knows about the Angel hair Bridge): Two hundred years ago a great comet fell from the heavens into the Glacial Run. From the crater arose a gigantic spider that rampaged through the surrounding area killing all that crossed its past. After three days of butchering elves and other forest inhabitants it retreated back to the canyon where it built the Angel Hair Bridge.
Knowledge (Planar) DC 30 (and knows about the mammoth spider): There was a large disturbance in the heavens a couple of centuries ago. A mammoth guardian was hurled to the earth after failing its duties. The guardian was a colossal celestial spider named Ecclestinthrax. It is believed that this very same guardian is responsible for the Angel Hair Bridge and still resides somewhere within the webbed maze.
Knowledge (Planar) DC 35 (and knows about the mammoth spider): Ecclestinthrax was a guardian forged in the heavens to guard a sacred crypt known as the Tomb of Angels. Ecclestinthrax served faithfully for many years in its high vaulted halls, however in time she grew fat and lazy and would spend years slumbering in the dark recesses of the holy tomb. Of course the negligence of her duties meant that one day the tomb would be broken into her and her sins revealed for all to see. When that time came she was cast from the heavens.
Knowledge (Planar) DC 40 (and knows about the mammoth spider): Ecclestinthrax has a great love of music and can be soothed by such music if played with enough skill.
Knowledge (Religion) DC 30 (and knows the name of the spider): Scholars in various congregations all theorise that there may be some divine purpose to Ecclestinthrax’s presence on the material plane and she was not merely cast from the heavens. There are two popular theories.
1) Some believe that the bridge is destined to be used by the forces of good, to lead a mighty army into the broken lands. Ecclestinthrax was sent to Cavectra to create such a bridge.
2) The Bridge is nothing more than a red herring to sooth and amuse the mighty Ecclestinthrax. Deep in the warrens beneath the great spider lies an evil of unspeakable power that the spider is charged to protect.
Behind the Scenes:
Ecclestinthrax is indeed a celestial spider, however despite it being a celestial creature her alignment has shifted to neutral. In truth the great spider is indeed performing a duty for the gods and ultimately it will return to its good alignment after atoning for it sins, but for the moment the great spider is jaded and very grumpy if roused from its slumber.
As outlined in the descriptions there are all manner of potential dangers on the bridge. This location can be used for two purposes, crossing the bridge iself should be an adventure or alternatively delving into the depths of many of the passages on the bridge or cliff warren also offers much potential adventure. Some typical encounters and dangers are listed below:
Anyone touching a web must make a Reflex Save DC 30* or become attached to the web. This has a game effect of being considered entangled. To escape the web, the victim must succeed at an escape artist check DC 28* or Strength Check DC 32*. The only exception is the main path which is sufficiently covered in debris to make it safe to traverse. There are other smaller paths leading of the main trail, anyone who wishes to travel these paths must have a way of safely walking on the web.
* - The DCs should vary. The numbers listed above is for a freshly created web from Ecclestinthrax. Webs that have been in existance for sometime should have lower DCs, as would webs created by any of her small progeny.
The webs are much tougher than the web of a normal spider. The celestial blood of the spider has made the web much more resilient. The web has a hardness of 10/- and 32 Hps. The web also has Fire Resistance 10
Anyone struggling in a web will draw the attention of any number of smaller spiders. Damaging large amounts of the web will rouse the great spider.
From time to time the Great Spider will choose a mate, so there are many of her progeny living on the bridge. Ecclestinthrax always kills her mate, so it’s possible to find the carcasses of other colossal spiders (normally found inside the cliff warren). She does not however tolerate the presence of her progeny and will kill any that come close to her or disturb her. Thus most of these spiders can be found outside a 200ft radius from her.
Most spider encountered on the bridge are standard web-spinning spiders of size Huge or smaller. (She slays any spider that grows to Gargantuan). Occasionally some of her progeny will also be celestial. These spiders usually leave the nest since they have a good alignment. A celestial spider still living on the bridge may offer some assistance to good aligned creatures trying to cross the bridge.
There are some natural (and unnatural) hazards to be encountered on the bridge. In game terms these should work like traps.
Patch of uncovered web on path: CR 1+plus spiders; mechanical (err natural); location trigger; automatic reset; foot stands on sticky web; one target; Reflex Save DC 15 or become entangled and attract spiders; Search DC 22; Disable Device na (throw something over it)
Swinging web filament: CR 1 + spiders; mechanical (err natural); touch; automatic reset; sticky filament swings through the air; one target; melee touch +5 or become entangled and attract spiders; Search DC 15 (or Spot DC 25 to notice it); Disable Device 15
Spider web across path: Spot DC 20 or walk into web and attract maker of the web
The great spider slumbers 60ft below the bridge, 100ft from the cliff warrens in large hollowed out area inside the bridge. Due to her tremor sense she will automatically detect anyone walking on the bridge above her. She may also sense intruders touching her web or on the footpath of her web, up to range of 140ft.
She will only arise if either her web is being significantly destroyed or they make significant ‘noise’ within 140ft from her. Eg combat.
Ecclestinthrax; Celestial (modified) Colossal Monstrous Spider; Colossal Magical Beast (Extraplanar); CR 14; HD 32d8+64; Hp 208; Init +2; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft. AC 27 (–8 size, +2 Dex, +24 natural), touch 4, flat-footed 25; BAB/Grp +24/+50; Atk Bite +26 melee (6d6+15 plus poison); FA Bite +26 melee (6d6+15 plus poison); F/R 40 ft./30 ft; SA Poison, web, smite evil; SQ Darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., vermin traits, Damage reduction 10/magic, acid, cold, electricity resistance 10, spell resistance 25, fast healing 10; SV Fort +20, Ref +12, Will +12; Str 31, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 2
Skills and Feats: Climb +16 (+10 str, +8 racial) , Hide +2* (-16 collasal, +2 dex, +4 racial, 10 ranks, +2 feat), Jump +15 (+10 Str, 5 ranks) , Move Silently* +14 (+2 dex, 10 ranks, +2 feat), Spot +14 (+0 wis, +4 racial, 10 ranks)
* +8 when moving through her web
Feats (11): Ability Focus: Web, Improved Natural Armour x5, Power Attack, Cleave, Stealthy, Improved Natural Attack: Bite, Iron Will
Smite Evil (Su): Once per day a celestial creature can make a normal melee attack to deal +20 damage against an evil foe.
Poison (Ex): A monstrous spider has a poisonous bite. Fort Save DC 28, Primary damage 2d8 Str, Secondary damage 2d8 Str
Web (Ex): At will - Ecclestinthrax has a better than usual web attack, it can hurl its web as a net with range increment of 60ft up to 10 range increments. An entangled creature can escape with a successful Escape Artist check DC 30 or burst it with a Strength check. DC 34. The web has damage reduction 10/-, Fire Resistance 10 and 32 HP
Tremorsense (Ex): A monstrous spider can detect and pinpoint any creature or object within 60 feet in contact with the ground, or within any range in contact with the spider’s webs.
Fast Healing (Ex): Ecclestinthrax has fast healing 10
Weakness (Ex): Ecclestinthrax has a –4 saving throw against music based attacks
Note: Because celestial creatures gain intelligence, Ecclestinthrax has skills and feats but loses its mindless ability. (and is thus affected by mind affecting spells)
This post last edited on 4/6/2006 7:16:59 AM
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