I ran a fun, yet short Hangouts session this past weekend with a couple of buddies from my gaming group. It was short notice, so I opted for a nice one-shot in Tim Shorts’ Manor #6 – The Witches of the Dark Moon. After reading it, I figured two players could handle it if they were about 5th level, so I had them roll Swords & Wizardry pregens with 26k XP each. Thus Artinis the 5th level mage and Garf the 5th level fighter were born.
[WARNING: Spoliers ahead]
The adventure starts with the party investigating the disappearance and murder of several local children, near a ruin, the Old Hill Fort. Rumors have it that a witch coven is inhabiting the ruins and is responsible for the children’s deaths.
After investigating an out-building at the site of the ruins, and finding a trap door set in the ground, Artinis and Garf opened the trapdoor and went down a set of earthen stairs, where they surprised a large gentleman in a cavern, cooking dinner over a cauldron for two caged children. Artinis used a sleep spell to make short work of the guard (thankfully putting the two children to sleep as well). After waking the children and sending them home, they woke and questioned the guard, named Hurga, but suffered some bad reaction rolls and ended up killing him after he clammed up.
This is where things get interesting – Garf found a hidden door at the back of the cave, and the duo entered another cave that was lit, apart from a floor-to-ceiling cylinder of absolute blackness. Garf stayed back with a bow at the ready, while Artinis approached and cast continual light, dispelling the magical darkness but exposing a large, 4-foot spider who was none too happy at losing his dark hideaway. Garf nicked the spider with an arrow, while Artinis held back, thinking Garf could handle a mere spider… little did they know this was a spider capable of casting web and hold person at will. He webbed Artinis, then advanced on Garf, who missed him and himself suffered a vicious bite. Artinis watched helplessly as the spider then cast hold person on Garf, who failed his save, and I marveled at the fastest TPK I have ever seen.