The plans were laid.
It was a bright sunny day in the Island City of NuJel’m. A light breeze blowing in off of the ocean cooled the city streets as it passed through with the promise of an end to the Summer’s heat as Fall approached. The prosperous merchants and the well to do dressed in their finery proceeded with stately paces going about their business on the eastern side of the town while their servants scurried home at the end of a long tiring day to their hovels on the western side of the island.
It was time.
In the Palace, a feast was spread for the noble family as they met at the end of the day to plan the upcoming Harvest Festival for the citizens of the Island. Of course, “Citizens” meant those of stature and wealth and not the lowly servants who would instead labor for the Festival.
A team of servants was assigned to scrub the Chess Board to prepare for the Festival Match in which the Lord of NuJel’m would accept a challenger from amongst the assembled Nobles to play with Imprisoned Debtors as their playing pieces – each piece to fight for the tile their Lord moved them to – to win their freedom as their Lord won the game, or die fighting for a single white or green square.
The Palace Scribes were busy meticulously preparing the invitations to the festival and the Court Chef was reviewing the orders for the wine and exotic foods that would be required.
As the late afternoon sun began to fall towards sunset, a shadow appeared to separate from the shadows cast by the walls of the Inn and began to drift slowly towards the palace. Engrossed in his plans, the Lord of NuJel’m never noticed the passing of the Shadow. The Chef in his kitchen felt a chill of a cold breath on his neck and then it was gone. The Head Scribe tried to suppress the shudder that shook his hands causing the golden ink to spill across the embossed invitations. His master would not be happy.
As the last rays of daylight shone upon the Palace, the shadowy figure crept into the Gardens and began to chant words of power “Kal Xen In Ex An Sanct” “Kal Xen In Ex An Sanct” “Kan Xen In Ex An Sanct”.
At the Shadow’s feet, the earth began writhe and shake as the words of power took effect. The green grass of the Garden began to subside and a sink-hole formed. Darker than the approaching night, the hole grew in both depth and size for a few minutes and then a sudden silence settled in. The Shadowy figure smiled. From within the hole burst forth a giant spider, followed by more and more. Soon the Garden was over-run and the Palace itself was at risk.
The Head Scribe was just returning with more parchment when the spiders burst into the library. Scribes are generally not the warrior type so they quickly fell to be webbed into cocoons for the Spider’s feast. The Court Chef heard the screams and knew that help was needed. He fearfully ran across the palace to notify the Lord of NuJel’m. The Lord’s family was quickly evacuated and a call for aid was sent to any who might heed the call.
After the Palace was overrun, the spiders settled upon an unsuspecting city, pouncing on citizens and ensnaring them in webs to be dragged off to their lair. The Shadowy figure watched the carnage and knew it was time to move. Reentering the Palace, the Shadow crept through the empty palace to the northern chambers and searched through the Lord’s Chamber removing a few very valuable items. A Gem-Encrusted Map of the Island and the Lord’s Journal quickly disappeared into the depths of the Shadow. Proceeding downstairs into the Vault, the shadow removed The Lord’s crown, the Scepter of the Island and the Lady’s Jeweled Necklace from their protective case and they too vanished into the shadows. Returning to the sink hole, the shadow dropped into the depths and made his escape.