Shieldbashers

Queen of the Demonweb Pits

After destroying the multi-verse ending weapon, Timesus, the Shieldbashers chased Orcus to the throne of the Raven Queen where they witnessed her mortal wounding and Orcus’s ascension to Godhood. In an epic battle, the Shieldbasher shattered Orcus’s defenses and beheaded the demon prince.

In an act of ultimate sacrifice, Rosa Moonshadow drew the shard of the abyss from the heart of the Raven Queen, leaving the Goddess of Death mortally wounded but not dead. As the dagger left her heart, Rosa burst into cloud of ash, plummeted deep into the Far Realm, lost for an eternity.
Stepping outside of the Raven Queen’s temple, the Shieldbashers witnesses the arrival of the Chaos Ship of Lolth, the Queen of the Demonweb Pits. It appears the Queen of Spiders herself plans to capitalize on the weakened state of the Raven Queen to take the title as God of Death herself.

Only the Shieldbashers stand in the way.

Lying next to her throne, the Raven Queen’s immortal blood flows onto the stone floor of her dais.

“I have little I can give you for the battle you face ahead, my friends.” Her voice is barely a whisper. “My own forces have been cut down by Orcus’s own army. My power is but a flicker of itself. I cannot return your companion to you, but I can give you her shadow.”

The Raven Queen draws a silhouette upon the ground, the features remarkably like your ranger friend. The drawn figure soon stands up, features sharpening in ebony. You see the form of your companion returned, but looking into her dead eyes, you are clear on one thing. This is not Rosa Moonshadow. She might fire an arrow as true as the sun but the real Rosa lies lost in the swirling madness of the Far Realm.

Rushing outside you see Lolth’s massive chaos ship, a giant iron spider, smashing across the remains of the Raven Queen’s city. Webs stream from the ship, enveloping what remains of the Raven Queen’s army. Using chunks of rock stuck to the acidic webbing, you manage to climb up near the starboard gangway of the chaos ship where a pair of powerful arcane ballista hammer away at the remaining defenses of the Raven Queen’s forces. On your arrival, the ballista turn to you.

As the battle grows quiet, you see the crushed form of one of the Raven Queen’s Sorrowsworn. An arcane bolt pierced it to the hull of the chaos ship, yet the mighty warrior still lives.

“You must stop Lolth. She cannot slay our mistress and become the new God of Death. She would twist the paths of the dead and use it to fuel her own twisted agenda.”

“Her ship entered this plane through a huge rift between the Demonweb and the Shadowfell. The opening of that rift took a great deal of energy. That leaves this ship mostly defenseless. Only the Spider Queen’s high temple and her personal throne room remain protected by a prismatic barrier even you cannot pierce. The engine of this ship must be destroyed before that barrier will fall. Find the engine room and destroy the engine within. Then seek out Lolth’s high temple and her personal chamber in the bow of the ship.

I do not know if any of us possess the power to slay a God, but we must try. Fight well, heroes.”

Stepping into the hull of the chaos ship feels like stepping into another world. The walls are of dark iron carved into intricate patterns of webs. Deep violet crystals illuminate the halls and rooms of the structure, changing the colors of your skin and clothing to deep black, glowing white, and scarlet. The smell of electricity and acidic residue hangs in the cool air.

After dispatching a small group of drow guards, hardly prepared for your infiltration, you find yourself at a stairwell leading down into the lower levels of the ship and a hallway that leads towards the bow and stern. Strange glyphs glow along the walls, a language only known to Lolth’s most trusted followers.

The air grows hotter as you descend down a large staircase and enter the engine room of Lolth’s chaos ship. A massive pillar of energy swirls from the center of the room. It stands on a large block of iron venting green gas. Four pedestals surround the beam. On three of these stand a dark elf sorcerer pouring energy into the column. Beams of red, white, and blue stream from their hands.
Seeing you enter, one shouts to the others in dark elven. They redirect their beams and begin chanting spells.

As the engine collapses, you see a tall figure of gray skin lying naked in the center of the engine’s core. The stubs of wings, clipped off, sit off of his shoulder blades. Turning him, you see eyes of swimming mercury. He is a Solar, one of the most powerful of angels, trapped and channeled for a thousand years to power Lolth’s ship.

Words come to his lips like foreign things. How long has it been since he last spoke. “Thank you. I know not who you are. I know not who I am. I know only one thing. She must die.”

“Yet she is a God, and Gods do not die easy. Your weapons, as powerful as they are, cannot slay her. There is only one thing in this ship that can. My lifeblood. Pierce me through my heart with one of your weapons. Let my life flow into it. Than use this weapon to pierce her and my blood will poison her. She will not be able to discorporate. She will die.”

Looking at the body of the Solar you realize one thing. Slaying this being, no matter what circumstances, will be an unforgivable act you will all carry for the rest of your days.

Charging hard to protect a mortally wounded Raven Queen, the Shieldbashers infiltrate Lolth’s chaos ship, a massive walking spider. After cutting through the outer guards, the Shieldbashers rescue a prisoner within Lolth’s planetary dungeon and then break down the ship’s diabolic engine, a twisted machine drawing energy from a captured Solar. In their darkest act yet, the Shieldbashers pierce through the heart of the Solar in order to coat Envy’s weapon with the Solar’s divine blood, the only substance on the ship capable of actually killing Lolth.

Now the Shieldbashers head to the bow of the ship where they face Lolth’s most loyal worshippers and soon the Queen of Spiders herself!

The prismatic shield down, you kick open the doors to the Court of Lolth. For ten thousand years worshippers of the Demon Queen only dreamed of stepping foot into this unholiest of sanctuaries. Garish onyx statues leer down from the curved walls, eyes illuminated with violet gems.

On a platform ahead stands Eclavdra, High Priestess of Lolth, dressed in but whispers of black satin and silk webbing. She stands in front of a dark altar radiating necrotic energy. Four dozen of Lolth’s devout stand with her. A swirling rod of tentacles sits comfortably in her hand.

The high priestess of Lolth’s voice commands over her servants.

“Slay them and feed their souls to the altar of our queen!”

Lolth’s most loyal followers answer the call.

The massive black doors open into Lolth’s personal throne room. A huge glass wall gives her a panoramic view of the destruction of Orcus’s assault on Letherna and her own attack. You see the Raven Queen’s temples surrounded in the acidic webbing of Lolth’s arachnid chaos ship.

Four portals along the walls open to other worlds. One of them reveals the icy plane of the Iron Wastes. Another opens to the swamps of Abysm. A third shows the endless streaming of the Blood Rift. A fourth opens to what appears to be the eternal webwork of her own plane, the Demonweb.

The Demon Queen of Spiders herself stands on the platform of her throne. Red silk and black webwork adorn her perfect onyx body. All of your bravado falls before her as you realize you stand in front of a God – one who does not like you very much.

“You steal my artifact, break into my home, kill my most loyal servants, and expect to walk out of here alive? Such hubris. But if it is combat you seek, I shall not disappoint.”

The spider queen’s huge bloated body falls to the floor of her temple. With a terrible cracking and shifting, the body reforms into her beautiful dark elf form. She stands with great difficulty, her many wounds marring her otherwise perfect body.

“I have heard of the power of the Shieldbashers but I never guessed at how powerful it truly was. You are indeed the mightiest of heroes.”

“You could slay me with a single stroke of that glaive, I have no doubt. Perhaps you might mount my head on your wall. But I can give you something greater. What good is one head when I can lead you to many.”

Lolth points to the portals around her chamber. In each you see the shifting forms of abyssal layers.

“Grazz’t, Demogorgon, Baphomet, Kostchtchie, Dagon. I can give them all to you. You might fight for a thousand years to find them buried in their worlds, but I can get you right to them.”

“Further, I can do what the Raven Queen cannot. I can help you recover your ally, Rosa Moonshadow. I know where she is and I know how to get her back. It will not be easy, but it will be far easier with my help than if you trek into the Far Realm yourselves.”

“In return, my demands are simple. Let me return to the Demonweb where I shall stay for one thousand years. All will know of my defeat. It will take me nearly that long to get back the power you have taken from me. I will never threaten the Raven Queen again.”

“And one last thing, you may still have your trophy.”

Lolth draws up a large gem in the shape of a spider with a dagger pierced through it’s body. The power of this artifact is breathtaking.

“Kill me and you have none of this. No pathways to the demon princes, no guide to return your companion, and no Crystal of Ebon Flame.”

“The choice is yours. Ask yourself what use I am to you dead instead of in service to you alive.”

The party chooses to keep Lolth alive.

“You have chosen wisely, friends. I will return to the Demonweb. This chamber is now yours, for I have not the power to return it to my realm. These portals will remain active and my image can return here to shift them to the lairs of the demon princes you choose to hunt.”

“I will not delay you any longer.” The demon queen smiles. Her image shifts and bursts into strands of shadow. In her place sits the onyx spider artifact, the Crystal of Ebon Flame.

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