The Roleplaying Diaries of Bryan Stephens
Once a prosperous trading town, Jambis was all but abandoned since Baron Telus’s curse claimed their leader and destroyed their economy. Some of the population traveled north to Moost or Voinum, while others resettled to the south to form New Towne. Since the killing of the cursed creature that used to be the Baron by the heroes of Stachys, the settlers from new Towne have returned to reclaim the area and rebuild with support from Stacheys. It will be some time before Jambis is recovered, however, there is some joy in the hearts of the people not known for years.
Three old women knocked on the estate’s grand doors one stormy night a decade ago and asked for shelter from the driving rain. Araig ordered them to find an inn before slamming the door, unaware that the trio was the Sisters of Indulgent Dreams—a coven of night hags in service to Duke Lotheed and the Immaculate Circle— on their way to the Palace of Birdsong. The coven burst through the doors and declared that Baron Telus should have a form to match his verminous, lowly soul before disappearing back into the night. Araig thought little of the incident, unaware that the old women were anything but what they appeared, but over the coming weeks he grew increasingly disturbed: hiding in corners, chewing at insects, and becoming obsessed with weaving. Those servants who could left, and those who could not did everything they could to appease their increasingly eccentric master. After a year, Araig’s skin began to slough off, revealing, bruised, stubbly flesh and claws beneath, beginning his transformation from handsome human baron into a prince of spiders.
With the largely modular, independent nature of local rules and the death of Allis Betony—Araig’s only attending lord—no one in the county beyond his servants realized what Baron Telus had become. Even the citizens of Jambis knew only that their lord became some sort of monster after crossing a witch—and having heard the tale second- or thirdhand, most of them believed it to be but an allegory describing a man losing his sanity.
The remainder of Baron Telus’s servants became bandits, robbing traffic on the nearby Cassomir and Ridonport highways to find enough gold and flesh to sate their lord’s dual hungers. Despite his transformation—or perhaps more so because of it—they remained loyal to the monstrous baron. They saw themselves as the keepers of a terrible secret and throw captives to Araig with a mingled sense of dread and obligation. The Lords of Stachys disagreed and had them put to death after a trial.