The city of Caulderon is the mythic flying city. Once a magnificent city on a cliff, it was saved from being lost to the sea by being lifted by alchemical means. It was filled with impossibly tall shining spires standing above golden domes. The sunlight striking it is said to blind those who come to invade the city. The people lived in this magnificent city in health, wealth, and safety. They rode Griffons and created all sorts of creature. Caulderon was known for its magic, its alchemy. In the old tongue, the word Caulder means alchemey, from the word Cauldron. It is from their alchemey that their great wealth and comfort is derieved.
Legends (and Elven History) states that the floating city would visit The Lands once every few years, blown by the winds. They would trade for things and sell their magikal goods. After a year or so, their cities would be be blown to other places. It has been over four hundred years since any credible source has seen the floating cities. It is the thing of legends.
Then why has one been seen over the Land?
These rare, fist-sized spiders do not make webs, but rather excrete secretions which harden upon contact with air. These "droppings" resemble barley-sized spider eggs, or even lustrous pearls, once the slime coating them, dries up. In fact, dried Pearl Spider "drops" are indistinguishable from the marine varieties produced by mollusks, and hence of identical value on the open market!
Several centuries ago, they were studied by naturalists, and several observations were made. Firstly, was that these spiders "lay" these pearls for no apparent or discernible "natural" reason, and secondly, the naturalists had discovered that the more these spiders ate or were fed--and they were true omnivores--the larger the spider pearls came out.
A cottage industry began. Enterprising merchants hunted and collected these creatures across the lands, erecting spider-farms for the manufacture of Spider Pearls. It wasn't long before someone got the idea to force-feed the spiders, ala foie gras geese, and soon, the fattened spiders began pooping out pearls of great size! (relatively speaking). The regular pearl market came to disarray, and prices and value fluctuated wildly.
[b]Plothook[/b] The Mermen Mercantile Alliance hires the party to eradicate all terrestrial Pearl Spider Farms!