Giant Spiders

…with the Sithe hand having taken a barge under cover of darkness, Uther and Inquisitor Raphael are left free to cut down the two hapless Templar knight corpses left hanging from nooses made of thick strong spiders web. They quickly decide to divide their resources with Uther offering to carry the dead bodies back to the Tarraby household for identification.

The Inquisitor makes his way on the riverbanks following the course of the local river towards the Solway Firth. Occasionally he marks the route so that Uther can pick up his trail once his errand is complete. After two days of travel he stumbles across a deserted village. Tethering his horses, he circles the village from the relative safety of the woodland noting the eerie silence and lifelessness of the settlement. Advancing into the village he finds several dead bodies and the same webbing used to hang the Templars found previously. Continuing more cautiously the Inquisitor makes camp alone in darkness that night. In the dead of night, he is awoken by a terrible unearthly stench and detects movement directly in front of his bedroll. In the moonlight, he spies an enormous spider. Carefully and quietly, Raphael begins to stealthily creep towards the safety of his two horses but as he does so he is struck in the back by a dagger like pincer, which injects a freezing venom into his veins. Falling quickly into a troubled sleep Raphael loses all track of time.

He dreams of a hideous demonic creature with a vaguely human face though deformed and stretched. The hybrid demonic spider has multiple black eyes and an impossibly adamantite body, as well as vicious, lethal pincers like scimitars shaped into muscular, legs. In his dreams, Inquisitor Raphael imagines himself offered as a sacrificial lamb to the demonic creature and awakens, terrified to find that the waking world offers very little improvement.

Raphael is suspended high in a treetop cocooned in thick, nylon-like spider webbing. He is surrounded by other individuals, some clearly already dead given their ashen visage ranging from peasants taken from the local village to Templars, Priests and Warriors.

The Inquisitor desperately attempts to test his tough webbing prison but is unable to get any kind of leverage capable of cutting through the wiry tether. Even his hook blade is unable to release in the thick bindings. In desperation he begins to bounce on the tree branch on which he is balanced but succeeds only in gaining the attention of 3 giant spiders emerging from the cave opening situated in the hillside overlooking the trees. Looking towards the cave he senses an eerie, evil presence from within.

Just then he notices movement beneath the trees. Looking below he sees Uther emerge, albeit in his traveling cloak rather than his usual armour. Scrambling up the tree, the Templar shows surprising skill and grace to reach the captives but finds that Raphael is the only one still alive. He cuts through the thick bindings and the two make good their escape until Uther falls the final few feet as he is descending from the tree. With the spiders now alerted the two try to escape to the relative safety of the horses left behind by Uther. The Inquisitor sprints ahead and reaches the horses with one spider hot on his heels. He is able to break free before the spider arrives although the spare mount is crippled by the spider as it attempts to follow. Uther is not so fortunate being surrounded by the other 2 giant spiders, as he is unable to keep pace with the astonishing speed of Inquisitor Raphael.

The Inquisitor once again tethers his mount and steals back towards where Uther is now surrounded on both sides by two giant spiders and one waiting in the wings. In desperation the Templar lunges at the first before reversing his blade to catch the other as it attacks from behind. Catching both he presses his attack, smashing first one and then both of the spiders back in a flurry of successful attacks.

With Uther successfully fending off two spiders, Raphael is able to use his deadly stealth attack, stabbing the giant creature deep into one of its muscular legs. Lashing out at Raphael, the Inquisitor is struck but this time is able to stave off the impending effects of poison. Launching his now signature cartwheel and hook blade strike the assassin catches the creature a ripping blow to the carapace surrounding the creature’s head. In agony and stumbling on a severely damaged leg, the giant spider begins to back away. Seizing his opportunity, the Inquisitor slashes once and then twice with his sgian dubh whilst avoiding the retaliatory strike of the spider. The second blow severs the injured leg with the creature collapsing on itself; the weight of its body unable to support the engorged, swollen abdomen. Raphael quickly finishes off the spider before running to aid Uther although unbelievably the Templar is in the process of removing his longsword from the leaking mess of the last remaining spider.

Not wishing to attract any further attention the two set off together on their one remaining mount and reclaim Uther’s discarded army. Quietly they reach the riverside in the early morning light and exhausted, collapse, attempting to make sense of the events from the last 48hrs.

Giant Spiders

Albion Andrew_Brereton iwilliamson