"Ugh, I'd expect you to do the same." Quickly grabbing Conney and disarming her, carrying her in ghosted limbs and tying her arms and legs with a spare bit of rope. Treating what wounds she could see quickly and easily, she wondered what to do with her involving the poison.
Cecilia carried her in arms, and decided to ask, "Does someone care to suck the poison out or have a better idea?"
Her voice basically saying that if anyone thought this was a wise idea, would be sorely mistaken.
Getting ready to run to help the others, ghosted legs stretched out a bit from her waist.
Grabbing the spider's leg didn't go quite as he had hoped - he got flung as if he were a toddler. Strong, is it? We'll see. Placing himself up onto his feet, Stonefuse heard someone shout out to him.
"Stonefuse! I need your help here!"
Looking around, he noticed Faunra standing next to a humongous tree, waving her hands over her head so he'd notice. On his way towards her, wasting no time, Faunra shouted her plan to him, pointing at the tree - Ram the spider with this tree! Reaching Faunra, Stonefuse noticed that the tree had an X mark on it; glancing behind himself made the plan clear - break the tree there and it'll fall onto the spider. Simple enough.
A single blow was all it took. Splinters flying about, the tree let out a rasping noise as it started to fall. Standing there and looking at the tree, Stonefuse forgot to actually move away from it, and the realization that he'll be restrained down too came too late. Pinned down, he could only hope that the spider had no more luck.
A single large tree across its waist restricted movement by pinning the spider to its stomach. by The spider hissed, shaking and bucking, trying to free itself. It jabbed outwards with its legs furiously, before finally giving in. It sat there for a few moments, glaring at the climbers, before it started tapping the ground. It simply tapped the ground with a leg, never taking its eyes off the climbers.
Atticus gladly let Cecilia's ghost limbs carry Conney. He'd rather not risk her waking up anywhere next to him. Atticus couldn't wrap his head around it, what was with this forest? Levels had their differences and their own oddities, but these things were kinda pushing it for Attics. How did anyone take a step in Abzerosa without having their leg poisoned, tore off, set on fire, and then thrown off a cliff? He readied himself for a run.
"Hopefully Conney was just acting loopy from that spider bite and nothing happened to the otehrs." He said, picking up his pace.
Meanwhile, within the bog, tiny ripples shot across the water. A methodical tapping slightly shook the ground, almost unnoticeable.
Faunra watched as the giant beast became pinned. For a brief moment, she thought that was it and she was thrilled. then the beast started tapping its leg on the ground in rapid succession.
"I don't know what it's trying to do, but i would rather not find out. Unless any of you think you can coup de grace the giant spider, I think it best we move; now." She said, grabbing her gear and what parts of the moose she could carry - she had promised the creature they would use all they could; she took such promises very seriously. She started in the direction the others had gone, confident she could track them quickly as long as the spider wasn't on their heels.
Now that the immediate danger had passed, it took all of her strength of will not to say 'nothing is attracted by the scent of dead moose Faunra, your just crazy.'
"Damned beast..." Caedis spit at the monster's direction, regardless on whether or not the pinned beast would be able to move its way free from the debris that halted its movement. But those chances looked rather slim. The gigantic spider had come out of nowhere, attacked their group, and even most of their conventional weapons hardly harmed the beast.
"I don't know what it's trying to do, but i would rather not find out. Unless any of you think you can coup de grace the giant spider, I think it best we move; now."
Faunra spoke out and it was her that gave her that grave look when her arrows merely scratched the creature. Now she brought up a nervous feeling at the gut of Caedis' stomach. The spider was defeated but was still alive and moved its bits in an attempt to get out. Even with that it just stopped and stared at them. Caedis tried not to look straight at the monster's many eyes.
"Well if we don't kill it, chances are this thing isn't going to sleep until it kills us." Caedis said aloud. "Unless we collapse another tree on that thing's head, conventional arms are not going to kill it. Magic might do the trick though..."
Yes let's make our way back to the others. Of course Prail still had things to ask and she took her time so she probably had a lot of questions.
She had some flyers help with the heavy lifting to ease the others.
The effects of the spider bite were fairly interesting, and she'd like an opportunity to compare their venoms when she could.
She raised her head looking up into the tree tops. She could probably bring one or two down with a few good thagomizer swings.
Ramirez stood dazed from the pitched fight. He recovered quickly, emerging from the snow before his comrades, and the massive entity they had trapped there.
Ramirez didn't speak. He didn't move. His eyes were fixed on the beast pressed against the forest floor. He saw gargantuan hairy legs, a face of shining blue eyes and daggers of black pincers. That it had ambushed the group, and moved with such stealth would be fearsome indeed. In it's prone state there was a rustling of many long legs shifting angrily; a large shape clawing it's way from beneath the timber in the misty, cool hollow. He summoned his courage and slowly inched closer to it, until feet away, towering above him, it grew still.
"Creature!" He exclaimed. "Do you speak!?"
The spider stopped tapping for a moment, its leg simply hanging in the air. Ramirez stood there waiting for some form of response and the spider tilted its head. Was this speck giving orders? Another random knight climbing the tower to nowhere was demanding something? The spider slowly took its leg and placed the end of it on Nathan's chest before etching an X onto his armor, where his heart would be. The spider then spat out a bubbling purple liquid only inches away from hitting Nathan, a warning shot. After that, the spider went back to tapping the ground, intensifying it.
The bog shook furiously, vibrations shooting across the water, shaking the trees with much force. The four of them had trouble keeping their balance, and Atticus feel into a pile of cobwebs.
"Okay, what is this? An earthquake?" Atticus said, staring off into the bog. He heard splashing coming from across it and even heavier rustling in the trees. He focus his eyes, a lot of somethings were shooting across the water and swinging through the trees.
A lot of eight legged somethings. Atticus's eyes widened.
Stating the obvious phrase of any well traveled climber, "Run!" Cecilia shouted, grabbing Atticus and yanking him forward. Running full tilt with legs a blur, he would either be dragged or have to start moving on his own.
She was not looking forward to the spiders and venom they used, she was further tempted just to chuck Conney being dead weight at the moment. The part of her the still loved the guild wanted to, the rest of her was busy focusing on getting back to everyone else.
The hostile spray sent the man recoiling bak, recoils back from hostile spray, missing by the barest width, passing before his eyes. He gripped a sword tightly, but the frenzied rush was interrupted by a sudden illumination, all around. For a moment, it was as if the stars in sky had descended through the forest; a swirling constellation of eyes glowing from the faces of predatory animals. The woods had truly come alive- an army brought to bear, a multitude of spiders summoned by the trapped creature's call.
There were yells. He turned gracelessly, pushing off from the ground and running even as the weapon remained in his hands.
Cecilia looked like something was on her mind and considering they'd just killed a monster she didn't really understand so it was now technically down time they should talk.
Moving over to her Prail took some of Conney's weight to help her friend.
She said something in an attempt to make conversation.
The question made Cecilia think, "I honestly don't know, maybe because I'm lonely, or safer in numbers... Either way all I want to do is get out of this forsaken forest."
Her tone appreciated the fact Prail was curious, and of the fact that they were being chased by deadly giant spiders didn't deter a conversation
Prail listened intensely, after all in these places you see monsters all the time they were even becoming a bit routine. But having a person open up to you like this, it sure is something.
Her eyes sharpened and the gas bands vibrated rapidly.
She'd sent back more flyers to try and delay/ attack their pursuer.
She spoke a little more.
Aleister and the others began running back to the Campsite where the other members of their group were, Cecilia and Prail were carrying the knocked out Conney between them; Atticus following alongside. Following behind, they were being chased by a several clusters of spiders, smaller versions of the one that Aleister killed earlier.
Prail began sending out flyers to slow down their pursuers. Occasionally, Aleister would cast a fireball, hoping to catch several of the arachnids in a single blast. Despite running, he was able to maintain a decent level of accuracy, taking out a group of three with each blast. The Campsite soon came into view.
"Look everyone, we're almost there. Seems like the others have had their own spider problem, and that is a big one." Aleister remarked, pointing out the large spider he could see that the other group members were attacking. From the looks of it, they had collapsed a tree on to it, pinning it down, but not a lethal blow. He once again fire another fire spear, hoping to achieve similar results to earlier.
Faunra sighed in relief as the distinctive fire spell of Aleister flew from the forest at the large pinned spider. With their return, her worst problems were solved - she wouldn't need to track them through the forest while escaping whatever effect the giant spider had planned; it was the ideal solution. She even saw Conney in the mess of running compatriots - perfect.
Calling out to them, she tried to let them know that the spider wasn't much of a threat at the moment. "Don't worry; the spider has been stopped, you don't..." her voice died in her throat as she saw small army of spiders appear behind the missing group - They weren't running to help, they were escaping. "... need... to... RUN!" she yelled, pivoting on her feet and making her way in the same direction the others had been headed in.
"I hate you" she muttered to the tower, cursing it for trying to kill them at every turn.
The single word brought him back from his daydreaming. He could not discern the trouble that was upon them, but it would be too late to escape had he tried. Down into the ground below him, as fast as he could without risking releasing the spider, and up out of it, time enough for whatever danger was gleaning them into its grasp to get a hold of him.
And indeed it did. A hoard of spiders around and about, chasing what he could presume was the group. Only a few nearby, noticing him move, did try to stop him as their queen commanded. A queen, or king? He could afford that simple thought - it's not as if the spider bites would affect him, or even penetrate his outer layer. Their webs, however, would be an unwelcome gift.
After his companions Stonefuse went, running alongside the spiders, hoping that they would not be able to stop his charge.
Atticus ran alongside Prail and Cecilia, Atticus cursing under his breath. Atticus was still out of lethal pellets and hadn't found time to find the right chemicals, let alone create more. Aleister was taking out spiders with flaming spears, taking them out in rows of 3, but that still wasn't enough at the rate these things were coming. Was all this really just because...why were these things chasing after them? Are they simply hungry? did Conney wake them up? What the hell is with this forest?!
Atticus picked up the pace, glad to see the rest of the group...who were starting to flee as well. Great. Stonefuse appeared to be running with the movement of the spiders, perhaps planning an attack and trying to hold them back. Atticus finally reached the clearing and took a deep breath, gasping heavily.
"Spiders...a lot....crazy Conney..this fucking forest, man!" He leaned against something hairy,
Wooly he supposed, but then a thought occurred him. Why would he just be standing here in all this chaos. Atticus looked towards the fur, to see the long leg of an even bigger spider than the ones that had been chasing him. He jumped back, watching in horror as a set of spider lifted the tree trunk off it. Glassy, blue eyes glared at Atticus and the spider let out a screech, before it started stabbing at him. Atticus couldn't do anything but dance around, trying not to get stabbed.
"They mostly are linked to my thoughts, like any other limb, just a lot of them." Cecilia was glad for the lighter load and while she didn't feel physically deprived, she still felt mentally aching.
Catching up with the rest of the group and glad to be off, she pointed in the direction they were supposed to go and not to mention away from the spiders, "That way!"
It was unlikely they could evade the spiders forever, but surely the forest would offer some way to stop these things. Heading towards wooly and hoping to sling Conney across him and make a get away charge or something.
Hearing the screech she turned and faced Atticus dodging death, "Idiot!" Feeling split as ever to help either and glad/mad to be in a group, memories of the guild group wracked her mind with memories of death and loss. Splitting her body was an option but that would be foolish, attacking the spider would be brushing death, then combing it. While running away may save many of their skins, the group might frown upon her if she just bolted.
Moving to save Conney from spide based death, she settled with ghosted limbs hurling rocks, snow, anything towards the things eyes.
Caedis didn't have time to eye all of the spiders coming towards them as her instincts kicked in which was to run like hell. She had to duck and weave through bushes and trees in order to further herself from the spiders. She tried not to think what would happen if she stopped and Caedis focused all she could on running. She turned her head and caught a glimpse of Atticus nearly getting impaled by a spider arm. Then Stonefuse running alongside the spiders in an attempt to garner attention to him. It wasn't like they could hurt him with his layer of stone.
Caedis heard Cecilia yell, pointing to a seemingly safe direction. It certainly couldn't be worse than their current situation so Caedis reluctantly followed. She still wasn't sure how extensive Cecilia's knowledge of maps but it was her only given option. Caedis began running in that direction and hopefully a few of the others would as well.
Well Prail didn't have any better ideas.
It felt like ages, like they'd never give up.
They gained a little ground at least, enough that there was a chance they were safe.
Prail needed to catch her breath.
Finally she said something.
It was much a pretty mild noise really. Can't have been anything special.
Aleister continued to hurl fire magic at the increasing number of spiders that came, despite the best efforts of the group; all the while the group was trying to put some distance between them and the spiders. He spotted Atticus dancing randomly in-between the strikes that the larger spider made, in an attempt to impale him on one of its long fury legs.
"That way!" Cecilia called out, pointing into a seemingly random, but hopefully safe direction. As the group began to move, Aleister channelled some fire energy onto his sword, and started taking swipes at the horde of arachnids, in an attempt to try and fend them off.
"Lets just hope you know where your going Cecilia." Aleister remarked in a slightly sarcastic voice, most likely brought on due to their current situation.
The large spider wasn't letting up, it continued trying to stab at Atticus, intensifying the assault. Atticus continued to do the only he could do, dodge. Atticus was all out of lethal ammo, wasted during the assault with the miners. The spider's outer shell was too think, so the Rod couldn't produce a charge powerful enough to stun the spider and he doubted itching powder or sleeping gas would slow it down. He only had three tornado traps left, and as for capsules, there was no way he could melt through its shell, and what would be the point of freezing it? He was pinned down, and it didn't look like he was gonna have a chance to move. The spider suddenly stopped, a barrage of snow, rocks, and other items flying into it's eyes. The barrage didn't really harm the spider, but it was enough to confuse it for a moment.
"Finally!" Atticus said, quickly rolling away, tired and exhausted. He ran around the spider, avoiding it's line of site, and eventually met up with the others. Aleister was setting the spiders a flame and Stonefuse pounded through them, keeping them away from the fleeing climbers. "Please tell me there's some form of plan in action." Atticus asked.
"Prail, anything you can do?" As she heard Prail's comments, Cecilia's thoughts were running ragged, and she wondered critically why she even went with a group, they only led to trouble.
Hearing Atticus comment on any ideas, Cecilia voiced one.
"Set the forest on fire?" Cecilia hissed out of annoyance, and looking at Wooly as she threw Conney on to him. Wondering how fast he could run,oddly enough, bittersweet memories kept washing over her in a tide of remorse.
"Did I hear that right?" Atticus asked, amazed with how quickly things had gone to shit upon their arrival. "Set the forest on fire? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea until we're killed from smoke inhalation." Atticus remarked, wondering if they needed to have a talk with Prail about overkill.
Atticus looked around, scanning for any thing different. The trees were all the same, heading in every direction, trees, trees, and more trees around them. "Come one, come on, there's gotta be something." Atticus bumped into Veritas, and Atticus remembered seeing a stream back at the clearing.
"Veritas, you would happen to know if that stream lead anywhere?" Atticus asked quickly.
"There is a large frozen lake not to far from here, in that direct-" "Great, let's go!" Atticus yelled, hoping they could somehow distance themselves from the spiders. He was forming a plan in his head, but they'd have to be extremely lucky for it to work.
"Alright, follow my lead here."
Frozen lake. Sounded like her kind of lake.
Prail moved towards it as fast as she could.
The ice was there spanning out across the lake towards the horizon.
Prail thought she noticed something, a portal maybe, far away on the ice.
Prail stayed back, the spiders gather behind her.
She was worried this probably wasn't going to end well.
She briefly flashed back to her arm; she had to wonder what had happened to it, left in their village.
With the arm she still had left she took Cecilia's hand.
Faunra couldn't help but remember the last frozen lake they had visited, where they had encountered a rather sizable shark intent on eating them. She wasn't sure it was the best place to go, but one glance behind her at the rapidly approaching spiders was enough to vanquish an such thoughts. "Right. Lake it is"
"Maybe the shark will eat the spiders - I'd be okay with that" she thought to herself, half hoping it would come true, as she continued her "merry jog" through the forest.
The climbers ran through the forest, a mob of over sized spiders in pursuit. Aleister was still lobbing flaming spears at them, but for each one he took down, another dozen took its place. They were gaining on them as Atticus ran his relatively simple plan through his head. Get to the lake, run across said lake, have the spiders follow, wail on their surrounding ice, and hopefully not die a painful excruciating death. Simple. Or at least that was the plan. The thinly contrived, iffy plan but a plan nonetheless.
Atticus saw the lake up ahead, a crystal clear mirror casting a seamless reflection. He picked up the pace, broke through the treeline, and made his way onto the lake. as he ran, he felt something peculiar. He was slowing down, freezing water soaking his pants, and it felt like his was getting shorter. Atticus stopped as the water made it's way to his waist. This lake wasn't frozen at all! The rest of the climbers followed, the spiders gaining on them.
"Uh-uh, okay! Remember that plan I mentioned...dead. It's just shriveled up and died in a sub zero lake." Atticus said, trying not to panic.
"Anyone got any ideas?" He asked as the spiders emerged, in full force. Atticus walked up to Stonefuse, readying himself for the on coming assault. "You ready big guy?" Atticus asked. He turned toward Atticus but didn't respond. The golem was staring off at something behind Atticus, something on the lake. Atticus turned around and saw it. A statue made of ice...and the water around it was quickly freezing, forming a path. The statue quickly unfroze, revealing a spiky haired individual.
"Listen, I'm breaking a lot of rules by coming out here. Now get moving, we'll handle the rest."
They didn't have a choice.
The water might have been just the right temperature.
She took it step by step, the only way she could. It sloshed around her getting higher and higher.
She had her plan, but that was it really.
She was a terrible swimmer, but her horns would function as snorkels for a time and when those failed she could close their holes and start cycling flyers to get air as she walked across the bottom. Her tail might even make a competent anchor for the time being.
Clip Clop Slosh
Clip Clop Splash
Faunra could not help but pause as she saw the man, wreathed in ice, come to save them. It wasn't that his arrival was such a surprise - it was, but that was not the reason, nor was it the impossibility of invisible ice men - she did travel with several extraordinary people after all. No, what struck her were the ears; long and pointed, much like her own. Scratch that - exactly like her own. Their timely savior was an elf, the third one she could ever remember seeing; herself included.
The excitement of the revelation was second only to the sudden despair, knowing that this was their chance to flee the spiders as well as her first chance in years to speak with another elf; yet both could not be done lest they all meet an untimely demise at the legs and fangs of a horde of arachnids. That she was forced to make such a choice was a cruel circumstance. Still, Practicality dictated she make such a choice and Faunra was nothing if not practical. So, she turned and ran, not looking back for fear that such a decision would reverse the prior; dooming her.
Caedis looked at their chances of surviving such an encounter disintegrate as Atticus' plan of running across the Frozen Lake was turned to null because of the lack of ice to run across. It seemed like this was it, they were at the end of their rope and about to be reduced to spider feed if they were lucky. As the horde of spider descended on them, Caedis couldn't help but think of Darius. The one man that she tried to keep out of her mind. Her hands shook in anger as her heartbreak was opened a new. If she was going to die then she was going to die fighting.
But the sudden appearance from the icemen took out most of the steam. He broke out of the ice and promised to deal with the oncoming horde of spider. Caedis silently agreed as it looked like they could truly take care of it more than they could. She hurried on the ice pathway, trying not to slip or look back. She passed Faunra on the bridge and immediately Caedis noticed the resemblance mostly because of the ears. She made note to talk to her later but right now survival was the first priority.
When Prail took Cecilia's hand she nearly turned and punched her, the combination of fear and excitement of the attack was putting her on edge. Taking a brief breath and reigning in the rising feelings, she focused back on running. Giving it a reassuring squeeze as they moved.
As they reached the lake dismal were the chances of escape, looking at the others as they prepared to fight, and finally on Atticus and Stonefuse.
Hearing the comments and turning her head, she stared slack jawed at the mystery ice man arriving. Barely uttering a word as she listened, she turned and moved towards the ice.
He watched the climbers quickly make their way onto the path, and observed them carefully. They didn't seem to question his sudden appearance, which made sense given the situation, but he was slightly worried about what would happen once they were out of this situation. If they could get out of this situation. Spiky haired hadn't planned on finding them out here with an entire nest of arachnids and their queen out for blood. He ran ahead of the climbers, onto shore and near the woods as the spiders emerged.
"Alright, on my mark." He said, pulling out a strange musket like weapon. The rest of his group proceeded to do the same. There were only five of them in total, spacing themselves out as they took aim. The end of their weapons gradually froze over."Fire!"
There was was the quick sound of five hammers dropping as a burst of arctic air escaped from their weapons. The trees were torn apart and the lucky spiders were blown back, far into the forest, nearly crushed by the force of the blast. The unlucky ones on the other hand were held in place, completely frozen solid. They didn't take time to admire their handy work before running back to the ice flow and the climbers. Spiky haired spoke quickly, ignoring the glare from Stonefuse. "Look we don't have time for introductions, I just need you all to cluster together and circle around the-" A loud screech shook the forest, the remaining trees falling as the large spider made its way out to the lake.
"Just try no to stay in one piece...and, well, hope that by the end of this you're all still your own individual pieces!" He said hastily. The air around them began to shimmer as the queen tore it's way to the climbers. Atticus looked down at his hand, slowly breaking apart into thousands of snowflakes. Suddenly he felt his whole body fade away, nothing but snow in the wind. The entire group had become nothing but snowflakes in the wind as well, but they were still on the lake, a furious spider queen roaring right at them and then-poof.
For a few seconds, Atticus felt himself thrust upwards, twirling through the air before landing with a harsh thud. He slowly got to his feet, the rest of the climbers doing the same. Wooly shakily stood up, trying to not drop the still unconscious and poisoned Conney. In front of them stood a large structure, battlements surrounding it. It looked a bit like a large castle, but Atticus assumed it was the cathedral.
The four other pointy-eared men disappeared and a peculiar wolf appeared. Spiky-haired took a deep breath and began speaking.
"Follow him. He said, pointing at the wolf. Others will meet you inside and tend to any wounds you may have. I wish I could come with you, but I have to go and-"
"No, you're not going anywhere!" Atticus yelled abruptly. "This is happening way too fast and we need answers. Now."
Spiky-haired sighed. "Fine." Was all he said as he guided them towards the castle.
Caedis looked on at the enormous structure and then at the group of elves that had rescued them from the spiders. It seemed all too convenient for them to take out the spiders and they had the power to interrupt at any second so why then? Or most importantly, why them?
"Wait, wait. Who are all of you first of all?" Caedis sputtered out, looking at the massive structure, the men, and also the wolf.
Spiky-haired stared at Caedis for a few moments, mulling over her question. The townsfolk had somehow attached connected his kind to certain fairy tales, in a most literal sense. Maybe it was about time he gave his own view on the matter.
"I'm a soldier, an accident, and a bedtime time story all rolled into one. Though, you can call me 'Kleis'" He continued walking towards the castle, urging the climbers to follow. They made their way through a set of large doors, and walked onto the street. There were few people to be seen, each wearing varying degrees of armor all similar to what Kleis was wearing. There was a thin canopy overhead, covered in ice and snow. The buildings glistened with the runoff and foilage grew freely, overtaking many of the ancient structures.
"We're what's left of the Fristic Empire, now nothing but a memory cataloged in a few books floating around Abzerosa. Things were comfortable and life was easy back then, a few thousand years ago if I recall correctly." He said, taking a seat on the steps of an old building and patting the wolf on it's head.