Maruc skirted the sticky strands on the floor. He glanced nervously around, expecting the chittering of spiders. Memories of Sevastian’s catacombs and the chambers of the Rahib flashed across his vision as his eyes tried to pierce to gloom ahead. He followed on.
Seeing Hasan’s response to the webbing, Miklos knelt down next to it and lightly brushed the back of his hand over it. Hmm, a deadening of the skin possibly some contact poison. Good for taking prisoners. Using the end of his staff Miklos collected some on the end like some giant candy floss stick. You never knew, in a tight corner it could save his life? He took a few moments to see if any unfortunate goblins had been ensnared. If they had, whatever had done the ensnaring had probably made off with them.
So, finding none he rejoined the priest now eye’d his staff with suspicion. “Is that ethical?” He asked.
“It is if its used in defense.” chided the mage.
“It is an interesting substance, Maruc,” murmured Hasan. “It merits further exploration. I will want to study that myself, so try to save some from contaminants, Miklos.” The elf fell in next to the mage and began his efforts to untangle the problem. “Likely arachnid. Perhaps giant in species, but smaller types have developed poisons. Still, those are usually delivered by bite, not embedded on their web. You must know the rumors of the southern frogs, that secrete poison from their skin. Could such a mutation… “
Stephan saw Hasan’s reaction to the webbing and Miklos’s subsequent collection of some of it. He made sure to keep a healthy distance between any of his exposed skin and the sticky mess. Cupping his hand around the light stone, he shined it toward the mine ceiling, searching for additional webs or worse. Seeing that Feldard had the tracking well in hand, Stephan followed, keeping an eye to the sides and above. And occasionally glancing backward.
Feldard suspiciously eyed the left behind weaponry and webbing for a moment before pressing on. His pace if anything increased. Once more, he called out to the miners as he made his way along the passage. This felt wrong.
Like their rear guard, the dwarf kept his eyes roving in the darkness. Tracking the survivors would be harder now with the blood trail dwindling.
A little further on, the dwarves’ neat tunnel broke into an old musty passage, so low that all but Feldard had to stoop as they walked. The sound of water dripping into slimy pools echoed in the darkness. Shortly thereafter, the tunnel broke into two separate directions, each of which seemed to open wider, possibly into larger caverns.
It was difficult to tell, but there were some subtle indications that the dwarves had continued to the right.