“Blessed Havlav!” Stephan hissed upon seeing the webbed bundles Feldard was lowering to the dank floor. Seeing that the others were attending to the problem of extruding the victims, Stephen, while continually looking up and about for what he deemed to be imminent arachnid attack, set a lantern and torch aflame.
“Hey, this is standard practice against spiders,” he responded to the fowl looks from the infravisioners in the party. “I am compelled to do this till we’re safely out of this sticky mess.” He held the torch aloft as a second sword, his shield afixed to his back. He set the lantern in a clear location on the floor. If needed, it was a ready flame to relight torches or be thrown in desperate retreat.
Maruc rolled the last body off the bedrolls and swiftly started pulling the strands from the face of the first victim, the dwarf. He pressed his fingers against his—no her?—neck searching for a pulse. Weak but alive. “Hasan! Pull this one out into the main cave and remove the webbing as soon as you can! It is constricting proper respatory function.” He quickly went to the next bundle, smaller than the dwarf, he pulled at the threads. A gnome. This one was much colder…poor thing. Miklos you should be able to handle this one. You’re going to need that sharp you have to get through this lot. Don’t dawdle man!”
“Of course! Of course I shall,” gabbled the mage as he hauled the body into the outer chamber. He was lighter than he looked and didn’t smell too good. “You’re all right now my friend!” He said hoping against the worst as he hunted around for his knife. “Aha! here we are.” He set to work on the webbing and pulled as much free as he could. A pale, emotionless face stared sightlessly as he worked on the bindings. “We have you out of this is a trice! Hold on!”
Feldard rubbed at his numbed hands trying to gain back feeling into them after bringing down the last of the cocoons. Nudging this last bundle with his foot roughly, Feldard questioned his own sanity for bringing down the goblin and orc. They would be more trouble set free than if left for the spiders. But maybe they knew something of their leaders overall plans, and could be interrogated for it.
The dwarf glanced over towards Maruc who had already seen to the first two cocoons and was about to free and revive the third—a goblin by the size of it . “Are we sure we want to free them?”
“We’ll worry about that if there is anything to worry about.” It was a glib response but in the priest’s judgment, they were all but corpses and would really put up much of a fight either way.
Feldard nodded, then glanced across the lantern lit cavern to where Stephan and Miklos were still pulling webbing from the dwarf and gnomish victims. “I’ll leave you to that then. I’m going to see if I can help Stephan and Miklos with the miners.”
Hasan dragged the assigned body through the troglodyte’s teeth. He noticed Feldard’s odd enthusiasm for the work of cleaning the webbing off from what clearly appeared to be an orcish head. After the dwarf’s caterwauling throughout the cave system, Hasan would have expected Feldard to focus on the dwarf and gnomish victims. But the logic of dwarf’s was not his to understand, and so the elf returned to his work.
The unusual paralytic webbing frustrated Hasan’s efforts, but he slowly managed to reveal the dwarf’s beard. Then the nose. Then an eye. As the elf was just about to sweep a large hunk of the webbing off the sallow-faced wretch, that eye appeared to flicker. Hasan didn’t trust his eyes in the weak light, but his hand flinched nonetheless.
As the elf reached down to return to his work, the overlarge drowsy pupil clearly began to shrink, revealing a green iris. As the iris jerked toward the elf, Hasan stood and shrieked, “it’s alive! it’s alive! this one is alive!”
Feldard hadn’t forgotten that feeling of familiarity he’d gotten while freeing the first bundle. He made his way over to Hasan to offer his help, but at seeing the face of the other dwarf freed from her webbing—he froze. It was HER!
Hernane could feel herself slowly regaining feeling throughout her body. As the strands were wiped from her eyes, she looked up to see kneeling above her an Elf freeing her from the paralysis strands that had been cocooning her. She wondered what of all things was an Elf doing here in these subterranean caverns rescuing a Dwarf, but she was thankful nonetheless. What joy and elation she felt to be rescued, she had but all given up hope. However she also felt some embarrassment that she had to be rescued at all, especially by an Elf. Slowly she realized she was regaining feeling back in her fingers, toes and limbs and though she was quite weak emotionally and physically, she tried to talk to warn her rescuers of the danger they were all still in.
In Dwarfish she gurgled, “Giant Spider nearby, you are all in danger”! Look to your weapons!
She also looked around for Feldard to gauge his reaction to their reunion, which she knew was going to happen one day, just not she imagined, in the circumstances as she was currently in. Slowly with great difficulty she tried to stand, her pride would not allow her to be seen to be weak in front of her rescues.
Feldard was struck dumb at seeing her here of all places. Her warning about the spider fell on deaf ears. It took several moments for the shock to fade by that time she was already attempting to stand.
He shook himself out of his stupor and strode forward and gruffly helped to steady her where she stood. “Are you alright, Hernane?” Feldard questioned in dwarven, while looking her over in concern. Seeing nothing serious, he continued on, “I don’t know what you were thinking, leaving as you did, but we will talk—later.”
Hernane nodded at Feldard’s comments. Feeling as weak as she did, she was in no mood to discuss sensitive topics that were better left to a more benign environment. After her ordeal, she was still quite wary of what the cavern might hide, and needed time to collect her thoughts and strength.
“Thank you Feldard, for your timely rescue”, she replied in Dwarven, “yes I agree we need to talk. But first, can you introduce me to your companions? I would like to formally thank them for the risk they have taken in venturing into these cavens. May ask what has led you and them to here”?
Hernane looking around for the first time then noticed the other survivors. Cursing in her native tongue she exclaimed, “What curses that the beast has seen fit to preserve these foul Orcs and Goblins. They have been the cause of much death, we should kill them all now to avenge the deaths of my friends”.